Mermaids

Troubled Waters

I had an interesting last few days.

My younger cousin and I have been dialoguing a lot more recently and it’s opened my eyes to so many new things. One would be, I’ve never realized how similar we are as adults. I remember us running around as children and always having a great deal in common, but was blind to the fact that it transferred into adulthood.

We spoke about our family and our ethnicity and so many wonderful things. She is raising a child of her own and she is doing an amazing job, even being dealt a shitty hand. I am in awe of her. At 21 she has more maturity than some people twice her age.

This all sparked conversation in my own home about race and ethnicity and even more wonderful things. As that conversation was happening, I was sent some links to something that made me sick on Twitter.

People were (and still are) complaining about the race of a girl cast to play the new Ariel in Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid.

What a bunch of fuckwits. Talk about a waste of space.

I’ve drawn and designed mermaids many times in my life and now I do so professionally, and I assure you, no where does it state they have to be a certain shade. I’ve even designed some with a lavender skin, or a greenish hue, sometimes pink; sometimes blue.

In the words of Jim Morrison, people are strange.

There are events going on in our country that are in dire need of attention, but these are the things some choose to get angry about.

It’s maddening.

The Shining Sea

I have a niece that I already know will very much look up to the new Ariel. Right now, her favorite is Moana for similar reasons. That alone makes me smile. That alone makes me want to give every one of those people complaining a great, big Jersey hello. (That’s the middle finger for those of you that’ve never been out here.)

So with that said, I hardly ever do fan art. About 98% of my art are originals. That being the case, I am going to make an exception for this next one and maybe a few others. After all, I plan on doing more of these for this movie coming up if time allows.

A Little Mermaid © 2019 Snapping Turtle Arts | cardcastlesinthesky.com

The following early concept is one of a limited edition series I’m doing on mermaids. This first one was inspired by the new Ariel.

Instead of me going back at some of those people that are spreading racist ideals on Twitter, this is going to be my retaliation. Share it if you can. Art speaks and it also teaches. Let the art teach. Maybe they can see its beauty and learn something.

Let the art teach.

J

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Daydreams Diary: I’ve Been Waiting…

It’s been a while since I sat down to catch up with you.

There’s a reason for that.

In the recent words of someone I’ve always admired, actress Uma Thurman,

 

“I’ve been waiting to feel less angry.”

 

I’ve got a flurry of these Daydreams Diaries coming up this season perhaps making up for it.

With all of the events going on in the world, I felt the sudden urge to re-post my own #MeToo story,

The Girl That Didn’t Cry Wolf

 

 

Shared exclusively a few years ago at Stories That Must Not Die.

I think it’s important to highlight this happens to very young girls too. & We need to protect and educate our children.


Love Always,
Daydreams

Blood in the Streets: Introduction & Part I, The Men

Why

Blood in the Streets is a three part necessary storm created due to modern injustice and violence in our current society. Although some of these occurrences are limited to the United States, their effects have been felt globally.

  • Part one of the series is titled “The Men” touching on topics of police brutality while highlighting the innocent lives taken due to senseless violence.
  • Part two is titled “The Women” and aims at spotlighting the lesser heard stories of women brutalized; sometimes for seemingly no reason at all.
  • Part three concludes the series with “The Children” and delves deep into fear and ignorance while highlighting the lives of children taken too soon.

CardCastles understands some of these topics are uncomfortable. With that said, the material shared within is not recommended for users under the age of 18.


The Men

TheMan

July brought in a heat that no one was expecting. I’m not talking about the kind of heat generated by the sun, or the kind manufactured by man, but the kind that seems to take on a life of its own once started.

On July 5th, video circulated the internet of something you may have seen an infinite amount of times portrayed on COPS. An unarmed black man was pinned down to the ground with a knee in his chest. We didn’t have much knowledge on what took place before. What was different this time was the end result. The officer fired into the man’s chest killing him. The officer’s life didn’t appear to be in any danger. He simply could not contain the suspect. That man’s name is Alton Sterling, and his funeral was just last Friday, July 15th.

This is not the first time this has happened. Nor is it the first time there has been evidence of such a thing. Though now, in today’s world of technology, the Average Joe can be a journalist. There was video everywhere and it circulated quickly.

No matter what side of the fence you stand on, there is no denying that black men die at the hands of police at an alarming rate. We can sit here and debate guilt. We can sit here and have a race war.

I’d rather ask you simply this:

If you believe there is corruption and you believe that innocent lives can sometimes be taken by people wearing the good guy suit, then why is it so hard for some to believe this is happening right in front of their faces?

Have we become so caught up in political ideals that we can no longer see right from wrong?

Vines

Disturbingly, less than 24 hours later, on July 6th, the world took in more news and video of a senseless killing. This time, from the up-close perspective of the victim’s girlfriend who sat in the car with him as his life slipped away. The video begins with a bleeding Philando Castile, whose arm is visibly swollen from a gunshot wound. His girlfriend is heard pleading with police trying to make sense of why her boyfriend had just been shot if he was complying. As she calmly speaks, perhaps most disturbing of all was the fact that his daughter can be heard in the backseat. Castile slips away on camera, in front of them both. His girlfriend is seen being thrown to the ground and cuffed shortly after. The video was a recording of the FB Live stream his girlfriend sent out during the incident.

The black community will tell you this sort of thing has been going on for centuries. The only difference now is we have video evidence.

I’m going to let that statement sink in for a moment, because it seems not to be with most of the media pitting us against each other.

There is something to be said about racism in this country, and how it seems to be just as alive today as it was back in the days of slavery. Some may not want to accept this, exclaiming “Oh no, but we’ve come so far.” Though, with all of the death, the harsh realities at our feet, and blood in the streets, you simply cannot be blind to it any longer.

Price Fixing and How it Affects Authors

In April 2012 Apple was accused of working with major publishers to “fix” prices on the Apple e-book store, iBooks. In early July 2013, Apple was found guilty and is reportedly paying a hefty sum. Any author that has a few notches on their belt knows this hurts only one group of people – them us.

No matter what the final outcome in this case is, Apple and the major publishing companies don’t stand to lose much. It is you, the author that will be hit hard in the pocket. Readers and writers alike have to understand one simple fact: the author needs to make a buck from their material. That is, of course, if you want to keep reading their books.

Eventually, this will probably result in prices being knocked down in many online stores. That’s great for the consumer and even better for the store. It’s not so wonderful for an author or someone trying to self-publish for the first time. Most authors and self-publishers earn money by making a cut of the profit obtained from the sale of each book. When you do the math, it’s not a monumental amount. Unless the author sells a massive swath of their product, they’re not going to be swimming in green anytime soon.

What We Can Do

Some veterans to the business would advise authors fight back. Some solution could be found in creating awareness and banding together. Authors and especially self-publishers should have some say in how their books are priced. Not major companies. There is much discussion to be had and some compromising to take place. Hopefully, both sides can come to some sort of an agreement. The industry is already seeing a drop in readers and an oversaturation of upcoming writers. The last problem it needs is petty disputes over pricing.

The Market Now

The sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining, can be pre-ordered on the iBooks store for $10.99. That’s a best-selling author. (Probably one of the most well-known authors ever.) Imagine a new writer getting published for the first time. If prices on e-books are lowered what do they stand to make? 4¢ a book? 2? You see my point. Exclaim

To fully understand this issue as someone outside of the industry, you’d have to look at traditional paperback books. Would you pay under $10 for a paperback book? Of course you would. Although, if you’ve ever browsed a large bookstore, you know some of the best content is usually around that price or just above it. Hardcover books are an entirely different ballgame. Those usually range from $15.00-$25.00 and above.

The Road Ahead

If up-and-comers want to stay afloat we’d better start talking strategy. With a large corporation like Apple being slapped down and choke-held into pricing things “fairly” other big players are sure to follow suit. After all, no one is paying our bills for us. In a profession that many would say is dicey financially, writers should protect themselves and not aid in that uncertainty. Otherwise, one of my next posts may be for a support group called “Writers Anonymous”.

Related Links and References:

National Hoodie Day

Trayvon Martin
Image found via CBS News archives. Original image source unknown.

Many organizations are naming today “National Hoodie Day” in honor of Trayvon Martin. The horrid shooting incident took place on February 26th, 2012 and the trial for George Zimmerman begins today.

This beautiful child was killed because of senseless violence and fear. Fear fueled by racism, or racism fueled by fear, depending on how you look at it. No matter how you see it, I think most of us can agree acts like this just shouldn’t transpire. There is a better way.

Countless groups from around the country will be holding protests today. Many schools around the country will be wearing hoodies in support and remembrance of Trayvon.

Little Blue Feather is a children’s story I wrote and illustrated a few months back with incident’s like Trayvon’s murder in mind. The story was a contribution to the Bloggers for Peace movement I am strongly passionate about. It won for that month’s Peace Challenge and many agreed it is an excellent teaching tool. If you have children, please read it to them. We can teach our children about peace and acceptance early. If it helps prevent one child from becoming a future George Zimmerman, I’ve done my job as a peace crusader.

Trayvon could be any one of our children. I take this shooting extremely personal because my son is of mixed ethnicity and wears hoodies himself all the time. He has features just like Trayvon’s. I don’t want this to be my child’s future because of ignorance and fear.

B4Peace

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