What is “I Got My Ass Thoroughly Kicked?”

Yep. No Jeopardy for me this time. One day, maybe.

In my defense, those were some damned hard questions.

-Ryan

I’ll take “Writers On Game Shows” for $200, Alex

Being a total trivia nut, I’m throwing my hat in for the Jeopardy online contestant applications. I know Wheel of Fortune’s got the better prizes and cash flow by far, but Jeopardy has nerd cred.

…also, I don’t have to behave like a puppy on a sugar high.

I think I spend more time apologizing on this blog than writing actual blog entries.

In any case, I’ve finished my longest work to date – the rough draft of an urban fantasy story, stretching out over 70,000 words. I’ll be frank in saying that it’s mostly crap, and I think the necessary edits will make it far more readable. The additional text will help, no doubt. But after two years, I’ve finally put together something novel-sized, and can see the scope of the story.

Persistence pays off, friends. At this rate, I’ll see you again in about three months.

Good News / The End of the Tunnel

So – Sorry about the delay between posts, but I’ve been a little busy for the past two months. (Also, the Steelers are currently 6-2. Good times!) Mostly, I blame the comprehensive exams (which are happening next Saturday), a limited budget, and trying to take on too many projects at once.

But, there are some great things afoot in Lynchitania. For instance, observe what has arrived in the mail today:

My first published-in-paper work!

My copies of Survival Stories, the much-ballyhooed anthology put out by The Sleepless Phoenix, have arrived. My story, “Fury” – with art by the indomitable Ben Bates, who’s recently made his big pro debut handling the pencils for Sonic The Hedgehog #217 and #218 – is in there, and gets a nice little mention in the introduction as well!

Just a quick note, though – even though the book has me as Ryan Lynch everywhere else that matters (index, cover, short biography), in the comic itself, the writer is my old pen name, Brian St. Claire. It’s still me, and I apologize for any confusion. But honestly? It’s a minor, insignificant detail, compared to what Michael Moreci, Nic Wilkinson, and everybody else responsible for bringing this book to print had to go through to make this happen. So what if it’s under my old name? It’s still my name, my work, it’s finally on printed pages, and this brings me no end of delight. I should also add that “Fury” has the distinction of being the single best story in an anthology filled with great stories.

(No, I’m not biased, not at all; how could you accuse me of something like that?)

Also, I have a children’s book making the round with publishers and agents alike, and I’m 55,000 words deep into a Philly-centric Urban Fantasy novel that’s part Buffy The Vampire Slayer, part Starship Troopers. My hope is to get the brunt of it done before NaNoWriMo ends; I’ve got about 17,500 words towards my NaNo Total so far, but studying for the comps has taken priority, and will continue to do so for the next week. Needless to say, after all that studying’s done, I still won’t have much of a life, but I promise the blogging will be done far more frequently.

And before you ask, half of my copies of “Survival Stories” are already earmarked for friends and family. Perhaps I’ll hold on to the leftovers and keep them for a future contest? Who knows. But this is a happy day.

-Ryan
(The Artist Formerly Known As Brian St. Claire)

Ten Pounds of Awesome in a Five-Ounce Bag.

I was at both Intervention Con (I helped to staff and do press for it – the latter of which has been immortalized on the internet via Wired.com here) and SPX this weekend. It was so very, very fantastic.

I’ll write more it that when I’m not almost totally wiped out, but right now, today, here’s what I’m psyched about in my state of quasi-delirium – I got six cool urban fantasy books from the library (more Stacia Kane, More Caitlin Kittredge, one by Lilith Saintcrow, and one by Vicki Pettersson, which just looks plain awesome and I can’t wait to dig in), I get sweet e-mails, and then I get a call from my apartment’s front desk manager, who was telling me about how both Tony Romo and the Detroit Lions quarterback got robbed of touchdowns last night . And then a package comes.

A package that, amidst the excitement and fatigue of the weekend, I totally forgot was coming. A package of THIS.

The Penguin Mug approves.

That expression on my weary face is one of sheer delight. Why? Allow me to explain.

Kazuo Koike did a series of manga with the irrepressible Goseki Kojima – also one of my favorite manga artists – that you might’ve heard of, if you like tales of bloody samurai revenge and parenting. Ryoichi Ikegami was the artistic co-conspirator with Sho Fumimura in creating one of my favorite manga ever, SANCTUARY. And while Mr. Kojima is one of my favorite artists, Mr. Ikegami is the favorite manga artist.

So when my friend over at the local comic book shop heard me ranting about them, he cooly pulled the first volume off of the shelf, handed it to me, and said with a smile, “I think you might like this, then.”

My reaction? A mixture of shock, awe, purest joy and eternal gratitude. That’s the nice, artistic way of putting it… In reality, I was more like the Double Rainbow Guy. Except no drugs. So, to have all seven volumes in my hands, for the mere eBay price of $30 including shipping and handling – well, words, you fail me right now.

-Brian

P.S. Steelers, 1-0. Booyah. Here’s to more Dennis Dixon.

Daredevil, and Why I Love Him.

In preparation for a novel I’m writing, I’ve written a Daredevil comic that takes place during Matt Murdock’s teenage days, shortly after being blinded.

I can’t explain why, but I’ve grown attached to Daredevil over the past few years. Some people prefer Spider-man, or Wolverine, or the X-Men, but I have a soft spot for The Man Without Fear. I think it’s because his problems are generally less cosmic or ridiculous, and have a strong root in emotional trauma. It could be because he’s got a boxing background, and he’s essentially the Rocky Balboa of the Marvel Universe – the guy who gets the piss beaten out of him by life, and, at the end of the day, is still standing, still fighting, and still won’t give up. (I know I said Spidey was the Rocky Balboa – which is true – but so is DD. Maybe more so.)

I love that never-say-die attitude. I love that he’s not a super-scientist, extra-strong, or loaded with money. Sure, he’s got reflexes, heightened senses, radar, the clubs, and ninja training, but that’s it. Personally, I think he’s the most human of all the characters in the Marvel ‘verse.

Anyway, check the story, “The Kid’s All Right”, out here.

-Ryan

PS, started up a Scribd account. Don’t know what to put there yet. Suggestions?

Writing in General : How Multi-Classing Can Help You Be A Better Writer

I promise this post is only as geeky as the title itself; Multi-Classing is a feature within Dungeons and Dragons that allows a hero to, once they’ve reached a certain level of experience, branch out into a different category of expertise.

As a writer, we’re often focused solely on our craft. We write, therefore, we must be writers, and only writers.

Write? Wrong.

Sure, you can learn to be an even better writer by writing, reading, and doing more writing, but you’ll only become gifted within a very narrow scope. Be more than a writer. Take up drawing, music, filmmaking, photography, knitting, martial arts, dance, anything – find a different perspective and skill set that you can reinforce your writing with.

I recently finished a film-making class, and one thing continually reinforced by my professor, Hezekiah Lewis, was flow. He said at one point, “people get too hung up on details, like cigarettes in the wrong hand or something like that. Don’t let the technical aspects block the flow of the story. If you have a great take and it flows, but the cigarette’s wrong, who cares? Use it. You shouldn’t be concerned with accuracy. The performance comes first.”

When a friend of mine, Branson, came down to visit, I cajoled him into giving me some brief art lessons. I learned more about drawing feet in that afternoon than I ever had before, but that led me to draw more. And more. And then, when I read this blog entry by one of my favorite artists/creators ever, Chris Sanders, things came together. I made connections between the way I would draw people and the way I would describe these drawings – which, in turn, made my words more vibrant. Thinking visually and working visually helped me to write visually.

And now, instead of getting caught up by thoughts on technicality, I think more about capturing the moment. Who cares if it’s right, as long as it’s written? You can always take care of these things in post-production.

-Ryan Lynch (is a Level 10 Writer / Level 2 Artist / Level 1 Filmmaker)