The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #267: Wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 3 – Start of Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon

Episode #267: Wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 3 – Start of Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon

https://archive.org/download/podcast-267/Podcast%20267.mp3

This week, I’m wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and discussing more on the idea of creating a creative arts collective.  Last week, I created a private Facebook group called Thirteenth Hour Arts – For Creators, Not Haters.  Many thanks to all who joined!

This week, I’m launching a Patreon of the same name and idea – a place to share in the creative process, though more specific to things related to the creation of The Thirteenth Hour books, music, podcast, pictures, figures, and the like, as well all the other things that have influenced those properties.  Hopefully, people will be able to share what they do as well so we can all build off each others’ creative energy.

You can go to the Pateron by clicking the picture below of going here:

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #266: Adding Vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 2

Episode #266: Adding Vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-266/Podcast%20266.mp3

This week, I’m adding vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and discussing more on the idea of creating a creative arts collective.  To start, I ended up creating a private Facebook group called Thirteenth Hour Arts – For Creators, Not Haters.

Here’s the premise I’ve copied from my inaugural post there:

Welcome to The Thirteenth Hour Arts Collective – a place to create, not hate!

There are so many ways to be creative in the world. Although I publicly create books, music, and toys for The Thirteenth Hour stories, those are informed by a number of other things, like 80s films, new wave music, martial arts, dance, and so forth.

I’m sure you have or had many things in your own life that are kind of the same. Please share them here – you may inspire someone else (or yourself) to make time and space for creative pursuits!

When Logan’s hoverboard flies in The Thirteenth Hour, it emits a cloud of rainbow colored smoke.  There were rainbows all over the place in the 80s (Rainbow Brite, Skittles, Reading Rainbow, etc), and if not exactly rainbows, plenty of kids’ shows used the idea of different colors coming together to represent strength or unity through diversity and/or teamwork (Voltron, Captain Planet, etc).  Rainbows encourage us to look off into the distance, towards that ephemeral spot where the rainbow ends.  To me, they have always represented hope and possibility for the future, so I’m using them as a symbol for this group to represent creativity, especially the diversity of creative pursuits and people that practice them in hopes that it can be something we all share in and benefit from.

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #265: Continuing the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream,” Magnet Dolls, and Creative Community

Episode #265: Continuing the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream,” Magnet Dolls, and Creative Community

https://archive.org/download/podcast-265/Podcast%20265.mp3

This week, I’m continuing to record the backing tracks for “Once Upon a Dream” – the solo, the chorus, and so forth.  Next will be the vocals, the outro riffs, and maybe a few electric guitar accents here and there.

Speaking of which, I thought it might be a nice thing to add some of the magnet dolls I talked about recently as part of the special edition of the Once Upon a Dream LP.  Here are the magnet dolls, by the way, of Logan and Aurora plus all their stuff:

magnet doll Logan and Aurora sheetIn the latter part of the podcast, I talk about the idea of trying to create some kind of online community to showcase the creative process.  I touch on that in many of these podcasts, and I’ve been thinking about trying to help people showcase the creative things they do in their own lives.  In may ways, that’s one of the messages of The Thirteenth Hour – creating the world you want to inhabit.  You may have noticed that on my Instagram posts, I have little emoticons before the post, kind of like these:  👾🎤📖🎸🍓🎨🕹🏹🙋🏽‍♀️🤸🏼‍♂️🌈🎭🎬

I’ve organized the different kinds of art types by sense, more or less, to showcase them

Sight

🎨 – visual art (e.g. paintings, illustrations, sketches, sculptures …)

🕹- digital worlds

🎬 – films

📖 – stories

 

Sound

🎤 – audio entertainment (e.g. podcasts, audiobooks …)

🎸 – music

 

Taste / Smell

🍓- food, gardens

 

Touch

⚒- tools made of metal, wood, plastic, ceramic …

🪑- furniture

🏕- places to live

📟 – electronics

💍 – jewelry

🧣- clothing

🧸- toys

 

Movement

🏹 – safety, confidence, inner peace (e.g. through martial arts disciplines)

🤸🏼‍♂️- movement, health (e.g. dance, gymnastics …)

 

Mind

🙋🏽‍♀️- knowledge (e.g. through teaching)

🎭 – characters (e.g. acting)

👾 – memory

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 – community

🌈 – hope and possibility, freedom of expression

Especially in 2020, when there is so much turmoil in the world, we could all use a little positivity to bring out the better parts of humanity – our desire to explore and create – rather than human drama and politics.

I’ve been thinking about creating a Facebook group for this for awhile or perhaps a Patreon community to do this.  What do you think?

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #264: Starting the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream” and Custom Minifigure Making

Episode #264: Starting the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream” and Custom Minifigure Making

https://archive.org/download/podcast-264/Podcast%20264.mp3

This week, I’m working up and wrapping up few concurrent projects – starting the recording of the backing track for “Once Upon a Dream” discussed last on episode 261 and finishing up a little “kitbashed” minifigure of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour discussed a bit last episode. The magnet dolls discussed last episode are in the editing process, so I’ll be printing those out soon!

magnet doll clothes

One of Aurora’s costumes is this one from a picture in the book:

I’ve been working on a custom miniature of Aurora in this outfit made from a few different Wonder Woman mini figures.

I ended up using parts from all three different verions of these little Wonder Women to make the figure, plus some Apoxie Sculpt clay and paint.  These are the pics from last week. Here’s what the finished figure looks like:

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #263: Making Thirteenth Hour Magnet Dolls 1

Episode #263: Making Thirteenth Hour Magnet Dolls 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast-263/Podcast%20263.mp3

This week, I’m talking about a side project – making little magnet dress-up dolls of Logan and Aurora from The Thirteenth Hourfor my kids.  The idea is that you start with a 2D character (that is magnetic or metal) in their underwear and then add clothes (which are thin, flat magnets) on top.  Basically, it’s a dress-up toy.

I actually did a little research into what people from ancient cultures wore for underwear, and the results were quite fascinating in a way, since they tended to mirror social attitudes of the day, especially for women.   (If you’re curious, here are some of the sources I looked at.  Given that not many of these undergarments have survived, it’s mostly historical speculation, but learning about what might have been worn in ancient Greece and Rome, ancient China, and the European middle ages was still quite interesting).

In any event, since the world of The Thirteenth Hour is fantasy (with a few intentional anachronisms like matches, flush toilets, and flying hoverboards thrown in for convenience or self referential humor) and not really based on anything historical, I figured I could take whatever artistic licenses I wanted.  Still, when I was originally designing the costumes, I did give some thought to working around things we sometimes take for granted in our world (like elastic, which requires rubber – not always so easy to come by, and zippers, which requires a mechanized world or at least factories capable of mass producing intricate parts to the point that they can be found on clothes for everyday people).

So – that’s a long way of saying that I gave Logan and Aurora rather generic skivvies that might have been found in the ancient past but could still have been something that would have offered equal measures of comfort and support.  If nothing else, I wanted my characters to be comfortable!

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I’ll post more as I make progress in production.  Eventually, I’ll scan in all the pictures to edit them digitally and figure out a way to print them out on magnetic sheets.

One of Aurora’s costumes is this one from a picture in the book:

I’ve been working on a custom miniature of Aurora in this outfit made from a few different Wonder Woman mini figures.

More in the coming weeks!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #261: Musical Interlude – The Making of “Once Upon a Dream” and Like a Hood Ornament 16: The Last Rocketeer and Kit Secord Rocketpack Updates

Episode #261: Musical Interlude – The Making of “Once Upon a Dream” and Like a Hood Ornament 16: The Last Rocketeer and Kit Secord Rocketpack Updates

https://archive.org/download/podcast-261/Podcast%20261.mp3

This week, I’m working on the title track from the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP, Once Upon a Dream.  I have the keyboard riffs and the lyrics mostly done and am now trying to figure out how they go together.  I’ve recorded a bare bones version here with just the vocals and the piano chords, which is how many of these songs start.  In the coming week’s, I’ll be refining the skeleton of the song as I figure out how the different riffs work into the song, where the backing beat will come in, how the solo will sound, etc.

In the Like a Hood Ornament segment, I’m talking a bit about how my kids and I have been working on a costume paper mache rocketpack for my daughter for Halloween (she’d like to be Kit Secord from the cartoon, who you can see at the bottom of these images below).

We still have to figure out how to attach straps, and I’m wondering if it might be fun to figure out how to light up the engines and/or attach the little banks of purple LEDs on the bottom that this version of the pack has.  Maybe we’ll make an electrical switch wired to the gloves, like in the movie.

Also, the next segment of the fanfic short story, “The Last Rocketeer,” describing a team-up between Centauri from The Last Starfighter and a 71 year-old Cliff Secord who has long since given up being the Rocketeer (but secretly wants one last flight) is up.

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Here’s part 2: https://www.wattpad.com/926948946-the-last-rocketeer-2-nighttime-visitors

And here’s the section I was reading from in episode 260: https://www.wattpad.com/930869004-the-last-rocketeer-3-into-the-depths-of-hell

The first part of Chapter 4 is here: https://www.wattpad.com/934519790-the-last-rocketeer-4-in-which-the-proverbial

More coming next week!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #260 and Like a Hood Ornament 15: Reading from Chapter 3 of the Last Rocketeer

Episode #260 and Like a Hood Ornament 15: Reading from Chapter 3 of the Last Rocketeer

https://archive.org/download/podcast-260/Podcast%20260.mp3

This week, I’m reading from the next installment of the fanfic short story, “The Last Rocketeer,” describing a team-up between Centauri from The Last Starfighter and a 71 year-old Cliff Secord who has long since given up being the Rocketeer (but secretly wants one last flight).  He gets his chance in this tale!  But as usual with Cliff, it all goes south!  Find out what happens this week as the defecation starts to hit the proverbial ventilation!

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Here’s part 2: https://www.wattpad.com/926948946-the-last-rocketeer-2-nighttime-visitors

And here’s the section I was reading from today: https://www.wattpad.com/930869004-the-last-rocketeer-3-into-the-depths-of-hell

Stay tuned for Chapter 4!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #232: Making a Thirteenth Hour Shadowbox

Episode #232: Making a Thirteenth Hour Shadowbox

https://archive.org/download/podcast232_202001/Podcast%20232.mp3

This week, we are making a shadowbox, something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time, since I’ve always wanted to create more of a story to put the figures in.  An opportunity to showcase some art at a local art showing presented itself, and not quite knowing how to show my minifigures, the organizer of the event suggested a shadowbox.  Coincidences of coincidences!  This was the chance to experiment with them.  I found two cheaply at Goodwill and came up with a simple scene (that I had already made a picture of back in episode 141) to display.  Here are some pictures of the process:

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A few pictures of the Rocketeer figure I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.  The sculpt is just about done!

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If you haven’t checked out the episode on the CGG podcast on the Rocketeer (including some on the comics and the games), you can check it out here.

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And yes, if you were thinking the Rocketeer in the upper left quadrant is holding something that looks like a Super Soaker 30, look no further to the cut scene below it for more detail.  The one on the lower right is from Broforce, which features a character that plays homage to the Rocketeer.

Brockteer

The game Dark Void also does the same:

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #231: 2020 Goals Part 2 and A Thirteenth Hour Reading

Episode #231: 2020 Goals Part 2 and A Thirteenth Hour Reading

https://archive.org/download/podcast231_202001/Podcast%20231.mp3

Hope your new year is off to a good start.  In this episode, I continue with the theme started last year about discussing new year’s goals.  I’ve been working on a part of The Thirteenth Hour sequel draft where the main characters, Logan and Aurora, are making a life for themselves on a little seemingly secluded island, and towards the end of The Thirteenth Hour, they plan how they’re going to do that.  It fits the general theme of making new year’s plans, so I’m reading a few excerpts from that part of the book today.

Again, best wishes in all your creative pursuits in 2020!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #230: 2020 Goals and Making of the Rocketeer Minifigure Part 1

Episode #230: 2020 Goals and Making of the Rocketeer Minifigure Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast230_202001/Podcast%20230.mp3

Happy new year, everyone!  During this episode, I reflect a little on what happened in 2019 and what I’d like to do in the coming year:

  • con’t working on The Thirteenth Hour sequel draft
  • finish painting the Aurora and Lightning resin minifigures
  • continue collaborating with a number of fellow podcasters whose work I’ve enjoyed (more below)
  • publish a second Thirteenth Hour soundtrack to compliment Long Ago Not So Far Away (a few more tracks to go)
  • continue the D and D campaign my brother and I were doing
  • and finish this belated Xmas present for my daughter, a little resin Rocketeer figure (she got interested in the original Rocketeer after watching the animated series that launched this past November – most of the episode is actually spent discussing how that came to be so I’ll just put some pictures here of the progress to date):

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At some point, I will make a little video showing the creation of the figure as well as making the mold as well as the casting process – parts I had the most questions on when I was just learning how to make resin figurines.

I wanted to give a shout out to some fellow creative folks out there who work I’m glad to have found in the past year!  In some cases, I had the pleasure of working with them this past year, in some cases not yet.  The hardest part of podcasting is meshing schedules, so collaborations are always tricky to arrange, so I’m grateful to whatever we’ve been able to do (or will do in this upcoming year).  I mentioned most of these folks on the show but not all – more to come in 2020!

Happy new year and best wishes in all your creative pursuits in 2020!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #225: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 3

Episode #225: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 3 

https://archive.org/download/podcast225_201912/Podcast%20225.mp3

This week, I continue work on a ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from a passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship.  I’ve been fiddling with adding a beat to the song and was listening to two examples – one by Debbie Gibson (“Lost in Your Eyes”) which adds a beat after a piano intro riff and another by Alphaville (“Forever Young”) which actually has no backing beat at all in the original version until about 1 and a quarter minutes into the song.

 

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #224: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 2 / Rocketeer Theme

Episode #224: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 2 / Rocketeer Theme

https://archive.org/download/podcast224_201911/Podcast%20224.mp3

This week, I continue work on a ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from a passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship.  Last week I had a rough draft of the lyrics.  This week, I’m singing the second draft and playing the chords on the keyboard.

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While I was practicing the intro riff, I kept wanting to play the theme from the 1991 movie, The Rocketeer, scored by James Horner.  It’s not surprising since it’s one of my favorite soundtracks and one of my most favorite movies of all time, though I’ve never tried figuring out the intro theme, which is played partly on the piano if I’m not mistaken.

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I’m playing it in the key of C, just like “The Last Dance,” which is probably why the two kept getting mixed up in my head, even though they don’t sound much alike.

Speaking of the Rocketeer, if you can find a copy of the Nov 2019 magazine, Fine Scale Modeler, you can find a picture of this most excellent painted Rocketeer figurine!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #223: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 1

Episode #223: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast223_201911/Podcast%20223.mp3

This week, I start work on a new ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from this passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship (The Thirteenth Hour is occasionally told from multiple perspectives; bolded black portions of the text below indicate a perspective change from Aurora to Logan):

I hadn’t seen much of Logan the whole dance; he’d been whisked away by an overzealous female flamingo as soon as the dance had started. The last I saw, he was listening to the animated hoots and squawks of the backflipping chimpanzee after they’d had a backflip contest which ended in a tie.

The more I looked for him, the harder he was to find. I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of jealousy. After all, we’d come here together. We should have at least once dance. For some reason, that seemed important … I couldn’t explain, but I hoped he would understand.

The animal band suddenly announced that this would the last song, and when the crowd protested, they promised to make it extra–long and slow. Great. These were the kind of songs that required a partner. And if you were a girl and didn’t have one, like me, you either stood marooned on the floor, awkwardly waiting for someone to ask you to dance or retreated to the sidelines. I looked around for awhile but could not find Logan. As I sighed and turned to walk to the side, suddenly he was right there, alone. Among all the faces swimming around my eyes, I saw only his. He didn’t ask if I wanted to dance; he just took my hand, and we joined in the crowd.

“There’s something …” we both said at precisely the same instant. And then we both laughed. “… that I wanted to tell you,” we both finished.

There were a few seconds of silence. I felt like there was an invisible wall that my words had to get over … if I could get them over that barrier, everything would be fine. But I couldn’t do it, at least not yet. Finally I gave a sheepish grin and a sideways nod that said “maybe you better go first.”

“Well, back when I was talking to the unicorn – you know, the Lord of the Earth, he offered to see into my future. And the fortune said in the very near future I’d be married. Can you believe it? Can you imagine me, married?”

I thought for a second. There were a couple of places I could go from there, but I chose the semi–safe route. “I think I can, but … what made you think of that just now?”

“Well, I really wanted to tell you at the baths. But then we got interrupted. And then, at dinner, there was so much going on, and I kinda forgot. And then I saw you just now and, I dunno, that’s what I thought of. I don’t know why, I guess.”

“Did the Lord say to whom?”

“No, he didn’t say.”

“Didn’t or wouldn’t?”

“Wouldn’t. I did try asking.”

“You must have been surprised. You sound surprised.”

“I was. I just never really thought about it before. Maybe it would be nice, if you found the right person, but finding that person … I dunno, I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

He wasn’t taking the bait, and I couldn’t really blame him. It was kind of a long shot. Guys weren’t great with these kinds of things, anyway. Still, it never hurt to try. “You really think it would be so hard to find the right person?”

“Well, how many girls have I really known?” I shrugged and laughed, looking down at Aurora’s feet. “I mean, who would I marry, you?”

Ouch …

I regretted it the moment I said it. I’d been joking, but hadn’t meant it to come out like that. If there was any girl I did have feelings for, Aurora certainly would’ve been the one, but to marry someone, you had to love them, didn’t you? I still didn’t really know what that was. There was an awkward silence. I laughed a little and felt like an idiot. Aurora laughed, too, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have just kept my mouth shut.

It was alright, and I said so. Like I said, it was a long shot, and even I didn’t understand the weird mess of feelings inside. But I was forced at that moment to admit that they were there. Things were changing, and I was falling.

“ … but you said that you had something to say, too?” Logan asked.

I just shook my head and looked down at the spinning dance floor. It made me dizzy, and I looked back up at Logan. He was just tall enough so I had to look up a little to meet his gaze but not so tall that I couldn’t rest my head on his shoulder, if the time were right for that. I didn’t, though. Instead, I looked into his eyes but could not tell what he was thinking. I did my best to smile, and we danced that way until the song ended.

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #142: Snippets from a Live Show

Episode #142: Snippets from a Live Show

https://archive.org/download/Podcast142_201804/Podcast%20142.mp3

This weekend, I took a bunch of my songs plus a number of (mostly) 80s songs and played at a local arts festival for about 4-5 hrs.  I had about 26 songs ready for the keyboard and the guitar and ended up playing most of them at least twice, some more, during that time.  I also had the chance to work out a few new songs (one of which you’ll hear a clip of) and polish old ones (since you can only play the same ones over and over for so long).  I’ve just included a few snippets since the audio quality was especially bad even after a lot of editing, but here are two songs I did on the guitar from 80s movies (Sixteen Candles and Purple Rain) in their original form:

Next week, stay tuned for synthwave artist, Starfarer!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Evolution of a Thirteenth Hour Illustration

Inspiration is an odd thing.  The muse comes, I find, at the oddest of times.  Sometimes she stays for fleeting moments; other times, she lingers for days.

When I was writing the passage below for The Thirteenth Hour, I thought it needed an accompanying image:

“… I’ll always remember the time we spent on those lonely strips of land. The night sky was beautiful there. I’d looked up at the night sky all my life, but this was the first time I really saw it. Looking up and seeing only a lifeless void of blackness whose only light came from tiny perforations in the alabaster mantle may seem frightening and lonely. And it was, at first. But it was comforting, too, because the sky, the open space, the wild terrain, it only accepted, it never asked me to be anything other than what I was. I felt that if I could just capture the feeling of those nights, bottle it, and store it in a safe place inside myself, I could ration it out to last the rest of my life, to erase the turmoil of the last year.”

But, alas, by the time the words were written, the muse had flittered away and stayed on extended sabbatical (at last as far as this image was concerned) for years.  A few weeks ago, however, she returned long enough for me to draft a picture, which eventually became the colorized image you see at the end of the post.  I documented a few steps along the way:

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Before the muse took off for good, I sketched this scene by hand in pencil.  I was trying to capture a vast landscape under a blanket of stars.  Like a Chinese landscape painting, small human figures are present to show how small they are in the grand scheme of this universe of empty wilderness.
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At this point, I have inked the outlines of landscape features such as the Milky Way band, the moon, and the ocean, preferring to stipple in shadows, sand, and other small details with the point of the pen.

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And now, the coloring process has begun.  Although I have begun using computers to make the drawing process easier, I still prefer drawing and coloring the initial print by hand (in this case using colored pencils).
star

The colors have now been laid out.  However, there are some details lacking, and the picture is still too light for it to be realistically happening at night.  So now, it’s time to scan the image and work on it digitally.

starlight This is the final image, doctored and detailed with Photoshop Elements. Although it is still brighter than it would be during a real night, there’s enough darkness to convey it’s night while still retaining the details of the beach and its sole inhabitants.

If you enjoyed this post, I’ll have more in the future.  Thanks, as always, for reading.

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Work in Progress – New Thirteenth Hour Drawing

Today, I started work on a new picture of Logan from the The Thirteenth Hour flying on Lightning (and doing a backflip while in the air).  I meant to do something like this some time back and even had some very similar mockup animations I created for a The Thirteenth Hour video game I was planning to make (but sadly did not get finished).  This is going back at least ten years, and not surprisingly given how long everything has taken, I’m finally getting to it now 🙂  Not quite done yet – did the hand drawing and coloring today and will do some touching up on the computer.  After sitting sketching, erasing, and coloring much of the day, I must say my shoulders are sore 🙂
2015-09-27 20.16.34  If you’re subscribed to the mailing list (below), you’ll get an advanced copy when it’s done!

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