The Dragon’s Loyalty Award


Next week, Nightwolf’s Corner officially turns 1 year old. (I can’t believe it’s already been that long!) And as the countdown to announcing the giveaway winner continues, I find myself looking for other ways to extend the celebration. Thankfully, Andrew Toynbee once again supplied me with the perfect solution. He’s honored me with a nomination for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. Not a bad pre-blogiversary present, huh? It’s actually my first blogging award of any kind, so thanks, Andrew! You’re awesome!

The rules for this one are pretty simple:

  1. Display the award certificate on your website. (Mission accomplished. It’s above.)
  2. Announce your win and link to whoever nominated you. (Why do I get the feeling these rules should have been left to common sense? Who wouldn’t want to thank the person that gave them a shiny gold star?)
  3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers. (Hmmm, they assume I’m much more popular than I am. This could be challenging. I sense some creative rule-breaking in the near future.)
  4. Drop them a comment to alert them of the awesomeness. (Again, duh! That’s kind of an obvious part of these games, right?)
  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself. (Uh-oh, I’m starting to run out of interesting things! I’ll have to see if I have any left after the last time I posted some.)

Alright, I need a little time to figure out how I’m going to magically find 15 worthy souls to direct you toward, so I’m going to do things slightly out of order. (I told you I was a rule-breaker.) I already used some of my best random, interesting factoids in the last go-around, so here are some b-grade, semi-interesting ones. 😉

7 Supposedly Interesting Facts About Me:


  1. I grew up in The Middle of Nowhere, California. Like seriously, the town’s not even on most maps. It literally took an hour (in any direction) to get to civilization and our nearest neighbors were a mile away. (What can I say, my parents decided they wanted to be hermits, I mean, back-to-landers. 😉 )
  2. I don’t know how to talk to kids until they’re about 10 years old. (That may be a sign I’m missing the mom gene. I’m not sure.)
  3. I like popcorn with my ramen. (Yeah, you read that right.)
  4. I collect journals, but because I can’t stand my handwriting, I never fill them. (Don’t look at me at like that, you already knew I was weird.)
  5. I was a complete chatterbox as a kid (according to my mom) but absolutely loathe public speaking/social situations now and avoid them at all costs. (Is being a hermit hereditary?)
  6. I think car karaoke is awesome. It lets me pretend that I can actually sing. (Pretend being the operative word there.)
  7. My brain comes to a screaming halt when I’m hungry, and I seriously have the IQ of a jellybean until I eat something. (Yep, I just attributed jellybeans with intelligence.)

Whew! I made it. That was getting rather difficult, partly because factoid #7 is in full effect right now, (intelligent jellybeans? WTF?), and partly because I don’t know what else to say that might qualify as “interesting.” Fortunately, I don’t have to fabricate any more fascinatingly random tidbits because that task is over. For now. On to the next part– nominating some peeps!

I chose these first few people because they consistently support me with comments, links, and friendship.

Andrew– Andrew Toynbee’s Very Own Blog (That’s right, I’m nominating you back! Thanks for always sending people my way. 🙂 )

Jon– Jumping From Cliffs (For all the supportive comments and always providing a laugh with your sarcastic wit.)

Robert– An Orthogonal Universe Blog (For supporting all my endeavors. Can’t wait to see your book finally released!)

Kym– Redheaded Blackbelt (For introducing me to blogging and giving me the encouragement to start.)

(Thanks goes to all my other regular commenters too. Since some of you don’t have blogs, I couldn’t include you in the link round-up, but you have my gratitude and appreciation all the same. As does everyone who follows me or even just randomly stops by for 2 seconds to helpfully inform me– in broken English, no less– of how difficult my site was to find and how I’m lacking in my SEO optimization. [Really? Then how did you find me, Mr. Luis Vuitton Knock-off purse vendor from the other side of the world? Clearly, Google didn’t think I was that hard to find.] ;))

These next blogs are not ones that follow me, (that I’m aware of), but rather, are ones I follow regularly and feel are deserving of a shout-out.

Katie Jennings– She Writes With Love (For some initial encouragement and awesome information about self-publishing.)

The girls over at The Pub(lishing) Crawl (For consistently informative posts on all things publishing/writing.)

Lindsay Buroker (For amazingly thorough and insightful posts on self-publishing and the legalities of writing.)

The ladies of Self-Published Authors (For all the information on publishing, marketing and writing.)

Catherine Ryan Howard– Catherine, Caffeinated (For a mess-load of information on self-publishing wrapped in sarcasm.)

And, lastly, Rachelle Gardner (For insight into the publishing business from the other side of the fence.)

Ok, so not quite 15, but hey, 10’s not a bad number, right? There are a lot more really awesome blogs I follow on a routine basis, but I didn’t want to bore you guys, so I capped it at these few. If you’re looking for some new reading material, be sure to check them out!

That concludes the assignment portion of the award and today’s post. Next week, I’ll reveal the winner of the giveaway and wax nostalgic about my year as a blogger. (That means I’ll be doing a link round-up of all my favorite posts over the past year.) If you haven’t entered the giveaway, there’s still time! (One more week, to be exact.) You could win your choice of a substantive editorial critique, a custom logo design or a ready-made demo concept. All you have to do is click here. And remember, the more entries I receive, the more chances to win there will be. Good luck!


Featured Image: Myusa Won Hwa Logo

Last week, I promised you art. This week, I’m making good on that promise (Finally! Right?) and starting a new series of blog posts– the Featured Image. This will be an on-going series where I showcase work I’m particularly proud of or that has some other reason for being of particular note. Since I’m offering the possibility of a logo design as one of the prizes in my blog-birthday giveaway, it’s only right to kick-off this new series with a logo.

So, without further ado, I present my best logo design to date:

The Myusa Won Hwa Logo

(which means “Warriors of the Original Flowers” in Korean, by the way)


Myusa Won Hwa Logo

This was a commission by Dragon Heart Tang Soo Do owner, Master Becky Rupp. Tired of the stories of violence against women that are growing ever more prevalent (along with violence against everyone), Master Rupp decided to take action, creating a curriculum designed specifically for women and girls. The martial arts have long been touted as a means of self-defense, but the sad truth is that the majority of techniques taught simply don’t work in the real world for women or children faced with a larger assailant. Master Rupp’s curriculum does.

She took aspects of her traditional Tang Soo Do training, along with influences from Larry Wick’s Split Second Survival and created a modified curriculum that plays to the strengths of “the weaker sex.” Charged with a desire to see all females armed with the ability to protect themselves and the wherewithal to avoid dangerous situations in the first place, she then offered it to her small Northern California community for free.

Since it’s a separate class from the Tang Soo Do curriculum taught under the Dragon Heart brand, Master Rupp wanted to create a separate, unique identity for it. That’s where I come in. I was hired to create a logo that reflects the spirit of female warriors, something both hard and soft, feminine and strong. The result is the image above.

I chose to use the lotus flower because it is a long held symbol for over-coming adversity, for strength even in darkness. I paired it with the flourishes to create a distinctly girly design. The addition of the sword is an obvious reference to warriors, and the high heels, purposely colored to mimic a certain famous shoe-maker (you know who I mean, ladies! 😉 ) are meant to represent a woman’s power. Stiletto’s have long been tied to female sexuality, but those of us who wear them will tell you that they’re also empowering (and hurt like hell!). Somehow, torturing our feet for the sake of fashion makes us feel stronger, prettier, and more confident. Which is why they’re perfect in the logo of a class that upholds those same ideals.

The color choices weren’t as complicated– red, because the bottom of the shoes had to be red and it’s Master Rupp’s favorite color; pink, because that’s the color of girly; and black to create the harsher lines meant to evoke an Asian influence. (Plus everything looks good with black!) I threw it all into a mixing pot, stirred it up for about 30 hours and voila! The Myusa Won Hwa Logo was born.

Master Rupp’s class continues to flourish, and she continues to offer it to the community for free, encouraging women of all ages to train. But nothing can operate without some sort of funding. I will be creating and launching a product line featuring the logo to help fund this worthy cause later this year. (Watch for the announcement!) In the meantime, if you would like to help keep this program afloat, (and hopefully someday allow it to expand to a region near you), you can make a donation to Dragon Heart Tang Soo Do’s non-profit sister organization, The Dragon Heart Foundation, whose mission is to help under-privileged and at-risk youth train in the martial arts.

And don’t forget, my giveaway is still running. You could win a custom logo design like the one above, or your choice of two other prizes. For every 100 entries I receive, I’ll add another winner slot. Meaning, if I get 200 entries, 2 people will win; 300 entries, 3 winners, etc. How’s that for added incentive? If you haven’t entered yet, click here. Don’t miss out!

Nightwolf’s Corner Birthday Giveaway

Birthday Candles

Birthday Celebration” by Cédric Boismain
Copyright 2013

Last week, I mentioned that the one year anniversary of my first post was rapidly approaching– in 3 weeks, 1 day, to be exact. I honestly never expected to last this long. (I don’t exactly have the best track record for finishing what I start unless there’s money involved.) And I certainly never expected to have so many wonderful people support me with follows, likes and shares every week. So, in honor of this milestone, I’ve decided to celebrate. It is a birthday after all. And no birthday is complete without presents! Or, in this case, a giveaway.

I’ve got some rather interesting (and hopefully exciting) prizes for you. As you know, Nightwolf’s Corner is split between the three aspects of my storytelling life– writing, art and martial arts demo teams. Therefore, it seemed only fitting to offer a prize from each area. But my schedule is a little flooded right now, so as much as I’d love to pick a winner for each prize, there can only be one. That winner will get their choice of the following:


Prize 1: A Substantive Editorial Critique


Writing has had an unfair advantage on this blog over the last year– something I hope to change in the coming months– so I suspect a majority of you will be interested in this chance to score editorial services for free.

I’m offering the writers in the audience the ability to gain some outsider input on your WIP. I’ll give you a full substantive (structural) critique, illustrating what’s working and what might need a little improvement. I’ll cover everything from flow, to character/world development & consistency,  to believability,  to scene transitions, etc. I won’t provide feedback on a line-by-line basis, (you’ll still need a copy editor at some point), but this will give you a definite leg up on the way to publication. And the best part? I don’t care if your manuscript is finished or not.

That’s right, you can submit your WIP in all it’s unfinished glory and still receive the same level of critique I would give a finished manuscript. That’s pretty cool, if I do say so myself. There aren’t many chances out there to get an editorial critique on an unfinished work, so I would jump on this opportunity, if I were you. 😉


Prize 2: A Custom Logo Design


I realize this may be the least popular option, since most of you haven’t seen what I can do artistically. Art has been sadly neglected over the past year, all my grand topics languishing in the draft queue unfinished. But that’s about to change. I’ll be posting examples (specifically of logo’s I’ve done) to the Art Gallery over the next few weeks, so don’t rule this prize out just yet.

I’ll create a custom, vector-based logo design for whatever you want– business, t-shirts, decals, whatever! (Remember, a logo is a simplified image meant for wide distribution on various printed materials, so please don’t request something that would be better served as a traditional painting/sketch.) The value here, besides having someone design your vision into reality, is the inclusion of commercial rights to the image– meaning you have the exclusive right to merchandise and profit from it. (I still own the copyright though, and retain the right to display it in my portfolio.) These rights can cost hundreds of dollars above the design fee itself, so this isn’t an offer to scoff at. If you’ve ever wanted to create a logo for something, or need a revamp on your current one, here’s your chance!


Prize 3: A Ready-Made Demo Concept


I’m not gonna lie, this is the prize I’m most excited to reveal. Many of you are familiar with my particular brand of demos– a hybrid of theater, dance and martial arts. Many of you have also expressed desire for learning how I create them. Over the past year, I’ve delved into the nuts and bolts of my demo team storytelling technique, but there’s nothing quite like actually applying it. And since I can’t travel to every school that might be interested and literally coach you through the process, this is as close as I can get to loaning you my brain.

For the first time ever, I’m offering to supply a ready-made demo concept. What does that mean? I’ll supply the music (usually something I’ve mixed for optimal storytelling capability. Yes, I can do that and I’m quite good at it, so stop giving me the skeptical eyes 😉 ), the overall concept (aka theme), a script detailing the storyline and how to sync it to the music, the costume/prop design and casting recommendations in terms of abilities needed per role. All you have to do is create the choreography. (You didn’t think I was going to give you everything, did you? There still has to be a shred of your creativity in there somewhere!) Pretty cool, huh?

Have I caught your attention yet? Good. Here’s how it works:

The giveaway will run from now, April 12th, until midnight on May 4th, at which time I’ll randomly select the lucky winner and notify them via email. All you have to do to enter is click here and follow the prompts.

That’s it! Let the birthday celebrations commence! Here’s to another year full of sarcastic storytelling awesomeness and wonderful people to share it with. Thank you for reading! 🙂

Randomness Galore: An Interview With Me

I know, I know, I have a rather lengthy About Me section that pretty adequately introduces myself. (Bonus points if you’ve actually read it! 😉 ) But last week I was tagged by Andrew Toynbee in one of those informational interview games that shows you the person behind the blog. Some of you may remember my stance on participating in chain letter-esque things from the last time I was tagged in one. But like that previous post, I feel this one has some merit. And since I’m not one to scoff at the gracious gift of being tagged, I’m going to participate. I can get back to whining about my lack of progress on Unmoving next week.

The Rules:


  1. Post these rules. (Are we really not smart enough to figure these out from the post?)
  2. Post a photo of yourself. (Seriously? Ugh, guess I better go dredge something out of the archives where I don’t have 3 extra chins and look like I’m completely high.)
  3. Post eleven random facts about yourself. (Hmmm, this could get interesting.)
  4. Answer the questions given to you by the tagger’s post. (Thank you, Captain Obvious. Isn’t that the whole point of participating?)
  5. Create 11 new questions and tag some people to answer them. Make sure to go to their blog, twitter, etc. and let them know they’ve been tagged. (10-4. Time to come up with some really embarrassing informative questions and some willing victims participants! ;))

(I took a few liberties with the order of the rules to allow for snarky side comments. But you’ll forgive me, right? Everyone loves some sarcasm with their instructions, don’t they?)

The Photo:

This one seemed appropriately mischievous, and I only have two chins, so that’s a plus:


Looks like I’m about to send that poor guy (aka my husband) barreling down the side of the cliff on a spooked horse, doesn’t it? I would never do that, of course. Especially since this was taken on our honeymoon and I still rather liked him at that point. (Just kidding, I still love you, babe!) But yeah, that’s me, looking all evil and stuff. On to the next part of the game!

11 Random Factoids:


  1. I’m a vegetarian who hates all things vegetable. How’s that for a difficult diet?
  2. My first concert was The Backstreet Boys. (Yep, that’s not embarrassing in the least.)
  3. I have a weird obsession with all things office supply.
  4. I hate having stuff on my feet, but absolutely love shoes.
  5. I’m a shopaholic. When I’m not broke as a joke, that is.
  6. I think chocolate should be its own food group. Which explains why photos of me with 3 chins exist.
  7. It drives me nuts to get stuff on my hands. Dirt, charcoal, chalk, stickiness, whatever. I don’t like it!
  8. I still listen to The Backstreet Boys. (That’s even more embarrassing!)
  9. I don’t think I’m funny. It amazes me when people laugh at something I meant as truth.
  10. I think in pictures. Seriously. Like animated pictures. (Who wins the freak award of the day? This girl!)
  11. I loathe pink but look amazing in it, so half my closet is pink.

Andrew’s Questions for Me:

1. What was the last book that you read?

Oh jeez, I’m all about embarrassing myself today! The last book I read was…wait for it…50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Yep, that’s right. I read it. In its entirety. I think any time a book rockets to that level of stardom it’s worth reading, if only so you can catch all the references to it that surround you for the next 6 months. But in all honesty, I kind of liked it.

2. If you could retire within the next five years, to where would you like to retire?

This is an easy one. Hawaii! Or pretty much anywhere that’s warm and near the ocean. I don’t care for the rain and have an extreme dislike for snow. So naturally, I moved to the rainy capital of the pacific northwest. Makes perfect sense, right? No one said I was the brightest crayon in the box.

3. What genre are you writing – and have you attempted any other genres in the past?

Currently, I’m writing Urban/Contemporary Fantasy. But the bulk of my work is actually in Dark Fantasy. I suppose, if you want to get technical about it, they’re both the same genre– Fantasy. I have yet to step outside that realm, but I do have a few plans for branching into Sci-Fi. Other than that, I’m pretty set in my ways. For now. Who knows, I might randomly decide to tackle Mystery, or Literary, or Hamster Romance. ( No? That’s not a thing?) That’s the beauty of creativity– you can do whatever you can imagine. 🙂

4. Fruit or chocolate?

Chocolate. Duh! See Random Factoid #6, where I declare that chocolate should constitute it’s own food group. (Seriously, who do we have to convince to make that happen?)

5. What stage is your current WIP at?

Right now, it’s languishing on the corner of part-way-done and never-getting-finished. In all seriousness though, I’d say it’s roughly a third of the way complete.

6. What colour is your hair – and your eyes?

My hair is medium brown with grey highlights, thanks to my inherited curse of premature grey. I’m still hoping for an awesome skunk stripe, but so far, it’s not that localized. 😦

According to my driver’s license, my eyes are hazel. But they’re more toward the green end of that spectrum. With the right clothing and make-up, I can actually push them into green, which is awesome. I love green eyes.

7. Agent or self-publish?  And why?

Both. I’ve spoken quite a bit about my reasons, so if anyone is curious, I suggest browsing the archives for the full disclosure. Basically, it came down to branding. Since my Urban Fantasy series is the anomaly among my work, I’m choosing to self-publish those, while seeking to place everything else with a traditional publisher. I find the freedom and challenge of self-publishing appealing, but there’s still part of me that can’t let go of seeing my work on the shelves of Barnes & Noble someday. Although, if they close too, I suppose I won’t have to worry about that dream anymore.

8. What was the last movie you went to see?  With friends or alone?

The last movie I saw was Oz,  The Great and Powerful. I saw it with my husband. I’m not brave enough to see movies alone, so he gets dragged to a lot of films I’m sure he’d be alright passing on. But I do have to say, Oz had some of the best 3D I’ve ever seen. The stunning visuals were well worth the price of the tickets.

9. How long have you been with WordPress – and what was your first post about?

I’m actually coming up on my 1 year anniversary, on May 4. I signed up a few months before that, but waited to start posting articles until I had finished setting up the rest of the site. Well, most of it, anyway. I still have to finish some of the things I had planned, like the Art Gallery. But I’ll get to them eventually. I hope.

My first post was basically my thesis statement, explaining why I was starting this blog and what I intended to write about. For the most part, I think I’ve held pretty true to that thesis. Although that first post is probably the shortest one I’ve ever written that wasn’t an announcement of some kind.

10. What can you see beyond your screen?  If it’s a wall, what’s immediately behind you?

Aw, my blank white wall isn’t good enough for you? Let’s see…*turns around*

Behind me is a window, looking out on one rather large tree in the middle of the lawn. Beyond that is the road, and across that is some kind of weird church thing. I think I need better surroundings. That was almost as exciting as the wall.

11. Do you type head-down or head-up?

If by head-up you mean looking at the screen instead of my fingers, then yes, head-up. I’m a secretary by day and a writer by night. So I pretty much type all the time. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is most definitely in my future. Yay for impending surgery!


That’s it for me. Which means I now get to spread the joy. Since a lot of the lovely people I would have tagged have already had the pleasure of being grabbed by someone else, I’m once again going to be a rule-breaker. Instead of tagging any one blogger in particular, I’m tagging all of you– my readers. (Boo-yah! Bet you didn’t see that coming!) I know a lot of you have blogs of your own, so feel free to continue the posting fun. As an alternative, or if you don’t have a blog, you can also answer the following 11 questions in the comments below. I think it will be just as much fun for me to get to know all of you as it is to learn more about my favorite bloggers. So I hope at least some of you will participate. You can’t possibly embarrass yourself more than I have; what have you got to lose?

My 11 Questions to You:

1. Where are you from?

2. If you’re a writer, what genres do you write? If you’re not a writer, what’s your favorite genre to read?

3. What’s your dream job and are you lucky enough to have it?

4. Name someone who inspired you and tell us why/how.

5. What’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t?

6. What’s your favorite animal? (Real or Fictitious)

7. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

8. You’re getting shipped to the proverbial deserted island and can only bring 3 things. What are they?

9. List your top five all-time favorite songs, including the artist.

10. Where is your happy place?

11. What’s your favorite girl’s name? Boy’s?