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Messages - Tyrannohotep

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Characterization / Re: What does your character say - back in time
« on: March 23, 2018, 02:34:03 PM »
My current protagonist would probably warn her past self that her half-brother isn't to be trusted and that she should keep an eye on him. Maybe not let him sneak out of dinner to plot her demise.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: March 23, 2018, 02:28:45 PM »

Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops prorsus face off against each other deep in the jungles of Cretaceous North America, around 68 million years ago. These two have always been my favorite dinosaurs, not least because each dinosaur really would have made a formidable adversary for the other. It's a perfect clash of the titans, if you ask me.

10,000 years ago on the plains of what will eventually become the Sahara Desert, a young farmer girl has filled her basket with cereal grains she has collected during the day’s harvest. The wooden instrument under her belt is a primitive sickle studded with stone bladelets for cutting.

Recent archaeological excavations in southwestern Libya have shown that African people were extensively harvesting and perhaps even cultivating “wild” cereals in the region 10,000 years before present, roughly contemporary with similar experiments in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. Not only have over 200,000 specimens of grain been recovered at the dig in question, but so have pieces of woven baskets that would have been used to carry the grains, as well as pieces of pottery with cereal soup residue still on them. Perhaps future discoveries will show that Africa was among the earliest, if not the earliest, cradles of agriculture in human history.

Is the goth subculture still a thing in this day and age? Regardless, I thought a goth chick would make for a fun break from the historical, fantasy, and prehistoric stuff I usually do. The most enjoyable aspect of this exercise was how it let me go wild with her design.

I didn't have a specific ethnic identity in mind for this character when I doodled her. However, the designs on her skirt are inspired by textiles from the Kuba kingdom in the southeastern Congo. The Kuba would weave their famous cloth from raffia palm leaf fibers and then color it with vegetable dyes. These textiles were used not only for clothing, but also sleeping mats and even currency among the Kuba.

This is my interpretation of the female Tyrannosaurus rex named "Rexy" (or alternatively "Roberta"), who starred in the first and fourth Jurassic Park films. As a lifelong Jurassic Park/World fan, I've lately been feeling a bit worn down by all the negativity I've seen aimed towards the franchise, particularly in the paleontology fandom. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on the movies, but personally I liked JW a great deal and hope the Fallen Kingdom sequel will be fun as well. That said, I couldn't resist "redesigning" a few aspects of Rexy's anatomy to better fit modern scientific knowledge about tyrannosaurids. I don't expect the JP/JW dinosaurs to ever be accurate without a total reboot of the series, but it's still nice to imagine how they would look if they did get a design update.

Introductions / Re: Hello again!
« on: March 21, 2018, 11:12:09 PM »
Welcome back! I'm especially glad to see you return, kherezae!

This is an edited sentence from the first chapter of my novel.
Rivulets of perspiration streamed down the Queen's dark brown skin and stained wet spots into the raffia cloth of her top and skirt.

Raffia cloth, by the way, is a Central African textile woven from the leaf fibers of the raffia palm.

Publishing & Marketing / Re: Self-publishing Discussion/Resources
« on: March 20, 2018, 12:52:03 AM »
I may come back to this eventually and mention some things I've learned from being in the market, and keeping it as a personal back up... but I usually have only one major piece of advice for self publishers.

Get and editor.
If there's one thing I will credit traditional publishing for, it's quality control. One does not have to look very far in Amazon's Kindle store to observe that Sturgeon's Law very much applies to self-published literature.

Unfortunately, it doesn't help one bit that people in my generation can seldom spell for shit. Whenever I've had to review a classmate's paper in school, I always found myself appalled at their command of the English language. That would be forgivable if they came from impoverished backgrounds and didn't have access to the best education, but these were almost invariably rich white and Asian kids from the suburbs. They had no excuse.

Inspiration can come from all over the place. Books or short stories I read, movies I've watched, games I've played, or even things I've seen while browsing the Internet.

Unlike @Manu, I do tend to be a very visual person. In some cases, story ideas have come up when I'm drawing something. It's like I want to create a whole story around the artwork. Alternately, I may have a scene I want to draw but have trouble getting it to look right, so I write a story based on it instead.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: March 18, 2018, 02:24:05 PM »

Sometime during the Roman imperial occupation of Egypt, this rebellious Egyptian warrior is on a daring mission to infiltrate a Roman fort. Suffice to say that she's not all that crazy about her once mighty and ancient civilization being reduced to a colonial breadbasket.

I know this isn't a scene that would have likely taken place in real history, but it was too cool to resist.

Ankylosaurus magniventris is the namesake and possibly the largest known member of the ankylosaurid family of dinosaurs, with a body mass of around four tons. A native of North America around 68 to 65 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous, the plant-eating Ankylosaurus would have been a contemporary of both the Triceratops and the Tyrannosaurus. Its spiky body armor and club-like tail would have provided it with natural protection against even the fiercest and hungriest tyrannosaur.

This itinerant warrior is hiking through the desert hills after having hacked her way through a scuffle with her khopesh blade. Perhaps she will find even more trouble awaiting her on the road ahead...

I wish I had a more creative backstory for this simple portrait. But all I can say at the moment is that I wanted to try out a different method of drawing with fainter outlines than my usual. Sometimes trying out a new technique can help you with inspiration.

Publishing & Marketing / Re: Self-publishing Discussion/Resources
« on: March 17, 2018, 11:04:00 PM »
All my experiences with traditional publishing have been in the short story market. So far, I've only got one story accepted into a publisher's anthology, and I didn't get paid a cent for it. Every time I've tried submitting stories to paying magazines, they've been rejected. I may try again next time I get another short finished, but so far it's been discouraging.

Sometimes I wonder if the problem has to do with the sort of stories I write. I have this impression that today's short story market is biased towards the philosophical and the politically relevant. Y'know, stories that are meant to be thought-provoking and have clearcut social commentary. Of course, there has always been a place for such stories, but the ones I write tend to be straightforward and action-packed adventure tales. I'm sure there still is a market for what I do, but I don't think it's trendy anymore.

Worldsmyths Million Writing Challenge 2018 / Re: Lines and Quotes
« on: March 13, 2018, 03:26:20 PM »
I'm partial to the world-building I did in this passage, personally.

Azhuraddon, son of Emperor Sargonidas of Azhurya, could not bring himself to even sip the palm wine that had been poured into his cup of blue faïence.

Under normal circumstances, the feast which the Queen of Djakhem had prepared for him and his retinue on the palace's outer veranda would have appeared as appetizing as anything he had enjoyed back in his own capital of Azhureveh. A diverse abundance of fish, tropical fruits, fufu, stews, and the roasted flesh of fowl and jungle game covered the low table they sat beside. In a corner crooned an ensemble of court musicians to the gentle beat of drums and the plucking of harp strings. Of course, the mixture of aromas floating around, both from the food and the serving girls' perfume, should have relaxed the Azhuryan prince even further.

Not even an imperial prince could relax, let alone feast, when his conscience gnawed at him.

Azhuraddon turned his head to look beyond the veranda's columned parapet at the expanse of city which encircled the palace like a broad moat. Amidst blocks of houses with white mud-plastered walls and thatched roofs, there reared the monumental limestone temples and colossi for which all the kingdoms of Ta'Sutja were famous. Trees planted alongside the streets and in the temple gardens painted the remainder of the capital green with flower-speckled verdure. To the north of the city's protective ramparts, terraced pyramids of black basalt poked up from the jungle canopy, their golden caps still brilliant despite the waning light of the sunset.

The civilization of the Ta'Sutjan kingdoms, divided as it may have been, was truly more ancient and more magnificent than any other that Azhuraddon had known. His studies had told him that the early Ta'Sutjans had built the first of their royal tombs some thirty centuries ago, back when the Azhuryans still slept in camel-hair tents in the desert and the Shangzhounese still rode after bison on the steppes north of their current territory. To desecrate such longstanding glory with conquest, as his father had envisioned, somehow seemed an even greater blasphemy than taking Azhur's godly name in vain.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: March 13, 2018, 03:24:49 PM »
Yo, it's been a while since I last posted anything in this thread. Let me update you dudes on what I've been doing the past week or so.

Ceratosaurus nasicornis prowls a Late Jurassic rainforest sometime between 153 and 148 million years ago. Found in North America and possibly also Africa and southern Europe, this meat-eating dinosaur would have been a contemporary and possibly a competitor with the larger Allosaurus, but seems to have preferred wetter environments. However, Ceratosaurus would have been more closely related to Cretaceous abelisaurs such as Carnotaurus and Majungasaurus. The nose horn for which the dinosaur is named could have been used either for display or for fighting over mates.

Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war and violence, descends from the heavens to unleash her wrath upon those insolent mortals.

Getting the background to look right presented a bit of a challenge, but I think the lens flare I added in Photoshop gives a nice extra touch.

Amanirenas was the ruling Kentake (Queen) of Kush, in what is now Sudan, between 40 and 10 BC. She is best known for her fight against the Roman Empire after attacking its newly acquired Egyptian province. Although the Roman retaliation was brutal (they even sacked the former Kushite capital of Napata), Amanirenas managed to arrange a second standoff against the Romans that convinced them to withdraw back to Egypt, never to challenge her again. Some accounts describe Amanirenas as being blind in one eye, which is why I drew an eye-patch on her this time.

The young woman you see here represents the Badarian culture which appeared in central and southern Egypt between 4400 and 4000 BC. These prehistoric progenitors of the Egyptian civilization would have probably subsisted as semi-nomadic cattle-herders moving between the Saharan savannas and the Nile floodplains every year, supplementing their diet with cultivated wheat and barley as well as wild game. Despite this "tribal" lifestyle of theirs, the Badarians shared with their "civilized" descendants an affinity for body ornamentation (such as tattooing and jewelry made from copper, ivory, bone, and precious stones) and mummifying their dead to be buried with goods for the afterlife. It goes to show you that even the mightiest empires have their genesis in what we would consider "primitive" conditions.

A young woman from the Badarian culture of predynastic Egypt (4400-4000 BC) dances with her arms raised overhead in imitation of cattle horns. This particular dancing pose is known not only from predynastic Egyptian art, but also wall reliefs from the pharaonic period many centuries later. Today, women of the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan still perform a similar style of dance, which makes sense given the Dinka have a cattle-herding culture comparable to that of early predynastic Egyptians.

Our predynastic Egyptian heroine from 4400-4000 BC now leads a hunting party across the savannas that will someday become the Egyptian Sahara. Although cattle-herding and floodplain agriculture would have provided most of the predynastic Egyptian diet, artwork from this period abounds with hunting themes, so it must have still been a popular pastime (in addition to providing an additional source of protein). In pharaonic times, it would have been the Pharaohs and nobility who did most of the hunting.

With this piece, I wanted to practice my foreshortening by having my girl point her spear at something up ahead.

While we're on the theme of women dancing, enjoy this doodle of a Hebrew belly dancer from ancient Israel. We tend to imagine the biblical Israelites as a pious rather than sensual people, in large part as a result of modern Christian ideals of sexual inhibition and chastity. However, given that ancient Hebrew culture comes from the same Semitic, Middle Eastern cultural background as the Islamic Arabs, I would not be surprised at all if Israelite girls had the same penchant for belly dancing as their Arab sisters. And unless they happened to be all asexual (or gay), even biblical heroes like Abraham, Moses, or even Jesus could not have minded the sight of scantily clad dancing girls every now and then. XD

This is my speculative portrait of the Ptolemaic Egyptian Queen Cleopatra VII’s heretofore unidentified mother. Although we know from the historical record that Cleopatra’s father was Ptolemy XII Auletes (117-51 BC), the identity of her mother remains less certain. It could have been Ptolemy XII’s official Queen Cleopatra V, or it could have been any of the various side chicks that the male Ptolemaic rulers were known for taking. Of course, I went with the latter scenario by representing her as a native Egyptian girl. However, the falcon design on her earring is based on one found on coins minted during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

After playing the kingdom of Kush in the game Total War: Rome II some more, I was in the mood to doodle another Kushite warrior babe. I might make her a character in a story sometime in the future, but right now I have bigger fish to fry with regards to writing.

As an aside, it's a pet peeve of mine to see Kush characterized in modern sources as a "sub-Saharan" African civilization. It may have had trade contacts with people south of the Sahara, but since the heart of Kushite territory was within the desert itself, it should technically qualify as a North African country rather than a sub-Saharan one.

Kushite horsemen ride their white-coated steeds towards battle in the sandy wastes of the eastern Sahara. A scene like this would probably take place during the Meroitic period (280 BC to 350 AD) of Kush’s history, because the chariots that both Egyptian and Kushite armies had once employed would have become obsolete by that point. Regardless, it appears the Kushites had developed an even stronger passion for horses than their Egyptian brethren, as shown by horse burials in their royal tombs as well as Assyrian records mentioning the importation of horses bred in Kush.

Characterization / Re: The Sexy / The Attractive
« on: March 04, 2018, 04:21:35 PM »
I like creating attractive heroines and feel no shame in admitting it. I may identify as pro-feminist, but I am still a red-blooded straight man after all. The way I see it, the heroine being sexy isn't a problem as long as you give the character some depth beyond their sex appeal. Being sexy shouldn't have to equal being a one-dimensional sex object.

The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: March 03, 2018, 02:36:04 PM »

I've gone back to working on my fantasy novel with Queen Rashekhu, and I want to do a little bit of world-building for the story while I write.

These two represent the people of Ta'Sutja, the ethnic group from whom my protagonist Rashekhu hails. Their civilization is not actually a singular nation-state, but rather divided into a bunch of small competing kingdoms (e.g. Djakhem and Nekhubta) in a vast jungle basin where dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles roam wild. Their religion is polytheistic, but each kingdom venerates a different dinosaur as its totemic patron (for instance, Djakhem venerates the Tyrannosaurus and Nekhubta the Ankylosaurus). For the most part, the culture of all the Ta'Sutjan kingdoms is a mixture of influences from ancient Egypt and various Central African cultures.

By the way, those dots, dashes, and squiggly lines on these two individuals' skin are scarifications, their way of beautifying themselves.

I want to update my wordcount!
username: Tyrannohotep
words written: 602
is this your new total or the words to add? New total

Monthly Writing Challenges / Re: March Monthly Writing Challenge
« on: March 03, 2018, 07:40:47 AM »
This would be my submission here:

Suppertime Schemes

The Game Room / Re: A gif of your MC
« on: March 02, 2018, 10:51:05 PM »
Closest I could find:

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