Inspiration: Absent Night Hawks

Absent Night Hawks

Inspired by Edward Hopper’s famous painting, Nigh Hawks, here’s the coronavirus-inspired version of the same painting.

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Inspiration: Alien Migration

The Great Migration, by Piotrdura

I think this is a great illustration that captures the majesty and sheer awe of the migration of some large wildlife on a far-off alien planet.

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Conquering the Gauls

Conquering the Gauls

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

From Puck Curtis by way of Michael J. Walsh, via Facebook.

Two Roman commanders were tasked with conquering the Gauls.

One of them, Marcus Maximus, has vigorously trained his fighting men to within an inch of their lives. He thinks he is ready for any eventuality.

The other, more senior commander, goes by Brutus Quintus. He also has highly trained men under his command but he never goes anywhere without a unit of half-naked northern men painted blue. They are, in fact, a group of Pictish barbarians.

On the morning of the battle Marcus Maximus charges forward and destroys the Gauls almost immediately. It is total supremacy on the battlefield and Brutus Quintus just watches it all happen silently without committing a single soldier to the battle.

The following morning the army awakes and there, through some sorcery, is the Gaul army untouched and waiting again for battle. Again Marcus Maximus leads his troops into the fight and wipes out the Gauls only to awaken the next morning to find them magically waiting again.

Five days running Marcus defeats the Gauls and yet each morning his victory is undone by the magics of the Gauls.

Finally on the sixth day Brutus Quintus lines up his troops with his Pictish barbarians in the vanguard. They charge into the Gauls wiping them out. The next morning Marcus Maximus awakens ready to taunt Brutus for his failure but there on the field of battle is all the evidence of the defeated Gauls. Somehow, Brutus Quintus has defeated the Gauls and their magic.

Marcus Maximus looks to Brutus Quintus and asks him, “How did you undo these magics?”

Brutus Quintus calmly replies, “Simple, Marcus. You must understand that you need Picts or it didn’t happen.”

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Inspiration: Warships

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher welcomes the French tall ship replica the Hermione off the east coast of the US, in 2015.

Photograph: US Navy.Warships

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Inspiration: Sunset on Mars

Sunset on Mars

Sunset on Mars, as captured by the Mars Curiosity rover on April 15, 2015.

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Inspiration: Werewolf, Stalking

Werewolf, Stalking

Love this picture of what seems like a werewolf stalking through the woods, which was forwarded to me by Marty Wilsey (though he’s not the artist). It’s brutally simple, probably just a charcoal drawing. But it’s certainly effective. I’d use it as a book cover in a heartbeat, if I had a story that matched the picture.

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Inspiration: Titanic Dogs

The Dogs of the Titanic

One of the few existing photos of some of the dogs that were taken aboard the ill-fated Titanic by first-class passengers. The only pets that survived were a couple of small ones that passengers brought onto the lifeboats.

This was also the subject of a presentation that I’ve done, Titanic: The Forgotten Passengers, which is available on this site.

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Inspiration: Into the Blizzard

Inspiration: Into the Blizzard

What is this pair doing out in the middle of the blizzard? What are they hunting? Or is something hunting them?

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Inspiration: Alien Skies

Alien Skies

I envision this as the sky of a Jovian-like alien gas giant, with some lucky observer catching the moment when it’s possible to see down through the many cloud layers into the lower depths of the tumultuous sky.

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Inspiration: Grav Speeder on an Alien World

Grav Speeder on a Alien Planet

I love the colors and the sense of speed in this image of a futuristic vehicle, perhaps some sort of grav speeder, flying over an alien landscape at dizzying speed. Plus, it looks like it would be really cool to pilot one.

As a writer, can you imagine an aerial chase involving these things?

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