The Fohen

02CarWash-600Our writing prompt for a recent meeting of The South Arkansas Writers was to use the following words in a story: cucumber, elf, stove, car wash. Alternate word: giraffe.

I thought that this would give me an opportunity to come up with a new planetary race. Well, I came up with the Fohen, but I didn’t have time to write a story because I was busy revising some of my other fiction. I did have time to do this Poser picture based on the prompt. The little green guy is Derf, a Fohen. Derf represents my version of an “elf.” If you look closely, you’ll find the cucumber and other items from the prompt.

In the story that I have in mind, Fohens are on Earth in medieval Europe to gather interesting artifacts and the local humans think they are elves. “Fohen” was derived from the WordWeb random word selection, Foehn (A warm dry wind that blows down the northern slopes of the Alps). The only anagram that the program created was “hen of,” which I saw no use for. So I swapped the h and e in Foehn to get Fohen.

Fohens are identified by single, two-syllable names. Each syllable is capitalized. The individual is often called by just the first syllable. The second syllable is not a family name. The Fohens do not use family names. The second syllable is just something that the parents chose because they liked the sound and thought it went well with the first name. Derf’s full name is DerfRitt. Both syllables are used together with emphasis when chastising an individual. (We do something similar: “Jack Ryan! I told you not to bring home a puppy from that farm auction!”) The full name may be used without emphasis in formal occasions or between individuals who are not friends (something like the use of “Sie” in German.)

In case you’re interested, DerfRitt did not come from my often-used process of asking WordWeb to provide a random word and a list of anagrams that I then choose from. It’s an Easter Egg in homage to the “Short Circuit” movies. “Derf” was the injured Johnny 5’s mis-speaking of Fred Ritter’s name.

Derf in Town_BlThe Fohens are a reptile-like people who evolved in a forested region of the planet Fohia. They have small, but noticeable, scales. Their skin has some random camouflage pattern of green and other colors. The pattern, size, and color is an individual characteristic.

They are humanoid. Adults are 3.5 to 4 feet tall. Compared to human proportions, they could be said to have an oversized head, scrawny arms and legs, and pot bellies. They have 5 fingers (including opposable thumbs) and toes. Ears may vary in size, but tend to be elf-like (pointed.)

Although Fohens are reptilian, they do have hair on their heads in a human pattern, except that there is no sexual dimorphism. Both sexes grow hair on their scalp and have facial moustaches and beards. Females, however, tend to wear their hair in styles different from males. Some females also remove their facial hair, especially their beards. Hair color is naturally greens and browns, but may be artificially colored.

The belly on both sexes appears to have a navel, but does not. This bellybutton-like feature is the Fohens’ genital opening. During sexual activity, the penis of the male extends from his genital opening and penetrates the female’s. Pregnant females give birth to a single infant after 6 months gestation. At birth, the infant’s head is smaller than the adult proportion (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny) and the birthing process is much easier than with humans.

Since no provision must be made biologically for the birth of a baby with a big head, the large hips seen in humans are not present in Fohen anatomy. Nor do they have breasts since newborns are able to eat solid foods. As a result there is no external sexual dimorphism. Modern Fohens often show sexual differences by hair or clothing styles. Males and females can, however, be differentiated by distinct sexually specific scents. These are sometimes enhanced by the use of specific perfumes and herbal lotions.

Keep your fingers crossed. I may actually get around to writing the story one of these days.

Keep reading/keep writing – Jack

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War Bonnet


I sometimes like to lie back in our recliner, shut my eyes, and listen to the soothing voice of Bob Ross as he paints another of his 30-minute landscapes. All sorts of thoughts come bubbling up out of my subconscious. Recently, an image of a Santa Fe streamliner passenger train, pulled by an F3A diesel engine with the red War Bonnet paint scheme, kept coming to mind. It wasn’t on a track in the mountains. It was in space, coming out of some sort of tunnel. A surreal sort of image.

I decided to try to create what was swirling around inside my head with Poser Pro 2014. The image above is the result.

One of my first “Zombies Say…” images involved trains. I used a steam locomotive and a Santa Fe F3A diesel engine. The F3A engine had come as part of National7’s ATSF Super Chief bundle from Renderosity. So I loaded the F3A diesel engine, an F3B diesel engine, and the three passenger cars into Poser. The train didn’t seem long enough to me, so I added a second “Dome Car” and a second “Classic Car” to the train.

The default configuration of the train when everything is loaded normally is a straight line. So I rotated each car 3o to give the train a nice bend. Test renders showed the red of the war bonnet to be very dull. I found that the engines and cars had a “reflection map” set for their metallic parts. The map was a picture of some mountains and a very blue sky. Apparently, the blue was interfering with the vivid colors of the train, so I set the reflection color to black, which effectively did away with the blue sky reflection and gave a much more pleasing image.

I loaded in DAZ3D’s “3 Gate Pass” by Jack Tomalin that I’d used with the “Zombies Say… Rains” image. I used only the Gate Wall, two Side Walls and two Side Gates. I left out the central gates, decreased the size of the Wall set, and placed it so that the train seemed to be coming through the central opening in the wall.

I then loaded in one of Poser’s HiRes Square primitives and proportioned it to fit a picture of the gibbous moon that I took a while back. I placed the moon beyond the train and wall and enlarged it to provide a background for the image.

Unfortunately, no stars appeared in the picture of the moon, so the sky was a boring black. I loaded another HiRes Square primitive and proportioned it for one of my pictures of the Orion constellation. I darkened the image and increased the contrast so that the sky matched the sky in the moon picture. Then I placed the image of Orion in front of and to the left of the moon. I duplicated the Orion picture, rotated it about 45o, and placed it in the lower right of the scene to provide more stars. (Orion was out of the scene, so I didn’t end up with two identical star fields.)

Lastly, I loaded my Juan del Rio character, resized him to fit the train, and placed him inside the cab of the F3A engine.

Now I wonder what will come bubbling up the next time I’m there with Bob Ross and my recliner.

Keep reading, keep writing – Jack

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Janet and I like to watch the painting shows that are broadcast Saturday mornings by the Arkansas Educational Television Network.
We especially like Bob Ross, but we also enjoy Jerry Yarnell. A while back, Jerry was illustrating how to paint a still life, using a couple of bell peppers as his inspiration. I got to thinking that I could probably do something interesting with Poser if I could find some peppers.

Since I was just doing this for the fun of it, I didn’t write down much about my sources or process. However, going back to my original Poser file let me identify some of the contents of the picture.

The characters are Michael 4 (with Rievel hair by AprilYSH) and Victoria 4.2 (with Dinasty hair by 3Dream).

The two bell peppers are by Exnem, as is the empty fruit basket that everything is posed on.

The table is the C3 Chair Table by ARTCollab. The backdrop is the default from Backdrops Made Easy by Blondie9999.

Keep reading, keep writing – Jack

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Grand Foyer Corner

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DAZ3D and Renderosity email me several times daily to keep me up to date on new releases and special sales. I usually only buy things when I need them, but once in a while something that I have no use for catches my eye.

Not long ago I noticed that Renderosity was advertising the Grand Foyer Corner, by GrayCloudDesign/RPublishing. As usual, I had no thoughts of using it, but it looked so pretty that I bought it. I was amazed at the amount of work that must have gone into creating just this small part of a mansion.

I still have no use for the Grand Foyer Corner, but I decided that I would have a plastidroid walking up the stairs and just render it. No great artistic talent or effort was required on my part. I just liked the scene.

Keep reading, keep writing – Jack

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Bloodstone – 2

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My story, “Bloodstone” (note the changed spelling), that was the prompt for the previous post is “finished” – my critique group reviewed it last weekend. I’ve made a number of changes based on their suggestions and comments.

One member of the group mentioned that he’d read the story four times to see if the title object was consistently called a “blood stone” or a “bloodstone” – two words or one. He had thought it should be a single word, like moonstone. Interestingly enough, “moonstone” is sometimes written as two words, too! But, since I’d made up the name, the decision was mine. I decide to avoid the stumbling block that other readers might have here by changing it to “bloodstone.” I think that’s a good rule to follow: Even if nothing is “wrong,” anything that causes a reader to stumble should at least get a good look.

I learned something, too: Don’t add info about a story to a website until the story is pretty much “done.” Changing from “blood stone” to “bloodstone” meant that I had to go to my Stellar Economic Community website and make a Bunch (with a capital B) of changes there.

One scene in the story involves Marcus and Sheila going on a picnic and meeting Rali. While working on the story, I found an interesting 3-D model, Skull Rock, by TheAntFarm at DAZ3D. It seemed like a good spot for the picnic.

The Exotic Island Bangalow (sic) model by greenpots that I’d got from Renderosity came with a Poser file which contained all of the props, and then some, for the scene. I’d removed all of the props except the beach, horizon, and sky and resaved it as No Bungalow.pz3. I loaded this file into Poser Pro 2014, then loaded the Blood Stone Full prop in from Poser’s Library. This prop contained all of the rocks, water plane, and shark fins.

In order for the camera to be moved back far enough to view the entire scene, I had to make the Horizon North and Horizon South props invisible. I also made the Skullsand_1 sand prop invisible to give more room in the “mouth.”

The figure of RyLee (in her human/Rali form) that I’d created for the bungalow scene was loaded and she was dressed with ToxicWolf’s Island Elegance 2 top and skirt from Renderosity. Because it was mentioned in the story, I placed mobile phone (a “vocophone”)from Poser Pro 2014’s Misc Props Library into her hand.

Rali was moved from the scene origin to the position shown in the image above and given the Seated 01 pose from DAZ’s Victoria 4’s General Poses Library.

Sheila was loaded from my SEC Characters Library and dressed with  the camisole and pants from Ryverthorn’s Casual Cool Outfit from DAZ3D. She was moved from the origin and placed behind Rali. I gave her DAZ Genesis 2 Females’ Girl 6 standing-06 pose, so that she would be looking over Rali’s shoulder.

Marcus was loaded from the Adondi Library of my SEC Characters. He was dressed with an overshirt by Stylin and shorts from Gaurie’s M4 Basic Wear. Both item were obtained from DAZ3D. Marcus was moved from the origin and given the M4 012 pose from DAZ’s M4 General Poses.

The picnic basket of Blondie9999’s Picnic Basket Set from DAZ3D was loaded and posed as shown in the above image.

According to my story, the characters got to the “mouth” of Skull Rock via a tunnel in the stone, but the Skull Rock model had no such thing. So I loaded a Disk from Poser Pro 2014’s Morphing Primitives Library. I colored it black and placed it in the back of the mouth so that it looked like the opening into the tunnel.

Because sharks were mentioned in the story (as a reason not to swim out for a good view of Skull Rock) and props were included with the model, I moved two into the scene. Actually, they are just shark fins, not sharks.

In case you are interested, a bloodstone is a geode formed in the basaltic rock of Tahiti. Unlike ordinary geodes, these contain a blood-red liquid which, when diluted and sprayed into the nostrils of Syringee, will bring on an erotic lucid dream state. The Syringee find this fluid so desirable that they will pay tens of thousands of unees for a blood stone.

This, and other information about things in my stories and novels, can be found at my Stellar Economic Community website.

Keep reading, keep writing – Jack

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