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About Deviant Core Member Jeffery WatkinsMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 4 Years
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Given by Amalia-Illios
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I was pleasantly surprised on my birthday with a laptop among other things. I certainly didn't see that coming. In addition I want to thank the person for the extended DA membership, it is very much appreciated. I can now move forward with writing once more, which brings me to the message of if you either have the books I have on amazon or thinking about getting them wait. I am re-writing the series. I had a lot of time to think and since they are ebooks, I can re-publish. In any case, wait, you'll get a better, more of what I wanted to write series if you do. If you've already read it, forgive me. Spirits up! Thank you everyone!
I just wanted to leave a cheerier entry, the last was such a downer, and for those who know me, not me. This time I feel much more like myself even in light of the possibility I may have to use a wheelchair in the future. Its still a little early to be certain and it will feel weird doing so since I can still walk just not far. I guess I've always had the image that someone in a wheel chair can't walk at all. I'll just have to get use to it if it comes to it and try not to wonder what others think since I can still walk. Right now I think I'd feel like a fake or something, but as with anything in life, deal with it when it comes to it.

Work on book four is still slow without either laptop or specifically microsoft word, but ideas, scenes, direction for the plot and further fleshing out the setting still are exciting to work on and note in the text program this mac does have installed. As I think I mentioned somewhere, book four is the last of what I think of as the 'pilot' books, if one thinks of this as a television or movie series. While I have roughly twelve books worked out in my head, the first four are intended to present the setting, since the geek part of me likes settings and characters over plot. Book five should be more plot than setting dealing with some of Rayna's dreams she's been having and book six will deal with the 'dragon wars' I've hinted at since book one, started to set up in book two with books three and four.

No fanbase so far, but I have enjoyed working on the setting. Hopefully it will find its audience. I'm hopeful despite the set backs and silence, and as far fetched as it seems I do one day hope for an Infinity multimedia franchise, but then I am a dreamer. Spirits up and moving forward. Thank you everyone who either commented, wrote me with notes or dropped a review at amazon. Its all appreciated and helps fuel my spirits. Best to you all!
Over half the year has gone by and I felt I should update. It likely will come along as more of a ramble. I wanted to wait until I had good news or update on book four, but the work on the later has ground to almost a halt and the former is in short supply. The reason for the lack of work is the lack of a computer with Microsoft word, which kindle works with. I lost my computer when I was evicted last May along with most of my possessions, down to three bags and three baskets (I'm not sure to count the tote bag or not). I am not homeless, and have a roof over my head and food to eat regularly and thanks to my host I can borrow their mac, which unfortunately doesn't have word. But a friend is on track to a possible laptop so possibly by next month I may be able to resume work on book four.

The book series has had steady sales, not great ones, but until ironically May, steady. June and July have been no sales, a bit of a downer, and this month looks like an unprecedented third straight month of zero sales, however I am grateful for this last year of steady sales, mostly in the US and surprisingly in Europe with at least one sale in China (Yay!) and unexpectedly (but I was over the moon over) someone in Japan picked up all three books! As a fan of anime the latter really was great news and overall I have admired Asian culture, so I just need someone in Korea to get the 'big three' I had admired. Admittedly that was after I attended a Korean wedding, a friend's wedding, he was quite the artist and attended several services at a Korean church with a different friend...I didn't understand a thing, but the hymns since same music even though the words had changed.

In hindsight I think she was trying to date me. I was always bad at noticing that. Come to think of it, I did date a Japanese woman for a time, but I found I couldn't look her father or brother in the eye and say I'd take good care of her. My life had been a series of disasters and I couldn't imagine dragging someone else through them, although in another hindsight, I was stupid not to actually talk to her about it. I'm sure she's found someone wonderful, she was a fantastic woman just as the woman who invited me to her church those Sundays.

There was a Taiwanese co-worker I admired, she inspired several characters in the book series and looking back over my life I seemed to have ended up with quite a few friendships as well as two waitresses at two different Chinese carry outs that had wanted to date me and my first taste of sake was due to the staff of one restaurant adding it to the soup (this was in addition to my actual order) they gave me one winter when we were snowed in at the strip mall we worked at. Whether ironic or not, my sole time dressing up for a Renaissance fair was in a male kimono complete with a pair of geta. This has probably all impacted my interest in Asian cultures along with a brother who had been studying Mandarin back in the early 80s, this was right after my graduation from high school and at my first paying job at a Roy Rogers. Come to think of it, after he moved on from that job, ironically (again with the irony) a Chinese woman had started to work there as if in replacement. 

I had actually studied Japanese back in the late 80s, and was asked back then by the mission board to go teach English in Japan, however I didn't take it up because I was a lousy teacher having tried teaching earlier in the 80s to sad results. By now I've lost most of the unused Japanese, although I found in the late 90s some still was there. I had been exchanging lessons in Spanish with English with some co-workers and one day they were headed off in the wrong direction and I was talking with someone else when I realized that and turned to shout wait. However instead of either English or Spanish, out came Japanese. Well they did pause and turned back to me even though they didn't understand what I had just said. Anyway the three books in Amazon Japan really pleased me (and surprised me). 

Recently the series is listed in the Women's fiction category in Amazon, another plus, which I hope it reaches the audience I want it to. I know I don't write 'black enough' to come across as authentic, even Black Science Fiction society, where I am a member, ignores me, but I still wanted to write a series, a setting where the 'cast' majority were women of color who didn't have to do things the same way men do, to go off on their own adventures, including women of other cultures to go off with them. 

While I don't have many comments, I am glad I don't have any flames. I confess I am not looking for criticism as I know I have horrible grammar (another reason I didn't take the teaching English in Japan offer) and every editor I had originally lined up something had happened to them. I was actually getting concerned about asking anyone else to proofread for fear of something happening to them. Which is another reason I did just self-publish without proper proofreading and editing as I would have loved to have done. I know I also have a habit of placing many ideas in the same story, so the praise on book one is appreciated. I'd love more, but I think right now exposure is the problem and obviously I have zip money for advertising to the right audience. For now I rely on being stumbled upon or word of mouth. Still even though the work on the series has slowed, it remains burning within me. I actually have 50 chapters drafted at this point, with plenty of notes if I do get a laptop or tower computer with Word (and windows, I miss windows) again. 

Health took a hit after the eviction, but I am slowly getting back to commenting on the wonderful works on DA again. There are so many talented people here I miss not commenting on them since so many deserve the praise and encouragement. I know I am not getting to everyone I should and hope those I haven't gotten back to don't feel as if I think their work is not worthy of my attention. I am looking, just strength to properly comment is not there yet, but its getting there. 

That's it for the ramble-update, best to all of you! 
Under My Protection III by JovianJ
Under My Protection III
The full source image created by csmchowhk.deviantart.com and used for an alternate cover for my third book, The Good Neighbor. 
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The Good Neighbor alt cover by JovianJ
The Good Neighbor alt cover
The third book's alternate cover image created by csmchowhk.deviantart.com on commission. With some of the image obscured I'll probably post the source image shortly. 
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Our Enemies, Our Allies alt cover by JovianJ
Our Enemies, Our Allies alt cover
Using another commissioned work from csmchowhk.deviantart.com, this is an alternate cover up for my second book. It turned out better than the previous alternate as the majority of the image can be seen. 
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To Serve and Protect by JovianJ
To Serve and Protect
This is the full image by csmchowhk.deviantart.com created by commission and used for the alternate cover for the book First Steps. It captures the spirit of intent of a warbot wishing to play caregiver, yet not to the expense of ignoring it has to fight too. 
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First Steps alt cover by JovianJ
First Steps alt cover
An alternate cover to my first book. It didn't turn out as well as I had in my head, I'm still getting use to cover creator. I wanted more of csmchowhk.deviantart.com excellent work to be seen. I'll post the full image created by that artist shortly. 
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Under My Protection II by JovianJ
Under My Protection II
Another from a commissioned set by csmchowhk.deviantart.com, an earlier, cozier one. 
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Under My Protection by JovianJ
Under My Protection
This is from a commissioned set by csmchowhk.deviantart.com that actually does sum up one of the ongoing themes of my book series as well as touches on what might seem strange to others, a childhood dream involving robots, especially B9 of Lost in Space and Robby the Robot of Forbidden Planet. 

Here is where it gets strange, growing up there was an unspoken notion that blacks shouldn't help whites because it showed a slave mentality. I am happy to say I saw that fade as I grew older, but I won't say it is gone, I just don't see it. The problem was I love to help others, so in my childhood mind I noticed that both B9 and Robby (as well as anime such as 8-man, Astroboy, Anaylizer and Giant Robo) could help others because they were robots, not a race, so I leaped to the desire to be a robot to help everyone, which really that is what Mansa does, focusing in on women in a digitized version of a Code of Chivalry, a high tech Knight in Shinning Armor. 

The Beo2k10 design (by mestophales.deviantart.com) is one of my all time favorites, up there with B9 and Robby in my heart, and even in the book series I think of them as the drones the non-humanoid Mansa uses when 'bots on the ground' (instead of boots on the ground) are needed called Kele-bolos, which is one of the Mali Empire terms for a solider, war-arm I think it translates to (which had surprised me to see the bolo part, as a fan of the Bolo series created by Keith Laumer among inspiration for the Mandinka Saga). So in my mind this could very well be a scene from just about any of the books and I hope you enjoy it however it might come across to you.

So in a way, this pictures how I've spent my life helping others, to serve and protect. 
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Beginning work The UDSV Mandinka by JovianJ
Beginning work The UDSV Mandinka
This is work that an excellent artist, Adam J Cross at adamjcross.deviantart.com had started based on sketches of mine that date back to the mid 1990s. One sketch is in my scraps section if you wish to stop by my site. Back in the beginning the Mandinka (named after the Mandinka Epic, a story told at the time of the Mali Empire of West Africans off to explore the Atlantic and discovered America) was a ship. Now it is a UCAV or robot that just happens to carry along the humans it serves as his precious payload (the first ring you see with the four capsules, each capsule an ark or payload). It is suppose to measure 7.7 kilometers long, the first ring a kilometer, this is just a placement model, and the second ring, the second ring is 5 kilometers in diameter. 

I am very grateful to Adam with his work about breathing visual life to something that had been in my head for years and now I've been writing about in story (working on book four at the moment of this posting). 
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First Steps book cover by JovianJ
First Steps book cover
This is the cover of the first book I've self published for a series where the first four books are intended to act as a kind of pilot, like a television or cable series, presenting the many possibilities for a setting I'd describe as Star Trek-meets-Sliders-meets-Space Battleship Yamato, with more than a dash of Giant Robo/Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, although it might properly be called Professor Lashley and Her Flying Robot, however non-humanoid hers is.

Beyond the focus of women of color as the main protagonist, the series also has a cast of characters of ethnic diversity to promote the dream that, for those who wish to, any or all, could go to the stars and beyond. While the main cast numbers what one might expect for the reader to follow, the extended cast is numerous. Some have a line or two, others merely a name dropped, but all are there to show that diversity.

Here is what I have as the book description; 

In an alternate timeline the African diaspora leads to a space based nation in the orbit of Jupiter.

They create advance AIs called Artilects, who in turn create technological wonders for their creators.

One artilect selects a group of women to form a matriarchy and travel with it to explore the multiverse.

The Mandinka Saga begins.

Professor Rayna Lashley, AI psychologist Yumiko Fujimoto, their AI Mansa and the women of the Mandinka expedition travel the multiverse where they meet new new life and new civilizations, encountering twist in timelines where history had unfolded. Together they explore the very variations of existence itself.

Rayna, Yumiko and the women of the expedition are from the Jovian Concordant of Worlds, a space based nation comprised mainly from descendents of the African Diaspora of the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Russia. They encounter the greater multiverse and how some entities want to manipulate civilizations, others wish to consume them, but others are potential friends and allies.

The other book covers should be up soon, and I may include a sketch of Mandinka from back in 1995 where the concept solidified more than what I came up with in elementary school of 'Space Goddesses' who are not faced with if they can do something but should they do it, where the drama is more moral, any physical fights a foregone conclusion and portrayed more as a show of force than the usual approach of struggling to win. I'm not sure if the approach will work, but it has been fun to write. I can only hope others will enjoy escaping into the setting that has been developing in my head for quite a long time. 
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I was pleasantly surprised on my birthday with a laptop among other things. I certainly didn't see that coming. In addition I want to thank the person for the extended DA membership, it is very much appreciated. I can now move forward with writing once more, which brings me to the message of if you either have the books I have on amazon or thinking about getting them wait. I am re-writing the series. I had a lot of time to think and since they are ebooks, I can re-publish. In any case, wait, you'll get a better, more of what I wanted to write series if you do. If you've already read it, forgive me. Spirits up! Thank you everyone!

deviantID

JovianJ
Jeffery Watkins
United States

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:iconamalia-illios:
Amalia-Illios Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:surprise-kiss: by ChaosEmeraldHunter A very happy birthday to you! :party: The very best of health for the years to come, plus an abundance of good things happening to you for good measure. :hooray:
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:iconjovianj:
JovianJ Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2015
Thank you VERY much!!! :D (Big Grin) Heart :worship: remake 
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:iconamalia-illios:
Amalia-Illios Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, it's my pleasure! :nuzzle: by SparklyDest
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:iconeldritch-shambler:
Eldritch-Shambler Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2015  Student General Artist
Your watch is noted and most appreciated!
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:iconzenturio11:
zenturio11 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
Thanks for the watch :) (Smile) 
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:iconmelinda-exposed:
Melinda-Exposed Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015   Photographer
Random llama time :rose:
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:iconblablablablan:
Blablablablan Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
Hi there ^^ 
Im sorry to bother you but can I ask for points?
I really need them now 
Thank you and have a nice day!
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:iconamalia-illios:
Amalia-Illios Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Good to hear you are working and sharing your thoughts here again. I hope success will be with you on your endeavours in the way you most desire -- and that your health will allow you to enjoy it to its fullest! :surprise-kiss: by ChaosEmeraldHunter
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:iconjovianj:
JovianJ Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015
Thank you very much Miss Amalia! For everything!
 Thank You Hearts Sign :tiphat: 
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:iconamalia-illios:
Amalia-Illios Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! It really is my pleasure! :hug:
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