Tag Archives: art

Poetry Friday ~ Image Prompt

18 Dec

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re all safe and healthy.

It’s the third week of the month! Time for an Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt. Colleen Chesebro from Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Prompt Challenge chose the beautiful watercolor art piece below.

Artwork by Barbara A. Lane (Pixabay)

When I saw this watercolor I immediately thought about dreams. You know, I thought by now someone would have invented a device that could record our dreams. Many of my short stories were inspired by my many bizarre dreams, so it would be a handy tool for me. I hope you enjoy my Etheree.

What are dreams if not our wishes and fears
sheer colors slowly spreading on the
canvas of our dormant minds
forming watercolor shapes
delightful and fearsome
sometimes inspiring
us to jump out
of   bed  and
write, write

Thank you for stopping by. I always appreciate your visits and comments. Also, remember you can pre-order The Rise of Gadreel for only 0.99¢!

I wish everyone a merry Christmas Eve and Christmas! Don’t forget to look to the sky on 12/21/20 to see the Christmas Star! The best time to see it is about an hour after your local sunset time. I hope it’s a clear night for all of us.

Haiku Friday – Beat & Party

27 Apr


Spring-blogging-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Son of the Serpent-fantasy_angels_series


Let us celebrate

the diamantine splendor

of this vibrant night

It’s not the moon, I tell you

It’s your smile that shines so bright

Gal Gadot-Chris Wahl-art-smile-sketch-Haiku_Friday-Vashti Q-instagram

Beautiful sketch of Gal Gadot by Chris Wahl (Click on image to see more of Chris’ work on Instagram)

Beat and Party are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.


Haiku_Friday-Poetry-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-art-Spring-author-writer

Haiku Friday – Please & Tease

2 Jun

“Some people lose all respect for the lion unless he devours them instantly. There is no pleasing some people.”

~Will Cuppy

There’s nothing wrong with making people happy. I enjoy making people smile, laugh––happy. I love that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you make someone happy. What I do believe is wrong is when people obsess about making everyone happy. That’s impossible.

Originality is really important to me and sometimes when you think outside the box some people get uncomfortable. I can’t worry about that. When I write a short story, poem or novel my main ambition is to please myself. That being said, it is important to me that people enjoy my work. That’s why I put everything I got into everything I do. But I won’t be shocked when someone isn’t pleased.

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”

~ Jim Carrey

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Ronovanwrites-Poetry-Haiku_Friday-Andrew_Ferez-deviantart

Illustration by Andrew Ferez (25kartinok | DeviantArt)

Trying to be all

In the eyes of some people

You’ll always fall short

Trying to please all

You were not true to yourself

A mock of your charm

andrew ferez-art-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Haiku_Friday-Ronovanwrites

Illustration by Andrew Ferez (25kartinok | DeviantArt)

Please and Tease are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Happy Friday and great weekend all!

Spotlight: Michael C. Hayes (My Book Cover Artist)

15 May

Spotlight: Michael C. Hayes (My Book Cover Artist)

It is my privilege to introduce today a creative and just plain gifted artist, Michael C. Hayes.

His amazing artistry will inspire you. I have always said, art and writing go hand in hand just like poetry and music. I am honored to have one of Michael C. Hayes’ works grace the cover of my upcoming novel, The Fall of Lilith. I will do a cover reveal later on but for now I want to showcase this artist and his magnificent works of art.

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Michael C. Hayes-art-The Writer Next door-Vashti Q-artist

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In Michael’s words . . .

If you had told me I would end up painting for a living when I was 17, I would have assumed you meant houses or cars. The idea of creating a representational image out of pigments suspended in linseed oil was so far removed from what I thought I was meant to do in life.

Most other artists I know tell stories of ceaselessly drawing as children and never stopping. Drawing was something I was dragged into against my will. Once I stopped grumbling about it and tried to make the best of the situation, I discovered an unrealized passion. It is funny how a seemingly insignificant high school elective can change your life for the better.

At that point in my life I was set on making the big bucks in the glamorous field of software engineering, so when I learned in order to graduate I had to take an art elective instead of a programming course, I was not happy. I chose animation as the elective; over the  course of that semester, I found that I enjoyed drawing. I was also introduced to a few 3d animation programs, for which I developed an affinity. I eventually decided that animation would be a lot more fun than writing code.

In the 5 years that followed, I studied at a local community college and later at Cogswell Polytechnical College, earning a degree with honors in Digital Arts and Animation. Throughout the years it became evermore apparent that 3D animation was not quite what I wanted to devote my career to. I was slowly spending more and more time and effort on my traditional drawing, painting, and sculpting courses and less time building wire frames on the computer. By the time I was ready to graduate my goals had once again changed. All the years of required art courses and a few influential and supportive professors had made their mark: I was undeniably hooked.

I moved back to San Diego after graduating in 2005 and enrolled at Watts Atelier of the Arts. Free from the constraints of term papers and physics tests, and in a wonderful artistic environment, I began spending almost every waking moment I could spare on a drawing bench or in front of an easel.  I often tell people the crammed 20 years worth of study into my short time at the atelier.  As a result of this effort, and a few extraordinary teachers, my artistic skills began to develop to professional level.

About halfway through 2008 I got my first professional gig working freelance on a game called “Legends of Norrath”.  In the years that followed I began to receive more and more work and took fewer and fewer classes, slowly transitioning from student to full time professional.  Since then I have had the good fortune to work for clients such as: Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment, LucasArts Entertainment, Night Shade Books, Palladium Books and others.  In the past few years I have received several ARC awards, a Chesley award and a nomination for a Spectrum award.

In late 2013 I decided to make some changes and pull away from the freelance world for awhile. Although I will still take those projects that are too good to pass up I plan to spend a few years focusing on my personal work.

There is so much more art to see. Check out more of Michael’s work and connect with him at the sites bellow:





You can sign up for Michael’s newsletter here.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Art-Michael C. Hayes-Spotlight-Twitter

Haiku Friday – Heart & Petals

25 Nov

Happy Haiku Friday, everyone!


Heart and Petals are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

sleeping-beauty-love-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Garmash-art-Poetry

Oil Painting by Michael Garmash

I’ll remember you 

As the petals of my heart

That grew out of love

dreaming-of-love-Garmash-haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry

Oil Painting by Michael Garmash

Oops! I made a mistake. It turns out that this week’s prompt words are actually Dream and Dare. So here’s another haiku with the proper prompt words.

littlegirldreaming-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites-Poetry

Hold fast to your dreams

Dare to fail and try again

Dream big little girl

littlegirl-The Writer Next Door-haiku_Friday-Poetry-Vashti Q

Enjoy the weekend!

Q & A with Zee

17 Mar

I’m so excited today! I get to introduce you to one of my favorite people on the web, Zee Southcombe.


Author Z.R. Southcombe

Z.R. Southcombe is a teacher, children’s fantasy writer, surrealist painter, and all-around cool person. She is the author of recently released picture book What Stars Are Made Of and upcoming chapter book The Caretaker of Imagination.


About her books

What Stars Are Made Of was released December 17, 2014. Print will be available soon but is currently on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords etc. as an eBook. Click on the book cover below to get a copy for your kindle.

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The Caretaker of Imagination – Will be released 21 March 2015 (The Caretaker of Imagination is available now for pre-orders)


Click on image to pre-order this book


Lucy’s Story: The End of the World – Will be released July 2015

Z.R. Southcombe-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's-Blog

And here’s a sneak peek of the illustration for Lucy’s Story (this may be the cover art).


Z.R. Southcombe usually has a few creative projects on the go, including a personal blog, and is always inspired by the young people she meets in her teaching job. No matter what project she is currently working on, Zee is usually accompanied by a cup of tea.

Z.R. Southcombe-teacher-artist-writer

Q & A

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
This is a two-part answer. I realised I wanted to be a writer when I was very young, probably about seven years old I think. However, I only actually decided to pursue it a couple of years ago, when I was 24.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
In terms of my writing process, perhaps my quirk is that I’m not a coffee nut but rather an *ahem* ‘tea connoisseur’.
As for my actual writing, although I write books for children, I don’t shy away from deeper ideas and themes that are usually reserved for adults. There were a few things that cropped up from my beta readers – concepts such as mindfulness, and deep loss – that were pointed out as aspects that children might not understand. There’s also a lot of big words in there (e.g. luscious, delectable, scrumptious… apparently I talk about food a lot!) but I see it as a teaching point for children.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing or drawing?
As you well know, being a writer involves a lot more than writing! I enjoy most of the other aspects of my writing life, and most of my day is doing something towards my writing career.
Outside of that completely, I play ukulele & guitar, love hiking (though I haven’t been for a while) and enjoy my teaching day job. Obviously, I enjoy reading, and a typical Saturday night is takeouts and watching some sort of Sci-Fi series with my partner.

What do you enjoy more, writing or drawing?
Yeah, no fair. Can I pass?
I enjoy them both equally, for different reasons. I find it easier to express emotion and self through my painting. I am also more practiced at painting, and therefore more confident. This makes my work more freeing.
Writing is more of a challenge, but one that I am thoroughly enjoying. I feel like I’ve had to play catch-up with you guys who have spent years knowing you wanted to write and actually doing so. I’ve devoured books and podcasts and blogs to get to a place where I can write with some confidence. One thing I enjoy more about writing is that it is more easily shared, and lends itself to a wider audience.

How did you come up with the titles of your books?
 ‘The Caretaker of Imagination’ is who the story is all about – he’s the man of mystery, and it simply made sense to title the book in this way.
For my wordless book, I did consider calling it ‘The Star Maker’ for this same reason, but I went with ‘What Stars Are Made Of’ because the story is not about the man who makes them, but about the fact that it is our darkness that helps us shine.

What inspired What Stars Are Made of?

The story was inspired by Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’ and the theme was inspired by my own journey to self-acceptance. I have spent a lot of time over the course of my life wallowing in lowness and self-pity, and I am sure that without the experience of depression, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.

I hope that this can help other people realise the beauty in themselves.
Briefly tell us what your upcoming book, The Caretaker of Imagination is about.
 It’s a chapter book about a grown-up who realises his life is boring, so runs away (with his cat in tow) in search of adventure. He discovers a real, magical world and is challenged to become magic’s hero.


How would your best friend describe you?
Wise, pretty and intelligent. I don’t claim to agree with her.

What are your favorite books for a child?
Anything by Roald Dahl, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Tolkein’s ‘The Hobbit’. Also Dr Seuss, but we all know his books aren’t really for children!
What is the most shocking thing one of your students ever said/done in your classroom?
Well, the most shocking thing is something that should not be repeated. Ever.
The most personally insulting was having a child seriously not believe that I was under forty. I was twenty-four at the time. Thanks mate.


Oddball Questions

What songs best describes your work ethic?
I’ve come to realise the importance of self-belief. It is only when I believe that I am and will continue to be successful (in my own way) that I get anywhere with my writing and illustration. On that premise, it’s ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ from Disney’s ‘The Lion King’.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
I think the better question would be ‘what don’t you think about when you are alone in the car?’ (the answer would be ‘nothing’).
Here’s a list of the most popular thought-patterns:
• Hmmm, what can I make for dinner?
• It’s not that hard to use your indicator!
• Story ideas (I wrote the first chapter of The Caretaker in my head while on the way to work, then got there and had to write it all down before I forgot it!).
• Discussing whatever’s on my mind with the imaginary person next to me.
• I wonder if I’ve got time to stop at a café for a bit?
• Do I need to fill up petrol? Nahh…. It’ll last.
• My current WiP (in this case, nutting out ‘Lucy’s Story’ and thinking of funny things animals could be doing for my illustration job).
• Are we out of milk / eggs / bread? Oops, passed the supermarket. Too late now.



Connect with Zee on Facebook, Twitter, website, or on Instagram.

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Haiku Friday – Fret & Chill

29 Jan

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’m participating in RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #29 Fret & Chill. The prompt words as you can see are Fret and Chill.


Illustration by Luis Royo

Prelude to Death

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega



Do not fret, my dear

No longer will you feel the chill––

once you are dead


Luis Royo_fantasy_art

Illustration by Luis Royo


Do you enjoy haiku poetry? Do you write haiku poetry? If so, would you like to be featured here?

Haiku Friday –– Love Story

22 Jan

Hello and welcome to Haiku Friday! It’s great to have visitors. I hope you enjoy!



I Lost My Hope Along The Way by Ilojleen on DeviantART “The depicted girl is the beautiful Cristina Otero. Anyway, although it’s not my face here, the portrait symbolizes all the seriously bad and sad experiences I’ve been through since last year. If someone thinks, ‘I didn’t notice any change in your behaviour’… well, I’m good at keeping up appearances.” ~Dominika (ilojleen on DeviantART)


Love Story

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

All consuming pain

A hundred Bullet Ants sting

How losing you feels

bullet ants-pain-vashti-quiroz-vega-blog

Bullet Ant – Click the picture to watch a YouTube video A man bitten by one of these. The worst pain known to man



Wedding Bliss

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Whirling through the air

Nuptial flight to test true love

A courageous heart

gallup.d-Vertigo - Whirling Bald Eagles Over Santa Cruz Island

Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend everyone!


The Good, the Funny and the Ugly

18 Oct

The Good, the Funny and the Ugly

Greetings all! Thank you for visiting my blog. There are 7 days left for Halloween. Today I wanted to share with you some of the beautiful, artsy, creepy and fascinating Halloween Make-up and Costumes I have come across. Who knows, maybe you can get some inspiration for your own costume and make-up. Enjoy!


Scarecrow - Not too scary huh?

Scarecrow – Not too scary huh?

If you’d like to see a Scarecrow Makeup Tutorial visit Kallie here.

What a Doll!

What a Doll!

Great illusion - Dolly

Great illusion – Dolly


Zipper Face - Gross, but the make-up is great!

Zipper Face – Gross, but the make-up is great!

Phantom - Ooh! This one scares me!

Phantom – Ooh! This one scares me!

Frankenstein's Wife - She looks angry. "That's why we can't have kids-your nuts are in your neck!"

Frankenstein’s Wife – She looks angry. “That’s why we can’t have kids-your nuts are in your neck!”

Shark Mouth - I don't want to be around when she gets hungry.

Shark Mouth – I don’t want to be around when she gets hungry.


Cracked Doll - Yes, I have a thing with dolls.

Cracked Doll – Yes, I have a thing with dolls.

The Bride is Blue

The Bride is Blue

Poison Ivy - Great make-up!

Poison Ivy – Great make-up!

Steampunk - Cool and stylish costume.

Steampunk – Cool and stylish costume.

Funny stuff

Penguin Costume - This is an accident waiting to happen.

Penguin Costume – This is an accident waiting to happen.

50 Shades of Grey - enough said...

50 Shades of Grey – enough said…

Poop Factory - Awww! I don't think he's happy about this title.

Poop Factory – Awww! I don’t think he’s happy about this title.

Nun - Taking a break?

Nun – Taking a break?

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall - Ha,ha! How adorable is this!

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall – Ha,ha! How adorable is this!

Batman's Joker - This is the cutest Joker ever!

Batman’s Joker – This is the cutest Joker ever!
Why So Serious?


Art That Captures The Imagination

24 Jul

Art That Captures The Imagination

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, for those of you visiting for the first time. I am a writer of Fantasy, Suspense and Thrillers. I do, however, have a tendency to mix a little Romance, horror or humor (among other genres) into my stories.

I love art, creativity and beauty, and I know these come in many forms. In my quest to build my author platform, I have met and befriended a group of incredibly talented individuals. Writers, poets, artists and even singers who are masterful at what they do. I feel blessed to have found them, and I would be selfish if I kept the beauty, artistry and creativeness of their craft all to myself.

So for the next few weeks I will be featuring their art, writings and music along with my own work on this blog. I guarantee you will enjoy every bit of it.

In today’s post I will feature a talented artist name Erin Coldrick. I came across one of Erin Coldrick’s illustrations on Google+, and I was mesmerized. Those of you who know me are aware that I love the HBO series “Game of Thrones” (okay, I’m obsessed with it). I asked Erin if I might see more of her work, and it turns out that she loves the series as much as I do (we’re kindred nerds). Her drawings are marvelous to say the least, so I was compelled to show them off here on my blog. Even if you’re not a geeky fan of the show (like I am), you can still enjoy the skill and creativeness that went into these beautiful pencil drawings.

I added a few quotes and other elements from the show for dramatic reasons (further establishing my geekiness).

Erin Coldrick has been an artist for over twenty years. She loves working with pencil, but has also experimented with color painting. She lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her handsome husband of nine years and their beautiful eight-year-old daughter. Erin has been a tattoo artist for the last thirteen years. She works out of her own shop.

Ancient Elements Tattoo
1630 Burntcoat Road
R.R.#1 Noel, NS


I hope you enjoy Erin Coldrick’s stunning portrayals of characters from the fantasy series “Game of Thrones.”

WINTER IS COMING.  The North remembers. There is no shelter from the storm. Fear cuts deeper than swords. …and not a soul to hear. Can a man still be brave when he is afraid? That is the only time a man can be brave. ~Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen exiled princess of the Targaryen Dynasty, Kahaleesi, a queen of the Dothraki and mother of dragons. "I do not have a gentle heart. I will take what is mine with fire and blood."

Daenerys Targaryen exiled princess of the Targaryen Dynasty, Kahaleesi, a queen of the Dothraki and mother of dragons.
“I do not have a gentle heart. I will take what is mine with fire and blood.”

Arya Stark

Arya Stark of Winterfell

Tyrion Lannister and Bronn

Tyrion Lannister and Bronn
Tyrion: “I understand the way this game is played.”

Sandor Clegane "The Hound"

Sandor Clegane “The Hound”

Lord Commander Jeor Mormont  He gave up his lands to serve the Night's Watch.

Lord Commander Jeor Mormont
He gave up his lands to serve the Night’s Watch.

Night gathers, and now my watch begins.

It shall not end until my death.

I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children.

I shall wear no crowns and win no glory.


I am the watcher on the walls.

I am the fire that burns against the cold.

The light that brings the dawn.

The horn that wakes the sleepers.

The shield that guards the realms of men.

I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch.

For this night and for all nights to come.

The Wall

The Wall

Game of Throwns flow chart