Category Archives: Writing

It’s Finally Happening… Guardian of the Forest is available for purchase!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I can hardly even believe it. Yesterday morning, between 9 AM and 10 AM EST, a project that received a lot of heart and dedication from myself, Diana Naneva and Danny Djeljosevic just went live for the world to see. What started as a short story influenced by Princess Mononoke and Friday Night Lights, a short story written somewhat hastily for my weekly writing group, a short story that just wouldn’t leave my head, is now a legit comic on comixology.

HOW WILD IS THAT?

So, for your viewing pleasure, The Guardian of the Forest!

Guardian of the Forest

Guardian of the Forest
 

Written by: Robert James Mediavilla
Lettered by: Danny Djeljosevic
Art by: Diana Naneva
Price: $0.99

A one-shot comic by Robert James Mediavilla, Diana Naneva and Danny Djeljosevic exploring the frightful vengeance of Nature.

“What is a guardian of the forest without a forest?”

This question has plagued family man Ben Taylor’s life since he unwittingly unleashed a supernatural force upon his small town. Now, as the body count rises and the creature draws closer, he and his daughter will come face to face with the brutal answer.

Buy now on comiXology!

Since the age of 14 I’ve been scribbling stories in notebooks, and doodling in margins with the hopes of publishing my own comic– so to finally have one finished is tremendous. I hope whoever reads it enjoys it, or at the very least digs Diana’s amazing art, but no matter what happens I’m proud. And even moreso, I’m ready to tackle my next project. This was an experience that was equal parts exhilirating, nerve-racking and exhausting, and I’m sure it’ll only multiply fot a proper mini-series.

 

I can. Not. WAIT. So, if I may be so bold, do me a favor. Check out this comic, and let me know if it does anything for you!

Life Is Most Definitely Very Good Now

Life Is Most Definitely Very Good Now sounds an awful lot like an indie film or an EP, doesn’t it? Maybe I ought to do something with that in the future… Who knows, really.

To sum up, I’m back, and I’ve got some killer news.

It’s been a good, indiscernible amount of time since I last posted on my blog– really, there’s no way to tell, don’t look at the timecards on these posts, it’s just impossible, don’t bother– but I’m returning in full swing, carrying many glad tidings to dole out. First and most important, I just set up a website for my professional work platform, MODEL TOWN! Check-check-check-check it out!

ourmodeltown.com

Now you may be asking, “Why does Rob need a professional website?” Well disembodied rhetorical question device, I’ll tell you why: within the next two weeks, I’m lookng to finally publish the Guardian of the Forest and begin selling it online and at some local San Diego comic shops! I am immensely excited to get this project out, and if you are somewhat intrigued by the things I’ve posted regarding this project before, you absolutely should swing over to my professional website and take a gander at the preview pages I’ve posted!

But that’s not all (as they often say in infomercials). As of three weeks ago I began hosting a weekly ~Write Night~ every Friday at my home. Which means… I’ve got new material to post! Now, mind you, these pieces aren’t completely polished, as so far have been engaging primarily in exercises and not lengthy narrative works. But I hope you’ll all enjoy them the same!


The HIlls 
(We took the title of the song–in this case, The Hills by the Weeknd– and set free for 10 minutes I believe)

My name is Roger. I was born in a small town, in an insignificant city, in the greatest kingdom in all of the world. My live just above poverty, while the king and his royal court live in fine splendor. I am told by travelers that I must have committed many good deeds in  past life to have been born in the kingdom, where the rivers are lined with gold– but not our river– and fruit grows bountifully on the trees– but not in our forest. Like good fortune, these travelers always leave as soon as they have appeared, eager to deliver their goods to the capital.

All of this is fine with me.

My name is Roger, and in this small town, in an insignificant city, in the greatest kingdom in all of the world, I have the greatest treasure known to any man, nestled at the bottom of… the Hills.


Mania
(The prompt her was to write a passage embodying a sensation chosen by one of the other members of the group)

“Just about… I’m just about there.”

“Dick, please sit still. We can figure this out… We have to figure this out… Would you fucking sit still!”

“I’ll fucking sit still when you stop calling me Dick or Dickie or whatever the fuck you called me before. I’m not him, I’m not anyone!”

“I mean, just imagine for just a moment, that you are dead. I know, just imagine. Just imagine that your eyes are closed so tight that they no longer open, that they are just sheets of flawless, unblemished flesh sprawling across your face. Except that you have no face, and no limbs, and–“

“Dick, Dick please, we’ve been through all of this–“

NO! It’s important! Imagine, imagine that you are just imagination, a primal force that remembers life and love but you have no proof that those things exist or have ever existed and slowly you are even unsure that you are more than some else’s imaginary friend, someone else’s imagination and then FUCK!”

He claps his hands together with a mighty crash and every object in the room shifts two feet.

“And then suddenly you are once again or maybe for the first time flesh and bone and blood and spit and you have to compress all of the infinite, all that you were and all that you WERE into a fucking flesh puppet. Would you be able to fucking sit still!?


Carl “Crabcakes” Hoolihan
(The prompt was supposed to be to write a story about someone you would never write about, so I picked an anthropomorphic, happy, poker playing dog. Go figure.)

Carl “Crabcakes” Hoolihan has never eaten a crab cake. Nor does he look like a crab cake. He is not entirely sure what a crabcake looks like, or even what goes into one. But people call him Crabcakes, and that is alright by him. Also, Crabcakes is a dog.

You’re probably thinking to yourself that it’s peculiar that Crabcakes, being a dog, has a first name, or a “Christian name,” as Crabcakes’ owner Barry would say, and a nickname, but c’est la vie, right? None of his dog friends have nicknames, and his human friends– Janie, who lives next door, and the boys who come over for poker– also largely lacked sobriquets. So all in all, being called Crabcakes made him feel like a very special dog indeed. But then, all of Crabcakes’ friends were special in their own way.

Janie, the aforementioned neighbour, for instance, enjoyed mayonnaise on her hot dog where others might prefer ketchup, or mustard, or even bbq sauce perhaps.


There are more, which but I don’t want to overload my blog all at once (or run out of things to post immediately) but look forward to more over the upcoming weeks! Please, please, please let me know what you think of these short passages!

The Future is Now

Well…

it’s been quite a while since I updated this site, and quite a bit has happened in that. My short story was rejected for being “too predictable,” despite “some wonderful writing.” A mixture of disappointment and abject sadness struck me, but ultimately I felt relieved. Throughout the months after submitting my short story I had suffered anxiety attacks and frequently despaired over (as dramatic as it may be) my own mortality and the likelihood that I would leave a lasting legacy on the Earth. When I received that email, which was much kinder with its rejection than I had ancticipated, I found solace in knowing that reality was no worse than my worst, most anxious expectations, and reveled in the fact that I had been awarded a compliment at all. But after another week or so, I came to a new, more liberating realization, one that I had thought of as nothing more than a common platitude before– contrary to being dissuaded by rejection, I was fired up by it. I felt twice as motivated to find an outlet for my passion. And thanks to that rejection, I made some revisions to the story and set upon a path that I had always dreamed of but had not seriously pursued…

Thanks to some motivation from a friend (Danny Djeljosevic, co-founder of Loser City and an amazingly talented writer) I contacted Diana Naneva, a truly phenomenal artist who Danny had worked with previously, and together we’re creating something new, something cool, and something I’m immensely proud of.

I’ll be revealing more information about the project soon, so please look forward to that!

The Fruits Of My Labor

It’s Monday of the first week of March. Today is my anniversary. A woman beyond loveliness and wonder–who subsequently is emitting adorable yelps of frustration as she combs through her magnificent, albeit apparently temperamental, mane of hair–is accompanying me on an odyssey to a glorious cornucopia of all-that-thoust-shall-consume meat.

And the first video of our nonstop week of creativity and fun begins! Hopefully someone enjoys it. I suffered greatly for the craft.

[[Is This O.k.? : Steak Sauce Brownies]]


Warmth

Sagittarius ichor flows like sap,
through my mortal coil.
Brewed from the savage tears of frost giants,
by just Gabriel.

A myriad celestial patrons,
toiled together in
imperceptibly divine harmony,
So boy can bleed.


I don’t know if I’m crazy about that last line. I’d love to know what y’all think.

Creative Outlets

Obviously my attempt to write every day has begun on a rather… shaky and uneven footing. There are a number of factors, both anticipated–my inability to prioritize any one desire over another– and unforeseen–the timely and beneficial acquisition of a wonderful job at Southern California Comics–but ultimately I’m trying to view this experience as a lesson, not a failure. How could it be a failure if the newfound confidence I gained from starting this blog led to me submitting my work? To inquiring about a job position? To doing something new?

Justifications aside I am feeling a second wind, as it is. Being able to consume and coexist alongside comics on a daily basis has rekindled my creative passion. Additionally, tomorrow is my and Carrie’s five-year anniversary, and I’m feeling like a very blessed man indeed to have earned the favor of such a wonderful and entrancing woman.

In short, I’m high on life, and I’m determined to channel this creative drive, to take advantage of the fortunate life I live.

I’m grabbing March by the horns and I’m not letting go. I’m going to finish a script. I’m going to write another short story. I’m going to try my hand at poetry many, many more times. Whatever it is I want to do, I’m just going to do it, dammit.

And I’m starting this event off with a renewed dedication to my YouTube channel, youtube.com/sendmorerobots. Carrie and I conceived and filmed our first proper humorous entry into the “Miscellaneous Monday” category, and I hope people enjoy it. If not, we enjoyed filming it (as much as one can enjoy the humorously unfortunate experience we inflict on ourselves), and then we’ll try something new. We’ll keep trying.


Prayer and Magic

Opposition is antiquated, artificial.
A venomous injection into the natural.
Yggdrasil’s branches deviate symmetrically,
Exposed in awful, undeniable reflection.


Fortuna

The gods in their
omnipotence
govern over
countless domains.

Save Fortuna.
known as Tyche
in bronze Hellas.
She has no throne.

She does not blow
dice nor kiss feet.
She answers not
cracking timber.

In our swollen
impassioned and
languid hearts laughs
fickle Fortuna.


Valete omnes!

The Guardian of the Forest

So… I submitted a short story (featured below, in fact) to the magazine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. I’m really terribly anxious about this. I’ve basically spent every minute since submitting my work panicking or sleeping. But que sera, sera. Odysseus fought against cyclops and Poseidon, damn it. Rejection and the unknown have nothing on me. And whatever happens, I’m proud of my work. So please, please enjoy.


The Guardian of the Forest
by Robert James Mediavilla

“What is,” the young antlered woman questioned for the first time in an hour, “a guardian of the forest without a forest?”

Her voice boomed with divine wrath.

The other customers, who had been staring intently over half-eaten stacks of hotcakes and peering through man-made tears in the Sunday funnies–right between Family Circus and B.C.–sprang from their seats, tipped their hats and gave small waves, then politely excused themselves from Taylor’s Country Diner. The door chime screeched with each departure, pausing only when the age-old conflict between curiosity and self-preservation took hold. Once the last bell chimed, only three remained: Ben Taylor, current owner of Taylor’s Country Diner; June “Junie” Taylor, reluctant future owner of Taylor’s Country Diner; and, most importantly, the “guardian of the forest,” the antlered woman whose name was both unknown and irrelevant.

Since first laying eyes on her, however, June had taken to calling her “Acacia.”

June knew her daddy had been expecting Acacia’s visit, of course, ever since “Luckless” Steve Montana called Ben up out of the blue several months ago. “What is…” was all Luckless could whimper before the line went cold. Two days later, the papers reported him dead: the fifth of the workers in three months to die. But more importantly, he was the first to complain of the “reindeer lady,” with her writhing chestnut hair, her bronzed skin, and her wild antlers, which grew from her skull like branches from a cedar, piercing and binding the world around them.

No one paid Luckless or his ramblings any mind, and no one ever would. As for the Reindeer Lady, who “sprang from Luckless’ liquored thoughts,” she was all but dismissed by the higher ups on the site, including June’s daddy. He scolded the workers when they claimed to have seen her in their dreams or when the men would whisper of her vengeance over the remains of their broken equipment. He pretended not to hear the oddly-human shrieks that echoed through the trees, when the moon hung high and the fireflies glowed like stars. But June believed; and she warned her daddy every day to take heed of Acacia’s warnings.

The months passed and the incidents worsened; yet Ben refused to listen to his daughter. What, now, did he have to show for his stubbornness? The empty, deforested lot remained an empty, deforested lot. He hadn’t much agreed with destroying the local land on account of some mall or government building, and he certainly had no interest in angering the powers that be; but the money was good, and if some strangers intended to tear his home apart anyway, why shouldn’t he turn a profit as well? How petty that excuse seemed to him now, as Acacia’s colorless eyes bore into his own. There was no sympathy in those eyes, no understanding. There was only… only…

“What is a guardian of the forest without a forest?” Acacia repeated and stood up. Ben’s Country Diner reacted violently to Acacia’s growing impatience. The bulbs flickered in wild cycles and then exploded, raining tiny drops of heat across the hardwood floors. A gust of wind shattered the windows and flooded into the room, showering every surface with splintered glass and twirling blades of grass. The winds orbited Acacia in an endless revolution, faster and faster, until she was lifted from the ground and suspended in the air. She hovered in place for a moment, her body bobbing up and down rhythmically, hypnotically, before she began her slow descent upon June.

Instinctively, Ben placed himself between his daughter and the force of vengeance, but a powerful force knocked him away. June couldn’t help but think back to the days when she fervently attended church. The days when she sat in awe of the stories of the wrathful God of her forefathers. She thought about God claiming the first-born children of Egypt in defense of his faithful Jews. That story had made her cry, made her question her faith. But now it seemed to her like the only lesson that ever mattered– thinly veiled warning of days to come.

The papers had reported more than just dead workers. There had been dead spouses. Dead grandparents. Dead children. Dead daughters. June’s daddy took away Acacia’s forest. June was her daddy’s forest.

A few weeks ago, when June first peeked at the newspaper clipping her daddy hid of Crystal Clearwater’s children strung up forty feet above the ground in a tree, branches penetrating and emerging from every orifice, she knew Acacia, like her vengeful God, would come for her. From that day forward, she had spent every free moment, and more than a handful of borrowed ones, with her daddy: a picnic here, a movie there, even extra time working at the diner–though she had hated how trapped she felt there, sorted neatly between the mugs and silverware. Her disdain for the restaurant, her fear of having her future decided for her, were now consumed by the shadow of the approaching Acacia. All that remained was regret. She should have told her daddy she loved him one, or two, or a thousand more times. She should have told him how proud she was of him for putting away the bottle, and for making peace with his parents, and for never forgetting Mom, and for-

Acacia’s hands wrapped around June’s throat like vines.

“Look, miss…please,” Ben pleaded, although his words fell, meek and brittle, from his mouth. “Not my daughter. Not my Junie. I didn’t… She… She warned me. Please. Don’t take her!”

Acacia kept her eyes seeded on June and continued to tighten her grip. June’s head throbbed in time with Acacia’s pulsating tendrils, and with each pulse her mouth tasted of dirt, and the crackle of flames popped in her ears. Ben threw himself at Acacia’s feet.

“Please. Not again. Not my daughter.” His words were no louder than a schoolboy’s prayer.

“She’s all… She’s all…” His voice caught in his throat. Acacia’s grip wavered slightly and in that moment June understood. Acacia’s hesitant grip dredged up June’s past like bile: years of weeping, of hiding, of running, of stealing, of cutting, of dreaming, and finally of healing. The image of her mother’s grave covered in weeds and brush filled her mind. Maybe she was becoming Acacia, maybe she was becoming more… maybe she was dying. But she knew. She understood.

“What is a husband without a wife?” June croaked. The sentiment spilled out slow and thick like sap. “What is a daughter without her mother?” Acacia’s eyes narrowed, and the corners of her mouth twitched.

“More riddles,” she hissed, although June could hear a faint crack in Acacia’s tone. June swallowed painfully and looked from Acacia to her daddy, and then back. She could atone for the sins of the father. She could reclaim the garden of Eden. Everything required a price.

“I remember how empty I felt when Mom died. How lonely. I was only 16,” June cried. “Doesn’t matter what age you are though. Suddenly you’re alone and you don’t seem like yourself, and the rest of the world is just a crushing weight… I used to hide out in the forest… your forest…”

The winds wailed and thrashed against the walls; the howl of wounded animal. Wildfires of molten light bulb innards flashed along the ground. Tiny rocks and shards of glass whipped through the air like gnats. Acacia inhaled a long, slow breath, and exhaled in one short, sharp release. Her cool breath washed over the room, extinguishing the savage display.

Acacia released June’s neck. Ben lunged for his daughter and wrapped her in his own arms. June coughed violently, expelling the soil, the rot, the truth from her system; but the flames still crackled in her ears. She had been released from Acacia’s thrall only physically. Acacia watched patiently, and spoke again only once June had time to recover and prepare.

“A guardian must always have a forest.” Acacia spat, the words bitter but necessary, like a tonic. “A price must always be paid.” Her gaze darkened over the embracing family. June nodded.

“I know,” June responded simply. Without looking at her daddy, she gently squeezed his hands and moved away. Acacia lifted June up and kissed her, lightly and without affection, on the forehead and on the knuckles of each of her hands. June’s skin tingled beneath Acacia’s lips, sealed and branded.

June wondered if she dreaded the bondage of the diner so because Acacia’s roots had burrowed into her childhood self, unsuspecting and wistful. Ben watched the ritual wordlessly, petrified by inevitability, by fate, by God’s wrath. But June would live. She would grow. Acacia would heal. Maybe one day he would not die alone.

Acacia thought nothing. She hoped for nothing. She led June from the diner, from her mother’s grave, from her father, and into the wild.

THE END

[The Guy Pt. 1] The Dreamers and Me

Moreso blogging than writing today… Just fyi, folks.


I have very odd dreams. Extraordinarily odd, in fact. Dreams so vivid that waking feels more like a binding than a beginning. Someone else wakes up my mortal coil (which I do not appreciate) and infects me with his or her affections, his or her dreams, his or her reality. I become a man between worlds, sure of his existence but unsure of his nature.

But inevitably, be it twenty minutes later, or an hour later, I am me again, with only a faint and fuzzy recollection of a place that seemed more natural and sensible than my own home. It’s pretty damned wild, if I do say so myself. I pride myself on my dreams. Save for my nightmares.The shadowy corners in the subspace of my consciousness are cesspools of horrors and demons– man oh man, that sentence was deliciously dramatic. My mother says I have a penchant, a predilection if you will, toward dramatic writing and I am somewhat inclined to agree with her. But I think that’s a conversation for another day.

As I was saying– dreams. The frequency and intensity of my dreams have influenced my outlook on life greatly. I ought to have “pinch me, I must be dreaming” tattooed on my forehead. One of my biggest fears is that (no laughing) my life is all an illusion, a very, very long dream  I maintain because whatever reality I originally occupy is so lousy I can’t handle it. Therefore a lot of my work revolves around this idea– the power of dreams, what constitutes consciousness and reality, and the possible implications of “the observer effect,” both on the observer and what is being observed.

I don’t think I’ve written a single short story or comic script that didn’t in some way expand on my struggle to cope with those concepts. I think I’ll always be preoccupied with dreaming– even now, as I find my current good fortune in life too surreal to believe it’s true, although that might be influenced by the pessimistic, self-depreciating aspect of my mentality more than anything else.


Either way, that’s an insight into my brain. I’ll probably do this periodically as a tangent series to my regular work for… insight, and junk. That sounds about right.

Rest In Pieces/Arctic Emotion

Alright, so I hadn’t actually planned on posting this, but it’s Valentine Day and what better way is there for you to show love for yourself than by making fun of yourself? These are two songs (I know, more bloody songs from someone who fancies himself a fiction writer) I wrote in high school. They’re… interesting, if for no other reason than serving as insight into the mentality of high school me. I think only a handful of people have ever see these, so I hope y’all enjoy.


Rest In Pieces

So just break down this shell of a man,
my spirit won’t linger on much longer.
If your hands won’t then your hatred can.
Trust me the latter is much stronger.

So pull me limb from limb,
and scatter every bone,
bury me deep,
just let me and my casket alone,
and far away from you.

If there’s not an ocean between us, then I’ll never rest in piece.
(You better stay away from me, you better stay away from…)
I’m so damned tired of this battle arena you planned for our eternity
(So unsure of of what you wanted, so unsure of what you wanted for me)
You tightened your grip much to far and now I’m just out of reach.

So how does it feel to know I’m not around?
That I’m 1000 feet underground?
Where my life is my own, and you have no place.
And all you have left are my bloodstains,
On your face.

So pull me limb from limb,
and scatter every bone,
bury me deep,
just let me and my casket alone,
and far away from you.

If there’s not an ocean between us, then I’ll never rest in piece.
(You better stay away from me, I know you’ll stay away from…)
I’m so damned tired of this battle arena you planned for our eternity
(So unsure of of what you wanted, but now I know just what I want for me)
You tightened your grip much to far, and accidentally set me free.


My Arctic Emotion (Seriously this title)

Winter was cold this year.
(A frigid gust, a current that I just wasn’t ready for)
I think I’m glad I spent it here.
(At least I was, because, )

But now I think to myself,
what if I’d spent it somewhere else?
The answer’s buried inside,
I couldn’t tell you if I tried.

Frosty love turns and blows in in the evening.
Saving’s over, but for me it’s just beginning.
The cold air’s gotten colder, and in here I think it’s freezing.
My heart is hungover as she wishes she was leaving.

Oh how I wish she wasn’t leaving.

Cause under the snow I’ve been bombarded since this winter has begun.
And those soft lips that have been hardened left my favorite song unsung.
No longer well-kept or well-guarded, silhouettes of devotion.
This winter finished what it started, so says my arctic emotion.

My arctic emotion
(Frosty love turns and blows in in the evening.)
My arctic emotion.
(Saving’s over, but for me it’s just beginning.)
My arctic emotion.
(The cold air’s gotten colder, and in here I think it’s freezing.)
My arctic emotion.
(My heart is hungover as she wishes she was leaving.)

You should have finished what you started,
so says my arctic emotion.


Yah… so… there’s that. Angsty Rob (back when people called me Bobby. *shudder*) Reading them over, I suppose there are some elements that could be salvaged– I was and still am particularly found of that and those soft lips that had been hardened left my favorite song unsung line. Who knows? Sometimes it’s important to look back at what we’ve done.

But here’s looking to the future.

Nowhere To Go

So for my very first post I want to post a song I wrote recently. For a while I had been suffering with issues of identity, specifically how I identify with other people, how I’m perceived. Simultaneously me and my ridiculously amazing girlfriend, Carrie, were struggling with our place in the modern world, and how we felt utterly incapable of seeing a future that balanced financial stability with happiness, or at the very least, purpose. I don’t know that all (or any) of that internal struggle is properly conveyed in this song, but I hope you enjoy it.


There isn’t a home for us to go,
no garden, no houseplants, no children to grow.
No path you can follow, I can’t lead you through.
The souls of tomorrow swallow you and me.

No, this road only goes where we won’t.
These boots have been covered in layered of mold.
One million “we’re here’s” we may never say,
I know that we weren’t meant to live this way

The truth is my brother/lover,
we’re freeze in the summer,
we’ll burn in the winter,
we’ll never recover.

The dead and the living,
the whole world is spinning,
and I can’t go with you/ but we’ll be together!


So if you’re curious about the /s, it’s because I couldn’t decide if I wanted the lyrics to be of a more romantic and personal nature (lover, but we’ll be together), or simply a platonic lamentation (brother, I can’t go with you). Opinions?