Friday, 31 October 2014

My Hallowe'en Costume?

You'll never guess who I'm going as...

Sometimes I feel like Dick Loudon from Newhart; the semi-successful D.I.Y. author who dreams of writing great works of fiction. But always seems too busy with the surreal circumstances of his "real life" to get around to it.

Other times I feel like myself and work on turning those dreams into reality by researching how independent authors today are turning the tables on traditional publishing. Especially by utilizing billion dollar self-publishing venues such as Amazon and social media promotion.

As an author I am lucky to earn between 10 to 15% percent royalties via traditional publishers. Amazon averages 70%, plus has a slew of cool marketing tools and their best-selling Kindle platform. Which I admit to using on my own Android powered pad.

It was while doing such research that I discovered Kareem S. Butler, author of Flight of The Falcon, the first in a series of original eBooks. What I really liked about this independent author was the dedication to developing an entire Wiki based his unique story-telling worlds.

This kind of speculative fiction hearkens back to the "years best" sci-fi and fantasy compilations that I cut my teeth on as a young gaffer. Thanks again to Kareem for agreeing to this interview.

Q. Who are you?

A. I am Kareem S. Butler a first generation Star Wars Geek who loves ancient history and mythology. I am an alumni of Brooks Institute of Photography, the author of 9 World Chronicles and web master for and websites.

Q. Where are you from?

A. I grew up in Central California, living most of my childhood in Fresno, Ca . I lived the bulk of my life in Central and Southern California, before settling in the South West a few years ago.

Q. What is your product, service or promotion?

A. My product is a science fiction novel series entitled The 9 World Chronicles, which tells the story of mankind’s fight to free itself from an alien enslaver.

Q. What makes you laugh?

A. Everything Dave Chappelle does, South Park, Karl Pilkington and currently the Adult Swim series “Black Jesus”.

Q. What is something most people don't know about you?

A. My favorite TV show of all time is the short lived science fiction series “Cleopatra 2525” starring actress/model Jennifer Sky, and sci-fi Queen Gina Torres.

Q. What are you working on right now?

A. I am currently working on the second book of the 9 World Chronicles series. I don’t have a working title for it yet. I am also teaching myself Anime Studio for a little animation project that is simmering on the back burner.

Q. Who are your influences?

A. My influences were George Lucas, JRR Tolkien, and the Greek poet Homer. Its funny to say but the first time I saw Star Wars was literally a life changing event. It sparked an interest in film making and story telling which would lead me to pursue an education in film production and a desire to tell my own story.

Q. If you could communicate one thing to the entire world simultaneously, what would it be?

A. Chill out, we are all just humans. The world that we share is a big, scary place with mysteries by the ton and we have to stick together if we want to succeed as a species. We have some huge challenges facing us and this planet; we really need an all hands on deck approach. Many of the barriers between the various people of our planet are self created. Let’s try to step up.

Q. What advice do you have for anyone who wishes to follow in your footsteps?

A. Give in to your creative side, nurture it, and never let it die. It’s very easy to give up or get distracted. Embrace the process, enjoy being able to do what it is that you love. The success comes later, some times when you are not even thinking about it.

Q. What is one thing you would do to make the world a better place?

A. I would inspire people to be more open minded, to see the world from a bigger perspective than just your own side of the fence. We often create our enemies by choice, in ideology, in culture and in beliefs. To understand an equation we look at all sides, taking into account what divides it as well as what adds to or subtractions from it. We have to understand each component to understand the whole. Without perspective this we can find no answers, with out this we find no resolution.

Q. What makes for a good question?
A. A good question doesn’t have an easy answer. It forces the challenger to look for answers within his or her self  as well as from external sources.

Thanks again Kareem for your insightful answers. I had completely forgotten about Cleopatra 2525 and continue to stand amazed at the life-altering legacy of Stars Wars. For anyone interested in an original read by an insightful speculative fiction author I highly recommend Flight of the Falcon. Can't wait for the sequel!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


This ink rests on my right wrist. The artist responsible hails from a place where tattooing is strictly verboten. It means "chain" Japanese and commemorates the first chain patterns I taught myself more than 25 years ago. I eventually these learned were Japanese in origin; namely Hana and Hitoye-Gusari. Years later I became a fan of Bioshock and found the main character's tattoos ironic. I'm also a big fan of ninja weapons.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Original Elvish Design?

Get it here -->

A fan asks "Also, I like the mail but does it ever get caught in the beard?"

Surprisingly enough they mostly get along! My beard is generally chill that way. Mail can get caught in hair, however and be quite "delicate" to remove under certain circumstances.

Can Braid Chainmail?

I only met Terry Taylor once and well after the completion of my second hardcover project. To this day Chain Mail Jewelry remains my most popular title electronic or otherwise. CMJ is actually a compilation of projects from many talented artists. I was original contracted to edit and illustrate this title after submitting several projects.

Keeping a community oriented approach in mind when I envision different concepts for a crowd-sourced edition of The Art of Chainmail II is definitely a step in the right direction.

Thanks to Le Badgley-Biehle for this pic of one of my favorite CMJ projects!

Fan Requests Remix?

Dub GIF Remix?

Does whatever a spider can?

Saturday, 25 October 2014

More Fan Art?

Beard Fan Art by Meme Center Pal tauzoo!

Chains: How It's Made?

A Win-Win Situation?

I'm always in the process of trying to figure out what might be interesting to my fans, friends and followers. When I started with chainmail there was almost no information. Then I went through periods of learning and teaching. Today you can crowd-source solutions to just about any chain problem using social media. So it can be hard for as author to know where I fit in to the modern chain scene.

It is kind of fun being a chain reporter of sorts. Sometimes I daydream about what it would be like to travel the world interviewing various chain artisans and buying pieces for my exclusive chain shop back home. Or, even starting an international chain festival with a massive chain market including vendors from all over the world.

Anyhow, back on Earth I thought it might be fun to repost some of my favorite chain pieces and this struck me as a really neat use for a Celtic Star. Seems like a neat way to create content and at the same time help promote independent artists such as Artisan Phoenix Chainmaille.

A Request?

 A Request for Chain Knowledge.

"As one door closes...I need your help opening a new one. If anyone who makes ANY kind of maille clothing can share some tips tricks websites or tutorials, paid or otherwise, id be very grateful. Feeling A little down today..Need to begin this new venture. I've only made one piece so far. Thank you all in advance!"

Not all are worthy of The Beard...

Saturday selfie and some fan art doodles of my beard!

A Legendary Chain Trilogy?

Badass Elfweave, Trinity Nailmaille and Aragon. Original post here!

Can Photoshop Be Used For Good?

If this was a cover for one of my speculative fictions compilations, I'd call it "Chain Saber and other Electrifying Tales!" For more fantasy clashing with reality check out Pixlamore by R.Both.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Ever Seen Black Peacock?

Sterling Chain Fans by a fan. Inspired by Beaded Chain Mail Jewelry.


I admit ~IT~ at heart I'm a lover, not a fighter...

The Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton is one of my favorite masterpieces. Not only does this work perfectly evoke a heavily romanticized period, it does so with the meticulous detail of a master craftsman. Having created and illustrated the process of creating chain suits, I really admire the detail he's put into evoking emotional imagery.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Dylon Whyte; A Gore Bay Character?

(Supplied photo Here is our fearless and fabulous creative artist, Dylon Whyte of Gore Bay, who has developed his knowledge and craft of creating chainmail for 26 years.)

In my 24 years summering, and one winter spent on Manitoulin, I have adored this kid, creative, delightful, and funny, now 40-year-old Dylon Whyte. My friendship with Donna and Klaus Bach, living next to Manitoulin’s prodigious and charming painter, Jack Whyte, has enabled me to watch Dylon grow in artistic, intellectual capacities and his innovative follies into the realms of mirth, learning and sharing the beauty of art, and often make me marvel with laughter. And I laugh with his beautiful wife, Ashley. Dylon’s a veteran with the Gore Bay Summer Theatre, enjoying character acting. In one play, he had eight roles.

“Auntie Bonnie, I suffered multiple personalities after that play was over.” He sighs, long resigned to my adoring gushiness. “As Gore Bay is concerned, I’ve become a bit of a character, I love living here.”

But Dylon Whyte is a name to know, when it comes to the ancient art of chainmail. From clothing to costume, couture to couturier, even cinematography, he’s a constant student. Dylon has written three successful books on the creation of chain, including The Art of Chainmail - Volume 1 - European Patterns, Chain Mail Jewelry and Beaded Chain Mail Jewelry.

“After self-publishing my original book, I was invited to edit and illustrate my first title professionally, which I subsequently rewrote and followed with a second title on the topic of chainmail jewelry, both which were published by Lark Books, a division of Sterling Publishing,” he said.

"Creating chain clothing is kind of like being a tailor that receives their materials as spools of thread. This is the sort of thing that must first be woven on a loom before being sewn into a finished garment." Dylon reminds me. “This talk of Canada culture that Manitoulin Island is delighted to endorse, allows us to continue to identify ourselves to the world in order to invite and foster growth in tourism.”

Dylon wrote his first book on chainmail in 1998. “I thought it would be an e-book. But it took another decade for e-books to get popular. In the meantime, I was amazed to sell almost 5,000 print copies. I partnered with companies selling materials and we’ve produced three soft cover spiral bound editions since. Now, I’m able to sell the fifth edition of this digital book on-line along with my chain tutorials.”

“I love teaching folks ways to create for themselves,” Dylon told me. He’s working on a brand-new blog, and a new chainmail book, which will be a sequel to his initial Art of Chainmail. It will be based on the questions he has been asked as a chain artist over the years besides the weaves and project patterns he is known for.

Dylon, Ashley and his dad have opened a family shop at Gore Bay Harbour Centre, displaying Jack’s paintings, Dylon’s chainmail artworks, books and Ashley’s micro-gardening plants. When I tried on a chainmail camisole, it felt empowering, the shiny silver, something to the weight, the texture and to the sound of it. It jingled softly.

“Every piece has its own unique sound,” Dylon agrees.“My new boot chains were inspired by Ashley. I love how the look of industrial metal contrasts with the natural leather. It’s a great juxtaposition. We have an entire selection of chain pieces at our shop, from chain octopi the size of golf ball to chain owls, fish, and butterflies.”

Dylon’s continuing allure about chainmail started when he was 17. “I saw a movie with the coolest costume I’d ever seen, a piece of chainmail, and I had to have one. That movie was Cyborg, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Twenty-six years and over 2.5 million chain links later, I’m still at it,” he said. “I took bolt cutters, pliers and a screwdriver to a length of standard chain, like what folks would use as a dog leash and made what was my first piece of chain mail, a wrist bracer. It’s been a love affair ever since. With each new iteration of my personal armour, I discover something new or unique that goes on to influence the next evolution of my work.”

Dylon’s goal is always to convey there’s a practical side to everything. “Chainmail is simply one example of a specialized technique which can be transformed into a resourceful method of building items we use every day,” he says. Check out for updates and learn how to support local entrepreneurs.

Two weeks ago, Dylon was involved with Canada’s Culture Days, a non-profit organization that wishes Canadians to be more familiar with our artists and culture. At the Gore Bay Harbour Centre, he gave a demonstration as part of Manitoulin’s Festival of a Thousand Skills, produced by the Manitoulin Tourist Association. The current president of the MTA is Ron Berti, expanding the initiative of the Island’s marketing and shoulder seasons. His talk: “Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about chainmail, but were afraid to ask.”

Dylon has kept me laughing, riffing amazing stories about Bacon and other amusements of life while fixing my computer through the years. “What are your observations about life these days as a Gore Bay technomancer?”

“I received my first royalty check from Amazon for all the books I’ve sold, a onetime payment as I hadn’t reached an official payment threshold. It was for 93 cents. If you’ve made a dollar on the Internet, you’re doing better than 99% of users. I’m a few cents short of my goals.”

As much as Dylon loves teaching, he continues to write. “I overestimated my ability to sell humour, science fiction and pure randomness. My goal was to create bathroom readers, but being electronic they turned out to be a hard to sell. My new plan is to crowd source my next title, so as to produce a print edition and produce my audience before production. The book you liked about Bacon, Bonnie, was funny, but it was difficult to look beyond the cover. It was 64 Shades of Bacomegle: Do you like strange questions? Then you’ll love this book.”

Infiniplex Press is Dylon’s company where he regularly scouts prospective authors for new titles to publish digitally or at least consult with on what kind of solutions best suit their individual needs.

To bring this full circle, the allure of chain mail will be shared with Dylon’s wit and whimsy in his projected new book, titled The Art of Chainmail II: Stories of Real Chain Amor. That’s the Italian word for love, get it, Auntie Bonnie? Amore? Sounds like armor, eh?”

“You bet, keep growing and glow, Dylon.”

And Dylon does.

— Our Bonnie keeps watching others grow on Manitoulin, delighted with the creativity and charm of our region. Please find her bestselling novel, Manhattan Manitoulin, at Chapters and at Turners in Little Current. Find Bonnie with your story at

Original Sudbury Star Article - October 11th, 2014

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Squire, Protect Me?

Something I do to entertain myself is cast random people I meet in movies I will probably never make. (Read an interview with other people who do this as well!)

It's an internal kind of improvisation game I play with myself to pass the time when I have nothing better to do. Such as pursue my current passion which is storytelling. The two things are really the same, except that in one arena I express stories to myself internally as the sole audience and in the other I express them externally on digital paper with mostly the same result.

At what point does contemplation becomes pontification?

I don't know, but in the pretend movie of my life I would cast my mate Shayne as the Joker character.

A combination sidekick of sorts with healthy doses of Wing Commander's Maniac, Top Gun's Jester and Starfox's Falco, Joker is one crazy mofo.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Have you ever felt like a recurring character in other people's lives?

My life would make a great Saturday morning cartoon. Well, if they still made Saturday morning cartoons that weren't about catching all the latest consumer fetishes from overseas.

Can you tell that I'm jaded?

For me everyday life is a lot like a fully immersive and interactive game of GTA combined will all the "charm" of the average JRPG village. Except that I'm not allowed to borrow/destroy property. Nor wantonly kill people, even if I think they deserve it.

I do fight monsters, make some $$$, gain EXP and even LVL up from time-to-time.

Actually, I'm a freelance IT technician and spend most of my time battling the invasion artificial life forms which infect our global communication networks on a regular basis.

You probably think of these things in terms of buzzwords like "crackers" and "malware" or even "viruses."

But from the front line these words hardly convey the depths on the cunning opponents I face on a regular basis. Tracking often cloaked cybernetic foes requires intimate knowledge of the terrain, usually some version of a popular PC operating system.

Intimate training with a wide range of hardware, software and wetware tools (some a little harder to come by than others) is an absolute necessity.

All required for waging war against the machines. You name it, I've exterminated it; robots, androids, cyborgs, mecha, rogue artificial intelligence... All of these so-called fantastical things are much more visceral than anybody ever suspects.

"Looks like a case of Toolbaritis, ma'am."

Of course, these could also just be the stories I tell myself whilst waiting for yet another progress bar to load or memory scan to run...


For just 99¢ you can check out my first eNovella: 419. Based on an actual encounter with a lethal artificial intelligence that made Bioshock's SHODAN look like a kitten in comparison!

For me it is like trying to simultaneously flush a cat down the toilet whilst making a bed that already has a content dog sleeping on it. What is writing a novel like for you?

Eat Fire, Crap Sparks?

The next time I experience public flatulence, instead of blaming it on "Barking Spiders," I am going to carefully explain the ancient martial art of He-Gassen and how I just assassinated an entire ninja troupe that was hiding in the bushes by passing deadly battle gas.

Beat that Bullseye!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Manifesting Miracles?

Here is an example of an excellent affiliate program called "Manifesting Miracles."

Between the quotes above and below you will find my affiliate link for this program.

When you click on that link you help me and the creators of a virtual program designed to help you help yourself.

Like a growing Kamehameha wave, positive energy gains momentum, essentially snowballing into an unstoppable juggernaut. Weaving chainmail is no different than constructing mental armour or any pursuit which continually builds upon itself.

Also, as freelance or mercenary presenter, it really doesn't matter if you agree or disagree with what any given program has to say.  All a social media presenter has to do is generate enough interest in their particular niche and they will naturally end up benefiting from the momentum of audience interaction.

What does Manifesting Miracles mean to you? Please post replies below.


#TwoGreatTastesThatTasteGreatTogether #ThatTastedPunny #Recipe #Crust #Chocolate #Vanilla #Pudding

Affiliates Are Great?

I sure think so!

First; affiliate links allow users to directly support their favorite content creators. Sales organically fertilize artists by patronizing their wares.

Second; symbiotically, social media outlets such as Amazon and myself as a social media professional are directly supported. The facilitator of the transaction as the middle-man supports their network and I receive a little something for my creation of original content based on my unique observations.

Third; for the readers of original content who may be unfamiliar with a particular artist or concept, these links introduce new ideas and experiences. Affording the audience a chance to grow is one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching.

Plus; when it comes to deciding if a particular book or work might interest a reader, comments sections and forums provide the perfect opportunity to crowd-source solutions from a database of often diverse opinions.

Bonus; flame wars are often more entertaining than the original product or content that ignites.

These are just a few of the reasons I monetize my blog with social media links, what are some of yours?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

What is the value of art?

Once, I watched a documentary special on Canadian author and icon Pierre Berton. He was exposing advice for prospective writers.

Having watched the National Dream from start to epic Last "Golden" Spike I was interested in his perspective on the narrative field that I was attempting to break into.

"To become a writer," he started, "Write poetry, loads of poetry and not the nonsensical modern stuff. Crafting with words takes time, so your practice should follow a certain rhythm and rhyme."

He then offered advice on selling books to publishers, which today is equally valuable for those pitching crowd-sourced projects to a discerning audience...

Monday, 13 October 2014

Who are #ChainHeads?

#ChainHeads are the collective fans, friends, followers and family of Chainman Originator Dylon Whyte.

This is my best-selling design for a coif with full camail. With a simple adaptation it makes a great Scott Steiner 'Big Poppa Pump' open face coif."

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Faster, Lighter, Stronger?

The design for this poster was inspired by my eternal quest to bring chain to life faster, lighter and stronger than ever and one of the most common questions I've been asked over the years as a chain artists.

The answer is based on an old elephant kōan "Q. How do you eat an elephant? A. One piece at a time." Which refers to a concept for accelerated learning and memory retention known as "chunking."

Another aphorism on the topic might be "The secret to writing a symphony is that ~IT~ can be done in pieces."

Right now I'm working on polishing off my crowd-sourcing campaign entitled Chainmail Tycoon Billionaire and I can't wait to find out what y'all think.

In the meantime, you can purchase a museum quality reproduction of  "The Ballad of Danny Steel" from my poster shop on Society 6 and help bolster my projects!

In the memetime, keep asking questions!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Stories of Real Chain Amore?

Imagine Seinfeld's J. Peterman colliding head-on with the Skymall Catalog, except better, more brutal and with a helluva lot more chain.

"Two enter, but only one may leave!"

"Was this truly her spears destiny!?" Wondered the vulpine Milky Way as she circled her opponent like a voluptuous viper. Shocked, the kitsune Valkyrie discovered that her cage match nemesis was none-other than her estranged lover.

Coiled like a Fury, she chose her moment well and struck like lightning. The tip of the spear penetrated Willow Jim's abdomen with such ferocity that it lifted his cyberbernetic body clear off the ground even as it cleanly pierced his Durasteel Chain Vest.


"Oh, so that's what a spear meant!" Milky Way thought, "The way to a man's heart really is through his stomach!"

She hissed and spat on his sundered corpse with disdain.


To be continued...

Click here to get the museum quality print of this epic poster from Society 6.