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Category: <span>Guest Posts</span>

Guest Posts

As we head into this New Year, I wanted to call out to the group and see if anyone is interested in doing some Guest Posts this year?

It doesn’t have to be fancy or eleaborate.   Can be fun and simple.   Find a National Holiday or just a Random Pretty type of post.

So many options.

If you would like to sign up – let me know here on this post or can email me (

Guest Post: Reminder

As we enter a new year, a reminder that you are welcome to do Guest Posts for the blog.

Actually I encourage it.  It’s a big help for me!

So if you have something you would like to do, just let me know:

Guest Posts: Call Out


I’m sending out another notice asking if anyone wants to do some Guest Posts.

It’s been a rough few months, and would be helpful if had a handful of posts that I can use from others.

Guest Post: Human Trafficking Awareness Day by Paula Cas

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is recognized annually in the United States on January 11. The purpose is to bring attention and opposition to human trafficking and modern-day slavery (neo-slavery).

We always like to bring many thing to people awareness, including harder subject matters.  Usually we do this through fiction, see below a Sylum Snippet.

Title: Seeing The Invisible
Fandom:  Sylum Universe: Kung Fu: The Legend Continues; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Characters/Pairings: Peter Caine/Kermit Griffin, Original Characters
Rating: PG
Summary: It had been a perfect weekend getaway, but what they find when they stop on the way home, was eye-opening even for the most hardened law enforcement officer. Written for Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Disclaimer: Except for the work noted as being originally mine, all works of fiction and characters thereof belong to their original creators/studios/producers/publishers. No money is being earned, and they are used without permission. I apologize for any typos I missed.

ulling up to the gas pumps of the 49er Travel Plaza in Sacramento, Peter realized that despite having come back into urban sprawl after a relaxing four day weekend spent in Lake Tahoe with his Mate, he was still feeling relaxed and recharged.

As the resident computer expert, Kermit Griffin, with his partner, Peter Caine had been assigned a case dealing with a series of burglaries where the only thing stolen had been high-end computers. After six frustrating weeks, they’d finally got a break in the case when one of the thieves found out the ringleader’s endgame and had walked up to Peter on the street and asked to be arrested. They’d taken a team to make arrests but had found the other six thieves had taken their own lives thinking their consciousnesses were going to merge with the ‘super’ computer they had built from the stolen equipment. Paul had given everyone involved in the case a four day weekend, and appointments with one of the psychologists that worked with the department.

Now, they were headed back to San Francisco after he spent the weekend communing with nature outside their lakeside condo, while Kermit relaxed by fattening his wallet at the casinos’ poker tables. Peter was pulled from thoughts of his relaxed Mate in the middle of the condo’s king-sized bed when a sense of ‘wrong’ pinged off his Shaolin senses. After getting back behind the wheel, he simply sat and stared out the windshield instead of starting their rental Jeep to continue their journey.

“Peter?” Kermit’s expression became concerned when Peter continued to stare at the parking lot.

“Just a feeling of something not quite right.”

He looked around the large parking lot of the truck stop. There were several RV’s of all sizes scattered across the lot that was beginning to fill with vehicles of people stopping for their after church lunch.

“Let’s go across the way to one of my favorite places to eat.” He started the Jeep and headed for the exit. He answered the silent question Kermit asked with an arch of his eyebrows. “The Black Bear Diner. I’ll even pay. Good food, huge portions.”

His Mate had been right about the restaurant. “I have no idea where you put all that food. I’ve got to take half of mine home for lunch tomorrow.” Kermit sat back against the booth with a groan.

“High metabolism.” Peter smirked at the older man. His face turned serious. “I want to go back over to the truck stop. There’s something going on. I feel like I need to figure it out before we head home.”

“I could do with some time to digest lunch before we get beat up by the road between here and home.” Kermit gave his Mate a cheeky grin. “We can’t run home to our big comfortable bed if your spidey sense is tingling.”

“It’s not … Never mind.” He shook his head at his Mate’s teasing as he paid their bill and headed back across the four-lane.


They parked in a spot farthest from the building housing the restaurant and travel store where they could watch the entire parking lot. An older couple stepped out of a bus size RV with two small dogs and head for the grassy area next to the road. Tractor-trailers moved through the fuel island and security gate into the parking lot. Peter and Kermit took a stroll across the lot into the travel store making note of all the vehicles and what was happening around them. Two cups of coffee and a bag of snacks later, they made the same slow walk back to their Jeep.

“Kermit.” Peter drew his partner’s attention to a mid-sized RV off to their left. They watched as a young woman left the RV as a man not old enough to be her father watched her walk toward the building. A few minutes later, a young man, who barely looked old enough to drive, followed her. A half-hour later the pair returned, their body language tight and closed off. Ten minutes later, another pair did the same routine. 

Kermit picked up his phone to call the local police when the parking lot suddenly filled with flashing lights surrounding the RV. Slipping unnoticed around the edge of the gathering crowd, the Vampires approached the building where several drivers watched what was happening. He noticed one of the women wearing a t-shirt with an emblem that looked like a steering wheel with the letters TAT.

“Know what’s happening?” Peter asked.

“Someone said there’s a pimp running lot lizards out of an RV in the parking lot.”

“Lot lizards?” Not familiar with truckers’ jargon, Peter had to ask.

“Prostitutes that prowl truck stop and rest area parking lots knocking on truck doors looking for a trick.” She looked at her watch. “I’ve got to deliver Bakersfield in the morning, so I better be putting it down the road.” She drawled. 

“Have a safe trip.” Peter turned away to look for Kermit.

He turned back when he felt a tug on his sleeve. The female driver handed him a business card. “In case you want to find out more about what’s going on over there.”

Looking down at the card, he looked up to see the woman disappearing through the door to the restaurant. He looked back at the writing on the card. Truckers Against Trafficking. He smiled. She must have been the one to call the police. He went to collect his Mate. It was time they headed home.

“I bet people approach truckers all the time. They carry cash, are never in one place long enough to know what’s considered normal in the neighborhood. I can see them noticing things most people wouldn’t pay attention to.” 

Three hours later, they were home in their Chinatown loft. Once they were settled and showered, Peter sat down at Kermit’s computer and pulled the card out of his wallet. After combing through the TAT website, he sent them a donation along with a note thanking them for the work they do.

~ Finis ~

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a 501(c)3 that exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking, bus and energy industries to combat human trafficking. Truckers Against Trafficking recognizes that members of the trucking, bus, and energy industries are invaluable in the fight against this heinous crime. As the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways. you are in a unique position to make a difference and close loopholes to traffickers who seek to exploit our transportation system for their personal gain.

Guest Posts: 2020

First off.  2020.  WTF?  Seriously?  We’re in a whole new decade!  Oh Dear God.

Okay now that I had  mini breakdown.  I’ll just add to the OMG of the moment: 2020 – The 15th Anniversary of Sylum!

Wrap your head around that one!

Okay so for the actual post.  I’m looking for Guest Posts for the upcoming year.  It’s helpful for some people to put out fun type of posts.  It can be just simple ‘National Days’ or ‘World Holidays’ or ‘Fun Facts’.

So if you want to sign up for doing some Guest Posts for 2020.  Drop me email at


Guest Post: Happy Birthday US Navy by Max

On October 13th, 1775 the United States Navy was founded by the Continental Congress. On that day Congress approved two vessels to be armed. Those vessels would then search and destroy vessels bringing the British supplies. Following the end of the American Revolution, the Continental Navy was disbanded but it was quickly reestablished as the United States Navy to combat the growing piracy problem on the seas. Now the United States Navy has more the 200 ships but the main mission remains the same ‘​defend freedom and democracy around the world’. That mission is fulfilled in many ways we still perform antipiracy operations just like our founders but we perform them both on the seas and the cybersphere. Among the US Navy’s other main missions are to support our Marine brothers and sisters in their ground and aerial operations.

Today on the 243rd birthday of the United States Navy I ask that you send a prayer up for the Sailors. For one thing that has not changed, and hopefully with never change, is that the sea can be as cruel as she is beautiful and it is perfect.

For More Information: US Navy

Wikipedia: US Navy

Sign Up for Guest Posts

Want to do a Guest Post?

Just send me an email: and we can talk about what you would like to do.  It doesn’t have to be an instructional post like taibhrigh or a snippet like Paula’s – it can be anything you want it to be as long as it ties into Sylum.

I’ll be taking new Guest Posts for the months of August – November.

Be a part of Sylum and do a Guest Post.

(Sorry this is late, had a mix up on scheduling)

Guest Post: 5 Quick Photoshop Tips by taibhrigh


Me again, taibhrigh, Sylum’s Resident Artist. Today I’m here to talk about 5 quick tips for Photoshop. If you are using one of the other tools some of this information should be adaptable.


Layers Are Your Friends

A layer can be just about anything in photoshop –from a background to text. If you are going to modify something on an image layer –say removing an earring or changing the contrast– make a copy of that layer (and rename it because “person copy 1” and “person copy 2” won’t help you identify why you made the copy, but “person earring removed” will).

Why layers? Because once you go to far along with your change on the layer you really can’t go back (especially if you’ve closed the file). Even if you have your edit history tracking.

Also, overlays, patterns, etc are easier to manipulate on their own layer.


Never Merge or Flatten Unless You Are ABSOLUTELY Sure

Especially the “Flatten” option. This literally merges all lays, including text, into one single layer –text will no longer be editable. Once this is done and you close the file, you are not getting the layers back.

And then if you are absolutely sure, click “save as” and save the file as a new version, then flatten and save.


Round not Square

Use solid round brushes at 100% fill and opacity to remove background from around the part of an image you want to keep. Yes, a pixel is a square, a human body is not. Yes, the round brush may take a little longer, especially if you are doing close detail removal. But, the round brush will keep you from turning the person into noticeable pixels (jagged edges) –especially around the face.

If you are having problems seeing if you have removed enough of the background, try creating a new layer that is underneath the layer you are modifying. Make this new layer a solid, bright color that is not in the image.


Overlay and Soft Light with Layers

Are both a quick way to change a shirt color or add a background pattern. These layers can be kept at 100% opacity and fill or lessened to whatever you think works best for what you are trying to accomplish.



This is the spaces between letters in a font. This is what will help make your text a little more readable. In photoshop you have two ways to increase and decrease this space. Sometimes you will need to use both. Sometimes you are going to decrease one but might increase the either. The “VA” on the character palette will change the kerning for all words/letters selected. The “V/A” (sometimes there will also be a little arrow under the “A” that’s pointed towards the “V”) is the option to change the kerning just between the two letters between the cursor.

Cursive fonts may even be set to negative kernings to make the letters actually connect correctly.

Questions? Leave them below.


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