Tourist Information, The Keeper's Realm: About Opalin Hubay Pickens

Real Name: Opalin Hubay Pickens

Online Personas and Aliases: The Keeper, TheKeeper, TheKeeper81, TheKeeper1981, KeeperS Karu (Keeper S. Karu), Oryara Kenna Kanja, Oryoro Kenna Kanja, and some others she's likely forgotten

Species: Human

Race: Black/Filipina

Ethnicity: American/Filipino

Height: Exactly 5' 0" (She's very proud of this.)

Weight: 270 lbs (She's doing her best to bring this down to something healthier.)

Natural Eye Color: Brown

Natural Hair Color: Black

Sex: Female

Date of Birth: March 23, 1981

Marital Status: She's married to Robert Sterling Frank II (aka Doug Glendower)

Location: Hopefully on Earth

Powers and/or Abilities:

Opalin's most remarkable ability is her lack of a sense of direction, to the point where she's frequently gotten lost while going down straight corridors. Yes, straight corridors. The second most remarkable quality about her is her ability to be so absorbed in a task or action, she notices very little else. Indeed, when she was thirteen, she apparently walked through a fist fight between gang members, one of them allegedly throwing a large rock that landed inches from her feet, but she didn't notice, absorbed as she was in the nacho cheesy goodness of her Doritos. She has many other talents, as well, but they tend to be overshadowed by the two already mentioned.

Background As Comic Book Artist and Writer

Opalin had always loved drawing and comic books, and she dreamed about being an actual comic book artist and writer, one day. Sometime in 2003, her wish came true in the form of an opportunity to do artwork for a story written by her friend, Enrique Acosta of Action Folksinger Comics, called "Bobby the Quarter God," which would be featured in a comic anthology featuring the work of Bakersfield's comic book artists. It was also printed as part of the standalone Action Folksinger Comics book, issue number three, as part of a collection of stories by Enrique Acosta and his wife, Helen Acosta (the Action Folkwife). Because it was a published piece of work, Opalin was able to legitimately claim professional status at the 2003 San Diego Comic-Con.

The following year, Opalin worked on another piece for Action Folksinger Comics, issue number 4, in the story called "Action Folktales: Commander Photon vs. Macabre," which was published online. This allowed her to continue going to the San Diego Comic-Con as a professional for some time. However, being a university student, she had only been able to work on a few more pieces between then and 2009, namely, a couple of issues for Cavalier Life, an online comic her husband published as a fictional recounting of life in the Cavalier Cavalry. While she had intended to do more work on Cavalier Life, and begin work on her own story, Keeper's Krew, the demands on her time, once again, prevented her from doing so.

For a brief period in 2010, Opalin believed she had found the perfect medium for telling comic book stories that likely wouldn't take up more time than she had to spare for it, in the form of one issue of a photo comic called Spirit, Guide Me, featuring her newly-purchased ball-jointed dolls, which she posted on the Den of Angels forum as a means of recording the arrival of her second doll. She was rather delighted at this new manner of comic book story telling, and she wanted to do more. Unfortunately, between both her own obligations in other areas of life and the obligations of her husband (who writes the code for both their web sites), she was unable to publish the comic on her own site until April of 2012. (This was especially frustrating, as her dolls had also inspired another story, titled Familiar Magic, which she wanted to draw by hand.) While further events kept her away from the project for a few more months, she is finally able to focus on writing more issues of Spirit, Guide Me, as well as another comic that ties into it, called The School of All Trades, which will be hand drawn. If she can keep up with these, she hopes to eventually return to Keeper's Krew and Familiar Magic, as she still feels the need to tell these tales.

Some Personal Background:

Opalin Pickens has an A.A. degree in Liberal Arts from Bakersfield College (as well as the units and courses required for an A.A. in Communication, but Bakersfield College told her it can only issue her one A.A.), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Theoretical Track, from California State University, Bakersfield, the latter being especially surprising, given that, in the middle of the mathematics program, she was diagnosed with a learning disability that made her process information more slowly than others, a fact that put her at a severe disadvantage due to the university's quarter system. She had returned to university in order to obtain single subject teaching credentials so that she can teach high school mathematics, but just as she was going to enter the final phase of the program and begin student teaching, her financial aid ran out, and not having the personal funds to pay for tuition, her education remains incomplete.

She would have liked to have found a way to use what she has to enter the work force, but due to issues of severe depression and extreme agoraphobia, she is currently unable to work. However, in an effort to overcome these obstacles, she is doing her best to take positive steps towards getting better.

Among those positive steps is a return to her love of self-expression through art and crafting, such as writing, drawing, 3D modeling, and sewing. Having always wanted to be her own boss, she hopes to actually be able to sell some of the things she creates, earning enough income to help pay the bills. But her priority is finding an outlet and a way to cope, so she can one day be healthy and whole, again.