Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New cover... new life!

After hours of time, painful hand cramps, computer blurred eyes and a sore butt, I'm proud to present the new cover for The Summer of the Frogs:

Friday, July 22, 2011

More on Covers... the Concept

On talking about how important covers are, I've been wanting to redo the cover for The Summer of the Frogs for some time.  I believe the cover is affecting my sales or lackthereof.  It's a good story; it deserves a good cover that will draw people in.

After mentally going through several concepts, I went to sleep with an idea floating around in my head.  Upon waking, I still liked the idea, so went forward with nailing the concept down.

Right now, it's in the sketched concept stage with a generic font slapped on.

But before I go forward with the hours and hours of tedious coloring, I'd like to get some feedback.

Let me know what you think of this concept.  I'd deeply appreciate it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The kajal project- almond kohl eyeliner

This post is inspired by a couple of amazing people over on the Possets perfume forum.  :)

 Here's what you'll need to start:

two pop cans filled about halfway with water for stability
an old pan lid
a meat fork
a barbeque lighter
aluminum foil
raw almonds
not shown - olive oil and metal spatula

Lightly coat the underside of your old pan lid with olive oil, set the lid across the pop cans.  Carefully stick two almonds on the meat fork prongs and light them with the bbq lighter.  It may take about a minute for the almonds to catch on fire.  When they do, hold the flaming almonds under the pan lid approximately 1inch to 2inches from the lid.  Hold until the almonds burn themselves out.  This may take any where from three to five minutes.

 After burning six almonds, your lid should look like this.

Use the spatula to scrape the soot.  After one scrape, you can see, there is a considerable amount of soot collected.

Continue scraping the soot, then tap it out onto a sheet of aluminum foil.

Pour the collected soot into a small container.  This is two batches of six almonds each batch.

The burnt remains of twelve almonds.  Those are going on our compost pile for the garden.  :)

To apply:  dip a rounded toothpick in olive, coconut or almond oil.  Then twirl the lightly oiled tip in the soot.  Tap off excess.  Use the side of the toothpick to line your eyes!

There is a learning curve to applying this amazingly black eyeliner, but a little practice is worth the effort.  Good luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Work Area

In response to Dawn Alexander's blog, Writer in Waiting, I'm posting a couple photos of my work area.

Situated between the family room and the kitchen is an area I term the "office".  It's not a room by itself, but the other half of the family room.  In it is three desks, three bookshelves and a chair.  It's an awkward sort of walk thru space, but it serves as the center hub.

I eat at my desk.  I draw at my desk.  I write here and of course I surf the internet.

The wall above holds a lot of my sketches, photos, stickers, pins, ribbons, postcards, my kids's drawings and general memorablia that is my life.  It changes over time, so I usually take a photo of my work area about once a year.  This was taken back in Feb. and there are already a couple changes. :)

A lot of writers I know have a faithful companion.  I have several, but Fox, a silver Egyptian Mau, is my special buddy.

Here, Fox is sporting a cuff bracelet of aluminum foil made by my youngest son.  Foxy kept it on for quite a long time before I took it off.

Thank you to Dawn for sharing her work space and four footed helper and inspiring others to share theirs!

In that spirit, leave a comment or post a link about your work space; I'd love to hear about/see where you get your best work done.  :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm spewing ideas I'm so full of them.... Not so much.

I was on the phone with my mom for a couple hours this afternoon. I hadn't talked to her in a little while so that was good. I wanted to go visit her tomorrow, but she had already made plans. :( We live a 1/2 hour apart, but that's still too much drive for me most days. ~sigh~

Anyway, I was telling her that I read a blog today where someone said (paraphrased) that a writer who doesn't have a butt ton of ideas or runs out of ideas wasn't a real writer. Wha-? I consider myself a "real" writer, an author even, and I can tell you that I'm not exploding with ideas.  In fact, I'm lucky to have one idea at any given time.  An idea, to me, means something that is worth the time to flesh out into a novel.

Sure, I might have fleeting thoughts that pass through my mind.  Some of them even grow into ideas over time.  As frustrating for me as that lack is, just because I'm not near bursting, and bemoaning having to choose from all these myriad of ideas, doesn't make me any less of an author than someone who can fill dozens of idea notebooks and churn out ten novels a year.

I tried not to be offended at such an egotistical, offhanded remark, but a part of me is still stewing.  And admittedly a little jealous.  However, I also realize we're all different.  We operate differently; from pantsers to plotters.  From prolific to sparse.  From short stories to massive epics.  You get my point.

We're all writers.  I hope we can remember that just because we do something differently doesn't make our method any more or less right.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Cover Conundrum

After talking about the cover of Fragile Bones with a friend, he confirmed that the cover I had designed a few months ago just didn't convey the feel of the story.  So when he suggested I put a drawing I had intended for the interior on the cover, I bulked a little.  I felt like my artwork wasn't up to the level I thought it should be for a cover.  I mean, the cover is a huge deal!  It's the first thing someone sees when they look at your novel.  It has to be unique, intriguing and suggest what the pages hold.  I knew that the first cover design didn't really do all those things, but I was at a place where that was my only option.  Only after listening and finally giving in to the idea that maybe... just maybe that sketch would work on the cover, did I go for it.

Since I already had the basic design that I wanted in place, it was only a matter of switching the pictures out and 'drawing' a back cover fill pattern with the same medium I used on the sketch. (that was my husband's idea)  Once it was all together, I knew that my friend was right.  This new cover is The One.

I'm very pleased to present the official cover for Fragile Bones:

Release date is coming soon; be on the look out and don't miss the chance to be one of the first to read this dark, gay fiction title!