Quick updates, current favorite writing music, and an entry from my dream journal

I have completed recording the kids book I was working on! YAY! I immediately celebrated by dropping a cup of water in my sound booth and on me…as one does.

I have no plans to edit the audio for that one anytime soon, because I am officially burned out on that book. I don’t think I could stand to listen to it or read it without developing some kind of nervous twitch.

Now that the weather is warmer, I’m having trouble getting booth time in which no lawn mowers, etc. are running. I live in a subdivision, so I should expect such things, but I’m still annoyed. I would really love it if they would establish an official mowing day, and everyone does it then. That would be much better than the constant (CONSTANT!!) barrage of motor sounds.

I do have a lot of sound dampening stuff in the booth, but it’s not 100% soundproof, unfortunately.

What else?

Oh, I should finish the last novelette for the first year of my upcoming short fiction series by Monday. Then, only 2 stories left to write! And all of them left to edit. That will be quick, though. I’m going to set an official launch date once I have the first 3 or 4 pieces proofread. If I had to venture a guess right now, I’d say…Julyish? I think I said May before? Sorry. I was not efficient.

Current favorite writing music: Where’s the Drop by DeadMau5

If you don’t know who DeadMau5 is, he’s an EDM guy. BUT this album is a collection of orchestral (?) versions of some of his songs. I love it very much, and I hope he makes more. Here’s a stream of it on youtube if you’d like to give it a listen.

 

 

On to the dream journal! I started keeping one about a month ago. I’ve never done this before, and it’s been an interesting experience. I don’t remember as many of my dreams as I thought I did. Some days I can’t remember them at all. I try, but it’s kind of like having a thought that you can’t quite grab. I’ve found that if I can land on a word that corresponds with something in the dream, I can get a lot of it to come back to me. Today’s word was zombie.

I don’t have zombie dreams very often, but when I do, I always get bitten right before I wake up. ¬† ūüė¶

Here’s today’s entry:

5/9/2019: zombie dream. I was holed up in a hotel with some other people. We made a trap for the zombies that found their way in. It worked for a while, but eventually, we had to leave. I wanted to go to the country. Before I could get out, I was confronted by vampires who wanted to turn me and then force me to attend a vampire wedding as a guest. We only got as far as the car, though, and I remember driving past a couple of tourist attractions that other people in the car seemed pleased to see.

 

Vampire wedding!!! The ridiculousness of that did not hit me until I thought about it while awake. That might end up in one of my short stories in the future. It’s almost too ridiculous not to. Anyone care to analyze?

 

 

 

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Happy New Year!

slothAfter several weeks of doing my best sloth-girl impression, I have resumed working. Well, I’m pretty much always writing, so that much was going on, at least. I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve and a good start to this next trip around the sun.

Do you want to know what is not a fun activity? Moving a podcast with 27 episodes.

My account renewal at Podbean for The Authors Read Podcast was due in December. I knew it was coming up, so I needed to decide whether I wanted to keep the party going for another year. I asked myself what I didn’t like about it.

I like helping my fellow authors. Getting book publicity is a rough game sometimes. One of the reasons I started the podcast was because I wanted to be one of the people who could open a door instead one of the legions who prefer to slam it or, you know, just ignore the knock.

My only real issue with it was the expense. My account at Podbean was $100 for the year. For something that doesn’t make any money, it wasn’t an expense that I could really justify to myself. Luckily, I found a place to host it for free! The website doesn’t have as many features, but if it keeps me in the game, I’m good.

I had another issue. I thought I had saved all my complete episode mp3 files. HAHA no. Alas, I did not. I have no idea where they went or how they got there, but I was missing episodes 16-19 and 21-26. I did have most of the pieces: the readings, the intros, the outros. All in all, between piecing the episodes back together, uploading them to Castbox.FM and updating all the links on the wordpress site, etc, it was about 10 hours of work.

I do really like podcasting, though, so it’s worth the effort to me.

I did get to see how much my voicework improved over the course of last year. Around episode 19 or 20, it really started to sound better.

If you’d like to follow Authors Read on Castbox, here is a link for you.¬†¬†It has zero followers on Castbox so far because it’s been on there for all of five seconds, so any follows would be much appreciated!

I have a lot of exciting stuff planned for this year, including finishing one or more audiobooks. I know, I know, I said I wanted one out last year. I didn’t make it, okay? I was tired and lazy. I’m better now. I promise.

Cover Art Behind the Scenes

Greetings, cats and kittens! I am pleased to say that I have returned to my writing duties. It has been a bit of a slow-go so far, but I’m getting there. I am still spending far too much time on the Playstation, which I think might be linked to my energy level. Basically, the less energy I have, the more hours I log on the Playstation instead of working or recording or whatever it is that I should be doing.

But today, we have cover art.

WS-ebook-cover

This was an interesting cover to work on. The forest background was a creative commons image I grabbed from one site or another. I took the photo of the ax and the flowers by my little, old self.

The ax is the one from my garage. In the book, the main character actually uses a hatchet, which has a different shape, a shorter handle and such, but I didn’t think anyone would really notice or care. Plus, I cut the handle off at the top, which makes it less obvious.

Some of the flowers were from Hobby Lobby and the leafy bits might’ve been from Michaels. Here’s what they looked like before I taped them to the ax handle. The berries were actually white before I painted over them in photoshop.

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Here’s the before shot of the ax. The blood is also photoshop…probably.

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And of course, the brat was there to “help”.

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The rest was photoshop history. A little digital paint, a little text gradient and the thing was done-zo!

If you’d like to see the cover and the snazzy antler graphic on the title page, the paperback version of Wild Spirits of the Hollow is now available on Amazon at this link.

Catch y’all later!

Yes, Another New Cover

Greetings! Okay, last cover redesign for a while, I promise.

I failed with this book. When Pestilence Rising first came out back in 2014 (wow, has it been that long?), I concentrated most of my promotional efforts on getting reviews. I got a few, nothing crazy.¬†I sold like no copies. Even to this day, it isn’t selling squat. I have literally sold 2 digital copies of this book. 2.

The new cover is an attempt to fix that. I’m also revamping the description, recategorizing it, and implementing advertising.

The first cover was…not that great. This is it.

Pestilence Rising jpg cover

I guess it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been one of those horrible covers I sometimes see that look like someone took a bunch of tiny, random pictures and made a half-ass¬†collage with them. Oh, if you’re wondering why my name is “L. Ryan” on this one, it’s because at the time, I was reading about how people would rather read books by men, so some ladies use initials instead of their first names like JK Rowling.

Ahem.

Anyway, so the second cover was a little better.

new PR cover

Still not fantastic or great for the genre, but at least it looks more…artsy?

With the new push comes the new cover. This is the one I’m going to use from here on out.

new pestilence rising cover

I still might monkey around with the font a bit, but I am pleased with it overall.

Hopefully, this new push will help. I dropped the ball with this book, which is dumb because I really did like it. I still do.

I was also thinking about doing an audiobook version after I finish Beneath Oceans of Sky and Love and the Dark. That might be weird, because the main character is male. My voice isn’t overly girly, though, so I might be able to pull it off.

Tune in tomorrow for a super creepy fish post. The fish is creepy, not the post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything Updates

Hi! I know I haven’t been around much. I thought I’d pop on and offer some updates.

I should have at least 1 book out in the next couple of months and then another one a month or 2 after that. I promise I don’t write that quickly; I just have things that seem to be wrapping up somewhat close together.

One is the 2nd Desmond book. There is no cover art yet. There is a sketch for the cover art, but no actual, real life cover at this time.

The other is a novella currently titled¬†Wild Blood of the Hollow. It’s a shortish fantasy thing that still needs some tweaking. I should finish the first read-through tomorrow if nothing gets in the way. I have a nice cover in mind for that one.

The¬†Beneath Oceans of Sky audiobook is coming along, somewhat. I’m up to editing the 4th chapter. I know, I know. I’m slow like molasses in winter. I’ve been kind of lazy/tired lately, which hasn’t affected the pace of my writing too much, but sometimes, I just really don’t want to edit audio. Most of the time, really. It could be worse, but it is not my favorite activity.

I’m finding that working on the audiobook has changed me in a couple of ways. Listening for my recording/editing mistakes has given me a kind of habit of listening for mistakes in other audiobooks and podcasts. I didn’t really want that. Now I hear every sinus click, every turn of the page, etc. It’s like a really annoying superpower.

I also find myself paying attention to how what I’m writing or proofreading would sound if I read it as an audiobook. I make minor changes that I wouldn’t have made previously. That’s okay because it means that I’m paying attention on another level. I don’t want to notice that when someone else is reading. I just want to hear the book.

Current reading material is the magnificent beast below. The gods really liked to turn people into trees, flowers, animals, and various other nature things. Really, really, really. It is pretty cool, though.
IMG_20171114_194523692

 

That’s all I have at the moment. TTFN.

Rapid-Fire Randomness

Hey, what’s up! I’ve been sick for about the last week because my husband decided to bring home the plague. I haven’t had much energy for blogging, but apparently, that won’t stop me from posting words on the internet.Today, I have some random bits and bobs about what’s been going on.

Current writing project: Desmond Winters and the Ghosts of Arbolettis (middle-grade book), word count Р24231, a little over a third of the way complete if I hit my 60,000-word goal.

Most recent books read:
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger – meh
The Bell Jar by Syvlia Plath Рslightly better
Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet – pretty good

Currently reading:
Shadows of the Dark Crystal #1 by JM Lee and Brian Froud

Also about to start:
Splintered by AG Howard

Most recent movies watched:
The Magnificent Seven (2016) – very good
Don’t Breathe – not bad
Star Trek Beyond – decent

And here’s a picture of my son’s new snail. Its name is Larry and it is slightly larger than a quarter. Every time someone sees this picture, they ask me how big it is.

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The Contestant by CJ Lea

Hey there! One of the very talented people in my writer group recently released her book and you should definitely read it! I had the opportunity to check it out a couple of weeks ago, and I can tell you it’s very good. Lots of action and intrigue and not very nice people doing not very nice things.

the contestant

For Raymond, the online contests were only ever about the money. A brilliant and resourceful serial killer, a hit-and-run accident five years ago left him confined to a wheelchair, and he now makes a humble living pursuing prizes under stolen and fake identities, and selling them online.

But when a $10 million treasure hunt comes up, Raymond begins to realize just how small and insignificant his life has become. This treasure hunt could be his salvation‚ÄĒthe perfect opportunity to recoup a standard of living he once enjoyed, to regain the respect he once garnered as a behavioral analyst and profiler.

The moment Raymond registers for the contest, however, the first email arrives. Someone out there knows him, knows his past, knows details he thought were long buried. Now, there’s only one way for Raymond to find his blackmailer and put an end to the threats: Play the game and follow the treasure hunt clues.

And this time, it’s not about the money.

Also available in the Kindle Lending Library for Prime Members.

Link to the book on Amazon