Behold the Pretties! Canterbury Classics

Because what I needed was DEFINITELY more books. Ahem.

I bought these at the Costco. They are magnificent. I’m in love with them and hope to one day have the time to read every last one, except for the duplicate parts. A couple of stories appear in more than one of them.

Please excuse my horribly grainy photos. I think the camera on my phone may be getting tired. It doesn’t seem to be as cooperative as it used to be.

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Interior cover of the SciFi/Fantasy book

 

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They even have built-in ribbon bookmarks. Be still my heart!

The Lovecraft book is my favorite, of course. I actually had to buy that one twice. The boy pretty much claimed my first copy as his own. I tried to remind him it was borrowed but then he gave me the puppy dog eyes. What am I supposed to do, not give the kid a book?

 

 

 

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The Wolf Cover

I designed a second cover for one of my books. There were things about the first cover that I liked and some things that I didn’t. I’ll be the first to admit that I could stand to up my cover game.

Here’s the original cover.

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The book hasn’t really been selling all that well (am I supposed to admit that?), so I thought I would slap a new coat of paint on it and see if that did anything.

I wanted it to have a more adventurous cover, one that gave a taste of the danger in the book. The first cover really doesn’t do all that. The first cover really doesn’t say much of anything other than the fact that a bottle and plants are involved somehow. Not much of a draw when you get down to it.

Here’s the wolf cover.

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As you can see, I kept the leafy bits and the fonts. I really do like the fonts. I also slimmed up the shape a tad. The other cover seemed too wide.

The cover redesign was actually pretty easy because the scene with the wolves was already in the book trailer. Here it is on YouTube in case you didn’t see it before.

 

I just snagged what I needed and mixed it in with the elements I wanted to keep on the original cover.

The new cover probably isn’t showing up on Amazon yet, but it should here within the next 24 hours or so.

Which cover do you like better?

 

 

 

Birthday Bloggin’

Today is my birthday! My 40th, actually. I’m grateful to be here and grateful for the people in my life. I get to write the books I want to write (for better or worse) and do many fun things.

As for the age? I’ve never thought 40 was old, really, so I’m good. Besides, I’m still a child on the inside in many ways with no intention of growing up completely. Exhibit A: my primary birthday request was Destiny 2 (a video game).

By the way, I have a new book out! Beneath Oceans of Sky is a middle-grade kids book that’s now available on Amazon. There’s no print edition as of yet. That should be along shortly as I wade through the items on my endless to-do list. The goal for that is for it to be out before Christmas.

The ebook is free for Kindle Unlimited and $2.99 if you aren’t. First a description, then a link.

The population of the Near
Grows by one every year.
Oceans of sky, mountains of bone,
Take care, children,
Not to find yourself alone

Three days before Christmas, Aurora wakes up in a strange bed in a meadow, beneath a sky that looks like an ocean. She doesn’t know where she is, only that she fell asleep in her bed and woke up somewhere else.

A bobcat named Yule and a wolf named Woe appear nearby, and they offer to take her to their king and queen. They don’t seem trustworthy, but what other choice does she have? Along the way, Aurora learns that she’s a jundhela, a weaver of windows that offer a view of what’s happening back in her world. Yule and Woe insist she ignore them and move on.

When they finally arrive at Lonesome Castle, Aurora discovers a battlefield of steam-powered robot soldiers fighting. The king and queen each want Aurora to join their side.

Aurora’s only hope is to find a boy named Dusk and convince him to help. One way or another, she must find her way home.

Click here for the jump.

Oceans Christmas cover

 

In Which the Audiobook Was Set Aside

Yeah, yeah, I know. Quitters never win, and winners never quit. Technically, I didn’t really quit. I just pushed the audiobook aside for now. Far, far aside.

I was doing a final listen before I uploaded my audio short story to ACX. I was happy with about 90% of it, but that remaining 10% is a killer. It’s basically all I see.

And I have a lot that I’m working on. I plan to do NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, so I’m clearing as much as I can out of the way before November 1st.  I had to evaluate my priorities and decide which things I would finish in the next 2 weeks. That one has chewed up too much of my time as it is.

I am also very tired of reading and listening to that particular story. I like it okay, but it’s definitely not my favorite work. I wrote it a while ago, and my writing is somewhat better now. I could go back and rewrite/rerecord, but it’s not worth all that.

So, I might go back to it sometime next year. I might just start on another recording and chalk that one up as a very long training session. I did learn a lot, after all.

 

Needless Rambling and a Cat Picture

OMG, I am killing the to-do list this week. I am quite excited about it. I would be even more excited if I could finally wrap up this audio editing business! I have about 10-20 minutes of finished audio left, which should probably equate to at least 6-8 hours of editing work. Yes, it does take that long. I think the worst part about it is that I can’t listen to music while I’m doing it. Music makes everything better.

But it will be done soon. Soon!

I’m lucky that I’ve had time at all. This last month has been bonkers. We got a new roof put on the house due to storm damage, a newish truck because the old one was dying. My daughter moved out. She’s 20, so it’s not like she ran away or anything. I miss her, despite the fact that she’s right down the street. The location makes it better. She took Merlin, though, because he belongs to her. That makes it slightly worse. I miss him, too.

There is a small silver lining. We’re setting up a guest room/office the spare bedroom. Our “office” has always been a corner of the bedroom, so that is pretty cool.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I’ve been reading Locke and Key, which is a comic book series written by Joe Hill, aka son of Stephen King. It’s really good stuff so far. It reminds me a little of The Haunting of Hill House

Also awesome and actually by Stephen King – the new IT movie. I never saw the original or read the book, so I can’t offer a comparison. I thought Bill Skarsgård was amazing. I watched him in Hemlock Grove, which I liked well enough, but I think his performance as Pennywise really showed he well can act.

Now, please enjoy this picture of Bleu. Adorable while asleep. A terror while awake.

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Fear and Dust

I have a tendency to analyze everything when it comes to the way people (including me) act and how they interact. Maybe it’s a writer thing; I don’t know.

I read an article, editorial, opinion piece? I don’t know what it was, exactly. I’m not up on my journalism lingo, but anyway, this author lady was talking about how she has been trying to get one of her books published for the last 10 years.

10. As in a decade. What’s the definition of insanity, again?

So then I started asking myself why anyone would do that. In this day and age, when authors publish their own work every day, why would anyone hold out for that long? Does she have some deep-seated need for validation?

I think the more likely motivation is fear. Even things like rejection can feel like a kind of safe-zone. If no one “accepts” the book, then she doesn’t have to set it loose into the world. She doesn’t have to make it available for the general public to read. She doesn’t have to worry about bad reviews.

I get it; I really do. But life is too short. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to spend so many precious moments of their life begging for approval that probably won’t ever come, at least, not the way she wants. Meanwhile, her book hasn’t done anything but gather dust.

I hope she gets past it.

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In Which I Tried Not To Pick The Obvious Thing

I believe that our culture conditions us to have certain expectations when it comes to stories. Movies, books, spoken word, it doesn’t matter. That’s why people get in an uproar when, say, a YA author kills off the main character in the last book of a trilogy (keeping them nameless to avoid spoilers). People weren’t expecting the author to do that. They were expecting the story to end the way they wanted it to, the way so many other books have.

Sometimes when I write, I reach a certain point in a story, and I feel like what I’m about to write, the next part, is too obvious. It’s almost like autopilot writing propelled by my cultural conditioning. So, when I hit that point, I stop.

I take a step back and wonder what else could happen. I actually brainstorm a little bit, and I jot down several possibilities.

Like this:

Let’s say we’re writing a horror. I love love love horror, but a lot of horrors (movies, books, whatever) sometimes have a tendency to follow a formula.

Let’s say, Jimmy is about to open a door. The audience is all like, “No, Jimmy! Don’t open that door!” Why? Because something bad is going to happen to Jimmy. Duh. It’s happened in a thousand stories before this.

So, we have Jimmy standing in front of the door. Since this is an especially cliché situation, we’re going to use 15 possibilities.

Rapid fire. I don’t think; I just write. And I start with the obvious ones so I get them out of the way. 

  1. Ghost grabs Jimmy and pulls him into the room.
  2. Nothing is there. Empty room.
  3. See something terrifying but doesn’t affect him, like he witnesses a murder that happened a long time ago.
  4. Sees a mirror image of the room behind him, as well as a reflection of himself.
  5. Brick wall like in cartoons.  🙂 
  6. Portal to another dimension.
  7. Ghost inviting him to dinner.
  8. Jimmy doesn’t open the door and walks away. Creepy thing reaches for him.
  9. Door opens to outside of the building. Long way down. More cartoons!
  10. Swirling fog monster.
  11. Opens to his bedroom in his childhood home (or so it would appear)
  12. Dead friend is there, trying to lure him inside.
  13. Soul eating machine.
  14. Opens to a hospital room where he sees himself in a coma and something tries to convince him the haunted house is a dream.
  15. Doesn’t open the door at all, but when he turns, he’s surrounded by a ring of duplicate doors, so he has no choice but to open one.

Okay, some of these are still kind of cliché, but you get the idea.

And now, because I don’t know how to conclude this post in an eloquent manner and because every blog post needs a picture, here are some terrifying bunnies I saw in an antique store.

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