Showing posts from September, 2012

Flash fiction

I just entered a flash fiction contest over at Mysti Parker's blog, Unwritten. She challenged writers of all levels to write a horror story for her October Flash Fiction contest. It had to be under 1,000 words, and it's supposed to give her the chills. All I can say is, mine's 1,000 words. It's more of a sci-fi piece than horror, but I had fun writing it, and it's always good practice.

Mysti added some great images to the story, as well as a fancy futuristic title. Do yourself a favor and go check out her blog. There are some great interviews and resources there, as well as information about Mysti's great books.

Thanks again, Mysti :)

JukePop Serials is Live!

You heard right, JukePop Serials is live. You can tell I'm excited because that's the first time I've used an exclamation mark in a blog title. In fact, I think it might be the first time I used any punctuation at all in a blog title.

Seriously though, do yourself a huge favor and go setup a free account at JukePop so you can start reading the awesome stories. I have put quite a few in my bookshelf, but one of the first that I read, and highly recommend, is Larry the Horrible Time Traveler by Andrew Coltrin. It's amazingly brilliant and hilarious. It reminds me of the sort of thing that Douglas Adams would write if he were still alive, and if he had the itch to write a time travelling story of epic proportions.

Anyway, there are currently 112 serials available across a wide range of genres, so there should be something for everyone. I've got to go many stories to add to my shelf :)

A little tact goes a long way

I thought it might be nice to post a little information on critiquing since I'm serving as an intern for this session of F2K, the free writing course offered by Writer's Village University.

Writers are sometimes a solitary lot, and often don't like to hear criticism. Who does really? After all, you pour your heart and soul into something you think is great, and then some uncaring sot tears it to shreds. The nerve. How dare they? Well it need not be like that at all. As writers, we should embrace criticism, and use it as a tool for growth. In the end, our readers will be our critics, and if you don't learn your craft, and put out the best work you're capable of, they will ultimately be the ones to tear your work to shreds. Or worse yet, they won't read it at all because of some bad review they read online. Criticisms offered in a writing group should almost always be seen as a positive thing. First, you are probably all there for similar reasons, and secondly, …


Why does inspiration always come at the most inconvenient times? I've been kind of stuck on my novel for a while now, even though I have an outline. I know what needs to happen to get to the next plot point, but I was hung up on a scene that would get me from point A to point B. Wouldn't you know it; it finally hit me at work this morning. I had all weekend to work something out, but just couldn't manage it. Oh well, I guess that's the way of things :) Fortunately I took a short break to jot down some notes and email them to myself. For the first time in a while, I'm excited to get home and write. I might even be able to sneak in some writing at lunch :)

Gallery of covers

I thought it would be nice to showcase some of the covers I've made all in one place. Plus, it's another excuse to plug the books of some great authors.

Dangerous Presence

Journey to Rome

Hadrian's Rome

My own work in progress.

A serial fiction project I hope will be accepted by JukePop.

A smashing good read

The publisher of Smashing Magazine, an online magazine for professional web designers and developers, has compiled an ebook of some of the best articles. The beauty of it is, that it's absolutely free. It's called the Best of Smashing Magazine, naturally.

The magazine has always been a little too in-depth for my needs, but it has a lot of really interesting articles and examples of good web design. They put it together as a thank you to all of those that have supported them for the last five years. I highly recommend checking it out, even if you're not a web designer.

Remember the good

I know most people are probably marking this day in solemn remembrance, but as for me, I choose to reflect on something else. My grandmother, Virginia Anderson, or Ginny Lee as my grandpa called her, would have been 92 years old today. I miss her and my grandfather terribly, but I also have many happy memories.

I lived with my grandparents for quite a few years, so I was very close to them. I'll share a little fond memory of my grandmother with you. Grandma's house was just a few blocks from my elementary school, so naturally I would walk every morning. There was even a crosswalk that ran between the houses in the middle of the block, so my walk wasn't very long. Every year on the first day of school, before I ventured out, my grandmother made sure I had my lunch, and then she made me stand on the porch so she could take a picture with her little Brownie camera. I'm extremely light sensitive, so I would always squint, but I stood still all the same. Then she would anno…

The return of the serial

Serial fiction is nothing new. After all, Charles Dickens did it with the Pickwick Papers way back in 1836, and you can be sure he wasn't the first. But just as in most things, everything old is new again in regard to fiction. That's right, serial fiction is back in a big way. You might have heard, in Amazon's recent press event, about their new kindle line, Kindle Serials. It looks pretty promising, but another company actually beat them to the punch, and in my opinion, they've got a better game plan. At least it's a better game plan for the indie author. It's a new site called Juke Pop Serials.

Where Juke Pop differs from Amazon, is that they are accepting submissions for story starters, and allowing readers to rate and give immediate feedback to authors. Essentially, accepted authors will post their work in single chapters at least once a month. Then the readers can find stories they like, read them, and rate them. They can also tell the author what they lik…

Pop Art


Royalty free clipart

As you know if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, I enjoy creating cover art. I generally use royalty free stock photos from Big Stock Photos, but recently I found another great source of royalty free images, Dover Pictura. I've bought their clipart books with cd's before, but now they have an online store where you can purchase an image sheet or an entire collection. They're very reasonable, and you can use them royalty free in all of your graphic creations. Of course, their vector images are the best, and as a result more expensive, but I've managed to do quite a bit with their bitmapped offerings as well. Here's an image that I modified to use as an illustration for my work in progress.

The original is a 600 dpi jpeg.

Then I masked out some areas using Pixelmator, and applied some patches of color.

The result is this colorized version which was created by using a color dodge effect. Basically the original image was blended with my color ma…

My most productive writing sessions

I seem to have my most productive writing sessions late in the evening while listening to music. I think the music helps me to write the scenes with a cinematic quality. It's as though the energy of the music forces me to push the story forward, never allowing me to tarry too long in one place. I imagine once I get past the first draft and start revisions, I'll probably need to concentrate on the words more and the music less. For now at least, it's working for me.

I managed to get down another 1,500 words while listening to my new favorite musical muse, Two Door Cinema Club. I found them on Spotify, which is becoming my new favorite way to discover music. I like it so much, that I signed up for the premium service. The higher quality streaming alone is worth the price of admission. I'm probably not telling you anything new though. It seems like all of my friends are already using Spotify, and I was a little late to the party. Oh well, better late than never. Right? :)