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Challenges

I’ve been using challenges to learn things about myself, and the world around me for some time. NaNoWriMo for five years, the Bradbury Challenge a couple years ago, and last October I did Inktober and Drawtober,

Both ink and draw-tober are about drawing every day in October. I managed to draw 27 drawings, and ink 24 of them. I even add some color to a few.

For each challenge I put myself threw I try to take something out of it. From this one I learned that I loved drawing strange, and unusual things. I loved pushing my creativity in art as well as words. I hadn’t done more then cute little chibi’s of super heroes and other odd things lately, but this had me drawing steam powered submarines, and spider ballerinas, poison fairies and underwater wraiths. I did things with an ink pen I never would have thought to do before.

It was also invigorating. I did a lot of this challenge while we were traveling for twitchcon. We had days where we only slept for four hours, only to get up and put more leather together to get the armor set done. And yet I still managed to do so much. It just goes to show how much you can get done even when there’s a time crunch. Even when you’re sleep deprived. Even if you’re busy and the world doesn’t slow down so you can get your words, or ink lines in.

And in the end being creative is amazing, whatever creative thing you’re trying to do.

You can see more of the drawings, and pictures from twitchcon, over on instagram. 

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Posted by on November 12, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Branching Out

With novels and short stories I’ve been writing a lot, but it isn’t all I do. I’ve been an artist just as long as I’ve been an author. I have a deviant art from way back when, and I’ve sold things on etsy and other places before.

Lately I’ve been drawing a bit more because it’s easier to doddle during work while I’m on a call than it is to write. You really can’t write anything while you’re talking to someone. But doodling? Easy. And I have TONS of these pictures sitting on my hard drive, cluttering up my house in sketch books and other areas. So I finally decided to do something with them.

I started a RedBubble account, and started listing some things. I’m even going to start ordering some of them so I can test the quality and see what they look like in person. So far I have a half dozen pictures up with various ways to buy them. Stickers, posters, cups, and even a few dresses with nice patterns. I am definitely ordering myself a dress once I get the right pattern.

I’ve also been doing more with leather, and a few other projects in between books, so I’ll probably be reviving my etsy store soon.

Here’s the thing, diversifying income streams is important. Most authors that are making it work aren’t just making money from their books, they are also talking at conventions, selling merch for their books, or writing courses to sell on one of the teaching websites. I’m not very good at teaching, I’m much more comfortable just writing, and doing things rather than showing people how I do them. But I can draw. I can make little things. I can create in other mediums, not just words. So I think that’s where I’ll be diversifying.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2017 in Updates

 

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5 Min – Day 5 – Drawing

It’s been almost a week and I’m still doing my morning pages.

Yesterday I worked on cleaning up a bunch of art work so I could use it for things like buttons, stickers, and charms. I know, it’s not that interesting, but I use to sell them on Etsy, and they are fun to make.

If I ever can support myself as just an author it’s going to take time. I just don’t write quickly, and I am terrible at marketing, so it’s going to take persistence and finishing more work for me to actually get to the point where I am making enough from books to not have a second job.

That’s where the art work comes in. The little pictures are cute. There are all sorts of things from superheroes to girls on the beach, and little penguins. And I use to actually sell these things, so maybe I could make a little money from them now.

Will I make a lot? Probably not. But I enjoy them. I really love the button maker, and stickers and charms are just fun. So there you are.

The other thing I did yesterday was clean u a bunch of paperwork and other items to clean out the house. Decluttering has become important, so I’ll be picking something in the house to clean every day. A bookshelf, a cabinet, a set of drawers. Anything that I can get out of the house to make it cleaner.

And the five minute mark hit just in time because I ran out of things to talk about.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2017 in On Writing

 

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What’s going on? 

I haven’t been posting a lot to my blog, but I should be. There are a lot of things going on that I should be updating people on. 

One, last night I did a challenge with Bjorn on my twitch stream,then I posted a little video on the results, and showed off the helmet/mask set I made. I might stream a few creative things now and then, or more challenges with Bjorn. His twitch is also growing a lot lately. 

I am on the home stretch with the first book in the Half Blood Sorceress series. Just have to reread it, clean up the chapters, and make sure everything makes sense. Then off to an editor. 

Every weekend in April I will have two free short stories available on amazon. Just check back Friday through Sunday every weekend for new titles. I’m also hoping to publish something new this month. Keep your eyes out for that. 

If you like art you might check out my instagram. I’ve been adding new drawings almost daily, andI think I might start doing something with them. Charms, stickers, pins, etc…. 

What else? Recovering from the car accident is going well. I have a new car, and you can find out more about that here

I think that’s about it. More writing. More drawing. More just having fun. 

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in On Writing

 

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Around the Web

I’ve been busy writing and editing, and generally doing everything a writer should be doing, so I missed out on doing the “Around the Web” links. I have found a few interesting links the week.

One of these might be April fools jokes btw.

Jim Butcher to put Dresden books on Hiatus.

French newspaper still printing the newspaper with tech from a century ago.

This week I might be jailed for writing a book about human rights abuse.

Internet Archive adds 6000+ ebooks.

Douglas Adams made me a writer: by Neil Gaiman

Download 422 art books for free, from Metropolitan Museum of Art.

JK Rowling: Life after Harry Potter.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in On Writing

 

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What I learned about 99 designs

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Using 99designs has been an interesting experience and I think I’ll use them again. I loved the way it worked, and there are some fabulous artists on there. There are also some that aren’t as great, but that’s okay, they are still learning.

I was told some people had issues with copyright, but I found that if you did your due diligence that wasn’t an issue. The two covers I chose had all their textures and photos linked back to the original, and I could easily see what the copyright requirements were. Some asked for credit, which is easy to add in the copyright area, and I’m happy to give. Most were copyright free textures.

The toughest issue I had, personally, was dealing with the artists of the designs I rejected. They would ask why I rejected them, what they did wrong, how they could improve. In many cases the answer was “you can’t” either because the art wasn’t professional enough, or the right tone for the subject matter, or just because someone else was far better than they were. I didn’t want to say that. So I tried pointing out a couple things I didn’t like, and said I’ve already made my choice, I’m just waiting for time to run out.

I think I could have declared a winner earlier, but I’m glad I didn’t. Not only did the original artist I loved come up with an even better cover, but I had another artist show up that had an awesome cover too, and with a little tweaking it made a fantastic cover for the second book.

So, a couple tips to make your experience better.
1. Click on the art piece, don’t just go off the main page. This is where you will find notes from the artist, and copyright info.
2. Don’t accept art that doesn’t reference the original materiel. You need to know the terms of copyright. If they don’t add it ask them for it.
3. Even if you aren’t sure about a specific design ask for minor changes. Sometimes a rough or okay piece will become a diamond.
4. Wait. Don’t choose something too early, you might miss a fantastic opportunity.
5. Give your title something unique. My title was “Lovecraftian high fantasy” and a lot of artist were fascinated by that. Who doesn’t want to do a Lovecraft art piece?
6. Keep in contact with the artist. You may find you want to hire them later.
7. If you see a second piece that would work for another project don’t be shy about asking to buy that directly from the artist. 99designs had a 1-on-1 project section that allows you to buy specific pieces from a specific artist, or commission new ones.
8. Ask about using the art in promo material. Both my artists are fine with it, and the art references they used are okay for it. Others may not be. Ask!
9. Ask about adjustments after the fact. I don’t know how big my book is going to be yet because I haven’t gotten the page count nailed down, but my artist offered to adjust the spine for me, free of charge, if I ever need it.
10. Make sure you get the PSD file and/or a high quality picture without a blurb on it. You are probably going to want to adjust the blurb some day.
11. Ask for a cover for the print book that can be cut down to ebook size later. Maybe you don’t want a print book yet, but some day you might and your going to want a good one, not just a plain cover tacked onto the ebook cover.
12. Triple check everything, then have someone else check it too. I miss spelled “Witch’s” as “Witches” when I first asked him to change the title. I asked him to change it and he added the apostrophe but didn’t take out the “e”. For some reason my eye just went right over that “e” without seeing it, several times. Thankfully others caught it before it was too late.

I asked my artists if I could put their website in my credits as well. They deserve a little publicity. The first artist didn’t even have a website. He’s never asked people to attribute him before. But I’m going to, because it just seems like the right thing to do. I hope if you use 99designs you’ll do the same.

And to find out when Witch’s Sacrifice is out please sign up for my newsletter.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2015 in On Writing

 

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Around the Web

Welcome to the world wide web. Pull up a chair, view a few pictures, and enjoy the view. I’ve got articles, photos, videos, and more. Enjoy.

Penguin to publish the “lost” Schönwerth fairy tales.

Rowling release 12 new short stories for Christmas. Sign up for Pottermore to find them.

Thousands of Einstein documents now open source, and just one click away.

Beautiful redesign of the Harry Potter books.

Books made into beautiful art

Scientists translate monkey language

DC’s comics parody famous old film art.

First underground park. (Inspiration for you Sci-fi authors.)

Also, my boyfriend Gregg and I started doing a new project. We’re calling it Nano-Files, and it is us telling some crazy stories using a deck of cards. You can check out it out here. You can also catch up on my semi daily vlog here.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2014 in News, Video

 

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