writinginpublicSomething I thought I probably ought to clear up – technically, I guess this ought to be month four, not month two. I did this before – over a year ago, shortly after Dean Wesley Smith started his “Writing in Public” series. I managed to maintain it for a month, then sort of fell apart shortly into the second month.

I’m rather hoping to do better this time! 🙂

So I’m into day three now. Spent some time in the morning managing some edits on an existing work, and then re-read the entire fourth episode of the King of the Dead serial. I found I was having to go back to it often, so it seemed better to just read it and get it back in my head. I’ve got two more episodes to write to finish this first season.

I got 500 words done in the afternoon, after all that. Then out to some appointments.

Dinner and an episode of Game of Thrones in the evening, followed by… Photoshop!

Cover Art Fun

A lot of writers don’t do their own covers. For many writers, it’s actually quite a bit better to NOT do your own covers. But I do all of mine (for the books I publish – I don’t do the ones for my traditionally published stories, of course!). When I was a kid, I learned graphic arts from parents who owned a graphic design business. I was doing typesetting and layout by age eight. And I’ve done a lot of other design work over the years since.

My first few covers were still pretty bad. You can still see a couple of them up on Amazon – at some point, I need to take those down and clean them up.

But my newer covers have been pretty good. I think I’ve gotten the design bit into a good flow. That was using a PC, and a REALLY old Photoshop version, though. Now that I’m on a Mac, I had to get something new for art. I tried a couple of programs, and some (Pixelmator, for instance) looked pretty good. I was really trying hard to avoid the new Photoshop, because I hate the subscription model for software. I’d rather pay $500 once for a software package than pay a monthly fee…forever.

But I finally realized that the time it was going to cost me to learn to use a new package was going to cost more than a year’s subscription to Photoshop anyway. So I gave in and bought a license.

And…not really regretting it. 🙂  The new package is slick. Understand: the version I was using was Photoshop 6, which is something like ten years old. The new Photoshop CC is everything that the old version was (I can still navigate it really easily; I know where most things are when I need a tool) and a lot more, too. The “lot more” part will take some time to learn, but I was able to get up and running on cover art in a single evening. And made this:

kingofthedead

So, what do you think? As a first run at a cover with the new version, I’m really pleased with the effort. I’ll certainly tinker with it a little more before it’s final, but I feel like I’ve got a good looking start there.

I’d love to hear comments, though! And I’m still looking for people interested in a review copy. If you’d like one, drop me a line – the days for advanced reader copies are running out fast!

 

Fiction words for the day: 500     Fiction words for the month: 1500

Blog words for the day: 603     Blog words for the month: 891