It was 20 years ago today…

It certainly doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, since J. K. launched a series which saw her take a position in literary history and at the same time, re-ignited the page-turning passion of numerous generations.

Happy Birthday, Harry; and congratulations, Ms Rowling – 10 points have been awarded and Gryffindor wins the House Cup again!

gg… over and out!

Cloudy, with a chance of…

Don’t you just love wet days?

Ok, so, for many hard-working folk, rainy days mean loss of production and missed opportunity – but for me, whenever we’re on the receiving end of a damned-good drenching, I open up my mind and head off on a voyage of discovery.

Today, for instance, I took a trip with Captain James Cook and learned about celestial navigation – a topic that will prove to be a critical element in my current chapter. Lawrence is lost, you see, and he’ll look to the heaven’s in more than prayer before he find himself again.

As is so often the case with me (Oh look, a bird!), one thing led to another, and another, until I found myself at the old Moreton Bay Pile Lighthouse – quite literally, a pile, light, house…

Of course, this had nothing at all to do with the story I’m writing and won’t feature in the plot in the remotest possible way. However, early next year, when I start work on “Beacon”, who knows?

That’ll keep you guessing.

gg… over and out!

Noises Off!

I have to admit, as far as writing is concerned, I haven’t been able to achieve a whole lot in the last few months.

The problem has been one of background noises, caused mostly by external factors rather than internal, that I just couldn’t seem to get away from. Like a chronic case of tinnitus, they were louder on some days and in some hours of some days, than on others. Since around mid March, every day seems to have carried its own annoying, inescapable, evilly-distracting drone.

For a man who’s often found wanting when it comes to staying focussed for any decent amount of time, it’s been a very difficult period to navigate through. Unfortunately, because many of the causes impacted on me personally in some way, they had to be addressed directly and as a matter of priority. As a result, a lot of the things I’d rather have been doing had to be set aside – writing, sadly, was the first casualty.

The good news is, the last few days have been promisingly peaceful and yesterday, I even found silence enough to be able to re-open my latest labour of love. From the review this morning of what I’d accomplished yesterday, I’ll be in a happy place for the rest of today at least.

Gotta go… I have to deal with a ship in the desert.

 

GG… over and out!

Less is more.

I received some feedback the other day, that the samples for the cover design I’ve been placing here are too small to get a really good look at the detail in them. I have to send my apologies through on this one… I’m still a novice when it comes to sizing and placing elements in my posts and I can only promise to try to deliver better representations in future.

That said, I think I’ve settled on this one. All the finer issues on the front of the cover have now been dealt with and to me, it’s looking very crisp. I’ve requested a view of the rear, with blurb inserted, so I can proof-read prior to final acceptance.

On an unrelated note, I’m planning an injection of additional funds in the not-too-distant future, which will move my books to a new level with regard to marketing. This will allow for the purchase of new bar codes, which was an oversight on my part when I purchased a package of book numbers mid last year. I’ve since learned that for printed works (as opposed to ebook versions), I require both an ISBN and a bar code in order to get my books listed on multiple supplier ordering systems.

In conjunction with the re-releases of my books with the new codes and ISBN’s, I’m also planning revised editions of “GOTH” and “HUNT”.

Every day, I learn something new!

gg… over and out!

Spot the difference.

Isn’t it always the way, that when you witness something remarkable or strange and you try to point it out to others, the thing disappears? Like seeing a shooting star in the night sky, while the person standing next to you is looking the other way.

I thought it would be a good idea to document what normally happens during the process of cover design; however, the process this time seems to be taking forever and is proving to be everything but ‘normal’!

I woke this morning to the arrival of the latest iteration of the new cover and I have to say, I’ve stared at it for so long, I think I’m in danger of developing a few extra wrinkles in my forehead. Can you spot the differences?

I’ve written back and re-requested the changes I asked for a month ago – let’s see what happens this time – but in doing that, I found myself in the terribly uncomfortable situation of having to give a bit of negative feedback to a person whose work I really admire. All I could think while doing it was, how would I feel if a ruthless editor got hold of one of my books and started slashing away with a red pen at all my hard work.

I doubt I would like it at all… so, taking that into account, I tried to be as objective as I could, while also being direct on what I required.

Please don’t take this report as a spray on Akira’s work… it’s just another example of the sorts of things that can get in the way of producing something great, when creative minds collide.

The frustrating wait continues…

gg… over and out!

 

The closer you get…

…the further away things seem!

Settling on cover art, I’ve learned, requires a heap of patience and really works your ability to communicate your wants and needs. It requires a drilling-down of the thought process to a few relevant, eye-catching ideas – and a lot of what you think should be used ends up falling by the way.

Actually, it looks much better in full-size and I think we’re very close to a final draft. I’ve requested the witch be reduced in size and sent deeper into the background, for some colour to be added to my main character, Lorne, in the foreground, for that wayward space in the title to be corrected, and for the title colour to be returned to orange.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, I’m already thinking about the cover for “Pilate”, when it’s finished. OMG… it’s going to be so hard coming up with a workable theme for that, because every chapter takes the story into completely new territory. Maybe for that one, I should keep it very simple and just use a picture of an aged Victoria Cross.

Hmmm… what have I created?

gg… over and out!

A wealth of ideas…

I crept past the 250-page mark with “Pilate” over the weekend – things are progressing very well, but if I’m to save Lawrence from contracting some exotic disease, I really must get a move on! The rain today will help – I love writing on rainy days 🙂

Meanwhile… back to the cover design for “Wytch II”. Do you like the photo? A comment I received on the weekend suggested the witch character in the background of the second draft wasn’t nearly as imposing as it could be. I agreed, and with that in mind, went surfing this morning…

I thought something like this, to show the sheer gloominess of the forest…

and to give some perspective on size…

Then, for the witch figure in the background, I got a little crazy…

But then, on the other hand, if we are going to stick with the current design, I thought it important to have either the witch or the forest reaching out to grab the boy in the foreground – so I went looking for some arms. I’ll leave you with these…

gg… over and out!

 

Life, in a parallel universe…

You can all laugh if you wish, but before I proceed, I have to admit to loving a good social experiment and lately, I’ve taken an interest in the reality tv series: “Married At First Sight”.

Like many others who have been following the series, I was appalled during a recent episode when a ‘Boy’s Night In’ was arranged – in which the male halves of the surviving couples gathered to do what ‘men’ supposedly do on a ‘boy’s night’. What followed was an alcohol-infused trashing of one of the ‘wives’, which put the notion of men behaving badly squarely in the spotlight.

If you haven’t seen the footage, you can catch it on 9Now; but make sure you have a bucket handy because you’ll probably want to vomit!

I guess my irritation comes from years of working in various large organisations and from seeing the way women are often treated in the workplace. I’m not a wowser and I’m not big on political correctness, but I seriously thought the majority of men had moved beyond the point of making breast-grappling gestures in the air, to impress their mates.

My thoughts, however, were blown to smithereens when the offending episode was aired last Sunday. There was a distinct line drawn, between the three or four male participants who regarded that sort of grubbiness as acceptable and the other half of the group, some of who were clearly offended by the attitudes and behaviours displayed.

Aside from the ‘men’ involved in this abysmal display, I’m left questioning why the producers stood back and allowed the whole sordid caper to roll on unchecked, to the point where they even used it to gain mileage and increase viewership over the following two episodes.

Sometimes, I think we men have come a long way in our treatment of women generally… but then, I see crap like that and I wonder. I really wonder!

gg… over and out!