This is a culmination of my too many interests. It's is an in-between place. It's more focused than my Myspace blog, but less so than my author blog. Here you can find artwork, photography, writing, poetry, book covers, manga and pointless videos. All of these things mesh together to become a reflection of their creator in an in-between place colored like shadows and flavored like frappuccinos and chocolate. It's one heck of a world.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A special TTTC Christmas Message....

COVER



1



Click the images above to see what diabolic gifts Day & Dark has planned in a 13 page Christmassy Special!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Another Batch of Book Covers

artwork

Sometimes I feel like this is all I post. I have two more I am working on and after those I am taking a break through Christmas - unless it's for Jerry or is something super amazing I can't pass up. I need to get caught up on some things!

template

The author provided all the images except for the studly hunk who happens to be... my husband! Ha! I used an image of him when he was 21. I need to scan off all my old photos someday...  I think this needed something more, but that's me.

shades of plaid full cover

This is for my good friend - and partner in all things silly - Jonathan. You can check out his website at http://JisSilly.com for info on the fun, upcoming book. I will do more on it later when it's available to purchase.

advertising for love vs 1



you and none other vs 2

 There was another version of this that I liked better, but I know that as a thumbnail it wouldn't have worked well because the title didn't show up. Still, I loved the white with a splash of color:

you and none other. white

see?

precious you

This one also had an alternate that I liked better, but it's not up to me, it's up to the author.

precious you vs 2

and now...

don't murder maria

The fire image is mine - I believe it's steal wool burning, but it might be our bbq. I had to create the jitter font effect manually, but I liked it. it's a time travel piece, so I wanted it to look "echoey".

And last I have a bit I did for a cover, but I haven;t heard back from the author, so I dunno. if I don;t soon I may use this elsewhere because I really like it:

TEMPLATE

And that's it. I am outta here ;)

Song going through my head - "If I Could be Like That" - Three Doors Down

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Question of Evil - short story

I've been filling in all week for Jonathan at the Word of the Day blog, and that includes writing this week's silly story.....

A Question of Evil

“And that,” The newscaster concluded, “has been the fifth blender murder this week.”
 
The words caught Todd’s attention, and he paused to peer over his roommate’s shoulder at the television screen. “Did she say ‘blender murder’?”

“Yeah,” Martin answered. “There’s a maniac murdering helpless blenders. He sneaks into their house, leaves a not that says ‘I hate the taste of lime!’ and then chucks the blender out the window.” He pointed to an image of a ruined blender flashing past on the TV. “Look at all its poor little guts just strewn about all over the sidewalk. Oh! The humanity!”

“Um right.” Todd took a step back. Martin just hadn’t been the same since he’d come home with purple hair. Maybe the dye had leaked into his brain or something. “I’m going to go to work now.”

“All right.” Martin sniffled and dabbed his eyes. “Just be careful.”

“Um, okay.”

Todd tried hard to shake off the morning’s weirdness. He headed to the office to pick up his vacuum cleaner and his case of supplies. Once he was there, his boss took a moment to remind him that if he didn’t sell a vacuum cleaner today, then he wouldn’t get a paycheck for the week. Todd always appreciated when his boss took the time make his bad day worse.

But that was just the beginning.

Todd didn’t sell any vacuum cleaners all morning, though he did get half of a salsa lesson from a black haired dancing girl – until her husband came home in the middle of it. Todd explained that he was just a vacuum salesman, he even tried showing the guy the vacuum (and hiding behind it), but he still ended up with a black eye before he could make it out of the house.

“Go back to the devil, you vacuum salesman!” the guy shouted and waved his fist before he slammed the door.

Todd wanted to eat lunch, but he only had enough change for a glass of ice, which the cashier suggested he should eat outside. He was sitting on the curb, crunching his frozen ice cubes, when a neatly dressed fellow carrying a heavy case came to a stop next to him.

“Hello,” the guy said affably, then nodded to the vacuum. “A fellow salesman?”

“Um… yeah.” Todd gave the guy a once over. He wasn’t sure about getting too friendly with the competition.

“I sell encyclopedias,” the guy explained. “My name’s Bob.”

“Oh, hi Bob. I’m Todd, and I sell vacuums. Or at least I’m supposed to sell vacuums, but mainly I just carry this thing around a lot and use up hundreds of little white filters.”

Bob nodded sympathetically and took a seat next to him. “I feel your pain. This is a tough town. It’s the kind of place that could drive a guy mad. Just last week one of my coworkers snapped.”

“Really?” Todd wasn’t interested, but he couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Yeah. It was after he went to this one house… I forget the address. Anyway, he tried to sell them some encyclopedias, but he said the coffee pot kept laughing at him. And then this blender salesman showed up with some fancy routine. He made them all lime smoothies-“ Bob’s voice dropped low so that Todd had to lean close to hear. “I hear that guy can blend a whole lime in his display blender just like that!” He snapped his fingers, and Todd jumped back. “Anyway, so this co worker said that the coffee pot told him that all blenders must die. He ran out of there so fast that he didn’t even take his case with him. I have to go pick it up today.”

“Oh.” Todd crunched his ice in what he hoped was an interested and absorbed way. “That sounds weird.”

“I know! And then there’s been all these blender murders.” Bob tapped the side of his head knowingly. “It makes you think, doesn’t it?”

Todd stopped crunching his ice as a realization struck him. “You mean that your crazy coworker is the blender murderer?”

Bob looked at Todd as if he’d fallen off a truck of used potatoes. “Noooooo. Why would you think that?”

“Well, he said blenders must die…” Todd trailed off. “Never mind.”

“I was going to say it makes you think that maybe there is something evil about kitchen appliances. I mean just look at them. They all look like they’re sneering.  I bet even that vacuum cleaner looks evil.”

Todd closed his eyes and opened them again, but Bob was still there and the conversation was still happening. “My vacuum cleaner isn’t evil-“

Before he could finish his sentence, Bob unpacked the vacuum cleaner and made a triumphant sound. “If it’s not evil then why does it have horns? Huh? Look! Look!”

“Those aren’t horns,” he tried to explain patiently as he pulled the machine away from the lunatic and tried to pack it back in the box. “Those are patented, convenient wrapping nubs. You wrap the cord around them to keep it tangle free. No untangling the cord with a De-veel vacuum cleaner.”
Bob didn’t look convinced. In fact, he tried to voice that opinion, but Todd was tired and he didn’t feel like listening, so he packed up his vacuum and trudged off.  As if his boss and his black eye wasn’t bad enough, he had to run into the cuckoo of the encyclopedia salesmen. 

But Todd’s bad day turned around. It was his last stop, and he had to use up all of his little white filters, but he managed to sell a vacuum cleaner to a little old lady named Delores. She signed all the paper work, paid all the fees, and Todd arrived back at the office short one vacuum cleaner and one contract richer.

“So, you sold one?” his boss asked skeptically. “Or did you give it away?”

“I sold it!” Todd snapped and dropped the signed, sealed contract packet on the desk. “Along with a full package.”

The boss opened the envelope and flipped through the contents, muttering to himself, “One year warranty, yadda yadda yadda, extended leakage protection, yadda yadda yadda, hypo allergenic cat groomer attachment, yadd yadda yadda, one soul, yadda yadda yadda.” He broke off and grinned at Todd. “Good job, kid. Looks like you’ll be getting that paycheck now.”

Todd waited by the desk while his boss went to cut him a paycheck. The phone rang and when no one came to answer it, Todd decided he'd better.

“Hello, six-sixty-six vacuum cleaners, satisfaction guaranteed or your soul back. This is Todd, how can I help you?”

“Oh hey, it’s Martin. Could you grab a bag of ice on your way home? I just bought this really cool blender….”


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Anatomy of a Book Cover

Things have just been insane around my house this week. I have two book covers waiting approval, a third I am in the middle of, and two more in my inbox waiting to be addressed. I am in the midst of some plaid editing (You still don’t know what that is? that’s coz you didn’t go look, did you?) and I’ve gotten involved with a group of indie authors on Facebook. It started out as the Black Friday sale, and has now expanded into a full on Holiday sale - check out the cheap reads here: http://www.amazon.com/lm/R1108DUARP28EE/ . We’re also discussing a kind of informal Facebook group to help one another out and such. You can go take a look at that too here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142302989147609& . I haven’t updated my website yet, or even started the December newsletter and then we’re having our family Thanksgiving tomorrow (Saturday) so my productivity is bound to be pretty low. People ask me “How do you do it all?” Answer: I don’t. If advice is what we ask for, then let me give you some. Pick one thing and stick to it. This multiple project life is for the birds.

Of course, I intend to ignore that advice and keep stretching myself thin because I refuse to give any of it up. Just sayin’. 


On a side note, a funny thing happened to me today. Well, it’s funny in a sick way. I will probably have to give a deposition over the phone in the next few days to prove I was not having a “secret relationship” with someone - or they could end up going to jail. Seriously. I feel like such a vixen. Interestingly enough, it is because they helped me with my first book some time back that has brought it all about. So does this mean that I can say “read the book that almost put one man in jail”? Oh for the way we were when the world made any flippin’ sense!

Now that I’ve bored everyone beyond tears, I am going to bore you further. NaNoWriMo, which means National Novel writing Month , is held every November and writers all over the world try to get 50,000 words out before December first. I didn’t have enough time to write, but I did get to participate in a way with LC Cooper. She wrote The Voices of Cellar’s Bridge: Katherin’s Hope for NaNoWriMo, uploading the “in progress” file to Smashwords every day, and so instead of just sitting down one weekend and zooming through the cover, I also did it in progress stages so that readers could watch both the cover and the book grow. It was a very cool project, but alas all good things come to an end and it is now finished. However, for your viewing enjoyment, here are the six stages:

As often happens, the concept was the author’s idea; I just drew what she asked. Here is the original sketch that , yes, is on tiny notepaper as I drew it during a Dr. Who break while I was at my brother’s house.
the sketch


Scanned and slapped over my handy dandy template, I started by blocking in the bridge in art media. Art media in Paint shop pro can imitate many different things like markers, pastels and more, but I usually use the oil paint, as I did here.
in progress 1

The sky in this version is actually a photograph with some blurry filters applied and is actually the same sky I used in the Butcher Harbor cover a few months ago. Another sneaky thing I did was with the charred wood texture. Looks pretty real, huh? That’s because it is. As luck would have it, I had just recently taken some photos of charred wood in the neighbor’s burn pile, so I chopped out a rectangular section of it and pasted that into a new layer and set it to Overlay. Yes, I’m giving away all of my secrets here, so take notes.
vs 2

Here the title got fixed, and you can see there’s more charred wood texture applied, as well as a sand texture (done the same way!) and a grass texture on that cliff top out there. Both the sand and grass are from photos I took in Virginia Beach a couple of years ago.
VS 3

And then I did the same thing to the weeds with a photo I took in College springs, Iowa, and added the smoke in the background with the ever cool Eye Candy plugin (seriously, they were worth the $200 I spent on them!) and then blocked in some misty-ness. But don’t get attached to it, because…
vs5


We’re all done and a lot of the mist went. I did add some foam at the base of everything and textured the rock with some photos from along the side of the highway. We also opted to add a red glow inside the bridge that represents elements in the story.
vs6


If anyone is interested in the book, which looks pretty interesting, to me, you can get it on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/28720 

Wasn’t that exciting? And now it’s time for the segment I like to call Random Things from My Hard Drives.


I haven’t taken any photos off since October, so I thought I would instead share a poem I wrote on request about the color Orange.

Orange
Light breaks over the horizon
like juice in a cup so bright
the yummy goodness is impossible to ignore
so bright and friendly
how can anyone be hysterical
while drinking of the citrus
even if they added
cloves to the juice
that is
orange.

(It was inspired by the same conversation that inspired Jonathan’s Blogophilia entry this week, so I thought it was appropriate! And yes, it is supposed to be weird.)

Fav song of the moment - Sail Away with Me - Sunrise Avenue