Tuesday, June 9, 2015


I suddenly got all artistic, and I wanted to share some images I created tonight.

First a little background: I've been thinking about a couple of different kinds of images, and it occurred to me that it might be fun to combine two very different styles.  Take the cool (or even cold) abstract style of mid-century modern designers like Saul Bass, and merge it with the emotionally overwrought style of some of the pulps.

I'll talk more about this when I have created some examples of what I want to do.  I'm going to just start with manikins in overwrought poses.  And also just playing with textures and contrasts of the "pure design" type cover.

This image was accidentally created in InDesign rather than Illusttrator. (I was wondering why it was SO HARD to do basic things like add and change points.  I wasn't working in a drawing program! D'oh.)  As a result, this manikin is not being as dramatic about trying to block that door as she should be.

I am, actually, pretty impressed at what InDesign let me do, and the tools it has.

However, because I couldn't export the image as anything but a pdf, I couldn't do anything to make it more sophisticated either.  I'll be playing with more in this series.

In the meantime, here is the cover I had the most fun with tonight. I was inspired by an old cover with a similar concept -- that is a sketchy, shadowy figure with binoculars where the glass is a highlight that really stands out.

I abstracted it a little more, and played with textures -- and also with different modes for the layers -- each layer is either transparent, or is in "Overlay" mode that draws on the colors beneath it.

This is obviously, a very creepy "thriller" cover, but I think it could work for mystery suspense, especially in the right series.  (The colors I ended up with was partly dictated by the effects.  They are so interlinked, that I can't effectively change them on this one -- but if I planned better, I could do this with different color palettes to get a different mood.)

Anyway that's what I've been doing on my summer vacation.

See you in the funny papers.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Update - Breaking for June

I thought I wrote an update post, but it is nowhere to be found.  It will undoubtedly show up after I rewrite it from scratch....

Pretty Little May

May turned into another month from hell.  And I am currently not feeling well.  I am late on the next podcast. (It's recorded, not fully edited, and I need to write and record the intro.  Simple stuff, except not.  Especially with a sore throat.)

This month did allow me to validate another part of the Xtreme Outlining experiment.

I mentioned, back when I started this that one of my secondary goals was to see if Xtreme Outlining would help deal with those times when life (voluntarily or involuntarily) derailed your attempts at writing.  That is, by using this method, could I more easily drop and pick up a story, seamlessly and quickly?

I can say that, for at least the shorter interruptions (say, a full week) it works like gangbusters.

It's really easy to get back into the story.  I had interruptions that were long enough to forget about the direction, the emotions, where the protag's mind was, etc.  A quick review of the outline, and maybe a pause to revise some work already done (which gets my mind back into the voice of the story) is all I need.

So, score one there.  This was my original purpose of the experiment.  All by itself, that's a win.

June, June, June

I have no particular goals for June. June will be jam packed with activity -- so I'm taking a vacation from the blog, and from most internet activity.  I'll keep on top of comments, and Twitter. 

I'm not taking a vacation from writing.  And while the podcast will go on a short break after the next episode, I will definitely be recording.  Art is going to be priority three, so I don't know if I will get to it, though I have visions of design in my head.

(EDITED TO ADD: one of the things I might record is a bit from the current story.  This is what I wanted to blog about -- how looking forward toward reading it aloud is a galvanizing part of the process now.)

So off I go.  I'll be back in July.

See you in the funny papers.