Slow Start for 2016

It’s been slow going here on pretty much everything. Not a lot of enthusiasm just now for a multitude of reasons as well as lots of activity getting the house ready to sell and working through all the issues of pre-moving, packing, and researching new destinations.

In three weeks the house goes up for sale, so lots of prep work to make it presentable for buyers. There are items to get rid of, things to pack, lots of cleaning and clutter removal, all the crap one has to do to just get ready is exhausting. And due to new laws it can take up to 60 days to close on a property sale, so plenty of time to relax, not!

Once I get a firm offer then its off to find a new house somewhere in mid- to northern Michigan. Yeah, some anxiety there in moving to a state dominated by a feudal lord that cares nothing for the people that live there (see plight of Flint, Detroit, and others MI cities). So, going from the most cosmopolitan city in Texas to a third-world state I once loved for its forests, state parks, and devotion to outdoor recreation. After 30+ years away its sad to see what it now.

Anyway, days of traveling with lots of butt time in the car looking at new homes, and hopefully finding something to make an offer on before returning one last time to pack up, say goodbyes, and get out once the sale is complete.

So, not much energy or enthusiasm for writing just now. Still lots of ideas and editing work to do but I find it hard to get motivated. Too many changes in the wind and I’m not sure my choices are correct.

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End of the Year Goal (Maybe)

Bad SantaThere’s time for one last yearly goal. Since I’m not going anywhere for the holidays there’s more than enough time to finish a first draft of my Alexiandrölarn novella. It’s almost half done already so it’s just a matter of getting the basic plot written down without worrying too hard about how it reads, does it work, or does it even make sense. Save all those corrections for the revision phase.

No promises though, it is the holidays, so all bets are off at this time.

Between writing stints there’s a host of items to check off in getting the house ready for sale come late February or early March. Got some free trees to plant from Treefolk.org so the next owner will some day enjoy the shade and beauty of their foliage. There are still boxes of books to get rid of and lots of organizing to make the house presentable.

Beyond that, best of holidays to everyone. Be safe and we’ll talk again in 2016.

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An Angry Mountain Now Available

An Angry Mountain, the second Skar Doorishmurk adventure is now available for downloading from all the most popular e-book distributors right now. Official release is set for tomorrow but since the story was uploaded and visible on all of them already, I figured why wait? And a new release requires a new ad, so here it is:
An Angry Mountain ad

This is the final story release this year. It’s been pretty productive if I do say so myself, with 6 publications. They include:

Its been a great run these last few months. Now if only I had something scheduled for January?

Posted in Bulinnarm, fantasy, marketing, progress, sci-fi, self-publishing, Skar Doorishmurk, Tywynn | Comments Off on An Angry Mountain Now Available

Finally, A New Cover

An Angry Mountain inspirational cover

Inspirational cover image

Creating fantasy and science fiction covers for my stories is really a bear. Finding the right collection of images to manipulate into a genre specific cover sometimes feels like an useless quest. Lots of modern day images to choose from, especially when it comes to people, but try to find them in clothes from former ages, or the future. If there are some, they just aren’t right at all, being too comical, too modern appearing, too background busy to be useful.

That’s why when I find an image it’s always a celebration. That happened this morning. At least four times I’ve tried to finish the cover for my new short story An Angry Mountain and came away empty. None of the ideas worked, none of the combined images called to me at all once they were assembled into the cover. Really, some truly terrible constructs I’d be embarrassed to represent one of my stories. With a release date of next Tuesday I was getting desperate for anything that would work.

The new story is a continuation of legendary hero Skar Doorishmurk and his Alfr companion Tywynn as they seek to return to Skar’s village in the mountains of Worldheart. I wanted a colorful mountain in the scene and since it’s told from Tywynn’s POV, I really wanted an image of a delicate female with a bow. I looked, and looked, trying various search combinations but coming up with zilch.

An Angry Mountain cover

Final cover image

And then I saw an image that might work if I forgot the mountain part. A woman in a cape and holding a bow against a stone backdrop like a castle wall. With some work I was pretty sure I could make it appear more cavelike than what is represented. When I clicked on it to view in greater detail it looked even better. And then I spotted the one. Among the other similar photos was the same woman shown in a Michael Whelan styled pose. It was perfect for what I had in mind. I licensed it at once.

Within a short time I had my cover as you can see to the right after using Acorn to filter and composition the two images together. I think it represents the story and Tywynn pretty well, don’t you? I love the colors too.

And the photographer, Sundraw, has some other useful images as well. Very nice!

Posted in Acorn, adventure, covers, fantasy, Michael Whelan, Skar Doorishmurk, Tywynn | Comments Off on Finally, A New Cover