Saturday, May 1, 2021

Get Ready!

 All I can say is that May may either be awesome or miserable, but probably nothing in between. I've signed up for (and paid a bunch of money, so I have to take it seriously!) a workshop on creating book covers.

Anyone who has been on this blog recently knows that I have a lack of both taste and talent in the visual arts, so my attempts to make covers might frustrate me, but they may kill the instructor. We have to turn in assignments every week for feedback.

Class starts this week, and I plan to post my assignments here. The best part is that the instructor is going to use some of the student work (anonymized) in the discussions, so people all over the world may be making fun of my art! I'll be (anonymously) famous! (In case it's not clear, I'm absolutely fine with this. I'm sure if someone was sensitive about this, they could opt out.)

In the meantime, have a skillfully edited picture of the bed-pets [does not include the little dog (who doesn't get on the bed) or the semi-feral cats (who won't come in the room if I'm in it)]. If they all stayed on this side of the bed, I would get more sleep, but the minute I get under the covers, there's a scramble to see who can be the most disruptive. A queen-size bed ought to be big enough for one person, but it's really not.

dog and two cats asleep on a bed, faded into a starry background

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

How Not To Market

 Hey, I have a new book out today! (Yay!) I sort of forgot to tell anyone it was coming out! (Nice job, T!)

People who write books that sell well usually know exactly what tropes are hot in the genre they write in, and make sure they nail exactly what people are looking for.

Oops, let me back up a bit. People who write books that sell well start out by knowing what genre they are writing in. I just wrote a book that has a colony on a partially-terraformed planet. With three competing sets of gods! And AIs! And a bicycle chase!

The main character used to be a nanobot technician in the army, but now she herds goats and sheep up in the hills with only a messed up AI to help.

Does this fit nicely into one existing genre? Absolutely not. It's probably closest to space opera, a genre best known for the space ships on the cover. Are there any space ships in this story? Not really.

My friend Paul Austin Ardoin told me I'm writing sheep opera. That's not a category on Amazon.

Anyhow, if you want to read a fun story with a woman with too much chaos, gods, AIs, sheep, goats, and a stolen shipment of genetically engineered sheep... uh, let's go with the family friendly term DNA... 

Book cover for The Chaos Job, with a metallic sheep head in front of a planet on a starry background

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Space Kitten #28

 Here we are, at the end of Thingadailies! I think we can all agree that this image keeps well within my general theme of photo manipulation for fun without any particular talent. And nobody can argue that this isn't a kitten in space, so I feel that I've held up my end of the bargain.

Kitten being transported to space with a red planet

I hope the rest of your year carries a little of the frivolity of space kittens with it.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Space Kitten #27

 I'm not sure how well this one will show up here. I probably should have blended it with fewer frames or made the image size smaller, but this is how we learn things.

I watched a tutorial which showed how to use a GIMP plug-in to help make things less manual, but then I found out that plug-in isn't supported on a Mac, so I just messed around with some things manually. Maybe tomorrow I'll find a plug-in that works for me.

Kitten on a colorful planet with twinkling stars

Friday, February 26, 2021

Space Kitten #26

 I feel this one really lives up to the "space kitten" title. I think I'm going to try to animate something tomorrow. Just imagine how that will turn out!

Three colorful kittens whirling in space

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Space Kitten #25

 All I can say is that I would be sad if the wave tool ever disappeared. That's probably a sign that I should put it down and walk away, but who doesn't love a good wave?

Kitten in space with aura

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Space Kitten #24

After tracing outlines for twenty-four days, I can confidently say that young kittens are blobbier than older kittens. They're all pretty cute though.

Kitten in space with three planets, some space dust, and yes, a supernova

Planetary textures:

grass texture: Photo by Eriks Abzinovs from Pexels

cracked dirt: Photo by Santiago Manuel De la Colina from Pexels

sea foam: Photo by Brady Knoll from Pexels