Monday, December 31, 2012


First of all, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!  If you're going to be on the road tonight, please drive carefully and watch out for others who may not be doing that.  My wife and I will be curled up at home watching one of our favorite movies "HOLIDAY" with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.  Yes, it's an old B and W but the message it shares is very powerful and personal to us.  That message is simply "Chase your dreams.  Don't wait for things to happen, make them happen.  Even if it means taking risks instead of playing it safe all the time.  Hold onto each other as you go along because there might be pitfalls and you may have to go back to selling peanuts, but believe in those peanuts and each other.  This way after you've analyzed what went wrong, you can try again and again until you succeed in making it that dream a reality!"

All of this is easier said than done.  But remember this.... UNLESS YOU TRY, THAT DREAM HAS NO CHANCE OF EVER HAVING A CHANCE OF COMING TRUE!

This is what I've told myself time and again as I've worked on my writing.  And I've taken risks.  I tried the traditional publishing route and it didn't quite work out.  But during those few years I tried it, I learned a lot.  The industry changed, e-books have evolved and the face of the publishing world changed beyond what anyone thought it could.  

So as 2012 comes to a close, I continue to work on the finishing touches of "THE BRIDGE".  Originally I had hoped to unveil it first by Christmas, then New Year's Day.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to do that.  Every time I think I've finished the formatting I discover a new problem and have to work on it some more.  But I don't mind.  This simply means that my book is going to be in the best possible shape I can get it in.  And since it is my debut novel, my introduction to the world of writing, I'll take that time to make it perfect.  I want' to make a great impression with this novel, because "YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION!"  Take the time to make it a good one folks.

So, once more I wish you all a HAPPY and SAFE NEW YEAR!  And I close this year with what is now the final version of my book cover. I know I said that before, but people pointed out "Hey I don't see your name on the cover..." So here it is.  See you all next year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Finished Cover For My Debut Novel...

Well gang,here it is.  I finally finished the cover for my debut novel this afternoon.  It took some doing but I finished it finally.  With my tight budget and the fact that I'm an artist in my own right, it only made sense to do the cover myself.  I've already got about a 1/4 of the novel formatted.  I'm using Createspace.  I'll do another entry on what went into the formatting and why I made the choices I did.  I hope to post that one in a day or so.  I want to focus on finishing the formatting and getting the whole thing together before New Year's Eve if possible.  

In the meantime, any comments on the book cover would be welcome.

Monday, December 24, 2012


A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.  And if you are traveling, may your journey be safe and uneventful.  See you all on Boxing Day, take care.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Last Installment of Exploring Christmas In Marina

This is the third and last installment of this video.  This place has been a real joy for us and we hope to explore other places next Christmas as we get more familiar with our new surroundings.  Remember, we've only been here since September.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Here is part 2 of the video I shot of this magical place not from from where we live.  This is all done by one man and his family and each year they add to the display and make it even more magical.  I hope you enjoy seeing all the lights and figures and how carefully organized and set up it all is.  The 3rd and final part will go up tomorrow.  Enjoy everyone.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Exploring Christmas In Marina...

Since I'm always going on about being creative and now is the holiday season, I thought I'd share this with you all. 

Here's part 1 of 3 videos about this one incredible house that is so incredibly decked out for Christmas.   For me, it's like a holiday wonderland and I wanted to share it with you.  I broke the video up into 3 parts because the entire thing is almost 20 minutes long.  I hope you enjoy it, part 2 will be up tomorrow and then part 3 the day after. 

Now this is NOT my place, someone else did this incredible display.  He and his family do this every year, they also do Halloween up big time and I hope to shoot that next year.  In the meantime, please enjoy and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Some Thoughts On Creating Your Own E-book Cover...

As you probably already saw in my previous entry I've been working on the book cover for my Paranormal/Mystery/Sci-Fi novel "THE BRIDGE".   It's been an interesting experience.  I do not recommend it for everyone unless you're an artist yourself.  I'm loving it because I have way more control over the creation of the image that is going to basically be my "Introductory Handshake" to the world.  I've seen images used on books that I thought were interesting but did not always have all that much to do with what actually happened inside the story.  There were some with a scene displayed on the cover that never appeared, even remotely in the story and I always found that a bit frustrating.  I know we all want to capture the audiences imagination and interest, but I want to make sure I'm being fair about it.  

Now given that the title of my novel is "THE BRIDGE" I could've just gone with a bridge from around the right time-frame as the one in the story, but I wanted to add some clues as to what or who the reader may encounter on that bridge.  So I added the figure.  In the story itself there is a legendary ghostly figure who haunts that bridge, "The White Lady" who is supposedly searching for the baby she lost from it many years ago.  Is this figure her?  Why does her hair seem to flow and move like Medusa's?  Is she even human?  Are we seeing some kind of Gorgon?  Or is she something much more unique and different?  

I'm not telling at this point, can't give away too many spoilers.  But you can see and understand why I've made the choices I have with the image.  I went for such a stark black to draw the eye to the figure itself and the title which I incorporated into the image.  This is the "Star" of my show in this image.  I want the audience to take note of these things and then let their eyes travel over the rest of the image, which is the stage she is standing on, so to speak.  I learned this from my many art classes over the years.  You have to decide where you want the audience's eye to be drawn to, while still allowing them to enjoy the rest of the piece.  And that's what I've done here.  

Now whether you're doing your own book cover by hand or on the computer using Photoshop, or a free book cover creator offered by some of the e-book programs, or hiring an artist to do it for you,  make sure you keep things like this in mind.  What is the "Star" of the image?  Is it actually relevant to the story? Is it the image of your hero or a key villain?  Either is okay, but I recommend having your hero somewhere if you use the villain so people know who's the good guy.  Why would you use a villain more prominently on a cover?  Simple, the more impressive your antagonist seems to be, the better your hero is going to look when they rise to the challenge and overcome the villain's plot.  Look at post movie posters, when we see Darth Vader or the Emperor looming large on the page, dwarfing Luke and the others, we know our heroes are up against incredible odds and we're already rooting for the good guys to win and are anxious to know how they're going to do it.

As you can see, just as much thought needs to go into your cover as it does your story.  As I've said before in this entry, that cover is your way of introducing yourself and your product to the audience and the world.  Make a great impression, one that really knocks their socks off!

That's all for now.  I may try for another update before Christmas.  In case I don't get the chance, I wish you all a wonderful and happy holiday season, whatever you're celebrating my friends.  I'll be back before the end of the year, hopefully with a big announcement.  Until then, take care and keep writing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Update On My Book Cover...

I thought you all might like to see how the cover of my novel is coming along.  It's almost done.  The editing of the novel itself is coming along nicely too.  I'll let you all know when I start the formatting for Createspace, Kindle, Nook, PDF, paperback (i. e. print on demand), etc.

And Now A Brief Update From My Vlog...

Just a quick update from my Vlog today...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I've Made My Decision...

A few weeks ago I asked you all for your advice and opinions about what to do after my novel "THE BRIDGE" had been rejected after being considered for almost 2 years.  Well, during those 2 years a lot has changed in the publishing world.  E-books are now considered more acceptable than when they first started. In fact, some publishers and agents wait to see how well a self-published e-book does before considering taking an author on.  They want to see how good the author is at self-promotion and getting their product out there and recognized as something that is a must read.  From their point of view this takes some of the guess work out of whether or not the product is good and whether or not the author is willing to put in the work to help promote their product.

So after a lot of thinking and listening to you all and other authors I've been befriended by on Facebook I finally reached my decision.  Using the critique I was given by the agent who turned it down I looked over the book and had to admit she made a number of good points.  Mind you, it had been 3 years since I last looked at the book myself and I learned and experienced a lot in that time.  Especially going to college and learning more about relationships, people and myself.  So I gave the manuscript another rewrite and it is now being edited for me by a former teacher who's specialty was English.   I've also been researching e-books such as Kindle, Createspace, Nook, Apple, etc.  Included in my research was finding some videos on YouTube about how to format a manuscript for the different types of e-readers.  As you've already figured out by now I'm going the E-Book route.  But I'm also making sure the book will be available for Print-On-Demand (P. O. D.).

Now I intend to share with you all over the next few weeks links to sites and just information I've learned on my own as I go through the process, so hopefully those of you planning on going this route might find the path a little easier.  In the meantime I will leave you with one final thing.  Every book, even and e-book, needs a cover.  There are a number of good artists out there and websites where you can build your own.  In my case, being an artist in my own right who doesn't have the money to hire someone else, I've taken things into my own hands.  The cover is not finished by a long shot but this is what it looks like at this point.  I hope to have it finished soon, along with a completely edited manuscript.