Monday, December 30, 2013

Vintage Monday: Two Kids in Matching Jackets

Flea market find. I picked this photo from a cardboard box full of old photos, simply because the kids' expression and their matching outfits grabbed my attention. There's something both enduring and sad of discarded old photographs. The kids have grown old and died, and there's nobody left to even remember who they were, yet the picture stubbornly remains. A long gone moment trapped in silver.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday (because I lost track of time) Word: Crepuscular & Crepuscule

crepuscular |krəˈpəskyələr|adjectiveof, resembling, or relating to twilight.• Zoology (of an animal) appearing or active in twilight.ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin crepusculum‘twilight’ -ar .

crepuscule |kriˈpəsˌkyoōl|nounthe period of partial darkness at the beginning or end of the day; twilight.

I acquired this word watching a nature documentary about deer on PBS. Apparently, deer are crepuscular. I also learned that the "deer in the headlight" phenomena has nothing to do with fear. Instead, their brains get so overloaded with information, they simply can't decide what to do.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Word: Serendipity

serendipity |ˌserənˈdipitē|nounthe occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way a fortunate stroke of serendipity a series of small serendipities.DERIVATIVESserendipitous |-ˈdipitəs| adjectiveserendipitously adverbORIGIN 1754: coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

One of the hardest part of doing cover designs using stock photos is to match what's in your and the author's head with what is actually available.

In Josephine Myles' Stuff on of the protagonists is the owner of a vintage clothing store. When designing the cover for it I looked at a bunch of things I could use in the background without making it look too busy and settled on those dress forms. (They're in the book too.) The new cover for the re-release of Tailor Made--also by Jo--was already on my to-do list, but there was no hurry. Then, looking through tons of photos of men, I cam across of the one on the right. Both the body type and the pose made me think of those tailor's dummies and at that moment the idea to superimpose it with tailoring patterns popped into my head. The result is a perfect fit for the book, but I'm not sure I would've came up with it if it wasn't for those dummies.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Vintage Monday: Krampus / Krampusz

In the old country Krampus (Krampusz in Hungary) is St. Nicholas' evil sidekick. The two come around in early December and while St. Nick gives presents to the nice kids, Krampus beats the naughty ones with a switch.

And if they've been very naughty, he stuffs them into his basket and takes them away.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Word: Saurian

saurian |ˈsôrēən|adjectiveof or like a lizard.nounany large reptile, esp. a dinosaur or other extinct form.ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from modern Latin Sauria(see Sauria ) + -an .

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Playing with the Tropes

Tropes, archetypes, and other narrative conventions exist for a reason—they give us readers and viewers a familiar framework. I have nothing against them, but when a story follows them to the dot, it becomes stale and predictable. As a writer I love bending the formula. It's fun.

Take Jem from Secrets and Ink for example—he has a touch of TSTL (Too Stupid To Live).  He does things that land him in tight spots, and he really doesn't have to because trouble has a way of finding him without help. At one point of the story Jem's romantic interest, Detective Nick Davies takes Jem to his (Nick's) home for safekeeping. Before leaving for work Nick tells Jem not to open the door for anyone.

Of course, later on someone knocks on said door. Jem peaks through the window and sees a man in blue of some sorts. Maybe the cable guy, or someone from the utility company. In nine stories out of ten Jem would open the door and bad things would happen. But he doesn't because he'd seen the slasher movies and knows opening the door when you'd been told not to, will lead to unpleasantness. Jem's not that TSTL.


Secrets and Ink is now live and available in ebook stores near you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Word: Splendiferous

splendiferous |splenˈdifərəs|adjective informal humoroussplendid a splendiferous Sunday dinner.DERIVATIVESsplendiferously adverbsplendiferousness nounORIGIN mid 19th cent.: formed irregularly fromsplendor .

Why say splendid when you can say splendiferous? Right? What a grand, magnificent, sumptuous word! And I could go on with the synonyms.

On a totally unrelated note: less then a week left until the release of Secrets and Ink, and there are a couple of giveaway running to win a free copy. A very bored Mayhem is hosting one at Stumbling over Chaos. The other one at Mrs. Condit Reads Books comes with a review.