The Lost Librarian’s Grave: Gargoyle Cover

The sense that I’m getting is the gargoyle cover is the most popular of the original three both from the comments I’ve seen on this blog and from running them by people I know, who don’t read the blog. So I did some tweaks over the weekend on the gargoyle covers and this is what I’ve come up with so far.

I fiddled around with some filters and made the gargoyle and rusty reptiles a little more vibrant, which I like better than the original. The cover on the far right is the same one from the original post but with said filters applied. Dave of Faith & Steel, when he was commenting on the original covers, wrote that he was “ambivalent” on the framing of the original picture. I thought about what he said and decided it would be fun to get rid of the framing and see how it looked.

I’m not sure which one I currently like the best, but the one on the left, where I took out the stone background, does seem like I could put a small block of text in the middle right area. Perhaps a list of some of the authors or something like that. I don’t know if I will do that, assuming I go with that design, but it is something to think about.

If anyone has any further ideas or observations about the covers, I welcome your comments.*

Imagine being petrified but fully aware in this form for hundreds of years!**

I kind of have gargoyles on the brain now. I’ve been trying to think of some good short stories that I’ve read featuring gargoyles and I have to admit that nothing comes to mind. I even went back through my reading diary, where I’ve been keeping track of my reading since 2010 — nothing there either.

I did find a couple of things on Amazon. The first is a short story called “The Beast Within” by D.F. Holland, that I was able to download for free. I’ll probably read that tonight. The second is a collection by Clark Ashton Smith called The Maker of Gargoyles and Other Stories. Some of the reviewers say it isn’t his best work, but I am considering picking up the e-book anyway since I’m a fan of Smith. Especially his poetry.

My next steps with the anthology are to continue work on the new website and to put together some writer’s guidelines. Speaking of guidelines, I’ll have to remember to mention that I’d love to read some gargoyle stories. Hope everyone is doing well.


* Thank you to everyone who responded thus far. I value and appreciate your opinions.

** Photo of “Gargoyles Magdalen College Oxford England” by Chris Creagh. I made no changes. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribuion-Share Alike 3.0.

“The Lost Librarian’s Grave” Horror Anthology

I have been setting the wheels in motion toward starting a small press where I publish speculative fiction in e-book and possibly print formats. The first effort will be a short story anthology with the unlikely title of The Lost Librarian’s Grave. The collection will feature stories of “doom, sorcery and premature burial,” which are themes dear to my Chaos Lady heart.

I put together three front covers this afternoon and thought I’d share them and ask which (if any) works the best. I would very much appreciate your opinion, if you have one! As usual, if you click on an image you’ll see a larger version.

My next moves involve working on another WordPress site specifically dedicated to my publishing efforts and also some writer’s guidelines so I can put the word out to writers, who might be interested in sending me their work. I will smile favorably on science horror, dark fantasy and the like because there are many dark jewels that are horror stories, mined by solitary dwarves, hideous in their waxing greed … tales of loss and murder plucked on harps by spurned lovers wringing out their hearts in songs of revenge and regret, and weird fantasies of sentient, well, you get the idea.

The plan is to release The Lost Librarian’s Grave in late September or early October. Such tales seem apropos for the upcoming season.

Painting-wise, I’ve started putting together the “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” round-up. These round-up’s end up being pretty sizeable so I’ve found the best and most fun way to do them (like publishing as it turns out) is to work a little on them each day.

Scary Snippets Christmas Edition Released

I’ve had a bounce in my step for awhile now what with getting some of my very short fiction out there in the world.  One of those putting-bounce-in-my-step moments was placing a short story called “Turkey Day” with the good folks at Suicide House Publishing for their holiday offering Scary Snippets: Christmas Edition.*

I received two copies of the book the other day and am looking forward to reading it.  All of the stories are very short (hence “snippets”), between 100 and 600 words.  Naturally, being a Lady of Chaos Undivided I went for excess and made sure I used all 600 words.

Reindeer is tired of being used as a book rest and thinks duck needs to take a turn.**

Monsters and mayhem, by a goodly number of authors, include such things as cannibalism (tasty presented of course), Yule Cat, Revenge of the Christmas trees, and I am pleased to report that mine wasn’t the only story with zombies.

I must confess that my zombies were an oblique feature rather than the main attraction of Turkey Day.  One possible theme for my story might be that people are just a little too hard to impress these days and it’s a damned shame.  Whatever the case, I’m one of those people (currently anyway) who usually looks for a theme after I’ve finished my work rather than when I’m writing it.

Bird thinks the Thanksgiving Day ones are the scariest for obvious reasons!

In other news, I was the dungeon master for a Dungeons & Dragons game yesterday, which went pretty well.  I haven’t DMed in many years and I was a little nervous going in, but everyone said they had fun and are looking forward to once again visiting the Enchanted Forest, so I’m pretty pleased.

Finally, I have a sorry little tale (pun not intended) about my cat catching a mouse.  That will be for next time.  I hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Christmas Bird Clip Art

*  Suicide House Publishing has since changed its name to Nocturnal Sirens Publishing.

** My mother made the little clothespin angel, which I thought was cute, and put it in this year’s Christmas box.  Thanks, Mom! 🙂

Gabby Novel: Night

I finished the next section of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  The title of this section is Night.

I decided to dispense with the idea of looking where I’d put the chapter divisions if the work were a traditional book.  Instead I’m looking at each section on Wattpad as its own chapter.  So this section is number four in the story.

I have another picture, though I haven’t worked it into the story yet but I plan on doing so fairly soon.  I experimented with including pictures in my Wattpad stories, but ended up taking them out because they apparently made it hard to load for phones, which caused a precipitous decrease in viewership.  I’m not on Wattpad necessarily to build a large viewership, because I don’t see myself having the time that it would take to do that, I don’t want to needlessly make it hard for people to view my work either.

Another offering by the talented Stefan Ljumov

I’ve been slacking off on moving forward with the story because I have had to give some attention to changes in my job situation.  The changes are good and will result in more free time, so I can work on the story more.  Wattpad has proven its worth so far.  In the past, this period of not working on the story would have probably caused me to consider abandoning the project in favor of the next shiny, new idea, but since I’ve put myself out there with it online, I find I still have the interest and energy to continue.

Finally, I started another WordPress blog.  This one is called Ann’s Physical Culture Journal and it is a place for me to keep track of my workouts and such.  I have enjoyed doing various workouts for years and have lots of old notebooks kicking around full of stuff that I have been doing from the 1980’s up until now.  This is the first time I have done a blog on the subject though.

I decided upon a separate blog instead of creating a section here, because I expect that I will be posting a lot and I don’t want to clutter this space up with lots of posts about lifting weights and such.  I want to keep the Immaterium primarily an arts space.

Finally, my husband has a lot of weight he needs/wants to lose and decided to start a Youtube channel where he does vegan recipes and every Friday posts a video detailing how his week went diet-wise, etc.  I’m proud of how he’s done so far — he’s lost 60 pounds.  So if you are interested in fairly easy-to-make vegan food and such check it out here.  Don mentioned, after I told him I was going to put out a link to his channel that a play list of the cooking videos is here.  I’ve (of course) eaten them all, some multiple times, and quite enjoyed them.  Having a husband who likes to cook is a beautiful thing.

 Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby: Last Shot (End of Chapter One)

I finished the next installment of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  This finishes chapter one and I achieved two of my goals: finish the first chapter and also finish with that wretched cave.  My first chapter was a bit over 5300 words, which means word count-wise I’m about 5% done.

The title of this section is Last Shot.  I decided that each of the subsections is going to be no more than two words.  I’m really only doing these chapter subsections because I’m doing this in an online format and need to break it up more than I would for a physical book.

Gabby by Stefan Ljumov

Steady but slow progress.  I’m looking forward to my schedule changing in October.  One happy consequence of that is I’ll have more time for writing on a set schedule instead of carving out some time here and there when I can, which doesn’t work very well for me in terms of completing long-term projects.

I have a pretty good idea where I want to go for Chapter Two, which will get me through the next few weeks of writing and give me some time to think about structure and plot beyond what I already have.  I have an idea for a sub-plot that I introduced the fleeting germ of at the end of the first chapter, and think I know where I more or less want to go by the end of the book though at this point that could still change.

Of course I can go back and fix structural problems and the like in a second draft at some point, but I would like to get as much right as I can on the first go.

The next section will go live on September 15, 2019.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby: Picture of Main Character

I thought it would be fun to have some drawings made for my novel that I’m working on, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  The other day this depiction of my main character arrived in my inbox, complete with the eyes on the arms, just as I hoped!

Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster as drawn by the talented Stefan Ljumov

I have the rough draft of the next section already done and plan on tinkering with it a bit before going live on Wattpad this Sunday, September 8th.  That will wrap up the first chapter.  The working title for the section is (without apology to Henry James!) Turn of the Screw Last Shot.

I’ve also been thinking about where I want to go with the story through the first quarter of the book.  That will be about 20,000 words or so, and since I’m already up to 4,000 that will happen fairly soon, even though it still seems like a lot to me.  Especially if things work out with my schedule as I anticipate and I have more time for writing starting in October.

A friend suggested playing some sort of cooperative space platform defense board game.  Hope to attend that soon.  It’ll be nice seeing some friends, who I haven’t gotten together with for awhile now, and (of course) gaming.

 

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster: Eternity

I’ve managed to keep my schedule of posting new material every Sunday for my novel-in-progress thus far.  The latest bit went live yesterday and is titled, Prologue: Eternity.

The novel so far is located here.

“‘The Stars, Like Dust!’  Wait, I think that one’s taken.”

As the title suggests, I went back and did a little preface.  I figure that since I’m sharing a story pretty much as I write it, then if I’m going to write such a thing in such a way I should get any introductory bits out of the way early in the game.

I’ve noticed that I’m developing a tendency to work backwards a bit, editing and correcting things as I go along.  While it has been working so far it is early days yet and I think this could be a dangerous thing, when the story is longer, and could stall my first draft progress.  So in the future I’m going to make notes somewhere about things I need to correct once I’m done. I’ve fallen into that trap before with other projects and avoiding said trap is one object of this pantsing experiment.

I plan on writing a final section to wrap up Chapter One for next time.  While I’m doing that I hope to finalize in my own mind where I want to go with this for the first quarter of the story.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

 

Gabby: Blind Ants of the Outer Darkness

I posted the next installment of my novel-in-progress, Gabby the Big-Eyed Monster, this past Sunday, August 25, 2019.  The title of the new section is Blind Ants of the Outer Darkness.

The novel so far is located here.

The new section is a bit over 2100 words, which is about double the length of the first one.  I don’t want the sections to be too long and 2000 words or so is about the longest I will go.  In general   For the chapters I’m organizing it like this for now:

Chapter One: The Forbidden Cave
Blind Ants of the Outer Darkness
Next Section

Chapter Two: Whatever I call it.
Next Section
Next Section: and so on….

I’m planning on getting the next section up on Sunday, September 1, 2019, which will end chapter one.  I certainly have a long way to go.  I’m aiming at making this an 80,000 word novel and I’m at about 3100 words now.  Fortunately in October my schedule will change and I’ll have more time for writing.

I also engaged someone on Fiverr to draw a black & white picture of Gabby, the main character.  If I like the picture and I’m happy with how the project is turning out then I’ll probably have him do more illustrations for the book.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Novel-in-Progress: Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster

So my writing efforts continue unchecked at least for the moment.  I have some stuff making the rounds with various editors, and was trying to decide what to do next.  So I decided upon a little experiment.

I’ve written a few longer stories from outlines with lots and lots of plotting, but I’ve never attempted a short novel without having an outline or really much more than a couple of characters and some initial ideas.  So I thought I’d give it a try on Wattpad.  I’m going to publish one or two chapters a week (500 – 1000 words or so) until I write myself into a corner and blow up my creation or manage to write said short novel.

My working title is Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster.  I put up the first chapter up on Wattpad and plan on posting chapter two no later than August 25, 2019.  For anyone who might want to check this out, be warned this is not a complete story.  It is the first chapter of a work-in-progress.  I’m sure that the 40K-oriented readers on here will notice some passing similarities to a certain favored xenos race….

Gabby cover 350 wide for WordPress

Cover makes me want to re-read Dune.

I made a quick and easy cover for the story.  If I manage to make decent traction with writing the thing, and it gets a half-way decent reception from the reading-free-stuff-online crowd, I might commission a nicer cover for it down the road.

Otherwise, I joined the Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge and pledged to read at least  50 books this year.  So far I’m up to 34, which the site tells me puts me three books ahead of schedule.  So that’s keen.

My reading for July 2019 was:

  • The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber
  • The Howling Asteroid by Murray Leinster
  • Forever Free by Joe Haldeman
  • Mulgara: The Necromancer’s Will by David Rose
  • Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice by Taizan Maezumi

I’ll be back again (hopefully) with Chapter Two of Gabby next Sunday, and if my sacrifices to the Elder Gods have been particularly propitious maybe I’ll even make some progress on another poxwalker as well!