Friday, February 27, 2009

Other Interests

I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but I'm taking an art class (Introduction to Painting) at the local community college. It meets once a week from 5-10pm. I double majored in Art and English in college, but never took any painting classes. I decided to try it out. It's a lot of work. I'd forgotten just how much time studio classes require.

Since I'm spending so much time with brush in hand, I figure why not share the results with you guys. Here's my first assignment. We had to paint two pictures using only one color and white. The darkest value would have to be the color straight out of the tube. We had to do one painting of three eggs and then another of a white object. Each painting took about three hours.

For a first assignment, after only one class, I think they turned out pretty good. I'm not extremely happy with the cat creamer (it's actually much cuter than the picture indicates), but the eggs turned out pretty good I think.

Friday, February 20, 2009 Sales Rank: #425,686 in Books

OMG! Does this mean someone has actually bought my book?! I think it does! Before there wasn't a sales rank at all. I can't believe it! I thought it would just sit on Amazon forever and not do anything. I've sold at least 2 books now. One book was direct to reader. He kindly asked me to get him a copy and sign it for him and then ship. He offered to pay for all shipping and everything which is was really cool of him. Thanks, Dave! (It's in the mail, BTW.)

In other fantastic news, Stalking Shadows got two glowing reviews over at the Web Fiction Guide. (Disclaimer: I am an editor there, but I didn't writer either of the reviews!) Sarah Suleski had some good things to say about it, and if you can keep a secret, I did imagine Cordelia Chase when coming up with Vicky. If you're gonna steal, steal from the best I say (and cover your tracks well, too). I was very interested in Linda Schoales review because she hasn't read Scary Mary. One thing that she said tripped her up a little was Chowder, which I'm fully willing to accept because I find it tough to explain the whole body/ghost thing. I mean he's a ghost that's technically in his body sometimes, but how to explain that? I mean he's not doing anything when he's in his body except hanging out. He can't move it or do anything zombie-ish. God, can you imagine a zombie Scottish Terrier? I'm not going there! And I know Mary wouldn't be happy if I did. She'd probably walk out of the story, never mind the amount of trouble Rachel would get into when she snuck him into school.

Chapter 6 of SS is coming along. I think it may turn out pretty good, and I possibly won't be slaving on it come Sunday and delaying the posting until early evening. Fingers crossed there.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Installment of Stalking Shadows Is Up (Barely)

It was rough today getting the new half chapter posted. I kept fiddling with the prose. I had more than enough written, but kept editing because I couldn't get bits of it right like the confrontation with Cy at the elevator. I still don't think it's working, but it's better. When I very first wrote it, it was Rachel who chewed out Cy for assuming her and Mary were there to screw with Vicky, but I didn't like it. I delved into Mary's head and realized she really needed to be the one who said something to Cy. I had to rewrite a lot after that too because it referenced the confrontation, and with Mary now being the one who spoke, everything was thrown off.

Things I had to look up to write this chapter: Grocery store cigars and what the emergency button is called on the hospital bed. The internet is very helpful sometimes.

Sort of unrelated, but when did Blogger start offering embedded commenting? That is great. I switched all of my story blogs over to it. I hated the blogger commenting page. Embedded comments is exactly what I want.

And I've added Stumbleupon buttons to everything. I'm thinking about adding Digg. Janoda over at had stumbled me and had encouraged others to join and help drive traffic to story sites. I have a Stumbleupon account now, and I have stumbled a few story sites. We'll see what happens. This very blog got about fifty clicks from Stumbleupon the other day, which I think is a fluke or something, but still cool that people are stopping by or rather stumbling onto my site. Wish I could get some of them onto Unicorn Bait. That site has been sadly neglected by surfers, though the handful of people who do stop by are reading. I can tell by the page counts. But I want lots of people to see how pretty it is now too. :0)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Unicorn Bait Redesigned!

Well, I went a little crazy yesterday and decided I HAD to redesign Unicorn Bait's web site. I'm very happy with how it turned out. It took FAR TOO LONG, but that's due to my very meager web design skills. I have to basically relearn everything whenever I set out to do something like this.

The banner image is a detail from Gustave Moreau's The Unicorns.

You may recognize the basic design from the mock book cover I made up months ago. It was a pretty easy matter to adjust it and make it into the banner image. I wanted to do something pretty awesome with the sidebar, but damn, nobody shows any love for the sidebar. I looked everywhere for some packet or something but couldn't find anything. I ended up doing only basic stuff to change the headers and whatnot. Looking into that took most of my time, and it was a pretty fruitless waste, but I'm still happy with the outcome. I also went in and started doing a few edits to various chapters. I need to do more of that. I think I've let it sit long enough and now can look at it with fresh eyes.

I have been working on SS. Will have more on that tomorrow, hopefully with a new chapter post!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Viruses attacking from all sides!

I got hit with another computer virus on Saturday midday and had to stop and run multiple scans on my computer to clear it up, and when I thought I had, it popped up again. Going to go home tonight and look at the registry to see if it's in there, though all the scans should've picked it up. It didn't do any damage, but it's a downloader trojan, which means it'll invite nastier friends to my computer if not stopped and I don't want that.

Also I got a sore throat and a drippy nose. I'm taking pills, and it isn't very bad yet, but I'm feeling wiped and brain dead. I just hope it doesn't evolve into a sinus infection. I don't want to deal with the fever, aches, and mucus of that.

This week, I reached the end of my pre-written stuff. I need to write a new chapter to post by Sunday. I know some basics of what I want to happen, but it's not real clear. We'll see what happens.