Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Doing My Homework

Today I finally sat down and did something that wasn't just writing for my books. I first drilled in what Amazon category I think will fit them best, and then I set about looking through other people's covers to get ideas. I'm even assembling some favorites in various genres on a Pinterest board for easy access.

The thing that gives me a bit of an edge when it comes to look is that I'm a graphic designer by trade. If you're curious, you can see my work here. I can make it pretty. I even have a concept that I like already, though as I peel through the hordes of other covers, I'm wondering if I'll need to... well, honestly, to class it down a bit. There are some pretty awful homemade covers out there, and I don't want to fall into that category. I'm also thinking that doing a straight, clean, modern cover won't fare well amidst all the naked man flesh. There's a lot of naked man flesh. Which, don't get me wrong, I enjoy. I just think you can sell sex without showing it. 

How have you approached cover design to make your book stand out without making it look like it doesn't belong? I'd love to hear some stories from folks who are already in the trenches!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hottie of the Week: Voltaire

Courtesy Voltaire's official Facebook
I'm a little ashamed of myself. You see, I first saw Voltaire when he filled in hosting a panel at Dragon*Con in 2003 while I was there the first time. I fell a little in love. We managed to catch him performing a few more times throughout that weekend, and I haven't missed a show at The Church in Dallas since. Seriously, I went when I was seven months pregnant (a couple weeks before giving birth to Pike), and then not that long after he was born. I have always been too shy to actually speak to the man, however, until this year's Dragon*Con, where I not only got to say hello to him at his booth (and get a hug, which made my year) but pose near him at the massive Marvel photoshoot. 

@Patrick Sun 2014-2

That's a lot of babbling from me, but the point is? This gorgeous guy should have been featured here forever ago, so this I'm sorry both to him and to all of you for not sharing all this hotness. I would also like to go on record as saying that delicious as his voice is (and that's no studio effects, folks - if anything, he's better live) and lovely as he is in photos, he's even hotter in person. Enjoy the yum, and go buy some of this guy's music because it's PHENOMENAL.

Courtesy Voltaire's official Facebook

Taken by me at The Church Dallas earlier this year

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hottie of the Week: Daniel Radcliffe

Watch a few interviews, and I seriously dare you not to fall a little in love with this guy. Yes, okay, you may feel a little creepy at first since we all watched him grow up in the Harry Potter series, but... he's a grown up. Get over it, enjoy it, and join us for the show.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wrapped in Plastic, It's Fantastic

I'll start by admitting that I don't like plastic surgery. I just don't. I'll add that I'm a total hypocrite about it. I hate plastic surgery, I hate people changing their appearance more often to fit the desires and perceptions of others than to feel good about themselves in and their own skin... but... I totally understand it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't envious of celebrities who can get a tummy tuck along with their c-section to walk out of the hospital looking like a million dollars (which is probably about what that costs).

Obviously the deep thoughts have been spurred by people throwing around Renee Zellweger's picture and expressing their shock at her appearance. I certainly have. I look at the woman who came to that party, and I have trouble seeing Bridget Jones. She looks thinner, her forehead looks too smooth for her age, and the whole overall thing weirds me out. There. I said it. I'm shallow enough that her changing her look? It freaks me out. Even though she is obviously happy and perfectly well adjusted about the whole thing. "I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows." In all fairness, I don't believe it's all living differently. I'd put down good money that she's had work done. I just hate that I care so much that she has.

There are obvious targets on the pitfalls of plastic surgery like Joan Rivers or Dolly Parton (I adore Dolly, so not throwing shade, but it's fair to say she's gone a bit far). I think the person who really threw me for my first major loop was Meg Ryan. My mom and I have always shared a love for a good, sappy Meg Ryan rom com, so when I first saw her with her face pulled tight and her lips pumped up, my heart sank. I hated that she'd changed herself in what appeared to be an attempt to stave off aging or keep up with some kind of bizarre appearance-based trend to have puffy lips. She looked (and still looks) pretty darn awful. But why should I care if she's still capable of the same level of acting?

Jennifer Grey has been very up front about her regrets in regard to changing her nose - once a signature of her appearance. "I went into the ­operating room a ­celebrity and came out anonymous,” she said. “It was the nose job from hell. I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody ­recognizes because of a nose job.” And, again, I hate myself a little for caring. She's still a great actress, she's still lovely, she's got a gorgeous husband and a beautiful daughter, and she seems very happy. Yet somehow I still regret her changing how she looks for some misguided common idea of beauty as she does. I wonder how much more gorgeous she'd be if she'd just let herself change and age naturally.

I wish I had some inspiring close to this rambling blog entry, but I don't. I remain conflicted. I want people to be happy in their own skin, but I also don't want anyone to think they have to CHANGE that skin to make other people happy or because they're not allowed to age and change naturally. I want people (famous or not) to know that they're good enough as they are and that there are far less extreme ways than surgery to smooth out the less than perfect parts we've all got. I want to stop judging people on their looks - even people who have had plastic surgery that makes me feel slightly queasy. I want what's on the outside to stop mattering so much and to be able to look past it consistently and thoroughly instead of just when someone's appearance is something that fits my idea of natural beauty.