This is Just to Say
I have not eaten
that were in
the fruit bowl
you were very
they had stones
to bin them
I’m not a big fan of New Year resolutions, but January 1st is a handy time to start a new project just for ease of keeping track. This year, I’ve been producing one drawing every single day (and this’ll likely be old news if you follow me on Twitter). It started – as so many fun things do – with Satan trying very hard to play the trombone.
I should probably mention at this point that I am not an artist. I sort of lucked out in that this first sketch of Satan pursuing his dream of playing in a jazz band was both amusing at a glance and not too poorly executed. It’s also kind of a nice frontispiece to the whole project, with the begoateed Prince of Darkness attempting an artistic endeavour despite a lack of any real progress to build on (though doesn’t work the other way around, as I’ve already been in a jazz band). Continue reading
You may have seen Shona Kinsella’s recent review of Face of Glass, but what you might not know is that she’s actually written a work of Prehistoric Fantasy herself. Ashael Rising has not only been launched, but successfully funded through Unbound! I think you’ll find the story behind the book very interesting, and if Ashael Rising itself piques your interest, you’ll be happy to know that although it’s passed 100% funding, there’s still a chance to chip and and get your name in the back of the book as a supporter (among other great rewards)!
Ashael Rising: How it All Began
I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. As a child I wrote stories in notebooks that I carried with me. In my teens, the film Bucket List was a big thing and Write a Book was number one on mine. As an adult, I never thought I would actually get around to it; I mean who has the time? But I still squirreled away ideas, guarding them jealously against the possibility that I would win the lottery and become a lady of leisure.
About nine years ago I had a dream that, immediately upon waking, struck me as one of those ideas and though much of the dream faded, the final image has stayed with me all these years. Continue reading
In a weird combination of planning way ahead and being really late, I’d like to let people know about an event I’m planning to organise for Flash Fiction Day (June 22nd): an event that G. Deyke already let people know about an entire month ago. So while there’s ages to go before the day itself, I’ve also been pretty slow to get this out there.
Or, as an alternative way of looking at it, this idea is so incredibly amazing that I didn’t have a chance to get it out there first. Let’s go with that. Continue reading
I’ve been meaning to buy myself some business cards for absolutely ages. Conveniently, I no longer have to, because I’ve been doing a little bit of work for a local printing company and they did these for me in return. I think that turned out pretty well for all involved: they don’t have to fork out any money, and I get many more, much nicer cards than I would have online. And sooner or later (though probably later), I would have bought some online.
Marketing-wise, this may seem like a pretty strange move to make–“Oh, business cards? How quaint! I use this thing called THE INTERNET.”–but at the same time, I bump into a lot of people in the real world. Old friends, new friends, weirdos on public transport, you get the idea. We’ll get talking, and there’s a good chance I’ll mention books at some point. The problem is that typically when I mention that you can find my books on the internet, well…unless you fancy whipping your phone out right then and there, the internet’s not around. So yes, hypothetical snarky person: business cards. They make sense even with the internet.
On the left here you’ll see the front of the card. You may recognise the text in the background. I picked that passage purely because it had an extremely high density of interesting phrases. I figure that something like “…just some punk with a gene lab?” is the kind of thing that’s likely to make people want to find out more. And if they do, they can turn over to the back of the card, shown here on the right. That offers a tiny bit about who I am (I’m a guy who writes stuff. Lots of it is speculative fiction.) and a few ways to find out more. There’s my Twitter, the web address of this very site, and a QR code in case you actually do fancy whipping your phone out right then and there. The for-real version of this card has my email as well, but I’ve edited it out of the photo just to avoid having it floating around online.
I feel like this design works pretty well. It doesn’t make for the flashiest business card in the world, but I think it’s sort of elegant, it offers all the information it needs to and it’s basic enough that it’ll be relevant (hopefully) forever, which is handy because I’ve got 500 of these things. Also, it was the only way I could think of providing a sample of my writing in such a small space. Also, it’s worth pointing out that not all the cards are the same: some are printed on thick white card, some on thinner ivory card. And there’s more! As you’ll be able to see in the following photo, some of them are laminated.
I didn’t think about any of this when designing the front of the card, but I really like how the different versions look: the white ones are kind of crisp and clean, the ivory ones a little more interesting and sophisticated. Also, for practical purpsoses laminated cards will stand up to being carried around a lot better, while the unlaminated ones will be handy for scribbling down any extra information. Even if a multi-variety stack of cards like this is an option with big online printers, it’s just not something I would have done on my own initiative. In that respect, being able to talk to someone who really knew what they were doing was absolutely invaluable. And if you’re anywhere nearby, I’d definitely recommend checking out Printline specifically.