What I’m Writing
On Monday, I guest-blogged for Jenna Jaxon and got a number of very nice comments. I’m hoping to do some more guest blogging to promote myself and just get my name out there.
I’ve been very busy with going through Little Ragdoll in the Kindle previewer, a lot quicker than when I did any of my previous edits and sweep-throughs. When I know a deadline is looming, I do my best work. Since I’ve gone through it so many times already, it’s mostly just little tweaks and polishes every so often, like catching typos and other minor errors. Again, I’m so proud of myself for having gotten a 397,000-word first draft down to a final 360,000 words. That took huge amounts of work and effort.
The only real change I’ve made during this final round of editing was to add in a few lines about the rubella epidemic that came to America in late ’63 and was raging through New York City by early ’64. Allen discreetly asks Mrs. Doyle, whom he’s just found out is expecting, if her baby-to-be is safe. She reassures him that she had rubella when she was twelve, and that she’d do the right thing if she did catch rubella while pregnant to avoid a deformed or defective baby. She also says her son Matthew just got over rubella.
I also wrote a “Story Behind the Story” section for the back matter, talking about my inspiration, differences between the original first draft of 1993-94 and the finished product of my adult years, and where some of the names and details came from. I’m planning to write a “Story Behind the Story” for several of my other books.
What I’m Reading
Not a lot of time for reading, since my release date is 20 June and I’m also working hard on designing my cover.
What Inspires Me
I wasn’t feeling my cover for Little Ragdoll so much when I started it, but now I’m really proud of myself and how much work I’ve done. I’ll probably never be a grand master artist, but I’m not a hack either. I really think the cover that’s coming together suits the story really well. It’s simple, sweet, basic, humble. I couldn’t picture Adicia, her relatives, or her friends as glossy cover models, or as finely-detailed figures with lots of contours and shading.
This has helped to make me feel really, really confident in myself about my artistic abilities. While I don’t recommend this to the average writer, and while I certainly don’t intend to make a habit of drawing my own covers, it’s shown me I can do it and that I’m a better artist than I gave myself credit for. The main thing left to do is to draw the front stoop with all its stairs. I also need to create shoes, fill in skin tones, and turn the mitts into real hands. I think I gave Allen too much hair, but I have several special types of artists’ erasers to fix that and start over. If all else fails, there’s always water or white watersoluble pastel.
Lenore (the older girl with her arm around Adicia) looks so much like I pictured her. It’s also the first time I’ve successfully drawn a bustline instead of making a character look flat!
What Else I’m Up To
I got four Prismacolor pencils in shades of peach and beige for skin tones, since none of my numerous pastels or coloured pencils (not counting the inferior Roseart pencils) had quite the right shade. I was thrilled that one of the Prismacolors was already sharpened (they’re known for coming unsharpened) and that it was made in the U.S. I’ve heard so many bad things about the new Prismas being made in Mexico. What luck to find a vintage one, before their quality control went downhill! I’m hoping the other three pencils I got from open stock serve me well.
I love modern and abstract art. Fie on those who bash all post-1900 art out of hand and dismiss it as not real art! This is also such an Aspie thing to draw. How many people with neurotypically-wired brains would have the patience or interest to spend a few days, hours at a stretch, drawing nothing but triangles? When I have more time, I’m going to do one with interlocking polygons, and then a giant tangram.
I got a huge surprise on Tuesday afternoon when my favourite spin instructor and his wife were at the JCC, visiting from Florida. He guest-taught the class, and it was probably the toughest, best workout I’ve had in spinning since his farewell class in August. I can’t wait for him to come back and guest-teach some more!