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I Hear Voices Leading Me On Urging Me On

May 28, 2013

So I’m trying to reread what I’ve got so far of The Approximate Distance To Limbo. It’s almost novel length already, albeit a much shorter novel than the one it continues on from. I plan on doubling the length, which is still a light read compared to Terminal Monday, but at least it will feel like a substantial book at trade paperback size (6″ x 9″), which is the default size that Createspace likes to encourage. I like the size myself. It’s hefty without being oversized, but it’s not as compact or as easy to shelves as mass market paperbacks, which is inconvenient for the collector, but works beautifully for those of us who don’t want to be easily lost in the shuffle.

The problem, as I see it, is that the old “80K-140K”, which at this size looks a little anaemic. This basically means that, whatever I write at this point, I have to think in terms of going for the bare minimum of 140K, just so folks don’t feel ripped off when they buy these things. If people spend $12-$15 dollars on these things, they’re going to want to receive something approaching 300-400 pages, which is harder to do at trade size unless you increase the font size. That might be good for those with visual impairments, but for the average market, it would just look silly. The Bride of War, which comes in at around 81K, looks like a Boyscout manual, or perhaps more charitably, about the thickness of a supplemental roleplaying game manual. Hard to convince myself, let alone anyone else, that it isn’t merely a chap book. When I was writing it, I wasn’t thinking about it in those terms. It was my first completed novel, after over twenty years of false starts and procrastination.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I can manage the word count, if I can make any time at all for writing. But with my schedule the way it is lately, it’ll be fall before I get any serious writing done. I have to start trying to pack in as many writing sprees as I can between now and September, when my duties to Participatory Budgeting should be coming to an end. As well, I’m hoping by then that the issue of doing volunteer work for the community association will have lightened up enough that I can squeeze in a few days a week of just writing. Then the issue becomes, can I get my brain into writer mode. It’s the problem of being a semi-pro with professional aspirations; you know that you’re supposed to work at it every day, but you have other more mundane concerns regularly eat into your headspace for writing. Things as simple as doing the banking and bill paying can be a major chore that you need to be in the right frame of mind to handle, especially when money is extraordinarily tight.

Which it has been. A lot. Well, almost constantly, actually. We spend most of the month living hand to mouth, and some of it squeaking by on whatever we’ve managed to scrounge up using money my mother gives me for cleaning her house for her. It’s phenomenal what groceries and utilities cost these days.

With these kinds of distractions, it sometimes behooves me to think up fun things to do just to loosen and limber up the mind, and keep my hand in with my other atrophying skills. Yesterday, I did just such a thing: I dreamed up a name for a non-existent rock band (no idea what genre), and cobbled together a logo:
Sour Milk Ideation logo

It’s not the best logo I’ve ever done, and as band names go, it’s not that good, but the idea got into my head during a conversation on lien with a friend, and I found myself devising the logo before I had time to really think about it. If I were ever going to make a real go of this, I’d spend more time tweaking the bits that are hard to read, and adding bits of detail to make it more apparent what the letter shapes are in front of those bars. I’d probably also consider using a font that imitates neon signs a bit better, if not adapting the font I used to resemble neon lighting better. More curves. Solid segments made up of multiple neon tubes. That sort of thing.

I did a band logo earlier in the month based on another such off the cuff idea, but it was even less spectacular:
The Rhythm Assassins Logo

Just a silly exercise really, though at least I knew what genre of music I had in mind for it; I was going to make it a Progressive Ska band, with all of those reggae/ska rhythms chopped up into progressive rock meters and carefully put together to maintain some sense of groove without the straight 4/4 to fall back on. It’s an idea I rather like, though I haven’t had time enough to try it out and record a proof of concept piece to demonstrate it yet.

Anyway, those are the things I do for fun. What I do for ‘work’ is stuff like this:
Nemovitz Logo

and this:
Stinson Website Banner
(website debuts June 1st)

Anyway, there are book covers as well, but you can find those by visiting my Bookshelf, at the link in the navigation bar at the top. I design all of my own covers, though a couple of them are merely place holders until I can make the time to illustrate them properly.

Time I was getting back to work. Book won’t read itself.

Thanks for reading.

Lee.

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