Category: writing

three lines (3).

A few weeks ago, I wrote this short. Hermes was a quick 2,000 word jaunt about an AI aboard a spaceship who discovers — and is startled by — sudden sexual attraction.

Cameron Ollis was the most beautiful person aboard the Stellarship Soter.

It was fun to write but, ultimately, dissatisfying for me. There was something missing.

Something like another 13,000 words, apparently.

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Over my winter break, in which I had ten days off work, I wrote a short story.

Truthfully, I’m very unsatisfied with how it turned out. I’m not sure where I even intended to go with this finished product; maybe submission to magazines? Maybe a post on Archive of Our Own? Maybe a prequel to my bigger WIP? They do take place in the same universe, at roughly the same time.

After debating what to do with it, I’ve decided to go ahead and post it here. I mean, there aren’t many who follow this blog, so it feels a bit like a safe space. Trust me, I know the flaws here. Maybe I’ll revisit it one day. Maybe I’ll expand on what I’ve started. There’s definitely more to be said about Cam and Hermes and Dr. Wha (and maybe even Tamn, too).

So here! Enjoy this 2k snippet that takes place among our stars.

Hope you’re having a fantastic new year. I’m pretty excited about mine. Sure, the story is a failure, but there’s so much potential yet to come. Let’s go!

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making a book cover: simple & free.

I’ll be totally up-front here: I don’t think I’m a particularly gifted graphic designer. Like, I’m okay at it.

My artistic talents are better suited to paint and clay, but nevertheless, I’ve wedged myself firmly in graphic design as a career. Why? There’s money in graphic design. There’s constant demand. Especially when it comes to books: there’s so much to be done and there’s a line of authors and publishers around the block requesting help.

But not everyone can wait in line. Not everyone can hire a designer.

Today’s post is going to show you how to create a simple cover for yourself, for nearly free. I say nearly because I use Photoshop. Certainly some principles here can be applied in other (free) programs, but Photoshop is a program of pure love and incredible utility. If you have the money to spare for the $15/month subscription, I recommend it.

These tips are going to be best suited to someone who has tinkered in Photoshop a few times before. If you’re a total and complete Photoshop newbie, check out Adobe’s guide to learn the basics on how to like, create a new file, save your file down, how to edit photos, how to add text, and lots more.

For someone who’s made a file or two before now and found themselves disappointed in the result and is looking for insight in creating a compelling cover: here’s how.

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three lines (2).

It’s three lines Wednesday again!

An afternoon spent tending to his roses typically left Haley dirt-streaked, sweaty, and smiling, but today he was dirt-streaked, sweaty, and bitterly resigned.

“I don’t know why I’m so sad,” he said to each flower, inspecting them closely. “You’ll probably be fine without me.”

Today we have Haley’s introduction. Haley Lovell is a gardener aboard the space station Opis. Opis is being decommissioned by the government faction currently managing it and Haley is going to be separated from his garden. It’s actually pretty terrible for him, because the garden was his mother’s work and one of his last connections to her. She died a few years before the book begins, violently and suddenly and in front of Haley.

He still carries the trauma of that accident with him. There are a lot of things Haley isn’t capable of doing because he’s been affected so deeply by this loss, and it’s my hope that I can have him grow and adapt and build himself anew. He begins the story frightened, lonely, and exhausted. And, as the excerpt says, bitterly resigned.

A lot of Haley’s feelings are mirrored from my own. It’s a story for another post, but my father is currently dying to a degenerative brain disease, and writing Haley has more than helped me cope with the ways this event has hurt me and my family and especially my father.

His introduction to the readers is very important to me, because I want the readers to understand that while Haley is emotionally fatigued, he’s still got the potential for great things, and is a worthy hero for our intergalactic love story. 🙂

That’s it for my three lines Wednesday. How’s your WIP treating you?

three lines (1).

it’s three lines thursday!

i’m inventing this as an opportunity to share three lines from any current WIP. today, i’m sharing a snippet from my tentatively-named story, a garden in space. this book follows haley lovell, a gardener living aboard a space station called opis, and valouatthiaslouan, an alien android that finds himself captured and imprisoned on opis’ brig.

for today, we have this:

Val shoved Haley backwards, sending him off his feet. He landed against the dimpled platform on the second level, book skittering out of his hold. At the same moment, a body landed with an audible and sickening slap where Haley had been standing.

one of the most challenging parts of this story is creating fulfilling action sequences. this book is a romance, and the love between haley and val is absolutely paramount, but there are some intense and dire circumstances that surround them. giving weight to the world, the action, and the suspense…it’s as fun as it is difficult.

this scene features a significant amount of gore. corpses falling from above, heads being shot clean off… oh, and (bonus):

Haley didn’t want to imagine going the rest of his life without seeing Val again. Surrounded by carnage, trapped in the prison of an old and failing space station, Haley and Val were connected irreversibly. Permanently.

in any case, i’m starting a new scene today. wish me luck and stay tuned for more soon.

bye all!