Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 92 – Map Illustrations Survive Temperatures on Surface of the Sun

Evidence of God's mercy.
Well, it's six thousand degrees here today and the A/C in my house doesn't really make it as far as this room because the contracting outfit that built our neighborhood were a bunch of cheap bastards (gee, I wonder why they went bankrupt even before the housing bust), so I’m sweating like a crack addict detoxing in a Death Valley sauna at high noon. It's so hot that, honestly, I'm afraid if I type too long or too fast, the friction will ignite the molten air and the entire neighborhood will explode. That said, I’ll keep this report short and sweet, so I can go lie under a ceiling fan and beg God to drop a glacier on my face. So, here’s where the book is to date...

Cover art: Cris Ortega emailed last week, has some sketches nearly done and is working on some ideas she came up with while doing so that might not be precisely what I described but that she thinks might be very cool, which is… well, very cool. Can’t wait to see.

Book file: So I have the whole book in .pdf format, and I’ve spent the last several days going through it to make sure it’s right (535 pages). It’s not. Chapter 45 somehow ended up in there twice, and Chapter 46 didn’t get in at all. And there’s a bunch of blank pages in between. So, there’s some work to do on that front still. Which means I will have to go through it all again just to be safe. Ugh. Man, I’m telling you, there is sooooooooo much labor in this stuff.

Interior art: So I have been working on the map for the interior of the book and a couple of other things. I spent a few afternoons working on some of it, and I finished up the frame for it yesterday after a marathon drawing festival (also in the sweltering roast of this room, and also which explains why my wrist hurts from so much tightly controlled drawing). I believe I am very pleased with the end result. We shall see, because I often love my work the day I do it and as days go by and I come back to it, I am astonished that I can possibly suck as bad as I do (which explains the crapton of unpublished and abandoned articles, short stories and even one novel that I have laying around). Oh well.

So, that’s been my week and weekend, and this is my Monday. Below are the three pieces of my book map. The map (yes, there are no names, but the calligraphy—or not—is something else completely), the rose, and the frame. Let me know what you think.


Names and the rest to be added in graphic program (in theory)

Map rose...

This will have calligraphy for N, S, E W
Map frame...

So, that's pretty much it. All this stuff will get assembled, letters/names will get added, and it will be what it will be. The graphic artist that's helping me is scanning them into better files and going to see what we can do with fancy fonts that are available so I don't have to use my yucky handwriting in lieu of calligraphy.

Now you are up to date. I hope I don't burst into flames when I stand up. If there's any static electricity in my jeans or the carpet, it's over. So, if you don't see any more posts from me, you'll know what happened. Send flowers to my wife.


  1. John, I'm disgustingly jealous of the fact that you can make a simple blog post so damn funny that it's a work of art in and of itself. I had to read the beginning and end to my husband because he couldn't figure out why I was laughing like a hyena. THIS is why I will read your novel even though I'm not a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan - because you really can write.

    That said, the map looks pretty good to me. I'm always more about the wordy stuff though, so I'm probably not the best judge.

  2. I'm glad you were amused. I am actually amused right now too. Yesterday when the universe was melting, I was not as amused. :)

    And I think you'll like the story despite it being from genres you don't typically follow. The genre is just the setting for an adventure. I hate Sci Fi that relies on the technologies or the aliens to make it interesting, and I hate fantasy that is about the magic or the weird critters as a crutch for not having a story or characters. It's the same with movies that rely on special effects rather than story too. I've tried very hard not to make one of those. So, hopefully you'll enjoy it.

  3. OMG - That is exactly the dislike that I have for the genres! My husband and I have had long discussions about it, and it's because I've picked up the passing interest that I have now. And, as far as your story, I trust you enough to believe that it will be a good one, and not have to rely on the technology or magic to prop it up.

    Glad the universe didn't melt completely and that you have a little bit of solid ground to stand on today. :-)

  4. Meant to say it's because of him that I've picked up the passing interest.

  5. John, why is it that right now everyplace in the US seems to be underwater, on fire, or besieged by bizarre 'Wizard of Oz' live re-enactments. We are under a tornado watch at this very moment and it is getting very, very dark...

    Anyhoo, your map illustrations are awesome. I admire your perseverance and am looking forward to your book. Thanks for blogging.

    (Love the cartoons especially.)

  6. Well, Motown, he's a good man for opening your mind to the escapist happylands of Science Fiction and Fantasy. :)

    And yes, Pam, it is odd to see the climactic climatic events these days. Good thing I'm not the super religious type or I'd take it for a sign. :D. HOpe you weather the storm though, seriously.

    (Wow the Google accounts thing is horrific for leaving comments... and they think they're going to compete with Facebook with their user profiles?)

  7. It IS terrible! I like Blogger but I'm web-frustrated in general. Looking into taking some community college courses on web design and web management because I'm tired of feeling like an idiot and no one wants to hire me anyway, so why not? See if an old dog can learn any new tricks. I give it a 50/50 chance, but WTH. :)

  8. DUDE! Pam, it's NOT hard, albeit a little screwy to start. Go buy a URL (don't buy any of the added crap and insurance for this or that, just the domain.) Then get it hosted on Host Gator. They have help videos that a brain dead monkey can use, and load Wordpress onto it (easy as clicking something like you would installing a program on your computer). THEN, go to a Website Template site like Themeforest get a theme (there's even free ones.. mine cost 35 bucks), click another icon, and it sets itself up. Mine came with videos to set up. I admit I had to get someone to help me with one part, but so what? I emailed their help and they fixed it themselves. It's easier than you think. You don't need a class. Go look at how mine is coming along, with ZERO classes and NO technical skills or IT background at all.

  9. Wow! It does look awesome times ten.

    Now you've got me re-evaluating. Or as Jane, our GPS unit says, "recalculating, recalculating..."