I’m still working on learning how to do covers, and as part of that, I’m creating a series of covers in an attempt to improve my graphic abilities. (Since I’m not willing to pay for a subscription to Photoshop until I’m actually considering doing this for money, I’m cobbling together different programs to get effects I want: Paint, Paint.net, PagePro/LogoPro, and Canva)
Here’s my first one. Still needs a touch of work–I need to fix the type running across her face, add a series title, etc, but this is almost acceptable:
As noted above, a bit of a catch-up on OVERSEER. I had planned (hoped) that this book would be out by August 29, but family issues and made it necessary to put that off a bit. I now am looking at a September 28 release for the last of The Horn trilogy,
The rough draft is more or less done, but I need to do another edit pass, and then get it to my copyeditor/format guy. Since I am running late, I’m hoping this will work with his schedule as well. (Also, my cover artist is really busy, so I’m concerned that getting it all together on time might be a stretch, but I am working as fast as I can.)
To that end, I purchased* an odd little writing tool. I’d seen on a blog that a writer was using a child’s typing tool to speed up his writing…an Alphasmart Neo2. These are designed to students to practice typing, and therefore have eight file spaces where typing practice can be stored and later uploaded to a computer.
When you’re done typing, you simply open a Word file (or any typing file) on your computer, attach the Alpha via USB cable, and hit send. The stored keystrokes begin to fill up the word-processing file, which is rather cool to watch. (FYI: No special software is required on your computer to use this. Essentially, this is just a keyboard with memory and a few hardwired Applets.)
What’s most useful about this item, though, is that:
a) there’s NO internet access, so there’s no distraction, and
b) it’s not easy to edit (you can edit, it’s just not easy), so you tend to concentrate on forward progress, and
c) it’s smaller and lighter than my laptop, which makes it easier to cart around.
Since it’s powered solely by AA batteries, there’s no worrying about a charge, either. Because they were made to be used by students, they’re nearly indestructible. Plus I can be working on as many as eight different files, which is good for me since I always have multiple stories going.
On my first time using it outside the house, I got about 2.5K new words in 2 hours. I was most impressed, since in that time I usually get 1K with my laptop.
So I’m hoping that my new toy will be useful for me. (And since I purchased it, I’ve been surprised to hear how many other writers use one of these things…because I’d really never heard of one before a couple of weeks ago.)
*I bought this used on Amazon, but I see that there are a bunch on ebay as well.