Cooper Alley Ghost Cover – Pt 3

In the story, it is winter. It is cold. It is snowing. The problem I faced is that this photograph is in Melbourne, in Summer, when it’s hot and definitely does not snow. I could think about, say, grabbing a can of shaving cream and spraying it about, but I doubt the owner would be impressed and the result wouldn’t cut it. The only thing for it is to add fake snow over the top of the image:

Manually added some snow

The snow was done in three passes. I use Gimp to do the dirty work, mostly because I’m comfortable with it, and also because there are a lot of little tools and filters that can help out.

First, I used the chalk shaped brush, with a white to grey gradient, and passed it over the ‘top’ surfaces of things, so the window sills, the fence posts, the railings. It’s not a heavy coating, more a smattering, because it’s early winter. I was going to do more on the footpath, but it turned out, when I did a quick check, that the image on the book wouldn’t be able to include the lower quarter. Ah, well.

The thing is, the image above is still too sunny and happy, so I wanted to add in some more, falling, snow. So be it:

Falling snow

So there’s snow on the ground, some falling snow, and I’ve gloomified the setting. It’s looking a bit more like what I had in mind, but there’s still more to go. I need the sky back, for starters, and I want some highlights on the house so that it’s not one grey, amorphous blob.

Duplicating, blending and putting the sky back in

I duplicated the house layer and blended it together with the underlying house to bring up more of the detail. The clouds in the sky looked about right with a dark filter on there, so I left that alone.

Right, all that’s left is to add it into the general template for the Paranormology series.

Did Someone Let in a Draft?

It’s wintertime. It’s cold. It’s fireplaces and curled up cats and cups of tea on the couch.

I like winter. I like being able to rug up in jumpers and wear hats and gloves. Most of the time, even when it’s chilly, I’m pretty hot. Maybe it’s got something to do with genetics and my metabolism or whatever, but unless I’ve got the flu I’m usually trying my best to cool down.

I stick my feet out the side of the bed. I wear only pants because a pyjama top is too constrictive. I don’t like having a warm cup of cocoa before hitting the hay. Give me some water. Just the way God made me, I guess. On a side note, it’s the Smashwords Summer (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) Sale – get e-tonnes of e-books for bargain prices, with many of them (including all of mine) as free.

One major benefit of being a walking radiator is that I’m quite at home sitting outside on a cold night, and that’s where I’ve been during the cool autumn nights and winter evenings. There’s a little table and chairs set up on the porch, you see, and it’s perfect for writing out my drafts for the next Tedrick Gritswell. Perched out there with a coffee or a cognac, take your pick, I managed to knock out the first draft fairly quick.

Now I’ve done the ol’ red pen trick, and I’m happy with my second. I’ve already made notes to myself for where I’ve dropped a few stitches, and I’m tidying those up as I’m going. Nearly time to print it out again and go for the third.

There’s something special about this time of the book. It’s ‘done’ but not done. You can see it, touch it, it’s there and real, but not so real as being published. That rumbling feeling that comes up as the anticipation builds. The myriad conflicting ideas about whether a section should even exist, whether Bill should have a greater role in the story, whether this bit is too verbose, too lax, too crude. It’s time to chill again, be patient and print it out.

It’s a laborious process, believe me, and there’s every temptation to put it down and play Metro Redux, but that’s not going to get the cows milked, is it? It’s the final slog to the end, to keep pushing until it’s at that point I nod my head and say, “That’ll do it.”

Until then, to keep my mind in the zone, I’ve been working on the cover and the title page. Here’s the latest:

There’ll be a bit of poking an prodding with this bit – I don’t want to rush out the front cover just yet. Once I’m happy, I’ll make a post about the design process behind it and let you know.

Thanks!

Spoil Yourself

It’s cold in Melbourne. Don’t know if you’ve noticed? No? The ice that covers the car windows? The chill wind that worms through your jacket and tickles your tummy when you’re not paying attention? Ring any bells?

When it’s cold, what should one do? One should, of course, close the doors, throw a blanket over one’s knees and hold that down with a cup of tea and a book.

But you’ve read all of them! There are no more books, right?

Wrong.

Because it’s… wait for it… Smashwords 10th Anniversary Summer (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) Sale!

Go here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/1

Wait, wait, it’s not on yet (sad trombone). It’s between 1st of July and the 31st (hopeful clarinet). So if you can hold on for a couple more days (resounding trumpet) you’ve got yourself a treat! Books will be heavily reduced across the board.

Mine? Funny you should ask. They’ll all be free! Go here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JeremyTyrrell

But don’t stop there, browse the worlds greatest library of independent books and get your glut on!

You’re welcome.

It’s on again – Smashwords Summer Sale!

For the ninth year in a row – there’s a trend, can you tell? – the Smashwords Summer (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) Sale or, as I like to say, SS(WSH)S is on.

From the 1st of July to the 31st of July – that’s the month of July for you guys playing at home – Authors at Smashwords are, well SMASHING their prices.

There are a lot of independent authors, among which you will find yours truly, screaming for an audience, someone to pick up their electronic wares and have a flip through over a cup of tea.

Go to www.smashwords.com and have a poke around, fill up your cart with heavily discounted books and give your independent authors the love they crave.

As for me, you can find all of my books for free during this period at:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JeremyTyrrell

That’s right, don’t adjust your monitor, it’s working fine. I’ll say it again: All books free. You’ll need to use the coupon code:

SW100 or with an extra S at the start, like: SSW100

Enjoy, with my compliments, and please, spend some time to leave feedback, good, bad or otherwise. It’s an author’s lifeblood.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go on over to Smashwords now! Mini Jeztyr Logo

** Actually, I just checked and, at the time of this post, the sale isn’t live yet. Maybe wait an hour or two. **