Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Teaching myself how to illustrate

Hello everyone,

Just a little update on my progress so far with my children's book. The editing is going very well and I should be able to get the book published by the end of the year. But then, there's something else that's important to children. Pictures. As a child I spent most of my days in the library reading. But guess how I chose my looking at the pictures.

That brings me to the point I want to make. Illustrators--wonderful but expensive illustrators. I looked at the prices and I'm not in the position right now to pay for one. I decided to ask a few friends who studied art. Some had too much work on their plates already and it wouldn't be fair of me to burden them some more. Others, well, they didn't see what I saw. So, last week I decided that hey, why don't I do it? I've never been good at drawing, actually I was good at drawing hearts. I took a few art classes in primary school but my work always looked the worst on the classroom walls. So, I decided it wasn't for me. Now, I'm thinking, says who? The person who said that was little shy Liz from primary school. Maybe big Liz can do it.

After all, I did teach myself photoshop, taught myself my new hobby, digital scrapbooking and even created a number of scrapbook supplies (If you haven't already, you can check them out at my other blog:

I thought maybe I should give drawing another try. And I did. Last week I did everything I could to teach myself how to illustrate by reading and watching online tutorials.
I'm a little shy about this since I'm just starting, but I do want to show you what I did...if you promise not to laugh. I did everything in photoshop. The flowers were done a few months back. I know its not perfect, but I do think if I put my mind to it, I could actually pull it off. What do you think?
This was my first illustration

Okay, there you go. Although I'm happy, illustrating is a lot of work. Well, it was for me as I'm a total beginner. It took me almost the whole day to create the house illustration. Did you notice that I used the background I had created? I took the river out. I drew the house in photoshop and did everything to try and make it look real. I'm not 100% happy, but it'll have to do for a start.

For my 50 page book I want to use around 10-15 illustrations but I don't know if I'll have the time to do all that in addition to editing my romance novel and the children's book. So, maybe I should try to get help again. I might find someone who's talented and shares my vision. At least I know I can do it myself if it doesn't work out. But, it just might. Yesterday, my husband mentioned the book to the daughter of a woman we know and without being asked, she said she'd like to do it. I don't know why I never thought of her. She's a young artist and I've seen  her paintings and drawings before. Amazing. I really love her style.

She's already started practicing and I'll be seeing her tomorrow to see what she came up with. I hope it works out. What I'm thinking of doing is maybe letting her illustrate some things and me others. I could, for example do the backgrounds and she the people. I also practiced drawing people (well a head), but I'm so scared my character will look different on every page. I also haven't tried yet to draw the body (I'm scared of all the different movements. I don't want to paralyze my characters). So, maybe she can help with those. If she's really brilliant, I might let her do everything. It depends on how busy I might get. I wish I had more time to do everything I want to do, but often 24 hours just isn't enough for me.

Well, I've nothing else to tell you. I'll let you know how it goes with my potential illustrator. I'm trying not to be too excited though, just in case I get disappointed.
Before I go, let me show you my floating head (not my head, my potential character's). I drew it by hand first, then colored it in photoshop. I know it looks kind of weird without the neck, but I spent hours on the head alone. The neck would have been a few extra hours and I wanted to stop, I was tired and hungry.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...the head (and I bow out). Try not to look too closely to my illustrations okay?:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Larissa is published

Hi dear followers,

Today's post is not about my life, my writing or me. I'm writing this post to let you know that my friend, Larissa Hinton has two of her YA novels, Everblossom and Iwishacana. Here are the blurbs in case you'd like to know more:



Where rules are meant to be broken
     Anissa is constantly on the run from the police and can't seem to stay out of trouble.
Secrets are meant to be kept
Until Anissa hides Florence in her bedroom and her mother finds out. There's only one thing left to do: Send her to Juvenile Cop Camp to erase all of her crimes on her record.

And everything is not what it seems
There's only one problem: Anissa is innocent.
        Welcome to Iwishacana

An anthology that will quench your thirst for more than the ordinary. Everblossom is a journey through poems and short stories that may seem ordinary on the surface but dig a little deeper and the world not only shifts. It changes. Prepare yourself to delve into the three stages of the flower from bud to blossom then back to seed, you'll go through them all with a whole new perspective.

In case you haven't noticed, you can also find the two covers on the left hand side of my posting area. Click on them and see where they take you. At the moment, the books are only available for sale as ebooks, but she plans to make them available in print as well in the near future.
Anyway, Larissa is a great writer with a brilliant imagination. If you would like to know more about her experiences in the world of self publishing (very valuable information), go over to her blog, A Three Way Tie. She'll receive you with open arms.
I'm currently reading her book Iwishacana (which holds a special place in my heart since I've been following its progress since its early days) and I'll make sure to post a review.

Here are the links to the novels:



For now, that's it from me. Take care and see you soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If you're happy and you know it, write a post :-)

Okay, I know it's not often that I write two posts within one week. But I just had to tell you that as the title says, I do feel rather fantastic today. Not only today, actually, but the past few days. My editing is going so well and I've never felt so motivated. I just believe with all my heart and without a doubt that I can do this. I will do this.

For as long as I can remember, I've never been a fan of editing. My neglected manuscripts are my witnesses. Every time I wrote The End and it was time to clean up those babies, I started with the creation of another. Chocolate Aftertaste is the first novel to stick with me through three or four edits.

But I do have to say, this week, especially, I don't have a problem with it. In fact, I've actually been looking forward to it. Who would have thought. Hmmmm...maybe I'll fall in love with writing query letters and synopses at some point (No, I don't think that love story will become a reality).
I don't know for how long I'll be on a high like this. I just thought that before I start criticizing myself again, I should write this post. That way, when I get down, you can remind me of when I was up.

Being a writer is beautiful and so rewarding when it's going well right?
I don't know what I'll do when (yes, when) one of my books gets published. I'll probably sleep with it under my pillow and several times during the night I'll check to see that it's really there.

Actually, when I get the news that Chocolate Aftertaste (or any of my work) will be published, I'll do the following:

  • Receive the news
  • Remain in a state of shock for a while, staring into space
  • Body starts functioning again
  • Skip around the house like a crazy woman mumbling "I did it, I did it, I did it"
  • Call my husband (if he's not with me to tell him the news) and probably won't reach him. Have you noticed that when you have fantastic news and want to tell the world, no one seems to be reachable? I hate that.
  • Call friends (possibly also unreachable)--temptation to call non-friends rises (I don't like word enemy)
  • Retry calling friends several times more until I reach them
  • Scream into their ears for joy
  • Tell you guys (Best for last)
And then after that I don't know what I'll do anymore...I'll think about it. Maybe I'll hug the world or fly.

What would you do if you got news that your hard work has paid off? We all celebrate in different ways so don't be shy. Come on, let's dream together. If you're already published, tell us what you did.

Here's a nice photo for you taken in Salzburg in Austria last year. Just something to brighten your day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Blog awards

Dear followers,

Once again I was touched to receive two awards from two great women and one of them I can pass on.
The first is from Deirdra Eden-Coppel and she designed it herself. It's absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much Deirdra.
Here it is...the Powerful Woman Writer Award. Gorgeous isn't it?

The second award, The Liebster Blog Award (It's great to receive a German Award)  is from one of my most supportive followers Julia Hones. Liebster means "favorite" in English and this is meant to be a friendship award. Thanks dear Julia.
Here it is:

The rules for receiving The Liebster Award are as follows:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Post the award on your blog.

4. Enjoy the love.

Now it's my turn to pass on the Liebster award. The five people I'm nominating are my oldest followers who've been with me since the start of this blog and I want to show them just how much they mean to me. To those who do not receive the award, you mean a lot to me too. Watch out, you might just get the next one.
Here are the nominees:
1. Larissa Hinton from A three way tie (Larissa has been with me a couple of years before this blog came into being).
2. Mysti Parker from Unwritten 
3. Akoss from: FantasyPen 
4. Elena Solodow from You're Write. Except when you're Rong. 
5. Zella Kate from Zella Kate 

Thank you guys for being there for me when my blog was on its first legs. I appreciate all your support. This award really come from the heart.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

IT'S NOW OR NEVER By Carole Matthews

Have you ever reached the do or die point in your life? Where something has to change or you'll go crazy?
Well, in a nutshell, that's what this novel is about. A pair of twins in their thirties believe they have reached a dead end in their lives, while their older, richer,and  prettier, sister (or so they think) seems to be flourishing. According to them, she has taken all the the fire and left Annie and Lauren with the ashes of what could have been.

Annie is stuck in a marriage with two kids, whose only idea of fun is racing from one party to the next and getting drunk, and a husband who is content as long as he has a fishing rod in his hand. In their twenty years of marriage, their only holiday destination has been Cromer.Every single year. She's getting bored.

Annie's twin, Lauren wants what Annie has. A husband (minus the fishing rod and same destination holiday). There's only one small problem. Correction, one big problem. The man she wants, her boyfriend of several years, has already filled another woman's "husbandy'' needs. A string of empty promises push her to the edge and she has to decide whether to stay or to leave. Another problem. She loves him and she can't pull away without getting hurt.

If you ever need that extra push towards your dreams, this book could be for you. It made me laugh, encouraged me to never stop reaching for the skies, and made me want to pack my bags and leave for Peru (you'll love the scenery created in the book).
I'll say no more.