Learn to draw environments and backgrounds easier with this fantastic exercise for beginners!

Art, Recommended Reading

I’ve been wanting to learn how to draw environments FOREVER but nothing’s ever quite stuck (looks at the various perspective drawing books on her shelf). But this! This video from Tyler Edlin (AKA BrushSauce) on YouTube has opened my eyes.

I started doing these…and then…just once…while watching something, maybe a shot of a hallway on TV? I SAW THE MATRIX!! I didn’t see the picture as hall, door, sconce, etc. I saw the big general shapes that made the depth. DING!!! I need to do this more often, but it’s really upped my confidence. So if you need help leaning backgrounds, try the exercise in this video first! It’s way fun to do with colored pens and markers (for values).

Writing Bundles Kickstarter – enriching and (possibly) career-changing writing book bundles!

Indie Publishing Friends, Recommended Reading, Writing

Please check out:

Writing Bundles

A Kickstarter Campaign Creating Five Writing and Publishing Bundles that Include 17 Writing Books.

Normally I’m not one to signal boost Kickstarters, but this one’s well worth a look. Veteran writers Dean Wesley Smith and his wife Kris Rusch have a Kickstarter going now where if you pledge $10, you can pick from one of five bundles of books on different writing topics. Pay a little more, you can get them in paper…get lectures…etc.

Here’s why this is exciting to me: Smith’s Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing blog posts (two sets of which are compiled in two of the books in the “Industry” bundle) literally changed the course of my writing career. At the end of 2016, I’d just finished the manuscript for Steel City, Veiled Kingdom (SCVK) and was feeling pretty down. It was a ginormous novel and I knew novels that big rarely do well with literary agents. It’d take years to shop around, and after that, they’d probably want me to change it, if anybody accepted it at all (which was a long shot).

Then I stumbled upon those posts and realized…yeah, I had ALL the skills to self-publish it. And no need for an agent at all. Three-ish years later, SCVK is out in ebook, soon to be in paperback, and in the meantime, I’ve got, like, a dozen shorts and a few other novels available on Amazon, BN, and libraries (among other digital storefronts) and more fiction on the way.

NONE of that would have happened without Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing–and in this Kickstarter, you can get it plus three other ebooks in the “Industry” bundle for just $10. And there’s, like I said, five total bundles on different topics.

It’s good stuff, folks.

If they make it to $9,000 before April 30th, 2020, everyone who pledged $5 or more will get access to SIX workshops on topics like Writing Sci/Fi, Writing Thrillers, Writing Time Travel, etc. I’ve done some of their free courses and have LOVED them so this is a great goal to aim for. Even if that doesn’t come true, the info in these bundles is invaluable–it was career-changing for me!

So please, check out this Writing Bundles Kickstarter. They’re covering topics I bet you never even thought about. 🙂

The Lost Room: Buy this miniseries NOW.

Recommended Reading

Me and my friends just finished watching a copy of The Lost Room.

Here are 10 reasons you should buy a copy right now:

1) If you ever wondered what it’d be like if David Lynch and The Twilight Zone had a baby that could be shown in public, it would be this show.
2) It’s only $8.00 on Amazon
3) It is 3 nights’ worth of solid gold TV-14 rated entertainment
4) If it were a book it’d be unputdownable.
5) Great storytelling in here, for nerds like me who love that sorta thing.
6) Low budget effects done right. Oh so right.
7) Amazing casting, including Taub from HOUSE
8) One of the Fanning girls is in it.
9) There’s a guy named “Weasel” in it.
10) The Glass Eye

 

 

Vidal Sassoon: The Movie

Recommended Reading

One of my favorite things to do is watch documentaries about creative persons–not like, the ones where they dig up all the person’s dirty laundry, but documentaries that focus on the creative contributions and background of a given creative.

The first one I ever caught–by accident–was the “Iconoclasts” episode with Tony Hawk and John Favreau.

Today at the library I walked by Vidal Sassoon the Movie and couldn’t resist grabbing it.

It was supergood–upbeat without being fawning, informative, and non-tabloidsy. Recommended.

Seth Godin on ‘Good Enough’

Recommended Reading, Writing

I’m wrapping up edits to my latest short-story. It’s been a while since I’ve edited anything outside of a classroom environment and I’m coming to realize that I’m harder to please than any teacher. I’m working on the fifth and final draft.

Before that I had:

  • the handwritten draft, the typed version of the written draft (known as the “first draft”)
  • the “aha, typoes-are-gone-let’s-send-it-off-to-my-Friendly-Readers” draft
  • the post-Friendly Reader draft

and the dreaded

  • “I read it all. OUT LOUD. To myself.” draft.

I’ve long heard that a project is never done, it is only abandoned (because hey, as long as you’re noodling on it, you don’t have to deliver anything)…so I was getting nervous. Was I, in fear of releasing this weirdo story into the world, noodling on this? Would I know the right time to call it finished?

Then Seth Godin posted How do you know when it’s done?, a useful post about this very topic!

It’s very useful if you’re a perfectionist (like me!).