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Posts from the ‘CEDAR SANDERSON’ Category

7 Rules for Cover Design

I feel like I harp on this topic. Covers, cover art, cover design… if it’s ever too much, tell me. Here’s the thing, though. It’s not just that I’m an artist and designer and I enjoy the process of book creation. It’s that even though people will say they don’t care about a book cover, they actually do. They will totally judge your book by it’s cover. And your book cover signals a lot about your book, whether you are conscious of it, or not. Every little choice, from font to color focus, says something about the book. I think by now everyone reading this knows the cardinal rule of a book cover: cover art is a marketing tool, not a scene from the book. Sure, there are rare exceptions where a scene depiction works as cover art. But it’s not common, and besides that, the second rule of book cover design is: it absolutely must be legible at thumbnail sizes. Read more

Something Wicked this Way…

What evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows… 

I didn’t grow up reading comic books. There were reasons: I’ve been reading, and a fast reader, since I was probably 4, and comic books were not a good return on my tiny book allowance. Also, I didn’t grow up in an urban setting. Books were hard to come by, and I clung to them. Clung to them bitterly when the time came to move and I had to thin them down to the necessaries over and over through life. Also, I grew up in a very religious household, and there were books I just wasn’t allowed to read (although I will say that comics were never on the verbally forbidden list – that dubious honor went to two authors when I was allowed free range at the library. I was not supposed to read Robert Heinlein or Danielle Steele. I never bothered with the latter. The former… well, how do you think I wound up here?). So to recap: I was a bitter clinger to my books, my Bible, and my guns (ok, my parent’s guns, which yes, I was taught to shoot). Stay with me, here, I’m going somewhere.  Read more

Horror Season

My kids love the concept of Halloween, so right now we’ve been talking about it a lot at my house. I didn’t celebrate it, growing up – wrong religion – but they have been trick-or-treating since they were wee bairns, and enjoy it as a time of costumes and candy. Transformation into favorite characters, or creating their own characters through dressing up. The Junior Mad Scientist started working on a paper mache Pumpkinhead more than a month before the event. For the kids, it’s a time to delve into the stories around them in a transformative way.

For me as an adult, I get messages from my reading and listening material that this is the spooky season. Part of this is marketing, part is, of course, what led to the genesis of a day of the dead. The season of life, light, and warmth is drawing to a close in this hemisphere. It’s time to contemplate winter’s drawing death.  Read more

Blast From the Past: Rescuing the Hero

Amanda has some life interference today, so I volunteered to step in with a post. And then my life interfered, so I was left with a choice this morning: post a thousand words of fiction I wrote yesterday, or a blast from the past. Since this is a writing blog, but it’s not that kind of writing blog, you get the post about heroism in fiction instead of the random words out of context. I, um, don’t remember where this was originally published. Sorry. 

I made a rash comment the other day, and a combination of ‘brainnnzzz’ due to traveling and my usual tendency to write in mental shorthand (which drives my editors crazy too) meant that my thoughts came out garbled. So I decided I’d better unpack what I meant and make it clearer. Hopefully clear enough to communicate my intent. Read more

Boring Research

Yesterday through this morning has been research on site for something, I have no idea what. The First Reader, sitting in the dark with me at the wee sma’ hours, suggested I make this post about cranky old men and bad hospital beds. So… yeah. He’s cranky, and recovering, but it’s a good thing, not a bad thing. This was a repair of damage and ought to make him better than ever. Once he’s allowed to get out of the godsdamned hospital bed and into his own.

I hadn’t necessarily approached this as research from the beginning, although I’d learned something yesterday – under stress, I can’t write. I knew that.  Under sufficient stress, I can’t even draw, or focus enough to do much of anything other than sit in the waiting room – and I was perfectly healthy and fairly comfortable. It’s not the first time I’ve dealt with stressful situations, by any means. But there is a difference between being in a situation where you are doing something, or can do something, and one where you are sitting on your hands until news comes. I was contemplating this sensation in correlation to story situations while I was trying not to watch the board… this hospital has a nifty thing where they give you a number (for privacy reasons) and you can then keep an eye on progress similar to watching flights come and go at the airport. Read more

Off the Rails

I’m crossing my fingers while writing this that the internet will hold on long enough for me to post it. Since the Great Outage, I’ve bought a new router, jumped through more network hoops than I care to think about, worked ten hours a day at the day job with the exception of the day I drove the Junior Mad Scientist into the city for an appointment, and even that day I didn’t arrive home until late, and had dental work done. Still, the ‘net is iffy at best. Today, it is hoped, a technician shall arrive and figure it out, because I’m stymied.

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In Which the Writer is Netless

I’m sitting on the porch to write this. It’s a lovely morning, just a touch of cool, not enough to make me want a sweater, just a beautiful late-summer morning promising a warm day later. So why am I on the porch, not at my desk? Welll…. and why didn’t I write this last night, which I had every intention of doing on my way home from work? Well…

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