Random Harvest News

Some eclectic news for you this week. The last couple of weeks have been quite intense on the publishing side with choosing and tweaking a book cover design for After Black and pushing on to the next stage in the publishing rocess. I’ve also been learning new skills through gritted teeth while setting up an email contact list, which is something I have been putting off for far too long, deliberating on it back and forth. Having now decided, keeping it as simple as possible has been a real task when there are so MANY clever apps and programs buzzing around with Mailchimp, the primary facilitator of this. I even had to sort out a free PO Box address for myself. Add to this that my peony painting has turned its face to the wall because of the pending disruptions due this week, when we get some new flooring put in, and you can see that my arty side has been suppressed lately and I’m certainly craving colour. Thank heavens for the time I always find in which to read, even if that means staying too long abed in the mornings!

Did you know this makes me a Librocubicularist? It’s the technical term for someone who reads in bed, in my case at night before I go to sleep and in the morning too. It’s my way of turning the negative of insomnia into a positive experience!

And a timely supportive quote here from American author and intellectual, Clifton Fadiman:

To read in bed is to draw around us invisible, noiseless curtains. Then at last we are in a room of our own and are ready to burrow back, back to that private life of the imagination we all led as a child and to whose secret satisfactions so many of us have mislaid the key.

And that’s got to be a perfect place for us writers and artists….

Okay, I’ll start with the book cover:

There were 4 designs to choose from originally, which I sent to about 10 friends to see which they liked the best. 9 were readers, one was an online writer friend. It was surprising how divided the response was with no clear winner emerging, saving to say it came down to 3 designs. Thank you to all who gave me feedback so quickly, it was so truly appreciated :>) My own favourite, at this point, was neck and neck with the other 2. I did consider sharing them here to get some reactions but after the mixed results already adding to my confusion, I decided against it! In the end, simply printing them out and wrapping them around a book made the decision immediate and I’m sure to remember this for next time! Having said this, the feedback did help me make the decision with more confidence.

Cover 1 was an autumn woodland and I had posed as my main character of Janet in the winter, wearing a black coat and boots, so this was the figure we worked with in tandem with the image. Reactions were very sensitive and dreamy to this one, where spiritual renewal and walking into a brighter future were suggested. For me, my issues were: I’d had my heart set on a winter image, not an autumn one, because the novel begins in very early January; also when you consider only the right hand of the spread which is the vital area, it doesn’t have the same balance as the whole; I also felt that the woodland scene was almost too beautiful for the mood of the book at the beginning which is specifically dark.

Cover 2 was my personal favourite. I loved the vintage feel of it and the winter colours and seed heads. I loved the ‘arty’ feel and it sparked me off to do a couple of coloured pencil drawings which I can use later on for sharing quotes. BUT, photographic images are the convention, or chic lit graphics, with not much in-between. So to select an arty image might have been too much of a risk. It also didn’t look great in black and white which is worth considering for the kindle cover.

So the winner is….

Cover 3,  a misty monochrome with red lettering. This was the closest to my original idea of a winter scene with Janet as a silhouetted figure – me again! It was the first design my techie hubby worked on. I found a poinsettia graphic to go on the spine, the poinsettia being one of the primary symbols in the novel. The rest was all lettering. When I wrapped this one around a book it looked wintery and bold and kind of hard, which suits the beginning of the story. It’s also totally fine in black and white for a kindle.

So that’s it, and I hope you found this sharing of the process interesting.

Contact list:

I’ve struggled for a couple of years on whether to do this or not. There are so many writers rules on this and the giant one is that you must have one. Fine, it makes sense to collect email addresses in a legitimate and fully legal way so that when you have a book ready to publish you can give the people on your list the heads up. And this is great for writers and is most welcome. But the advice soon morphs into the writing of newsletters rather than a notification of simple news which is all I want to do. So with my contact list set up, which was a real techy learning curve, there will be no pop up box coming onto my blog, no landing thing, no pestering emails, no gathering of postal addresses, birthdays or other data. Why? Because I don’t like to be subjected to these myself. If you sign up with me you will simply get the occasional piece of news from Lynne Henderson Fisher Arts, which is likely just to be a note about a recently published book or other significant thing that may crop up. So in this vein, if you’d like to sign up using the link at the top right of the side bar, I really would be most honoured to have you on my ‘list’ :>) which I will think of as a colourful tree…

Art work in progress:

The peony painting has stopped for now, paints back in their box, with the canvas turned to the wall for protection, and my painting desk cleared. This is because there are going to be changes to the room this week. But the space on my desk looks too clinically tidy. Where is the message to my spirit of ‘please sit down and paint a bit more of me’?  Where has all the colour gone? Never mind, the next time I sit down to tend to it, I’ll be mixing soft colours for the background, an exciting time with abstract pattern to evoke melting coloured glass… but for now the leaves float in space.

Pending disruptions: new flooring – long overdue!

Chaos will ensue towards the latter half of this week, with the first stage of some new flooring being fitted, both laminate and carpeted areas, which include the study where I paint, and where there is so much wiring to try to manage after  a computer and  three printer disconnections are made and so many more!  Those wires will be trying to wriggle around everywhere. All I can possibly hope for is controlled chaos. And it will be a case of removing layer upon layer of years of living, as books come out of the bookcase, art stuff comes out of corners, drawers and floor spaces, lamps are removed, followed by the furniture, and finally the old carpet itself will be stripped off the floor and rolled out – the best bit! And we’ll try to somehow squeeze in a lick of paint for the walls. Oh to see the room emptied out and Oh to fill it all up again – what’s not to like ;>)

The second stage is the living room in the following week, and I’ll try to keep this image below in mind – all fresh colour with an eclectic harmony:

Here’s hoping your creative projects are doing well and keeping you happy,

Cheers for now!

NEWS ALERT! I’ve just changed my mind about the cover. I’m going for number 2 for good or ill. If it inspired me to do some drawing then it has to be the one. I also like colour to wrap around a book when I’m reading and the mood of it to seep into the pages. I suppose its the artist me and the writer me finally agreeing together here! I’m leaving the post as it is to show how hard it is to choose a cover…

(newspapers, graphic tree, and watercolour house pics courtesy of pixabay)







Posted in On Art, On The Creative Life, On Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments