New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Saturday, May 24, 2014

gardens

My life has been entwined with images and words as I consider the right cover for the last of the Diablo Canyon Trilogy which will be out in mid-June. Yesterday I figured out what energy I wanted in the eBook trailer which ended up better than I had imagined when I began. When I finish something like that, it feels good. 

When doing covers/trailers, I spend a lot of time looking at photos of the sky, landscapes, and of course, the right people to fit the characters. As an indie writer, there is a lot of pressure to buy your book covers from graphic artists (which ranged from the truly gifted to the prosaic). Prices vary a lot depending on whether the cover was already made or whether you are working with the artist to get something close to your own book. 

I choose to do my own because I like doing them but am always told my books would sell better if I laid out a thousand dollars for a good designer-- not to mention the same people would have me paying another thousand to a professional editor. Maybe they would sell better but there is sure no guarantee of that. There is a guarantee that I'd be a lot more depressed if they didn't sell...

For this book cover, I wanted red rock background, interesting sky, and then a man and woman who best depicted my characters. It's unfortunate that hot men and women are de rigueur for at least indie romance covers. Famous writers can get by with a single rose but not so a lesser known. 

Nothing wrong with good looking men. I myself chose one of them critters and enjoy the benefits. It's fun to look at something attractive for sure. As a writer, however, it's frustrating that the most common options in royalty free image sites (royalty free just means you don't pay each time you use the image-- not that they are free) are models. 

Happily at the site I have had for a month (5 images a day for 30 days), I did find a guy who fits Dirk in the last of the three books. But whether he will suit those who buy books based on covers... not so sure.

Outside, it has been a beautiful spring. We are making adjustments to our gardens. Removing the deck was a big improvement for the creek garden which you see first in the photos below. The veggies, herbs and flowers are planted-- slugs got most of the marigolds even with slug bait. Why do they want the newest thing with plenty of other greenerie to eat? 

The freeze last winter cost us one shrub which led to moving the Buddha to be balanced on that fence. I liked that shrub, felt bad when we lost it, but the new arrangement is actually better.



 look closely and you will see a rose thief through the fence.



And finally a small bee hive for the swarm, giving them a place to live for awhile. They seem to approve. I have sure learned a lot about honey bees and their interactions. There were many natural pollinating type bees in the wilds of North America, but the honey bee was brought in specifically by our first European arrivals. They are considered essential to certain big crops and hence a lot of concern over problems regarding hive destruction. I suspect the way the honey bee is used, ignoring their instincts, treating them as slaves with no more meaning than an inorganic tool, is contributing to the problem.

10 comments:

Tabor said...

I have often thought like you think about our non-indigenous bees in this country. We have stressed them to no end and then thrown all the pollution and climate change at them. I need to do something with our Buddha that is more serene. I agree that a cover can be so difficult for the book..it affects the reader as well. I actually try not to get into the cover, because it rarely reflects the book when I am getting something to read.

Rain Trueax said...

We see the natives around here but hadn't thought much about their significance because it wasn't until we had the swarms passing by and began to research that I learned these bees likely didn't get to Oregon until about the time our place here was claimed under the Homestead Act-- 1852. It's hard to imagine a time with no honey bees as they make their presence so known.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Everything looks so beautiful and serene.....I love seeing the animals grazing and how great you found something wonderful for the honey bees to nest in....!

I know nothing about the problems and challenges of book covers and such, so it is very interesting to me to read about what you have to do and how you solve some of these challenges....!

Rain Trueax said...

You never know. You both could end up doing books. If you indie publish, then the big thing is watch the genre you are in to get the covers right for those readers. Some genres have more flexibility and freedom than others.

robin andrea said...

It really looks beautiful there. Very lush, green, and vibrant. I like reading about your online publishing journeys. Always informative and interesting.

Rain Trueax said...

Thank you for telling me that, Robin. I am always hesitant as to how much to mention here about any of what goes on with the books. It's tough at times because their process is a big part of my life

Hattie said...

I like your garden and the stone sculpture.
And the information about bees is something I did not know about.

Rain Trueax said...

I have learned a lot too, Hattie. We still are not sure where they will settle but whatever they end up doing, we have a LOT of honey bees around here these days :)

Tara Crowley said...

a beautiful green garden space. I can imagine myself sitting there with my morning coffee.

Rain Trueax said...

Well, come up and visit sometime and you can have that :)