292. I’m back

dscn5448I’m back.

It’s been a weird month. Every two years my wife and I organize her guild’s quilt show. It’s a big deal and the amount of detail work is massive, but I won’t give any details. This is a blog about A Writing Life, not about the personal, private, non-writing life that sometimes jumps in with both feet. I did put in a photo of some of the quilts from the show as a teaser.

Things are progressing with Cyan, and I’ve been working hard to keep everything moving smoothly. One of the side effects of the excess of non-writing obligations is that I haven’t been able to work as unhurriedly on Cyan as I would prefer. I hate deadlines, and I am living in the middle of a snarl of them.

On January fifth I saw the first “rough” draft of Cyan’s cover. Excellent, exciting, and it looks like it will sell some books. That is of first importance. As much as we authors complain when covers are inaccurate, a naked female that sells books is always better than an accurate depiction that leaves books unsold.

By the way, this cover is not a naked female. It is a Cyl – and a rather well envisioned one at that – in a desert landscape looking up a the landing craft from the Darwin. It will all make sense when you read the book.

In the “rough” draft – which was slick, professional, and not rough at all – the Cyl was looking down toward stage left and there was no landing craft. On the more finished version I saw next, the Cyl had turned his head slightly left to look at the landing craft.

So what? So this was done by a skilled digital artist, using a high-end illustration program. You couldn’t turn the head of such a sophisticated image in a painting without starting from scratch. I know a little about this. I have been using graphics programs almost daily since the late eighties, making drawings of things I was about to build in the woodshop, drawing illustations for my science class, and designing dozens of oddball musical instruments and hundreds of quilts. I never had the opportunity to work with a really high-end program, nor had the time to spend on their leaning curve, but I recognize quality when I see it.

Even though the image looks finished, there are still a few tweaks coming, so EDGE is not letting me show you yet. As soon as I can, I will.

I have also been told that although Cyan will be an ebook, it will also be available in print-on-demand format. I’ll tell you more as things progress. It looks like the full release will be about the time of Westercon. For those of you in the eastern half of the US and the rest of the world, that is July fourth weekend.

So, I’m back, ready to pick up where I left off with a diverse mix of posts. Tomorrow we’ll look at the contributions of Gene Cernan, the astronaut who died two weeks ago.


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