Monday, November 29, 2010

Photo Illustration explosion

I don't have anything to say, but feel the urge to post something.  I'm thus posting some compositions.  The following are nothing new, unless you haven't seen them before.  You can click on each image to see larger versions.  The following work covers 3 different models I've worked with.  These are arranged in no particular order.  Some of this is really old work, while others are more recent.

Friday, November 26, 2010

About the novel ... and what's holding me back

Times I'll mention this novel I've written, usually in regard to being upset that it's not going anywhere.  You might wonder what all that is about.
Back in July I hammered out a 141,000 word Post Apocalyptic Zombie SciFi Horror novel.  It's split in 2 books over 21 chapters bulking a bit over 425 pages double spaced in MS Word format.
I've got a finished manuscript and have edited, re-edited, and worked on it quite a bit trying to shape it up for publication.  You'd think all I'd have to do next is chat up some publishing house, and be on my way to the bank with an advance check ready to kick my feet up for the royalties to start rolling in.
No.  That's not how things work in the literary market.  To get a book published, unless you are already a well known celebrity, politician, rock star, or public figure, you have to have a literary agent.  This is good, and this is also bad.  A literary agent is a good thing because agents get books published for a living, typically representing a stable full of productive writers.  Agents negotiate contracts, and know all the who's who peoples to talk to about getting your words printed up and selling.  A writer can always self publish on a site like or something, but, should you do this, you'll find all that success you dreamed of going nowhere, plus, you'll have probably blackballed yourself from getting any representation on that book you tried publishing on your own, and you may have also blackballed yourself from anyone ever showing you interest in the industry for anything else you wind up writing since you tried to circumvent the system.  If you have any interest in writing, you'll stick with the system.  1. Write your book.  2.  Secure representation with a literary agent.  3.  Work with your agent on getting your book published.  Sounds pretty simple no?
Thing is, your package of words might be printed on gold leaf, sprinkled with diamond dust, written in pure light and will make the baby Jesus cry tears of ecstasy, but, a literary agent doesn't care.  Well, they do, but, you have to get their attention, and you do this with a query letter.  Before they ever see word one of your work, they are going to get a very brief, polite, formal letter from you that tells them why they are going to pee their pants with joyous excitement every time they even think of you and your work.
If you've never been published before, chances are, 99 times out of 100 query letters you send out will get returned to you with a polite automatic rejection letter telling you "Thank you so much for your interest in our agency, but we do not feel your work is a good fit for our enterprise at this time ... "  There are sundry variations to getting told "no".
It'd be nice if you could SPAM every known agent on the planet with a single query letter, or have your query go to an international database for agents to look over like potential employers do with resumes since more than likely they're going to respond to you with an impersonal, but polite, rejection.  Try the SPAM approach and you'll be black balling yourself again.  To woo an agent into warming up to the possibility of picking you up for representation, every single query you send out has to be addressed to the individual agent with formal salutations in the query to that agent by NAME; Dear John Hancock, I've researched your agency and am excited about having your firm represent my work ...  Should you try the Dear Sir/Madam approach, you may as well shoot yourself in the head in hopes that your death will get your work the recognition that your laziness in researching and addressing individual literary agents never could.

I haven't secured representation with an agent yet.  This makes me sad.  I have, however, gotten replies expressing close-call interest with interest to look at my work again if I can get it edited by a 3rd party editor.
Yeah.  You'd think all the editing jazz could be taken up by the print editors at whatever publisher your agent gets to bite.  From what I understand, it does, but, after you've already had another other editor work on and polish up your baby to a fine and sparkling mirror shine for presentation to the publisher.  Think of it as having your car detailed very thoroughly before going out on a date.
Thing about getting an editor, it costs $, and, depending on your style of writing, there's all sorts of levels to how much it can cost you to get your 'car' detailed.
This is where I'm at.  I need an editor.  I have a few different editors lined up to review my work to see if they are a good fit for working together in getting my work all sparkled up, but, no funds to pay even one of them.  Without an editor, I might get lucky with a literary agent, but, even then, there's no guarantee they can get a publisher to show interest without a professional editor's professional experienced attention.
It's a tough market.  Heh, you probably thought the hard part was in writing the book.  Nope.  Writing the book is 10% of the effort it's going to take in getting the work on shelves.
Once you've got an editor, things will go easier.  Should you be fortunate enough to land a well known editor in the industry to work over your words, you can add their name into your query letters to agents; "Dear Ms. Agentrealname,  I've completed work on a novel after thorough collaboration in editing with well known novel editor name inserted here, and hope you will be interested in representation. Lalalala."

I have no editor yet because I have no $ to pay an editor.  This is what's holding me back.  How much will this cost?  A middle grade number would be $2000.  On the low end, after publication, my novel should land at least $10,000 in royalties, and that's if it's pretty much a failure.  Some other writers that have explored this particular subgenre niche have sold over a million copies.  At roughly $2 royalty per copy sold, well, you do the math.  My most optimistic hope is sell at least 1/4 of that.
Anyone interested in making an investment will get their name stamped in the credits, and the possibility of a decent return on their investment.  Granted, there's risk since I'm an unknown pony on the track, but, since my novel is written in the form of a Book I and Book II, these could be published separate, for near double the return that publishing a single combined volume would.  Once Book I gets picked up, the publisher can negotiate deal with agent over Book II.  On top of this, I've already started Book III, but, have held off on any further writing until I at least secure agent representation on Book I.  Further, I've another other other novel unrelated to this series already started as well, but, on stall until agent representation for the first work happens.

That's the gig.  Boy needs editor and boy needs money from somewhere to fuel the flight to publication the rest of the way.  I find it pretty pathetic that $2000 is holding me back.  $2k is nothing, but, it's a nothing that's less obtainable than the nothing I've got.

If you know any rich folk that like to talk about how they support the arts that might be interested in riding their name in on publication of a novel, point them my way.   Hell, they don't even have to be rich, just comfortable enough where $2k isn't a risk, and interested in helping a baby novelist get his feet.

That's where I'm at right now.  I get angsty sometimes about it.  I've got a novel that could go somewhere, and even go far, but, a cheap little $2k is holding me back.  Just one Blue Fairy could turn me into a real boy. *sigh*

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


In attraction we desire the company and recognition of beauty.  To be recognized, embraced, and wanted in return by someone beautiful results in a selfish affirmation of worth.  What is beauty and why is it prized so highly?  Is not a deadly poison still a deadly poison no matter the artistry, and elegance of its container?  Personally, I'm a victim of desire, like most everyone, but I'm also stubborn and picky, waiting years between relationships before finding someone, like that crazy fantastic girl with the yellow scarf, having just the right balance of everything both inside and out.  Unfortunately, the attraction is not always mutual, recognized, convenient, and even more rarely ever returned, and I go for more years with only myself to try to love when no one else will.  It's so very hard to love yourself when no one else will.

It's extremely hard to love yourself when there's no one else to back that up.
Suffice to say, I'm not feeling any love, from myself, or anyone else. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mirror Mirror

Look into the mirror and you'll see a twinned reflection of yourself, but mirrors are tricky and they can lie.
A photograph can be more honest than the mirror, but also lie more effectively.
Look at your friends and associates.  There, you will see yourself with greater honesty, if you know how to look.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

But what do digital shepherds dream of?

We're all familiar with the question and title; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Any debate regarding the capability of sheep, electronic or no of dreaming, I'm going to leave alone.
Where digital shepherds are involved in herding electric sheep, however, more than of their flocks they may dream.

Clicky the pic for bigger image