The Adventure Cover Revealed!

The Adventure Front Cover

As I said in my last post, I couldn’t be happier with how this cover turned out! Thank you to Joseph Apolinar for all his hard work.

This image is from Moonrise Mountain, the first adventure story in the book. You’ll just have to read it to find out who the old man is =)

Blessings,

Jennifer

The Adventure Full Cover

(As I said in my first cover post, the cover, front, back and spine, are all created as one image. Here’s the full image for The Adventure)

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The Adventure Cover Part 1

Creating a Cover…Yikes!The Adventure Cover Part 1

It sounds so straightforward. Make a picture to put on the cover of a book.

Except you have to choose font, color, back cover text, image, size of image…oh wait, that image has to fit inside the ‘live’ areas of the book without getting cut off in printing.

A cover isn’t just the 5×8 image you see as a thumbnail on Amazon.

When designing a cover, you design the front, spine, and back covers as one image, taking into account the fold of the spine so that you don’t cross the fold when the book’s printed. (there is a give and take too to where that fold happens). You also have to keep in mind the fact that the book is cut around the edges at the printer.

Then you have to make sure the image quality is good as well. If it’s not, you end up with a blurry image on paper instead of the beautiful picture you designed on the computer.

But with all of this, the end product it amazingly satisfying.

Joseph Apolinar did a great job on The Adventure’s cover. It’s cleared the review process on CreateSpace and the proof copy is in the mail. I’ll let you know if it all turns out in print as beautiful as it looks on the screen.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like seeing all that hard work pay off. I’m beyond excited to see it.

Maybe because I’m arbitrary, maybe because it’s fun, maybe because it’s exciting, here’s a piece of the cover… More to follow in the next posts =)

Can you guess which Adventure story this is from?

Blessings,

Jennifer M Zeiger

Artists, Amazing Artists

I’m a writer but expect me to draw a picture and you’ll get a stick figure.

Stories flow through my brain all the time, it’s a constant river of possibilities. I’m gifted this way.

But I am not gifted in drawing, in illustration, and the people who are gifted this way boggle my mind. They enrich the world in a way I cannot. Thank God for such people.

Adventure Stories are Illustrated

It never occurred to me not to illustrate The Adventure. In fact, this is the first time the possibility even crossed my mind. It’s a hideous thought. Strike it from the record.

Adventure stories are made for illustration!

So, part of figuring out publishing The Adventure has been finding someone to illustrate it. Umm. Again, I wasn’t sure who to reach out to. This was no small project with over 50 illustrations and a cover to produce.

In the end, I found two amazing artists to work with and the connections I have with them I would never have considered before this project.

The first artist, Joseph Apolinar, is a coworker of my husband’s.

He’s got a crazy busy schedule but, somehow, he managed to produce 2/3rds of the illustrations plus the cover. This is just as much of a learning process for him as it’s been for me but I love his work and it’s totally been worth it. I was looking for pencil sketch kind of artwork and I got exactly what I wanted with his work.

The cover will be revealed soon but here’s some of his work to whet your appetite.

Snow Storm Sketch from The Adventure Book

This is the Snowstorm from Moonrise Mountain for those of you familiar with the Adventure Story.

Figure Under Porch Sketch from The Adventure Book

This one is the porch that starts out The Tournament for those who have explored that Adventure story in the past.

The Second Artist, Justin Allen, is a childhood friend’s older brother.

(Talk about a distant connection!)

I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw Justin. But when I spoke about how much work I was asking of Joseph, my dad mentioned he still had contact with Justin Allen and he might be a good person to contact.

It was a shot in the dark that totally paid off. Justin’s got some experience in Illustration (I think) and was thrilled at the offer. There are three stories in The Adventure and Justin illustrated one of them, The Temple of Night and Wind. His work creates a beautiful contrast from Joseph’s, giving each story its own distinct feel. I couldn’t be happier with how his illustrations turned out.

Here’s a couple to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

Howling Maw Sketch from The Adventure Book

This one is the Howling Maw from The Temple of Night and Wind.

Prism Statue Sketch from The Adventure book

This is one of the many tunnels you might end up exploring.

Amazing artists!

Again, I love how these turned out and these, along with the 50 some other illustrations look even better in the book. I can’t wait for everyone to see!

Blessings,

Jennifer M Zeiger

Mental Shift

Mental Shift Blog Post

Writing’s a solitary activity. As Stephen King says, “Write with the door closed.”

That’s the initial process, at least. Close out the world and let the story reign. But then the book’s written and it either sits alone and unshared, or the writer must crack the door open.

With trembling fingers, she opens the door a bare inch and the feedback comes rolling in. Good, bad, ugly, tear worthy, but then, as before, the writer either sits on the feedback, letting it fester, or the writer continues forward, opening the door an inch wider.

On down the path the writer goes until she looks back and realizes, the door’s no longer on its hinges and the story can’t be shoved into the privacy of her room even if she wanted it to be.

This is the publishing process.

The scary, thrill filled process that takes a story from its initial secluded setting to something that can be enjoyed for years to come. Writing may be solitary, but publishing is not. And I’m coming to realize it shouldn’t be.

My stubborn side wants to resist, wants to insist that I, the writer, can do it all by my lonesome self. The world does not work that way, however. It’s an interconnected muddle of human activity that can be both intimidating and fulfilling.

As I’ve dug into the ins-and-outs of publishing so far, I’m coming to cherish the muddle. There are connections I didn’t even realize I had, connections that span more years than I care to calculate, that are now coming into play. People are insanely generous. They want to help, and my stubborn internal idiot needs to step aside, humble itself, and continue asking those people for their amazing talents.

In a nutshell, that’s how I’ve found my editor, both illustrators, the amazing woman who is working on my book trailer and so many other people.

Going from the solitary writer, drinking her coffee in her writing cave, to the socially connected Independant-publisher is a difficult shift, especially for a self proclaimed introvert. But as with all my dreams so far, I cannot achieve them on my own. And it’s wholly more satisfying to share the journey with others.

Share the journey, the adventure, no matter what your dreams are. What adventures have you experienced lately?

Blessings,

Jennifer

Join Me in the Adventure?

Join Me in the Adventure blog post

I’M BACK! Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to shout.

It’s crazy how fast time flies! Especially when you set yourself a goal that you really want to achieve.

To recap:

This year involves The Adventure to Achieve a Life-Long Dream. In other words, my goal is to publish a book. Thus, why I’ve not been posting. I’ve been figuring out why it TAKES SO LONG to produce a beautiful book. A traditionally published book can take 18 to 24 months to hit the shelves.

With self publishing, or Independant publishing, this can move a lot faster…but to do it well, you have to slow down to learn the ins and outs because there are a lot of details involved. (Once I learn all the shenanigans, things should run more smoothly). But to give you an idea of my process so far, I feel like a Jack Russell puppy chasing a group of squirrels.

Now…

It’s starting to come together to the point that I can see the finished product emerging from the flying fur. MY EXCITEMENT KNOWS NO BOUNDS! (Oops, sorry, there’s the shouting again.)

If you’d like to join me, I’d love to share this adventure with you. For progress details, check out The Adventure Page.

Otherwise, I’ll be posting stuff as I learn it in the coming days. Hope to see you around =)

Blessings,

Jennifer

(P.S. The book’s titled The Adventure.)

 

The Value of People Amidst the Chaos

I would never have learned to ride a motorcycle without the support of certain key people. Fear and the resistance of time played too strongly in my mind for me to break through that barrier all by my lonesome self.

I’m not a bold person by nature. So my husband finding a motorcycle I could touch the ground on happened because he cared enough about my dreams to urge me forward.

Likewise, taking the class to learn happened because my neighbor wanted to learn as well, and she loved the idea of hanging out together. She encouraged me on when the bike flew from under me and I hit the ground.

This reminds me strongly of the verses in the Bible that say, “Two are better than one…For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

Whether you believe in the Bible or not, there’s a lot of truth in those verses. Our society emphasizes personal strength. We glorify the person who did something on his or her own, but we often forget the quiet supporters who stood behind the person and urged him on when the storms threatened to drown him.

This creates a false image in our minds of what true strength looks like. We think achievements must be all our own or we’ve somehow failed. This sets us up to fall…and often we’re alone when we hit the ground.

This past week has emphasized the power behind having a team as opposed to going it alone. We are made for connection.

I wrote last week about my struggle. The Fligiwagit! moment when I received yet another rejection and the tears that followed.

It was my husband in that moment who encouraged me past the tears. It was my dad who started asking questions about who else I might look at for editing. It was a friend who offered to lay a fresh set of eyes on the manuscript for Moonrise Mountain.

I could go on. There were numerous people who saw my bleeding knees and reached to pick me up.

As Jeff Goins encourages, I’m finding my tribe. And, since last week, I’ve found an editor and continue to move forward. All because of the people encouraging me on.

People are beautiful and amazing. Don’t hesitate to reach out. Bring them along side you in your dreams and you’ll be amazed at the joy it can bring.

Blessings,

Jennifer

Chasing Dreams Amidst the Storms

 

img_0608I’ve determined my fear will not stop me from riding a motorcycle. This does not mean, however, that the road will not throw debris in my face.

Similarly, just because I’ve determined to push ahead with self publishing Moonrise Mountain, my first adventure story, does not mean there will not be hiccups in the process. Rib cracking, loud and painful hiccups.

This last month I worked on expanding Moonrise Mountain to fit in a book rather than a blog. I’ve formatted it and put in page directions (adventures have lots of those).

Then looking at it, I admitted professional editing would be a good idea. I want to produce as professional a product as possible. Now, please understand, I’m an English Major. There’s a bit of pride in the way for this. (That pesky pride, always getting beneath my feet!)

So I reached out to an editor, who I researched and thought would be a good fit, to see about the details to have Moonrise Mountain edited.

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-6-56-22-pmLess than 12 hours later, I receive an email back. The basic gist…editor’s not interested, find someone else. Fligiwagit! (That’s as close as I get to cursing.) And, to be honest, he probably didn’t mean to be so abrupt.

And now, after a few days, I can see that. But immediately after reading the email, I wanted to cry, and did. (The crying bit might have something to do with several rejections that came in the same week for Dryad. I’m keeping a folder on my computer. Once I have enough, I’m printing them out and burning them in a nice s’more making campfire. Anyone want to join me?)

Anyway, as the day went on, my ire rose and my stubborn streak kicked in.

Two steps forward, one step back. I’m still making progress.

On an up note, I may have found an illustrator for the story. And I’m super excited if it works out. I’ll share some of the awesomeness as soon as I can.

Until then, keep after those dreams because, despite the mud and bugs thrown in your face, it’s totally worth it.

Blessings,

Jennifer