One thing I really like to do is to take photos when i' m traveling when I dont have time to sketch. These are a few scenes I documented in Jordan and Hawaii. Although drawing from photos can be no good as they frequently result in boring and stiff compositions, using them for reference is a handy tool. Id like to develop these a bit further sometime soon, stay tuned!
I haven't got much to say about this guy, but he's the son of the moon and his main hobby is to make those cool clouds that look like animals and stuff.
Granted, it's not what I would have designed myself, but that's probably for the best since I am a shitty designer. It's also not what I would have chosen if I had my pick of any possible art style, but that's also probably for the best since I am a pretentious fuck who doesn't know a sell-able book from a hole in the ground full of unsold books.
What this IS is a fairly kick-ass cover that has wide appeal but also dignity, that will jump out at the reader without raised lettering or holograms or Smell-O-Vision. (You don't want to read a zombie novel in Smell-O-Vision.)
Also, we have yet another official release date, and hopefully this one will be final:
APRIL 26, 2011
In other related news, I got my first mainstream American review from Kirkus Reviews, and it's excellent! Contains lines such as "This is no Team Edward sob story" and "So begins the weirdest courting in the history of literature." We're off to a great start!
Also, here's the latest tally of countries/languages Warm Bodies is being published in:
'Murrica (United States)
UK (England, Scotland, Ireland, also includes Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and most other countries filled with English speaking whiteys.)
That's approximately 25 countries, 19 languages! Can you even wait to see all the wacky foreign covers?? Best believe I'll be posting them!
Last fall I entered us into a contest to win a photography session with the awesome photographer, Crissie Traugott, who did my maternity pictures and newborn pictures with Eliana. She is awesome!
The bad news: we didn't win.
The good news: she's holding another contest and we are entered!!!
Could you please vote and help us win?
To help, please visit Crissie's Facebook site and "like" her page.
Then, please lave a comment on our photo! Simply "liking" the photo won't count.
For every 5 comments, we get 1 entry into the drawing.
Thanks for helping us!
Except for a few snow flurries the first morning, the roads have been dry. It is a relief to have less traffic and no tolls. I have also enjoyed the scenery especially the Shenandoah Valley. The first morning we ate breakfast at the Penn/Cann truck stop which was a traditional stop for us. The food was not as good as we remembered so will not stop there again. Saturday evening we stayed in Winchester, VA and ate at a Ruby Tuesdays. We had a gift certificate from Christmas (thank you, Suzi and family). Mary and I had the Valentine's special for two which included an appetizer, two entrées, and a decadent desert. It was all delicious and fun. On Sunday we drove to Charlotte, NC and were greeted by 60 degrees. Today we will visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame before continuing our journey south.
Well domestic etch is a very special time in a boys life when... anyway it's a very cool magazine with some very cool people trapped inside it.
At the moment there is an excellent prize draw being held to mark the super special valentines issue, i'd click the image below if i was you.
Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~Maori Proverb
The sun is nature's Prozac. ~Astrid Alauda
Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that's been our unifying cry, "More light." Sunlight. Torchlight. Candlelight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier's Field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles. Light is metaphor. Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light. ~Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John1:5
I love that line, the one that says, "In joy and pain, in sun and rain, You're the same, You never let go."
It is the constancy of God's character that causes me to still hope... to know that we can trust Him, not because of His activity, but because of His constant character.
These past few months continue to be filled with such joy as we continue to watch Eliana grow up. I am in constant awe of the miracle that she is... her amazing personality, how much she is learning, the way she laughs. How she is developing preferences for certain things, like sweet over savory (just like her Mama!) and like cats over dogs... for particular books over others. She is becoming a fairly proficient walker (video to follow in an upcoming post!), knows how to point to Mommy's nose, says several words (like purple, Isaac, and cheese). She is absolutely amazing.
It's incredible to me that a person has the capacity to envelope such joy, while the missing can simultaneously still linger. I often wonder what Eliana and Isaac would do if they had been given the chance to play together. I wonder if he would be as enamored by his little sister as we are.
I am just really grateful for the fact that God just meets us in that, and that the constancy of His character allows me to be able to trust Him, even though I don't always understand what He may be up to.
ALABAMA or KENTUCKIAN's ODE TO VALENTINE'S
Kudzu is green,
my dog's name is Blue
And I'm so lucky
to have a sweet thang like you.
Yore hair is like cornsilk
a-flappin in the breeze.
Softer than Blue's
And without all them fleas.
You move like the bass,
which excite me in May.
You ain't got no scales
but I luv you anyways.
Yore as graceful as okry
jist a-dancin' in the pan.
Yore as fragrent as SunDrop
right out of the can.
On special occasions,
when you shave yore armpits,
Well, I'm in hawg heaven!
I'm plumb outta my wits.
And speakin' of wits,
you got plenty fer shore.
'Cuz you married me
back in '74.
Still them fellers at work
they all wanna know,
What I did to deserve
such a purty, young doe.
Like a good roll of duct tape
yore there fer yore man.
To patch up life's troubles
and stick 'em in the can.
Yore as strong as a four-wheeler
racin' through the mud.
Yet fragile as that sanger
named Naomi Judd.
Yore as cute as a junebug
You ain't mean like no fat ant
upon which I oft' tread.
Cut from the best pattern
like a flannel shirt of plaid,
You sparked up my life
like my rattletrap shad.
When you hold me real tight
like a padded gunrack,
My life is complete;
ain't nuttin' I lack.
Yore complexion is perfection,
Like the best vinyl sidin'.
Despite all the years,
yore age, it keeps hidin'.
And when you get old
like a '57 Chevy,
Won't put you on blocks
and let grass grow up heavy.
Me 'n' you is like a Moon Pie
with a cold RC drank.
We go together
like a skunk goes with stank.
Some men, they buy choclit
for Valentine's Day.
They git it at Wal-mart,
its romantic that way.
Some men git roses
on that special day.
From the cooler at Winn-Dixie
"That's impressive", I say.
Some men buy fine diamonds
from a flea market booth.
"Diamonds are furever ,"
they explain, suave and couth.
But for this man, honey,
these will not do.
Fur you are too special
you sweet thang you.
I got you a gift
without taste or odor.
Better than diamonds,
its a new trollin' motor.
So, this particular piece of nastiness will not be included in FLASHLIGHTS IN THE BASEMENT, but don't worry, there will be lots of other previously unseen tales of darkness and misery, including one about roadkill, one about feral cats, one about a self-proclaimed mass murderer, one about college kids fighting monsters in the basement of a sinking house, and a prequel novella to WARM BODIES.
I'm doing my penultimate editing sweep at this very moment. Give me two months, tops, and I'll have a finished, printed, bound book to slap down in front of you.
As you may have seen, here and there I like to draw my dogs. I really should draw them more, they are such amazing wonderful animals..and super cute. Here is Roo, based on a sketch I did nearly a year ago which i came across in an old sketchbook. She may look peaceful here, but she can be quite the guard dog.
Something that I have learned recently is the importance of using different brushes than the normal ones in photoshop, the default brushes are just the tip of the ice berg my friends. I have a lot of experimenting to do with over 200 brushes I just got for photoshop. Very frequently I get hung up on trying out new stuff because I get so excited to draw that I don't want my medium to hold me back. This can be true, but new mediums can be extremely inspiring in their own way so remember to always keep an open mind. I have been working full time at ZYNGA for some time now and I am finally settling in. Hopefully I will be able to share some more personal work soon.
Author Paulette Jiles has crafted a very engaging novel about West Texas history in the years following the civil war. The book,The Color of Lightning, was inspired by the real life adventures of a slave, Britt Johnson, who became a freed black man. On October 13, 1864, Britt and the other men were in town when a large band of Kiowa and Comanche warriors attacked the homestead where his family lived. One of his children were killed and his wife and two children were taken captive. Broken hearted, Britt dedicates himself to finding his family and gaining their freedom. Afterwards he buys a wagon and a team of horses and starts a very successful freight business. The author's prose is very descriptive of the country and its people. She writes with a sensitivity and appreciation of the life style of these natives of this wild land. At the same time she does not shy away from graphically depicting the violence and brutality of the times.
Another character, Samuel Hammond, is a Quaker Indian Agent who is assigned the responsibility to treat the native tribes kindly but convince them to stop raiding and taking captives. His idealism is shaken by the realities of life on the prairie and the clash between cultures and life styles.
Jiles novel gives the reader an insight into the tensions, conflicts, politics, and racism of the years immediately following the civil war. This was a fine read and a gift from my son, John. It is not for the weak of heart but the reader will not soon forget Britt Johnson and the integrity with which he lived.
I now anticipate February with excitement. This will be our 6th yearly winter trip to Florida. In past years we have gone for four or five weeks. This year it will be six. The best part? In Florida, spring does come in March. Birds, flowers, warm and sunny days.
I keep very busy in this season of life and continue to have many opportunities to do the work and ministry that I love. I am so busy that people will say; "You're not really retired.". Then comes February and the anticipation of weeks of exploring a new area in Florida, watching the birds, enjoying the beach, visiting the State Parks, spending time with friends, reading, and relaxing with Mary and John. Oh yeah, I am retired.
January was exciting and challenging. I spent a good part of the month preparing to preach and lead workshops at a conference for "First Call" (new) pastors. The four day conference was last week. This year I was accompanied by son, John, who shared his gift of music as part of the presentations. What a joy. We also contended with a few snow storms in January and are in the midst of another now.
So tomorrow we will dig out. What do you expect? It is February.
"Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"
- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing