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Monday, October 8, 2012

Almost Done. Again. Finding a Cover Designer. Arghh.

Once again I see I've neglected to write for over a month. Sorry about that, but you see, I don't like to write if I don't think I have anything to say. Or maybe it's that I'm just slothful and thinking of something seems too difficult.

Anyhow, I'm here now. September was a strange month, starting out so hot I had the AC on constantly and ending cold enough to turn on the heat. At least the drought ended and with the first rain, my garden revived, both the grass and the flowers returned. A few of the spring flowers are even blooming again.

And I finally finished what was to be a proofreading of my second novel, Along the Ravenswood. Proofreading turned into a rewrite and took far longer than I planned. I can't spend more than 3-4 hours at a time working on the book or I get dozy and start skipping through and missing errors, so I spent afternoons on Something Completely Different--tuckpointinng and limewashing the basement of the old house I own next door.

Here's an old photo from three years ago--the porch and the small balcony now have new railings, or restored old ones. Much better. The lilies have grown into a goodly green fence/hedge.

It's a huge old place 45' x 45', divided now into four apartments, two up and two down, with a central hall. The brick foundation's a hundred years old and there were  places I could have stuck my finger in between the bricks, if I didn't mind the spiders, which I did. WhenI bought the house in 2000, the basement was a black hole, wet, moldy, filled with junk and dripping with spider webs. Since then I've had over four dump truck loads of stuff taken out of it, the foundation exterior tuckpointed, the floor paved (yes, it had a dirt floor!) and all the gas and water lines replaced. Now the basement has a large central room with a 9 foot ceiling and 3 rooms on each side that open into it. All these brick-walled rooms were dark and spidery. I put off doing anything about that for over 10 years.
 
Rewriting and proofing were driving me insane to the point where even working on the basement seemed attractive. I wasn't interested in cutesy panelling and carpet.I like real basements--a painted concrete floor and white limewashed walls that create a clean, dry, bright work and storage space. So that's where I've been. 18 bags of mortar mix and 9 bags of hydrolized lime and I'm nearly done, as done as I think basements should be. I've only one small room left to tuckpoint yet, then a final coat of limewash. I'll leave the whole thing to dry out and paint the floor (pale gray, what else?). It should be done about the time Ravenswood goes live on Kindle.   

Today and the rest of this week I'm doing one more (THE LAST) read-through of Ravenswood, writing the blurb, getting all that forematter and endmatter and so on written and sending it off to Hitch at booknook.biz for formatting.

I'm also making up my mind on a cover artist. Dustin Ashe seems to have fallen into a black hole, so I've been looking at hundreds of covers. Almost none of which I liked--too many feel alike, some are too cute, many too trite, some too slick, etc. Some designers don't even ask about the book. Some offer stock covers from which to choose. Arghh! Is there no one who thinks he or she should read the book, or parts therof, and design a cover with some relation to that book? Such a radical thought! I finally have someone in mind (suggested by the folks at booknook.biz), but I'll decide by the end of the week. Arghh.

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