2020 Work Journal
2020 06 28
Finished another chapter of The Gaslight Bandits today. This one involves Hercule and Caleb sneaking back into the Smith territory around Copper City to help their Uncle move the family Hoard. I used the territory around the Grand Canyon as a basis for describing the area between the two City States. It takes a little bit of imagination to propel my imagination back in time so I can visualize what it would have been like riding through an area when there was no paved roads, fences or power poles. I hope I made it believable.
Next chapter involves them leading a tricorn pack train loaded with treasure through the unmapped territory between Azure and Copper City.
2020 06 21
I finished chapter 4 of the Gaslight Bandits (chapter title is the Indigo Moor). I called it that because Francis and Chloe are riding the train from Junction City to Azure hoping to catch the train robber gang that’s been terrorizing passengers in all the city states. Azure took its name from the blue bushes that abound in the territory.
I also finished the synopsis and blurb for Gaslight as well as the cover.
The Enforcers is being beta read by my favorite beta reader (my son Andrew). So I had a good day. I hope you did as well.
2020 03 31
I didn't feel up to working on the next chapter of The Enforcers, so I went through my notes for other books. I ended up working on a new book. This one will take place on St. Antoni as well, but it's going to be a stand-alone. I don't even have a working title for it yet. Basically the heroine flees earth with her younger sister and brother because their cousin (the went to live with him after their parents were killed) turns out to be a bad guy.
My hands are still too painful to hold a paintbrush, so I've had to put off finishing my old west painting.
Going through the 1st draft of Quantum Light. It went really fast. I didn’t put much of a love scene in it. I couldn’t because my two lovers Rupert and Sesuna are both sharing a room with someone else both on planet and aboard ship. If I went out of the way to put one in, it would seem artificial so I left it out.
I started researching for The Enforcers, which is the next book in the St. Antoni series. Both the MCs appeared as minor characters in the first book, but now I need to go in and create a deep background for the both of them (most of which will never appear in the book but I need to have it straight in my mind because it affects how they act).
2019 Work Journal
Work Journal 12/1/2019
Well, I didn't work on any paintings over the Thanksgiving holiday—it snowed on the claim which made it too cold to work with acrylic paints (they thicken and get sluggish in cold weather). It's hard to work on my writing on the i-pad because the word program app just doesn't have the same tools. So I plan to get a lot of stuff done before Christmas so I can spend the holidays with my guys.
Work Journal 11/1/2019
I started working on Quantum Light, the seventh book in the Space Colony Journals series. I plan for it to be set on Trellya, and this involves creating another planet. Although glimpses of the way the Trellyan's society functions were shown in some of the other books, this one requires an in-depth look at it. Since I already created it as a theocracy, I decided to base Trellyan society partially on the caste system in India and the Inquisition in the middle ages and how it would transition into a modern space-faring society. This requires a considerable amount of historical research. I'm also doing a much more involved story outline than usual so I can make it consistent with the Trellya I visualize.
To do this, I added Selick, the half-Trellyan half-human girl adopted by Lady Katherine, to the story as one of the main characters. Her presence enables me to illustrate the prejudices encountered by those considered lower caste individuals. It also gives a reason why Selick's birth clan would have wanted to get rid of her.
There will be rebels, both those wanting a peaceful changeover and those who advocate violence to change Trellya's government. Both sides want to liberalize the hold the Magistra have on Trellyan society, but their methods are different.
I always end up working less on my stuff during the holidays, so I am prepared for this book to move slowly at first. I plan on working on some paintings over the Thanksgiving week, as I will be away from my desktop computer. I don't care what Apple says, writing on the I-pads is more difficult than using the desktop, and I don't have access to my usual tools such as spell check and my Thesaurus when I use them.
Work Journal 10/13/2019
Today I wrote another chapter of Magi Storm. I had a lot of fun writing the challenge fight scene between Lalra and the other Sekhmet woman who has her baby Ishu. Like the drawing? I found an app that converts photos to drawings. It won’t fool anyone into thinking an actual person drew it, but it’s fun to play around with for my book covers. Maybe I’ll try the oil painting and the watercolor apps...
Work Journal 10/12/2019
Yesterday at Oakhurst was fun. Met a lot of cool writers along with some old friends. I sold one of my books and one of Andrews. About par for the course as the Book Faire was tacked onto the Oakhurst Fall Festival. Mixed events like these are about all you can find in the San Joaquin Valley. For some reason people in the Valley will go to art and book events on the coast, but seldom go to them here so towns and cities simply don't produce them. The important things to remember about Mixed events like these is 85% of the visitors didn't come for the books and art, they came for the event. Out of that 15% left who are readers, they will only be interested in the particular genre they read (science fiction, romance, murder mystery & thrillers, etc). Your objective at these events is (of course) to sell a few books and add to your e-mail fan list. If you only pick up 10 e-mails, that is 10 potential customers you can reach out to. So Saturday was a good day. The library brought in a professional film guy who did video interviews with those of us who were willing and who had the $25 bucks to pop for it. It's worth that at such a low price, because I will be able to post the video interview lots of places!
Work Journal 10/7/2019
Clovis Art Guild members Alice Coonen, Roberta Davis, Jackie McCoy, Gail Daley, Linda Oberquell and Julie Raymer picked the winners in the Children’s Art Show (grades Kindergarten through 6th grade) today at the Clovis Veterans memorial district. The art will be on display at the Veterans memorial district building the 2nd Week in November.
Work Journal 09/26/2019
Does anyone know anything about a company named Book Art Press? They’ve been calling my son Andrew about a book he published in 2016 called Torn Fox. He claims that his company endorses books to traditional publishing companies like Random House from recommendations made by agents. First they say it doesn’t cost the author anything, and then they slip in that the author needs to pay for 700 copies (actual cost at $6.50 per book is $4,550 of which the author pays 30% up front) of the book that they can send out to the publishers. Sounds like a scam to me so I’m passing it along.
One of my Facebook buddies sent me a link about Book art Press: They ARE a scam!
Work Journal 8/7/2019
When I was about six my best friend Sally lived across the street from me. Every other Friday night we would sleep over at each others houses, stay up late, eat popcorn and watch Friday Night Fright Theater on the local TV. One Friday it was my turn to stay at Sally's house. After setting us up with popcorn, her parents retired for the evening. [ 368 more words ]
Work Journal 7/17/2019
Got the Art Display at Sunnyside Library Gallery hung yesterday morning. Only got to pics though before my phone ran out of battery.
I gave copies of Warriors of St. Antoni and To Love & Honor to one of the librarians at Sunnyside. He said they planned to put them in the local writer section of the main branch, so Yay!
Work Journal 6/24/2019
I was delighted to enter Spell of the Magi in the Effys Sword & Sorcery category, but I need at least 30 nominations (votes) to make it to the second Nominate Spell of the Magi for the Effys in the Sword & Sorcery Category. Click this link: https://epicfantasyfanatics.com/spell-of-the-magi-gail-dal…/. Please follow the link below and add your nomination.
If you would like a free pdf copy to see what you will be supporting, please contact me via my web site: http://www.gaildalesfineart.com
Work Journal 2019 06 09
This book is going much faster. I don’t know if its using the software in Novel Factory, (which I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on). I haven’t actually used their formula, but I have adapted their instructions so maybe it has helped me organize my thoughts. They have a tool which will even generate scenes from your extended synopsis but since I tend to mix notes in my mine, I found I didn’t really use that feature. However, the character development stuff was great.
Or It might just be that this book wants to be written. I feel as if its moving much faster than Uncharted Trails did. Considering I spent about 4 hours this morning setting up a diagram of Wyvern Towers (I don’t have royalty rights for some of the art icons I used, so I won’t be using it for anything but notes, but the diagram does help me to locate stuff inside the keep)
I’m already up to 152 pages and 21,743 words, which puts me at Chapter 9 of 17 which is halfway through. wow.
2019 WORK Journal 6/4/19
Got two more chapters of Magi Storm done. I actually split the scenes into 3 separate chapters. Otherwise I would have ended up with a 50 or 60 page chapter and I feel that is too long for the ebook format...
Debating whether or not to divide my focus by trying to edit the first Draft of Uncharted Trails. I will probably wait until I hit a plot blocker on Magi Storm to do this...
2019 WORK Journal 5/31
Working on book 2 of my Magi series. I’m struggling with writing the next chapter. The villain of the story is a female mage with spellbinding abilities. She is an agent for a foreign government and was sent to Askela to help prepare that country for invasion from hers. Logan, the hero has been sent to Wyvern Towers to try and coax a powerful Mage to return and support the new ruler. It’s complicated because Faye, my bad girl, has used her considerable physical charms to develop a relationship with the Mage (Magnus) and she tries to keep him from returning by making him think she and Logan are lovers so that he won’t be willing to do anything Logan suggests. (Yes I know soaps plot, right?) but I just love taking plot lines from other genres and giving them a fresh look by plopping them down in another genre. 🤪
It’s hard for me to draw on experience to write this one because I never used the tricks I intend for this woman to use myself. I did a little research (you can find anything on the internet). I looked up old excerpts from women’s Magazines about how to tell if another woman is 1) trying to steal your guy. 2) How to tell if a woman is trying to make a guy jealous. Really weird stuff there, but since what I really wanted was the physical tricks, I’m pretty sure I found stuff I can use.
JAN 1, 2019 - Happy New Year!
WOW. Was it August the last time I entered anything here? I guess so. A lot has happened since then. I had major stomach surgery to remove a hernia that was pushing my intestines up against my lungs making it hard to breathe. It took nearly two months to recover (I don't think I went outside the house at all in September or October). I did get To Love & Honor finished and it is available for pre-order now, out by January 31st!
I started work on Juliette's book Uncharted Trails. I changed the title (originally I was using Dragon's Tear as a working title) because the working title didn't fit in with the titles in the rest of the series. I hope to have it out by this summer.
I'll be working on a painting for the Old West Show in April.
2018 Work Journal
AUG 21, 2018
I try to keep each chapter of my books confined to one subject. When I analyzed the ending of To Love & Honor, I realized that it was still too much to include in one chapter, so I broke it down to another four. More work, but I think I can still make my goal of a Fall Release. Maybe in time for Christmas.
AUG 19, 2018
Well, I have surgery scheduled for Sept 7th. I hope I have To Love & Honor finished by then. I think I still might need to divide the 2ndto last chapter into two. I've sort of wound up the DB left on the Tarmac and the dead crew member on the docks. After some consideration, I think getting rid of the remaining Hyati-Soturi deserves its own chapter. Somewhere in there I need to tuck in another scene with Tom and Lucinda as well...
I know I wrote stuff in January, but I'm going to need to find it. I haven't done any painting at all yet in 2018.
17 Working with two plot lines in the same novel: 1) Tom investigating smuggling 1st murder tied to his case. 2) Dead undercover Patrol operative with high end art in his personal apartment 3) Ispone and daughter
22 More or less gotten my plot lines on Love & Honor settled. I went back and did some rewrites on the earlier chapters to give more focus to the investigation and less on Lucinda's relationship with Ispone & her daughter. Also some developments for a minor pain in the assignment (policeman named Gorsling) with a grudge against the O'Teagues and Tom Draycott.
24 More issues with my body. The doctor's think there is something on one of my kidneys which is going to need to be dealt with, and I do have a hernia which is directly responsible for my breathing problems. Dr. Cunningham isn't sure it can be fixed. I know it's wrong, but I feel as if these physical issues are pushing me away and demanding attention like a spoiled child.
30 I am slowly getting three paintings (5 x 7s) done for the mini show. (at least I have them drawn on the boards!) Going to be a sand dragon, an Indri and a Dactyl. Black background with colors painted on it. We'll see.
I decided to turn my entries for the miniature Show into illustrations for my books. Obviously they aren’t finished, but From left to right a fire indri (going to need to fix the right shoulder among other things), a Dactyl (why the heck did I paint that board black?! Those wings are going to about 12 coats!), and a sand dragon (still got quite a bit to go on this one. It needs the tentacles on the nose and neck and the water she’s standing in...).
Taking a break now for a breathing treatment. I was hoping we’d get lucky and not have fires in the hills this summer.
Well, I now have a clean kitchen sink again, which will only last until after dinner. I don’t know where today went. I didn’t get any more done on my 3 paintings or on Lucinda’s book. I only have two chapters left too. Still have only a vague idea of how I want to write the next chapter: detectives try to interrogate the little girl with Lucinda’s DNA, the smugglers try to sneak the children into the spaceport, etc. maybe I really need four more chapters instead of two...
Going to serve leftover roast beef and grilling beans for supper along with some dipping veggies...
Worked on the rough draft of To Love & Honor today. I got about twenty pages done. But I also decided that I needed to do more work on the Murders as I’ve neglected them for other story developments. I need a good hook for both of them...still working on that part.
Wow! My Dactyl got an Honorable Mention at the show! I'm excited about this, as usually the Imaginative Realism genre doesn't win anything because most judges don't know what it is. They have no way of judging composition or anything else needed to judge subject matter.
Aug 1, 2018
Getting to the end chapters of To Love & Honor. This is the area where I feel I'm weakest as a writer as I have a tendency to rush my fences in this area. To try and counteract this, I've divided the last two chapters into four or five. I need an entire chapter to ensure the love match between Tom and Lucinda gets the attention it deserves.
I've also got to include a spoiler about Juliette & Isaac, as I intend for the stuff in that book to run concurrently with Lucinda's story, but I'm trying to make it as short as possible. I also updated the Historical notes to include information about the Legendary Dragon's Tear. Not too much, just the poem and a copy of the original glyphs of it found on Taprion.
The translation of the poem Dragon's Tear suffers as the words put into basic from the hieroglyphs found on Saramon don’t have the same rhyming cadence as they did in the original language.
The dragon weeps crystal tears
Sobbing as her children pass
Through the gate to unknown Stars
This way all her children pass
Of journeys in halls of air
A single tear remains to tell
In the darkness one tear glows fair
Shows tales of treasure hidden well
"Stranger, seek you not mine
Only the Queen Of fire and ice
Blood of my Blood will suffice
To find what is mine"
I had to finally create a binder with information about all the planets I created for this series. Saramon is Isiah and Isaac's planet of origin and it has loads of ruins left there by what the colonists are calling the Old Ones (also referred to as forerunners, ancients, and elder races) many of whom disappeared from space by the time Humans came on the scene. I just added a new planet the Elven Homeworld, Y'lelenor, as I had two of the rescued children be part Elven.
2017 Art Journal
December 10, 2017
I feel as if I’ve accomplished something today. I finished chapter 1 of the 5th Handfasting book, “To Love & Honor”, staring Lucinda & Tom Draycott. First chapters in a series are difficult because everyone and everything has to be re-introduced and described again, so new readers aren’t discouraged because they don’t know the players.
I also did more to flesh out the plot in the outline and created more of the bad guys, adding two more, and doing a little bit of background on them.
I also set up a love interest for Violet (book 7–the book after Dragon Legacy - Juliette & Isaac). I'm going to use Isiah, Isaac's twin brother. (I needed a historian/artist for the plot on this one, so I decided to make him do double duty.)
Lots of fun, and it’s not even noon yet!
😴 of course this leaves me time to do boring 🙄 stuff like finishing the laundry and changing the cat Litter...
December 7, 2017
Dropping mine and Andrew S. Daley’s books off at a local Independent book store (The Book Barn) for Review today. If the like them, they will put them on the shelves. This is important because they do a lot of book signings there. Keep 🙏 fingers crossed.
Also dropped off copies at the Water Tower Gallery.
Next step is to set up my game plan to get the books into a few independent brick & mortar galleries. Time for some internet research.
December 1, 2017
Finished the last chapter on the 1st draft of Spell of the Magi and sent it to the printer, so I can proof it. Once I've corrected this one, I will be able to have Andrew Beta Read it for me. Deadline is marching down. I did discover that I don't want to use Magi as a keyword: apparently that puts it with Anamie stuff on Amazon, not into adult fantasy. Live and learn…
November 26, 2017
Starting home today. I understand we’re going to all leave at the same time, so it’s going to be quite a caravan.
Yesterday was pretty productive work wise. I got the hardest part of the wedding night chapter done. It still needs work, but even with word downloaded onto my iPad it was hard to work with. Although, the thesaurus works, it doesn’t work off line so it was a pain in the assignment to use, and I never did get the spell check to work. I only have the final chapter to do, and I will be done with the first draft! Things are looking good to have this one done by my end of January deadline.
November 13, 2017
Last night I finished off two chapters of Spell of the Magi. Not sure I’m totally satisfied with them, but once I get the first draft done, I can work out bugs in the book. I checked my pre-order publication date for this one and it is January 31, 2018. Luckily I have only two chapters left: Andre and Rebecca’s wedding night, and the ending.
I have a decision to make regarding the cover of To Love & Honor. The design is the same but on two of them I made some enhancements. My favorite beta reader, my son Andrew S Daley, tells me he can’t see a difference, so I’m asking for opinions. No 3, is the original design which I always wanted to Jazz up. Nos 1 & 2 both have enhancements, one just to darken Lucinda's outfit and hair so she will stand out more, and the other I adjusted in Photoshop using a dry brush enhancement.
November 10, 2017
Made a change to the outline in Dragon's Legacy. I decided the would work better if the Outlaws were a crew from a wrecked Thieves Guild vessel who had intended to raid the mine on Kitingzen and got caught by the Karamine ship dropping the bio-bomb.
November 8, 2017
Today was my day off to relax and work on MY stuff. Despite several necessary phone interruptions, I got a good start outlining the next two Handfasting books: no 5 is Titled To Love & Honor. The two MCs are going to be Lucinda and Tom Draycott. It’s a good old-fashioned mystery; it has Free Trader smugglers, and a couple of murders. Lucinda will finally learn the truth about her biological parents, and Tom gets some competition from a handsome Free Trade Captain.
The 6th book is titled Legacy of Dragons. As a part of one of the new exploration teams Juliette and a new love interest named Isaac help discover a city abandoned by an ancient people who used to live on Vensoog. Trouble ensues when they find the ancients are gone because they created a very powerful weapon and accidentally destroyed themselves with it. It’s unfortunate that an outlaw band with a grudge against the clans wants the weapon because they have some nasty plans for it. Juliette and Isaac must find a way to rescue the team and destroy the weapon before the outlaw leader can trigger it.
After I did the outlines, I spent a couple of fruitless hours on Shutterstock trying to find a design for The cover of Dragon, and a photo that would do for Juliette.
It sounds sort of funny, but I have found a book goes much faster and smoother if I have a photo of the MC to focus on. I had a heck of a time with Jayla’s book until I got the cover done. It’s the same with Spell; progress was jerky until I got the cover set up.
November 4, 2017
Working on another chapter in Spell of the Magi. This one is kind of a breathing space for Rebecca and company. They are finally rid of Serle (they think), Rebecca and Andre are married by a ships captain, and Logan’s Wild Magi friends arrive on a small sailboat that they manage to almost sink in the bay.
I still need to run this chapter through ProWritingAid.com to smooth out the rough edges.
But before that I need to finish my dishes and laundry I didn’t get to yesterday.
Just had a nice surprise; Andrew S. Daley (my son and a talented writer in his own right) wants to write a story set in my Handfasting worlds. There is so much potential there and I will never write all the stories that could take place. Did I give him permission? you bet!
October 3, 2017
This is starting out to be a good day. I finished the chapter in Spell of the Magi I started yesterday. Now if only LensCrafters has my paperwork ready, I can go to the DMV and get my DL renewed!
September 2, 2017
Well, I see that I have again neglected this journal. Warriors of St. Antoni is done and I have received my author copies. It will officially come out of pre-order status on September 9, 2017! I'm excited!
The 4th book in the Handfasting series, From This Day Forward, is now being edited (first draft) and I hope to have it in production by Christmas. I've got the cover done (see by Author page on this site). As a bonus, I also got the cover done for the 5th book in the series, To Love & Honor, (Lucinda's book). That one is still barely in outline.
Trouble is, I've been posting on Facebook, but not here.Yesterday for instance in my Writers Unite! Group there, my post was about feeling really wrung out. I've been working on Spell of the Magi, and I had an attempted rape scene I had to do. It felt as if I was forcing every word out. Rebecca, the heroine, saves herself (with a little help from her younger sister and a shovel by using Fire Magic on her attacker). It was still a hard scene to write, but I couldn't skip it because it's key to her character in the rest of the book.
I've also gotten two small paintings done; I call them my cave paintings. They are mixed media instead of just plain acrylic (I used granulated sugar to get the texturing on the rocks).
Congratulate me folks;I can now honestly say I am a cancer survivor. I finished off the radiation treatments this month and got to ring the victory bell at the Cancer Center. Next month, I start my 5 years of estrogen suppressants, but at my age so what?
I'm proud to say that during these treatments, I finished Warriors of St. Antoni which can be pre-ordered now, and I got From This Day Forward almost in shape for the first edit!
I'm currently working on a small painting (a landscape) for the Miniature Works art show this month. If I'm lucky, I will have two small portraits ready to go with it.
March 21, 2017
This has been somewhat of a wild ride. I got my referral and an appointment set
up for Wednesday, then I got a call saying the facility didn't take Covered
California anymore. Spent yesterday complaining to my Doctor, who called me
back this morning to give me information about the new referral place. So I
start all over waiting for a phone call. Again. I am putting my trust in the
Lord on this one.
the plus side, I did get some work done on my old west entry, another chapter
on both Warriors of St. Antoni and From This Day forward, and I wrote a blog on
fiction genres which I posted today. I think when I finish this painting, the
next painting project is going to be a tricorn from St. Antoni—they look like a
horse with 3 horns so it should be an easy draw. I just have to decide if I
want to do a head or the whole horse—I mean tricorn…
March 14, 2017
I have breast Cancer. Certainly didn't expect that. I have been referred to the
local Cancer Center for treatment. I'm told I can expect breast surgery (heck
they are too big anyway) and then some chemo or radiation therapy. The Breast
center lab seems to think it has been caught every early and that it is the
slow growth kind and "very curable". If I have learned one thing in
life, it's that you don't get a try over in life. Whatever horse the Lord gives
you, well that is the one you ride, so I will ride this one too. I was sure
hoping that when Andrew received his liver transplant that the Lord was through
giving me the rough string. Guess not.
I fully intend to finish my books this year and see them in print. I also have a couple of paintings I need to paint.
Well here I am again. A whole month later. I do have some excuse; we are moving our files from a PC to a MAC and it's a royal pain in the assignment. To get any actual work done, first I have to figure out how to do it on the MAC, find where I put the files I was working on went, and usually figure out a work around so I can make this lovely machine do what I want. It's very difficult with any type of photo work. As an artist I have tons of reference photos stored. I don't want them clogging up the storage on my mini i-pad, so I need to figure out how to keep them from being "shared" with it and still have them accessible on the desktop. I have the same issued with documents.
been working on Warriors of St. Antoni this month. Gave it to Andrew to Beta
read, and he pointed out I needed to add more descriptions to the stuff I
inserted in the front of the book. I had covered that in what used to be the
first chapter, but is now the 3rd. He is right so I will have to do
got my design for my Old West Art Show Entry printed up. Now I need to transfer
it to canvas and start painting!
I would have liked to start this week, but when I went in for my yearly mammogram, the doctor wanted me to come back, so I now have a biopsy scheduled for tomorrow. I will be awake for it. Apparently for this type, I am going to lay on my tummy and stick my boob through a hole in the table. The doctor will raise the table up to his eye level so he can either sit or stand while he pokes me with a needle. It's not supposed to hurt much. Why don't I believe that? Maybe because he is a man and never had it done to him?
I spent the weekend running my novels through ProWritingAid. It was something of a revelation to see how a good editing program could help me improve my work. I'm also dealing with getting it transferred from my old PC to the Mac which is proving difficult because of the file size.
I also got to spend some time working on my entry for the old west show. In order to work with it on the Mac, though I am going to need to find a download for Photoshop elements. Wish me luck!
Hooray! I was able to download Photoshop onto the Mac! Now I should be able to do painting workups on it.
Wow! I just ran all the books I am currently working on through ProWritingAid.com. Worked great, and it was super easy.
Other than that, I haven’t gotten any painting or writing done. On Thursday, our little Mab went in for her spay, and we have been busy with her for the last few days. She hates the cone the vet put around her neck to keep her from licking her stitches (she got out of it twice on the first day!), so we have been allowing her to be out of it when she eats and so she can give herself a bath. She hates being dirty. Moonstone, that big chicken, is terrified of the cone, hisses, and runs whenever Mab comes near her.
I am really hoping that I can get a painting started today. Wish me luck!
January 2, 2017
I just found a great tool for writers. It’s called ProWritingAid. An author can past text into it and it will find all the weak points, misspelled words, sticky sentences, etc in your work. You can subscribe monthly or yearly or (a great deal) you can subscribe for life for $140.00. If you are doing your own editing like I am this is great. I highly recommend it.
Gails Work Journal
December 24, 2016
This will probably be the last entry for 2016. It’s Christmas Eve and my guys have gone shopping. Why do men seem to enjoy fighting the crowds on Christmas Eve? When I asked my husband, he said it was a tradition. (Guess it must be a guy thing.) I finally got our presents out in the living room. Didn’t do it earlier because of the new kitten; anyone who has a cat knows why. She’s a sweetie, but she is also into everything, she has discovered her claws, and she is also the first cat we had who has been really chewy. Andrew practically had a conniption when he found she had knocked his handheld game thing off the kitchen table and dragged the earphones all over the house! I actually got her some small dog leather chews and she has been using them! I found one in our bed last night…
I am very excited that All Our Tomorrows is out on the shelves on Amazon. I ordered my Kindle copy today and I expect my author copies to get here around January 5, 2017. Right now I’m working hard on Warriors of St. Antoni (got the cover done!) and the 4th handfasting book, From This Day Forward. Both are about half done.
Still fighting with the Mac. I discovered to my dismay that the Broderbund Print Shop I thought would work has NONE of the features of the old one I used on my PC and it’s a royal pain to use. I got it chiefly for the two newsletters I put out and I’m not happy with it. Unfortunately, I did pay out money for it since the Mac version didn’t have a free trial. I do have another option something called iStudio. Unfortunately, I not only was too sick to use it after I downloaded the free 30 day trial (over now) but I had issues with the sound on my Mac so I wasn’t able to watch the video tutorials. I discovered after I called Apple help that someone had checked the “mute” on the sound. Can anybody say, “Is my face red?”
My New Year’s Resolution is to 1) do 1 small painting (8x10, 5x7) every two months, 2) finish the three books I have started, 3) work on increasing sales on my books and 4) finish that painting Vernon Promised the owners of the Columbia Inn in time for the Old West show! And 4) figure out how to make this Mac work!
Merry Christmas And Happy New Year!
December 15, 2016
Writing my 4th book in the Handfasting series. It’s a Cozy mystery set on Vensoog. Using Jayla (Gideon’s niece from Forever And A Day) as my heroine and Luc’s best friend Jake (All Our Tomorrows) as the hero. The story centers around the theft of the royal family's Crown Jewels on planet Aphrodite. The thieves escape to Vensoog to try to fence them. There is a planet wide festival on Vensoog that draws interplanetary traffic so it makes good cover. The fence (Lipski) is killed and the jewels disappear. Jayla innocently buys the Lipski’s shop and then finds her body on the beach while she is out jogging.
I have got local, Royal and interplanetary cops who are suspicious of Jayla’s involvement. I have the original thieves, and the local mob who want to find the jewels. A housekeeper robot who was programmed by the original owner as a gigolo and a sales bot who likes to run around naked (haven't quite decided exactly what I'm going to do with them yet-maybe just comic relief). Then there is Jayla’s nosy, interfering family, and her bossy boyfriend Jake who all trying to help her clear her name and getting in each other’s way
Note to self: I think I have a form of writers block. I have to decide which of these plot lines to use as the main one, which ones are going to be red herrings and which ones are secondary. My problem is I like all of them so I haven't written a thing on it that hasn't felt forced for at least a week.
December 7, 2016
Well, I did it again—missed an entire month of writing on this. In my defense, I should say that during this month, we adopted a new kitten. She was all alone out at one of Vernon’s commercial accounts. The manager had been feeding her but only twice a day, and a cat or puppy that young needs to be fed at least four times a day. We think Mab’s mother must have been killed and she couldn’t come back for her kittens. We never found the others, and it’s my opinion that Mab survived as long as she did because she is one stubborn feisty cat.
We also put on an art show at the Art Hub. Going to be taking it down later today. Yes, I know it’s raining, but sometimes you have to do what you can do.
All Our Tomorrows will be going to print in about 3 weeks. Yay!
I was hoping to get back into my regular artwork, but I caught a sore throat and it has turned nasty. (Can’t get the flu shot until after this clears up. Ick!)
November 1, 2016
I have decided I am very bad at keeping a Journal. The past two weeks have been extremely busy. We rescued a kitten we found at one of Vernon’s commercial pools, and she had to be taken to the Vet, put in a home quarantine (my son’s room) until the Vet releases her. We’ve been extra busy trying to do our annual winter house cleaning (house is still in pieces). We’re in the process of changing our computer systems from a PC to a Mac (not fun), so there is a learning curve for the Mac. Spent 4 hours the other day with the on-line chat and discovered the terminology is totally different. (Menu bar is called a ‘dock’, etc.) The Mac is still not totally set up so I am working off two computers. I’m trying to get All Our Tomorrows proofed and Beta Read so I can publish it this month. Including All Our Tomorrows, I actually have four books in various stages of completion. I also have seven paintings started that I haven’t touched in two months and an art show coming up on the 12th! I feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
October 13, 2016
I had Pismo Beach critiqued by Master Artist Dennis Lewis at the Clovis Art Guild meeting last night. He confirmed what I was afraid of—those dratted cliffs in the back are still too bright. Considering how many times I repainted them trying to soften them, doing it over again is no big deal, but I wonder if I should also darken up the front. He also had some other suggestions for improving it, so since I have a month before the Fall Open where I intended to enter it, I will probably re work it. Of course, that does mean re varnishing, but what the heck. I think I will re-wash the back with several layers of light grey and add some yellow to raw sienna for the sand front of the beach.
I also need to get in touch with my friends Betsy and Ron who volunteered to Beta read All Our Tomorrows for me and find out what suggestions they had. Andrew already made several, which I have implemented. It does make the book longer as he said I had rushed through several climaxes and through the chapter on the festival so I have added several pages there that involved re-ordering how the chapters were presented. I admit it does make the book seem less choppy. Beta Readers are a blessing… And just think, I haven’t started the editing for format errors yet! Still hope to get it into publication by Christmas…
October 1, 2016
Wow! I've had a really busy summer! I have been working non-stop on getting the second book in my Handfasting Series published, and on top of that Clovis Art Guild had an art show and the Guild had to make arrangements to shuffle things around (our meetings, getting our 501(c) submitted to the IRS, etc.), so I confess I have neglected to write here in this journal. I went to a professional cover designer at fiverr.com to re-design the covers for my books and I am really pleased with how they turned out. I also finished the 2nd draft of the book “All our Tomorrows”. (number 3 in the Handfasting series) It’s currently being beta read by my son Andrew and a couple of good friends. My hand painted keepsake boxes are selling really well at the Watertower Gallery in Downtown Fresno, so I have also been busy making six more of those (actually a pretty time-consuming project). I start with a raw wooden box that I get from a local craft store, seal it, and then paint the base coat on the bottom and the lid. Then I draw a design on the lid and paint that. Then a varnish coat to protect the box is put on the outside and felt lining is added to the inside bottom and lid. Then I put the jewelry back on (hinges and clasps) and finally it is ready to take to the Gallery! So I have been a busy girl. I also have six smaller paintings prepped (undercoat done and the image drawn up). I hope to have at least one of them ready by Christmas.
August 17, 2016
Wow. I have gone an entire month without actually creating art. Well, not true really; I did five color studies for my Vensoog Handfasting series. I started to do a landscape of it also, but I ended up tossing it out (a rarity for me but it was just awful.) I actually have 4 small paintings drawn up (one 8x10 and two 5x7s). I also have two of my hand painted keepsake boxes started. They only need the painting done on the lids and then put together but there they sit...
Next week won’t be productive art-wise either tho’ because I will be starting on our Income tax. Ick. Migraine coming as always…
June 23, 2016
I’m trying to do better at posting to this journal. I just finished Vernon’s invoices for June, so I have had time to edit Forever and A Day three times, and I am starting on the fourth just as soon as I pick it up from the printer. I am in the process of writing All Our Tomorrows that I have already revised twice and it isn’t even finished yet! And I sold a copy of A Year And A day in April, for which Kindle will pay me around the end of June. That tells me if my ad campaign bears fruit in June, I won’t see money from sales until around the End of September.
My only entry I painted this year for the Miniature show is almost finished as I got to work on it today. Right now, it’s sitting on a little easel waiting for me to decide if I’m finished with it. It’s a night scene and those are always a struggle to split the difference between accurately showing that it’s at night and still making the paintings features visible…
June 10, 2016
Wow. Has it really been two months since I posted anything? Time flies I guess. I won’t say it has all been fun, but it has been productive. Sadly, I did not win anything at the Old West Show, but all the art was wonderful this year even though it was a smaller show.
I have finished two large seascapes and started my entry for the Miniature works show.
Forever And A Day is done and going through the editing process (this means I print it down at the local printer and go over it for errors. Fun). All Our Tomorrows is about halfway through the first draft. Because there are so many characters involved by now and the story moves from one group to another to remain coherent, I have to bounce back and forth between where the character focus is. I wish I could find another way to tell this so that won’t happen, but so far no dice.
Facebook kept rejecting my ad for A Year And A Day, so I ran it as a regular post and they blocked me out for ‘suspected illegal activity’ for two days…Big pain in the A to get back on. They won’t help you when you need it, but they sure do punish users who try to get around their system…
April 21, 2016
Well, the show and reception for Clovis Art Guild’s Old West & Rodeo show came off okay, despite the low amount of entries. I didn’t win anything this time, but that’s the breaks. The show comes down on Sunday. The next two weeks promise to be full also. Monday through Wednesday, I will need to get back to writing on my book and hopefully start my Safe Harbor painting. Andrew will be working with his Dad on Monday, so that will be the best day to paint. I also need to do some housekeeping on some of my POD sites (FAA, Pixels, and Red Bubble). Thursday, I need to change out my art at the Water Tower Gallery, and on Friday I take down my art from the Sunnyside Library Gallery (I also need to prepare a summer schedule for the library), then Saturday I plan to put up a couple of paintings in the Alliance of California’s membership display for the next two months.
I actually sold one of my hand painted keepsake boxes I have down at the Water Tower (Yaay!) So I suppose that this summer, I need to prepare some more for Christmas and Easter, which means developing some designs. Flower designs work well here as I am hopefully marketing these to women or to men buying for women! I ordered some Acrylic paint pens from Amazon and I plan to use them for the actual design after I paint the boxes. (Target date to do these is in June so they will be ready.)
April 12, 2016
I spent the weekend at the Columbia Inn (wonderful atmosphere, and they use real art bought locally in their room designs!) with my husband. It rained non-stop but that did not stop him and other members of CVP from enjoying panning the dirt brought in for them. They did this in the parking lot under pop-ups so that shows how dedicated they are to their notion of fun! We had a community dinner inside the 49er Mining Supply shop and Rob and Cheryl were wonderful hosts. Vernon has commissioned me to do a painting of the Inn and shop so I will be working on that later this year.
A Year And A Day, has been published on Amazon and Kindle and in May I will be making the rounds to advertise it. FYI, if you plan to use Amazon’s free publishing services; start with the printed edition on Create Space. I started with the e-book and ended up with two e-books (different covers but same book). In order to make the covers match, I took the first one I made off-line. Unfortunately, I had set up a pre-order on it, so Amazon has forbidden me to do any pre-orders for a year. Live and learn.
March 27, 2016
Well Monday turned out to be a wash. It’s wonderful how other people seem to fill up your day without asking you first… Oh, well. Today I got the foreground grass done on the Chilsolm Trail done, and the background and drawing done on the Bozeman trail. I also got the backing prepared for four paintings. I use contact paper for backing and I reinforce the edges with clear strapping tape and use thumbtacks and Gorilla wood glue on the edges to fasten it down. This is easier to clean than plain brown paper, which seems to absorb dust. No surprise that the back of a painting gets just as dirty over time as the front!
The Proof copy of my first book in the Handfasting series came today, so I will be spending the next few days going over the proof for errors. I am a speed-reader so it should only take me about nine hours. I’m very pleased with the front cover design. The image I designed looks great.
Saturday, Vernon is going to be gone with some friends to the desert so I will have that day free to paint. He is actually very supportive, but the more people in the house when I am trying to work the more interruptions there seems to be…
March 22, 2016
Today I finally managed to start on Chilisolm Trail. I got most of the background done and the horses and men drawn up with white pencil. The background took more time than I thought it would, especially the riverbank.
March 23, 2016
Today I was hoping to get all the cows and the cowboy blocked in, but all those horns and legs took a lot more time than I expected. I finally left one of the cows un-blocked and worked on the horse and rider. I used ultramarine blue and powder blue on the horse. I will go in tomorrow and finish it off with black.
March 24, 2016
Well today, I feel as if I am finally making
progress; I do still have quite a bit to do to finish this one. I think adding
a second cowboy and more cows was the right thing to do. Five cows just didn’t
look like a trail herd! Tomorrow I am taking a break to do housework, but
hopefully by Monday I will be able to go in and finish off the foreground. Then
I get to start on the 3rd one—The Bozeman Trail!
March 13, 2016
For the last three weeks, I
have had three unfinished paintings for the old west show sitting there glaring
at me from my art table. Not really
my fault I haven’t been able to work on them: I developed a bladder infection
for which I went to the doctor, had a bad reaction to the meds he proscribed,
and then I came down with Vernon’s flu he brought home from the Pool Workshops.
This Thursday, I was finally able to start on Home on the Range and I got part
of it blocked in. Unfortunately, after I sat there and looked at it for a
while, I decided that I needed to get rid of the clay cliffs I was using as a
background because they were competing with what I intended to be the focus --
the Longhorn cattle resting in an almost dry river bed. I painted over my
entire mornings work on the cliffs with grey and then had to let it sit long
enough for me to be able to work it. I confess I really don’t understand why
other artists complain about how fast acrylics dry because at some point in a
painting, I will have to stop and let it sit so it will be dry enough not to
make mud! I substituted some rolling hills for the cliffs with all those dark,
cracked clay lines, which looks better, but I still need to cool off the
background hills so that I can push them back or maybe I will add a structure
or a tree line; I haven’t decided yet. I will be using pieces of the same dry streambed
in all three of the paintings. I have one more day to work on it before I have
to stop and do Vern’s invoices for this month. Well, for some reason the internet won't let upload the photos (keeps timing out on me) so I will do that next time. March 21-- Its finished. I did end up adding some details in the background.
February 28, 2016
Well, so much for good intentions. I DID manage to
get the three paintings started. Unfortunately, I also started a bladder infection;
my husband came down with the flu (which he shared) so I haven’t done anything
else yet. The medicine the doctor gave me for the infection has caused an
almost constant migraine and nausea. Hopefully, however, March will be a better
month. I put the canvases on Facebook. Unfortunately, I don't think I downloaded them to this computer. Oh, Well.
February 8, 2016
This was a good week to get some work done. I am more than halfway through Forever And A Day, the second book in my Handfasting trilogy, and I have covers done for both of the first two books. Rather than painting a cover in acrylics, I decided to go with some digital artwork so that I could make them very similar. I think I will go ahead and use Amazons PDK system. It will mean that I can’t put my book up anywhere but Amazon, but its price is excellent—free. And I really don’t have money to pay a regular e-book publisher. My son’s book at Outskirts Press cost almost $2,000. He did get a lot for it, hard copies of his book and it’s marketed in I-Books and Nook as well as Kindle, but sometimes you have to cut your coat to suit your cloth.
I also got my two latest Acrylic paintings done, Cat Napping and Street Vendor and framed. I think I will put at least one of them in ACA’s membership show. Of course entering one of their shows is always problematic, as many times the judges they select don’t seem to care for my art. I used to worry about that, but not anymore. Having seen some of the art ACA’s judges deemed worthy in the past, I killed any feelings of inferiority I used to have art wise.
Now that I have my enlargements back from the printer, I can also start on the three longhorn paintings I intend to do for the Old West Art show in April.
December 27, 2015
Wow! Its only four days until another year begins. I’ve made a lot of changes this year. I began writing novels again and wonder of wonders, I’ve actually finished book one of the Handfasting Trilogy, A Year And A Day, and I’ve began on book two Forever And A Day. This story is about three sisters who live on a planet called Vensoog and the choices they make to help their colony survive the aftermath of a galaxy wide war.
Excerpt from A Year And A Day
“We got hit with a bio weapon sterilizing all male mammals, but our world is still intact. A number of planets weren’t so fortunate. Soldiers from those planets will need to find a new home. As to where they can be found, I intend to present this plan for accepting immigrants to the base commander on Fenris. Fenris was the staging area where most of the troop ships from this area departed. There is a sizable military base in place, and according to the latest Intel, a lot of ex-military personnel whose planets were destroyed are going to be returning there. I’m sure he will cooperate, because I am certain that he will appreciate the idea that he could get rid of some loose cannons by sending them home with us. Fenris is where they are going to turn loose most of the military units who no longer have planets to return home to. Housing them and finding work for them would to mean a big drain on planetary resources if they stay.”
Katherine nodded briskly. “Now that’s been settled, here is what I propose we offer our new Handfasting partners; full clan rights, that is they can hold property for any daughters until the daughter reaches majority. If no daughter is born, they will have lifetime privileges on the property they occupy. Sons of course will automatically be full clan members; the woman those sons marry will become holders. We will also guarantee pension and dowry rights if they choose to marry into another clan after the Handfasting period. Because we need to develop a viable population base as soon as possible, I would prefer to approach a single unit from the same area because I think it will be easier to integrate a single unit into the clan. That way if there are older men in the group who don’t find a match or unit members who don’t want to be matched, they would receive the same benefits as those who do, and they would be available to supply sperm for the planetary banks. The other Clans will of course design their appeal as they see fit. The only thing I plan to bring up before the Parliament next week is the fact that the program is available and that we intend to offer the Year and A Day Handfasting to these men.”
December 7, 2015
Pearl Harbor Day. That was my husband’s mothers birthday. She passed away long ago, but I do miss her. As a mother-in-law, I really got lucky. She was a sweetheart.
I was able to get a slide show of my latest Painting Cat Napping (which shows how I actually create a painting) up on this website finally. Photosnack where I made it, has a free option which will allow me to make 15 slide shows. Since money is always tight in the winter, I will have to wait until this summer to opt in for the paid one. Bad news is it didn’t work too well on Firefox but it does work on Chrome. I really dislike using Google’s products because they have NO customer service but I guess I will use it for this one.
I’m almost finished with Cat Napping. I still need to work a little on his tummy; the value where it’s in shadow is a little dark for me. Happy Painting!
November 17, 2015
OMG! It’s already November. What the heck happened to October? I think I missed it. I do have paintings on the drawing board and one started. Cat Napping and I’ll take a large. I went back into my photo archives and found some photos I took of downtown Fresno when they were building Grizzly stadium for one of them. It’s a picture of one of the lunch wagons. Cat Napping is of our aging orange tabby Shere Khan asleep on our bed.I have also gotten another 4 chapters of my book “Forever And A Day” (a space age paranormal romance series) written up. So it was good that I retired from my offices at Kingsburg Arts Center.
As you can see, Cat Napping has made progress--I hope to be able to finish it before Christmas. Then I can start on my Street Vendor...
September 28, 2015
This has been a horrible month for us on a personal basis; my husband’s pool truck went in to have the brakes adjusted, and ended up staying in the truck hospital for a week. The air conditioner went out on our house and for three hideous days we didn’t run anything that would produce heat (computer, stove, etc.) until the technician could fix it. I failed my eye test for my driver’s license renewal (several years ago I had a hole in my retina requiring surgery and although I did have surgery to fix it, it will never be 100% again). Anyway, I had to get an eye exam and then re-take the driving test to be able to drive again!
During this time, Kingsburg decided to hold an audit for their books (something they had never had done) so I was scrambling to get the books ready in the heat. This convinced me that I had overextended my time and myself, as I had NO flexibility to handle all these things. I am working to fix that at least and I hope to have more time to work on my art and on my writing in the future, as I have given up my position(s) on the Board of the Kingsburg Arts Center. I am currently working on a still life for the Clovis Fall Art Show, and I am in the process of writing a fiction trilogy. It is a Sci-Fi/paranormal space romance. I set myself a schedule to work 1 hour every other day on the series and at least one day a week on my painting.As my husband says “It’s us against the world so lets attack!” things will get better!
I have finally finished Andrew's book cover and I have started on my painting for the Old West & Rodeo Art Show. As soon as I get them downloaded, I will have photos of them to show on this site.
Dec 2014 A New Direction
I haven't painted anything new since I did Desert Beauty, because I am in the process of creating a cover for my son Andrew's book "Torn Fox". (See Worlds of Andrew Daley) and I have been busy trying to learn how to paint and draw a werewolf! Although I do quite a lot of imaginative realism, werewolves have never been a subject I would have chosen on my own, so this has been quite a challenge for me. In addition, Andrew wants Ainamae style so I have had to learn how to draw in that style also! It is not terribly far off regular figurative images, but the face and head have major differences. It will be a 16x20 acrylic painting. Andrew hopes to have the novel ready for e-format by January of 2015.
I am also getting a jump on the cover for the next book (working title “the warriors”) so as soon as I finish these two acrylic paintings, I will be able to return to my regular art. I am entering a new direction with my acrylic work. I am going to be doing a series of small landscapes (about 8 x 10). I have already purchased the frames so I am committed to that size for at least six paintings!
Why & What Do I Paint?
|I am a self-taught artist. I concentrate on the interconnected relationship between man and nature, and the strong bond between humans and animals. Simple images of everyday life (past and present), pets, and animals dominate my representational art. I paint abstracts because they are fun and relaxing. I also have a prolific body of Fantasy and Science Fiction art which I call Imaginative Realism. I have won awards for my abstracts, pet portraits and historical scenes. The panting for “Transitions” an 8’ x 20’ mural was created in 2004 and was installed by the Fresno Rotary Club at Freeway 168 and Bullard off-ramp in Clovis California on May 30, 2009. In my work I concentrate on the bonds between man, nature and animals because I think God created all of us to be part of a whole, not just individuals. While our individuality is important, equally important is our connection to each other. A painting should have an emotional impact on the viewer; it should speak up for itself. If a painting doesn’t evoke some type of emotion, I don’t care how technically perfect a painting may be, to me it is not art. I also prefer my art to say something positive. We owe it to ourselves not to spread gloom and despair all over everyone! There is enough of that out in the world without artists celebrating it! I love doing vintage scenes: If well done, you can be transported back to the past. Pets and other animals have so much they can teach us about freedom, responsibility and unconditional love. I always strive to capture the personality of a pet or animal when I paint them. The Abstracts and Imaginative realism paintings I do purely for fun. It exercises my mind as well as stretching my creative limits. As artists, we shouldn’t get so wound up in the idea of making money on our artwork that we forget we also have a commitment to encourage culture and make it available to everyone, not just an elite few. I don’t think it should be necessary to be a millionaire to own original art. For the majority of Americans, spending $300 to $500 dollars on art for their home or business is a major investment and we should respect that. I work out of my home. I have a husband of 39 years who takes me to beautiful places to paint while he pans for gold, a son who writes juvenile fiction, and 2 cats. Sadly, the Guinea pig, two of our other cats all of our many dogs have passed on. They are remembered with love, laughter and tears.|