Monday, December 31, 2012

A Peaceful End to 2012

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday, whatever you celebrated. We spent a week with the Florida branch of our little tribe, and then we had some days with the Smoky Mountain branch. We spent some time at Universal Studios. We bought some coin medallions at one of the vendor booths and whiled away some time chatting with the fellows there, including Sir Cumference and Cap'n Blackheart. If you ever go to Islands of Adventure, pay them a visit. They are a HOOT! My niece rode grown-up roller coasters for the very first time, and I was happy to ride them with her on that grand occasion. It's good to have rides like the Hulk to let some good screams out. With the help of Brother David and Milady Robin, I acquired the Lucius Malfoy cane/wand for the mister. He in turn found a lovely Raven statue for my comic book collection at one of the Orlando comic book shops.

We shared Christmas itself with my parents, my younger brother, and my older brother & his family. I made some eggnog bread -- some of my cooking that didn't burn, yay! -- and the mister made some wonderful sweet potato casserole. The Christmas Dinner table groaned with good food made by my mother and other family members. We have so many now that we cannot fit around the kitchen table all at once, so we spilled over into the living room. We had some great laughs with dear people. It was a grand reunion all around.

The Fur Babies were joyous at our return. They are making up for lost Lap Time to be sure. I wasn't aware that I had a two-cat lap, but Ergo (the Magnificent) and Cassie have decided that they can both fit in my lap at once. Last night, they were warming the mister's lap whilst he played round after round of the LEGO Lord of the Rings game. He told me how he thought that LEGO Samwise was the Swiss Army knife of Hobbits; that fellow can do just about anything. That's fine with me; I always thought that Sam was the hero of LOTR anyway. The cats don't care as long as they get Lap Time. So peace reigns at Twin Cedars once more.

Writing continues! My husband is within days of releasing his first novel, "Legacy of Dragons: Emergence". The cover art is nearly done, and I must say it is stunning. I am heads-down on my third chapter (still) of Twenty Million Leagues Over the Sea, but it is getting close to completion. It was a very long hard chapter to write, as it includes descriptions of parts of the ship that I just didn't have very clear in my head for a long time. I finally came to a good (or at least workable) design for this scene. That made it easier to write. I find that a section is difficult to write either because I don't have a clear idea of the scene in mind OR I'm simply going in a direction that the story doesn't want to go. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out which is the current problem. I finally found out that it was the former. Once I mapped everything out on real paper, I had a way to move forward. Sometimes I have to use a pencil instead of a keyboard to make that kind of progress!

I am still hoping to publish my novel in Spring 2013. Now that the Holidaze Season has passed us, I hope to focus more on the work of actual writing. We'll see how the rest of the Winter goes. I will post updates here as time moves along.

Happy New Year, everyone. Stay safe and Be well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Take Two Cats and Call Me in the Morning

What an exciting weekend! On Sunday, we traveled down to Hotlanta for a very Creative Event. My husband's debut novel Legacy of Dragons: Emergence is on the verge of release. It's edited and ready to go except for some final polishing, including the cover. To create that cover, we worked with a photographer, a model, and two body painters to create some stunning visual images. I was absolutely floored by the work they put into the photos. The room fairly crackled with the artistic energy that was bouncing off the walls there. I have been forbidden to post any previews of the pictures, but I think you will enjoy the final product when the book is released.

I did have the honor of making a prop for the shoot, and I hope it turns out well in the finished product. Polymer clay and Swarovski crystals. That's all I'm sayin'.

Special thanks and shout-out to Jessica Moss (model), Grace Moss of Bodhi Tree Photography (photographer), Lynn Cole of Lynn Cole Body Art (body painter), and Rio Sirah (body painter). You can find Bodhi Tree and Lynn Cole Body Art pages on FaceBook if you are interested. I believe Rio is there as well. If you have an Atlanta area event that just screams for face or body paint, please give them a look-see. They are very professional and LOADS of fun to work with.

Also, they can be found by following these links:
Grace the Photographer
Lynn the Painter
Rio the Painter

I think I have a Creativity Hangover! Still recovering from the outpouring of generosity and beauty of that day.

A word about body painting ... this is more than just a touch of make-up. This is a body treatment, and it is a beautiful form of art. I experienced a taste of it a few years ago at DragonCon, when I cosplayed Black Lantern Terra. Lynn Cole and Rio painted a group of us as the zombie-ish Black Lanterns from DC Comics, and the results were deliciously terrifying. I have seen photos of their work, from simple face paint to a full-body job. It is a beautiful art treating the human body as a canvas, and it can bring out the beauty in all of us.

My husband (nom de plume T. D. Raufson) has a web site with more information on his urban fantasy novel, due out by the end of the year: T. D. Raufson Blog

The creation of my own novel continues to roll, but Twenty Million Leagues Over the Sea has a long way to go before it sees the cover treatment. Can't wait, though, if it's this much fun.

Have a great week and a beautiful Christmas / Solstice / Kwanzaa / Hanukkah! If you are feeling down due to holiday stress, take 2 cats and call me in the morning.
Furry Hugs from Cassie (the Calico) and Ergo (the Magnificent). Hobo (not pictured) sends her love as well.