So I May Need to Write a Bonus Story

So we’re thinking that part of the reason why Just a Whim’s cover is not cooperating is the size of the spine and if the book were longer it might not be a problem, or maybe not in the same way.

So my thought was maybe including a little bonus story. I’m trying to figure out what to do, though, as I’ve had a hard time writing much, Whim and I have a complicated relationship, and I have a hard time writing short.

Any thoughts?

Feel free to leave them here or on facebook or twitter or even on the tumblr.

Ordinary Day

This song has kind of gone through that overplaying stage where I got so sick of it being on all the time that I deliberately forgot it. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. It was just on all the time and even the songs I like get old after that much repetition.

Still, as it played on Pandora, I couldn’t help thinking of Thyme and Whim.

When Thyme meets him, she’s doing that daily grind thing. She’s job hunting. It’s an ordinary day, just like the lyrics.

Just a day,
Just an ordinary day.
Just trying to get by.

Thyme becomes the catalyst by which Whim finds his own path, with her help and advice and even meddling, she gets him to break free of the rules that he thought he had to live by, freeing him for a future that is limitless. At one point, though, she tells him, “If you really think that the only way you can live is by someone’s wishes, find someone new to wish for you.” He asks if that’s her.

And as I looked up into those eyes
His vision borrows mine.
And I know he’s no stranger,
For I feel I’ve held him for all of time.

In the light of her name being Thyme, this part is almost funny.

Touch the stars for time will not flee.
Time will not flee.

Of course, Whim isn’t ordinary, so that doesn’t fit, but what does fit is how well this goes with the concept behind the cover art.

Don’t you see all your dreams lie right in the palm of your hand.

For more on that, though, see the Kabobbles on Art piece about the cover.

Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

All I Want Is You

This song has a memory connection for me, since the first time I heard it was on the in-flight entertainment when I went to France. I didn’t actually know the original version of it, but I did like the cover.

I was thinking about Just a Whim and how much wants have to do with the story and what Thyme finally realizes she wants, and this song was playing. It all connected, though the song doesn’t fit as much as some of the others have.

The sections with the wants or the offers, like this one:

You say you’ll give me
A highway with no one on it
Treasure just to look upon it
All the riches in the night

Whim is capable of granting all of them, so that fits.

This little bit, too:

You say you want
Your story to remain untold

That has a bit of a double meaning in the story.

All the promises that we made from the cradle to the grave when all I want is you…

Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

Edits, Edits, So Many to Do

Editing has to be the longest process in a book.

Possibly, in the past, publishing was the longest, but the thing is, once the format and cover art are done, it can be published as an ebook within a relatively short time. Really, how long the site takes to make it “live” is not nearly as long as editing a story can take.

Now, before, arguably, editing was a part of this publishing process. It still is, I guess, but I tend to separate it in my mind from the “publish” part where the button gets clicked and websites make the book available to the world.

What I learned the last time I went through this process, though, was that the actual end part, the final step, was so much simpler than the ones along the road.

My main delay in getting Just a Whim out there was really myself. I had edits, but I was scared to take those last steps and put them in and format it.

I find myself with almost the opposite problem now. I’ve got four complete stories–novels–and another three nearing that point, but I don’t have edits. In the last week, I’ve gone over them myself, with new fresh edits for Nickel and Dime, In the Family, Variety Store, and Any Other Reality. I’ve begun edits on The Memory Collector and after that, I’ll move onto another one. I’ve got plenty of them to work on, and while I’ve been putting off All the Men in My Life since I’ve been expecting edits back on that one, so it will probably be the last.

I was joking with myself about editing all of them in January, but with only a few more days to go, that’s not that likely, not with four novels to do and two of them over 80,000 words long. Still, it would be good to get as close to that as possible.

Every little edit is a step closer to publishing, after all.

Working Titles

I was preparing a little entry for the Kabobbles Sing Along section about the song that inspired my choice for the working title for The Lady in Black’s sequel. Working titles are what I call the story while I’m writing it. Not all of them come with the right title instantly. Some do. Others refuse to be pinned down right away.


Some titles were easy. In the Family was always In the Family from the moment it was begun on my phone. Any Other Reality was that from the beginning as well. I don’t know what else The Monster in My Garden Shed or The Memory Collector could be. The same goes for The Not-So-Super Superhero. He is that. His story could be told under no other name. As soon as I started typing it, I had the title for The Consultant and the Cat. The Lady in Black had a working title years ago that was abandoned before typing began.


On the other hand, other titles have not come so readily. Some don’t even feel right now. That would be the case with The Geek and the Fed and Unexpected Gifts. Each of them took on a new name from their working title, “Geek” and “Obligation” respectively, but they haven’t entirely settled on them. Criss-Crossed Paths started out using its first chapter title, and then it became “Tempest and Lonely Hearts” after the nicknames of two of the characters. The new title is still being debated.


Other titles come along as the story progress.


Just a Whim, believe it or not, started out as “The Crankening,” owing to the other half of Kabobbles Publishing’s daughter, who was extremely cranky when I began the story. Matched Set started out as “Favor,” but once the figurine set started to feature so heavily in it, the matched set made perfect sense.


All the Men in My Life began as “Old Love Best Unseen” which completely doesn’t fit it. The new title owes from a line that Franklin says to Mira, “All the men in your life piss me off.” She responds with, “Franklin, you’re one of the men in my life.”


The series that starts with Nickel and Dime each had their own working title. Nickel and Dime was “Change Your Identity.” Until the end of it, Variety Store was just “Nickel and Dime the Second.” The third one, however, was Five and Ten from the beginning. The secondhand store owned by Effie Lincoln could be called a “nickel and dime” or “five and ten” or even “variety store,” so all the stories have that theme to their titles.


Last night, I named a story “Lollipop.” Funny how names go, right?

I Am Not an Artist

I had a simple concept for the art on Just a Whim. From the beginning, I knew what I wanted, and I even thought I knew how to get it. I was definitely wrong about that.


The cover needed only a few things, a hand and some ribbons. Why ribbons? Why a hand? I thought both of them symbolized what the story was largely about. Whim’s ability to see these things that pass through our thoughts and hands sometimes faster than we notice. The dreams, the hopes, the wishes, and the fear, all kind of like threads passing by. Then we have his mother who gave him rules, and these rules could be chains, but Thyme points out that they could be more like guidelines, that they only really matter when Whim believes in them, and so in a way, the cover is also showing those rules falling away.


At least, that was the theory. The execution of it… Well, it definitely didn’t look good when I started in on it. I figured all I needed was a picture of my hand with some ribbons. Then the color was wrong, so I started to fix that.


cover art attempt start whim


You can see it wasn’t going quite as I hoped. Still, I kept trying. I got rid of the background, made it so that the ribbons were all solid color, and the hand even looked… okay.


progressing cover attempt whim


It was coming along. Really. Okay, kind of.


nearly complete attempt


I thought making it white in back would help.


pretty much end of attempt on whim


Still, I could tell it was wrong. I asked for help. This is what I got. This is why I need a cover artist. Because the cover artist did this.


just a whim cover art


It’s still my hand, though.