Goldfish Diaries

How it all began…

                After knocking around Twitter for a time, I fell into a wild crowd. I became part of a global community using hashtags like #FP (Friday Phrases), #Iamwriting, and #writingcommunity. At first I stayed in the shadows. One Friday a tweet formed in my mind. I don’t even know where it came from. I checked my word count, and hit “tweet.”  The earth didn’t shatter. No one replied, “Get off, this is for writers.” 

                So I challenged myself to post at least one tweet each Friday. I noticed that keeping my words under 140 characters helped my wordsmithing skills. I kept coming back. The participants were encouraging and during the week would often speak of their “works in progress.” Some were published authors, others just loved words and sharing thoughts.

                After a few months participation, and meeting some of the most lovely people around the globe, the oddest question popped into my mind. What if I was a goldfish? Of course I knew about “fish out of water” themes in movies and books. But, what about a real fish? What would she have to say? And just like that, Goldfish Diaries was born.

                For over two years she would come to the surface each Friday and play the #FP game. With the encouragement of those on twitter, I started drawing this precious being with a big heart and so much to learn from the world. And now she has her own book, which I share with you.

Click on Goldfish Diaries

When you really need pie!

My last two books, A Gift at the Door and Bully Pie, were illustrated using models and an app (Clip2Comic) which stylized my pictures.

One such book required a pie. The first set of pictures did not turn out well and my model (grandson) was dropping by with the family. We needed a pie, but didn’t have one.

Maybe he could tip a pie tin I had in a way that LOOKED like he was eating a pie… Maybe I could photo-shop a pie in later… Maybe we could pile whipped cream in the tin and it would look like…..Maybe…

My husband and I flew into action. I got a can of whipped cream from the fridge and dragged out the pie tin. My husband started pulling down spices from the cabinets in creams and browns. I used the whipped cream to mold a pie shape and then used a combination of curry, cinnamon, and garlic salt to color the form.

What identifies an apple pie? I thought…two things: a curvy crust and cut marks to let the steam out. I kept working until we both stepped back and said, “That looks like a pretty darn good pie.”

So when you read my book, Bully Pie, you’ll see the pie in the oven. Not a pie. But, it did smell good.

Clip2Comic – An app that made all the difference.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to write children’s books.  There were stories I wanted to share. However, the artist in me wanted to illustrate these stories as well.

Along came these magical apps that could change pictures into comic-style or watercolor pictures.  It was not until I tried Clip2Comic created by Digital Masterpieces that felt I had struck gold.  This easy-to-use app allowed me to input pictures from my iphone and then use a variety of styles to change them into comics.

I loved the results, so I went to work.  First, I wrote the story, then created a type of story board where I connected pictures with a particular sentence or paragraph.  Once done, I needed models willing to act out the story while I took pictures using my iphone.  I mean MANY pictures. For example, in my first book, A Gift at the Door, I took over 200 photos in order to get about 30 to use. If you wish to do this, make sure you have willing and patient models.

The picture above of my granddaughter and my husband were taken with an iphone and have 72 dpi (dots per inch).  It’s important to state that because Kindle’s print on demand (KDP) requires 300 dpi.  Something I had to figure out.

The live shot was then, using the Clip2Comic app, translated into the style “Cartoon.”  This was one of the fourteen different styles offered in this app.  I made sure all my pictures used the same style.  I loved the look, but the picture was still 72 dpi and would not be accepted by Kindle. So, I still had a ways to go.

Here was my work-around.  I printed out all thirty of my chosen pictures (not the 200)  on good quality photo paper.  I then scanned each picture with a dpi of 400. I used my Epson ET-4750 for both printing and scanning. I had to do a bit more color editing to make sure it looked as good as the original. Once that was done, I had my illustrations.

I’m hoping that if folks out there want to be their own illustrator, my process may help them accomplish their dream.

Radio show CC

I announced this week about a radio show I was on talking about my new book, “Double Take.”

Feedback:

  1. Good show, clear audio
  2. How can Deaf and HH people access the same information???

For #2, warning….sharp learning curve for me. I leaned how to download a mp3 on YouTube and then used 1/2 auto captioning and 1/2 editing. So, -Fingers Crossed!!! Here we go!

Click on the link Radio Show, transcription, and you should see a one picture youtube video with rolling captions. I notice I do say “hello” to myself (oops) but most is okay. I made sure I showed when Dave spoke (DD) and when I responded (BB)

Enjoy!!