by Richard Skinner
I really was hoping to avoid a post like this, for a while at least. But tomorrow’s planned post is going to be delayed – at least to Monday, or even Tuesday.
Part of the delay is that I’ve fallen slightly behind my private schedule for the next Tales By The Road, so I’ve been putting most of my effort towards resolving that issue.
Another part is that, when I went to dig back through my notes yesterday, I found that I had not finished the process of linking my (almost) daily logs together, so that I could move back and forth between them. This is a practice that I adopted back in April – it makes it so much easier to figure out where I’ve been, and the false paths that I’ve wandered down. Anyway, three hours were consumed yesterday in fixing that problem. Sigh…
The main reason, though, is that the scope of the post suddenly grew. Happens to writers all the time, or so I am told… The wife informed me that she might as well share in my problems (yes, I have a very good wife); she asked me to get her set up and explain how I was making covers – she will take a swipe at getting those off my schedule, thus (in theory, anyway) allowing me to accomplish more writing.
What do you do, when presented with such an offer? Grab it, that’s what you do. Particularly since I know where my daughters got their artistic talents from, and it was not me. So… the post that I was planning, which was going to be just the bare highlights of my current cover creating process, transformed into a much longer piece, more of a tutorial, with pictures. Which is going to take more time to get assembled, edited, and ready for publication.
However, this change in focus is going to make the post a bit more specific than I had planned. It will be about using a specific piece of freeware (GIMP), and specifically the GIMP manipulations that I used to transform and compose the stock photographs. A lot of this will undoubtedly be transferable to other graphic art packages – but the details are certain to be different.
Now, a note about this blog – the comment system, to be exact. It occurred to me the other day, looking at the number of views that I have had versus the number of comments made, that it is possible some readers are feeling put off by the requirement to enter their email address and a name before they are allowed to make a first comment.
This feeling, if it exists, is perfectly understandable, particularly supplying the email address – all too many times, this can get you onto an author’s mailing list (or less savory mailing lists; you should see some of the junk that shows up in my personal inbox). I want to assure you that this will not happen with a comment made here.
At the moment, I don’t even have a mailing list. I do not record your email address anywhere. WordPress does, of course, to maintain the comment system, but I do not keep a copy it anywhere. Unless, of course, you are a spammer or a troll, in which case it gets copied to the block list – and get off my lawn!
At some undefined time in the future, I will have a mailing list – but only when I can have one that meets my minimum conditions. There are two of those.
First, your addresses must be secure, not vulnerable to any random hacker out for a quick buck by selling my mailing list. Having been a developer of highly secure web sites in my previous life, that means a very high standard of security that I demand.
Second, it must be under my readers’ control as to whether they are included or not – it has to be a matter of two or three clicks of the mouse, at the most, whether to opt in, or to opt out.
A desirable feature will be to have several mailing lists – for new releases in whichever genre the reader is actually interested in, for the contemplated newsletter, etc.
I’m very picky about this “feature” of the web, so it will be quite a while before mailing lists are added to my marketing toolbox. At the very minimum, this blog first will be moved to a private domain and host where I control everything about it, which means a fairly hefty income stream to pay for those things.
So please – comments are very welcome here, and you should feel safe in making them. It won’t overflow your mailbox with even more junk.