Author Archives: Anony Mole

The Gribble’s Eye: Cover assembly

Progress with a capital “P”

Dave Cline - lost and found

The cover is taking shape.

StoneEyeCover

With the chiseled stone “Eye” that I tapped into the patio in the back, we’ve begun our trek that leads through the forest to the glade where there blooms a sun drenched pool of possibility.

The “Eye,” as Widowcranky has insisted, must be a real physical object, else the treatment will appear cheapened. I wholeheartedly agree.

Ergo, I’ve begun, and hopefully have found, a source for the “Eye.”

https://handmadeglasseyes.com/

Megan has told me she can create an “Eye” of the right color, size and intensity that will lend the cover image that “Whoa, this is real,” impression to readers.

So, I’m discussing the manufacture of such an Eye with an eye toward, perhaps, creating a channel to have Gribble’s Eyes available for sale to readers. Wouldn’t that be fun? For the 1.3 of you who have read the story (I have an epub or mobi…

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How do you like your eggs?

That should be the opener to every relationship.

“How do you like your eggs?”

Doesn’t it say just about everything about a person?

“Oh, I don’t eat eggs.” — NIX!

“Sling those delicious little ovums any ol’ way you want for me.” — WINNER!

“Ooh, I can’t stand runny yokes.” — GONNER!

“A buttery, soft-boiled treasure chest of golden goo and toast is absolute heaven.” — CHAMPION!

“Bouncy and dry, Don’t try to feed me wet scrambled — any day.” — EXIT STAGE LEFT!

“Tobiko, a raw quail’s egg yoke nestled in a tiny cup of flying fish eggs, wrapped in sushi rice and nori, tipped onto your tongue, popping the yoke, letting that unctuous creamy dream slide down your throat while nature’s pop-rocks burst like salty fireworks in your mouth, must be the most sensual food ever invented.” — DING DING DING — GRAND PRIZE!

If you don’t share your love (or hatred) of eggs — the way you like them — then what do you really have in common with that person?

Poached, fried, scrambled, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, deviled, frittata’d, quiche’d, pickled, omeletted, and raw. Eggs are wondrous orbs of divisive lines in the sand. Cross those lines — at your peril.

How do I like my eggs?

(Spoken with a heavy Scottish brogue): Squeezed from a chicken’s vagina, heated slow for the whites to jell, the yokes jiggling like a fat baby’s cheeks, and then slid over grits creamed and peppered, with a thumb-sized dollop of salted butter lowered onto the delicate golden pillows, and then, oops, I’ve slit the sack, providing for that viscous yellow ink to leak, molten and slow into the nooks of the dish. Yes, that’s how I like my eggs.


Writer’s Log: 1790 Sentiment Cycle

Ready for maths? No? Well, how about pictures?

TGE_SentimentCycle

Nice, Mole, what are we looking at?

What you see before you is a word sentiment chart of The Gribble’s Eye plotted over the length of the story. This was created using some “R” code and the libraries offered by the professor behind http://www.archerjockers.com/

The pair of people behind the book The Bestseller Code used such code to allow them to grade and understand the so-called literary market: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Bestseller_Code.html?id=4fXUDAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false

I took their code and ran my second, wee novel through it. And that picture is what the code produced.

Sentiment goes up and down. Happy and gay and positive. Sad, angry, loathsome and negative. Good books have a signature sine wave of sentiment. Marketable books have this even more.

Now, mine is neither good nor marketable, but, it’s interesting to note that there is a definite pattern to the story: We start up, then down, up, down, and end on a big UP!

Whee! What a ride.

You want to do this for your own story? Sure. Here’s the R code:

library(syuzhet)
library(readtext)
setwd("C:\\Documents and Settings\\MeTheUser\\Desktop\\")
text <- get_text_as_string("YOURBOOK.txt")
s_v <- get_sentences(text)
raw_values <- get_sentiment(s_v, method = "syuzhet")
dct_vals <- get_dct_transform(raw_values)
simple_plot(raw_values, title = "TITLE OF BOOK", legend_pos = "top", lps = 20, window = 0.05)

You’ll have to struggle with installing the supporting modules — but, hey! You’re smart. You can figure it out.

(If you can’t, send me your story text — just words — and I’ll run them through this bit of code for you.)


Complex entertainment

Consider the entertainment industry 100 years ago. Or 200. Or 2000.

Could you ever believe you might be satisfied with shadow puppets, Punch n’ Judy, traveling minstrels, oral stories in an amphitheater or around a campfire and maybe, if you’re lucky, a play or a view of the art of a city, the wealthy or a religious edifice?

Throw your 21st Century self back into antiquity and imagine how bored your mind would be after about a month of getting used to life then. Sure, your time would be taken up with ten times the survival activity you practice today. But if you were one of the leisure crowd, try and picture the limited mental stimulation you’d be exposed to.

Today that would be worth a few hours of “Oh, this looks interesting…”

In our era, we’ve got so much entertainment, arts, media, sociality that we have a hard time turning it off. The common mantra “unplug, disconnect, go outside and live a little” is to return to a time when humans had little to fill their intellectual minds. “Ah, no jingles, beeps and buzzes, aside from the insects. Tranquility.”

I wonder at this progression.

From the simplistic, 300 baud data input stream of the natural world to the flood of terabytes saturating our brain cells  — we adapt; humanity’s every growing capacity to embrace the complex.

In 100 years we’ve gone from, what today’s media moguls would call pathetic information and entertainment input streams to what can only be called total-sensory-overload. Yet we condition ourselves, brace for the onslaught and beg for more.

In 100 years from now, imagine the exabytes that will blanket our minds and drive our desire for more, faster, now — even higher.


Writer’s Log: 1782 Cyclical story structure

Last night I watched Brandon Mull’s #9 video on youtube (he subbed for Sanderson). Mull is eccentric and idiosyncratic (to say the least). But his thoughts (once they come out) were spot on. From them I designed my own writing organization philosophy. (To be honest, Sanderson also poses similar story topologies.)

It goes like this:

StoryCircle1

Characters and subjects
experience events and perform actions, which result in consequences which then pose implications
back on the characters and subjects.

This cycle exists at the story level, the chapter level, the scene level and even the paragraph or sentence level.

An old man battles nature and himself, but in the end loses. He catches the biggest marlin of his life. In doing so he sails far from his home port. But the sharks attack and devour the marlin leaving him with nothing to show for his magnificent struggle.

StoryCircle2

A story is a set of these cycles both concentrically, and independently organized. Like this:

I’ve never considered such a structure, however, as Mr. Mull continued, what he alluded to was that these self contained scenes (the little cycles within the bigger chapter cycles within the story cycle itself) can be isolated and written as standalone pieces. Much like the way Anthony Doerr explains how he wrote All the Light We Cannot See.

These scenes can then be stitched together with narrative which would include both time and space references: [detailed scene #1] — “Two weeks later the train pulled into San Francisco.” — [detailed scene #2].

I recommend watching at least Mull’s singular video. He’s hard to watch. He makes reference to his Mormon ideologies – cough. But in the end I found his advice useful.


I am Crow

I am Crow.

Like you I am Omnivore.

Like you I wonder at the Universe.

I plan and scheme and take when I can, what I can.

I dance and dodge from your wheels, your threats.

Still I survive. I cock my head and caw at your fist in the air.

But I take no notice of you. Opportunity is all you provide, seldom and resentful.

You attempt your deceits while I fly from you and all you pretend to control.

I laugh, I cry, I lament my losses, my failures.

Yet I can spread my wings and lift into the wind, soaring out of your reach, your sight.

While you languish, trapped, chained to the ground.

I am Crow.

You will never be Crow.


Cover: The Gribble’s Eye

Tribe,

I’m on the lookout for a cover concept. The Gribble’s Eye is “draft-ready” but we’re still working up the 50+ illustrations: 25 done, 25 more to do. This is the story of a teenage girl and her 20-something tutor and a couple of Greek myths who serendipitously team up to fight the minions of Chaos. The story takes place in northeast England and Scotland (Series #1).

(If anyone would like to volunteer as a beta reader — Widowcranky was gracious enough to have read it thus far — let me know.)

TGECover1

 

The covers (two so far) have sucked. I’m just not getting the idea-waves blasting through. This was the first cover (Yulian drew it and I hacked at it with crayons (photoshop) — but who could tell):

 

 

 

 

TGECover2

 

The second cover, both Widow and Yulian shot down with a .50 cal. BAR.

So, ideas? Live action YA covers seem popular these days (a photo with scenery/costumes later touched up with dramatic light/shading/text).

I’m open to any suggestions.

 

 

Third effort. This one after I discussed the options with the artist and Phil H. So, I went out back and with a hammer and screwdriver and chiseled an eye into the patio concrete. Then I found a blue sapphire marble on the net and copied it in with editing and such. It’s a first pass effort. But I think this might work.

StoneEyeCover