Cover Images: Your Opinion Please (Again)

Two and a half years ago (can you believe it?) I asked you all, my dear readers, to weigh in on the question of what cover image to use for Restoration Day, with ten images paraded before your eyes. (Spoiler: the winner was Contestant #2.)

Now, with The Wound of Words making its way through the convoluted pipeway to publication, I find myself in need of your opinions again. As before, the selected image needs to look good in every size from thumbnail to 14x21cm – and preferably also in black and white; it needs to not disappear into the (white) background on a webpage, and of course, it needs to draw the reader in without giving a false impression of the book’s contents.

Also as before, there are ten images. But this time, either because I am getting old and boring or because I am getting more mature and have a better idea of what I like (consider what you know of me and pick accordingly) they are variations on six themes, instead of the seven last time.

On the plus side, my GIMPing skills have advanced to the point where each cover image is approximately the shape/proportion of the actual cover, so what you see is more or less what you will get, except of course that the final version will have a professionally-designed title and name on it and will therefore look Much Better.

Here then, for your discriminating judgement and critique, are our ten contestants.Continue & Comment

Top Ten: British Big Band music

To set the scene for writing Dolly & Dot and the Mystery of the Missing Maid, I acquired a number of CD collections of British Big Band music.

StateLibQld 1 44119 Billo Smith's Dance Band performing at the Trocadero dance hall, Brisbane, ca. 1943
Here are ten of my favourite numbers, although most of them are from later in the Big Band period than DDMMM is set.

Continue & Comment

Getting to Know You

Do you have Deborah Kerr (or rather, Marni Nixon) stuck in your head now? Excellent. Let us proceed.

I took it into my head recently to look at my list of followers and see whose Readers are receiving my missives. Discounting myself (thank you for that, WordPress) and the Caped Gooseberry (thank you for that, dear) I have forty followers.  (Welcome!)

But who are you?

Hi, my name is... OUTER SPACE!

Not surprisingly given my usual subject matter, half are writers (or groups of writers) including:
one who dispenses dating advice (for men);
one aphorist;
one person setting out to offend everyone (a bit like Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged);
one whose poems consist of assorted words (either hasn’t quite got the idea or is making some kind of post-modern point, not sure which);
and one who I suspect is blogging as his book’s character but may in reality be in a lot of trouble with the law. How much is 30kg of cocaine worth, anyway? (Hullo PRISM!)

Burning hashish seized in Operation Albatross

There are also two who blog about literature and books, and a press which gives rates for (among other things) ghostwriting and lists of agents/publishers you could approach (handy hint: get the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook from the library instead, it’s free).

Then there’s one set of relatives (hi Ma!) and five Pyramid Schemers (all with the same scheme, shows how good it is!) leaving eleven others.

“Achievement: You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To When You Have Vision, Determination and An Endless Supply of Expendable Labour” via

The Others include an opera singer; a movie blogger; one who makes top-ten lists; possibly another pyramid-schemer (a more subtle one); a blog with a grand total of three posts (one of which was a reblog of my first post); and one which is completely blank. (Stage fright?) In short, an eclectic group.

So, now that I have, figuratively speaking, broken the ice, feel free to circulate and chat amongst yourselves. Have a drink, have a nibble, try to avoid being sucked into a pyramid scheme.
I don’t mind if you’re the life and soul of the party or part of the philosophical coterie in the kitchen, I’m glad you came.

Guys in the Kitchen

I’d love to hear what brings you here, what you’ve enjoyed, and what you’d like to see more of. And if you have a great opportunity for me to make easy money and live the life of my dreams – sorry, but that would interfere with my delicately balanced regime of artistic suffering.

Your happy host,
Sinistra Inksteynehand250

P.S. I realise I am somewhat behind-hand with the Artist’s Way posts. Great Things are afoot – but I promise I have not forgotten.