Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Childrens Christmas Book Illustrations

Image copyrighted - do not stealI recently had the great pleasure of illustrating the new children's Christmas book -The Best Christmas of All. Copies will be sold to benefit Friends of Crayford Retired Greyhounds, as well as posters of some of the artwork I created for the book. You can purhase your copy of The Best Christmas of All and read more about it, as well as see more of the illustrations at this link

Working with Ms. A de Sant was a real pleasure and we are planning more collaborations in the future.

Summer Fey Foovay

The Giggling Truckers Wife: The Storms of Life : A New Website!

This is my first try with "blog this" so this will be something new for you and for me :D Well, me anyway.

The Giggling Truckers Wife: The Storms of Life : A New Website!:       Not only have storms been brewing on the coast with Hurricane Irene , they have also been brewing for quite a while with Website Bus...

Kudos to The Trucker's Wife for weathering the storm and carrying on.

I have been a little under the weather myself for a few days. I hope to get a bit of work and catching up done today so look for more blogging!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stop the Press!

The Best Christmas of All is the children's book about greyhounds that I am so busy illustrating this week. Visit this lovely page to see a few of my illustrations and find out more - and be sure and bookmark it so you can buy one when they come out (very soon). All proceeds - ALL PROCEEDS - go to the hounds.


Summer Foovay

Now back to drawing greyhounds...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Rant - Check Your Facts

One of my pet peeves is egregious factual errors in a book – particularly if the book is a mystery, where the reader is assumed to be reasonably intelligent, well versed, and actively looking for clues. At times, I have found errors of fact to be so annoying to me that I immediately stop reading and get rid of the book. Now and then, if the writing is really good, I conditionally forgive the author and finish the book.

I was really surprised and even shocked to spot what I felt like were four major, obvious, glaring errors in a book today. All of them within a hundred pages altogether. This is a book by a very well known mystery writer whom I will not name. I am a big fan of hers, and normally when I get my hands on one of her books I drop everything else I might be reading and read it through. Right up front, in this book, she thanks her great team of editors, readers, agent, publisher – and she has all the resources and power of a big publishing house that (I should hope) gives her all the support she may need. After all, the first two pages of the book are taken up with a list of the thirty books (and counting) she has published through them.

So what the heck happened here?

Before I jumped to conclusions, I wanted to be sure of the facts. So I sat down at my little computer and checked those facts so far as I was able. The first three are indisputably mistakes – and I knew this within the 25 minutes it took for dinner to cook. Does this rich and famous author not have the Internet? Or has she somewhere down the line gotten lazy, or no longer cares. Maybe she thinks that because of her fame, she will be forgiven, or she figures her lapses will be ignored by her readers because of the other good points of her writing. Maybe she thinks that with thirty good books it doesn’t matter if she cranks out a dud now and then. None of the facts are particularly obscure – I knew them off the top of my head. Some of them aren’t common knowledge necessarily, but you would think someone in the business of writing mysteries would have at least a passing knowledge of certain police and court procedures.

Now for the last fact – I discovered that it is true. But I’m still pissed about it. Because it is a cop out on the line of “then she woke up and found it was all a dream”. IF this premise is to be used – then it would really be a great thing to go deeply into, the causes, the little bit we know about it, the psychology of it (well, duh, you know I’m into all that abnormal psychology stuff), but instead it is being used as a band-aid for a situation that the author is too lazy to bother truly exploring.

I was already disappointed with the book. Every chapter has at least one of the most boring, stock platitudes written into the mind or speech of at least one character. Let no chapter escape a cliché. Or two. Or three. And this isn’t characterization – it isn’t one person who steadily plops these out so you can see “Oh, this is someone who memorizes sayings instead of actually thinking”. It’s everyone in this book. I’ve cringed several times and I’m barely half way through. Didn’t I read a blog post recently about not using clichés and platitudes? Something us unedjukated unedited self-published authors got to watch out for?

And if that wasn’t enough, the heroine is a complete fucking idiot. Now, heroines do dumb stuff. Of course they do. If they didn’t do dumb stuff and get themselves into ridiculous situations what on earth would us authors write about? But this broad is dumb on the level of horror film blonds – “I hear a noise. I should run outside naked and barefoot and investigate all alone” CHOMP Sadly, there seems to be no hope that something will eat or at least kill this idiot heroine. I am beginning to wish something or someone would.

The only explanation I can come up with is the author is tired of the genre, had a contract to fulfill, and a deadline looming. Because seriously, this book is not worthy of her. Not only am I not able (or interested enough) to finish it, it makes me wonder if I should bother picking up any of her newer books as they come out.

I am glad I am a self-published author. My last personal deadline passed over two weeks ago – and I let it go because I had some major personal life issues that required my attention. I don’t have a contract, and if (and when) I get tired of a genre I can switch, and switch again, and switch back. No one tells me what to write.

The downside is, of course, that I have no team of editors, fact checkers, illustrators, publicists, first readers and so on behind me to catch my factual errors. I have a couple of first readers who are really good at it (thank you, both of you, you know who you are), and yes indeed, I am very thankful for them. If I have any doubts about a fact, I check it myself to the best of my ability. I’m such a perfectionist about it that it is really the reason behind why I don’t write historical fiction – too afraid I’ll make a big effin’ mistake and die of embarrassment over it.

If you ever find a fact that is incorrect in one of my books or stories – please let me know. I WANT to know, and I promise I will either show you my source that said it was correct, OR I’ll go back and change it and I will never, ever make that same mistake again. I would not want to lose a reader the way this author – a former favorite of mine – is about to lose one.


Summer Foovay

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's a Fairy Day

The hubby is sitting back watching his favorite TV series having finished all his todos for the day.

He's ahead of me.

I did get a new blog article up over at about the names we call fey folk - fairies, nixies, pixies, sprites, nymphs, and so on and I have it in mind that I'm actually going to get all of these Squidoo lenses about fairies updated today:

Try and get those fairy lenses the kick in the pants the coloring page and coloring book lenses got from The Great Experiment.

Odd that I am so fascinated with the fey folk and I don't write about them - other than the occasional short story. Perhaps I need to remedy that... I do have a WIP story germ for an updated dark and gritty Snow White. (You should have known)

I did get my studio rearranged a bit after the hubby finished building and installing the new bookcase. I unpacked and set up my sewing machine and have high hopes that once I get those fairy articles updated, I'll get some curtains whipped up for the bedroom.


Summer Foovay

Getting Things Done

One way and another I spent all of last week doing all sorts of things other than getting the work done I intended to do. All the other projects were worthy, from our anniversary, and the Lammas feast, to a visit from the in-laws, to helping a friend move - but they all kept me from My Work.

I should have known - since I did a tarot reading last weekend about my work and it said there would be a pause before I got started on the things I was asking about. I remember thinking "Not if I can help it" - and then here came all sorts of things I really couldn't help. This morning I got up full of anticipation of Getting Things Done.

The first thing I did was send my beloved and now retired husband to the store *evil cackle* with a list of things to buy so HE can get some honey-dos done. *more evil cackling* In my defense, most of those honey-dos are things I need him to do so I can do things on my project list.

I have a list of blog entries to write, Squidoo to-dos, much email and FB and Tweets to catch up on, some sewing and house work, and oh yeah, I really would like to get some writing done on two - count 'em - two novels that I mentally finished (one) and began (the other) while moving and driving and all those other things I was doing last week besides sitting at my computer.

So while I am buzzing around here doing things that will be nearly invisible from your side of the Internet, I'd like to direct you to The Guest Writer Blog, where I am today's guest writer. I think this blog is a great idea on several levels, and all my writer and blogging friends ought to pick a really outstanding entry of their own to send in. Hint hint hint.

Why, no, I am not sending you somewhere else so I can get things done today. Really. But if you should bump into my husband - remind him he has a budget to stay within. ;)


Summer Foovay

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us

Twenty one years ago today I married my "boy toy". The kindest of our friends said we would last three years, tops. Nyah nyah nyah - LOL.

And if you think bisexuals, "swinging" or open or poly marriages can't possibly last - I've got news for you.

This anniversary is extra special because for a while there last year I had my doubts that we would have one. I thought I might be a widow this year. Instead, thank the Goddess and all the Powers that Be and people who helped, hubby is here and healthier in many ways than he has been in years.

Life is good.


Summer Foovay

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Insightful Review of Cutting Away the Pain

There is a remarkable insightful review of Cutting Away the Pain at The Writers Post. Jenn does a better job of describing my book than I do! She made my day most of all by saying the novella is a story you will read, and reread, and think about when you are done. The books I love the most are those that you finish, close, and think about for at least a few minutes - and then again and again. It is my dream to write memorable books and stories. Jenn seems to believe I've achieved that. I hope you think so, too.


Summer Foovay