February

I hate February. My mother had her stroke in February. My uncle, her brother, had two heart attacks and died in February. Now I’ve lost another relative in February and the funerals just keep coming. It’s been a dismal month but I can say at least there’s been no repeat of Texas’ grid failure in 2021.

I am pleased to say I’ve finished editing Dorian 2. It’s ready to go to the copyright office. I am still, sadly, working on a cover design. It’s not that I can’t make one. I’ve made several, but each one of them just didn’t look like the right one to me. Maybe I’m being overly picky but I remember the cover designs from a few decades back.

I don’t really count the 1940s cover design as anything special. The wasp waisted, huge breasted women being abducted by glassy aliens and ridiculous robots was more like silly cartoons for me. But in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and, especially, the 80s, cover design rocked! In my mind, I can still see the cover image for Andre Norton’s Ralestone Luck and Patricia C. Wrede’s Daughter of Witches. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series always had excellent cover artists. Over time, I got to recognize the skills of certain artists and to buy those books, often just for the cover art.

It’s quite possible I’m just being a perfectionist when it comes to the cover art on my books. It may also turn out that I’m not that great of a cover artist for fiction and fantasy novels. But since they’re mine, I get to play with it and make it whatever I want. I’ve turned out about a dozen images in the last year to grace the cover of Dorian book two, but even if they were great ideas they just never looked right to me. So, I’m starting on a new image with new media.

Still in drawing, class two this semester. I’ve always loved art and drawing but in the 90s when I was doing art therapy, that changed my relationship with art and added a sort of bad connotation to the act of creating art. I’m hoping these classes will help me to separate art from my therapy. I’ve really enjoyed meeting other artists and being immersed in the world of art, as a student. It’s been a wonderful inspiration for my creativity.

I’ve had some setbacks. February is so stressful my mental health has taken a downturn. I’ve committed to my medication regimen and using the tools of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and mindfulness to get myself through it as best I can. And the calendar is slowly marching through this month. I’m so ready for March and Spring and more stable weather patterns which don’t include freezing temperatures and snow. But the Texas winter is a good time to get things done inside and I hope that in a couple of weeks, I’ll be able to send off both book and image to the copyright office and to publish shortly after! That would make me very happy.

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