29 July 2011
Every Friday, I am going to be featuring a recent design that I've done, as well as the author or blogger who commissioned the project. So here goes!

This week's design is the cover for Abbi Glines' novel Existence

Log line from her website: "Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him." 

Abbi is a lot of fun, and it was a pleasure to work with her. Make sure you check out her blog


So far, I am loving my new "job". I have trouble calling cover design work. Can it really be work if you get to wear sweatpants while you do it? It's been a busy week, but I've loved every second of it.

Here are some essentials for a freelance graphic designer:

- Audiobooks
- Good music
- Frequent stretch breaks 
- Posture exercises
- Eye drops
- Patience
- Chocolate
Okay, so maybe that last one isn't strictly a necessity, but still. Check back next week for another book cover. If you're interested in commissioning me to design something, you can find more info here.

27 July 2011

I've recently started designing book covers, so it's all I've thought about the last couple weeks. And what do you do with the stuff you can't get out of your head? You blog about it.

When we come across a book, the first thing... read more at We Heart YA.
25 July 2011
A painting I did for a friend
Life is a bus. Time is the driver.

One day, somewhere between Here and There, the bus driver was droning on and on about the sites, which we passed too swiftly to get a good look at. 

"To your left, you'll see Untapped Potential, to your right, Unformed Decisions." 

Then the bus started up a hill and slowed just enough that I could see the pale blue sky, the bare trees, and the brown grass.

"Excuse me," I lifted my voice. "Mr. Time, I'd like to get off please."

The bus driver looked at me in his rear view mirror. "We aren't There yet. This is Between. Nobody gets off in Between."

"Well, I'd like to have a look around. Smell the flowers, you know?"

Father Time didn't answer, but the bus slowly ground to a halt and the door squeaked open in the way that bus doors do. Suddenly a bit nervous, I walked down the aisle, down the stairs, and stepped onto the brown turf outside. I took a deep breath and turned back to look at the driver. "There'll be another bus?" 

Father Time smiled. "There's always another bus." Then he gave me a nod and headed for the peaks and valleys that lay ahead. 

I walked over to an old park bench, brushed away the leaves, and sat down. There was something quite magical about the place between Here and There. It looked a bit like the mild days between winter and spring. 

I stayed there a long while, with my memories stretching to the left and forever to the right, listening as the Winds of Change rustled the long grass. I watched the birds fly overhead and the butterflies saunter from flower to flower.

"I think I'll walk the rest of the way, Mr. Time." I said when at last the bus had come back around. 

Father Time blinked at me. Then he turned off the ignition and climbed out of the driver's seat, his silver beard spilling down the front of his robes. "I've never liked the fast road myself," he said. "Shall we?"

Dedicated to Ingrid Palmer
17 July 2011
Happy Monday, everyone! Yeah, so it's Sunday, but there's a reason I'm posting a day early. This week's post is also part of a contest entry. Four teenage girls from Brenda Drake's book club are going to be judging a 35-word pitch and the first 250 words of the manuscript of each contestant. They'll pick three that they would buy in a bookstore, and the winners will receive free critiques from an editor.

I couldn't decide what pitch I liked better, so please let me know which you prefer. And leave any other thoughts in the comments too. :) I'd love to hear from you.


Aurora and the Signet Ring
Young Adult Fantasy

Pitch choices:

1) Aurora has no patience for faerytales. But when Thorion, the Starish prince of Lasseren, enlists her to help him save the kingdom from a dark enchantment, she must learn to embrace the magic that surrounds her.

2) Are the stars alive? Aurora has never believed the legend of the guardians in the night sky. But she can no longer deny it when the Morning Star is standing before her, flames dancing in his eyes.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 — How History Became Legend

Though the story still sits vividly in my mind, the sting of death has passed. The world has been remade, life's begun anew, and with the breaking of dawn, my sorrow has faded like the night. Only after drawing my last breath do I understand why it was that I lived.

As I stand here on this side of time and reflect on all the ages past, I am grateful that I gave my life away. Shortly before the end, knowing not the cost or the reward, I chose to fall in love. I’m sure I would still be here in victory, even had I not given quite so much of my heart. Nevertheless, to see beyond the end of the world and not be in the arms of the king would be an unfathomable loss. What purpose do I have in victory, if it does not seal me in his embrace? For all he gave to have my heart, I could not withhold it from him.

Aurora of Lasseren
16th of December, in the year 7005 by the Stars

*      *      *

15 May 6992 by the Stars

Norin ran through the forest in a race against a disaster of his own making. The war had ended hours earlier, but it left the world a dangerous place, left the kingdom of Lasseren in uproar. Just when Norin thought he was safe, his enemies discovered where he kept his daughter Aurora hidden. Now he had to reach his family before the shadows did.
11 July 2011
I recently went through all my old photographs, and I had to pause when I came to this one. I was seventeen in this picture. Even though I don't look a whole lot different now, I feel like this was lifetimes ago. 

At the same time, I can still see myself clearly in that girl in the picture. The beginnings of who I would become 
 who I'm still becoming  are written in its every detail. Carefree with cut-off jeans, a goofy expression, a hint of whimsy, a severed unicorn head hanging from a stick... clearly this is a girl that marches to her own drummer. 

What I see more than anything is a rare moment of uninhibited confidence and spunk from an otherwise shy teenage girl. I wish I had let my guard down more often.

That got me thinking. If I could write a letter to my teenage self and send it back in time, what would I say? Come out of your shell? Speak up more? Honestly, I don't know. If I wasn't so quiet in school, I might not be the same person I am today. Depending on what time travel rules we're following (sci-fi nerd), who I am right now might fade away forever.

Joking aside, I don't harbor any serious regrets, especially because I don't always know where I'm headed. Sometimes even stumbling can get you where you need to go. 

So if I could send a letter back in time, the advice that I would give myself would probably be to just enjoy it more. What would you say?

04 July 2011

I can apply the principle of "a single story" to several areas of my life. Perhaps the most interesting is my writing. Fantasy often has a way of painting the "baddies" as fixed and shallow. How many times have we read about invented races and creatures that are, by their very nature, evil? The truth is never that simple.

What's the big deal? It's only fantasy, right?

In many ways, fiction mirrors the way we view the world. It saddens me that even in our limitless imaginations, we still find instances of one race dismissing another. Groups of people that are inherently evil are not only boring but impossible. There is both light and dark in all of us.
"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story the only story."
It's always my goal to embrace culture and stay open-minded to other perspectives, but life is a constant process of learning and growing and getting better. Truth is never finished. We'll forever be seeking it out.
03 July 2011

The girls from my writing group and I took a trip to the Cincinnati Nature Center for a hike. The weather was perfect in a gloomy, not-too-hot kind of way. We had a fun romp through the forest, then ate cupcakes at a picnic table in the rain.


This blog is about everything. It’s a collection of daydreams, fairytales, and hidden treasure. It’s a place for rainy days, stargazing, wonderful nonsense, and impossible things. It’s about passion and faith and nostalgia.
It’s about life.



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