Trying a new app

Yesterday I was skimming through Pinterest, as you do, and I came across mention of an app called Waterlogue.  My interest was piqued when I saw it as I’ve wanted to do something different with many of the photos I take, especially my holiday snaps, for some time now.    Basically, what this app does is pick out the main outline of the image, draw those in and then, depending on the settings chosen, will fill in the colours etc., to make an image look like a sketch, quickly drafted but capturing the essence of the isubject.

Unfortunately, this app is only available for Apple products, but what a little powerhouse it is.  The (original) image above was taken whilst we were in Mykonos, in the early morning, when there was hardly a soul around.  About 30 minutes later this image couldn’t have been taken without hoards of people taking centre stage.  The buildings are stark white with all woodwork painted in deep blue.  The effect is breath-taking to me, and the original image shows it so well.  However, I’ve always wanted to be able to manipulate my images.  Problem is I’m no good at art and I’ve never used Photoshop.

When I saw what this app could do I realised that I’d perhaps be able to create my own book covers – or at least provide the images for someone else to do them for me rather than downloading ready created ones.  I’d love to know what others think.


Christmas, family catch-ups and book covers …

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.

This year the festive season has been (for us), far less stressful than previous years – so far at least.  We’ve made visits to our children’s homes to see the grandchildren (the eldest one is pictured above with our new furry girl, Mischa).  We’ve been treated to afternoon tea and a pantomime whilst visiting the youngest grandson, been royally catered for whilst visiting the eldest grandson (just come back home today), entertained our neighbours on Christmas Eve and my parents on Christmas Day, and we’re celebrating another neighbour’s 90th birthday tomorrow before bringing in the New Year with our Christmas Eve guests (collectively we’re known as ‘the usual suspects’.

It’s lovely to be able to spend valuable quality time with family.  We don’t live near each other now. so the time we do spend with the families is very special.

The park pictured in the image above is in Huddersfield and it is very beautiful.  Lots of paths to walk round, plenty for all the family to do, and very dog friendly.  The perfect family park really.  There’s also a café which was open for cakes and coffee yesterday morning – very handy after playing ‘throw the ball’ for a very demanding and impossible to tire out furry girl, and a three and a half year old little boy who has walked his socks off.

Perhaps the dog walking is having a beneficial effect on my stress levels – if not my ageing joints!  I love going out in the mornings, walking Mischa along the seafront at home.  The time allows me to think about my story plots, the story and character arcs and the plot holes which need filling.  We’re very lucky as our new furry girl has settled into our home and our lives almost seamlessly.  She is very well behaved off-lead which means I don’t have to constantly be on the look-out for possible issues ahead.  She’s pretty bomb proof, very friendly and biddable.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that just having her around has brought down my stress levels!

I’m now working on the 2nd draft of a short story and will be starting a follow-up story on New Year’s Day (although I think that might depend on my alcohol intake tomorrow night – see 1st paragraph).  Once I’m happy with the first short story I’ll be publishing it through Kindle Direct Publishing – hopefully that should be towards the end of January.  Once that one’s published I’ll start on the 3rd part of the series and get the 2nd ready for publishing.  I’m feeling very excited about it to be honest, as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for so long now.  2016 is going to be my year for taking the first steps to following my dream.

I’m thinking of using Fiverr to create the book covers for me – has anyone every used Fiverr before?  If so, could you possibly let me know how you found the process – and if you used the site to have a book cover designed I’d be especially interested to know how that went.  I’ve played around with Canva and Publisher, as well as dabbled with Photoshop, but I’m no good at designing – I’m well aware of my creative limitations 🙂   What I’m wanting is a design which I can use to run through the series, but with subtle changes for each story, and also an overall look I can carry through into other cover designs.  I guess I’m talking about branding here.  I feel it’s important to get it right from the outset but, as I say, I’ve never gone down this route before so don’t know what to expect or what I can ask for.  Any comments, suggestions, etc., on that aspect, would also be very helpful …




A photo opportunity

Today I’ve taken the plunge to have my new business venture advertised in the local press.  No turning back now – I’ve committed myself to spending the spondoolies.  I’d been asked to provide a short summary of who who I am and what I’m doing – no problem, I can write for ever, so I did, only to be told it had to be no more than 150 words (on with my editing hat).  That done I emailed it off last night and received an email straight back to say that it looked great and would I be free to go and have my photo taken sometime today.  I’m not photogenic – I’d far rather be on the other side of the camera – but the man with the cam did a great job I have to say.  I’ve missed the latest editions of both papers so will have to wait until the next one to see how my advert and editorial do.

Ah well, after the excitement of this morning, it’s back to the paid work for the afternoon.

Why is it that when someone passes a task on it’s because they have no idea how to do it, how they want it to look, nor what the task entails?  Do they not realise that mind reading doesn’t come naturally to most people?  Thank goodness I’m pretty good at analysing information and sorting it into useable data.  Whether it will be in the format the person concerned wanted it is quite another matter – I wasn’t given any details about that 😡