Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Few Formatting Basics

Hola readers!
1194993859534275110calligraphy_svg_medI just finished my school work (for the most part) for this week and now am able to do my work while I listen to Christina Grimmie’s new album (links for her work is at the end of this post).
Before I get to my work, I decided to drop in and give you all a short lesson in book formatting, which doesn’t just apply to book formatters but writers as well.
So, when you’re writing a fictional story, here’s some simple things to remember:
  1. Don’t use Bold! I mean, ever. Don’t. Use. It. When you want to convey something with power, we don’t use bold. It’s annoying. We use exclamation points and italics. No bold.
  2. Don’t use ALL CAPS! Don’t do it. I have seen this used – rarely – in some books – but only single words, NEVER FULL SENTENCES or PHRASES. ONE word only, if you MUST.
  3. When indenting your paragraphs, don’t use tabs and don’t use the space bar! You will enrage your formatter. If you don’t know how to set the indent spacing on your word processor (i.e. Microsoft Word, Word Perfect), then don’t use indents at all. Just double space your paragraphs. It’s so much easier than having to go through and remove all of the tabs (by hand!) or spaces. So either learn how to indent your paragraphs (if you don’t know how and you want to learn, you can message/email/contact me and I’ll give you a hand) or just don’t indent.
What I just did above… don’t do it. That’s why I did it. I’m hoping you’re the learn-from-others’-mistakes type of person.
The difference between formatting fiction and nonfiction is that the rules that I mentioned above, don’t necessarily apply to nonfiction:
  1. You can use bold. You should use it sparingly still. I mean, if you can’t convey your message powerfully without the help of bold, italics, or underlining and all that, then you should be rewriting that message, not covering it up. Can you use bold in nonfiction? Yes.
  2. You can underline words. Again, use it sparingly. Only when you really need it. I once formatted a nonfiction book where each numbered paragraph started like this one. With the underlines. It was scary and I couldn’t actually focus on what I was reading.
  3. The ALL CAPS rule for nonfiction is the same for nonfiction. It isn’t exactly a good idea, but you can let one slide rarely. By rarely I mean, once per 500 page novel.
  4. If you are using Bold, Italics, AND Underline in one article or chapter – you seriously need to reconsider. Take out everything you can. Replace it with the classic exclamation point when you want to make – well – a point.
Right now, I’m reading a great nonfiction book for my theatre class: Theatre Arts: Fundamental Theory & Practice by Frank Pickard. There are some severe formatting issues with it… I mean some things that really bugged me. But one thing that is extremely right in the book is the *lack* of bold italic and underline usage. It has more of a continuous read feel to it.
There’s some bold and plenty of italics, but everything that I’ve just discussed in this blog post is very right in that book. So, take a peek at that if you want an example of how to do it right.

(Who the heck is Christina Grimmie? Latest YouTube singing sensation, her new album was released last June.)

If all the world were to form one human, he would be perfect, because there is at least one thing that each person does perfectly.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What a Weekend!

So, for all of you who haven’t heard (meaning those of you who aren’t following me on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere else), this week my laptop died… last week my flash drive disappeared. So, that would conclude everything that I’ve ever saved anything to… nice.
Last night, I had a big adventure going out at midnight to Walmart to get me a laptop. Walmart was out of laptops, so I had to drive all the way across town – where I did get the last one of this kind in stock. It was a three hour endeavor, but it was successful.
Oh yeah, I got a kick out of the clerks in both stores. The first clerk at the first store says to my mom: “I understand how kids are.” Insinuating me. It’s a little more than a back-to-school, I’m-being-picky-and-annoying thing. But okay. The next clerk says to me: “Now that you have this, go home, take a nap, and then you can open this up and check it out.” It was a little weird, I hadn’t been spoken to in quite awhile like that. But it’s refreshing to be treated like my age for once.
Anyways, I am attempting to install all my programs. I have a bit of an M.I.A Microsoft Office issue. So, I’ll be having to get me that and get it installed. Until then, I’ll be doing my work that requires that on the “Main” computer, which will be a pain and will slightly slow me down. It’s so much easier having everything in one place (yes, I’m spoiled).
On the bright side, there is hope that I will be able to retrieve all my info off my laptop. So, all is not lost… entirely… just massive portions of it.
The point of the post? Oh, yeah, there are a few. First: I’ll be a little bit slow in getting my work out (Sorry!). Second: Sometimes backing up your flash drive to your computer isn’t the safest option. Pretty much everything I have left is what I posted online. Third: My Twitter followers, Facebook stalkers, and blog subscribers (you) are really great and epic people and I love them!
Computers eat lives.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Book Covers

Hello readers!

So today - one of my only days off (of school. School is the new work now, haven't you heard?) - I got back to work, and discovered that I really, absolutely love my work. I'm only able to do it on Saturday and Monday now, and I really miss it. Being a graphic designer is amazing, and I can't imagine having any other job... well, that's not entirely true. But the point is, it's an job. And, way easier than school... kills less brain cells than school.

Oh, anyways, on to the point! Today, I finished a new book cover for Elysabeth Eldering's first young adult mystery novel, Finally Home. It's scheduled for release this October. So be on the look out for that - it will be in both eBook format (for you fellow techies) and print.

Anyways, that is the latest and greatest book cover... over there... above this paragraph... Thoughts on it?

So, about two weeks ago, I finished another gem. Water by Terra Harmony. It's the first book in a series of five. It was supposed to be released as an eBook on the 17th of September, but I don't actually have the links for that - sorry!

I am working on more covers, and will be posting them as soon as they're completed.

Another note: I'm starting to get into the whole YouTube thing, and will be posting some videos on there in the near future. So, remember to subscribe - - and like my blog, I'll be posting random things. Just whatever I'm into at the time.

Remember to stay creative!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Monsters of Fantasy

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Recently, I've been getting into the books about zombies. I haven't actually read any zombie books yet, but they're definitely grabbing my interest, and as soon as I clear out my reading list a bit, I'll be reading one of these things... of course, I'll probably give myself nightmares, but it sounds fun anyways. I hear Amanda Hocking has some zombie books, maybe I'll read those (I'm open to suggestions, so feel free to do some shameless promotion in the comments section if you're a zombie author).
This isn't the point of the post, so don't get lost. This just got me thinking about the other monsters of the fantasy genre. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that are so popular that they can pretty much be in their own category - vampires, werewolves, zombies, shape shifters, etc.
Obviously, vampires are the most popular, but what do you think will be next for this evermore popular fantasy genre? Maybe paranormal romances with ghosts? Or a more extreme lochness monster trilogy?

But those are my ideas. I want to know what you think. What monster of fantasy will be next to rise to popularity?

Zombies aren't THAT different from vampires. I mean, they were both human, and now they're dead and have an uncontrollable hunger.

The newest song on my playlist and what's playing in my ears right now is Colbie Caillat's "Brighter Than the Sun". 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

So Now, Apparently, I'm Destined to be a Millionaire

I thought it was about time I'd update you on why I haven't been posting to my blog so often. Now that I have broadband - amazing, I know - I thought I'd be posting to my blog more often; however, I also just started my first semester of college... some... few weeks ago. I don't recall how many. My brain is a little bit mushy.

So what have I been doing, while you have been awaiting my next post (I mean, assuming you were waiting for my next post...)? I have been embedding another language into my brain, learning what's under the hood of a computer (everything still looks like green and lines and boxes to me with the occasional shiny thing), and learning what being a leader means (and the possibility of big event planning).
Which takes up an insane amount of time. A little more than I was expecting, but I'm really enjoying every bit of it. And no, it's not just because my class took a vote today on how long it would take for me to become a millionaire. Last time I checked, I wasn't a superhero. I can recall, off hand, over 30 people who do more than I do.
What started all this? I mentioned that I'm an author. Oh, the common misconceptions. As a reminder to people, I'd like to point out that most authors aren't celebrities.
Anyways, over the next few weeks, I'll still be getting familiarized with my classes. Still, I'll be attempting to make regular blog posts, hopefully, at least, one a week. So stay subscribed and be on the lookout for more soon!

For those interested in the "Millionaire" poll results, the majority voted by the time I'm 20. A few votes for by the time I'm 18. And one vote for by the end of the semester.