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Posts Tagged ‘blogger’

Jon Hunt inks

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 13, 2018

Jon Hunt is doing the cover illustration for my digital book “The Death of David Pickett.” Here are two inkings. I’m in awe.

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Working with my copy editors

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 12, 2018

This morning I went through the work of my copy editors, a second time for the editor handling my story “The Death of David Pickett” and just once for the editor going over my latest column. I’m still analog when it comes to the final pass, revision, or edit. Plus I love the tactile nature of real pen and ink on real paper.

Posted in 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lure of writing the Great American Novel

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 8, 2018

I read through my story “The Death of David Pickett” one last time yesterday before I sent the manuscript off to my copy editor. Once the text is corrected, this is the next step before I format it into a digital “book” (ebook and pdf). TDDP will be a bit of swag, a promotional item given away for free, a well written prequel to my novel 1% Free full of links encouraging readers of the story to buy the book.

This project came out of efforts to develop one of my completed longish short stories into something approaching another novel in length. My novel production is not prodigious, which is why I tend toward the kitchen sink approach in writing 400+ page books crammed with everything under the sun. I’m never sure when, or if, I will manage to write another. Once the copyediting of TDDP is done, I’ll return to this approach with the three potential science fiction candidates in my archive.

I also have a longstanding idea for a novel-length story that isn’t science fiction. Set in 1967-68, it focuses on a Spanish graduate student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico who is suspended for a prank, travels around the world participating in some of the heady events of “the year that shook the world,” and returns to UNAM in time to witness the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City on October 2, 1968. This is also about my fascination with the time in my life that formed my politics, and I have about 30 pages, 8,000 words, and a bare outline to work with from when I first considered the idea. But unlike my novelettes/novellas I hope to expand into novels, this is a novel that still needs to be written. It will require some discipline and maybe a writing group or two to get it started. I’ve already begun collecting material and sources for this potential book.

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Brilliant cover art almost done

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 6, 2018

Jon Hunt’s latest version of the cover for my free digital book “The Death of David Pickett.” He’ll do the drone logos and damage, plus the title and byline. I’m looking forward to the black-and-white hopefully noirish contrasts. This is gorgeous. And almost done.

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Meditations on death

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 5, 2018

I’ve written another MRR column. This one is about why I light candles for the dead, how I came to write “The Death of David Pickett,” dead rock and rollers, and meditating on death to feel more alive. Many rewrites will follow before I submit the text to my copyeditor by the middle of the month, and the manuscript to MRR’s columns coordinator at the end of the month. The column will be printed in July and on newsstands by August.

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Next step to a great story cover graphic

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 26, 2018

Here’s the next provocative sketch toward designing the perfect cover for the digital book of my story “The Death of David Pickett” by illustrator Jon Hunt. The character’s hair needs to be a little more curly and his face a little more distressed at the prospect of being shot. The drone’s proposed swiveling gun turrets can replace the fang-like ones right next to them and then blended in with the UAV’s overall design. But otherwise, excellent. Plenty of space for some “live” action. One thing I worry about is the empty space below my author byline. Will it count as negative space that might unnecessarily draw away the viewer’s eye? But I think I can rely on Jon’s artistic skills to solve that problem. There are even inner and outer guidelines representing alternately 5.5×8.5″ and 6×9″ cover sizes for different cover bleeds. This is really shaping up!

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Designing a killer drone

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 24, 2018

Jon Hunt then sent me 6 different sketches, 6 potential versions of a homicidal drone for use in my cover illustration.

I liked the overall design of #2 with perhaps the potential gun turret flexibility of #6. #2 has the surface area for a couple of partial logos, plus the surface area to show damage from being attacked.

Posted in 1% Free, art, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Working with my illustrator: the initial rough sketches

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 22, 2018

The writing, editing, and rewriting of my story “The Death of David Pickett” is finished. Now I’m working with my illustrator Jon Hunt. I sent him an email describing the project and its various elements (background, drone, main character, his t-shirt, action sequence). He sent me back the following two rough sketches. I chose #2, then emailed him back the marked-up sketch plus my revisions: larger drone, larger character, and my author byline under the title. Can’t wait to see the finished graphic.

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A writer is someone who cannot not write

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 12, 2018


To be is to do.—Albert Camus
To do is to be.—Jean-Paul Sartre
Do be do be do.—Frank Sinatra

So goes a version of humorous graffiti mentioned by Kurt Vonnegut in “Deadeye Dick.” As a writer, I have my own clever exchange of sayings:

A writer is someone who writes.—Pat Schneider
A writer is someone who cannot not write.—Sol Stein

Pat Schneider’s declaration is an affirmation of identity: “I am a writer.” Sol Stein’s aphorism is an affirmation of the need to write. I’ve rarely needed to affirm my identity as a writer, I’ve always just written.

I recently finished a major rewrite of a longish short story. Now I’m turning to work on my next MRR column. Last month I wrote about individual political changes, crossovers, and conversions on the Right and Left. Now I’m tackling the rise of and interplay between the New Left and the New Right using 1968 as a linchpin year. I started yesterday and, as usual, I’m attempting to write the history of the world in 1,500 words. In my remaining 500 words, I need to summarize how the New Right—in the form of the European New Right—seduced the New Left—in the form of the academic journal Telos. I have Tamir Bar-on’s brilliant book “Where Have All The Fascists Gone?” to guide me. Walk in the park, right?

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The final edit

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 2, 2018

4/26: I’ve been futzing around with my manuscript “The Death of David Pickett” for the past several days, working and reworking my editor’s corrections and comments. But there’s only so much I can do before I acknowledge I’ve done all I can. So I’ve just sent the “final” document to my editor for a last read-through.

5/2: “The Death of David Pickett” (TDDP) project started when I realized that a longish story I’d already written could be repurposed and reconfigured as a prequel to my novel, 1% Free. TDDP would then be formatted into a digital book and given away for free en mass to publicize and promote the novel. Since that decision TDDP has been rewritten a dozen times, given to select readers to evaluate, submitted to an editor for developmental and line edits, and rewritten several more times.

I got the final read through from my editor last weekend, worked on it for the past few days, and finally declared it finished this morning. Initially, my editor pointed out that one relationship in the story was so undeveloped as to be farcical. She advised that I somehow make my readers care about the relationship. But when I rewrote the relationship putting the necessary depth into it, my editor didn’t like the direction I’d taken matters into and commented she didn’t understand why I still wanted the relationship in the story at all.

At first I was taken aback, and a little miffed. My editor was vocal about what she didn’t like with the revised relationship but not how to fix it. Did she suggest I rewrite the entire story to eliminate the problematic relationship in question? But her editing job was done. I reexamined her comments and realized that part of the relationship’s problem was that it stood alone, apart from the story’s other themes and plot lines. I rewrote the relationship once again and connected it up to the rest of the story, its plot and characters. That should take care of the problem.

Tonight, I’m attending our 6-week-on/6-week-off Finishing School to further chart my course for the TDDP project. One thing’s certain, I will continue to rewrite the manuscript up until I submit it for the final copyediting, just before I pour it into digital pdf/ebook formats. The writing and rewriting are the fun part, the rest is just getting the job done.

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