WW Photo Challenge: Gargoyle

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo with a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter G. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Gargoyle for the G.

I made 3 more covers with the same young sorceress and her side-kick gargoyle, as they travel around the world in search of new adventures. Here they are:

Gargoyle in a Museum
Gargoyle in Greece
Gargoyle in Peru

My book covers are mostly made from images I found on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as stock on deviantArt, but not this time.

The basic font I use is as much a placeholder as the text. If anyone wants a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. I’ll make one for you with different fonts, suitable for your title and the author’s name.

 

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WEP: Change of Heart

This WEP entry is the Chapter 4 of my fanfiction novella Magic Senegalese. The story is set in Wen Spencer’s Elfhome universe. Please check out the other WEP challenge participants here. To remind you what has gone before in my story, you could read:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
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Naomi woke up the next morning, still wondering. Last night, during dinner, she and Dina had come to an understanding. She would help the girl run the shop part-time, at least until Dina’s mother came back, in exchange for staying in their guest room, and they would share the costs of food and utilities. It seemed a reasonable arrangement, and the amazing tapestries decorating her room added to Naomi’s contentment.

“What do you want me to do today?” she asked Dina over breakfast. “Stay in the shop?”

“No. I need to lay out food for the next month. I’m out of most dry stuff—pasta, rice, sugar. We usually buy ten- or twenty-pound bags, but Mom took our car to Earth, and I only have my bike. I can’t load much on it. I haven’t bought anything but fresh local produce for the past two months. Could you drive to the supermarket in your car? I’ll give you a list.”

“Sure. Why such big bags? There are only two of you, right? Two of us now.”

“Because it all comes from Earth. A couple weeks from now, all the dry grocery would be gone from every store until the next Shutdown.”

“Oh,” Naomi said in surprise. “I guess you have a different life here.”

Dina smiled. “I guess. I’m going food shopping too: eggs, milk, veggies. Everybody shops right after Startup, so nobody will come for our yarn. I’ll keep the boutique closed today.”

“I meant to ask—what’s wrong with your mom? Could you tell me?” Naomi probed.

“She has a bad heart.” Dina sighed and looked away. “She’s having a heart transplant. That’s why it’s taking so long. I hoped for a letter this Shutdown, but none came. That’s why I was there, near the Rim.”

“You know the guy who attacked you last night?”

Dina shook her head, her big blue eyes shadowed. “I heard,” she said slowly, “that half-elf kids have been disappearing.”

“Are there many half-elf kids like you? What about the fathers?”

“The elves come here as tourists from the Easternlands. They look around, play with the exotic native women, and go back home. It’s too wild for them here, too barbaric. They’re not interested in half-breed children.” Dina sounded bitter but resigned. “There were a few half-breed children in my school, mostly younger than me, and it was the same story. No elven parent was ever interested. Not even the sekasha, who are supposed to be holy. Holy, my ass. There was that boy, Blue Sky. His father was a sekasha, but he lives with his older half-brother, a full human.”

Naomi mouthed an expletive. Her elven mother probably wasn’t interested either.

“Although that boy’s father is dead,” Dina mused aloud. “Maybe that’s why.”

“I thought elves are immortal.”

Dina shrugged. “They are, but they can be killed. His dad was killed by a saurus.”

“A saurus? It’s like a dinosaur. I saw one on TV, but it was in a zoo.”

“It was in the zoo here too. It’s a mean monster. It escaped and ate that poor elf.”

Naomi gulped. They had mean, man-eating dinosaurs on the loose here? Her father had never told her that. She needed a guide to the dangerous local fauna to stay away from monsters.

“Do they live inside the city?” she asked faintly.

“They’re not supposed to. Elven rangers patrol the surrounding woods and get rid of any carnivorous beasts and plants, but you have to be careful.”

Carnivorous plants, Naomi thought in dismay. She needed a guide to the local flora too.

Oblivious to her distress, Dina continued her recital. “Sometimes, a stray warg gets into the streets, or a strangle vine sets roots in someone’s backyard. They show how to deal with them on one of our TV programs, Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden. You should watch it: very educational. The other day, they showed a nest of steel spinners in an abandoned warehouse in Windgap. Flamethrower is the only thing that helps against those. I should get one. You should get a real gun too if you’re ever planning to be outside after dark.”

“I have Mace in my purse,” Naomi said weakly. “I forgot about it yesterday, when that dickhead assaulted you. My dad only gave it to me the day before.”

“Pepper spray?” Dina scrunched her nose doubtfully. “I don’t think it could be much help against a saurus. Oh, and don’t get too close to the river edge. Some jump fish could jump ten meters.”

“Fish…” Naomi trailed off. Fish too? Maybe she shouldn’t have come here at all. Maybe this place wasn’t a safe haven her father imagined. It sounded much more perilous, in a wacky sort of way, than Bob and his mundane knife.

Dina smiled. “Don’t worry. This is Elfhome, not Earth, but you’ll learn. Come outside. I want to show you my hover bike. Mom bought it for me as a birthday gift, when I turned twenty. The best gift in my life. I wish I could’ve ridden it to the Rim yesterday. Then no one could’ve touched me.”

“Why do you call it a ‘hover bike’?” Naomi inspected the weird motorcycle sitting in a shed behind the shop.

“It has a lift. It moves in 3D.”

“You mean it flies?” Naomi almost screeched.

“Not flies, exactly, but it could move above ground, yes. But only when we are on Elfhome. It uses a magic spell for its lift drive. That’s why I couldn’t ride it yesterday, on Shutdown. No magic on Earth.”

Cold prickles ran down Naomi’s spine. “Obviously, I’m not in Kansas anymore.”

“You said you lived in New York.” Dina led the bike out of the shed.

Naomi didn’t reply. If the girl didn’t get the reference, any Wizard-of-Oz explanation would sound as absurd to Dina as Dina’s talk of saurus and flying bikes sounded to Naomi. “I think I’m getting a culture shock,” she said instead.

Dina grinned evilly. “If you wish, I can teach you to ride a hover bike.”

“No, thank you,” Naomi snapped. “I’ll stick to my car.”

Posted in Olga Godim, WEP | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

WW Photo Challenge: Fairies

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo with a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter F. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Fairies for the F.

My book covers are mostly made from images I found on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as stock on deviantArt. This is one of those covers. While the background came from Pixabay, and the fairies from one of my favorite free stock provider, Pat Ann, the elf girl is a stock image by https://www.deviantart.com/arlesienne.

If anyone wants a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know.

 

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WW Photo Challenge: Eggs

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo with a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter E. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

I just realize that all my covers are a form of storytelling as much as my written stories are. This time, it is a story about a girl who helps the dragons protect their precious eggs. I have 2 more visual stories (book covers) about the same girl, the dragons, and their eggs. You could see them here:

Saving her Egg
The Dragon’s Egg

Egg for the E.

My book covers are mostly made from images I found on several free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as stock on deviantArt, but not this time.

The basic font I use is as much a placeholder as the text. If anyone wants a cover you see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. I’ll make one for you with a different font, suitable for your title.

 

Posted in art, book cover, Fantasy, Olga Godim, WW Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Fan fiction

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
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Today I want to talk about fan fiction. My latest story is fan fiction – it is set in another writer’s universe, specifically, Wen Spencer’s universe of Tinker and the other connected stories of hers. Visitors to my blog might be familiar with my novella Magic Senegalese, set in Spencer’s world. I have been posting it in installments as my WEP entries since the start of this year. Another story of mine, Five Days of Elf, also set in the same universe, is already on Wattpad.

Now a third story, set in the same universe, shimmers in my head, slowly taking shape. What does it say about me as a writer, if the only stories I want to write are based on someone else’s imagination?

I don’t involve the original writer’s characters – I use my own – but the setting, which plays a huge role in all the stories – hers and mine – doesn’t belong to me. Does it make me a plagiarist?

Personally, I think my stories are a tribute to the original writer. After all, they speak of my admiration for her and the world she has created.

I have been turning to Wen Spencer’s books as comfort read in the past few years, and they never failed me, but there is never enough of them, and I’ve read (and re-read) them all at least a couple of times. Some more than twice. They resonate inside me, and I want more stories set in her universe, but what is a writer to do, when no more stories are forthcoming? She creates her own. Right?

Many authors, especially in the speculative fiction genre, start with writing fan fiction, sharpen their skills on it, and then switch to their original writing. I did the opposite. I never wrote fan fiction prior to my first story set in Spencer’s world, Five Days of Elf. There are other writers I love, but I was never tempted to write fan fiction before. This whole situation bothers me. Should I continue writing these stories? Should I contact Spencer about it and ask for permission? Should I resist the temptation?

What do you think? Do you write fan fiction?

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WW Photo Challenge: Dragons

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo with a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter D. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Dragons for the D.

All my book covers are mostly made from images I found on free image websites, like Pixabay.com. Sometimes, I add an element or two I discovered as stock on deviantArt. In the picture above, the structure in the background came from deviantArt.

The basic font I use is as much a placeholder as the text. If anyone wants a cover your see here or in my deviantArt gallery for your real book, let me know. I’ll make one for you with a different font, suitable for your title.

 

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WW Photo Challenge: Camomiles

I’m participating in Celia Reaves’ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo with a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. This week – it is the letter C. As before, I’m posting one of my pre-made book covers.

Camomiles for the C.

All my book covers are made from images I found on free image websites like Pixabay.com. The elemental font I use is as much a placeholder as the text. If anyone wants a cover your see here or on my deviantArt page for your real book, let me know. I’ll make one for you with a different font, suitable for your title.

 

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WW Photo Challenge: Butterflies

I’m participating in Celia Reaves‘ photo challenge. Every Friday, she posts a photo with a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet. The challenge started last week with the letter A. This week – it is the letter B.

I can’t post my own photos like she does, because I don’t take photos, but I do make pre-made book covers and post them in my deviantArt gallery. I’ll display one of my book covers here, as an entry into Celia’s challenge, and I’ll try to do that every week.

All my book covers are made from images I found on free image websites like Pixabay.com. The elemental font I use is as much a placeholder as the text. If anyone wants a cover your see here for your real book, let me know. I’ll make one for you with a different font, suitable for your title.

Butterflies for the B.

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Bill Gekas, the Aussie photographer

I think I’m in love. You know I occasionally write here my musings about visual arts, but my posts usually talk about old paintings. This time, my post is about modern photography. I just learned about the Aussie photographer Bill Gekas.

He photographs his young daughter in the historical or bizarre costumes and settings, and his photos are truly amazing. And his model – oh gosh! She is so sweet in those getups. Look at his gallery, folks.

Here is probably my favorite shot:

Grecian

Or maybe this one:

Joker's child

Truly, go look at his gallery. There are too many to choose from. He is pretty famous, won a bunch of awards, and no surprise. I’m telling you, I’m in love. His images make my heart beat faster. Of course, I wanted to share.

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From millions to wattpad

It’s the first Wednesday (Tuesday actually, this month) of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
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OPTIONAL IWSG QUESTION: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

MY ANSWER: Of course, my goals changed. I’ll tell you a funny story about my original goals, when I first started writing. I thought I would be a popular writer. I wanted a big publisher to buy my books and pay me millions for them. Yeah, I did have high hopes… at one time. I sent my manuscripts to all the big fantasy publishers and a bunch of agents in those days to pursue my goal.

My kids were young then, and I remember roaming with them around Vancouver, looking at nice houses, and deciding together which house we were going to buy with my millions.

Not that one, with the white trim – too small.
Not that one on the corner – too noisy.
But this one with the balcony and stained glass door insert – oh yeah.

I also planned to share my millions with my family: my sister, aunt, and cousin.

Years have passed since then, and I’ve learn a few important lessons. And my goals changed, of course. I still want people to read and like my stories, but the monetary component is not there anymore. I actually stopped caring.

That’s why when I post my stories for free on wattpad, and people read them, I’m happy. I have achieved one of my goals. A report is due here. As of today, my regency romance novella Fibs in the Family on wattpad has collected over 32,000 readers (that’s 32,000 moments of happiness) and is #26 in the Novella category. My steampunk novella Open, Charlie, has reached 1000 readers and climbed over, with #4 in the Airship category. Even my fanfiction short story Five Days of Elf is doing well. It’s over 400 readers. That makes me happy, even though it doesn’t bring any money, and no houses with a white trim or otherwise.

I’ve also acquired another writing-related goal recently. I started making book covers, and I want people to use my covers for their books. As with writing, I began on wattpad. Over 30 writers there have already accepted covers created by me.

I’ve made many more pre-made covers by now, mostly in the fantasy genre, but I plan to branch out into sci-fi and paranormal. I started posting them on my page at deviantArt. Check it out. I’m adding a couple pre-made covers almost daily. Some of you might like my covers for your speculative fiction stories.

I also have self-publishing goals – publishing my books on Amazon – but for some reason, I’m procrastinating. Wish me luck in achieving that goal. I think I need a push in that direction.

No goal in regards to any book publisher for now. I don’t think I’ll ever submit a novel to anyone again. Maybe short stories to magazines or anthologies, but not novels or novellas.

What about you? How did your goals changed?

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Posted in book cover, Insecure Writer's Support Group, Olga Godim, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments