Archive | Talking RSS feed for this section


9 Feb

I could use some. SAD time. Usually seems to hit me hardest just when it finally starts to get a bit lighter. I haven’t managed to do anything during the last month. If you don’t count backing in ditch once (needed a tow truck to get out), and a week later into a mailbox (totaled it – the company car only got a small scratch) on the paper route. Bad weather contributed, both times, in the first case a nice, untouched snow cover on a narrow road I had to back into, indistinguishable from the snow bank in the ditch, and no way to tell where the road stopped and the ditch began, and I guessed wrong. And the second time, sheer ice on that road, I braked and the damn car keeps sliding for nearly couple of meters longer in spite of the fact that the speed was about what would be a very slow jog for a human at that point.


Sometimes I really hate driving in winter.


Also the anti-inflammatory pain meds I’ve been eating for a couple of weeks (an effort to deal with the inflamed Achilles tendon I have had problems with for several months) may have had an effect, one of the possible side effects seems to be ‘may cause drowsiness’, so perhaps my reaction speed and attention have been somewhat impaired lately. Embarrassing, anyway.


So, let’s just say I haven’t managed anything productive.


I should be back in a week or two. I hope.

Merry Christmas

23 Dec

With a Christmas tree. And again the problem with using that not very good scanner I have, this looks good enough as a small picture, and the original painting looks fairly decent, but if you enlarge this scanner image, well, some of the brush strokes can be seen in much sharper contrast than they seem to naked eye when you look at the actual painting, and the colors have changed a bit too, looking more murky in that image than they seem like in life.

EPSON scanner image







Even though I am not a Christian I prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to happy holidays or whatever. I am not a Christian because I believe in some things which are not part of the Christian doctrine, any version. For example reincarnation. And then there are some things which are part of most Christian doctrines which I don’t believe in (with the caveat that whatever I believe I acknowledge the fact that my beliefs are no guarantee of anything). In my early twenties I called myself Wiccan, now I guess just neopagan is more fitting. But while I can’t quite go with any of the Christian doctrines, not fully, I still respect Christianity, and I do have mostly Christian values since those are what I was brought up with. And the western civilization has mostly been build on those same Christian values. And I do think those of us who have been born here as the descendants of the people who build this civilization – or all variations of it – should honor them, and also Christianity, no matter what our personal beliefs happen to be. This is ours. It’s good to be polite towards those who live elsewhere, or have come here later and may have different values, but not to the point of forsaking what is our own. So western civilization is not perfect. So what? There is no such thing as perfect, not in this world, and what we have inherited is pretty damn good – we should be proud of it even when we do acknowledge the warts or blemishes we see. Remember that old saying about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater…


So, Merry Christmas, from a witch. 🙂

A few days

10 Dec

I’m painting an angel. This might take a few more days, I’m trying to do something I haven’t tried before. It started as a cemetery angel, but looked a bit too ‘live’ for a statue, so I got the idea of going for a transformation: a cemetery statue in the process of turning into a real angel (well, ‘real’ as in the modern idea of angels as humans with bird wings, and mostly as pretty women with swan wings, while the biblical descriptions tend to be more varied). Or maybe an angel who had pretended to be a cemetery statue revealing herself.

So let’s see how well I’ll manage. If it works out I can probably post it in a few days.


25 Nov

I guess I’m having post-publication depression here, or something.

If all the things Kristine Kathryn Rusch and the others who blog about self-publishing, and the problems of legacy publishing for midlisters and beginners are true, going with legacy publishing is not necessarily a good choice, especially if you are a beginner. First, getting accepted can take years, then if you do get there the contracts can be bad, possibly very bad, there is no guarantee the end result, the published book or story in a magazine, will be all that much better than it will be if you self-publish – well, nicer cover or illustration if it’s a magazine story which has those, probably, but editing will not necessarily be any better. Most likely no money spend on advertising. And a beginner, or a midlister, does not have that much to bargain with in order to get a better contract since there are always lots of writers for the big publishers to choose from.

But the idea of being accepted by a publisher does have one big draw: if a publisher accepts you, you already have one sort of validation. They chose you from the throng of hopefuls, and they are willing to spend money on your story so they must think it is pretty good, or at least good enough, and since they are the professionals they should know, right? So even if you are then told the story sucks you could always counter with the fact that it was bought by a publisher. And if a professional thought it good enough it can’t be that bad, right?

But doing this the way I’m doing it is scary. I have no idea if I’m good enough a writer. It’s quite possible I’m not. Or I might be one of those sorta kinda almost but not quite there. Or maybe I can hit it sometimes and nevertheless completely miss other times. Or even if I am good, that still is no guarantee I can become somebody who sells. I do have some faith in the idea that cream will get to the top, with time, but while I think that is probably true in general, I don’t think that means that it is guaranteed when we are talking about some single writer, there is still always an element of luck involved. And it is probably also becoming harder with time, a few years ago there was much less competition that there is now, and when we go a few years into the future, well, it will be even harder to get noticed from the mass. Even for those who really are good. And if you are just one of those sorta kinda not that bad ones…

And then there is the question of what exactly is good enough. You know the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest? The man of the ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ fame? He was a bestselling author in his time. Now he is a joke, partly because his particular style of writing got old-fashioned. That has happened to a lot of writers. And perhaps it can happen the other way around too, you just write wrong for that particular time and place, except when it comes to fiction the ones who did that rarely get validated by later generations as visual artists sometimes can be. Not that many people bother to try reading old books, much less some dusty manuscripts, while a painting can capture your interest with just a glance.

And yet, even the lousiest storyteller will still probably find at least a few fans, if she can get enough people to try her stories. She may even become something truly valued if only to one or two people because a particular story just happened to be what those readers needed right then. So, was writing those stories worth it then or not?

Yes. Legacy publishing sounds like a bad deal, the way it is now, at least if you are not somebody who has bargaining power – maybe somebody who has already become a bestseller as a self-published author, or who is famous through some other means. But I can understand the beginners who keep on trying to get published through that route, or only through that route, because if they accept you you have at least some reassurance that you are good enough, and maybe less likely to end up as one of the jokes. I guess that is what I’m most scared of. I think I can handle being made fun of if I also have readers who enjoy my stories, people have different tastes and those tastes also change with time, you can start to call something as truly good only if people keep enjoying it for several generations. But it would be painful to find out that all I can ever be is just that joke, one of the hopefuls who can never find all that many readers because she actually does suck pretty damn bad.

Yet, if I never try I will never find out. And what if I would have been good enough? Wasting your talents… okay, I’m not quite sure if it is a sin but it probably is at least a good contender for that.

Putting stuff out there, for anybody too see is scary. But I guess it’s one of those things that just has to be done, at least when you somebody like me, somebody for whom dreaming up stories is a compulsion I can’t get rid of so whether I write them down and/or publish them I am going to use time with them anyway. Maybe if I had something more useful to use that time for, so I could argue that I should keep the dreaming only as a way to relax but not waste time writing them… only I don’t have anything more important to do.

If you never try you are a sure failure. So I guess I will keep doing this even if I am a coward. But it can be difficult because I am a coward.

And that was fast…

23 Nov

Okay, it went live already. Cover and link:

Well, it’s done

23 Nov

Chosen name: Escape from Tekmar. Cover, well, I’ll post a link tomorrow when it should show on Amazon.

Blurb (more or less, I wrote this but computer refused to play copy and paste, so I wrote it again, with a few different word choices):

When their ship develops a malfunction and has to land on the colony planet Tekmar for repairs all Rahan expects are a holiday, and being able to get away, for a few days, from the other member of their two man crew and his commanding officer who is confined to the ship due to the fact that his kind – a branch of humanity genetically engineered to the point they are now a separate species – are not well liked here.

Then he meets a pretty girl, and at first it seems like his holiday is going to be even more fun than he expected. Only the girl is not telling him everything, and next thing he knows he is a fugitive on a world where everyone might be an enemy.

And then Rahan finds himself solely responsible for something important, and important to him personally, for the first time in his life. It’s all up to him now.

And now I just worry about what will show on Amazon, and how many typos and wrong tenses and whatever I left on the manuscript. I did several line edits, including one on paper, but from previous experience there will still be plenty left.

And then I will start playing with the sequels. Fourth Sword first, tentatively named White Keeper. I got a pretty good idea of the plot, but as usual it will probably get new twists and tangles when I actually start writing it. Already a new character has poked his head in, and all I did was write a couple of short scenes.

Since writing is not going to go well during the next couple of months I will probably keep to jotting down a few scenes here and there, and a lot of daydreaming which I can do. I can’t build a whole working plot that way, but I can get a general impression of what is going to happen.

I also have a sequel to Escape thought up. It will introduce the two sisters of the family, and drop the foursome on a very hostile planet. No colony, this time. There may also be a love story for Ryn’s twin, there is this guy… we’ll see. Ryn and Rahan are going to get back on Tekmar too, Lida will be needing their help, but the scary planet adventure, and meeting the sisters, Dani and Cedra, and Dani’s new love who is perhaps going to have some problems fitting into their pack, that will come first because that guy is going to have some important stuff to do on Tekmar.

And yes, painting. First the new covers for the last three short stories which still have the photos on their covers, then just painting and drawing.

Some photos

1 Nov

Oh well, since it’s this time of the year and all, and I still want to edit the fourth chapter a tad before I put it up, some pictures of the local graveyard.

And one of me. Yes, I said I wouldn’t show any recent ones, but this fits the theme.

hautuumaa 6 hautuumaa 9 hautuumaa 12hautuumaa 2hautuumaa 10kl black:white











P.S. I’ll put the fourth chapter up sometime during the next 24 hours – free day, so I have plenty of time to finish the editing now.