Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Two hours a day to be productive

The title just about says it all. Luke-Andre is a sweet baby who, we've discovered, loves pureed green beans (who would have seen that coming?), but he's not big on naps. Most days--not all--he takes one 2 hour nap and a few 30 minute ones. The 30 minutes ones I use for taking a shower and eating. The 2 hour nap has become the one period in the day when I can be productive.

And I can get a fair amount of writing done in 2 hours. The trouble is, I have a lot of other irons in the fire:
  • homework for my MA in history
  • blogging here and the recipe blog
  • knitting a blanky out of the yarn my aunt used to make a sweater he won't sleep without--so far, in a week, I've knit about 3/4 of an inch
  • reading the signed copy of Naamah's Blessing Jacqueline Carey sent me herself to review (SO EXCITED)
  • and, most recently, designing my covers for the serial.

I had hoped to employ a friend of Jeff's for the covers, but he's a professional artist and I just don't make the kind of money he charges, even with the hefty discount he offered.

It's ironic because the part of the cover I thought would be hard--the background--I've already finished, and now I'm struggling with the rest. The background will stay the same for every cover, to provide continuity. It's a deco skyline, with the palace and temple in the story at the center. In the foreground I intend to have a close-up of the main character, and when I paint and draw, I'm usually all about portraits. And I'm finding this really hard for some reason. I've been toying with trying to do the portrait kind of deco-style. I can't decide if I like it or not. I voted on another blog when the author posted two possible covers--that was fun, so maybe I'll do something similar here.

More than the design questions, however, I'm running into technical problems: if I want the background the same, it makes sense to scan it and add each different foreground in a design program. Except 1) I don't own a design program anymore--I used to have PaintShopPro a long time ago but that died with the computer it was on; and 2) that means creating the portrait on paper I can cut to be able to place it over the background manually, as I don't think I'm skilled enough to do a proper cutting job on the pc. And doing it on paper means using pencils or pastels, not paint, and I intend to paint the background--I've already got it all drawn out on a flat canvas.So the two may not look good together unless I can work some sort of magic with the design program I don't have.

There are probably some nifty programs that do really useful things like make it possible to scan an image that isn't rectangular without filling in the negative space with white, but the learning curve for me on anything like that is bound to be steep. And I only have 2 hours a day to do it. And I'm still writing (I'm midway through part 4--I think there will be 8 parts, although I'm still not positive). So I really could use more hours in the day.

...And he's awake. After 30 minutes. Looks like today will be one of those exceptions where there is no 2 hour nap at all.


  1. Yay for having authors send you books to review!

  2. Oh Kathryn, and this is JACQUELINE CAREY. She's only been my absolute favorite author since 2002.

  3. Hang in there, Sophia. I recall pushing my writing onto the back burner after my second son was born and it bacme too difficult. On the other hand, I didn't have the maturity to handle it all either. I didn't get back to it until they were teenagers. I wish you the best as you juggle all of that as well as writing.
    Then again, appreciate them when they're small. Eventually they graduate at the same time (my oldest from high school and my youngest from junior high). Yikes! It's gonna' get busy here soon.


  4. Thanks Jimmy! I dread the day Luke-Andre is too big for kisses; I can't imagine what I'll do when he graduates and moves out of the house. :(