My Walls Are Flannel

I subscribe to TheBookDesigner blog because I once entertained the idea of designing my own book covers. There’s just one wee problem. In the process of selecting images and putting them together, I discovered I don’t have an eye for design.

Even if I borrow the idea exactly as it is, it still looks home made…or at least, home made by me.

Yet I love to fiddle with colors and images. Even if the end result looks childish and unprofessional, I do it for my own pleasure. Or sometimes, I do it for the pleasure of pure procrastination. It’s kind of like the first draft. Nobody but me sees the mess. Plus, when I design stuff on the computer, there’s no cleanup and I don’t have to whitewash my flannel walls with a new coat of paint.

So when the latest TheBookDesigner post showed up in my mailbox, I was thrilled to discover three new tips on finding and using images.

Photopin.com is advertised as free photos for bloggers and creatives. It’s simple, easy, straightforward. It pulls data from Flickr and you can filter images based on the Creative Commons licensing.

If you don’t have image editing software like Photoshop, TheBookDesigner recommends FreeOnlinePhotoEditor.com. It’s fun, you can fiddle till you’ve procrastinated the day away.

Lastly, there’s Google images which now has a cool little camera in the search bar to help you search for images using other images. For years I’ve had the image of a grumpy creature holding a coffee cup on my computer desktop. On a poor-pitiful-me day, I pulled it from the internet and since then, have never been able to locate the source. Now, I’ve uploaded the image and Google supplied me with links so I can locate and track the owner.  Apparently it’s a popular image. If anyone knows of the owner, please email me at .

Do you love images and design and color? Or do you use them like I do, a procrastination technique masked to look like work? And what color(s) are the walls in your house?

UPDATED: There’s a new design site out there and I’m hearing some wonderful things about it! Canva’s Free Stock Photos. Just register on their site like you do with all of the other image sites, and you have access to not only images, but a whole host of design tools too. No more need for Photoshop!

Originally published at Women Unplugged.

 

Under the Microscope at Plotting Princesses

My good friend Vicki Batman, who writes funny and fabulous romantic comedy short stories and novels, convinced me to spend the day with the lovely gals at the Plotting Princesses website.

The Plotting Princesses are a group of north Texas romance authors who get together and brainstorm their plots. How cool is that? On their website, they talk about books, writing, interrogate interview guests authors, and more. Check it out.

So I’m hanging out over there today. Come join me at Under the Microscope: Sheila Seabrook – Wedding Fever.

 

When Thunder Rolls

I’m over at the Women Unplugged blog today, talking about last night’s storm and wondering, what both terrifies you and fascinates you?

Last night, we had a series of thunder storms pass through our area. In the middle of the night, we stood on our roof covered deck while lightning flashed around us and thunder boomed in our ears.

I don’t recall having storms like this when I was a kid. But ever since a tornado swept through our area in 1987, killing 37 people, injuring hundreds more, my awareness of storms has increased.

And I’m fascinated by them. On hot humid days like yesterday, I check the Weather Network because they almost always have a weather warning in place. And then I watch the sky.

Crazy storms like last night’s make my heart pound and my stomach churn. The lightning flashed like those disco strobe lights from the 80’s, blinding if you looked at it, impossible to avoid. It flashed so often and so quick, there was no time to close my eyes or look away. It rained so hard, it pounded on the rooftop like hail, while water filled the gentle curves and valleys on our property.

We stood there for nearly an hour, spellbound by the powerful, dangerous storm. Across the farmer’s field, two power transformers blew. The shockwave from a boom of thunder set off our neighbor’s car alarm, his headlights flashing on and off in the distance, the alarm barely distinguishable over the sound of the storm. A few minutes later, another shockwave turned on the light on our automatic garage door opener which was inside the closed garage.

After the storm blasted through, we climbed back into bed. Lightning flashed in the distance and thunder rumbled through the open bedroom window, bringing with it a cool breeze on my face. It was cozy and peaceful and put me to sleep.

Since ’87, we’ve had numerous tornadoes rip across the Canadian prairies, some with deadly consequences, others with only property damage. But when the threat of one is in the air, am I smart enough to stay indoors or hide in the basement? Apparently not.

How about you? What dangerous thing fascinates you more than it terrifies you?

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

And the BBB blog post winner is …!

Now that paint day is over, it’s back to smelling the roses. Yep, that’s my favorite job around here. It requires no effort or thought, kind of like writing when I’m in the zone. 🙂

The big news today is the winner of my blog contest, open to all those who posted a comment during the Beach Book Blast event from August 15th to August 18th.

Becky Ward, come on down. You’ve won an ebook copy of my book, Wedding Fever, as well as my favorite ecookbook, Soups For All Seasons by Anne Ellis!!!

But wait, there’s more…

It’s Monday and I’m in a good mood. Or maybe now that the paint is dry, I need another excuse to avoid my current mess-in-progress. Uh, I mean manuscript. So to all the lovely people who commented on my blog during the Beach Book Blast event, if you haven’t already picked up an ebook copy of Wedding Fever, I’ll be giving each of you a copy of my ebook. Watch for my email to hit your inbox.

Thanks to everyone for hanging around the beach with me. Happy reading!

The Beach Book Blast & Life Returns To Normal

Okay, I know I said I’d share Family Tales From The Crypt, but that’ll have to wait for another day. As the Beach Book Blast ends today and life returns to normal, my mind is elsewhere.

I have a book to finish by October. It’s written, but now I have to change three-quarters of the words. Yeah, rewriting is not high up on my list of fun things to do.

A lot of writers enjoy the rewriting process. I’m not one of them. Instead, I whine a lot (I’ll try not to whine here). I get the overpowering urge to shop and we all know how much I hate to shop (unless it’s for books). Basically, I’d rather do anything but sit down to deal with the mess of that first draft.

So right now, I’m typing with my coffee cup in one hand and a paint brush in the other. Yeah, that’s right. This weekend, I’m avoiding the manuscript in favor of painting the outside trim. It’s actually my dear hub’s trim. If I had trim, there would be no labour involved. It would be the kind that takes care of itself, indestructible against the ravages of wind and rain and snow and hail.

But since it’s his trim, we’re painting. 🙂

Before I go, we had a total BLAST at Thursday night’s Beach Book Blast Facebook party. If you were one of the people who joined us, thank you for doing so. The utter chaos of so many voices talking at once made the party atmosphere seem like we were really all in one room, mingling and chatting and getting to know one another.

We’re in the process of gifting the prizes now so I thought I’d share images of what we gave away.

Prize 1:

 

 

 

Prize 2:

 

 

 

Prize 3:

 

 

 

Prize 4:

 

 

 

Prize 5:

 

 

 

 

Pretty awesome, huh? Remember you can still drop by the Beach Book Blast website today and enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and more great prizes. Plus, visit the individual author sites for a chance to win more great prizes. All contests close at the end of Saturday, August 18th.

And here on my own blog, I’m giving away two ebooks to one lucky winner randomly chosen from those who comment on my posts from the BBB launch date the end of the BBB event. Thats August 15th to August 18th. You could win two ebooks: Wedding Fever and Soups For All Seasons!

But wait! Just like yesterday and the day before that, and the day before that … there’s more fun stuff!

Rhonda Hopkins interviewed the Beach Book Blast authors and is running a series of posts from Aug 15 to Aug 18.

The Reader’s Guide to Epublishing books is hostng a series featuring the Beach Book Blast books and as usual, the generous D.D. Scott is gifting plenty of books.

And finally, here’s a complete list of authors involved in the Beach Book Blast – D.D. Scott, Alicia & Roy Street, Dale Amidei, Debra Burroughs, L.C. Giroux, Liz Jasper, Greg Carrico, Kristine Cayne, Kiru Taye, *lizzie starr, Liz Matis, Lily Silver, Stacey Joy Netzel, Natalie G. Owens, Janice Lane Palko, Christina Routon, Tamara Ward, and Sheila Seabrook.

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