Fun With Planets

I've been busy writing my fingertips to the bone this week, and my poor PhotoShop habit ended up sorely neglected. So today, I thought I'd mess around and see what I can come up with.

I started with a blank canvas. Three hours later, this was the result:

(Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version)

Since I liked the planet so much, I thought I'd mess with it a little more. So, using Photoshop's brilliant filters, I also came up with...

Planet Under Shattered Glass

(Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version)

Comic Book Planet

(Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version)

Nuclear Planet

(Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version)

Planet on Canvas

(Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version)

Of course, all this messing around with planets got me hankering to write a science-fiction book... something with over-the-top sexy, naughty aliens. What do you think?

Oh, and which planet version is your favorite?

~ Lacey

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Blogger Selena Illyria said...

I love the last one. It looks like an old grainy photo. *grin* Great job. Oooh,naughty aliens. I like that idea. *Grin*

8:01 PM  
Blogger Robin Snodgrass said...

They all look great Lacey! A sexy space story sounds terrific!!

8:39 PM  
Blogger Fiona Jayde said...

Looks wonderful Lacey! I can't decide which I like best, although you really captured that gritty comic book feel (I love comic book art) And yes, naughty aliens! Please!!!

8:58 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

Selena -- I really like that one, too. It made me think of paint on canvas.

Robin -- Thank you! I haven't written a science fiction story in a while. I think it may be time to remedy that!

Fi -- The comic book version really captured my imagination, too. Hmm... I'm envisioning a planet full of out-of-work superheroes who have to hire themselves out throughout the universe. Could be fun!

10:09 PM  
Blogger Crazy Lady said...

Great job, Lacey! The comic book planet reminds me of something out of Heroes, but that last one was my fave, I think! And YEEHAW! Write, Lacey, write!!


2:41 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

Thank you, Amy! You're right about the comic book planet looking like something right out of Heroes... I didn't see it until you mentioned it. :-)

2:52 PM  
Blogger Dawn Montgomery said...

I adore them. The comic book one rocks and the last one reminds me of a grainy photo too. I totally agree with Selena.

Looks great, hon!

9:01 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

Dawn -- Thank you, sweetie! If only there were more hours in a day to pursue non-writing hobbies. *sigh*

9:36 PM  
Blogger Caitlyn Willows said...

Planet on Canvas is my favorite. Great job! This make me want to play with images. :)

Caitlyn Willows

3:19 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

Thanks so much, Caitlyn! And you should. :-) It's a wonderful source of stress relief.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn Montgomery said...

I hear you on that, Lacey. I rarely get to flex my artistic muscles lately. *double sigh*

But the beautiful part can walk away from a digital art piece for a long time and not worry about it ruining. I used to work with acrylics and oils and you had to finish the project within a few days to get what you wanted...

1:12 PM  

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The Care and Feeding of Ideas

The question readers, acquaintances and family members ask me most often is, "Where do you get your ideas?" I used to hate this question. Any time someone posed it, I think I'd actually cringe. After all, how do I explain to someone who doesn't write that ideas are literally everywhere? I gave up trying after my response met with blank stares and incredulity. If ideas really were everywhere, wouldn't everyone be writing books? Screenplays? Poems? The world would be filled with writers!

What most people don't understand is that it's not the idea that's important. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the idea itself means nothing at all. It's what you do with it that matters.

But that's a whole other blog post. For the purposes of this one, let's return to the topic of ideas. Okay, so ideas are everywhere. But how do you find them? More importantly, how do you capture them? And what do you do with them once you have them?

I picture ideas as having a physical form. In my mind, they're fireflies -- little specks of golden light that have a life of their own.

Your job, as a writer, is to capture fireflies and treat them well. Don't force them to do something they weren't born to do. Don't stifle them or put them in a jar so you can tap on the glass every now and then to make sure they're still there. Work with them. Play with them. Live with them.

For a little under two years, I've challenged myself to come up with a new book title every day, and three new story ideas a week. As I go about my day, I keep an eye out for fireflies. They exist in a snippet of overheard conversation, in the tattoo circling a woman's belly button, or in a newspaper headline. More often, they're in books, movies and TV.

To date, I have 700 titles for stories waiting to be written. Since I take my fireflies out to play often, I keep my title file open on my desktop at all times and peek inside a few times a day. Here are the last ten titles I've come up with:

Night Signals
Once a Bachelor
Cowboy Dreams
Dark Fire
Sultry Delight
Two Naughty Brothers
Bedtime Sins
Carnal Memories

I don't pretend to claim these are the most innovative, or even the most exciting, titles. But each one of them holds a grain of an idea. The essence of a firefly.

Once I have a title, all I have to do is play the "What If?" game. On average, I can fill five loose-leaf notebook pages based simply on free-association from one or two words alone. And from there, a book takes shape.

So, to recap:

1. Look out for fireflies
2. Capture them
3. Work with them
4. Play with them
5. Live with them

They'll be good to you.

Just for fun, look around you and spot a firefly. I guarantee you have at least twenty surrounding you right now. Catch one. What does it look like? Where did you find it? Even if you're not a writer, what can you do with your firefly during the course of your day?


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Blogger Quoren said...

Exactly! Ideas are EVERYWHERE. Most of mine come from lyrics of some of my favourite songs and I have notebooks full of ideas, as well as papers stuffed here and there with more scribbled ideas on them. Yes.. What if... It always starts with What if...

(Hi, from Ottawa too!)

9:55 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

*waves* I'll be in Ottawa next week... you just made me homesick all over again. :-)

And don't you love that "What If..." game? It's gotten me into trouble (and out of it) more times than I can remember.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Quoren said...

I could spend forever just lost to fantasy playing "What if..." lol

Don't rush back - weather is terrible and the mosquitoes will carry you away.

10:19 PM  

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Interview with Beth Kery, author of FIRE ANGEL

As some of you may know, I'm not a big fan of historical novels... But leave it to the fabulous Beth Kery to win me over with her new release!

Below, you'll find an interview with Beth led by Fiona Jayde. Thanks to both these wonderful authors for letting me publish the interview here.

Fi: I am really intrigued by this blend of historical and paranormal elements – and I know I read "chakras" somewhere. What a terrific blend of ideas! What made you decide to set this specifically in London over a hundred years ago?

Beth: Thank you. Yes, FIRE ANGEL was a real labor of love for me. As some of my readers know already, if I do a historical, it's usually set in Victorian England. I have this weird fascination--okay, lech--in regard to how strict they were morally and their racy sex life. Makes it so hot, that contrast. lol. I also am very fascinated by magic AND the tarot. So when I read about the spiritualist movement I became enraptured.

My anti-hero, Samael Grovenor, is partially based off the magician Aleister Crowley. He tries to steal the show from Vincent, but I don't know. Vincent's a gentlemen, kick-ass boxer, doctor. If it came to a showdown between the two, I know who I'd pick!

Fi: Is there a relation to The Page of Wands and the themes of the story? (I’m clueless about Tarot, so forgive me if it’s a stupid question.

Beth: It's not stupid at all! The Torrid Tarot endeavor by EC has been fascinating and diverse. Different authors have involved the concept of the tarot to different degrees in the story, but EVERYONE had to include a prelude about their card. And yes, my card places heavily in the story (the card itself.) Despite the cover, my HEROINE is the Page of Wands. Here is my prelude:

Page of Wands - The virgin priestess of the fires of spring; the Secret Flame into which all things Return

—Pamela Eakins, from Tarot of the Spirit

The cards of the tarot deck incorporate multiple symbols and archetypes, making them powerful, concise tools for bringing that which is unconscious, and therefore unknown, into conscious awareness.

The character of the heroine of Fire Angel, Serafina Grovenor, is based on the tarot card of the Page of Wands. This card represents a balance with the natural flow of the universe as it incorporates all of the diverse energies of fire, earth, water and wind.

Wands are the suit of fire in the Tarot. Think of the image of the magician with his wand which focuses fiery energy. Fire is the suit of spirit, creativity, dynamism and discovery. When out of balance the energy of fire and spirit can be uncontrollable, burning everything in its path. However the Page of Wands is also a powerful earth symbol. The volatile passions of fire are grounded by earth, making the Page of Wands balanced and harmonious, a symbol of right, just action.

In many esoteric systems the Page in the card deck is represented as a young, bare-breasted woman and is called the Princess of Wands. It might be helpful to think of the “face” cards in the terms of a family. So for instance the King of a suit is the father, the Queen of a suit the mother, the Prince of a suit the brother and the Princess of a suit the sister. As an example, the Queen of Fire combines the masculine elements of fire with the receptive, intuitive energies of the feminine element of water. The Princess of Wands is the perfect combination of the elements of her powerful father’s fire, mother’s water and brother’s air—the final, balanced manifestation of their energies on the earthly plane.

Like Serafina Grovenor, who can channel spirits, the Princess of Wands is a divine priestess who brings tidings from strange, unknown worlds. She is both calm and tranquil and naturally aggressive. Serafina can manipulate fire and controls it perfectly to suit her will.

Serafina, like the Princess of Wands, is a fierce warrior when those whom she loves are threatened. As Robert Wang wrote in The Golden Dawn Tarot, “Woe unto whomever shall make war upon her…”

Fi: What intimidates me most about writing historical is the research that goes into it – and yet I’ve heard you say numerous times how you often research before delving into a story. Any tips or tools you would suggest? Did you find that as you uncovered more about this time period it gave you more ideas and plot elements that you wanted to incorporate?

Beth: There is no doubt the more research you do, the more ideas you get. As I've said, I'm semi-familiar already with this time period. For me, I already knew a lot about magic, hypnotism, the chakra system and the tarot. It was the spiritualist movement that set my mind a turning. Serafina Grovernor is also based off a real life (amazing) medium during that time period. She also, performed on the stage wearing a veil. There are also some hints that she was abused by the men who tried to take advantage of her amazing demonstrations. If you guys want to hear about her, let me know!

Fi: How will you know when you've "made it" as a writer?

Beth: I know I'm a throwback, but it would be if Sandra Brown walked up to me and told me she loved my books. I'm too racy for her, I think, but she's the goddess of sexual tension and the alpha male. I learned so much from her. She's MY Nora Roberts :)


If you haven't picked up a copy of FIRE ANGEL, what are you waiting for? It's available now at Ellora's Cave.

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Blogger beth kery said...

Thanks for posting the interview, Lacey!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

How could I not? Great interview! :-)


1:01 PM  

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Good doggie

Hi, I'm Lacey, and I'm a Photoshop addict.

(Hi, Lacey!)

Most normal people, after being rudely wrenched out of bed after only three hours of sleep would find a way to get back under the covers ASAP. Not me. Though I could barely keep my eyelids from snapping shut, I ambled over to my computer, pulled up a new Photoshop file, and went crazy experimenting with brushes, colors, gradients, etc.

Five and a half hours later, I had this:

(click on the image for a larger version)

Sorta goes with my werewolf release today, no? *g*

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Blogger Robin said...

Awww, Lacey he's adorable! And, it's not so bad being addicted to Photoshop. At least it's not harming anyone! *G*

Robin S.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

Well, Robin, that probably remains to be seen. LOL

And thank you! :-)

1:29 PM  
Blogger Heather Hiestand said...

Very cute, Lacey. Congratulations on the new release!

2:20 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

Thanks, Heather! New releases always feel great, but when the book also wraps up a long-term series, it's an added bonus. :-)

3:23 PM  
Blogger Dawn_Montgomery said...

Congrats on the new release! Verra cute dog and kudos on the addiction.

Hi, my name is Dawn and I'm a gimp addict. No, not quite Photoshop. Wait! Why are you shoving me out the door??? ROFL

10:42 PM  
Blogger beth kery said...

Wow, that is one vicious looking animal, Lacey:)
Sounds like you love your Photoshop. Good outlet for you! Keep those savage beasts coming, both on the writing and Photoshop front!

8:06 PM  

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Creativity, in landscape format

I believe being creative is a state of mind, one that isn't limited to a particular format. Now, I know I can be creative when putting words together, but my interests also run to visual arts. Unfortunately for me, even my stick people look... impaired.

Luckily for me, however, technology works miracles. Thanks to Photoshop, a graphics tablet and a strong belief that I can do anything I set my mind to, even a girl who can't draw the hangman properly when playing the game can turn out something like this from scratch:

(click on the image to see the full size version)

I'm hooked. Expect many more graphics from me in the future. Hey, I gotta show off my work somewhere, right? And considering I'll never get paid for what I do, I guess I'll be imposing my amateurish attempts on my friends. :-)


Blogger Dawn_Montgomery said...

ROFL. It's absolutely gorgeous. Congrats on the resurrection. An old hobby like this can be a huge stress reliever.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

That's great Lacey! You are very creative! I wish I were that talented. :) Can't wait to see more!

9:03 AM  
Blogger beth kery said...

How lovely, Lacey! I like your new hobby.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Fiona Jayde said...

Gorgeous! Especially awe inspiring to someone who can't seem to master the art of the digital pen... I love how you did the "splashies" :)


2:22 PM  
Blogger Lacey Savage said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm still in awe myself. I keep looking at it and thinking, "Wait... I made that?"

2:27 PM  

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Sweating With Sven - Update #1

Just because I've never been all that good at doing things by the book, I'm completing Sven's challenge a little differently than everyone else.

For a variety of reasons, I don't write on the weekend. So instead of writing for 77 days straight as Sven demands, my goal is to write 2,500 words a day, Monday to Friday -- OR to write a total of 10,000 words a week. (Yes, I know the math doesn't add up -- I'm giving myself permission to let life interfere if it must, otherwise I'll go mad).

My challenge total is 100,000 words on a variety of projects by May 16. (Yes, I know the math doesn't add up yet again, but I'm also giving myself time to plot and edit. So I guess I'm completely messing up Sven's challenge. Sorry, Sven! I gotta do what works best for me.)

Since today was my first official day as a Svenanite (hey, I kinda like that!), I'm happy to report I wrote 2,586 words on a contemporary short novella, newly titled DON'T LOOK DOWN.

My nifty little gadget above says the book is 24% done. I like the sound of that already. :-)

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Blogger Dawn_Montgomery said...

Awesome total for the day! No, I didn't make my goal yesterday, but I'll make it today. My catch up days have to be the weekend since I've got the full time EDJ.

Good luck with your word count tomorrow. :) 24% done...that's nice. LOL.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Woo Hoo Lacey! You go girl!!

You know I have every confidence in your ability to meet any goal.

Robin S.

9:04 AM  

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