Category Archives: Campfire Stories

Campfire Stories: Nearing the End

Campfire Stories is going to be published soon! Everything is complete including my new author biography. The group is entering the marketing part of the process.

Of course, I will be announcing all new information on my Facebook Page and Twitter account.

I’m feeling all sorts of emotions: surprised, happy, hopeful, and a little disappointed. First and foremost, I’m happy we were able to put this book together. Previously, I was worried about the project falling apart.  I am also happy about everything I’ve learned and been able to accomplish. This has been a great experience. I hope the marketing end is just as educational and fun. I’ve gotten slightly more familiar with Mailchimp already. I hope there are lots of sales, that people like my work, and I gain readers.

The slight disappointment has nothing to do with the Campfire Stories project. I had wanted Tapestry published by the time Campfire Stories was published. I have fallen short of this goal. However, there is a silver lining.

Campfire Stories has taught me what goes into creating a book from start to finish. It took five people nearly a year. Granted, we were doing other things in our lives, but putting a book together is not as simple or easy in practice as it is in theory. I understand now why I have fallen short of my goals with Tapestry. They were steep goals. I will make better ones going forward.

I want to give a huge thank you to my Campfire Story partners:

Ansley Ashe

Jill Marcotte

Lucy Jayne

Allison Gammons

fdywsfh8n6y-rachel-walkerI published this blog a couple weeks early. It was ready, and I thought it would be a good Valentine’s treat for my readers :).

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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Campfire Covers

I took on the role of cover designer for my Campfire Stories collaboration. This was my first time designing for a group of people. I had a few doubts.  I’m not an expert photography editor, or an illustrator with ten years experience.

However, I have some skills. I’ve taken a few art classes. I’ve spent many hours looking at covers, movie posters, etc. I’ve experimented a lot with photography in the past, and was a part of a photography group. I’ve used Gimp, PicMonkey, and Paint to create different pictures. Experimenting helps a lot with the learning process.

Plus, I decided to volunteer for the job because I enjoy making covers. It takes awhile. Sometimes I spend over 8 hours just experimenting. Nonetheless, in comparison to writing a book, 8 hours feels like instant gratification. I also love visual arts.

Initially, I spoke with the group leader about what kind of cover to make. I wanted to make something with a campfire. She wanted the lettering to be a little girly, which made sense for our concept. We didn’t want to make a horror cover, because that’s not what we wrote. The cover should represent the writing, and our anthology has different genres within it. There’s horror, fairy tales, and even a tall tale. cover-campfire3

I showed the group leader some pictures, and we picked out a couple. I ended up using her favorite: a campfire in the woods. I had to use a big, bold font; I did not want the title to get lost in the background (right). It’s amazing how long I spent looking at fonts. I have a new appreciation for fonts.

cover-campfire-8I also did additional mark ups with the font the group leader suggested (left).

At this point, I posted  5 of the cover designs for the rest of the group to see. A different approach was suggested. I had a conversation with another group member to get an idea of what she was looking for in a cover.

This time I went with a more minimalist approach. This cover set was faster to put together, because I did not use any filters. I wanted an elegant font this time. I picked a couple cursive fonts and a couple funky fonts to give the group options.

 

The group voted this month! And the final cover is:

dark-campfire-cover2

 

Working with a group was an interesting experience. It’s different trying to design something for someone else. It involves more than just my vision. However, it was fun and I enjoyed the process. Everyone was kind and cooperative. I hope it’s everything they wanted, and that we sell lots of books.

Thank you to the photographers who put their work in public domain.

Photo credits in order of appearance:

http://all-free-download.com/free-photos/download/campfire-celebration-fire_235678.html

https://unsplash.com/search/campfire?photo=rLm4Wq96h_0

 

 


Campfire Stories

Sorry this blog is a few weeks late. I skipped my November NaNoWriMo blog because I felt there was nothing new to write about it. I didn’t want to write the same blog over and over again. Instead, I decided to do two December blogs. The second one will be published on the 31st of December.

I mentioned before that I’m working on a collaboration. I am part of a group of writers that will be putting out a short story collection. The collection is called Campfire Stories.

The authors had to create a story inspired by a campfire. However, it was not strict. Each person could go in any direction they wanted: horror, tall tale, legend, etc.

We agreed to submit at least one story, and edit each other’s work.

I ended up submitting two stories. One is  a campy, horror story.  The other is about a ghost.

Round one of editing happened during October, so I had my editing notes going into November.

I gave up on NaNoWriMo early this year, and worked on my second drafts. I resubmitted the stories a week and half ago. My fellow collaborators have already read my work, and they gave me new notes.

It’s interesting to see what someone else thinks of my writing. I’m always excited to see the comments. I also love that four different people have read my work. They each have their own opinions and comments, which shows how differently readers can interpret something.

The editing process is so much faster this way. I used to want to hang on to my work until I felt it was perfection. However, it’s a lot easier to get a story to perfection with a critique partner.

Additionally, I created covers for the collection. I hope my collaborators like my work. I enjoyed doing it.

While there have been delays, we are mostly on schedule. Campfire Stories should be done by the end of January. 😀

I liked participating in this, and I would like to do something similar in the future. I’d love to run my own contest one day.

Have any of you submitted stories anywhere, or worked on a collaboration? I’d love to hear how other people’s experiences turned out.

Merry Christmas! Hope your holidays are fun and filled with joy!


Writing Outside of my Zone

Not only has the summer flown by plunging me into the fall, September has come and gone as well. During these months, I went out of my comfort zone and wrote in a different genre.

The idea came to me when two different people asked me to participate in group projects. It seemed like a good idea, so I said yes. I wanted to keep my style, but felt horror would be the best way to go for the stories. I have never written a horror story before; although, my work does have a dark vibe to it.

I watched horror movies to get into the horror writing mood. While I’ve seen one or two, they’re not my normal pick. I found ones I liked, and ones I hated. However, I was inspired by them all. I came up with two good ideas (one for each group), and went to work.

Surprisingly, it has been a struggle to write two short stories. It took awhile to come up with relevant ideas. That was the hardest part. I underestimated how hard it is to come up with an idea out of thin air instead of using an idea that has spent months bopping around in my mind.

forest face fog

Once I had the ideas, it should have been easy from there. Instead, it took ages for me to get what I wanted written down. Part of it was nerves. I want the stories to be great, but I know they will need lots of editing. I hope the groups will not be disappointed with my first drafts. Especially because I struggled to make my sentences tense enough. Horror involves jumps and scares. That’s not my forte.

This is also my first time working with other artists. I was nervous about sending out an informal contract to make sure I knew what I was agreeing to. The problem with contracts is that they can be too detailed or not detailed enough. I did my best.

Sadly, one of the collaborations fell a part. It happens. I am happy that I tried, and got to know another artist a little better. I’m still a part of the other group, but I’m not sure if we’ll make it all the way to a finished anthology. I hope we do. I also hope to improve my horror writing with the group’s feedback. We should be exchanging stories shortly. I’ll keep you guys updated.

Have you ever collaborating with other artists on a project? I’d love to hear about your experiences!