Progenitor Submissions End Tonight!

Progenitor will be done taking submissions 3 hours afters after this post is published.

I nearly accomplished my goal of making the maximum submissions. I’m short by 2 art pieces, but I met the max for all literary art and that’s better than nothing.

My post was originally going to be a lot longer, but chronic pain triggers depression which triggers pain–the debate of whether the chicken or the egg came first comes into play on this. Overall, I’m not too sure how I feel about getting all the literary pieces in.

Even though I don’t know how I feel, whether it’s shame in myself for finding this a challenge or pride for pushing through the pain and dizzy spells, I do know that I want to try (self)publishing whatever doesn’t get into the magazine. Progenitor’s staff would have ownership of the piece if it gets in after all. That’s not a bad thing, it just means that the magazine would be the only place someone can find it. That’s not a bad thing either, it’s just how it is.

I’ll put up what I submitted if none of the pieces get in and then self-publish whatever the true product will be. A lot of editing had to be done to fit within the 2,000 words or less limits. They’re still complete, I just don’t think they have the same feel as they do with more complexity and different methods of explanation.

Maybe I’ll be able to properly reflect when I feel better later. I just don’t want to let pain, illness and depression rob me of my ability to write. It’s the bets thing I’ve got going for what’s left of me, I can’t let it go without a fight.

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Thoughts on Test Scans (With Pictures)–Creating Manga and Comics on Createspace

I can memorize something better if I tell someone about it. I also see it as a sign that I’m meant to teach if I need to share knowledge in order to have it for myself. It’s a strange step up from writing it down, but since I’m also working with others (when they can) on drawn projects, there are a select few that I absolutely need to report my findings to if we are working on a team project. Even if it’s for fun, I still take it seriously; if saying I self-published before landed me the best jobs with Progenitor, then this is a project I can brag about too.

A few people and I are forming into what’s called a Doujinshi Circle and creating “Doujinshi”. It isn’t always porn and it isn’t always romance(if you’ve heard of it and don’t know this already)–it is the Japanese translation for something that is self-published or published through a private company while a manga is different in length, printing size, and is done so through a mainstream company.

As for doing a Japanese styled comic book in America, the word choice of doujinshi over comic book is mostly for the phrase and style. It’s cheaper and easier to do this style and to print at a smaller size. The contents of the pieces will have a lot more of American touches and styles in comedy or horror too. I can’t advertise projects we’ve hardly started, so there’s not much I can say at this time, but I will when more progress is made (a website is also in production, but we need a lot more content to attract viewers and show what we’re about first haha).

To save money, we are using regular printing paper, pilot gelpens and sharpies. It’s easier on us to do the lineart traditionally and then do all the tones and textures in photoshop/manga studio. With that in mind, we need to make sure we know how to be resourceful and functional.

I did the math and measured the dimensions to equal out to 5.2inX8.5in drawing space for the most accurate resize into an 5inX8in print. As you can see from the bottom left corner, 6mm were still cut off. It was measured with anticipation of losing those 6mm on the length and a little more on the width for the sake of clean cropping and the least distorted resize. A good 2 or so millimeters may be lost in the clean-cropping. Even so, this is not a major loss from the piece–knowing how much will be lost will allow me and the fellow artists to know where to put the contents to make sure nothing is accidentally cut out.
I’ve seen a few manga prints with the font falling off the page. I don’t know if it’s intentional or if it’s a printing error, but I personally find it distracting and it comes across as a poor or lazy print job. Knowing what will be trimmed off allows us to better visualize and respect the bleeding, trim and safe zones.

WP 001 BW

The Black and white feature isn’t perfect, but it’s easy to fix. I didn’t clean out the onyx pixels out of the pitch black ones this time (the black is just barely light or blue or purple enough to become an isolated pixel, hence the onyx versus pitch black sarcasm), mostly because this was supposed to be a quick test for the pens and sharipes to see how well they scan, register between the black&white and color scan settings and how their weight changes when printed in actual size. The quality is acceptable and it’s easy enough to clean up without being too time consuming. Doing this test first also demonstrates whether that detailed cleanup will be necessary or not.

HELPFUL TIP: Print something through a regular printer is extremely accurate to the createspace final product. The color is 99% accurate to the gloss feature, the 1% of it is not having the exact level of shine from ink versus a gross coating. Matte finish will make it about 35% lighter than what will come out of a printer, so be sure to darken the colors accordingly.

From what I saw, not only is the non-photo blue accurate to not showing when scanning black and white, but apparently a lot of my colored pencils are non-photo…

WP 001 Color

The test page itself is completely covered in the different colors, yet when I scanned it in the color setting very few showed and they appeared noisy. I was hoping to use these colors for the cover or color pages, but they didn’t show as well as I had hoped.
These are the cheapo hobby lobby brand, which may or may not explain it. I can’t afford Prismacolor and I also tend to have trouble sharpening pencils of any kind as it is, no matter how careful and gentle I am. This is also an older printer/scanner, which may also explain a little bit of it to.
However, my main concern was the pens and sharpies being scanned in the black and white setting. It’s possible that I would just need to use watercolor pencils instead.
I don’t have the money for my own scanner or to go somewhere to pay for use of a scanner, so I’m checking out what I have available around me.
This also tells me what I may or may not be able to do for submitting art to Progenitor, but I may just pay for a better scan job for a literary magazine entry or two or three.

Please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see.
I may take all my notes from doing this and format it into a guide from createspace. If I do, I’ll post about it. Let me know what questions you may have regarding this particular subject and it may end up in a printed book.

Kindle Direct Publishing is Flawed

Of course everything is flawed, especially in art of every genre and medium. However, there are some problems that can come across as intentional or are more frustrating than others as very easy fixes.

It’s not the wait that gets me. I can understand that. They won’t tell you if you need to correct something until after the 12 hours or so it takes to put it up on amazon, making the task take a few days if they don’t go into enough detail of what’s wrong and give the guidelines in a way that will help you fix it right away.
One publishing attempt took almost four because there was no set explanation on the guidelines to fix it with. I was left guessing until I got it right.
If there was a better way to check before submitting, then the process would be faster. It’s possible that it’s in the works, but I have yet to see news of it if it is.

You can’t clean your bookshelf. This is a similar problem with Lulu as well.

That bugs the heck out of me!

It’s like a poltergeist haunting me to see old work. I think it’s that way for many artists; it’s hard to look at your old work. For the KDP bookshelf, even if you unpublish it, it’s still there, like a stain on the wall you can’t paint over.

I tried painting over them, but the stain bleeds through…

I’ve tried posting other stories and redoing covers over old things I’ve unpublished to better cope, but the changes don’t set–any comment or rating or cover doesn’t go away, even if it seems like it does from one end in the right lighting.
The forums claim that it’s not only impossible to clean your bookshelf, that you have to call the heads of the amazon company to hack into amazon.com itself to fix that (wouldn’t that be like having to call the owner of facebook in order to delete a status update?) and that it can take a few days or weeks to possibly fix the redone publication. However, I only saw one thread that had this happen successfully, others had to start completely over.
I was one of them where it didn’t set in.

I’ll give it one more try and check with the forums again, maybe asking the repetitive question myself.
If it doesn’t work though, I’m trying somewhere else.

It’s not so much that traditional publishing is looking better, it’s more that I don’t exactly have the resources to try it–it costs money for postage, printing manuscripts, editors and agents and I don’t have the money to gamble. If anything, I’ll just hang a picture over the stain and hope it doesn’t fall and reveal the stains.

Juust throwin’ that stuff out there…

Progenitor Submissions; What Else?

In the sidebar, you’ll find the magazine I helped with earlier this year.
I submitted some things the other day, checking through with what I have so far and touching them up so that I can get stuff in while I can.
The submission limit policies (which they don’t tell anyone but staff for some reason) is
3 poems
2 short stories
3 art/photography

With that in mind, I still have 1 short story and 3 art pieces left that I can try submitting.

I don’t know what else to do though.

The max is 2k words and I’m limited on what I can draw for the art pieces considering the genre and the manager of the team working on it. Knowing the judges may help, but I also know that it’s a little bias based on the people in charge, which is slightly discouraging…

Even if I don’t get in, there’s still try for other magazines. Even so, I know this one accepts submissions for free and I want to give it a try. If you give it a try, I wish you the best of luck!

I suppose I’m struggling to think of what to draw because of a simple question; abstraction is allowed, but just how abstract can you go with the general fiction genre?

New Short Story In Progress: The Diary of Eloise Vacarro

Yes, the piece is about vampires, particularly a converted vampire surviving anarchy by professionally hunting her own kind. Since my vampires are in reflection to the foster care system, I’m sure that gives hints that she’s not exactly normal…

A character I based a lot on one of my foster sisters has minimal presence in the main series (I’m working on it I swear!) and I wanted to give her a chance to show how she came to be, even if it’s just a smaller spotlight in and on a different stage.
I feel as though she’s supposed to be a standard case study for what her kind have gone through, even though her particular story may seem like an exception. In some ways, she is, but overall she isn’t–I’m hoping that it gives more indirect world-building and can stand on its own. It should include everything that would be in the main series and anything particularly special that happens in this will happen in the main series so that they don’t feel like missing pieces.
A lot of what she’s going through is stuff that I’ve been going through while couch surfing this past year, but like I said, Eloise is based on someone else, not myself. I insert my own ideas of what I’m trying to reveal instead of inserting myself as a person anyway. Most of us experience this kind of stuff while we’re still in foster care. I didn’t get to until now. Whether that’s good or bad is still up for debate, but it’s an important part of our lives that I need to include. I may feel like there’s one or two tiny pieces missing yet, but I’m making progress.

With my new health problems that are only getting worse, I may have more free time to finish it, but the detail of my strange-for-my-age problems are for a post on another day (mostly because I’m not completely sure what to say if I have to see a specialist on a part of my body I didn’t know was really a thing).

I’m also trying an experiment with formatting and linking, making it feel a little more like an online book. I don’t think this one will be too long for it to have problems, but it seems like it will work for pieces with a small number of parts and chapters. I’m going to try and think of how I can share when a new chapter is up like how blog posts work (having them as pages instead of posts just looks better and makes them easier to find), but for now I can probably just make a blog post with a link to the page itself. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this.

I’ll take down the short story once I have the final chapter ready. I won’t post it. Once it’s complete, I’ll put it up on Kindle Direct Publishing. I really wish I could just have it for free, but I suppose that’s what a blog is for.

Click Here to Read The Diary of Eloise Vacarro

Quick Post: Createspace and Covers form Scratch

I would like to try and update my current createspace review or make a second one. The reason is for changing three things: the cover type, paper color and cover itself.

Instead of glossy, I chose a matte cover.
Instead of white paper, I chose cream.
Instead of using their automated cover maker, I made it myself.

In my opinion, there are enough changes for a review on these different things. I still have one final copy of my Novella to compare to the copies side-by-side, which is very helpful. (Good thing it snowed and I hurt my toe or I would’ve sent it in the mail a while back and missed this opportunity.)

My copies of the novel I’ve put the most effort into finally landed on my doorstep. I will say, the print quality is… different. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t have time to make decent photos tonight. That’s alright–it gives me time to doll myself up. I suppose my biggest issue with these right now is whether my friends will worry about the quality or not. Like food, presentation from the cover design to paper and print quality can make up a good portion of the piece’s positive or negative review (Yes, I believe the rule that “food is 90% appearance” applies to books as well because, let’s face it, you’ve probably come across a book you would’ve liked better if the spacing didn’t have the words crammed together or printed in a font you have trouble reading).

CreateSpace Copies Ordered: Review Coming Soon

A few friends wanted their own copies. Most who wanted one told me after I had already placed the order.
I don’t plan on giving away a free copy to every single individual who wants one, but many people close to me think they deserve one for free. It’s not that I’m trying to be greedy, but I don’t have the money to do that. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to make a profit if I did that. That’s something I get to deal with now…

Anyway, I put my order in for 4 original and 3 large print yesterday. They should arrive in about a week or two. when that happens, I’ll post a review under the review section and make it a blog entry as well. this is so it can be found more easily.

I already intend to include photographs as well as mentions of good things and bad things while trying to be respectful to the copany. Information such as how long they took to arrive, overallcost, what was delivered and so-on will be included.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions you want me to answer or cover in the review. Please share in the comment section.
If you have a question or suggestion that did not make it in the review, please share then anyway and I will reply with an answer or explanation to the best of my ability. I believe thorough reviews are some of the most useful tools for a self-publisher, so I want to know how I can help you with my experience.