Photoshop Text Effect Tutorial: Road Stencil

I’ve been learning a ton of new tips and tricks from following Photoshop text tutorials lately. As we were driving to the grocery store the other day, I looked down at the chipped up, grimy, beat-to-hell turn arrow and text on the road and thought, that’d be a cool thing to create in Photoshop! I looked around for a tutorial, but couldn’t find one. So I made one! Note: this is done in Photoshop CS4; things might be in slightly different places in different versions. Here are the elements I. . . Read More!

More Photoshop Text Tutorials!

So I’ve really started poking around the internet, and it’s amazing the kind of things you can do with Photoshop effects. Why have I only spend all of this time using it to graft people’s heads onto other people’s bodies, and other boring uses? Previously, I showed my results from following a few tutorials online. Well, I’ve discovered a few more tutorials that I found do-able, and here are the results! (Side note: I’m using Photoshop CS4. There are a number of tutorials out there for the far newer CS6,. . . Read More!

Playing with Photoshop Text Effects

I’ve had Photoshop on my computer for years, but I’ve mostly used it for, y’know photos. And doodle-related stuff. If I was using it to put text on something, I might put an outline around the text. Or a drop shadow. That was about the limit of my Photoshop text experience. Recently, I’ve had my eyes opened that you can do some really cool text effects in Photoshop. We bought a package of vintage and retro text effects (they were on a hella good sale, which sadly ended a couple. . . Read More!

The Second Novel Mambo: Sequels Are Hard.

Did I say that a second novel is just as hard as a first? I take that back. If the second book is a sequel, it’s way harder. My primary issue is trying to figure out how much recap to include. Do I assume that the reader of this book has read the first? Do I need to cover people’s jobs? Appearance? My only solution is to treat myself as if I’m the reader. Recently, I read the third book in a trilogy. It had been two years since I’d. . . Read More!

The Second Novel Mambo: It Begins!

So I’ve started writing my second book, which is a sequel to We Could Be Villains. It definitely isn’t easier to write a second book after you’ve written a first. You still have to do an absolute crap-ton of research, and outlining, and prepping. (Unless you aren’t the outlining type. But I’ve discovered that I totally am.) So I guess right now, it seems like it’s just as hard as the first. I kept a list of general ideas for a month or so. (I’ve discovered that notebook apps like. . . Read More!

An Update on My Tea Habit

It’s been a couple of years since I really started getting into tea. Two years later, we’re still totally in love with the stuff. We started with Teavana, since there was one located very close to us, got frustrated pretty fast with their high prices and aggressive sales techniques, and moved online. We’ve tried a few different mail-order places; here are the ones we’ve tried, in order of how much we love them. #1: Harney and Sons This link will take you straight to my favorite tea of all time,. . . Read More!

The First Novel Mambo: Print Layout

This is going to be a long one, friends. Buckle up! Writing a book can be difficult–anyone who’s tried to do it can attest to that fact. But laying out that book for print, especially if it isn’t something you do every day, can fill your soul with rage. There are a ton of little fiddly rules that mean you’re going to have to nudge, adjust, wiggle, and poke at things until they sit just right on the page. All the way through the book, from front to back. And. . . Read More!

The First Novel Mambo: The Cover

In previous posts, I’ve covered the planning and writing of my novel, as well as using early readers to develop and improve the book, and how important it is to hire an actual professional editor. Now, it’s time to talk about something that could make or break a book: the cover. I’m going to tell you right now, I designed my own cover. And I’m also going to tell you right now, this is something you might want to spend money on to have a professional do it. For all. . . Read More!

The First Novel Mambo: Professional Editing

Last time, I wrote about having early readers give feedback on my novel (after several drafts and lots of proofreading, of course). I think it’s essential to get the opinions of a few trusted folks; they can only make your work better. Today, speaking of someone who makes your work better, I’m going to tell you about hiring a professional editor. First, I should address the fact that I self-published my book. If I’d gone out to find a literary agent, and that agent had taken me on as a. . . Read More!

The First Novel Mambo: Early Readers

Previously, I wrote about the prepping, planning, plotting, and writing of my novel. After writing, rewriting, and reading through and rewriting again, my draft was ready to be read by someone other than me. I’ve been Scott’s first/alpha reader for all of his books so far, so of course he was mine. For both of us, we like to read the book in Word. It isn’t as convenient or hand-held as a copy on Kindle, but we both like Word’s commenting and markup features. On Scott’s two most recent books,. . . Read More!