The Writer's Resolutions
This year, one of my resolutions is to get out more and explore the beautiful Scottish countryside and meet more of the warmhearted people who occupy it.
Words on paper are important, but exploring new situations gives writers the inspiration for those words. It is meeting new people that provides the basis for characters and plots in fiction. Apart from that, I think I'm looking a bit pasty and could do with some fresh air and a longer stroll than the one from the laptop to the fridge.
I've already made a start on one of my new year resolutions - to learn Photoshop. My books are a mixture of traditional and self-publishing and I found that one of the disadvantages of self-publishing is the lack of suitable cover material in Createspace's library. There are of course plenty images on the internet and magazines to scan but most are copyrighted. Even images offered free are of too low a resolution and are locked, so that no-one can use even part of the image. So, the only way to go is either hire an illustrator, or if you're counting pennies, design your own.
Taking after my great-aunt Jenny in the stubborn, cantankerous and adventurous department, I couldn't be happy with just messing around with a simple picture. Oh no, after only two online tutorials ( The Martin Perheniak ones for Adobe are very good) I decided my experimental cover for 'Poacher's Moon' would contain the bits of five pictures, painting and text.
Tonight, as the bells chime in the New Year, I've no doubt as to what I'll be thinking about as I raise my glass to 2014 - how am I going to get the Volkswagen Camper into that picture of Stirling Castle.
Well, shopping to do, food to prepare for tonight, a bit of hoovering wouldn't go amiss and the only way to get ahead is to get started.
Slainte everyone, aw the best, and I hope the forthcoming year brings all you could wish for yourself and yours.