Category Archives: Eyecandy

new ride

I think I need to put bike shops on the list of stores I’m not allowed to enter – right next to book and home decor stores. It has the potential of getting a quite pricey experience. But you see, as I was window shopping with a very good friend yesterday, I fell in love. Badly. This is what caught my eye:

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It’s an Electra (1) Loft. It has everything I like: classic frame and a great colour. Oh boy, the colour is even better in real life, a gorgeous teal. I requested a test ride, against better knowledge. Of course, it delivered – it’s a beautiful, quick and nimble ride. Also one to climb up a steep hill or two. Which is something the Townie is absolutely not made for.

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I didn’t even think. I was in heart-shaped eyes bike dreamland, and I knew if I wouldn’t buy it now, the chances that I’d find another frame-colour-speed-match were slim. I bought it. Right then and there. But of course, having already other plans for the evening, I couldn’t take it with me. So back to town it was today, to pick it up. Unlike yesterday, the weather was wet and cold, and I really didn’t feel like getting drenched on the way home – so we had a little adventure: Riding the train with a bike. Thank goodness it wasn’t too full.

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The Townie is already a head-turner and comment-enabler, with it’s unusual frame. The Loft certainly even more so. We were slowly making our way across the cathedral market as a lady from one of the flower stalls exclaimed (2) “What a beautiful bike!” and even called her colleagues over to show them, and wanted to know where I bought it.

Of course, now I can shop for a new lock, new reflectors and a set of lights and other things to make it really “mine”, but that’s the fun part, isn’t it? Finally I have an excuse to buy a new bright LED light… *heads to the big river of things*

(1) Coincidentally my favourite bike company. I still want one of their candy coloured cruisers.
(2) Really. She was over the moon. It was quite cute.

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new logo and new cover

It was just a matter of time until I would find flaws with my initial branding. Too big. Too colourful. Too dominant. Yadda yadda yadda. Doing stuff for yourself is always tricky, because you’re the only one responsible – there’s nobody to bounce around ideas or to brainstorm with. Luckily I don’t put anything into print at the moment… Anyhoo, I redid it and incorporated the (awesome) wings I once did for a United Space Force Badge.

Here’s the logo, all bare-bones and nekkid:
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It also looks quite nice as outlines:
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And because I needed a cover for the upcoming short story anyway, I tested the whole design immediately. I decided to ditch the traditional “sci-fi” look (1) and also go for a more minimalistic approach this time. The story plays in huge Hunter class space ship under attack, meaning lots and lots of dark corridors and without giving away too much, it’s nothing like the fluffy stuff I’ve published before. It’s grim. Gory. I’m actually a bit scared to write it, because I fear I’m going to give myself nightmares. I wanted that mood on the cover – tell me if I succeeded?

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By the way, it still weirds me out to see my name on the cover.

(1) Thing is – I’d love to have elaborate illustrations with futuristic cities and space ships and everything on the cover, but I don’t have the funds to pay an artist. So I have to find a workaround.

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build your own spaceship

So, “White Christmas” is with the Beta Reader. My writing muse needed a break, so I distracted myself with something else. I played around with Pixelmator, to be exact, and turned this humble cockpit of a plane (an MD-80 actually, taken by Kent Wien)…

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… into a spiffy space craft cockpit.

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It’s fascinating what you can do with simply applying a handful of layer effects and switching the background to stars.

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creating a world

I’m a visual person and I love imaginary worlds. Writing is wonderful to create imaginary worlds, but it sometimes lacks the visual richness that comics or movies provide in passing. If I want to show something, I have to write it. It’s not background information that just happens, like props or decoration in a movie. I can’t just place a book on a bedside table and you know that character A likes to read saucy romance before bed, if you happen to catch that. No, I literally have to tell you, preferably through the eyes of character B who happens to end up in said bedroom and notices the book. Even better: That there’s a book with saucy romance is plot relevant.

I actually would enjoy to write page after page after page with just descriptions of surroundings and stuff and little knick-knacks. But most people read books because of the story, not the descriptions. The glory of today is though, that I CAN show you, with a little effort on my part, at least some things of this world I’m writing. As a side note: I noticed how little some of my favourite authors describe of their fantastical settings, and yet I end up with an interesting world in my head all the time. Funny how the brain fills up the blanks, isn’t it?

Nate and Adelie end up using medical products of a certain brand all the time. I assume the company has a contract with the United Space Force? Anyway, brands have logos, I create logos in my day job, so why not create even more in my free time? And as I just bought a glorious programme which seems to be a serious competitor to my beloved Illustrator, what more excuses do I need?

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This is just a quick and simple thing, testing out how the programme works. I probably end up creating more variations of this and other brands I make up, just because it’s fun. Maybe even space ships, if I’m really mastering the software. But becoming a digital artist is even more work than becoming a writer, so the chances are slim that I suddenly create amazing matte paintings of fictional worlds.

The fonts I used are Belgrad for the name and Isadora for the tagline, if you like them.

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