BD heads up

Just a quick heads up. Tab’s planning to re-release her Beautiful Disasters anthology.
upcomingreleasesBDremake
So if you’ve got work in the previous incarnation(s) of that (or any other MP, PF, DS, SF, SS) book, or if you’ve ever given her anything to read, keep a close eye on BD to make sure none of your work shows up in it on the sly. Just to be safe.

And if any of you know Aradia Wadjet, Norbert Gora or Natalie Moon, please let those poor people know what they’re getting into.

Choices, choices

Let’s see. I could spend my Sunday writing up yet another fact-packed post about Tabetha Jones, one of many to come, or I could spend my day working on a comic series/graphic novel that could actually get me paid.

Hmm… What to do.

No-brainer. I’ll get back to Tab some other time. She’s not going anywhere. Literally or figuratively.

Later, gators.

Blink of an eye

In the blink of an eye, everything can change.Your world can be ripped out from under you, and nothing will ever be the same again. You could lose everything and everyone you hold dear – or take for granted. That happy little bubble you live in could be burst without warning.

Or, you could be blessed.

Maybe both at the same time.

Yesterday, my Tall Guy was in a car crash. The Nissan was totaled, but Tall Guy walked away without a mark on him.

The car can be replaced, and it will be. We’ve got the holiday this week – and we’re blessed to be able to share it with him healthy and whole. But next week, after all the paperwork is settled, we’re car shopping, baby.

Moral of the story, boys and girls is: be mindful of what (and who) you have in your life. They could be gone in the blink of an eye.

My Boring day

It promises to be a pretty boring day today in Lepplady-land.

First, I’m going to watch Jeff Gordon’s Drive for Five. It’s the championship race, and I hope he wins it. It’s his last race before he retires. Everybody’s talking about it in the pre-race show, while they’re waiting for the rain to stop in Homestead. Even Mario Andretti is singing his praises.  The guy’s had quite a career, and I hope he can top it off with a championship.

Later, I’ve got some artwork to do. I’ve got a comic book to finish… I can’t WAIT to share that with the world. But for right now, it’s got to stay under wraps. I’ll be able to  celebrate soon, and I’ll will very happily share it with you then.

I’ve also got a private commission to work on, another artwork. There’s no deadline on that one – I’ve got until July. But I had a brainstorm about the composition and elements, so I want to get those on paper while the inspiration is still fresh. Truth be told, I’ll probably be doodling on it during the race.

But at some point today, I want to get in some reading. I’ve picked up the Vampire Diaries book series, and I’m eager to read those. I’ve also picked up Underworld, and I’m interested in reading those, too. As loathe as I am to touch anything Twilight, I might even read those, as well. There’s a reason for it, so abusing my retinas is for a good cause. Call it homework, if you will.

And yes, I will be back with a book report.

Have happy, safe and healthy holidays everybody. I’ll see you next week.

Tricky Nicky

Just when we thought we’d seen the end of him.

Nicky Pacione has managed to get himself thrown off of just about every social media and publishing site there is at some point. He’s pissed ’em off at Lulu, gotten himself booted off of Createspace, and even been put in time out with Facebook and Twitter. I think. There are likely many more, but I honestly don’t care enough to go searching for a more comprehensive list. He attacks admins with his homophobic, paranoid ravings, gets thrown off, and then goes on rants about what assholes they are for trying to keep the world from seeing his crap.

But he’s found himself a new publishing home. Until they get enough complaints about him or abuse from him, he’s publishing his drivel through Booktango.  And it looks like he’s been a busy boy, publishing all of his old crap along with a new anthology. November alone has seen a new batch of books (re)published by tricky Nicky. Booktango doesn’t keep author or title information, but you can see their name as his publisher attached to books on Amazon.com

Nicky Pacione delivers a library of unknown horrors, is a book largely comprised of classic stories that he swiped from the internet, by such luminaries as Hitchcock, Lovecraft, Poe, Jack London, Bram Stoker, and a bunch of others. There’s a (very) small spattering of newer stories, but they are few. Looks like Nicky wants to reel ’em in with those famous names and cash in.  Naughty, naughty.

There are horrors, all right. Starting with his liberal use of words like “faggot” and “retard” in the book’s prologue and continuing through disjointed run-on sentences that not only jump tenses mid-stream, but display a horrid lack of grammatical skills. Its a mess, and from the look of it, that’s indicative of his entire body of work.

Jenny’s got a scathing – and completely accurate – summation of Nicky’s waste of paper and bitrates over at HER PLACE from when it first came out. It’s highly amusing, and just as relevant today as it was then. I suggest it to anybody looking for a giggle about this guy. And, of course, The Rusty Nail always has the latest on this wing-nut. Whether he’s starting a new crowd-funding effort or getting himself thrown off of yet another social networking or publishing site, they’ll have the details for you to point and laugh at. I know I get a kick out of it. Brian Keene, a fine writer, also has some illuminating insights about Nicky’s tricky publishing habits. There’s stuff just about everywhere about this guy. One quick Google of his name should keep you amused through the next century or so.

If you decide to look Nicky’s ‘work’ up on Amazon.com, though, be sure to search just for his last name. He’s not going by Nickolaus A (or Albert) Pacione these days. He’s eliminated the A (or Albert). He’s got titles under both names up at Amazon, one with the middle bit, and the latest batch without. Sneaky monkey.

I didn’t think it was possible to find a publisher worse than Tabetha Jones and her multiple personality train wrecks, but I was wrong. This guy is worse. Not by much, all things considered. But if you’re a writer and these two were the only two publishing options left on the planet, you’d be best served by setting fire to your manuscript and roasting some weenies with it. At least that way you’d see a tangible result for all your hard work.

My Fairies

During my fairy phase, I let my whimsy run wild in watercolors. To share them at the time, I took pictures of my works and put them online. I’ve licensed my Tall Guy to make them available for purchase on assorted merchandise, including prints, in his online store alongside his own wonderful work.

I haven’t really thought much about them since then.

But recently, I stumbled upon where I stored those watercolors, and I was blown away by how different they look online from how bright and vibrant they really are to the naked eye.

Before, I took pictures and used those. Now, I’m scanning them. The colors still aren’t     quite as bright as they are in person, but there’s a huge difference.

There aren’t very many, but here are the ones I’ve found.
Moononline
That’s the Moon Fairy.

Here’s the Smurph Fairy, inspired by a friend here in town.
smurphonline
Affectionately called the “Future Hooker fairy.” Not the girl, just the fairy.
In all honesty, I think the first sketch I did of this fairy looks better than the finished painting does. Especially in the face.
originaldrawingsmall
She’s got more attitude, I think.

The Mushroom fairy is a bit of fun.
Mushroomonline

Horseonline
My love of horses has never faltered.

And finally, for today, the Hummingbird fairy.
Hummingbirdonline

Seeing these, I’m inspired to revisit watercolors. Even scanning doesn’t do justice to how bright and vibrant the colors are. Maybe a better scanner would show the colors better. Higher resolution and all of that. I’ll have to look into it.

My Kid N Cat paintings are in oils, though I’ve given some thought to acrylics, but there’s definitely room for more watercolor fairies in my future.

Sinister

Sweete Sinz has released the cover for Sinister Souls. For those that don’t know, this book has had a long and storied history. First, Tab tried and failed to put this “anthology” together on her own. So she enlisted the help of the single publisher that’s worse than she is, Nicolaus Pacione.

For the most detailed history about that particular wing-nut, the best place to look would be The Rusty Nail. They know all the ins and outs of little Nicky. In a nutshell, he’s a babbling, paranoid, homophobic asshat. I’d call him a lunatic, but that would be an insult to lunatics. Nick lashes out at anybody he percieves to be an enemy, accusing them of being the reason he can’t sell books, or whatever. His disjointed, psychotic, homophobic abuse has gotten him thrown off of just about every interactive public site there is, from FB to Lulu and Createspace. Seriously, this is one screwed-up dude. He calls himself a publisher, but can’t even grasp the simplest aspects of the industry. For an example of his blithering ravings, take a look at his post about writing a foreword for Sinister Souls. That should show you everything you need to know about him as a person and a writer.

Tab and Nicky launched a Kickstarter campaign, trying to raise funds for Sinister Souls, with rewards ranging from Nicky allowing contributors to commit a crime on his behalf (harassing one of his percieved enemies) to hanging out with Tab in Waco. What a treat!

To date, that project has earned exactly $0. Zip. Nada.

So here, now, is Tabetha Jones and Sweete Sinz, advertising that Sinister Souls is finally getting published. That unleashes a whole host of questions. Is Nick still involved? Will he be one of the contributors, whether it’s under his own name or a fake one? We already know that no matter how many real authors she ropes into giving her work for this thing, she’ll have at least that many fake names of her own, counting on the real authors to generate sales so that she can keep at least half of the profits – or however many fake names she’s using this time. That’s a given. But will Nick Pacione be involved? Is that the type of guy these authors want associated with their names?

Let’s  take a look at that cover.
12239988_172832546398984_4672210569434934995_n
Let’s take this line by line.

“I welcome you into the macabre of the mind.”

In this sentence, the subject is the word “macabre.”

She does realize, I hope, that the word macabre is an adjective, not a noun.
macabre
Usually in literature, the subject of a sentence is a noun. She might argue that the subject of this sentence is the word “mind,” but that’s not how it’s written. “Of the mind” is a prepositional phrase, and no part of a prepositional phrase is the subject of a sentence. A skilled writer, editor or publisher would know that. She doesn’t.

“I welcome you into the macabre of the mind, twisted tales of torment, behind the doors of the mind where secrets lurk and the madness begins.”

Even seeing the whole thing, nothing about that sentence makes a shred of sense. From the jump, she botches it with a lacking subject, and then just rambles from there. It’s technically not even a sentence at all. Rather, it’s (at least) three fragments, none of which is a sentence in and of itself. It’s gibberish, a collection of phrases she thought sounded, well, sinister, so she threw them together. It doesn’t work, and nobody who reads it is going to take it seriously.

“As shadows fall on the sinister minds of the damned, insanity lights up the night.”

At least this one is a sentence, but it makes no sense. She’s trying to be all creative and junk, trying as hard as she can to paint a picture with words, but all she manages is an image that a monkey with a thesaurus and a handful of poop could create.

“Your prayers won’t save you from the nightmare that is coming for you, don’t close your eyes.”

Again, we see the sentence structure and punctuation skills she lacks. This is two sentences. They should be separated with a period at the end of the first and a capital letter at the beginning of the second. No-brainer.

The next sentence is another run-on, so let’s take it in segments, shall we?

“Blood will be spilled and the crazed will bath in it…”

Bath is not a verb. It’s a noun. The fact that such a glaring error has made it to the final version of a book cover should strike terror in the heart of any author lined up to have work appear in it. They should pack up their pencils and go off in search of an editor and publisher that have a firmer grip on the language.

“Blood will be spilled and the crazed will bath in it, listening to their faithless whispers as their victims burn to ash in the flames that light the way to their next soulless act.”

Listening to whose whispers? If the subject of this sentence is “the crazed” (and surely it must be, for “blood” as the subject would make even less sense), whose faithless whispers are they listening to? That is a rhetorical question, by the way, demanding no answer. There isn’t one, because the only answer would be contained in the sentence. And it isn’t.
“…as their victims burn to ash in the flames…” actually works as a phrase. It’s traceable back to “the crazed” as the subject of the sentence, and might have sufficed if it had been left at that. But no. She has to continue rambling, adding “…that light the way to their next soulless act.” Again, she’s just throwing ‘sinister’ phrases around, trying desperately to sound literary. And she isn’t. At best, that whole thing is a rambling, run-on sentence that could have easily been either split into two sentences, or edited down into one that makes sense. Again, there’s nothing to see here that makes any literary sense.

“I introduce you to Sinister Souls A collection of Shadows and Ashes, tales of horror and psychotic cravings.”

Well, if anybody knows something about psychotic anything, it would be she. Sadly, however, she knows nothing of punctuation or grammar. Yet again, we see that a period is missing at the end of a sentence. There’s a capital A at the beginning of the next sentence, but no punctuation ending the one before it.
First, the words “Shadow” and “Ash” are improperly capitalized. Secondly, “A collection of shadows and ashes, tales of horror and psychotic cravings.” is not a sentence. There’s no verb. At all. Not even a stab at one.

With the back cover copy covered, let’s note a couple of other things done wrong. First, there’s no space for the ISBN and bar code. That’s a HUGE oopsie. Any book going to print, even through a self-published on-demand service, must have a spot in the lower right corner of the back cover for the ISBN and bar code. Without those, a book cannot be sold. Period.

Next, look at the ridiculous size of the publisher’s logo on the back cover. It’s typical Tabetha Jones, glorifying herself as this (self-supposed) fabulous publisher, calling attention to herself rather than promoting the work of whatever real, breathing authors she’s managed to get on the hook.

Take any book off your shelf and look at it. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, JK Rowling, anybody. Look for the publisher’s logo. Is it huge, taking up an eighth of the back cover? Or is it a smaller mark on the spine of the book?
Go ahead and look. We’ll wait.

I just took my own challenge and pulled a dozen books off my shelf, by various authors. Nowhere on a single one of them does the publisher’s logo appear anywhere on the outside but on the bottom of the spine, under all of the other information. The focus of any book is to showcase the written contents within, not glorify the publisher. They make their money (and their name) by selling the AUTHOR, not themselves.

All in all, this cover is an epic fail. The image is a crudely manipulated picture of an old abandoned church with a creepy, knife-wielding girl sketched in for shock value. One quick Google and you’ll see this very image on everything from  tweets to groups, just about anywhere you look. It’s a free image, so we know that at least this one isn’t stolen. But I know that as an author, I’d like to see something professional and unique on the cover of my work. Not some oft-used meme you can find anywhere.

And the wording is abysmally bad. Not just bad, it’s unprofessional, and an insult to any author it seeks to represent.

Authors, if there are any of you signed with her that has a pulse, step back and take a good, hard look at what’s being presented for your work, and who is presenting it. Don’t listen to platitudes like “Oh, it’s not finished yet. I was just giving you a taste.”
No.
It was presented to the entire world by your (so-called) publisher as the cover of a book that’s supposed to contain your work. That cover is the first glimpse the entire planet gets of you and your work, and it’s horrible. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

You do, however, have a chance to protect your reputation. You can yank your work and take it elsewhere, to someone more professional. There are no names attached to that cover. Yet. Right now, you have a chance to make sure yours never is. And never mind the contract she’s about to wave in your face. Her company isn’t legal, so neither are its contracts. You are not legally bound to allow her to trash your work or your reputation. You can take anything you’ve submitted, and you can walk away. You can take the word of MANY that have done exactly that. You’ll be much better off for it. Find a publisher that’s more professional, and can actually edit a sentence. Or self-publish your own work and keep all of the royalties you earn. At least that way, you’ll know that you’re actually getting them.

Moral of the story, girls and boys, is not to fall for one.

You’re welcome.