Turning Rage Into Resolve

His hand slowed its feverish massage as his laughter grew.

“What the hell are we listening to?”

I stop my humming and open my eyes, lifting my Galaxy to my face.

Chris LeDoux.”

He shakes his head and keeps moving the mouse ball, putting the finishing touches on the design I made. A complete overhaul of my book cover. It’s beautiful.

“What’s so funny?” I ask.

“It’s just that when I left here, you were listening to Otep.”

I smile. “It’s my thing. Country music is where I go when I need to bring the rage down.”

He’s right. A few hours prior, I had sat at his workstation. I had Marie’s artwork framing the screen. I had a blank Photoshop layer precut to the background artwork in the center. And I had the roars of Otep, Killswitch Engage, Rammstein carrying about me, helping me bring my rage to resolve.

And from resolve begat beauty.

Mandatory Therapy Session.

I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a living fact. My online persona constantly engages in controlled folly, and much of that folly comes from my actual persona managing the ebb and flow of the disorder. I found over the last few years transforming from shadow artist to true artist, having PTSD is a gift. A strange one, in that it can be a crippling situation if not managed, but when it’s harnessed, it can become a powerful source of creativity, sometimes bucking you crazy, but at the end of the ride, you’re left with a masterpiece.

If my actual persona was not the skilled master of the ol’ Put The Stick Down, the design flaw I had to deal with yesterday would’ve sent me into a vortex of fury. I chose to convert my dark thoughts into a working plan. You know what, if you don’t like it, change it, I said to myself. I knew what I wanted to create, but I didn’t have the equipment. Made some contacts; finally, the guy who did my photo shoot not only had the full suite but he didn’t need to use it for the day.

At 2:37AM my time I sent the completed design files, the proofed manuscript, and reference files to the publisher, then I passed out. Today, whatever latent malevolent feeling I have about the ordeal is going to get exorcised out productively. I’m thinking, jog around the park with Bobby, go read my book on the pier, and listen to something that goes like this:


My Super Hot Photo Shoot, Part Two

Calling your expert, artistic eye back to the decision room, please!

On Wednesday, your wonderful selves helped sieve out the ideal from the not-so-ideal author bio candidates. Based on views alone, we’re left with these three:

This is my attempt at character.
This is my attempt at character.
I said laugh, don't howl like a banshee!
I said laugh, don’t howl like a banshee!
We're totally invading my friend's stoop.
We’re totally invading my friend’s stoop.

The photo shoot moved south from Gulfport, and I changed outfits. The first part was the eclectic-electric (and did you catch the ode to Velma and Daphne in the ensemble?) version of Von. The second shoot, I was going for spiritual, contemplative Von. With chains, of course.

Again, throwing the raw files up, with a couple that have been slightly enhanced. So what’s it gonna be, Dear Reader? I say, narrow it down to your Top Two in the Comments section! Enjoy judging.

Location: Pass-A-Grille Historic District, St. Pete Beach, Florida

My Super Hot Photo Shoot, Part One

Edited manuscript? Check.

Cover artwork? Check.

Leading pages? Check.

Author Photo? Hrmm.

Do we really need to put a picture on the back of the book? Can’t people just assume I’m a crazy-haired cat lady who watched too many G.I. Joe cartoons as a kid? Well, according to my friend Carolyn, everyone looks at the author’s picture on the back of the book. Why, Carolyn, whyyy? Because as the reader goes through the words, they want to flip back and look at the kind of person who created this world.

Oh oh.

Seeing that she’s living the life I want, completely able to sustain her lifestyle off her art, I should listen to the gal. So off I go, and enlist my filmmaker friend to play Annie Leibovitz to my Whoopi Goldberg.

I already don’t like to wear makeup, I don’t like to wear fitted clothes, and I don’t like to be outside when it’s cold, so you BETTER like these attempts I made, cuz I’m doing it for you, Dear Reader, I’m doing it…FOR YOUUUU!

We’ve yet to select the final shot, so feel free to recommend which one we should clean and send to copy in the Comments section!

LOCATION: City of Gulfport, Florida

Before you get all pro photog on me, yes, the lighting was super bright, yes, I need to widen my eyes more, and yes, there’s too many shadows. That’s why Photoshop was invented!