Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Learnings

I’ve learned a few things in my life. (As old as I am, I’d have to be super dense not to!) They might be true only in my mind, but I thought I’d share a few with you this morning anyway.

  1. Love is. Real Love, that is, is. The kind of love that makes one person willing to lay down his life for another as opposed to the, I-love-you-for-what-you-do-for-me kind. Real Love doesn’t die, wear out, fade out or turn off.
  2. Real Love is, it doesn’t die, wear out, etc, but it can be killed.
  3. There’s not much a child can do to make a normal mother stop loving him.
  4. There’s a lot of things a child can do that can make a normal mother want to kill him. (Especially telling tales in Sunday School.)
  5. Falling in love might be easy, but staying in love for a lifetime isn’t. Sometimes it takes work, sometimes amnesia, sometimes stubbornness and tenacity, and nearly always a sense of humor . (Sorry to burst romantic bubbles, but it’s true.)
  6. No matter how much you plan or how many hours each person works, when the children come, somehow most of the responsibility falls on the mother. (Especially if you give them the gift of breast feeding.)
  7. Nothing’s easy. Well, maybe a few things are easy for some people, but for the most part, anything worth your while is going to take some work.
  8. The only thing in life that doesn’t change is the fact that everything in life changes.
  9. Exception–God never changes. He’s the same today, tomorrow and forever.
  10. God is Love. I think I could make a case that when you fall in love with another person, a man/woman relationship or a mother and her baby, whether you’re a Christian or not, you have God in your life. I’m not sure everyone (or anyone) will agree.
  11. If you want to be loved, you have to love.
  12. If you want to be forgiven, you have to forgive.
  13. The happiest people aren’t looking for happiness themselves but rather for someone else.
  14. One person can’t make another person be happy. (Not really an exception to #11, but it sounds like it.)
  15. True happiness comes from your heart, not the things around you or the size of your bank account.
  16. “Tomorrow is another day,” said Scarlett. IOW: If at first you don’t succeed, give it another shot.
  17. God has a fantastic sense of humor. If you don’t believe me, think about human reproduction. And just look at Giraffes, anteaters and chimpanzees.
  18. God loves a good laugh. He gave us freedom of choice, didn’t he?
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SSMT–Zeph. 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Did you notice I have a new memory verse? Bet you can guess what it is.

I had to check and see that I spelled old Zeph’s name right. Not a book I read a lot, but I love this verse. In fact, I love the verses right before it, too.

Zeph. 3: 14-17–

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

I might just have to memorize those verses, too, in the next few weeks. I definitely want to burn this one into my heart–

The Lord your God is in your midst, a might one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.

I tried to look up what  God’s loud singing meant so I could share that with you, but I didn’t find it. I have a feeling, though, that when God is singing over us, and He’s singing loudly, it’s a good thing.

It’s a very good thing. 🙂

And since He just quieted us with His love, we should hear Him well!

What do you think?

 

 


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Under the Covers

Cover artists, that is. 🙂

Today, I’m talking to Debbie Taylor, owner of DCA Graphics and creator of the fabulous cover that will grace my upcoming book, Make Me Howl!

MMH

Debbie is a sweet, easy to like woman with a big, big talent. Naturally, my alter ego, Terminally Curious, had to ask some questions. 🙂

Can you tell us how you got started creating book covers?  

I started doing covers because I didn’t like the covers being done for my books.  I had no say, so one day I took my graphic background and designed the cover for my book.  That way I got exactly what I saw for my own work.

How long have you been creating them?

I started in 2006 for a year then when the publisher disbanded I quit covers for awhile.  I restarted doing covers for The Wild Rose Press Inc. a year and a half ago and opened my own design company.  I love seeing the book come alive on a cover.  I now do covers for clients as well as for Rae Monet Inc. and Desert Breeze Publishing Inc.   My work has won awards and each new cover is a discovery.  I am always learning.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I am a published author of 8 novels.  As an author yourself you can understand that inspiration comes from everything.  I personally love to take photos and look through stock photos.  Most of the time a picture will hit me and I see the whole story behind the photo.  I am driven to build the story so others can see what I see.  I love my work!!!

Do you use real people or make them up?

I am always looking for models that I can take photos of but for the most part I use stock photos of people that are beautiful or yummy handsome.  They have to fit in the cover I am doing or they don’t get my attention.

How long have you been doing this work?

I think in all total I have been doing covers for over three years.  My background in doing design for TV commercials and menus have helped. I am always learning.

Do you have favorite book genres you like to design covers for?

No favorite.  I love doing every genre.  I love the challenge.  I have done covers for ever genre so far.  I like the dark covers to the romantic ones.

How did you get started working with WRP?

I was friends with an editor who worked for The Wild Rose Press Inc. and she told me I should talk to the owner.  I did and showed off some of my work.  It is a wonderful place to work and I plan on staying.  I have been very lucky to work for some awesome people.  They stuck with me so I will stick with them.:)

Do you work at designing book covers full time or do you have a DDJ?

I design book covers full time.  My business www.DCAGraphics.com has taken off so I no longer need a second job.  I am very blessed to be doing what I want and enjoying it as well.

Do you draw the pictures by hand or do you use a computer program?

I draw pictures by hand using my wicom tablet and pen. It is hooked to my computer so it makes a electronic drawing.  The programs I use are Photoshop and Illustrator.

Is there anything fun or interesting you can share with us about creating book covers?  

I had an author recently want a man with a big fat nose on her cover.  She wanted it so big that a bird could sit on it.  LOL  So I took this very handsome man can made his nose huge.  I personally will never show that cover but the author was soooo very happy.  All in all that is what counts.  I try to make each cover amazing but its most important that the author gets just what she or he wants to the best of my ability.

Thank you Susan for taking the time ask me questions and letting me express myself as an artist.   The cover to any book is very important.  Its what make the reader pick it up and look at it so the authors work can be read and shared.   If the author works so hard on the inside then its very important to pick the right artist to do the cover.

www.DCAGraphics.com

www.facebook.com/dca.graphics

Debbie’s book, The Dragon Laird,  by Deborah Y Lynne, is available from The Wild Rose Press.

Terminally Curious and I thank you very much, Debbie, for answering all our questions. 🙂 You’re a doll!


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Snow Day!

Okay, it’s not really a snow day in the strictest sense. I think I can still drive to work without being in danger of sliding off the road, but it’s a snowy day.

snow-in-the-hoodIt’s been so long before we had much snow, I’m excited to get whatever comes down.

snow-deckNot much yet, but still it’s white. And cold. And wet. 🙂

snow-fenceRemember when you were a kid and they called off school because of the snow? Wasn’t it fun?

Mom made hot chocolate for us. We’d dress warm and go outside to play, play, play. Then we’d come in, take off our wet clothes and drink the chocolate and warm up in front of the fireplace.

As soon as we got warm, we were ready to go out again. And mom let us.

She never complained about the wet floors or the extra laundry she had to do. (Who wants to put on cold wet clothes to go out and play?)

Once in a while, if she didn’t have babies too small to go out, Mom would dress warm, go out and help us make a snowman or have a snowball fight with us.

Coolest mom ever!

Read more about her here: Snowing and Blowing.

Our dad was pretty cool, too. Read about the sled he built for us kids and all the fun he and his friends had with it, here. “Sleddy Memories”

Guess I’ll call work and see how the roads are looking. Wonder if schools are out today?


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Snow Time

Are your fingers crossed?

Mine are!

Why? I just saw the weather forecast for tomorrow and we have a 70% chance of getting a wintery mix. WOOHOO! I’m really hoping the storm’s path will shift and drop a foot or two of snow on Okie Land.

Did I hear you groan? Stop it! We need snow.

bird-bath-snow-storm-web

Lots of snow.

potty-snow

Tons and tons of snow!!!snowed in bird house

 

  • Cold weather kills off bugs and creepy crawlies that live in our world.

But that’s not the only reason I want it.

  • We badly need moisture. (Keystone Lake is looking like Keystone Mud Puddle.)

dad's-lake-viewOkay, in some places it’s starting to look like a mud puddle.

But the real reason I want to get snow? Lots of snow. Tons and tons of snow? Enough snow to say I was snowed in?

Because if I were snowed in, I’d have time. (Snow time is so much more fun than regular time, isn’t it?)

Time to write without watching the clock.

Time to snit when I run out of words in my head. 🙂

Time to sit in front of the fireplace and snuggle with my honey.

Time to sit in front of the fireplace and read!

And I’d eat a ton of popcorn. 🙂

As long as we don’t lose power, I could stand it for oh, I don’t know. Three or four days even!

What would you do if you had time?

 

 

 


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Make Me Howl

In case you’re one of the three people in the free world I haven’t shown this to, here’s my new book cover!

MakeMeHowl_w7696_750-(4)Isn’t it gorgeous? The cover artist, Debbie Taylor of DCA Graphics, is so talented! Makes me wonder how in the world she does it. Does she start with a photograph? Is this a painting?

Terminally Curious wants to know! 🙂 Maybe I can get an interview with her for next week.

Since I’ve been asked several times, here’s what I have to do with the cover–nearly nothing. LOL.

MMH

I fill out a questionnaire called an Art Facts Sheet that tells about my story and I look at covers on my publisher’s website and tell them which ones are close to what I’m hoping for.

BTW: My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has been chosen Best Book Publisher for the 5th year in a row! (WOOHOO!)

That’s it. I don’t see the cover beforehand. When it’s ready, they check with me to make sure my name and the title of my book are spelled right.

Debbie Taylor gets 100% of the kudos for this cover.

MMH

Oh, wait. Jazzy wants to say hi. Here she is–

Good grief. I thought Susan would never shut up. That woman can talk, can’t she? It’s nice to meet you. My name is Jazzy Cannis. I’m a successful wardrobe designer and personal shopper.

Lucky me, I was born with a killer sense of style, biting sense of humor and an active Lycan gene. And I had life figured out, too. All I had to do was stay in control all the time. I couldn’t get too angry, too wild or too excited or I’d wolf out. No prob.

Enter Chase Holliday, a vet at the drive through zoo, and a serious hunk. The trouble is, Mr. Always-In-Total-Control is an animal geneticist, and he’s out to eradicate every werewolf on the planet. He believes safety lies in making werewolves only the stuff of fairytales. To reach that goal, he works every spare moment isolating the Lycan gene.

Then he met me. The man in the iron will, who’d spent his life exercising it, thought he could handle this wild woman.

Snort.

Well, that’s Jazzy, the quintessential wild woman. I’ll let you know when she’s ready to pounce on the world. 🙂


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Happy Heart Day, Y’all!

So . . . Valentine’s Day. Happy, happy!

hearts

Do you celebrate the day?

G-Man and I are sometimers. Sometimes we do, sometimes . . . meh. Last year, G-Man did a swell job for V Day. (Yeah, I picked it out, but he was there. That’s what counts, right?)

day-heart1

This year, though, I’m afraid the day just might slip past without much notice. And that’s fine. I’d much rather be with someone who loves me every day and lives it than be with someone who tries to make up for the year on one appointed day.

heart vintage-valentine-knitting-dog

So how about you? Are you a carder? A gifter? Or is your idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day fixing a big-deal-meal to share with the one you love?

How do you celebrate?