Friday, May 18, 2012

First Chemo, and a some vague thoughts on writing

Well, Lana had her first chemo treatment yesterday.  It was a long day, from about 8:20 to 2:00 in the chair with infusions of various medications running into her body.  She handled it like a trooper.  We took along my laptop and she was even able to get online with it and do a little facebooking as a distraction.  She had some weird feelings in her body later but so far not a lot of problems. I understand the worst often hits after a couple of times.  She also has to go back today for a half hour for another infusion of some med to counteract the nausea effects of the first meds. 

I actually did some 'thinking' about writing yesterday evening, for the first time in quite a while.  Mostly I was thinking about the cover to Harmland, and deciding I needed to add a subtitle to make sure folks knew it was short stories rather than a novel.  Also, in the first version I posted, a couple of folks thought the "eyes" down in the left hand corner were headlights, so I wondered about adding another pair of eyes, or two, to dispel that possibility.  I also enlarged the font size of my name and the title, and moved the title in a bit, which several people suggested. Anyway, I've copied the new mock-up below.  It's still not completed, of course, but let me know if you see problems. I'm not really happy with the subtitle of "stories," but haven't come up with anything else yet.

30 comments:

James Reasoner said...

Keeping both of you in our thoughts and prayers these days.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, prayers for both you and Lana.
Maybe you could use the word tales instead of stories?

Charles Gramlich said...

James, thanks, man.

Alex, I thought about "noir tales, but the book is divided into two parts, more noir stories and more horror stories.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, my prayers are with Lana and you. You'll beat this thing sooner than you know.

I liked the upgraded cover, both the word "stories" with the "s" in lower case and two pairs of eyes instead of one. Definitely suggestive of "harm" in Harmland.

Bill Crider said...

We're thinking about you two, Charles. We were in yesterday for Judy's infusion of Rituxan, which the doctor hopes will arrest things. It takes quite a while (5 hours) for this one. We go for the next three Thursdays. Side-effects are supposedly minimal. We'll see.

Keith said...

You two continue in my prayers. Hang tough and hang in there.

As for the subtitle, how about something along the lines of "Dark Tales"? That would encompass both noir and horror.

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks for the update. My thoughts always circling back to you both...

Ron Scheer said...

I really like the look and feel of your cover. The eye goes first to the title (and the word stories is a good add, though saying "stories of what" would clarify and intrigue more). But the bottom is to me a more logical place for your name. The eye would then drop from the title to your name. Also, your name would pop more against the darkest background.

I like the "headlights" at the bottom as headlights. The mystery of them in that isolated setting cries out "read me, read me." And two pair of them still look like headlights to me.

Deka Black said...

My best wishes are with you and Lana. A good start is good

About the cover... something that's horro and noir... "Harmland: Tales of sour and soul"? (nah, sounds cheesy)

"Hardboiler Horror" maybe is better, but i'm no good with titles, to be honest.

David J. West said...

All the best for you and Lana at this time.

How about something along the lines of

"Tales of Horror and Noir"

Tom Doolan said...

Prayers and wll-wishes for you and Lana. And thinking about writing is what gets the snowball rolling. :)

laughingwolf said...

lana will be fine... first days are roughest, like you say...

HARMLAND
encounters

perhaps?

Charles Gramlich said...

Prashant, Glad you like the cover. This is closer to what I want.

Bill, Lana got several different drugs, two cancer drugs. Good luck to Judy as well. And you.

Keith, That sounds good. I like Dark Tales. maybe darktales

Ron, appreciated, my friend. Maybe I'm not gonna get away from the headlights.

Deka, I know I need something with the title. Something small probably.

David J., definitely a possiblity.

Tom, I've been thinking about S & P, this evening.

Laughingwolf, I like "Encounters." Good idea to think outside the box, maybe

X. Dell said...

I saw them as headlights too.

Any suggestion from me would result in unwelcome kitsch. So I'll keep my mouth shut.

Good news that Lana hasn't had a really, really, really tough time yet, just a really, really tough time. My dad was nearly killed by his first bout with chemo. She sounds as though she's responding much more positively. I'm still lighting a candle and hoping for the best.

Ty Johnston said...

Charles, you and Lana are in my thoughts.

About the cover ... what if you bumped down "stories" a few more point sizes and maybe added the number of stories before the word "stories?" As is, it kind of looks to me like the complete title is "Harmland stories," but some tweaks might change that. Just some suggestions.

the walking man said...

The hard part has begun for Lana & You...I have great hope this temporary thing is just that, she is a scrapper so don't let your fears get in her way buddy. Now comes the time when your really may have to drop away from blogopia for awhile.


The cover still looks like two pair of headlights on a road, why not move one set of the eyes into the tree on the right side high up in the branches?

How about this for a subtitle "Charles' Shorts" hahahahahahaha

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I can only imagine how tough it is to think about writing in the midst of a nightmare.

Tales instead of stories, as mentioned, is good.

The lights still look like headlights, only now there's two cars instead of one. I'm not sure what the alternative would be other than making them more like cat's eyes, yellowish with a dark pupil center.

Charles Gramlich said...

X-Dell, she's feeling pretty miserable today but I hope she feels better as the day progresses.

Ty, I'm experimenting with a colon and changing the sub head. I may try moving the sub head.

Mark, I had to put the eyes where the background was black because of the process of cutting and pasting. Otherwise it would look like a patch of black with eyes in it in a tree. I'll fiddle around with it.

Bernard, the weird thing is that the lights are actually eye shine from a coon in our backyard.

Travis Cody said...

Hang in there with the chemo.

As to the book cover, I wonder if there is a way to tie in those eyes to the subtitle?

cloudia charters said...

That is really a nice looking cover, Charles.


Sending Lana tons of love!




Friendly Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

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sage said...

Glad you can be there with her and the chemo. That's a long time to sit with chemicals flowing into your body. You both are in my prayers.

David Cranmer said...

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and Lana, Charles.

And I like the new improved cover.

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Cody, that's a good idea and one I hadn't thought of. I'll work on that.

Cloudia, thankee. Lana's pic, my words

Sage, in the modern world, she was even able to get online a bit, which was nice.

David Cranmer, thanks, man.

Oscar said...

Nice cover the way it is. Good luck to both of you with the chemos.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, appreciate it, man.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thinking about you both.

Richard Prosch said...

Hangin' in there with you and Lana, Charles. Keep the faith, guys! And, yeah, I grok the new cover too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, thanks!

Richard, We appreciate it.

Greg said...

cool cover! hope the chemo goes well with very few side effects.

Elaine Ash said...

Hi Charles, I add my prayers for you and Lana to all the others. My opinion on the cover is I like it a lot. I'd vote for just the big pair of headlights alone, without the smaller pair above. But that's just my druthers.