Forward momentum on publishing efforts

It’s kinda like being pregnant. Except it takes longer

No matter how much people tell you your life will change after the baby is born, you can never really “get it,” until after you’ve become a parent. 

There’s this divide between “before baby” and “after baby” that can never be crossed in reverse. On the far side of that Rubicon is Terra Incognita (with or without dragons) that you’ll never understand till you get there.

If my publishing efforts turn out as well as my kids did, I’m good. However, right at this moment the “contractions” have set in, but the results haven’t finished coming into the world, yet

This image shows the Jody A. Lee cover for Jan S. Gephardt's science fiction novel, "What's Bred in the Bone." It depicts a scene in which the protagonist, XK9 Rex, follows a scent trail to a dangerous underworld neighborhood called the "Five-Ten," accompanied by his new colleague, Lead Special Agent Shiva Shimon of the Station Bureau of Investigation.
Cover art © 2019 by Jody A. Lee

The manuscript for What’s Bred in the Bone is finished and edited and mostly formatted in Vellum.

The gorgeous cover by Jody A. Lee is finished.

The ISBNs are acquired. I’ve mostly nailed down the barcode resource, I think. I’m prepared to register my copyright.

I keep struggling to get my emailing list up and running, but if you’ve tried to sign up for it you know I’m not there yet. Soon! I promise!

And also, because my life isn’t busy enough, my sister Gigi Sherrell Norwood and I have pooled our resources to create Weird Sisters Publishing LLC. We plan to publish my books, her books, re-publish her late husband Warren C. Norwood’s books, and possibly publish work by others, too (but not yet).

Bold white letters spell Weird Sisters Publishing LLC next to the company's logo, a black outline of two cartoon sisters, one holding an e-reader, the other a paper book. The background is taken from part of the cover art by Jody A. Lee for Jan S. Gephardt's novel What's Bred in the Bone.

The Weird Sisters Facebook Page went live Wednesday. The website’s coming. It all needs to be done at once, preferably yesterday. But at least we’re on our way.

IMAGES: The cover art for What’s Bred in the Bone is © 2019 by Jody A. Lee, and is used here with permission. The design work for both the cover and the Weird Sisters Publishing banner are by Jan S. Gephardt.

Becoming Weird Sisters Publishing

Gigi Sherrell Norwood

Regular readers of this blog (if you are one, THANK YOU!!) may recall that I’ve published at least one guest-post by my sister, Gigi Sherrell Norwood (Orchestra Dreams). 

What you may not know is that she is herself a talented writer, and she’s also the widow of science fiction writer Warren C. Norwood.

Yes, we’re kind of a cottage industry all in the family (and that’s not even counting the emerging editorial expertise of my son and frequent sf convention companion Tyrell Gephardt). 

It was perhaps inevitable that we’d do the writing/publishing equivalent of saying, “Hey! Let’s put on a show!” (note: Gigi has a BFA in theatre).

The result is Weird Sisters Publishing LLC, a small press publishing enterprise registered (as of February) and operating out of Kansas. As you might guess from our name, Gigi’s studies included an emphasis in Shakespeare. And, we must face it, we’ve never exactly been conventional. 

“Weird Sisters” just kind of fit.

We’re starting our enterprise with my debut novel, What’s Bred in the Bone, to be released in May, as well as an urban fantasy novella by Gigi, titled Deep Ellum Pawnlater in the summer. 

We hope to follow that soon with more of my XK9 novels, and six of the novels in Warren’s catalogue, the rights to which have reverted to his estate (AKA Gigi). We plan new covers, and a full range of formats. 

Gigi also is in possession of two unpublished novels by Warren, and we are in pursuit of other titles whose ownership is less clear.

Gigi has several other novels in her backlist, not written in collaboration with Warren (she collaborated on some of the Time Police series with him, as did Mel Odom). 

We’re not currently seeking submissions for Weird Sisters Publishing, but that might change in the future. We plan to focus on character-driven science fiction, urban fantasy, and related works.

IMAGES: Gigi provided the photo of herself. It is used with her permission. Cover art for What’s Bred in the Bone is ©2019 by Jody A. Lee, and is used with her permission.

Universal human rights

The Artdog Quote of the Week

Yesterday was Human Rights Day, when this post was originally supposed to go live (many apologies!). But human rights are important every day. My theme for the December Quotes is homelessness. I think this excerpt from the United Nations Declaration of Human Rightsratified 70 years ago in 1948, is fittingly consistent with that theme.

IMAGE: I created today’s image. The background photo is one I took last September in Dallas, TX; the words, as credited, are from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25(1). Please feel free to use the quote image if you wish, but kindly include an attribution to me (Jan S. Gephardt) as the creator and a link back to this post. Thanks!

Aiming for Archon 42

Ty and I are about to go on the road again. This time we’re headed across Missouri to our final sf convention of 2018, Archon 42 in Collinsville, IL. After this the holidays start, and so does the “iffy” weather.

It’s been a long time since we’ve been to Archon. For many years there were scheduling conflicts, but those problems are behind us now. I’m looking forward to heading back.

I’ll be busy, that’s for sure. I’m on four panels (moderating three), plus I have a reading, and that’s not counting the artwork I’ll have on display. Here’s my schedule:

Friday October 12

4:00-5:00 p.m. (Gateway-Cahokian) – Paying your Bills with Exposure 

Everyone knows you can’t pay for groceries or gas with exposure – but why do so many people think it’s acceptable to ask artists to work for free?  What’s the best way to respond to such requests?

7:30-approx. 9:30 p.m. (Art Show) – Art Reception

I have a full panel of paper sculpture to display.

The display has changed a little since Westercon 71/MALCon 6 in July, but most of the work shown here will be on display at Archon 42.

Saturday October 13

1:00-2:00 p.m. (Gateway-Cahokian) – Crayola is Fine, Right?: Art on a Budget

How can you create your art without breaking the bank?  What’s okay to skimp on? What’s worth paying more?

3:00-4:00 p.m. (Gateway-Cahokian) – Sharpen Your Skills: Basic Drawing

Designed for new artists looking to improve their drawing skills. Pick up my annotated list of resources, or email me for a copy!

Sunday October 14

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (Gateway-Illini A) – What is Your Preferred Type of Con?

Cons come in all types and sizes: huge & media-driven? Small and intimate? Focused on one subject or many?

12:00-1:00 p.m. (Gateway-Illini A) – Author Reading with Meg ElisonJan Gephardt, and Lettie Prell.

Enjoy a sampler of short readings by three contemporary sf writers. I bet you can guess what book I’m reading from!

Here’s my postcard for Archon 42, promoting the reading on Sunday and urging people to.sign up for my newsletter, for updates on the publication schedule.

IMAGES: Many thanks to the Collinsville, IL Chamber of Commerce, for the “white” Archon 42 logo. The other two images are by me, and may be used for reblogging or reposting, as long as you include an attribution for the work and a link back to this post. Thanks!

Re-Re-Revised

Jan S. Gephardt at the keyboard. Photo by Colette Waters.

Did you ever have one of those projects you thought was just about done . . . except you needed to adjust this one thing.

And then that one thing led logically to another. And after that you discovered an excellent new technique and it would apply to this current project, so now if you just revamp these bits . . . .

Eventually it HAS to end. In this case I’m talking about the novel I am THIS CLOSE to having completely ready to start productionON or before September 3, 2018, it shall be done (or else).

For reals. mean it. Friends who know me will point, laugh, and say, “Got THAT right!” when I tell you I am not a fast writer. For all my ongoing efforts to be a well-organized, methodical “plotter,” the “pantser” in my soul frequently takes me walkabout, as a way to open up whole new projects through the “discovery method.”

Here’s the color comp for the cover of What’s Bred in the Bone, created by one of my favorite artists, Jody A. Lee, based on a scene from the book.

may not live long enough to finish all of the projects I already have in my files (partially developed through said “discovery method” and mostly set in the same fictional universe), but by God I’ll have fun writing them. I also hope people will have fun reading them–which necessitates finishing them, and publishing them.

That’s my current task: sternly striving not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and working on finishing a final, publishable version of What’s Bred in the Bone.

The world I currently inhabit for as many of my waking hours as possible these days is the one I’ve been writing about (and in which I’m making the aforementioned revisions).

Set in an indeterminate future era which I call the Twenty-Fourth-and-a-Half Century, most of the action takes place on Torus Two of Rana Habitat Space Station, through the eyes of an XK9: an enormous, genetically-engineered, cybernetically-enhanced police dog named Rex, as well as his mate Shady and his human partner Charlie.

Readings from What’s Bred in the Bone that I’ve done at science fiction conventions, such as DemiCon 29 and SoonerCon 27, have been met with enthusiasm, which is encouraging. Most of my beta-readers have been enthusiastic, too. If you’ll be at Worldcon 76, I have a 30-minute reading scheduled there on Monday, Aug. 20, 11:00 a.m. in Room 211A. I hope to see you there!

IMAGES: Many thanks to the talented Colette Waters for the enhanced reality represented by her photo of me, and to the amazing Jody A. Lee, for the color comp of the cover-art-that-will-be for What’s Bred in the Bone.

An award-winning experiment finds a home

The Artdog Image of Interest

One of the nicest things that happened for me while I was at Westercon/MALCon in Denver earlier this month was receiving a blue ribbon in the 3D category at the Art Show. I feel very honored, because there was a lot of wonderful 3D artwork in this show.

The honored piece was a special, one-of-a-kind Artist’s Proof (abbreviated AP) of the Common Cliff Dragon–Male collection of multiple originals. I called it the “spiny ridge” AP because in a fit of madness I experimented with cutting out each individual scale on the ridge along the dragon’s back, then sculpting them to stand up slightly.

I took the second photo in December 2016 before I matted the piece. I have to admit it looked pretty cool, but it was a delicate operation, it took a long time, and when I’d finished I swore I’d never do that again. Granted, one should “never say ‘never,'” but now I’m officially on record that it was a one-of-a-kind experiment.

A one-of-a-kind experiment that was awarded this wonderful honor, and one which also has now been “rehomed” with a new owner. The owner got some prize-winning new art, but I was the one who got to keep the ribbon!

IMAGES: Both photographs were taken by me, Jan S. Gephardt, of my own artwork. If you wish to re-post or reblog either of them you may, as long as you include an attribution to me and a link back to this post. Thank you!

Soon at SoonerCon!

I’m on the road again this week.

This time I’ll travel with my fantasy paper sculpture artwork (including a new piece! Stay tuned for this week’s Image of Interest!), an excerpt to read, from my soon-to-be published sf novel What’s Bred in the Boneand a whole sheaf of program notes to SoonerCon 27 (I’m moderating five panels this weekend).

I hope to see you there!

SoonerCon 27 is this year’s edition of what has become one of my favorite science fiction conventions in recent years. Held at the Reed Center in Midwest City, OK (near Oklahoma City), features a nice location, normally a great crowd of science fiction and fantasy fans, and a strong lineup of professional guests.

My Programming Schedule:

Friday:

5:00 p.m. – Steampunk & Alternate History: a Primer – Jan moderates; fellow panelists: Julie Barrett, David CarricoK.W. Jeter, and Bradley H. Sinor.

8:00-10:00 p.m. – Art Show Reception.

Saturday: 

10:00 a.m. – “SF Sampler” Readings by Walt BoyesJan S. GephardtA. Lee Martinez, and Adrian Simmons.

12:00 noon – Finding Light in Tales of Darkness – Jan moderates; fellow panelists: Cary OsborneTed PennellaAdrian SimmonsSue Sinor, and Seth Skorkowsky.

3:00 p.m. – Murders, Mysteries & Mayhem – Jan moderates; fellow panelists: David CarricoRachel CaineLee KilloughSeth Skorkowskyand Craig Wolf.

5:00 p.m. – From Science Fiction to Science Reality – Jan moderates; fellow panelists: Astronaut Stan LoveLou AntonelliClifford “Kip” McMurrayRichard Morgan, and Adrian Simmons.

6:00 p.m. – Art Auction.

Sunday:

11:00 a.m. – You’ll only Last a Week: A World Without Water – Jan moderates; fellow panelists: Adrian SimmonsDeborah ChesterPaula Helm MurrayRook RileyThe Dream.

A photo from the doorway into last year’s SoonerCon Art Show.

Don’t miss the SoonerCon 27 Art Show!

I’ll have a brand-new paper sculpture on display at this year’s SoonerCon Art Show. It debuts in the art show on Friday 22nd. It also will go live as my Image of Interest on Friday.

Please watch for it–and come to the show, if you’re at SoonerCon!

IMAGES: Many thanks to SoonerCon 27’s website for the opening header. I took the photo from outside the Art Show last year at SoonerCon 26. Feel free to re-post it, but please include an attribution and a link back to this post. Thanks!

DemiCon 29 has begun!

The Artdog Image of Interest 

It’s a little later than the usual Image of Interest posts, but the Art Show setup began at noon on Friday, so I didn’t have a chance to post my usual “My Art Show Display” photo earlier. But now I can. So here it is! I hope to get a convention report posted next week, barring random weirdness happening.

IMAGE: This photo of Jan S. Gephardt’s art at DemiCon 29 was taken by Jan S. Gephardt, right after she (I) finished hanging the display. I you’d like to re-post it for some reason, please don’t alter it, and please post with an attribution and a link back to this post. Thanks!

Love in the Storm

The Artdog Image of Interest 

For now, this wraps up my series of Images of Interest focused on my own artwork. Love in the Storm is one of my more recent multiple-original images, based on a 2016 stand-alone original that is now in a private collection.

I developed the image from several separate drawings penciled on tracing paper, overlaid against each other for placement, then inked, scanned, and colored using Photoshop.

Each multiple original is one of 25 double-layer multiple original paper sculptures. Each is printed with fade-resistant inks on archival paper, then cut out, sculpted, and assembled by hand using archival materials.

The single mat (available in black or white) tops 2 layers of foam board spacers and an acid-buffered backing. Each piece is individually hand-signed and numbered by the artist, Jan S. Gephardt, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. Images from this edition are now available at a few science fiction convention art shows and through the Artdog Paper Sculpture Shop on Etsy.

“Coming Through!”

The Artdog Image of Interest 

This month I’ve decided to feature several pieces of my fantasy artwork that I’ve recently added to my Etsy shop, ArtdogPaperSculpture. Yes, I’d like to sell some. But I also just enjoy sharing my artwork. I hope you’ll enjoy looking at it. These works also travel to art shows with me.

I first began developing the composition Coming Through! in 2012, but my assertive little unicorn making his way through the day lilies has been through several variations since then.

The photo on this post shows one of two different Artist’s Proofs that are variations on this composition available through my Etsy site. Here’s the link to this oneHere’s the link to the other. 

I‘m now developing an edition of no more than 25 multiple originals (each piece made one-by-one, hand-sculpted and assembled, which leads to subtle variations. Thus, although the edition is consistent, each piece also is unique).

Subscribe to this blog for further updates on all of my available artwork! Note: this post was updated with additional images on 7/19/2017.

IMAGE: This photo of my art was taken by me for documentation purposes and to use for my blog, social media, and my Etsy site. Feel free to re-post it, if you wish, but please don’t forget to attribute it to Jan S. Gephardt, and a link back to this post or the Etsy site is deeply appreciated!