The party boiled around Quentin, filling his ears with white noise. He had dived deep into a book and only surfaced to chat, and smile at someone else rather than himself, when someone addressed him directly. That person usually was Fay, but as the evening went on even she left him alone in favour of talking to friends she met rarely.
So late in the evening it was turning into early morning, her approaching laughter, much louder than usual, had him look up. Fay hung on the arm of a taller woman, face flushed and movements just a little erratic.
"Here, Quen, this is Eve. I told you about her, right?"
Nothing good, actually, but since Fay seemed to be having fun, he smiled, shook hands, and did smalltalk that quickly grew into goodbyes.
Fay snuggled into the passenger seat, seeming to nod off, but when they turned onto their street she said, "Sometimes I wish you'd enjoy these things more. But since you don't, thanks for tagging along."
"Oh, but I enjoyed myself." Quentin stopped the car and leaned over with a twinkle in his eye to kiss Fay. "I finished another book."
Metal rattled gently as Freya rooted through the content of the tin. Wardrobes, suitcases, savings boxes long destroyed had left their keys in the collection, probably to be forgotten, or maybe to be reused. What the girl was looking for was - ah! A small slip of brass-plated tin, a triangular head.
Diary locks had been always the same, or nearly so, for decades, or if there was a slight difference, the locks were so badly made the key worked, anyway.
Freya stayed sitting in the storeroom dust and tried the key. She smiled and relaxed happily when her hoard of secrets opened.
Her breath caught as she caught sight of the writing. Blue ink instead of green gel pen. That's mother's handwriting! In my diary! A look on the cover confirmed it; even the signs of wear matched.
Freya locked and unlocked the book again, still seeing the cursive writing instead of her own rounded block letters.
She bit her lip and looked towards the door. It would be a while before her mother came home, so Freya might as well have a closer look.
Denise never had taken to reading, much to her father's chargrin. His claims that books were magic that could take you anywhere did nit impressed her, and she only read fiction when she could not avoid it.
When she inherited her father's estate, she did not know what to do with the books, but the smell of paper and dust awoke nostalgia, accompanied by curiosity. She unlocked the one bookcase with doors and ran a finger tentatively over the spines, cracked leather with gold lettering on most. She pulled out a small volume, opened it in a patch of sunlight, and started reading.
When she suddenly stood in ankle-deep snow, wind cutting through her summer shirt, she realised the "magic" part had not been a figure of speech.
Nell belongs to [url=http://the-lest.deviantart.com/]the-lest[/url], drawn for a round of [url=http://community.livejournal.com/mrcaex]Monthly Random Character Art Exchange[/url].
Another anthro reptile with hair drawn with coloured pencils. I think the shading turned out better than last time, even if it's rather flat on the arms... I went more with "how would I draw an anthro alligator" than with the reference as far as the face is concerned.
My first bookbinding thing that did not get abandoned before it got finished.
The format is A6 landscape oriented. I used corrugated cardboard for the covers, so it's surprisingly light. The paper is homemade, too - that is, it's bought watercolour paper, but the look I made myself with thinned acrylic paints and alcohol.
I need to find a better way to stick paper on covers. I tried supposedly-awesome spray glue, and it's bubbling off in some places.
I came across a blog entry, How Often Should You Publish? by a published author, I'd like to comment on. Of course I'm speaking from a reader's perspective.
The idea that the publishing speed should be right for the fanbase I can see - say, I stopped reading Sluggy Freelance because there was too much too fast being added to for me, but obviously it's great for enough other people to make it a really popular webcomic.
But as he says in his key assertion, "you don't publish unless it's good", there is objectively publishing too much. My "favourite" example is Wolfgang Hohlbein, a German fantasy author who seems to publish 7 or more books a year. The problem is that the quality suffers. To avoid anything that may have to do with taste, here are some examples.
In one book hailed as "his most ambitious novel", one of the secondary characters for a few chapters is incorrectly referred to by the name of an entirely different character that died in the prequel. Offhand I remember one other scene which didn't make sense until I figured out in one sentence he'd used the wrong name of the two characters involved.
Another was a six-part series, and at the end of one book one of the characters was catatonic, and the rhetoric of the other sounded like getting him out of it was the big quest-thing for the next volume, but at the start of that next book the poor sod was just a bit under the weather.
His last book that I gave a chance on one page said "she ran towards the forest, where she could get away since she knew every single tree", and five pages later "she had never entered the forest, only walked along its edge".
Re-reading and editing a manuscript before sending it to a publisher certainly is a good idea, even if it takes time.
Turning back to webcomics, the fun part is that there (among amateurs, of course), one piece of advice is to start your first project even if your art and all sucks, because the practise will help you get better, and not doing it means you probably won't get better.