Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dear Oscar Wilde

Dear Oscar Wilde:

I listened to The Picture of Dorian Gray today. It is a beautifully written story. Your descriptions of  the various luxuries Dorian admired were incredibly detailed and the flow of the writing was quite poetic.

However, if some day you are reincarnated and blessed with similar literary prowess, I would like to request that you incorporate more action and less blah-blah.

Thank you, kindly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RES 5!!

I FINALLY got Resident Evil 5. I ordered it used from Amazon because paying $60 for a video game hurts my heart.

I played and finished Resident Evil 4 on wii earlier this year. That was a great game. However, the graphics were meh. Really, wii graphics are never great. I don't know the numbers, the bit number or twatever. My geekiness does not extend that far.

Resident Evil 5 so far is, well, evil! The zombies are wicked fast, maybe even faster than they were in RES4. The initial setting is a dirty, ramshackle village in Africa. Like RES 4, you have a partner, only this time, you can't kill her, which is a plus for klutzes like me. Anyway, the speed of the zombies, this is me focusing. I played through the first chapter yesterday. With the new zombies, you see one from a distance, it sees you, then you have maybe five seconds before it races in your direction and tries to bite your face off. Seriously, it's nerve wracking when there are like 50 of them chasing you.

I'm still adjusting to the controls and I feel totally awkward. One change the developers made is that the game doesn't pause when you enter the item menu. In every other Resident Evil game that I've played, if you enter the item menu to heal or make an adjustment to a weapon, whatever, the game pauses. Not this time.

I guess I'll just have to be on my toes a little more this time around!

Monday, September 28, 2009

tea time

on the mp3 player - Estelle, Shine

This weekend was interesting. On Saturday, I photographed a tea/fashion show at my mother's church. Now there's something I never thought I would do. She volunteered me and my moderately lame 8 megapixel Canon PowerShot. In return, I received free lunch. Always a plus! I have never photographed an event for other people before. It was really nerve wracking. I kept worrying about the pictures coming out blurry, so I used the automatic settings on the camera. I got to use the tripod I bought last winter, so that was cool.
It was mostly adorable little old ladies and little old lady clothes. They cracked me up. One of the older ladies at my table was singing the words with the piano music. It was also funny when they were oohing and ahhing the jackets. The fact that one of them was reversible seemed to be a big selling point. I had more fun with it than I thought I would. Here is a picture of one of the table settings. Fancy, right?

On book working news, I ditched the cover design that I've been working on part time for about three weeks. It looks good but as a thumbnail on Amazon or other book sale sites, it's not going to work. There's just too much detail. It was about 15-20 hours of work to get this far, so it kinda sux to head back to the drawing board. However, I did learn a lot in Fireworks so it wasn't a complete loss. You live, you learn, you move on.

Friday, September 25, 2009


on the mp3 player - Katy Perry, One of the Boys

reading - Inferno

The season premier of Ghost Whisperer is on tonight! YAY! I just turned it on. Yes, I know it's cheesy and they jumped a big fat shark the season before last when her husband died and came back to life in the body of another man. I don't care. I love it anyway. I love the creepy parts, and J. Love and her over the top girlie girl outfits and Jamie Kennedy.

On a comparably geeky note, Wil Wheaton is soon releasing a book about Star Trek TNG and his experiences on the show. I cannot WAIT! I LOVE Star Trek TNG. I remember every Friday night (I think), my parents would order pizza for dinner and let us eat in the living room while we watched it. I was so sad when they canceled that show.

He posted a few podcasts of excerpts from the book on his blog -

They are so funny! I hope I can get my grubby little paws on a signed copy when it comes out. That would make my whole year!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

lightning source

Hey there! I am looking for input from someone who has had experience publishing through lightning source to possibly (and pretty please) offer feedback on their experience, info on the cost and such. It would be even better if that someone could compare that to publishing through lulu. thank you so much to anyone who responds!!!
e-mails with any attachments will not be opened.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Gargoyle

I finished The Gargoyle today. That was a really good book. The narrator starts out as a physically beautiful porn star. At the beginning of the book, he has a car accident that burns most of his body. He loses fingers, toes, ears, most of his hair and perhaps most tragically, his dick. A lady named Marianne Engel finds him in his hospital room and she changes his life.

He spends the story recovering from his burns and Marianne is there to help him through it by telling him stories of their past lives together. The amount of detail (and probably research) that went into this book, not just the burn part, but the history and language and religions, etc. amazed me. There are many, many references to Inferno by Dante. I actually picked Inferno up at the library yesterday and it was helpful to see what Davidson (the author) was doing. That isn’t a requirement for keeping up with the story though.

I have one complaint about the book and that was that some of the phrasing was a little repetitive. For instance, people stuck out their chests or pulled up their chests a lot. However, given that the book is 528 pages long, I can’t hold it against him. If I tried to write something that long, I’m sure I would repeat myself too.

I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone who might want to read it so I won’t go into much detail. I will say that this book is very intelligent without being uppity. I think that’s a difficult balance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

burning trees

Monday - back to corporate grey reality.

On the mp3 player - Incubus Monuments & Melodies
reading - The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

I spent most of my weekend work time painting burning trees in Fireworks for cover art for the book that I plan to release in 3/2010. I don't really want to reveal the title for the book. Not that it's the greatest title ever mind you, I just really suck with titles and I don't want to have to try and think of another one. From here on in, I will refer to it as the demon book.

Anyway, if you don't know me, you might be asking, why the heck is the author doing the cover art? The answer is that I am publishing on my own through lulu. I came to this decision after about two months of research into the publishing industry and four queries to agents (2 rejections, 2 no replies). I decided before I even started looking for an agent that I wasn't going to bang my head against the wall too long before I went to lulu. Life is too short to spend waiting for some stranger's approval, especially when it isn't required. That is time better spent writing another book.

So, here I am - editing, working on cover art, and moving toward some sort of marketing activity. I don't mind the work at all because I'm pretty much a workaholic when it comes to artistic endeavors. It is a lot to handle though. On the bright side, I have learned that I can do a lot more in Fireworks than I ever imagined!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Dionysus be praised! Chateau Thomas has created wine with no sugar and no carbs! I had some this weekend and it was just as tasty as the wine I usually drink. I was a little worried it would taste like kool-aid or like Boones. It didn't! It actually tasted like wine. I had the blush. Where has this been all my life?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kafka vs. Perkins Gilman

So, I finished Metamorphosis. It was different, for sure. I saw some similarities between Metamorphosis and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The latter is in my American Gothic Tales book and one of my favorite stories.

Both characters went through a major life change. Gregor (Kafka) transforms into a large insect. Gilman’s narrator’s husband has moved her to the countryside for the summer.

Both narrators spend most of their time in the story in one room, pretty much isolated from their families and everything else. When the narrators get antsy, the walls become an expansion of the space in which their oh-so-considerate family members have decided to stash them. Gregor literally climbs the walls, dropping off the ceiling for fun. The crazy, yellow wallpaper lady is obsessed with people she sees in the wallpaper and ends up thinking that she is from the wallpaper herself.

What caused me to notice the similarities between these stories was the way the narrators in the stories approach their abnormal dilemmas with somewhat rational lines of thought. Gregor, even though he has transformed into a large insect, is initially most concerned with how his condition will affect his ability to go to work and support his family. This type of thinking carries on throughout the story: he worries about their financial wellbeing without him, the jobs they take on, how the other family members get along, etc. Yellow wallpaper lady is not quite as calm. She grows increasingly paranoid but everything she does is rational to her. Even at the end of the story, when she’s completely lost it, her internal voice is operating in a coherent manner.

Anyway, they’re both worthwhile reads. Yellow Wallpaper is better though. Boo yah.

Here is a cell phone picture of the day. I call this 'eeewwwww, dead snake under a swingset'. I’m not really a morbid person (ok, not a morbid person all of the time), but this is something I don’t see every day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I am

A good way to start out a blog, I think, is an introduction to the person who is writing it.

My name is Lea Ryan. Most of my waking moments are spent either writing or reading. My day job, which I deeply appreciate having at the moment, consists of writing mundane, vanilla corporate blah.

I continue plugging away at the keyboard when I get home because that's what I do best. I am a writer. I'm not tired of writing at the end of the day. I am tired of the blah, so I turn to fiction. That is my party time.

As far as personal interests go, I am basically a ten year old boy trapped inside a 31 year old woman's body. I enjoy many things geek, which you will see in later posts, I'm sure. I love video games, Star Trek (next generation, baby!), Star Wars, old horror movies. I grew up on geek with my Commodore 64, original nintendo and atari consoles and piles and piles of books. I could go on, but I won't because that would be boring.

I like to read when I'm not watching movies or writing. I just finished Whitley Streiber's The Grays and I started Kafka's Metamorphosis. Yes, yes, I haven't read Metamorphosis yet, hard to believe.

I grew up on classic literature, thanks to my mother. My heroes are Poe and King. I'm partial to Shaekespeare too. The dialogue between his characters just amazes me. It's so complex. He was something beyond genius. I've been reading some James Patterson lately, Daniel X and Maximum Ride. I wouldn't call him a literary genius, but I like that his books are short and easy to read. They're also full of action, which is a plus.

Anyway, that's all I have for today.