A Baby Shower I’m Not Dreading

Baby Showers are at the top of the list of torturous, anxiety-triggering social obligations I can’t always get out of. However, for the first time maybe ever, I’m actually looking forward to one.

What is different about this one?

Two things:

  1. The parents chose not to find out and reveal the baby’s sex.
  2. It’s a co-ed event.

Very few people understand why I hate showers so much. Women who don’t like showers or who have social anxiety think they understand. They don’t. Social anxiety is definitely part of it, but not more than it is part of things like house warning, weddings, funerals, and birthday parties.

The last time I walked into a baby shower, I literally felt like an alien. I may have been born with a female body, but I have never felt like a woman inside. Online, I call myself non-binary or gender-fluid, but I almost never talk about this with people in the face to face world. Anxiety silences me nine out of ten times I could broach the subject with family and friends.

I’m not going out of my way to hide it. I just can’t talk about it out-loud.

I never feel like i belong at ladies-only events.

Thankfully, this shower isn’t one.

However, there is another reason I’m looking forward to this one: No one knows what the baby’s sex is.

At all the past shower’s I’ve attended, the has mother known, so before the baby is even born, people are forcing gendered stereotypes on them.Girls are pretty,princesses, clad in pink and flowers. Boys are handsome princes, ladies men before they can walk, wearing blue, clothing decorated with tools and trucks. The kid wasn’t even born and was already being told that girls are pretty and fragile like flowers where boys are tough and practical.

It will be refreshing to see what people gush over when they can’t lump the yet-to-be-born child into the girl or boy piles.

This time, when I was shopping, I didn’t feel like I was being subversive or grumpy for going out of my way to find gender neutral baby clothes, or for just buying diapers without even looking at the registry.

I still bought diapers, because babies poop a lot. Every new parent needs diapers.

However, I actually had fun looking at baby clothes. As I scrolled through  Star Trek, Deadpool, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter themed onesies, I laughed. I smiled. I had fun thinking of how the parents would react to opening a shirt inspired by their favorite characters. I was shopping for things the parent’s liked without worrying about gender stereotypes.

Let’s face it, no matter what sex babies are born, they all go boldly with maxim effort in their diapers.

Whether you have a boy or girl, poop is coming!
 

Note: This post is just my opinion about baby showers. I am not saying everyone has to agree with me or hide their baby’s gender. I am not in any way commenting on how people should raise their children.

 

 

 

Cover Matters: Part 1

I love the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” because so many things are not what they appear. A restaurant with a run down front may have the best food in town. A person’s physical gender may not reflect whom they are inside. A great book might he hiding behind the worst cover art ever.

Books are judged by their covers.

If I am browsing books, whether it is in a store or online, without knowing what I’m looking for, the cover is what will make me slow down and read the blurb. I’ve always known covers are important, but it wasn’t until I was knee deep in the world of indie publishing that I realized just how vital a good cover is.

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-11 at 6.32.56 PM.png
A screen shot of cover’s on NineStar Press’ home page on Aug, 11, 2018. The day I wrote this post, not the day I first found the website. 

Covers matter: I’ve judge whole publishers by them.

 

After deciding to start querying my novel, Power Surge, to small publishers, there were many other factors that went in to picking which publishers to query, but cover art was a big one. Did the covers catch my attention? Did they all look the same? Were they more than just some font slapped over a photo? Did they relate to the content described in the books blurb?

Almost two years ago, NineStar press requested one of my manuscripts through #DVpit. The first thing I saw when I opened their website were covers for their new releases and for books that were coming soon. I liked what I saw: lots of color and unique font. It only took a quick glance to decipher which books were romance, fantasy or science fiction. Had I landed on a page filled with awful covers, I might not have gone on to do more research, submit my book, get revise and resubmit, shelve that book, send them something completely different, and have it accepted.

Covers matter: They keep me motivated.

Copy of Like Birds.jpg
Like Birds was my first NaNoWriMo win. I’ve revised the cover as many times as the book. Currently, the book is shelved. 

 

The first time I officially participated in NaNoWriMo and created a profile for my project, I was surprised to see a place to upload a cover. Why would a book that hasn’t been written need one? Not wanting to leave it blank, I threw something together, and then I understood. The cover wasn’t fancy or professional, but it was a concrete image – a mock up of what a story could be if I got it out of my head and onto a page.

Now, when I write a first, I stop and make a cover at the first sign of being stuck. When I revise the draft, I make a cover to reflect revisions. Sometime, if I have an idea for a book but am not ready to start, I make a cover for it. At first, my covers were terrible, but they got better, especially when I forked out the money for a Photoshop subscription.

Covers matter: They pay.

Every awesome book cover is made by someone. If the person who they made it for has any scruples, then said artist is getting paid for their work.

For me, cover art started out as pure hobby, but as of right now, I’ve gotten paid to make three of them. It started earlier this summer when Bob Brown posted on the B Cubed Press Projects page that he needed someone to make cover art for Alternative Theologies.

Theology A ModernI was very excited about the anthology. The story I was writing for it wasn’t coming along very well. I drafted a cover for it, emailed it to Bob, and after a discussion about possible revisions, I was “hired.”

It was a long process, at least as time consuming as writing a story, if not more so since more than a couple things had changed in Photoshop since I got out of photography. And while I was pretty good at designing e-book covers, setting the guides and formatting covers for print was a different story. But I did it.

In the end, my story got rejected, but my design is on the cover of a book that is #1 in specific categories on amazon. How much of it is the cover and how much the amazing collection of stories? I can’t say. I like to think it is a little bit of both.

Covers matter: My book has one that I didn’t make.PowerSurge-f500

AS much as I enjoy making covers for my works in-progress, I did not have the opportunity to make my own cover for power surge. That is a good thing.

Of all the books I wrote, I never came up with a concept I liked for power surge, but Natasha Snow, the brilliant person who does the covers for NineStar Press, came up with something much better than I could have.

The only flaw was that she didn’t have access to an image of a model with both the right hair color and body type as the main character in Power Surge. After looking through images NineStar had access to, I suggested model wearing a hat.

When I saw them on the cover, I knew I made the right decision.

Erin never wears a hat in the book.

Harry Dresden never wears hats either, but he wears one on every cover of the Dresden Files.

Covers matter: They make me smile!

Check back in a few days for a post about the process of making covers both from my experiences as an author and cover artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVER REVEAL: Power Surge by Sara Codair

Power Surge finally has a cover! When I get caught up with my revisions for my next novel, I’ll blog about the experience working with NineStar Press’ talented cover artist, Natasha Snow, not just from the perspective of an author but of someone who has also done cover art for a small publisher.

For now, head over to Small Queer, Big Opinions for a sneak peak!

The banner for the blog post isn’t the cover. You have to scroll down to see the actual cover.

via COVER REVEAL: Power Surge by Sara Codair