Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Guess what? I cleaned off my desk! I worked on it all day long the day after Thanksgiving. I started first thing in the morning and didn't finish until that night. But, boy does it feel great. I still have a list of things I need to do and phone calls I need to make that couldn't be done on a holiday, but at least I can breathe again when entering my study.
Here was the before:
And, now, the after!
The question now is: Will I actually do the things on my "to do" list? What about you? Do you make "to do" lists and then actually complete the tasks or are do you make the list and then say to yourself, "Oh, yes. I really must do those things. Perhaps tomorrow."
posted by Deeanne at 9:32 AM
Monday, November 27, 2006
I didn't end up getting my desk clean before Thanksgiving Day, but I shifted the stacks around, so it looked cleaner. ;-)
We ended up having a great time. I can remember when I was dating Greg back in the early, early 80s and he stayed in the States one summer to work, while I went "home" to Norway (where my parents were living at the time).
Ohmygosh. I missed him sooooo much that summer. There was one thing that always made me feel a little closer to him, though. And that was spending time with his family (who just happen to live next door to us--in Norway!).
So every morning, I would arrive on the Gist's doorstep--uninvited--to share a cup of coffee with Greg's mom. The two of us would talk and talk and talk. Originally the only thing we had in common was that we both loved Greg. But by the end of that summer, we were fast friends.
As I mentioned last week, Greg was out-of-town during Thanksgiving this year. And I always miss him when he travels, but I particularly miss him when he is gone for a holiday. It made me think (and pray for) our service men and women, our single parents, our friends who have recently lost spouses and loved ones.
This year, we celebrated Thanksgiving not only without Greg, but without his mother, who lost her battle with cancer in February. As a special treat, though, our son (who headed west upon graduating in May) is now back in town from California. (He missed his girlfriend and friends and decided to come back, for a while. He's sharing an apartment with his cousin and his cousin's friend.)
Boy, was it *wonderful* to have him sitting at our dinner table! As well as the family members that were able to join us. Allow me to introduce you to a few of them.
This is our daughter (17 yrs old) and son (15 yrs) and Greg's brother (who is lurking as we speak and if he doesn't learn to post comments, I might just have to take some drastic measures and reveal his age or some such thing.)
This is our older son who is back from California (18 yrs), his precious girlfriend (whom we absolutely adore) and our older daughter in from college.
This is Greg's uncle and aunt and their precious Steven who single-handedly ate a dozen dinner rolls, I think!
And this is me and my dad:
My mom was there, too, as was Greg's dad, but I think they must have been outside or something when I was madly rushing around with my camera. Hopefully Aunt Donna got some pics that she can send me.
So ... what about y'all? How was your Thanksgiving? Did you stay in town? Go elsewhere? Any fun traditions? Do tell.
posted by Deeanne at 8:31 AM
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Click here for a special Thanksgiving message from
Greg and Dee Gist.
posted by Deeanne at 12:14 PM
Monday, November 20, 2006
Company's Comin'--Time To Clean
Seems like I just cleaned my desk off, and now look at it. I can't even stand to go into my study anymore. I just grab my laptop and scurry to some quiet little corner in my bedroom or something.
But Thanksgiving is at our house. And my office is attached to our breakfast room. It has a door, but it is a French door. So, even if I closed it, the mess is still visible. And I was raised that when company's a-comin', it's time to do some serious cleaning.
Still, it's only family. So, I wasn't sure that would be quite enough to motivate me to clean up. After all, the house is in decent shape and I'll have all that cooking to do. So, I thought I'd better take a "Before" shot and show you. Then, I'd be accountable for posting an "After" shot.
Even so, cleaning my desk is not on the top of my list. First, I have to finish reading some entries for a contest I am judging (due today). Then, I have to make a run to the grocery store for Thanksgiving stuff.
Did I mention I had to move out of my bedroom for two days while some workers tile my bedroom and bathroom floor and put wood on the floor of Greg's study? (So, my bedroom is strewn all over my den and dining room and entry hall and garage.)
Also, I just finished the line-edits for Courting Trouble, so I need to re-read the ms to make sure everything still flows after the changes we made. And my daughter gets home from college tomorrow. And the girls and I are going out to Grandma's to help her decorate her tree on Wednesday.
THEN, I can clean my study.
So, what do you think? Think I can do all that and cook a Thanksgiving meal all before Thursday?
posted by Deeanne at 12:47 PM
Friday, November 17, 2006
Cover Model -- Part 3
Today is the final installment of our interview with model Jennifer Rasmussen. As she mentioned earlier in the week, she posed for the cover of Courting Trouble in several different outfits from 1895. This is another one that they were considering. Remember, the staircase was photographed seperately and Jennifer was photoshopped in. Love the white boots!
Now ... on with our interview.
What sorts of assignments are you working on right now--all book covers or a mix of things?
Well, right now I just did another book cover. However, in this photo I had a husband and a 10 month old baby boy ... lol.
What sort of modeling assignment would you like that you haven't yet done?
A modeling assignment I would like to do is to be on TV as a teacher because I love working with children.
What kind of advice would you give to someone wanting to become a book cover model?
I would say to send in your pics to a modeling agency. Once you're with an agency, talk with them and see if they can get you work doing book covers. It really is a lot of fun and unlike a magazine, it never gets thrown out!
Will you read Courting Trouble when it comes out?
I definitely will read the book when it comes out! Just want to finish reading The Measure of a Lady first.
Thus concludes our interview with Jennifer. I want to give her a big thank you for being so sweet as to give us her time. I also wanted to thank Barb (one of our regular commenters) who came up with all the questions for Jennifer--great job, Barb!
Here is one last look at Jennifer on the cover of Courting Trouble along with the premise of the novel.
Essie Spreckelmeyer, who turns thirty in 1895, decides she is through waiting on the Lord for a husband. So, she writes down the names of all the eligible bachelors in her small Texas town, makes a list of their attributes and drawbacks, closes her eyes, twirls her finger, and ... picks one.
Coming to a bookstore near you June 2007!
posted by Deeanne at 12:53 PM
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Cover Model -- Part 2
We are on Part 2 of our interview with cover model Jennifer Rasmussen.
Here are a couple of before and after shots. The first one shows the photo of Jennifer sliding down the banister. The second shows the changes they made to the photo for the actual book cover.
As you can see, the art department changed the dress from white to teal. And, actually, now that I see them side-by-side, it looks like they either tweaked the photo or they used a different one altogether--the one on the cover has Jennifer's skirt positioned a little differently on the banister and the one on the cover has Jennifer smiling.
Now, the question we've all been wondering about:
Did they actually make you slide down a banister with no hands?!
"No, I didn't have to actually slide down a banister at all. It was more like a tilted 2x4. Most of the shots that were taken were of me balancing on the tiny piece of wood. Good thing I was in gymnastics when I was younger!"
So ... now you know a big secret. Jennifer was photoshopped onto the banister. I asked Bethany House's art director, Paul Higdon, for more details:
"We actually shot the model and banisters separately in New York, (we had [Jennifer] pose in many different angles and dresses before settling on this one) then photoshopped them together and added blur and a lot of other details and tweaks to get this just right."
In Part 3 of our interview, we will see another one of those shots, but this time we will see a different banister, a different dress and a shot from behind. Stay tuned!
posted by Deeanne at 11:13 AM
Monday, November 13, 2006
Cover Model -- Part 1
Meet Jennifer Rasmussen, the model who posed for the cover of Courting Trouble. She's from the east coast and graciously agreed to an interview. I will post it in three parts.
She looks so much like I imagined my character--Essie Spreckelmeyer--to look like. Essie was born a bit before her time, for back in 1895 Burlesque-looking women with teeny waists were in vogue. Tall, trim, athletic-looking women were not. Essie was the latter and therefore not considered a great beauty by her peers, though our readers would certainly consider her to be quite the thing. So when another character described Essie from their point of view, they did so in less than flattering terms, yet the reader will hopefully be thinking, "But ... she sounds so attractive!"
And indeed she is. So, without further ado ... Ms. Jennifer Rasmussen!
How did you get into modeling book covers?
The agency that I belong with gets me jobs doing book covers. I have also done print media and commercials.
Tell us a little about shooting the cover for Courting Trouble.
Well, I got to dress up in these very beautiful gowns and hats from 1895. They were very delicate. In some of the shots I was sitting in a chair with a paper and a pen thinking bout the qualities of a man....lol. It was very fun because the photographer was such a nice man and we worked very well together.
When you model for a story, do they give you any insight as to the character's specific personality, or do they just give you the outfit and the setting and tell you what they want the photo to look like?
They usually fill me in on the character beforehand.
Any interesting tales to tell about modeling for this particular photo?
Well, let's just say that 19th century women used to remove ribs to make their waists smaller. I didn't have any removed ... lol.
Stayed tuned because on Wednesday we find out how many times Jennifer had to slide down that banister and we get to see the full image of that shot--hat and all.
posted by Deeanne at 10:27 AM
Friday, November 10, 2006
New Cover Art Is In!
The new cover for my June 2007 release, Courting Trouble, is in!
This is one of the most exciting parts of the publishing process for me. It is much like getting a sonogram of that precious baby inside your womb for the very first time. All of a sudden, you realize, this is really happening. There really is a real, live baby in your tummy.
Same thing (well, okay, not exactly the same, but really, really close) when you receive that email with "Cover Art" in the subject heading. Your heart starts beating, your hands get clammy, your tummy tightens up.
You open the email, double click on the image and **WHAMMY** There it is, in full living color.
The adrenaline rush is unbelievable. My work day is totally shot. I print it out. I carry it around, pressed to my chest, while I thank and praise God for giving me yet another incredible cover.
I call my husband. I call my parents. If I wasn't praying so diligently for God to grant me humility, I'd probably run up and down the street knocking on the neighbors' doors crying, "Look! Look! Isn't it beautiful!?" Instead, I call my editor, Dave Long, and gush. Then I contact the Art Director, Paul Higdon. This year I sent him this e-card. (He wrote me back and told me I was "courting trouble" to send him these kinds of cards. Ha!)
Cover art really can make or break a book and I have been so incredibly blessed. As I've mentioned before, the author has no control over her title or cover art. Bethany House is wonderful about asking for suggestions, but never in my imaginings did I expect covers like these last three. God has truly anointed the art department of Bethany House and I am honored to reap the benefits!
An exciting footnote to all this is ... for the first time ever, the cover model googled me and contacted me! Yes! The girl you see on this cover is a delightful young lady who has graciously agreed to let me interview her. I will do a three-part post of our Q&A session all next week.
So ... stay tuned!
posted by Deeanne at 11:24 AM
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I'm starting to put together my menu for Thanksgiving Day. For the last 23 years it has been the menu Greg wants. But this year, he is going to be overseas on business, so do I dare deviate from our traditional fare?
Greg likes plain ol' turkey. My favorite, though, is smoked turkey. Greg likes that fruit salad with miracle whip and marshmellows. I think it's yuky. Greg hates nuts. I love pecan pie. So ... here's what I was thinking:
What about you? Do you have the same thing every year? Do you carve the turkey in advance or do you put it on the table in all its golden glory? Do you use fine china or paper plates? Or maybe you have a special tradition? Tell us about it!
- Smoked turkey
- Cornbread stuffing
- Mashed potatoes & giblet gravy
- Green beans
- Dinner rolls
- Chocolate Cream pie, Pecan pie & Pumpkin pie
posted by Deeanne at 11:36 AM
Monday, November 06, 2006
As I mentioned last week, my daughter is in school studying graphic design. One of her assignments was to do some "picture riddles." Here are a couple of them:
This one is a popular saying. Can you guess what it is?
This one is an illustration of a song by the contemporary Christian group, Audio Adrenaline. I love this song. It's title is only one word. Do you know what it is?
(I think this would make an awesome CD cover, don't you?)
posted by Deeanne at 2:49 PM
Friday, November 03, 2006
Greg and I went up to see our oldest at college last weekend. It was the first time I saw the apartment she is sharing with three other gals, so that was really special.
She is a graphics design major and she took us to the art building. Wouldn't ya know, but **two** of her pieces were up on display!! They were ink drawings around a theme. In the one on the left, she was given the phrase "I Am A Circle and I Feel Confined." It's kinda hard to see in my photo, but it's a grid with what looks like a bubble pressing up against it. I was so impressed!
In the other one, she was given three words (one word representing each box): Shy/Amicable/Gregarious
Next week, I'll show you some she did that are "picture riddles" and see if you can figure them out. (Am I a proud mama, or what?)
posted by Deeanne at 11:14 AM
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I know it's not supposed to be, but there you have it. As a kid I loved to dress up (still do, actually). And when my children were little I spent weeks sewing up costumes for them. Here they are way back in the early-ninties. Aren't they just as cute as can be?
I sewed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume and the Dorothy costume and made Belle's wig and Dorothy's wig out of yarn. Our little dalmation got a store bought costume that year.
They used to go on roller blades to maximize the amount of houses they could hit before 8:00pm. Then they'd come home, pour out their bags and separate and catagorize their candies. That's when the bargaining and trading and eatting of treats would take place. Ah, such sweet, sweet memories (no pun intended!).
Now, they are either gone or they don't dress up at all. My 17 year old (Dorothy above) went trick-or-treating with her friends. She went as a race car driver. My 15 year old (the dalmation above) went out, but he didn't dress up or trick-or-treat. I gave him a very stern warning that he was not to jump out and scare any of the little kids (or big kids either, for that matter). He promised he wouldn't. I hope he obeyed!
Meanwhile, we had a plethora of little ones flock to our doors. It was in the upper 70s/lower 8os, so the weather was perfect. We had knights in shining armor, pirates, Minnie Mouse in ruby slippers, princesses, goolies and even a tootsie roll. I gave out bags and bags of candy. By 8:00 all had settled down. Then the big groups of teenagers would come by. We had put aside some big candy bars especially for them. They were so cute when I pulled out those big ol' Hersey Bars. "Wow!" "You rock!" "Thanks!" "Happy Halloween!"
Yep. It's definitely one of my favs.
posted by Deeanne at 4:03 PM
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