Learning Curve

Or, why there’s yet another late post.

Being on a shoe-string, I do my own covers. Learning the Metric System is entirely my own art, done in what I hoped would look like paper cut-out style, and The Graveyard Blues is a composite of free-for-commercial-use art and some of my own. I drew a blank on Friday’s Children, and ended up using Amazon’s Cover Generator for that one. All well and good, but for my first Indie novel, which is in the artwork and final edit stage, I wanted something stand-out. Fortunately, I had the idea pretty well formed. The downside is my artwork skills wouldn’t be sufficient, particularly for the tone of the book.  The solution, or so I hope, is to use a realistic rendered image of a central part of the story, and since it’s a thing and not a person, it avoids the whole uncanny valley thing. Problem is,  for this sort of thing my skill is more drafting than pure art, which means creating it in a program like Blender (a free 3D animation program) is tough, and Sculptris (a free 3D modeling program) won’t run on my long-in-the-tooth computer. My solution was to do it in a 3D CAD program, and for that I settled on FreeCAD. Problem: It’s unlike any CAD program I’ve ever used. I cut my CAD teeth on AutoCAD, have used a Microstation mark-up program for DOT plans, and those are practically cousins compared to FreeCAD. So, after many false starts and leafing through the documentation, I’ve finally found some tutorials, which maybe will point me in the right direction. My hopes is to export it from FreeCAD and into Blender to render the object, and create the artwork from that.

Problem is, this has turned into a regular time sink, which means I have to juggle it with learning to blog, tinkering with this site’s design, and writing. That’s turning into another learning curve.


Okay, I’m not the first Indie writer who’s had to learn how to juggle, so this, too, shall pass – maybe. Right now I’m going to have to learn to prioritize. It reminds me of mixing and carrying mortar from my part-time construction days. If you ever get ahead of the bricklayers, you’ve got it made. But if you ever fall behind, it’s about as bad as pouring concrete footings with wheelbarrows.

Now to see what’s next on the list.