Archive for January, 2012

Some Art

Posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Thought I’d share a few pieces of art I’ve done semi-recently since I don’t get to share much from the projects I’m working on.

This is a painting I did for my friend Briana, who requested a fairy painting involving honey bees.

I made my editor Connie a HAPPYFACE painting for Christmas when we’d finished up that book so I had to do a new one for WINTER TOWN! Connie is on the left, giggling at Evan’s misfortune.

Here’s a promotional piece of art I did for the FOUR HATS game. It’s an iOS/app store game but it’s still good to have “box art” for any articles or reviews that may want more than a screenshot to show. I designed it so I could have it go length-wise or across.

Speaking of FOUR HATS, it’s nice to finally be doing a project I can actually openly talk about and share art and experiences from! Make sure to check out/ bookmark/ RSS the Taco Graveyard site, which we’ve been updating frequently. Taco Graveyard is a game development company comprised of myself, and my friend Sal, an awesome programmer. We plan to release a bunch of games this year and have some big ideas in mind!


Posted on Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

I make lists pretty much constantly of all the things I need to do. I noticed for about a month every weekend I intend to finish up this one small chunk of work on my third book and every week it gets bumped for other things. Not good. Anyway, here’s how my week was planned out, and how it actually panned out.


Intended: Day: Go to the mall to write – Blogs.
Night- write out, Gretchen short story edits and finish blogs.

DID: Did write a series of blogs, my iPod broke. Ended up getting new iPod and spent a lot of time organizing music files and rebuilding playlists.
Did write out at night, ended up cleaning up Book 3 notes, did not get to Gretchen Edits.


Intended: Four Hats Press materials

DID: Did write Four Hats press materials. Had evening plans and then spent more time organizing music.


Intended: Edit Book 3 character bios, chapter summaries, mission statement

DID: Worked on the Gretchen edits. Did not get to any of the book 3 stuff. Watched Golden Globes.

Mon (off from work)

Intended: Finish up Gretchen, Blogs, Four Hats Press, Book 3 character bios, chapter summaries and mission statement. Basically I had the day free, just make sure I did what I meant to do Fri-Sun.

DID: Gretchen, Blogs and Press were done. Did chores, went on a hike, evening got away from me, BUT – iPod ready to go! Sorry Book 3.

NEW LIST – back to work, reorganized, made a new list.


Intended: Needed assets for Four Hats, title screen, end screen

DID: New assets finished. Did title screen and drew pretty cool end screen. Success!


Intended: Edit Book 3 character bios, chapter summaries, mission statement. Let’s get Book 3 moving already!

DID: Cooked, cleaned, played around with photoshop brushes. Evening escaped me.


Intended: Work on new game concept art at friend’s house.

DID: Decided Four Hats needed promo art, and penciled image for that instead.


Intended: Write out, Book 3 stuff

DID: Normal writing place was packed full of teenagers!! Went home and worked on promo Four Hats art instead.

What we learned: Book 3 is the easiest thing to put off. Things do get done eventually, but rarely as fast as I intend or in the right order

Obligatory New Years Post

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

It’s time for everyone’s favorite blog post – the NEW YEARS POST!

As a creative dude-meister this is always a good time to take inventory of all my various projects, look back on what I accomplished, what’s being worked on, what’s on the burner.

Of course the big thing for 2011 was WINTER TOWN. At the start of the year I was still doing some revisions, working on art. By spring the advance copies were storming the nation. And in late fall the reviews started to trickle in and now it’s in stores, closing out my second book! You can read my other blog posts to read some reviews and accolades of that one.

So the assumption would be I spent summer and fall working on a third book, and that’s partially accurate. It always takes me a bit to figure out exactly what I want to do for a next book, and I certainly went through a few ideas before landing on the one I’m working on now. I’m having a hard time currently trying to get a few minutes to actually work on it, though, so I can’t say I’m powering through it with no problem. I’ve been sick for over a week now, I had a speech and signing before that, holiday things to do. I’ve been very busy and running around non-stop it seems. That said, Book 3 is a big goal for 2012. I’d like to have a contract and a solid outline and chunk of the book done by midyear. I’d like to spend the latter half of the year finishing it up.

Another thing I was doing this year was working on an iPhone game as “TACO GRAVEYARD” with my friend Sal doing the programming. We ended up with one massive game that’s about a third done so far, though the hardest part is designing the whole thing. Hopefully the next 2/3rds will move along faster. We also have a demo game called THE FOUR HATS that we are currently expanding into a full game with a deadline of finishing it within the month. So these things are fun and rewarding but add to the slow production time on my next book. Finishing the primary game and FOUR HATS are immediate 2012 goals and we have 5 other ideas on the backburner for games too.

Personal goals include getting in better shape, budgeting my time better so juggling these projects doesn’t kill me, and the big goal is to make enough money to do this stuff full time. It’s a hard jump to make but it’s always been my goal. If I continue to get Happyface royalties, if Winter Town starts making royalties, if I can get a few games on the app store, if I can sell this third book, who knows? Maybe 2012 will be a special year.