July 6, 2011

productive distractions

For those of you that keep up, you know that my weekend project was to create a cover for my novel. For those of you that don’t keep up, you now know that too.

I usually don’t write on the weekends. That may be something that I need to start doing, because even if I only wrote 1000 words over the course of Saturday and Sunday, that would put me another 1000 words closer to my end goal. As it stands, instead of writing, I spend time with my husband doing whatever. He works ten to eleven hours a day Monday through Friday, and he sometimes has night pager, giving him another two to eight hours that day. So when he isn’t working, I like to spend time with him.

Last Friday, after dinner, we sat on the couch and tried to figure out what our plans were for the weekend. There is rarely a weekend we don’t have plans. We go visit his family on the other corner of the state, we visit my family in the center of the state, we have friends over, we play Dungeons & Dragons, we have housework or yard work that needs doing. Well this particular weekend, we had zero plans.

So we sat down at the kitchen table, and we got crafty. Last September, I bought my husband a model kit of a Colonial Viper Mark II, as seen on Battlestar Galactica. Though he loved the gift, he didn’t touch the thing. He never had the time. Well this weekend, he did have the time. So he sat down at the kitchen table and started painting and cutting pieces out.

My project was my book cover. I have contacted a few artists with no responses, so I decided I’m artistic enough. I’ll do it myself. I bought two packs of cardstock, took up half the kitchen table, and started cutting and taping. Yes. I designed my book cover with construction paper and scotch tape. I am so full of win. Construction paper art is something I always loved doing.

We spent our entire weekend sitting on either side of the table working on our individual projects. I actually helped my husband with his. His shaky sausage fingers had trouble painting the aluminum frame on the cockpit window-thing (I don’t know what it’s called).

While we didn’t really do anything this weekend, we were productive in a completely fun way. He built a Viper, and I crafted a book cover. He hasn’t finished the Viper model yet. He still has to touch up the paint and fit the decals. But I finished my book cover. Have a look-see.

This took me two and a half days of hard labor. Sorry for the poor picture quality. My camera seems to turn everything fish-eye. 

This piece of art is composed of 131 pieces all drawn and cut by hand. It measures about 12 in. by 15 in. I'm very proud of it. Should I indeed self-publish in the future, this will be the cover. If for whatever reason I choose not to self-publish, this will just be a pretty picture hanging above my computer. No matter. It was a fun project, and it shall serve as an inspiration to me.

Writers, agents, editors, and the like constantly say you shouldn't bother dreaming about the future of your book. You shouldn't envision book covers or movie adaptations until the book is finished. I say screw them. As long as you don't let those dreams get in the way of writing, why not?

Have you designed a mock cover for your novel? Have you envisioned the actors that will play your characters in the film rendition of your book? What big dreams do you have for your book?


  1. Wow, Brooke! Who knew you could create such a fabulous cover with construction paper and tape?! I'm not artistic at all, but I love this. I've been wondering about it ever since you mentioned it on Twitter this past weekend. It's great! Love all the gears.

  2. 100% love the cover and 100% agree. Envision, enjoy every aspect of your creations- where's the harm?

  3. Thanks, both of you :)

    I've done a lot of construction paper art over the past few years, mostly decorating my dorm room. I have a little Harry Potter somewhere... should I find it, I'll take a picture and post it on Twitter.

  4. You just keep those dreams a-coming. Love the cover and now I'm trying to decide who should play Petra. Hmmm.....

    (and yes, my husband did a mock cover of GR for me on his computer. Beyond cheesy, but we had a great time!)

  5. My only suggestion would be to make the letters stand out against the background more clearly. I had to strain to read the top word at first.

  6. Marcus, a lot of that is because my camera can't seem to take a proper picture.

    And Darby, I'm having a hard time casting her as well. The others are rather easy, but not Petra.

  7. Brooke, that is awesome! I've screwed around with photo editing stuff making (as of now) imaginary book covers, but this is incredible!

    I agree with you--sometimes it's envisioning lofty end goals that sparks my creativity. I imagine costuming a film adaptation--and then I add that texture right back into the draft! I agree w/ agents and the like not to get attached to my lofty daydreams--even if there is a book cover or movie someday, I know it won't be what I envision now--but that doesn't mean it does any harm to dream a little!

  8. Christopher Staskel7/07/2011 09:22:00 AM

    Oh my gosh, the details! I love the people. Haha the girl's wispy bang and braid and the guy's left shoe are SO impressive to me! So cool. Makes me want to go out and buy a fresh package of construction paper.

    Great cover! Great blog! Love reading it.

  9. Thanks Rowenna :) I think most of the time our dreams far outreach what is actually possible, but it's fun.

    Christopher, Thank you so much for the kind words. :) Construction paper art is a lot of fun and easy to do. It just takes a lot of time. If you do want to get into it, I recommend buying an X-acto knife. Sometimes scissors just don't cut it (terrible pun). Glad you like my blog. :)

    You guys make me feel so warm and fuzzy inside ;)

  10. That is very cool. I never thought of doing a book cover out of paper and physical materials. lol