Monday, July 19, 2021

3 Trendy Design Elements for Striking Book Covers: A Guest Post by Savannah Cordova

Hey everyone! Today, I'm so pleased to host Savannah Cordova. She's writes a very interesting piece. Welcome to my blog, Savannah...Over to you. :)



A book cover is one of the most crucial elements when it comes to attracting readers. Most of us have heard the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover”, but the truth is that a beautiful cover illustration — or one that signifies a specific genre — is often the first thing we consider to gauge our interest. If you’re wondering how to make your book stand out above the rest, then consider these three eye-catching trends to really make your cover pop!

1. Yellow with contrasting colors

Prior to 2018 or so, yellow was rarely used on book covers. (Seriously, try to think of a pre-2010s book with a yellow cover.) The good news for authors is that using this previously underutilized color can definitely make your book stand out on shelves and demonstrate its trendiness! Opt for yellow and gray if you want extra style points, as these were named the Pantone colors of the year for 2021.

Recent books that have taken advantage of chartreuse-yellow covers — as opposed to the mustard yellow of yore — include You Will Get Through This Night by Daniel Howell, Thrown Off Script by Mike Domeny, and Paper Father by D. Todd Deeken. You may notice that these examples all hail from very different genres, from mental health guidance to dystopian fiction, which proves just how versatile this trend is! Whichever genre you choose to write in, you can bet that your book will shine with a striking yellow-green cover.

2. Big and bold patterns

For a while, minimalist book covers were all the rage — Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey is a quintessential example of this — but with the 2020s has come a new and loud trend. The bright colors and interesting shapes across the front and back covers of these books act almost as active voices that demand your attention.

Books hot off the press, like The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given, are cleverly using bold patterns to catch readers’ eyes right away. Of course, whether or not you should choose a bold pattern depends on your book’s theme; for example, you may want to steer clear if you’ve written a book about tragedy. But if you’re writing a story with lots of action (or similar bold themes), this trend is definitely worth a try.

3. Imagery within the title

Replacing letters with objects of a similar shape can lend an element of intrigue to your cover and connect the title with the book’s imagery. Some authors opt for designs that replace letters with recognizable objects; a great example of this is Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, where the golden snake in the title doubles as an ampersand.

You can also add flavor to your cover by replacing letters with abstract objects — as on the cover of Breath by James Nestor, which uses in-title particle effects to reflect the book’s scientific theme. If you need help with ideas for this, try attending an online art workshop to develop your artistic understanding! The end result is worth it: in-title images draw the reader's eyes straight to the title, while also giving them insight into your book’s themes.

In the end, it could be that none of these trends are for you – or maybe you want to combine them all! Either way, if you have fun with it, it’s sure to engage the reader too. Go on and make the world a little bit brighter with your exciting new cover design!

Savannah Cordova is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world's best editors, designers, and marketers. In her spare time, Savannah enjoys reading novellas, writing short stories, and browsing the bookstore for interesting book covers. She's no artist herself, but she remains deeply fascinated by contemporary design!

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Orange Glow: Acrylics on Canvas Board


'The Orange Glow': Acrylics on Canvas Board (10 inch by 12 inch). Available for sale.

I find it difficult to paint mountains when I am using a brush. So, I have decided to use a palette knife for painting mountains, and it worked well, I think. Also, I have decided to name my paintings. It's really sweet.

Do you name your paintings? 

P.S.: Oh, and I painted this two days ago (forgot to add initially). Tried drawing lightning for the first time. What do you think?

P.P.S.: I started a painting YouTube channel. You can check HERE when you have time and share your feedback. Thank you.

Sharing with Paint Party Friday

Monday, July 12, 2021

प्यार कहीं खो जाता है...

(मेरी पेंटिंग)

आज की पोस्ट, वर्षा कालेलकर (लाइफ़ कोच और लेखिका) द्वारा रचित एक प्यारी सी कविता...

पाने खोने के मुक़ाबले में,

प्यार कहीं खो जाता है।

रिश्तों के बंधन में

साँस घुटती है,

दुनियादारी के बोझ में

प्यार कहीं खो जाता है।

कसमों-वादों के बीच घिसटते हुए,

शर्तों की तंग गलियों से गुज़रते हुए,

आंसुओं के सैलाब में,

प्यार कही खो जाता है।

प्यार एक खुशबू है,

इसे तो उड़ना होता है

खेलने दो इसे हवा के साथ,

वरना ये कहीं खो जाता है।

ये तो खुली धूप में निखरता है,

ज़िंदगी में सावन के रंग बिखेरता है

रहने दो दूर इसे

रस्मो और रिवाज़ों से

नही तो, 

ये प्यार कहीं खो जाता है।

Friday, July 2, 2021

Acrylic Painting: Working on Black Canvas


When I painted on a black canvas for the first time, it wasn't a choice. Frankly, I didn't understand how it works, working on a black canvas. But then one day I ruined a painting. Didn't want to waste the canvas so I painted it black and decided to paint over it.

It was a wonderful surprise, as I found it really fascinating the way colours pop up. 

I painted this painting on a black canvas, again, because I ruined a painting. Also, it's an experiment. I wanted to capture the night life on the hills. Wondering if I managed to capture it. What do you think?

Also, I have started to record painting videos and started a painting channel, on a whim. Sometimes it's okay to do things without planning. You can watch my short videos, if you feel like. Please share your honest feedback, in case you watch. Thank you.

            👇 Video for this 👆 painting

‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

Sharing with Paint Party Friday

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Book Review: A Lost Wanderer by Namrata

Name of the book: A Lost Wanderer

Name of Author: Namrata

Genre: Travel/Memoir

Number of Pages: 179

Price (on Amazon): ₹99

Format: Kindle Version

About the Author:

Namrata is a writer, editor, and book reviewer. A published author her stories and articles have been published in various anthologies and magazines. After being an investment banker for a decade she found her true calling in books. With numbers playing in her mind and words throbbing through her veins for close to a decade now she writes, reads, and of course forgets to count them. She is currently working on her debut work of fiction based on Partition. When not reading, she can be found writing about books, music, and films on Twitter @privytrifles

About the Book and My Views

'Not every story needs to have an ending; some are beautiful with their incompleteness.'

The subtitle of this book says, 'A Book of Memories': this book does seem like a diary where the author has carefully enclosed some cherished memories. 

The book is about the joy of traveling, so most of the memories come from fascinating travel tales. The author is an avid traveler and she takes you to three wonderful places: Sydney, Ladhakh and Varanasi.

'He didn't speak English and I didn't speak Italian. But we both talked till dawn and it was the most amazing discussion I have ever had in life. We spoke in sign languages aided with broken words of the languages we knew trying to convey our thoughts across. Nothing was said, nothing was heard, and yet everything was understood.'

Travel would be incomplete without meeting strangers and exchanging some interesting conversations, right?

The Lost Wanderer is full of lovely conversations. 

To be honest, I don't travel much and I am not fond of reading nonfiction but I enjoy travel tales. Namrata's writing is so expressive, it creates beautiful imagery, so beautiful that you want to visit that place. I particularly loved Sarnath (for its serenity and enlightening value) and Ladakh (for its stunning vistas and friendly, sensible people). 

I'm very interested in learning new/unusual words. I find them fascinating and I loved how every chapter in this book starts with an unusual word, defining that particular section. Also, every chapter breaks come with beautiful/thoughtful/inspiring reminders or note to self.

Apart from meeting new people and interesting conversations, food and the culture of the place make it memorable. As you read this book, and visit different places, description of food triggers your cravings: 'Thupka (Tibetan noodle soup), Aloo-Bhaji, Jalebis, Ringna, Kullhad waali chai, aroma of freshly brewed coffee...

The book features some important facts and information that could be very useful if you are planning to travel to those places. 

The last section of this book is very special, as the author is brave enough to share her personal story (I say brave because I believe it takes a lot of courage to share your personal story) in the last section. It is so poignant, heartbreaking at times, but uplifting and inspiring at the same time. 

'We all have been taught since childhood that we need someone who believes in our dreams. It is true, but what no one ever tells us is that we also need someone who believes in our nightmares, who sees the ghosts that haunt us (both real and imaginary) and helps us overcome them.'

I took two weeks to finish this book because I feel it's not a book to be devoured in a single sitting. It's something you sip and enjoy, slowly.

Overall, a lovely, uplifting and soothing read. Must read if you love traveling or enjoy travel tales.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.

(My last post for this blogging marathon. It was fun. I enjoyed writing these posts, as they were absolutely random. And I loved reading so many lovely posts. Thank you, Blogchatter! And a big thank you to all the lovely bloggers who visited my blog and left kind comments. :)

Friday, June 25, 2021

Silent Promises

The salty scent of the sea reminds me of that soothing, moonlit night. The night when we realized that we can easily make endless, mindless conversation. That gentle kiss that felt like a caressing breeze. Some silent promises that our gaze made.

We knew we will meet again. 

What we didn't know was that the promises were meant to remain unfulfilled. That it was going to be our last conversation.

Image: My painting. I'm trying abstract, palette knife painting. Painting with palette knife is a totally different experience. It takes time to get comfortable but it's fascinating once you begin to get the hang of it. What do you think? Do you like abstract/palette knife painting?

‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

Sharing with Paint Party Friday

Thursday, June 24, 2021

कुछ अनकहा सा...

'कभी-कभी दूरी आपको ये एहसास दिलाती है कि आप किसी के कितने करीब आ चुके हैं।'

मैं जब छोटी थी तो मैं सब कुछ बनना चाहती थी। बस वो बनने के बारे में कभी नहीं सोचा था, जो मैं बन गयी हूँ। राइटर और आर्टिस्ट। 

राइटिंग ने मुझे इतना ज़्यादा हैरान नहीं किया था जितना पेंटिंग ने किया। 

मैंने शुरुआत हिन्दी कविता और कहानियां लिखने से की थी। मुझे याद है: एक बड़ी सूनी और आलसी सी दोपहर थी जब मैंने एक कविता लिखी थी जो एक पत्रिका में प्रकाशित हुई थी। फिर मैंने एक कहानी लिखी। पर बात नहीं बनी। वो कहानी रिजेक्ट हो गई। फिर उसी कहानी को मैंने इंग्लिश में लिखा तो वो उसी प्रकाशन की एक पत्रिका में प्रकाशित हुई। आपको जानकर शायद हैरानी हो पर मेरा नॉवल We Will Meet Again भी पहले एक हिन्दी कहानी था।

फिर इंग्लिश में लिखने का सिलसिला चल पड़ा। पर हिन्दी से गहरा रिश्ता है, इट कम्स नैचुरली। :)

कुछ दिनों से मैंने हिन्दी कहानियां लिखना शुरू किया है। बहुत छोटी-छोटी कहानियां हैं मेरे ब्लॉग पर, आप यहां पढ़ सकते हैं, अगर आपको हिन्दी कहानियां पढ़ना पसंद हो। और एक 32 पेज की शॉर्ट स्टोरी है: कुछ अनकहा सा, जो किंडल पर उपलब्ध है।

ये एक अनोखी प्रेम कहानी है: कबीर और आयशा की। जो बरसों से साथ रहकर भी एक दूसरे से बहुत दूर हैं। 

'यूं तो कोई नहीं मेरी, पर अब लगने लगा है जैसे बहुत कुछ हैं।'

मुझे खुशी है कि रीडर्स को मेरा ये प्रयास पसंद आ रहा है।

और दिलचस्प बात ये है कि इस कहानी का कवर मैंने पेंट किया है।

क्या आपको हिन्दी कहानियां लिखना पसंद है? अगर हाँ, तो प्लीज़ कमेंट बॉक्स में लिंक शेयर कीजिए। मैं पढ़ना चाहूंगी।

‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

एक मुट्ठी आसमान...


Image: My Painting

'वो नहीं आएगी अब।'

महिमा के कानों में आकांक्षा के स्वर अब तक गूंज रहे थे। आकांक्षा यूं तो महिमा से काफ़ी छोटी थी पर दोस्त जैसी थी। अकसर उसके पास आया करती। उससे बातें करके मन बहल जाया करता पर आज मन बहुत भारी हो गया था।

'बड़ा सा बैग लेकर गयी है, एक लड़के के साथ। मैंने खुद देखा है दीदी।' आकांक्षा की बड़ी-बड़ी आंखें और बड़ी हो गई थीं। 'और उस लड़के को तो मैंने पहले भी देखा है इधर।'

महिमा ने खिड़की के बाहर नज़र डाली। अपनी मर्ज़ी से बस यही एक मुट्ठी आसमान देख सकती थी वो। आसमान स्याह हो चला था। उसने अपने पति की तरफ़ देखा। छत की ओर टकटकी लगाए जाने क्या ढ़ूंढ़ रहे थे। तिरसठ की उम्र में सत्तर के लगने लगे थे नवीन। वो तो फिर भी किसी तरह चल फिर लेते थे पर महिमा? वो तो उठकर बैठने तक के लिए रश्मि पर निर्भर थी। या फिर नवीन किसी तरह मदद कर देते।

घड़ी साढ़े नौ बजा रही थी। इतनी देर तक तो कभी बाहर नहीं रही रश्मि। तो क्या सचमुच रश्मि अब वापस नहीं आएगी? वो सचमुच एक बड़ा सा बैग लेकर गयी थी। उसने पूछा तो 'कुछ काम है।' कह कर चली गयी। आजकल थोड़ी अलग-अलग रहने लगी थी। अपने छोटे से कमरे में, अपने आप में मगन।

एक बार को तो महिमा का मन गुस्से से भर गया। इतनी सैल्फ़िश कैसे हो सकती थी उसकी बेटी? पर क्या उसे सेल्फ़िश कहना जायज़ होगा?

पिछले महीने ही बीस की हुई थी। बड़े शौक़ थे उसके। 'मुझे नहीं रहना ऐसे, जैसे तैसे। कुछ बड़ा करना है।'

बारवीं की बोर्ड में बमुश्किल पास हो पायी थी। इसलिये नहीं कि लायक नहीं थी, बल्कि इसलिए कि परिस्थितियों की मार पड़ गई उसे।

पहले महिमा लकवे की शिकार हो गई। और फिर नवीन का शरीर भी लाचार होने लगा। उनकी मामूली सी पेंशन थी और रश्मि की ट्यूशन जो घर किसी तरह चल जाता। 

सत्रह बरस की थी रश्मि बस तबसे सबकुछ सम्भाल रही थी। कोई कब तक झेल सकता है? 

'ये मेरी ज़िम्मेदारी थी, महिमा। इस छोटी बच्ची की नहीं।' नवीन कहते, एकदम निरीह से।

वाकई उसकी अपनी ज़िन्दगी भी तो है? पर अब उन दोनों का क्या होगा? कौन देखेगा? बातें करना अलग बात है और सबकुछ सम्भालना अलग। कमरे में अजीब सा सन्नाटा पसरा था। उसने फिर नवीन की तरफ देखा। नज़रें टस से मस नहीं हुई थीं। शायद वो भी वही सोच रहे थे। 

साढ़े ग्यारह बज गए थे। तभी दरवाज़े पर दस्तक हुई और दोनों चौंक कर एक दूसरे की ओर देखने लगे। नवीन धीरे से उठे और दरवाज़ा खोला तो सामने एक अजनबी औरत खड़ी थी। नहीं, अजनबी नहीं थी। महिमा जानती थी उसे। कहाँ देखा था?

'जी?' नवीन ने कहा। 

'जी, मैं अदिति।'

अदिति, हां, तकरीबन दस साल पहले इसी इलाके में एक सिलाई सेंटर चलाती थी।

'इधर से ही गुज़र रही थी तो सोचा इसे घर छोड़ दूं।' उसने कहा और तभी उसकी ओट से निकल कर रश्मि घर के अंदर आ गयी। उसके हाथों में वही बैग था पर अब खाली था।

'सॉरी पापा, देर हो गई। दरअसल…' रश्मि ने अदिति की ओर देखा। 'अ..आप अंदर आइए ना!'

'अरे, नहीं। मेरी गाड़ी खड़ी है और काफी रात भी हो गई है। फिर कभी। अब तो मिलते रहेंगे।' अदिति ने मुस्कुराते हुए कहा। फिर उसने महिमा की ओर देखा। 'पहचाना मुझे?'

महिमा ने मुस्कुराने की कोशिश की।

'आपकी बेटी बहुत होनहार है। मेरी बुटिक के लिए इतने बेहतरीन एम्ब्रॉयडरी और पैचवर्क डिज़ाइन्ज़ बनाए हैं। क्लाएंट को बहुत पसंद आए। मीटिंग में थोड़ी देर हो गई।'

अदिति चली गई। 

'बताया क्यों नहीं?'

'कुछ तय नहीं था। मुझे यक़ीन नहीं था कि मेरे डिज़ाइन्स उन्हें पसंद आएंगे। सोचा था बाद में बताउंगी।'

'हमने तो सोचा…?'

'क्या सोचा?'

'आकांक्षा ने कहा तुम अब नहीं आओगी।'

'और आपने मान लिया?'

'हमें लगा…

'हमें नहीं, तुम्हें।' नवीन ने महिमा की बात बीच में काट दी।

'अच्छा? आप भी परेशान थे।'

'हां, तो बेटी इतनी देर घर नहीं आए तो परेशान नहीं होता?'

'वैसे आपने उनकी बात मान कैसे ली?' रश्मि ने कहा।

'मुझे लगा तुम थक गयी हमारा ख़्याल रखते-रखते।'

'आपने भी तो इतने साल ख़्याल रखा मेरा।' रश्मि ने घड़े से पानी निकालते हुए कहा। 'और हां, थक तो गई हूँ। पर आप नहीं जानतीं कि मैं थककर हारने वालों में नहीं हूँ।' रश्मि पानी पीकर किचन की ओर जाते हुए बोली, 'पापा जानते हैं।'

'मतलब?' महिमा ने हड़बड़ा कर नवीन की ओर देखा। 'मतलब आप जानते थे?'

'वो इंपॉर्टेट नहीं है। पर मैं तुम्हारी तरह दूसरों की बातों में आकर ऊलजलूल सोचने नहीं लगता।'

‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’

मेरी अन्य हिन्दी कहानियां:

तुम दोस्त हो


वो शाम कुछ अजीब थी

मैं परेशां

Sunday, June 20, 2021

My Best Reads So Far

Image: John-Mark Smith, Unsplash

Reading is a beautiful addiction and nothing is more entertaining than reading an engrossing and thrilling book!

In this bizarre phase, I might feel difficult to concentrate on writing or even on painting, reading keeps me afloat. If the book is interesting, it embraces you and takes you to a different world and you stop worrying about real life for a while.

This year, I have read 27 books so far and some of them were very interesting. So my best reads so far:

Love at First by Kate Clayborn

'and he couldn’t just hear the grin in her voice. It was like he could feel it, like she had her mouth pressed right against his chest.'

I loved this book! Very interesting plot. It's so sweet, uplifting and heartwarming; so funny and so sad, at times. And I loved Will and Nora (especially Will) and their endearing conversations. (As the author said, 'Good manners and pleasant conversations).

I loved the writing style, it's very engaging.

The Car Share by Zoe Brisby (Translated by Kelly Ramke Lardin)

Loved it! One of my favourite reads this year. It's so sweet, funny, entertaining and heartwarming.

It hooks you from the very first page. The protagonists --- Maxine (she's a rockstar!) & Alex (he's so cute) --- are so adorable! Their bonding so endearing. Their conversation so entertaining and witty!

Maxine, a 90 yo with Alzheimer's & Alex, a 25 yo with depression share a car for a road trip. This journey lasts for roughly two days and what a terrific journey! Every scene, every situation is so interesting and meaningful.

Wonderful read!

RAPTOR RISING: The Duel Begins

by Anjali Joshi

Strikingly interesting plot, smartly executed (that keeps you wondering). It's a dark, twisted story that deals with lust, greed, love, mystery, cruelty, betrayal...All interwoven skillfully.

Writing is very engaging. It creates nice imagery and builds psychological pressure, which makes the read engrossing and intriguing. There's no fixed point of view: it's told from several points of view, which changes smoothly.

Unspoken by Ari Reavis

Some books call you when you take a break, and you're equally eager to get back to the story/characters. Unspoken by Ari Reavis was one of those books. The book falls under the category of fantasy and romance. A kind, courageous and determined female protagonist. A charming, just and powerful male protagonist (whose powers have been restricted for some reason). And their passionate and unique love story.

The writing is engaging. The dialogues are very interesting. I particularly loved the clandestine meetings and conversations.

There are several twists and turns that keeps you intrigued and interested. And for a change, I liked the prologue and the epilogue.

Share your favourite reads?

‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’