Hi, there.

Hello, wanderers.

rout_of_snails is the journal of the author once known as theskimblishone, now suffering less chronic pain, now publishing their old works as S. K. Een and new ones as K. A. Cook. They still answer to Skimbli. No, this isn't confusing. Feel free to say hi. There's no friends-locking: at this stage in their craziness, they have nothing left to hide. Just know that they're a swear-happy Australian who likes to freak people out by talking about themself, with non-binary pronouns no less, in the third person. They may or may not ramble on about writing and the publishing industry.

(Said pronouns are they/them/theirs/themself. This is why they are tempted to use the Style manual as a melee weapon any time anyone disputes their grammatical correctness.)

Still here?

I'm a non-binary/genderless queer Aussie with opinions on literature, creativity, narrative, feminism, mental illness, psychology, disability, society and gender. I mostly write about about crazy queer people (being a crazy queer person). When I'm not writing, reading, editing, designing or producing publications I like European metal, fashion dolls (Dynamite Girls, Monster High, Barbie) and anything that's brightly coloured. I sew and make wigs for said fashion dolls, collect buttons and house a growing horde of stuffed frogs.

I intend to repost some of my short fiction so I have these works linked to an account I can edit and update. I may add a few things that might be worth the reading, spam my flist with doll photos or repost a few things from my website, but I'm largely here to follow other awesome LJ users and communities.

I am a published and self-published author as well as being a professional editor, book (print and digital) designer/producer and a not-quite-professional cover designer. If you're interested in hiring my bad-arse skills in InDesign and Word (and my quasi-bad-arse skills in Photoshop), drop me a comment.

My old fic master post of doom is still accessible, although since I plan to either edit-and-self-publish or abandon-for-the-foreseeable-future it likely won't behoove you to check it out. (Besides, who wants a litany of comma faults, anyway?)

I write comedic and romantically-inclined short and long queer fiction:

I also write rambling and vaguely philosophical essays and creative non-fiction:

My books are available below:

Lastly, there are no snails here, just a literary fascination with terms of venery.
  • emotional status: working working
OMG! It's so good to see you back. I'd been thinking of you the other day (and my bad for not sending you an email with b'day wishes *hangs head in shame*) and wondered what you were up to. I have some zombie ficlets that I wouldn't mind having a cover for. I'll need to email you to discuss.
I'll PM you with my current email addy, okay? My old one is as dead as doornail. And don't feel shame - I wouldn't have gotten it anyway! So really, this all works out perfectly, right?

I'm so glad to be back, though, and I'm so glad you all have still remembered me!

I apologise in advance for the fact that I now am an absolute book production nerd.

As long as you're happy with my working with free/open-source stock images and the like - I can buy images, but they're pretty expensive (eighteen dollars and up for somewhere like Shutterstock adds a bit of expense to cover design). It all depends on how much money you're able to spend (I've created all my covers without spending a cent).

My style is more text-and-symbol based; I have less experience in working with, say, photos of people, but that said an excuse to go out and work on those sorts of covers isn't a bad thing (I learnt everything I know by signing up for something a little outside of my experience).

Actually, it might be good for you to have a look on free image websites like Pixabay (I'm signed up, so you don't have to) or any of the websites on this list. If you see anything that you think would be awesome or has awesome potential for the kind of cover you want to see, that gives me a leg-up on putting something together you like! Don't worry if you can't figure out commercial/personal usage - I know how to check for that.

My preferred source for free commercial-use fonts is Font Squirrel because I know they're free for commercial, not personal, use.

I've made a whole heap of flyers for Rotunda as well as a promotional postcard (some examples on my CV, but I need to add more) so I'm used to working with a commissioner and creating what they want as opposed to what I want. I can tell you why something won't work, but I'll make you something you want.

I'm completely up with size and image requirements for digital vendors (I'm actually tutoring someone in ebook production right now).

Does that help or scare you? :)
Errr, both? I have something I threw together and will email you later. I'd love to have the same type of cover style as my other works in the series, but since this is a free read option and I don't want to spend big bucks on doing that, I can live with something not as elaborate. Of course, I'm assuming it's elaborate as I can't Photoshop my way out of a wet paper bag....
I'll be checking my email when I come home from my tutoring gig today (where I'll be teaching my student to style a Word doc to put up on Smashwords).

Is this a ZA cover? As in like ZA: Run and Gun? Because I can tell you that cover isn't all that elaborate. It's a cropped stock image of a soldier, a stock city background and a stock zombie head with the opacity set somewhere like 30%. A little shadowing/stroke on the type (and I probably have a few sans-serifs that are similar). The annoying part would have been the cropping of both images if they didn't have a plain background. I'm not seeing a problem sourcing a similar stock background or a soldier, depending on your flexibilty re clothing and Canadian uniform; the zombie might be a little harder to find. Shutterstock might have to be an alternative, but I can do a little Googling.

(A lot of covers look fancier than they really are; it just comes down to the arrangement of colour blocks and type. A good, big background stock image, which is often literally just slapped on with a few filters applied, automatically makes a cover look more professional when the designer has actually done very little in terms of difficulty.)
Yes, it is my ZA series. See? I have no idea. I also have a background to use for it that is totally, 100% free to use as it's a picture I took of downtown Toronto with the CN Tower in the background *grins*.

Am not feeling tip-top this evening as the girl bits are staging their monthly demand for attention with a dash of CPSP just to keep things interesting. I will send it to you soon though.
That's awesome - that means I can get the original high-res file! WOOO!

(You have no idea how many years of my life I have lost in trying to chase up original high-res images. You've made my job that much easier.)

Email me whenever, okay? Today, tomorrow, next week. I really don't care. I actually have a proposition for you re trading literary skills, if you're interested.

Hope you're feeling better soon!

Edited at 2014-09-11 02:33 am (UTC)
I thought of you earlier this week when I read "Center" http://meyari.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/free-fiction-friday-center/
Had wondered at the time if that were you under another name while I read it.

Thank you for your preferences in pronouns. Helpful.

Am so glad you're back, will have to go visit the links you posted, and that the chronic pain is lessened. I worried when you fell off the radar but figured that 1. you were doing education stuff 2. there's only so much you can do and try not to overstress your hands.

So Rout, huh. *grins* Since there's no snails here. Am really really glad you're back.
Charis, no, that's definitely not me, but now I have something new to read, so that's awesome!

My gender has changed a bit, but I've been pretty solidly genderless/non-binary for about a year, now. It's not always easy - getting people to use my pronouns is a nightmare - but I'm way more comfortable with the idea of giving gender the flick.

It's been so hard balancing school and anything else, but I'm in a position now where my hands are better and my novel is temporarily out of my hands (in for assessment) so I hope I can be less-passively online again. I really hope, anyway!

I would have chosen 'storytelling_of_ravens' if there hadn't been LJ's damn character limit. :)
Hi! So glad to see that you are doing well. I still stumble in online now and again and always checked your old journal for updates and wondered how you were doing. I was also worried about your hands. :( A quick google search sent me here after seeing you've gotten work published!! Congrats!