Death is a Song—Leave Out All the Rest…

Hello, folks. I know it’s been a while since I wrote a post. I’m still here. I know, some of you see me and some of you don’t. That’s okay. It’s just algorithms getting in our way. I’m here today to talk to you about something that’s been weighing on me since the day I heard about it. That’s the death of Chester Bennington. We all heard it was a suicide, then I read an article someone posted that says otherwise. I’m not sure I want to believe someone who had that much important stuff going on just killed himself.

 

If you’ve ever looked at your family, looked at a higher calling at all, it keeps you living. No matter what type of mental disorder you have, that’s the ONE thing that keeps you alive. It’s like that cord you hold onto. You can take meds to help or go sit in the woods or whatever you want, but if it’s not going to help, it won’t. That lifeline is sometimes the only anchor there is. That thing worth fighting for. We must have that.

 

I want to believe he had a lot of things to fight for. Not just one. I often wonder if Chester knew how many books his music helped to write and how many people his words reached in differing ways. I just wonder. Chester helped ME write many books. And I just wanted to say thank you, Chester.

 

When he died, no matter how it happened, it was one of the saddest things to happen in a long time. He will be missed far and wide.

 

I will NEVER forget the music. NEVER.

 

 

Leave Out All the Rest

By Linkin Park

 

I dreamed I was missing

You were so scared

But no one would listen

Cause no one else cared

After my dreaming

I woke with this fear

What am I leaving

When I’m done here?

So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know

 

When my time comes

Forget the wrong that I’ve done

Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed

And don’t resent me

And when you’re feeling empty

Keep me in your memory

Leave out all the rest

Leave out all the rest

 

Don’t be afraid

I’ve taken my beating

I’ve shared what I’ve made

I’m strong on the surface

Not all the way through

I’ve never been perfect

But neither have you

So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know

 

When my time comes

Forget the wrong that I’ve done

Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed

And don’t resent me

And when you’re feeling empty

Keep me in your memory

Leave out all the rest

Leave out all the rest

 

Forgetting

All the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well

Pretending

Someone else can come and save me from myself

I can’t be who you are

 

When my time comes

Forget the wrong that I’ve done

Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed

And don’t resent me

And when you’re feeling empty

Keep me in your memory

Leave out all the rest

Leave out all the rest

 

Forgetting

All the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well

Pretending

Someone else can come and save me from myself

I can’t be who you are

I can’t be who you are

 

 

R.I.P. Chester Bennington

March 20, 1976-July 20, 2017

 

 

Jennifer Oneal Gunn

Author, editor, cover artist, and mom.

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A Letter to My Children

Dear Children,

 

I just wanted to say, I love you. I love ALL of you. I only birthed two, but am the mom to lots. I was blessed to have a neighborhood full of children. I watched you all grow and change. One thing I know, moms don’t just love their own, they have the ability to love many all at once. I think we were given this ability for a reason. Sometimes, we see little people and we know even if they aren’t ours by blood, they need us. Even if the part you play in a child’s life is small, make it good.

As I’ve said, I’ve watched you all grow. To have been even a small part of it, that lights my heart up inside. I see you, I see how much you’ve changed and how much each of you has grown up. I see love in each of you. This is why when I see you, every time I see you, I tell you I love you. I always want you to know this, that you all are always loved.

Life can be hard and can sometimes get you down. This is always going to be true. So is the fact that mom always has your back and loves you without question.

I’m so proud of each of you, my blood or not. You’re mine. (Not as in, my possession, but as my people, my family.) So, no matter what your path becomes, I love you all forever. No matter what happens in your lives, you will always be a part of mine.

I think all our lives would have been far darker had we not known each other and since we have, that is a blessing we cannot ignore. Even when we don’t see each other, know that you are always loved.

 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Oneal Gunn

Mom, writer, editor, and cover artist.

 

Taking Vacation Late This Year

Hello, all!

I’m taking my vacation later than I normally do. I usually take it in April, but had a few things to do around the house and edits. I’m still working on those edits, but quickly realized I’m not as young as I used to be when I used to rip out old plaster/popcorn ceilings and made them flat again for painting. I also don’t remember that stuff making me itch all over. So, instead of stripping them and working on those edits until the middle of this month, I think it’s time for me to admit, I’m burned out. Not that it’s a big deal, mind you. I think everyone needs the recharge at least once a year until Christmas when everyone gets to spend time with family.

I’m working on other things I’ve not been sharing because my writing partner asked me not to. I will say this, it’s an exciting new venue we’re trying. I’ve learned a lot since August/September about what it takes to enter into this other writing venue. The thought of it excites me still. I think after vacation, I’ll have some new ideas and we’ll mesh those together, creating what we want to create and all will be well.

As for editing, at the end of this big project I’ve got going, I’m going to be going into semi-retirement from that field so I can enjoy time to write without work in my way. Back in the beginning it was just me and the keys, flashing as they clicked away, creating worlds I had no idea would become anything other than figments of my addled imagination. #MystikLegends LOL!

I hadn’t fully decided until this morning to go ahead and take the first two weeks of this month as well as the latter two. At first, I thought I could catch up then take time off. No. I just need to be mentally sipping drinks on the shore of an island somewhere. It’s time. I hope you guys have a great month. Who knows, I just might have a surprise for you when it’s over. (A new release, for those of you who read my books.)

 

Jennifer Oneal Gunn

Writer, Editor, Cover Artist, and Mom

What I Did On My Vacation 2016–Or, I Think I Need a Vacation From My Vacation…

Hello, folks! Well, I must say, vacation hasn’t exactly shaped up the way I planned. I got a lot of work done on books the first few weeks and for that, I’m grateful. I also made a lot of art. I had to, there was a lot invading my head. Namely three things come to mind and as a woman of business and industry, I’m not sure I want to mention more than the most terrible one. The rest only adds insult to injury. Here in the neighborhood (American spelling because I’m American, for those who might not know) we had a tragedy. One of our residents was in a car accident and killed. He was young. As a matter of fact, my son and this other young man went to school together since they were four years old. They are now almost nineteen years old. Something I forgot, my son and his long-time friend were only about two weeks apart as far as birthdays go. He will be missed by many.

In the midst of grieving, it seems like all the year’s bad stuff falls on your head at once. Well, me being the constant typical self-deprecating writer, I always feel like every screw up I ever make lands in my lap during the time I don’t need it. Case-in-point below:

The art I made over vacation is something I needed to do because there is always a rare occasion when that one perfect thing you find belongs to someone else. In terms of that, I didn’t use the best discretion, I suppose, once. (You heard me, ONCE!) For one of my own novels. Although I find threatening me to be laughable at best, harassment trumps entertainment laws in the U.S. any day of the week unless you already have more money than you know what to do with. So, even though hollow threats don’t bother me, what bothers me is people resorting to name-calling like common children. Which is, in turn, harassment. SO, in the name of professionalism, I won’t tell you to bite me. (You can thank your friends for that, by the way. You know who you are.)

Building book covers is a form of digital artistry as well. I was, by all rights, needing something new anyway. It’s not like I made a million dollars by using an image it took someone two years to notice and yell at me about. Let’s be completely honest, I didn’t make enough to worry about asking permission. Zip, zilch, nada. That was karma, I suppose. Anyway, the new ones for the whole Revenging the Evil series were created using a lot of different elements not just Internet photos. I made them with my own hands using filters and techniques I learned while learning the program I use to do my work in. And I used (ohhh…wait for it…) a picture for one of the backgrounds I took myself with a camera! Let’s see, two photos, three or four filters all set to different lighting, fonts, colors…all me and my brain. Boy, it sucks being a fake artist. *insert sarcasm*

NEW JNH1_Butterflies2_FRONT

I will go so far as to admit something else I feel is necessary to say. At the time I started using the different picture I was using for my book, I didn’t know how to do all the stuff I later learned. Anytime anyone asked about it, I said I made the cover not the picture, HUGE difference. I told them it was a Google find. It’s not my fault what people thought. Anyhow, it’s all a wash and a million miles under a burned bridge as far as I’m concerned at this juncture. As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve had things ten times worse than being accused of stealing happen this month.

Just so all you good folks know, if that book had been a decent seller, which it never has, I think the right thing to do would have been to split the royalties with the original image owner 50/50 because at that time I was good at typesetting, not creating from nothing which I learned later in my career.

In the publishing industry, getting fifty percent of the take, if the money is good, is more than sufficient to pay one artist. Actual numbers dictate, unless self-published, the author only gets forty percent royalties at best from the publishing house, that’s not to say they get all one-hundred percent because they don’t. The other sixty percent of what they do get goes to pay back the publisher for money spent on the project which a lot of the time goes to pay the editor, formatter, and cover artist. Unless you’re me, that’s usually not the same person. Most companies aren’t as generous as mine was, they usually offer a 35/65 split. Research this and find out if you don’t already know.

On a positive note, I got the fourth book (Freed from the Past) in the Revenging the Evil series (JnH4) almost done and an in-between series book started. (12K+ words.) This other novel is canon for the missing years in the original short story/first book in the series. It begins right after the short story ends. So, if you’ve actually read that, you may be interested to know, I’m working on filling in the blanks.

I’ve also been working (editing) which I didn’t figure I’d get back to until I was slated to in June. I’ve been working on two assignments. Books, of which, I enjoy both stories. One gets a bit scary and gory at times and the other is a historical romance set in the time of the Civil War. Complete paradox of mental capacity, I know. All people are different and so are their stories. *smiles*

Don’t worry, if you’ve missed me being on social media, I’ll be back soon. I have some other photos I took while I was away to post up for people. Prom in this area happened while I’ve been gone as well. Not to mention, I was just trying to keep my eyes set on the prize of trying to live life. Unfortunately, not all things go as planned. I can say, I’m happy I took my vacation this year as I was able to. The last three years have been busy ones. Anyone who knows me and my career path knows this. Owning and running businesses takes a lot of time, energy, and effort as I’m sure some of you know.

Oh, I thought I would mention one more thing. I shut off all comments to this blog until further notice. You can thank the people whose mamas never taught them how to behave. I have absolutely no tolerance or respect for people who think they can be mean behind a screen. If anyone ever has anything to say to me, email me like a person with a little bit of class. It’s not like I hide my email so no one can find me. (WordPress has this neat little feature of collecting emails and IP addresses.)

And last but not least, my given name at birth for all of you who get confused is Jennifer Oneal Gunn—first, middle, and last. (I’m not married and haven’t been for a long time, folks! LOL!) The next person to screw that up is paying me a lot of money! LOL!

Jennifer Oneal Gunn—author, editor, formatter, and mom.

Cover Art 101

Cover art is my topic of the day today. Today, I want to show you something. It’s a cover I made. It’s generic, I know. My point with making it was to illustrate how easy it is to come up with some ‘manufactured’ crap. Anyone with a mild willingness to learn layers and paint brushes can accomplish this.

beautiful landscape photography

This type of cover is an example only. I’ve never made one like this other than to illustrate and create a plot point for you. I mostly derive my artistic pleasures from making art an author falls in love with. (Meaning, pre-fab will NOT do.)

Here are some examples of past work I’ve done, just to show you what it is I love so much about creating art.

Roderick Simons3

The cover of an unpublished novel (example of Steampunk)

JNH4_Front 1

The fourth book in the Revenging the Evil Series

Beautiful Monsters_Jan2016_1

My first cover, created in 2014

Mystery Cover 2_June 2015_2.1

Example taken from online tutorial

These are just some of the reasons why hiring a good cover artist is definitely worth the time and money spent. Have a good day, folks! And happy Friday!

 

Jennifer Oneal Gunn

Freelance editor, artist, and mom.