Monday, July 22, 2013

Sparks ~ Now I Mean BUSINESS...

...cards.

So, like, in my quest to learn all I can about romance publishing, the better to sell my mythological romance novel, I became a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA). This is a fabulous organization which provides all sorts of resources for folks wanting to go either the traditional publishing or indie route. There are local RWA chapters across the country too, so I connected with the NYC chapter and attended my first meeting a couple of Saturdays ago. I was THRILLED to be in a room full of chicks and dudes who love romance so damned much they write it. (Rock on!)

At the meeting, lots of great author news and info on smaller romance writer conferences was shared, there was a Q & A with a panel of digital publishing professionals, and then breakout sessions. The one in which I participated was a small critique group, which proved to be wonderfully supportive and inspiring. I had a fabulous time and can't wait for next month's meeting!

(Sorry I'm so exclamatory! I'm just so totally stoked about it all!!!)

Ahem.

Anyway, I wanted to exchange contact info with some folks before I left and was chagrined when a couple of them handed me their gorgeous business cards and I had to scribble my e-mail address on a dog-eared slip of paper. Lame. (Please understand, none of the gals made me feel lame—I managed to feel that way all by myself.)

But seriously, I realized that, if I want to be considered a professional writer, I should present myself professionally and whatnot. So...I ordered myself some business cards! Check out the "preview" of the front and back images:

Isn't this just the coolest?????

The funny thing is, when I selected this template, I really liked the sinuous image of the smoke but didn't see anything other than smoke, right? When I sent this pic to my sister, Star, to get her opinion, she wrote back:
i like it--but i want to check to see if this is on purpose because if it's there it should be intentional:  in the smoke on the front of the card i see something that looks like, i dunno, some kind of fantastical creature. if that's what you're going for, success! if not, do you see it? do you wanna?

And I had this Scooby Doo sorta, "Roh?" moment. Really? A fantastical creature and I missed it? I mean, how's that even possible?

So I called over a co-worker ('cause, you know, you're totally supposed to be doing this kinda shit at your day job) and she's like, "Is that supposed to be an x-ray of a leg and hip socket?" I had to LOL, but I could see what she meant.

After she left, I kept staring at the smoke and then the magic happened: I saw two figures, the one on the right taller than the other and smiling somewhat wickedly, while the figure on the left seemed to be holding a bouquet in her arm, which made me think of the hero and heroine of my upcoming debut novel, when Hades first encounters Persephone (and snatches her up).

Well, naturally, this appealed to me, but I wondered what other eyes might see. I hollered at another co-worker, who saw all of the above, plus a fetus. Surreal!

Hermann Rorschach was hawt.
By Anonymous [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Though it's not intentional on my part, I rather heart the whimsy of it—that the smoke appears as different things to different folks. It's like my own kooky Rorschach test! Dig it!!! (And ordered it!) (Well, them. 250 cards, to be precise, from Vistaprint.com.)

So what do you see
in the smoke?

33 comments:

  1. Before I even read anything, I saw some sort of demonic creature in the smoke. He's wearing a hooded cloak and he's holding up his right arm and pointing. Cool! :D

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    1. PS. I just asked my husband what he saw and he said, "It's an x-ray. That's a leg bone, isn't it?"

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    2. Dissension in the family ranks!!! ;-)

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  2. I've heard wonderful things about RWA, and I'm so glad you've joined. I'm sure they'll be a huge help when you release -and or all your future books, too!

    Uh...it looked like an x-ray of a hip to me, but I realized pretty quickly it was just smoke. I like it. I think it's le cool. :-)

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  3. Add another one for the x-ray. No specific bone, just a suggestion of it. Rorschach would be so disappointed in me. And lordy, lordy, he was HOT! Brad Pitt could be him (thinking of his look circa the time of "Inglorious Bastards"); think about it. Of course, that probably only works if you're a BP fan, which I am. (Oh, the curse of being an editor, commenting on a writer's blog. I think I've edited this three times now.)

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    1. I'm not a BP fan, but I definitely see the resemblance. Yeah, Pitt shoud totally play Rorschach in a movie.

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  4. Cool cards and yes, i see the hip xray too. lol

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    1. Thanks, JoJo! Holy cats, you're not Vince anymore!!! ;-)

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  5. Although I didn't see them at first, upon closer examination I do see the two faces! One rather Pumpkin King-ish (remember A Nightmare Before Christmas?)

    It's funny how we are going through the same thing. Last thursday I went to see Stephen King at an event in Hartford, and after that I met with some fellow horror writers from the New England Horror Writers Association. I'd never met them before but they were super cool and we had a blast. As we were saying goodbye, two of them handed me their cards and I was forced to write my contact info on a wet napkin... At least it smelled like tequila. You know they will remember the 'tequila girl'. Anyway, now I'm looking at vistaprint to order my own set of professional-looking cards. =) I love yours!

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    1. LOL - I suppose there are worse things to be known as! ;-) That's soooooo coooooool that you got to see SK! I look forward to seeing what you wind up ordering!

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  6. I love the card, and I, too, noticed the hooded figure. Then the hip x-ray, but that only after I read it. I should also join RWA because my novel is a Paranormal Romance even though the main character is a midd-aged dude. The love interest IS still paranormal. Anyway. Thanks for the post, I'd forgotten about RWA.

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  7. That's a fabulous card! Honestly, I just see the smoke. Maybe I'm lacking in imagination?! It's also great you joined the RWA. Make good use of it because they provide awesome opportunities if you have the time and money for it. I was a member for a year, but since I didn't have the time to drive hours to the nearest meeting nor did I have the money to do anything else, I didn't get anything from it. Yet RWA is a fantastic organization if you make use of it.

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    1. Yeah, it's rough when you're too far away to participate in a local chapter (or if your schedule doesn't allow it). Hope you're able to connect with other writers locally, though.

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  8. Funny - I thought that smoke was an x-ray skeleton! haha. The things we each see...

    I am very jealous of your writer's group experience. I wish there was such a group around here for me to be a part of. But then I haven't looked very far into it. For all I know, there IS such a group! But it's less likely for me living in Perth, Western Australia, than for you living in NYC, I'd say ;)

    P.s. Forgot to add that I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE your business card, despite the confusion over what that image may be :)

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    1. Thanks, Trisha - I think the confusion's half the fun! ;-)

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  9. LOVE the new cards *great idea btw* The first thing I saw in the smoke was the head and slinky neck of a serpent in the center, its mouth slightly open. Now I can't see anything else if I try--its already in my head. I'm with you--it's cool factor went way up with this tricky "imagery" going on! Good luck with RWA--knock 'em dead *or at least make 'em swoon a bit*
    Cheers!
    Sam

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  10. I dig it :D
    I see kind of a weird little pumpkin headed thing in the upper right section but the rest is all very abstract to me! Business cards are super fun though and a great thing to have!

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    1. There's a pumpkin theme, methinks! ;-)

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  11. Love the business cards :-D I kind of see a dragon head in the one on the lower right, but I have to squint. Either way, they look awesome!

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    1. Kewl! It just occurred to me that a serpent/dragon type creature is not wholly unconnected with That Fatal Kiss either...

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  12. Shit... I see scary clown faces. I just failed the test, didn't I!?

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  13. Aha,human Mina,

    My alleged human, Gary, mentioned that you asked him on 'Farcebark' to either have me or him leave a response to this ongoing smokin' hot discussion.

    So, the time has arrived, because my alleged human is too dopey to notice anything, I shall tell you what I see. I see dead people. Ignore that.

    Okay, what do I see? So here I am checking out your backside, I meant, here I am checking out your back side and front side, of your business cards, of course! Exclamation mark for dramatic impact! In the top photo, I see an x-ray of an elephant's head, complete with the trunk. On the top part of the elephant's head x-ray, I see the outline of a demonic mask. In the bottom part of the photo, I see in the middle of it, a weird old dude with a long beard.

    Have a pawsitive weekend, my human friend, Mina :)

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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    1. Penny, I thank you for your efforts and insights - as always, you amaze me. Though, is it possible that it's a demon wearing an elephant mask? I'm just askin'...

      Don't be too hard on Gary; he is only human, after all. ;-)

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  14. Awesome business cards Mina, and I'm so happy you're moving forward with your book! The smoke effect is very cool and when I first looked at it, the first thing that came to mind was the silhouette of the Joker with his intestines hanging out. Then on the back, I see the side of a boob and a nipple. Wow. Sounds like I'm a bit cray-cray, which actually sounds about right... but hey, I still dig these cards! (:

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    1. Can I have some of whatever it is you're smoking? 'Cause it sounds like a damned good time, for rizzle.

      Seriously, though I'm getting such a kick from hearing various interpretations of the smokey shapes. And, now that you've "said" it, I can see the eviscerated Joker too! (And the awesome boobage, as well.) :-D

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  15. Great business cards! And big congratulations for joining RWA and going to a chapter meeting! I'm the president of my local chapter. I know you're in NY, and I'm in PA, but I'm going to the NJRW's conference in October. Are you thinking about hitting it? If you are, we could meet up!!

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    1. I'd *really* love to go (and meet you)! I heard great things about the NJ mini-conference at the RWA-NYC meeting. Not sure the money's going to be there, to be honest. I've been spending money on stuff for my upcoming release and I'm also saving my pennies for the RT Conference next year. So I'm not sure...but who knows, maybe I can make it happen. :-)

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  16. Congratulations!! I used to belong, but it got to be too expensive and not enough help for me. Keep making connections and soon we will see Mina Lobo on the bestseller list of the NYT. :)

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    1. That would be pretty danged fab! :-)

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