See Your Story Sparkle

I’ve had yet another learning curve recently, when I had to find a new graphic design program. I know that if we’re not growing, we’re stagnating, but c’mon! I’m sick of learning curves. Can’t a girl stagnate for a while?

In keeping with the theme this month, I do spew some sparkly language whenever I’m hacking through the brambles as I find myself, once again, careening over the edge of the learning curve du jour, having missed yet another ‘dangerous road ahead’ sign.

Readers often don’t realize how much authors need to know in order to write a book. Grammar, spelling, writing, storytelling, editing, revising. How to research, what to research, when to research. How to work their computer, modem, printer, and smartphone. Setting up and maintaining email(s), website(s), blog(s), mailing list(s). Mastering all social media platforms, new, old and yet-to-be-created. At the very least, keeping up with them. Keeping up with industry trends. Exchanging ideas and critiques with online and in-person writing and publishing networks. Becoming a marketing and advertising expert; continually seeking out the perfect venues, collaborators, and messages to spread your book(s) far and wide; remembering to tweak said messages for each different venue, collaborator, and title.

All while keeping up with your day job, kids, laundry, garden, and reading.

If you decide to self-publish, the list dramatically increases. Often with things you didn’t  know that you must mysteriously learn, perhaps osmosis-style, certainly before you’re ready.

Oh, and teach yourself a new graphic design program. Even when you’d rather sit on your summertime patio, watching the robins fight over the perfect spot in the sparkling cool water of the birdbath.

Here’s an early stab at designing in Canva. What design program do you use?

See your Story

Also … I’m starting a monthly writing contest — with prizes! — that anyone can enter, whether you’re a professional writer or simply dabbling for a bit of fun. All the details are at and my Facebook Author Page. Please spend a few minutes entering and spread the word to your friends and family. The more, the merrier! Help me make this a ‘thing.’


Author: Becky Clark

I write mysteries with humor and spend my free time attempting to rid my clothing of dog hair. My new book FICTION CAN BE MURDER, the first in the Mystery Writer's series, was out April 2018.

14 thoughts on “See Your Story Sparkle”

  1. Fantastic Canva design! This was my weekend to tackle it as well. I did not (I should put that in capitals) get as far as you did. Wow, Becky, Impressive! I’m checking out your contest too. What fun.


  2. I love the alliteration. I checked out Canva briefly and I should look at it more but I totally understand your desire to stagnate. Like Kait, checking out the writing contest.


  3. Oh, please enter the contest! I want it to turn into a fun monthly thing. For professional writers, it’s a great story prompt, maybe investigating a different genre than you normally write in. For amateur writers, it’s an easy way to dip your toe in for some practice, both for writing and for sharing your writing (which can often be much more difficult!). Here’s the link to Canva, for those wanting to investigate. I started taking their tutorials, got sidetracked, and now they’re poking me in the conscience to get back to it. I KNOW I should, but ….


  4. I don’t use a graphic design program. I had taken a class in video production at the university and picked up the Adobe video editing software package which has graphics in it. When I went to college and you wanted to edit a film, you physically cut it with a razor and taped it back together again. The program gave me a headache. But my daughter liked it. So she did all my TV commercials for my law firm and my website. Good luck to you with all those thingymibobs.


  5. I use Canva, but not well. Is it amazing how authors really are a jack of all trades. We create worlds, people, and graphics.


  6. Fun post, Becky! Can’t wait to check out the contest! I use iDraw, but have heard really good things about Canva. Awesome job on the SPARKLE design! 🙂


  7. I have been bribing my brother’s friends to do all my computer work. I dread the day when I have to learn something.


  8. I took a Scrivener class. Not much stuck. So yesterday I downloaded something that’s supposed to help. If it does, I mean really, really, really does, I might buy the rest of what I’m sure is going to be offerred for sale. In the meantime, I’m with Sue… so many distractions.

    And now, I’m about to take care of month-end accounting. I guess I should be glad there’s something to account for, right?


  9. Sam, you made me laugh out loud!
    Sue … I did three different things between starting and finishing reading these comments. Ridic!
    Thanks, Kate. I looked at iDraw but I fear I’m not that artistic … but I can drop-and-drag like a pro. Are you artistic, drawing and such?
    Kimberly, I feel like I can do a little bit of a lot of things, but only a few of them well. And those seem to change periodically, but never in a good way.
    Keenan, my husband and I own a print shop and the leaps and bounds in that industry in the past 20+ years is mind-boggling. We never set type by hand, but just barely. You’re right about the film industry … it’s come a long way, too!


  10. Hahaha, no I’m not artistic in the slightest 🙂 I use vector graphics in iDraw. There’s a large pool of them available online, and I find that I can manipulate and even overlap them fairly easily to create pretty cool images. It’s the era of the renaissance writer for sure!


  11. What a great post. I love the list of all the things that authors do besides write. As a reader, I sometimes forget that there is much more to being an author than just the physical typing (keyboarding I guess is more appropriate) and the thinking and the rewriting and the rethinking. and, of course the in-between tasks of just living each day. That “balancing act” is what I always hope to find in the characters from books. Although, really, characters in books have WAY less to do than people in real life — even with all that solving of murders, they just don’t ever seem to have to go to the grocery store, pick up kids, do laundry, or even just vacuum as much as I do.

    As far as graphics programs, in between updating my laptop and desktop to Windows 10, installing a new video card because the old one went to computer heaven, and just generally keeping them running, I am with keenanpowell in using Adobe. I have used Photoshop FOREVER and the online suite includes tons of video production, sound tools, and, well, everything one might need. (Including one of my offspring who is in the film industry) It does have a monthly fee, but one has access to everything Adobe for that price including “cloud” storage.

    I had no idea how much graphic design authors did. I knew that many of you did not have much say in cover artwork, but I totally forgot how much it takes to maintain an online presence. Well, there’s yet another hat that all you wear with such style. Thanks for reminding me of all the work you do. I know, you have told me 3 no 7 times that you work hard, so now I believe it.

    Thanks, as well, for the contest. I don’t know if I’ll enter, but I will certainly click over to see what it is all about.


  12. Here’s to renaissance writers, eh, Kate?

    Thanks, 3 no 7 … I almost started weeping when I tallied up the list of things that take up my time as a writer. Honestly, the hands on keyboard is the EASIEST part! And do enter the contest. What have you got to lose?


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