Not lost at all, well, maybe just a little.

I know. I haven’t blogged in a while. There are several reasons for it. Let’s say I have been busy doing many things; like working, reading, running, cleaning, and among them, spending time with a certain ‘special someone’ out there. He’s the reason I went to Jacksonville recently, so I’d better let the photos speak for themselves. I flew in time to experience their jazz fest, meet the one and only Zoltar, feed a giraffe, see a living Komodo dragon and well, just enjoy life!

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A new steampunk novelette is out there…

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Philomena Sparks and The Curse of the Big Ben has been out there for some weeks actually, and it already has two five star reviews in Amazon. The ones who have read it told me they loved it, that they could picture themselves in the Victorian world described in the book. Also, they loved the illustrations, which enhance and capture the mysteriously dark atmosphere of the story.

The book is available in print (paperback) and in electronic format.

Here is a list of all the places where you can find it and download a preview if you like.

Amazon – available in print and for Kindle

Nook

Sony eBook Store

Smashwords

Kobo

iTunes – for iPad, iPod, iPhone or your favorite iToy

CreateSpace – only in print

And, if you’d like a dedicated copy, I’d be more than happy to do so. Just send me an email:

marielba.cancel@gmail.com

About illustrating a book

Illustrating a book may seem as a rather easy task, but not really. The illustrator must have both knowledge and sensitivity to re-create, through drawings, the touch and feel, and the atmosphere that is being described in a particular story.

That’s why when I first gave Adriana Rosario, the rough draft of Philomena Sparks, for her to start reading, I told her that if she did not like or felt identified with the story in any way, that then I’d look for someone else to illustrate the book, but no, I did not have to. I believe Adriana made such an excellent job, and we’re all very proud of her. Here are some of her illustrations while they were still in the making.

I won’t say what they’re all about because then I’d be ruining the story for you. All I’ll say for now is that my favorite is the last one. Although sometimes I have trouble making up my mind, because all of them are so beautiful and carefully drawn. I have to say I am extremely happy and quite pleased with the way the book ended up looking. Now, I have to make it available in electronic format, and I hope the illustrations look as wonderful as they do in print.

Philomena Sparks

Well, yes finally! My new book is out there, and I am very happy about it. Thanks to Kickstarter, my dream of having this book illustrated came true and as you can see, Adriana Rosario, my illustrator, is extremely happy with the results.

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It was only a few days ago that I could hand her own copy, and she loved it!

Now, you may wonder, what is this book all about? Well, it’s the story of Mr. Charles Dewhurst and his father, and the way he developed a machine destined to help out in their business. It is set in Victorian London and it has some Steampunk elements in it. The story is told through Mr. Higgings in the present day, when a peculiar object shows up at the British Museum, where he works as Curator of Artefacts. That’s all I will say about it because I don’t want to ruin it for those who might like to read it. The novel has a total of 9 chapters, and there are two illustrations per chapter. Adriana did an excellent job, and we will both be woking in the future again. That’s for sure. If you want to check out the book, here is the link:

Philomena Sparks and The Curse of The Big Ben

And here is the Kickstarter page where you can see some of the drawings that Adriana made for the book:

Kickstarter Project for Philomena Sparks

Click on the ‘Updates’ tab and go back to the very first ones. You will find some of her beautiful illustrations there.

Con los terroristas… thoughts on The Harlem Shake

It was only last week when my eyes were opened and I became aware of this new craze. I had no idea what it was all about until recently. In case someone reads this and does not know what I’m talking about, the Harlem Shake consists of a 30 second video clip with the same song, where a guy (or gal) dances alone surrounded by an uninterested crowd. When the music reaches its peak, the video cuts abruptly and you see all of the people dancing and doing random stupid stuff all over the place. You Tube is full of them and I have seriously cracked up at several of them, and I do confess, I’d like to do one too, but I think I’m kind of late for it.

Now, the thing is, that when I first heard the music and heard the guy say: “con los terroristas”, I thought that whoever said that had to be a Puerto Rican. Well, last week, on one of our local newspapers, it turns out that indeed, it is a Puerto Rican who says it, but the track is a mix of a hip hop song with something else from a reggaeton song where the guy says “con los terroristas” which means, ‘with the terrorists’. I have no idea what the original song is and to be honest, I hate reggaeton, so let’s say I’m just happy with the surreal absurdity of the intro “con los terroristas” and whatever happens during the following 20 seconds of it. I mean, after a while you do get tired of it, but, regardless, I am putting here the ones that made me laugh the most, in case you want to watch them. They’re 30 seconds each and full of craziness. Enjoy!

Would you do one too? If you do, please post your links below.

🙂

Boston

A few weeks ago I went to Boston for a weekend to pick up a third Honorable Mention. The World Within won another two but I could not go personally to pick up those. They were announced with very little time in advance, and it was very hard for me to ask for some days off at work. However, this one was different. I had time to plan the trip, so I went ahead and did it. Also, my best friend, who lives in Vermont, drove to Boston with her hubby and daughter to spend the weekend with me and we all had a great time. Here are some photos.

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The Museum of Science has an electricity show, very Tesla-like and interesting.

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The museum has a lot of exhibitions, you can spend all day in there if you want. It took me four hours to explore everything, and I also had time to visit the Planetarium.

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Boston Common

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It was cold that day, around 20F, but I did not mind and neither did this little squirrel.

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Quincy Market

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Granary Burying Ground

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Ligia and I

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We had to visit the Brewery, of course!

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The Boston Aquarium is very interesting. They have many different species and one that caught my attention the most was this leafy dragon from Australia. I had only seen them in documentaries, they’re breathtaking in real life.

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What I really went to Boston for…, really?

Agent Orange Attack

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The reason I haven’t blogged lately is clear. I am being squashed. Now, seriously, I am pouring all my energy and spare time into proofreading and triple checking my second book, and when I try to get a break, I get attacked by agent orange, grey tabby, or Siamese mix… it all depends on the whim or flavor of the day.