Gobolinks and Blottentots

You may recognize these inkblots from my last post. The image on the left looked to me like two teddy bears playing with a ball from the moment I made it. The image on the right, however, originally looked like an angelic figure or winged creature (turned 180°), but when I looked at it again, I saw a canyon carved by water flow. Because the original inkblots were made with glitter-glue, the blue watercolor flowed like water and did not soak into the paper, so it even acted like mountain lakes flowing into a river in a canyon. It was very fun to make.

More Fun With Klecksography

Gobolinks and Blottentots

At the turn of the 19th to 20th century,  people expanded on Justin Kerner’s ideas of Klecksography, the art of using inkblots in illustration and created works of their own. Ruth McEnery Stuart turned the creations of inkblots and verse into a game called Gobolinks and John Prosper called the inkblot creatures he created and described in verse, Blottentots. Both of these books of inkblots and verse are now available online through Project Gutenberg.

Project Gutenberg ebooks:

gobolinks coverGobolinks or Shadow Pictures For Young and Old by Ruth The Blottentots coverMcEnery Stuart and Albert Bigelow Paine 1896

Blottentots and How To Make Them by John Prosper Carmel 1907

Inkblots As Story Inspiration

I had a lot of fun creating a bunch of inkblots the other day. One of the great things about inkblots is they are a super-cheap, if not free (you can make them with things you already have in your house) art form and you can make them very quickly.

I did a little experimenting and found porous paper, like regular typing or printing paper works better than thicker paper. So any scrap paper you have lying about is the perfect canvas, and any drippable liquid will do. I used a cheap, hard-disc watercolor set with a lot of water. If you don’t have watercolors, you could use acrylics, or left over house paint. If you don’t have any paint, use mustard and ketchup. Use coffee or tea. Try mud. Why not? Make sure to protect your work area. I rolled out a bunch of butcher paper.

As I made more and more inkblots, my scrap paper got smaller and smaller. I found joy in the black and white blots that were about 2″ X 2″.  Many of them looked as if they could combine to become more detailed creatures, so I got out a metal board and some magnets and had some fun.

metal board and magnets play area

Looking at all these unique beauties made me ponder the stories they could tell. For those of you who have read Jumpstart Your Novel by Mark Teppo, what about using inkblots to inspire or illustrate your nine boxes?

Nine Box Plot

Or how about using your inkblots to access your subconscious ideas about your hero’s journey? Perhaps in a similar way to, or along with Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot.  The hero's journey in inkblots

You could also use inkblots to inspire setting and character:

spring garden

A spring garden

mantiss gnome


A garden gnome spinning on a spike

Character development: Use your inkblots with your characters like Rorschach tests to explore their psyches.

Group dynamic/ character interaction: Have your characters play a game of Gobolinks.

Since I am having so much fun with inkblots, I hope to find ways that they will help me enjoy my editing and revision process as well. I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

Further Reading

Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity by Margaret Peot

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls

The Inkblot Pack: Includes the 10 Classic Inkblots for you to interpret & a beautifully designed journal with thought provoking quotes

And Just For Fun

Rorschach mask

As a photographer and a costumer, I imagine many possibilities for The Original Moving Rorschach Inkblot Mask, so I bought one. I should have it in about 10 days and will definitely write a review.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

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Book Giveaway Linky: #Freebooks

Book Giveaway Linky

Thank you to Mother Daughter Book Reviews for hosting the Book Giveaway Linky. It provides a great platform to let authors inform readers about their book giveaways.

Please click on the link and enjoy all the free books.

Happy reading.

FREE! – Promoting Kindle Free Days and Diving into Social Media

Herman rides on Gator McBumpypants' Head

Gator McBumpypants and Herman on an adventure through the internet.

Today is all about announcing my kindle free days to the world! For all you self-published authors who used createspace, or went straight to kindle direct, or are working with amazon in another way, this post is about using your kindle free days the best way possible to let the world know about your book. First, my plug, then I’ll share my advice from everything I’m learning.

Get Your Free Download of Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise

In anticipation of the soon to be released second book in the Gator McBumpypants adventures series, Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise is available as a free download from Today Nov. 24 – Friday Nov. 28.

Don’t have kids? No problem. The beautiful pictures and fun story bring a smile to the kid in anyone.

Don’t have a kindle? Also, not an issue. You can read it in the kindle cloud at amazon, or download free kindle software to all your devices.

After you’ve read it, PLEASE share with friends and take a minute to write a review to tell the world how much you love Gator McBumpypants .

Okay, so now the dirt! When I published Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise, I decided to self-publish because I read that breaking into the children’s picture book market was harder than becoming an NFL Football Player. I loved writing Gator McBumpypants and spent almost a year putting it together. My niece was really excited about it and the other children I shared it with were enthralled, so why not self-publish, right? I was ready to see the dollars roll in, so I could spend all of my time taking pictures and writing books.

Though I originally imagined a big, long, hard-cover book, Create Space’s 8″X8″ paperback–that I decided would work best with my original concept–turned out great, and I really like it. So, why haven’t the dollars started pouring in yet? Emails to my friends, my website mbercreations.com, this blog, goodreads and an amazon author page were not enough.

Why not? Because these reached very few people. I love you guys, but I’m still new at this blogging thing and your numbers are at the moment few. Plus, I attract other authors, and many of us don’t have the money to buy each others’ books.

The answer? I had to dive into social media. I had a rather strong relationship with social media before it hit the stock market. Then I got upset that our friendships became a commodity to be traded like fossil fuels and corn, so I removed myself. However, as a self-published author, or any self-employed self-promoter, we need any word of mouth we can get. Most of you are probably way ahead of me here.
So what IS working? Make sure you give yourself at least three days before your planned free days and choose all five free days.. I recommend starting at least a week before. I, of course, did all of this starting last Friday, but mostly Saturday and Sunday ( I did NOT want to do facebook and twitter, but now I’m happy to see my friends and what they’re up to).

Gator McBumpypants on FACEBOOK! – Not that I want to promote it for personal info after all the stories I’ve heard (actual local businesses) of people getting fired (or arrested) because they posted stupid stuff on facebook, but facebook is working to get the word out. I was able to create a separate page for Gator McBumpypants and invite my friends to like it. I can also wander facebook as Gator McBumpypants and like other books and authors.

Gator McBumpypants on Google+ -Though I have yet to see results here, I was able to create a separate Gator McBumpypants page which corresponds to a Youtube channel. I plan to put up little promotional videos throughout the week.
Twitter  – I’m haven’t created enough presence here yet, but I have four more days to figure this out. Please click on this and find me with your 140 character tips on how this works for you. In the meantime, I did find out how to link to my free days in a tweet. The amazon URL is WAY too many characters to put in a tweet. TinyURL.com is a great free service for easily turning that long web address into something that fits into Twitter. I have yet to use a POUND SIGN (=hashtag: isn’t pound sign more sexual, wouldn’t that be more popular? just sayin’.)
eReaderPerks.com – I found a lot of sites that say they will promote your kindle free days. There are many services and blogs that will kindly take your money to promote for you, but the majority were not geared toward my needs. Out of more than 50 sites, I found ten that were free and didn’t need more 5 star reviews than I had.  The ten I submitted to were:

FreeBooks.com

Indiebookoftheday.com

Freebookdude.com

Ereaderutopia.com

Bookangel

eBookLister.net

eReaderPerks

Freebies4mom

Jungledeals&steals

Onehundredfreeebooks

The only one that listed my free kindle download was eReaderPerks.com. They listed it as an “Activity Book” which makes no sense, but they listed it. As a friend of mine said, “Reading is an activity” and I agree, but then all the books should have been listed as Activity books, right? I did only give them two days prep, and my give-away goes until Friday, so there’s still hope. I’ll come back to this list throughout the week if any others post my free download.

Other sites: Think about all of the sites you interact with on the web. These days, almost every site has some sort of social aspect. As I started my announcements this morning, I kept coming up with more places to put them. I’m part of a writer’s meet-up that has a page for announcements and my neighborhood has a nextdoor.com site that has a free stuff page. I have an old MySpace page that, though it confused me and seems to be owned by Google now, still has my original music on it, so I posted there too. Why not?

I still have much to explore. Pinterest? Reddit? Instagram? Flickr?

Results? From looking at the stats at kdp.amazon.com, I’ve gone from no activity to 17 downloads, just today and I have a new review.

My first day results are very exciting! Because I used all five free days, I have time to work on my platform and connecting all my sites to motivate more people to read my book throughout the week. Hopefully, people will be sharing Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise with their families for Turkey Day/Thanksgiving and buying the sequel for Christmas and Winter Holidays. I will be truly Thankful!