Sparks' Notes: Weekly Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks

Episode 26: Book Maps, Reading Out Loud, and AI Art, Oh My!

January 31, 2022 Lindsey Sparks Season 1 Episode 26
Sparks' Notes: Weekly Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks
Episode 26: Book Maps, Reading Out Loud, and AI Art, Oh My!
Show Notes Transcript

Hi there! I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books featuring hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly author's notes podcast! This episode was recorded on Monday, 1/31/2022, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you.

Echo in Time
Starter Library for newsletter subscribers

With editor: Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars (Fateless Trilogy, book 1)

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout (audiobook)
Echo in Time by Lindsey Sparks (me!)


Reading Echo in Time with my Discord crew
Finishing the SoSaFS  Egypt map


Make the Waset region map for SoSaFS
Finish recording Echo in Time (for the new Read by the Author podcast)
Edit and post first episode of Read By The Author

Playing with Inkarnate some more

Dream by Wombo

JOIN MY READER GROUP: Lindsey's Lovely Readers



TIKTOK: @authorlindseysparks
INSTAGRAM: @authorlindseysparks

Hi there. I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books that include hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly authors notes podcast. Today is Monday. January 31st. And I would love to share some. My reflections from this past week with you. Okay. First of all, echo in time is still free. And, um, let's just like, assume it's going to continue to be that way. Um, And so that's the first book in the echo trilogy. And then also. So all of my first books are free. If you join my newsletter and the link is in the show notes or description So my. Um, current work in progress. I think this is the first time that I get to say this. This pretty sure. Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars is officially out of my hands. Um, yeah, so it's with my editor. And my assistant who is reading it for. Excerpts and quotes and stuff. And I feel really good about it. I just genuinely really love this book and. Also I'm feeling really excited. So this ties into what I just. Um, have been reading. So I started listening to From Blood and Ash. Um, By the way my dog is in here with me. So if you hear like snorts and snores and stuff, It's most likely not me. So I've been reading From Blood and Ash or. I'm not reading it anymore. I finished it. Um, I listened. And to, to From Blood and Ash. Um, by Jennifer L Armentrout, narrated by Stina Neilson, um, who does an amazing job in the audio book. The book itself is great. I, I genuinely loved it. Um, But I'm also really feeling like, um, Well, I think Song of Scarabsand Fallen Stars is really, really going to appeal to those, like kind of like darker fantasy romance readers. The people who love, um, From Blood and Ash. Like if, if you love From blood and Ash or, um Court of Thorns and Roses, or The Bargainer, like all of that stuff. I feel like, um, Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars is totally for you. Um, it definitely has this like intrigue and this. Kind of like really dark hero, um, because if. You've been listening to this podcast for like any amount of time then, you know, like that. So my thing right now, Um, but like, yeah, I'm really feeling this. Um, Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, um, and. And yeah. Um, I am also so. Highly recommend that this has been really fun. Um, audio book is great. I'm also reading out loud. Echo and time by me. Um, And I'm reading that for the Read By The Author podcast, which I'm hoping to release the first episode in a few days I'm planning to have that one be like a midweek releaser, just to have like something fun to look forward to in the middle of the week. So I have. Let's see, let's see how far we are. We are on a chapter. After 17. Of this bad boy. Um, and I have done six episodes, so, and it's about halfway. So I think that there's going. To be 12 episodes or, I mean, I've done six sessions. So some of. Those sessions. Depending on how long we are. Probably we're just going to end. Up with the 12 episodes, which would be three months worth of podcasts. Or episodes or YouTube, like, depending on where you're consuming. Consuming this, um, And so I'm. Really I'm really looking forward to read by the author. Like I am going to be. Putting it up in three different places or releasing it in three different. Places at least. So I'm definitely going to be putting up it up as a podcast. But that's going to be like the more finalized and edited version. Um, so I'm going to go through. And like clean up I'll G I'll probably leave in the author's comments. But I'm going to clean up everything else. Like all the stumbles and stuff. And I'm not sure if I'm just going to like straight up, keep it. It as it was recorded, for YouTube or not. Or if that'll just be like the video version of what's on the podcast. So you'll still get the author's notes. Um, but you. You. In like the bloopers. Um, maybe the YouTube version will have. The bloopers. I don't know. I haven't decided exactly how it's going to. I'll make the decision. When I get in there and start editing it, which if I have. Time I'll do that today, um, when I'm done processing this. One. But I'm also going to be putting this one up on a for I've never done it. Um, Instagram. I think it's IGT V. Um, And I was gonna, I was gonna practice with this one. So. This might actually be up on I G T V. So. I don't know how that works. We'll see if it works. I'm not sure if that's something that like you have to have a certain. Number of followers to be able to access. I honestly don't know. I'm I have not spent. Much time on Instagram. So I'm going to try it. I just figure, put it out there. Yeah, but I am so excited. It's been so fun. I've had like my core group of discord people, my discord crew, have been in there in discord with me, just like listening and, oh my God. The meme game from these ladies is. Is just amazing. They like break through my focus as I'm reading all the time. Um, but it's also great because, I always know when they get really excited all of a sudden, there's just all these memes popping up. Um, and it's. Hilarious. And it's always around steamy parts, or if somebody is being a big D bag or something. So it's great. And I'm really excited to share that. And it has been so fun. Fun too. Read Echo in Time again, because I. I don't think I have read myself Echo in Time in a very, very, very, it's gotta be at least like probably read it cover to cover when I started Kat's series Ink Witch, which was in 2016. Um, so let's say it's been at least six years since I read Echo in Time cover to cover , and I am really enjoying it. I am falling in love with Marcus all over again. And he is just like such a dream boat. Slash like. I forgot how much of a bad-ass he was. Is but I think it's just. I've been so immersed with Kat and Nik. And Heru or Marcus is, um, spoiler. Um, Marcus has just like so much more refined and polished the Nik that it's easy to forget that he is like genuinely bad-ass so, yeah. I'm a. I'm having a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to the to the steamy scenes that are gonna be coming up. And oh my God, there's going to be some great bloopers from that. 'cause I just like anytime. Anytime I'm reading out loud, and there's an audience that's listening. The steamy scenes, just kill me. And I get like so hot and sweaty, so that's going to happen, but it'll be fun. I'm still looking forward to. We are watching Um, so we finished season four of Cobra Kai, which is currently all that's out. And I think they're doing one more season. I know they're doing one more season and I think. It might be the last season. But I stand by what I said before, which was like, Like man, what a dark horse of a show. Like I did not expect to love. Cobra Kai, as much as I did, and I am totally having Cobra Kai withdrawals. And I love Johnny. And his character is hilarious. So many things. That my husband and I are quoting from Cobra Kai on a daily basis now. And it's, I think it's the show's ability to make fun of itself and Karate Kid. And. And a lot of stuff plus to like pull on that. Common. Kind of pop culture, knowledge of Karate Kid that makes it so great. It's just. I don't know. It's like a little bit meta. It's it's just been, I'm totally missing it. And I'm really looking forward to season five, which I don't think is going to come out. Maybe even, not even this year. So. We're going to have a long wait. For that, but we did start a new show that we're really liking, which is billions. And it's got a Paul Giamatti, who I know from Sideways, which is a great. Um, movie for wine people, or just like anybody who likes good movies. It is very dry dry humor. Um, but yeah, really enjoying that. I. Um, I think I like some, I like the female characters. Characters the most, and there are definitely very interesting women, and so I'm really enjoying. Them, even though it tends to be like a little bit more male heavy show. Some of the women are pretty great, and I feel like they're written pretty well, at least so far, so that makes. I'm pretty happy. Um, so I'm enjoying that. I, um, so my highs. Last week were definitely diving into Echo in time. I, I just like. I have always. Loved that book. Um, it is the launching book for the Echo World. Um, but it's just, I don't know. It feels so nice to fall in. Love with it all over again. So that's been great. I don't get to read. It today, unless I read it tonight. We'll see, but I don't get to read it today. So I'm a little bit bummed that. I don't get to do like my couple of chapters to record the next episode, but, um, yeah. So I'm genuinely really enjoying that. And. And then I'm also having so much fun working on the Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars maps. That are going to be in the book book maps, who doesn't love a book map? Cause I definitely love a book map. Um, and my, my books, some of my books have had maps before. My assistant found. Um, Inkarnate for me, which I think I've talked about in the last episode or two, um, which is like a map app. Map making fantasy map, making app. Um, so I have. Finished. Um, the like world map, not world, but like, The world of the book. So it's Egypt, ancient Egypt is what it is. Um, so I finished. That map and you can see that on And my reader group or I think I've posted it on tick. Talk to. And probably Instagram. I'm not sure. But it is out there. You can see it, especially my reader group is where I would look and I love. It's so fun. It's like very, aegypti obviously it's of Egypt, but it's. Flipped upside down because of the worldview in ancient Egypt was. Based on the river. So upriver was up Upper Egypt is in the south lower Egypt is the Delta in the north. Their worldview was very like Nile-based. Um, and since the Nile is north flowing, Anyway. So I just decided it made more sense to just flip the map for this book, because this pretty much, the whole story takes place in ancient Egypt, other than a couple. Couple of flashes. Forward chapters to the presence. We can see what's going on, but the. The map, or what we need spatial orientation for definitely is the ancient Egypt portion. And so I decided to just flip it because that's the way that the world was in their head. So. I really love the map that I came up with, and now I'm working on the regional map. So the Waset area, which is modern day Luxor, which is better known in ancient times to most people as Thebes, but that was named by the Greeks. So, Waset is the Pre Greek Egyptian name for the region. And so the regional map is gonna have the town Waset, and then the, Overlord's or Nomarch's palace. And it's going to have the the quaykind of harbor area. And a lot. This is all. A lot of the stuff that I ended up having to make up because it is in that time period where there's not a ton of towns and stuff in ancient Egypt, at this point. Those more crop up in the Middle Kingdom. And there's also almost nothing left of town, um, life from this time period. Um, because everything was built up mud brick. So, I'm taking a lot of artistic liberties with this map and the, with that. This part of the setting and the layout, but it's been fun to kind of bring what I see in my head to life. There's like a walled marketplace near the harbor, and then there's the necropolis on the other side of the river. Yeah, so that is what I'm currently working on and what I will continue to. I work on this week. I do not have any. Exciting or fun Google searches this week because I'm not working on a manuscript, which is, feels so weird after four or five months of just like straight up manuscripting. And I would say this last week's obsession was definitely. Incarnate and the book maps and I'm a really just having so much fun giving us a visual image of what I see in my head. And it definitely, I think a lot of people use it for like tabletop. Games and, um, D and D and that kind of thing. Um, so it's been really fun, but also it's just like, the maps are really pretty, so. If you have a minute, you can browse through the maps that people have created. And it's just really. Neat. Okay, so this week's goal, I have several, so one is to finish the Waset region map for Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars. And then the next goal is to finish reading and recording Echo in Time for Read By The Author, the podcast / show. My third goal is, because this is my last week before I start outlining the what's next blood of the broken, which is the next Atlantis Legacy book. So I also need to, um, read, reread, the paperbacks of all the Atlantis Legacy books. Um, just to get my head back in the game there. And I have been browsing for songs to create the blood of the broken and, and other Atlantis Legacy playlist. So I'm having fun with that. But back to what I was saying, so my third goal for this week, Week is to edit and post the first episode of Read By The Author. So. So, um, hopefully I'll get to edit some of that today after I finished this recording this. Let's see here. So. Cool things. Oh, There. I did have a couple cool things I wanted. To share with you that I discovered this week. So I think this one's a carry over from last week. Which is Inkarnate. Like I said, check it out. It's really cool. Even if you're not. Trying to make some maps. Like it's still pretty cool. And then I discovered something called Wombo. And I know I have talked about ArtBreeder. Before and ArtBreeder is how I created my character portraits for a Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars. And then I'm also going to create, now I'm going to create them for Atlantis Legacy, as I'm diving back into that series, um, These character portraits are super cool. I'm really excited to share them. I'm going to be sharing them in March. March, um, I've already shared a couple. In my reader group on Facebook. Um, but I'm going to be sharing the whole batch for Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars in March leading up to the release. And so they're super cool. I love them. Um, it. I didn't, it didn't require any artistic ability on my part. Um, and it was. So art breeder is an AI program. That, um, Like you. You basically give it feedback and. And then it regenerates what it has come up with and then you give it more. Feedback and it regenerates and you just like tweak and it's just, just constantly. Um, Revising what it has given you. And so Wombo is another AI tool. Um, this one's lip sinking tool. And so I think people. It's like a deep fake. Um, so like the intention is. Probably that you would upload picture a picture of yourself or of like a celebrity. Or something and then have them doing funny things or yourself doing funny things. Or like lip sinking a cool song or something or just like funny stuff. So I I discovered that I can upload my character portraits that I created. On art breeder and I can have them lip syncing. So it like brings them to life. And so I did, um, It did one with a Tarset, and. Ah, God, what is that song? It's a Rihanna song. I'll have to share, I'll share it in my reader group because it's hilarious. Um, but oh my God. Check out. Wombo it's hilarious. I'm really excited to like make my character portraits do funny things and then share them with the world. It's going to be hilarious. I also discovered another, another fun thing, which is also created by Wombo, these are both phone apps. I think they're only for phones, and so this one's called Dream by Wombo and you give it. You give the, the app. Words, text. Like a description of a setting or something. And then the AI creates an artistic rendition of those words. And so I've been playing with that off and on. And so I have some, I mean, they're all a little bit surrealistic. Um, this thing. One cannot do people, people look very wrong and weird. But, I've. I've been, I've come up with some really cool artistic pieces that represent some different scenes, like, um, I was, I've been working really hard on getting the right words to get it, to give me something. Something useful that it. That can represent the Netjer-At oasis, because I feel like that's a really unique setting and then also. There's this whole desert Trek journey with this caravan of ancient desert people. That happens in the first quarter of not even in the first quarter, but in the first part of a. scarabs and fallen stars. So I've been working on like training, trying to. To see if I can find the right words to help the AI produce something that kind of visualizes what I see in my head for that. So that's been really fun to play with. So definitely Wombo and Dream by Wombo are two apps that AI art. Ish. Apps that you can play with. And just like have fun with, um, yeah, so I definitely recommend checking those those out. I think that's it for me this week. So, thank you so much for listening. And I will be back next week to ramble some more. Until then happy reading.