And it got chilly

It’s cold this morning, having dropped to the low 50s last night.  I pulled my houseplants in, so it smells like a greenhouse as I sit at my desk and type.  My office is just about the only place downstairs that gets a decent amount of light.

I didn’t get out to the fair last night, and not because of the cold.  I missed the figure-eight demolition race, but that’s okay.  I spent the night instead trying to make up a new font for Al for the world book.  I’d really like to have the curses in his handwriting.  It’s a lot more trouble than you’d think first off.  I wanted something loopy and elegant, but I’ve always said he’s got cramped handwriting.  And loopy and elegant doesn’t translate well to the page.   Neither does cramped.  It’s also a hundred times more complicated to make a cursive font than a printed one, so I backed off and am trying to make something easy to read and yet distinctively male, yet with some elegance to it.  Something that looks like it was written by a very old person who is in a hurry and doesn’t care what his handwriting looks like–and you can still read it.  Sure, that’s easy.   We’ll see . . .


Filed under Drama Box

49 responses to “And it got chilly

  1. XienMe

    To me cramped always meant small with the letters close together. You could use the flowey lines, just tighten up the spaces between the letters and maybe compress them to boot. The way Al dresses you just know he has some style to how he does it. Plus he has been alive for eons so thats the only way he would know to write. Conserve the paper but make each letter a work of art.
    ..As a continuation on the fair topic, our fair has chicken fried bacon. Its not as good as it sounds but the raw honey in the comb was flat out amazing along with the frozen apple cider popsicles, scones, cheese curds, and fish tacos. If your ever in this area (Minneapolis, Mn) during State Fair time you’ve gotta stop in.

    • Hi Xien. I would love to make Al’s writing tight, cramped, and flowing, just like you describe, but it has to be legible for the actual world book. So I’m doing some modifications. sigh. See, this is why some books make lousy movies. Some things just don’t translate, and you have to figure out what’s really pivotal, and let the rest go.

  2. Hi Kim, I don’t know what age group the “Hollow” series is aimed at, but i’m 65 yrs. old, and I love what you are doing with it!! I could hardly “see”, to finish reading White Witch, Black Curse, where Rache remembers what happened on Kist’s Boat! I was cryyyyiiiing! Good thing i was reading it on my Kindle, LOL.. a regular paperback would be “soaked”! You are an amazing writer. It has been many years since an Author provoked that kind of response in me, I salute you. When I finished the first book in the Hollows Series, I bought all seven of the remaining books at once! My kindle will hold 1,500 books, so now i’m waiting for you to write about 1,490 more. While i’m waiting for the next one in the Hollows Series, I finished Once dead twice shy, and Early to death, early to rise. I’m not sure where you are going exactly with Madison, perhaps a new series? There is so much different in those two books (compared to the Hollows), i’m talking style, especially where it refers to the age group you’re writing for. I feel they were a bit too young for me! They just seemed a lot tamer than the Hollows books. Thank you so much for putting the Wind back in my sails with your prose. I enjoy your writing profoundly. Sincerely, Joe Walter

    • Hi Joe. Cool. I love hearing from my readers who’ve been around longer than me. -grin- I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Hollows. Thanks! Thank you, very much.

      And I’m so glad you gave Madison a try. You’re right that the style is a bit different. I was aiming for a much younger audience, and I like to shift styles now and again to keep my writing fresh. I have two series out there written under the name Dawn Cook that are totally different, much slower paced and set in a fantasy world.

  3. Wahya

    Well just get a sample of a Doctor’s hand writing. 🙂 Trying to figure that out is maddening. Oh wait… you want people to know what your saying, right? LOL

    Just spent a lovely day on lake St Claire. I don’t think there will be many more days like this left. 🙂

  4. A. Combs

    I kinda thought this might be what you were after. It looks like the font you see in old letters dug up from your great grandparents attic.

  5. theweightofsilence

    I love the cold weather, it’s the best to sleep in. I love leaving my windows open at night in the fall. I’m excited for autumn.

    I’m excited to see this font you’re developing. I’ve never tried creating a font, it sounds kind of complicated to get right!

  6. Michael

    Hi Kim,

    I’m a big fan of your work, especially since it concerns a bit of alternative history. I’ve been a casual lurker of your site for a while now, but in my spare time between having a family and making end’s meat to feed said family, I have been working on research and the writing of a novel. I was curious of any tips you could give me for editing and also how you went about getting an agent, as well as when you decided to get one (I’ve talked to a few folks about it and some say get one before you submit, others say after, I would like your opinion). I hope the weekend was great and you had plenty of time to enjoy the fair. I know how much fun small town fairs can be.


    • Thanks, Michael. I really appreciate that you’re enjoying my work so much. That is fantastic that you write. You asked about tips. My first one is if you’re writing genre fiction, you have to have a completed novel before you start looking for an agent or publisher. They will not even talk to you without that.

      There are a hundred ways to find publication, but what most people do is try a scatter shot approach, and aim for snagging an agent and a publisher at the same time. You get the same result with a different approach. However . . . since you’re asking what I suggest, I’d suggest taking the first three chapters and a synopsis to a writer’s convention and start to talk to people.

      Writer conventions are where agents and editors (publishers) go to find new talent, and they will be more open to talking to you there then back in their office with a full desk. Do some research and find out who handles the kind of work you do, then find out where the writer conferences are in your area. (google your city and “writer conference”, and see what comes up.) It’s not a fast way to publication, but there is no fast way. It takes on average ten years, so don’t give up if it’s something you love.

  7. LISA


  8. jessica

    so I was wondering, is there any chance that Rachel will end up with Al? I’m sure you won’t really tell me but I just want them together 😦

  9. Brian

    Al’s handwriting sounds just like mine. Nice to know someone still practices the ancient arts. Le sigh. Sarcasm so does not work via Internet. I’d definitely love to hear how you get it across.

    And, of course, very excited for the world book. Sadly, honestly, it took me this long to realize what exactly you’re making for the Hollows fans. I applaude you, I commend you, and I so don’t envy you. But you can bet that when it hits stores it’ll hit my shelf about twenty minutes later. Can’t wait.


    • -grin- I’m working on it, Brian, and well see what I can come up with. I hope it’s something the readers will like. I’ve put a lot of effort into it.

  10. I think that Al seems like “John Handy LET” from MS Word. “Blackadder ITC” is a good one too, but I’m not sure if Al is a ‘flourish’ kind of writer. Would he be all about his book/handwriting looking impressive or would he be about just getting the spell written down?

    • Ooooh, I know Blackadder. That’s a nice one. I think Al would be all about getting it down, but he’s got a long history, so there might be some flourish in there somewhere, hanging on.

  11. natasha

    Miss Kim, my last boyfriend in England before I came over to the US, had the exact handwriting you’re talking about. I would send you an example of it but I think I burnt them all due to the fact he was a complete and utter a**hole!!! Ahh, good times. (Sigh) Al, I love Al! Is there lots more Al in the next book? I’m hoping so! Is there anyone you visualize when you think of that character? Who would play him in the movie?

    • Ouch! I’m sorry, Natasha. But that’s okay. I’ll come up with something. You asked about Al in PALE DEMON. Yep. He’s in there. As for who I can visualize to play him? That’d be Johnny Depp. He’s got the quirky, powerful, closed character down to a science. And he looks good too. I wonder if he can sing . . . We should make the Hollows into a musical! -laugh-

  12. JanisHarrison

    No, it was “Lucida Blackletter” I was thinking of. It’s OK but I like “Jackdaw” better. I can just see a fellow in a green crushed-velvet jacket…

  13. JanisHarrison

    Our weather dropped from 80-ish to 60-ish, with nights in the low 50’s, too. My dad puts the furnace on in the mornings! And this is August, usually Seattle’s actual summer…

    Ooo! Of the site Marsha recommended I think “Jackdaw” is very evocative of Al. Gotta to look at “BlackAdder” again (I’ve got it in my Word app)…

    It’s Friday, sigh. Will miss the interchange with you all, until Monday. Have a good weekend, everybody!

  14. Marie

    How does one create a font?

    Will you be able to use it in word or will you have to combine all the designed letters in photoshop to words?

    sounds very interesting!

    • Hi Marie.
      If you google create font, it will bring up a bunch of sites. I don’t want to endorse any. Sorry. But once it’s made, it drops right in to your font’s folder, and away you go!

  15. suzannelazear

    you can make fonts? LOL I can’t even figure out how to download new fonts to my computer. I do love it when letters and such in books are in a handwriting font.

    It is hotter than blazes here.

    Have a great weekend. The tot and I have to go buy school shoes.

    ~Suzi and the tot, too

  16. Kylie Ru

    Whenever I get to use a font that isn’t Times New Roman, I’ll use Blackladder. It looks very pirate-like.

    Anyways, I have no idea how to make fonts or anything of that nature, but I hope you prevail! Pfft. What am I saying? Of course you will prevail.

    Since it is oddly appropriate, I shall quote Tim Gunn and say “Make it work.”

    Have fun, Kim-san!

  17. Marsha

    Finally Friday! Have a great weekend Kim. Your weather sounds amazing, I can’t wait until I have to wear sock around the house again. As for a script style for Al, unless you really want to design your own the link below has several styles available for purchase at a very low cost. I especially think the Driad Set near the middle has an ancient and masculine look to it.

  18. Antonio

    Here in southern Ohio/northern Kentucky we have demolition derbys at our county fairs as well–cars, buses, 3-wheelers, and…

    Riding Lawn Mowers.

    Serious. It’s ridiculously loud, but not that interesting to watch. It’s a slow moving kind of mayhem. Within a few minutes, it looks like the garden center of a Home Depot 20 years after an apocalyptic event.

    Speaking of “mayhem”…you should see 30+ kids chasing a greased pig at a county fair. Now THAT’s a demolition derby!

    Hope you and yours had a good weekend. 😎

  19. JulieB

    PS, on the website’s spashpage one of today’s features is 1920s French Script Pro — pretty cool.

  20. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,

    I think we should just call you “Handzon Harrison” because you are such a hands on type of person. It seems like you are always doing something with your hands. Gardening, land scaping, writing, font design, and baking, just to mention a few of the things you do.


    • I figured out a long time ago that the more you delegate, the lower the integrity to the original thought drops. At least when your’e talking an artistic endeavor. No one cares more than the artist, and I like learning new things.

  21. JulieB

    Hi! I tend to collect fonts. If you haven’t already tried I reccommend it. They have a variety of free fonts, as well as many others available for purchase.

    Some I have that you might like to look at for inspirations are Mistral, Rapier, Rage, Staccato, and Viner Hand, (These tend to look spikey, and a bit grouchy but do a fair-job of looking like handwriting)
    Vivaldi, Vivante DSC (These are loopy, yet depending on the size can appear cramped, although they are not too hard to read.)

    I don’t know which ones are the free ones from My Fonts and which ones came with Word or an old card-creation software from the 90s if you want to see any samples of any of these in alphabet form, I can send you an email, just let me know.

    Happy designing!

  22. mudepoz

    Font? As on computer? Or by hand? I admit, I have NO clue how’d you do it on the computer! If I recall, some artists take years to develop fonts!

    Weekend! Yay! Taking black and white girl out to hunt train (She jumped on you much to my chagrin, some obedience dog. She also loved American Werewolf, go figure).

    When we get CLOSE to the release, is Harper going to put up a chapter again?

  23. Jenn

    LoL! Sounds like a heck of a challenge! I sure do hope you win. We all know how hard you have been working on the world book & I hope that it’s everything you want it to be!
    Too bad about not getting to see the firgure 8 derby…that sounds like it would have been interesting to see!
    Happy Friday to everyone, and Happy Monday to you Kim.