Life In A Conversation #anthology #shortfiction #coveroptions

As foreshadowed before I am in the last throes of editing my latest compilation of short fiction. Things have slowed a touch while I focus on Nano (which is going very well, thanks for asking – 42,000 words and it’s only the sixteenth which shows the benefits of not working full time and certainly not commuting).

But I’m not here to boast (well, a tad perhaps). I want your views. I have two possible covers and I’d like honest opinions on them.

Four questions, answer any that you want in the comments please:

  1. do you like one or two
  2. do you like both
  3. do you like neither (and any specific reason?)
  4. do you think one or other has merit but would be enhanced with some tweak (and if so what tweak – yes, two questions in one, just give me a bit if slack please!)?

Number One

Number Two

To help you on your way I have added one of the stories below.

The Tonsorial Tree Tweaker

Whip Willow cracked his twigs and smoothed the leaves in front of him. ‘You have such a lovely canopy, so bouffant.’

He teased out a couple of twisted stalks and added, ‘So what are we doing today?’

Marje Magnolia giggled. He always tickled, did Whip.

He knew the impact his twigs were having. As the soft twirling that Whip expertly applied to her crown sent a sensuous skein of excitement through her bark and deep into her sapwood, she squealed. ‘Stop it, Whip!’

He leant in close. “You know, I’ve never seen you bloom quite so early.’

“Oh, you’re a dreadful Tree-clipper,’ Marje simpered. ‘You know I’m just a little ticklish.’

Whip held up her foliage. ‘What are we clipping today, sweetie?’

‘I thought a light prune and maybe a little Autumning?’

‘Oh get you, girl. Autumning, is it?’

He shuffled back and studied his customer’s reflection in the large lake in front of where they stood. ‘Still, you have the bark for it. You’ve always been able to carry an orange and yellow palette with that foliage of yours. Maybe a tinge to the leaves here, and here.’

While he flicked his pruning shears expertly Whip glanced at his colleagues.

Otto Oak used a bow saw to attack the badly maintained thatch on a Sapling.

Meanwhile Angie Ash wrinkled her bark into a frown. ‘Whip love, you got five?’

Whip stopped his clipping and asked for a moment of Marje’s time.

She rustled her leaves. ‘Oh, go on then, Mr Important. Since when does a Tree not have the time to wait? I’ll just drop anchor.’

Whip joined Angie behind a quivering Quercus, who Whip hadn’t seen before. She was sturdy with nice boughs and a well-developed trunk.

Angie said, ‘This is Brenda Beech. She’s got a new boyfriend.’

Whip twitched in excitement, ‘Oh lovely. And who is the lucky Hunk with a Trunk?’

Angie shushed him. ‘Silly, she’s worried about her, you know.’

Angie indicated the back of Brenda’s trunk.

Whip gasped. ‘Who pollared her? They ought to be chopped up.’

He leant through Brenda’s limpid boughs and whispered into the nearest knot. ‘Darling, fear not, we’ll wipe away your unsightly undergrowth in no time – they don’t call me the “Bush Baby” for nothing – and you’ll soon be swooning in his branches.’

Whip wiggled his twigs and led Angie to a quiet corner of the Clipping Copse.

‘Poor thing. At least it’s misty tonight; it’ll hide the stubble. Though you might suggest, while she’s here, she gets her roots done.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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27 Responses to Life In A Conversation #anthology #shortfiction #coveroptions

  1. Liked the story Geoff.
    As for your covers, my personal opinion?
    I prefer the first to the second (did not like the latter much actually, too angular and pointy) because conversations told in pictures are in bubbles.
    Any good?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    I’m torn…

    Kinda like the bubbles one because of the whimsical nature but number two makes me think of comics and dialogue which is so good in your short stories!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. barbtaub says:

    I like the story. But to be perfectly honest, neither cover works for me. Maybe a cartoon drawing of your face? And lots of different fonts in titles?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paula Light says:

    I don’t love either cover, but if I have to choose, then the second one. I like the top half with the colors and angles. The man’s face tilted at the uncomfortable angle isn’t working for me though.

    Great work on NaNo! My goal was 25K and I’m almost there.


  5. Of the two.. I prefer the second. I agree with Barb, that perhaps adding YOU as a cartoon to the cartoon energy would be splendid

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another collection of shorts. 🙂 I am looking forward to that!

    So, for the cover. I don’t care for the first one. Looks like you’re belching up a bubbly soda drink or some other bubbly something that didn’t agree with you.

    I like the second one. That’s my choice. However, I have a thought or two. One, I like Barb’s suggestion. But, to make things confusing, I really like you having your face on there because your other two collections have your face and it will tie them all together. I’m a fan of a series (and, yes, I know this isn’t a series but they are all collections by the same author) looking similar enough to recognize immediately. To say, “Ah, another collection from Geoff Le Pard! Splendid!”


  7. 42,000–I’m so impressed. Keep going. Well done! I like cover #2.


  8. I like the story but I don’t like the covers. I don’t think I even like the title – but as it’s probably a reference to the writing style it has to stay I guess. In keeping with the other anthologies it should bear your handsome face of course, but avoid looking as if you are projectile vomiting balloons or comic books. I wonder if the balloons could hold transparent Geoff faces in various positions of conversation, but instead of coming out of your mouth, emanate from your right brain. And your profile returns to full frontal, top half only looking highly amused. This is just a beginning thought. .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I would pay attention to the comment above from the contentedcrafter. Especially having the images emanate from your brain. I like the second much better. The balloons seem juvenile.


  10. Loved the story. The covers were a little offputting. When I see things (bubbles and shapes) coming out of mouths I immediately think of regurgitation. Maybe I’m alone but that is the harsh truth from my point of view. I think a nice smiling face with a conversation bubble above might be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. willowdot21 says:

    Story as usual brilliant. Cover one works best for me… Though I find the white background too stark. Your name could look better in black to match the title.
    I hate cover two….sorry.


  12. I don’t like the concept of you spewing out either party balloons or explosive comic book stuff. How about two Geoffs in conversation? – maybe cartoons – as suggested above


  13. two or more Geoffs


  14. Oh, dear. (Oh, elm?)

    I’m not fond of either cover, I’m afraid. I’d feel like I were poking your eye or nose or tooth each time I held the book. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jennie says:

    #1 for sure!


  16. Widdershins says:

    I’m in the ‘neither’ camp 😦 …
    … there’s too much white space in both which will bleed off into the page when seen at thumbnail size.
    … the title in the first one gets lost in the bubbles and the second one looks like a whole lot of anger. (lightning bolts, sharp angles and the green thunder-cloud looking speech bubble etc)
    … you have two discrete elements in each – the ‘toon’ title treatment and your head – neither of which works well with the other, nor do they tell me anything about the book itself.
    … the font is your basic Times New Roman-esque and looks really blah – you need something that really eye-catching and bold

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Charli Mills says:

    I like the second cover because it reminds me of the dialogue balloons from comic books which makes me think of characters. The actual balloons do not spark a thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. trifflepudling says:

    I’m afraid I don’t like either of them! Somehow they don’t provoke any interest at all, or a wish to know what the book’s about.
    I wasn’t going to comment but then I thought it might be helpful 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Hi-ya Geoff. I’ve commented a few time how I look to you as the master of written conversations. You nail it every time. On the other hand, I agree with several above that neither cover resonates with me and this topic. How do bubbles or comic book snippets connect to “conversations”? I was hoping a few days of consideration would stimulate a suggestion that picks up on “conversations between both people but critters and objects that normally don’t chat as we do – so (in your hands) become massively entertaining. But I have failed. I have the criteria, but not the solution. Perhaps in the hands of someone better skilled than I . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Stories like this one requires the bubbles and balloons. Felt happy.

    Liked by 1 person

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