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:
- do you like one or two
- do you like both
- do you like neither (and any specific reason?)
- 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!)?
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.’