Fantasy Book Project Logo

When I was a little kid in grade school, we used to get our report cards on
a paper sheet. It would have little boxes and through most of my life, those
little boxes were filled with handwritten grades; A’s, B’s, C’s, and if I was
very unlucky a couple of D’s as well. That being said, at the bottom of all
those sheets of paper, was a section for notes from the teacher to the parent
who would be looking at these grades. A while ago, I was at my parent’s house
and my dad was cleaning out the attic. As such, he ran into a box that held my
old report cards. Kindergarten, First, Second, all the way through grade
school, every single one of the comment sections of my report cards said the
same thing, “Michl is a wonderful student, but he has his head in the clouds.
He tries hard but has a lot of trouble paying attention.” This was the
teacher code for “Hey, your kid has ADD and needs to get on some
meds.” My mother never got the hint, or rather she did but didn’t care.
She always said I could learn to pay attention and didn’t medication. To some
degree, she was/is right about this when it came to me, but I did struggle a

All of that said, I still struggle at times with organization, staying
focused, and keeping my mind going in only one direction, even on things I am
interested in or like. This brings me to the picture above and the current
state of the Fantasy Book Project. At the time of writing this, I am getting
ready to start chapter 16 of the book, out of an estimated 54 chapters total,
and am on page 188. There is a strong chance that I might have to split the
book into two books due to the estimated length. Amazon only allows a certain
number of pages to be printed for their books; at my given chapter page count,
I might be over that limit once I am done. Still, even being at this beginning
stage of writing (Yes, 200-some-odd pages in is mostly just a beginning for
this story), I decided to take time today to work on a logo/cover art for the
book. Here is a look at the current cover I have designed. It should be noted
that I am not a graphic designer so the abstract nature of this has more to do
with my lack of skill than loving the abstract nature of the logo and cover.

Basically, my thoughts about it are that there are not many white book
covers when I look through the bookstore. A snow-white cover with black
lettering seems clean and should stand out on a bookshelf. I also like the idea
that black on white denotes the idea of smoke, which is a main theme of the
book. The title and especially the subtitle is still a work in progress, but Pillar
of Smoke
is growing on me. So let me explain my thought process about
the logo. The main idea of the book is that there is a country that is raised
up on top of a seven-mile-high “pillar”. This country is completely
separated from the rest of the world it inhabits. One of the main features of
this country is that it has “smoke stacks” scattered throughout the
land that emit a constant stream of clouds.

As such, there is almost constant cloud cover and it rains most days. You
can see on the right three of these smoke stacks emitting their clouds. In the
center of this country is a large castle with a dome, thus the dome in the
middle of the city at the top of the pillar. Inside this great pillar is
another city, a city that hangs above a large chasm. You can see that city is
represented in the middle of the pillar. Inside this pillar are countless
crisscrossing tunnels, which I decided to represent with some white lines.
Again, these aren’t to scale or really even realistic at all, but I like the
idea. The country in the book is nearly 1000 miles across, a giant circle of
land, but here we can see what I think of as a representation of much of its
main features.

As of this moment, I like this. I think back to how books like The
Hunger Games
have been represented by the bird called a Mocking Jay, a
symbol and real animal in the books that were meaningful to the storyline. I
have always liked symbols and logos and while I am not necessarily very
talented in graphical artistry, I was very pleased with what I was able to do
here. At the very least, I think I will use this logo for the title page of the
book, and if nothing better comes around, maybe the cover as well. I may not
have started chapter 16 just yet (it’s the next thing on my to-do list), but I
feel like I accomplished something today.

D. Michl Lowe


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