Thursday, September 29, 2022

My Tests of Different Apps for Creating Images from Text

 

AI-generated images are controversial at present. Several programs/apps are available for creating AI images from text prompts. I decided run experiments with some options that are free for initial images and do not require setting up a new account. I ran simple tests on several free on-line programs for generating image from text. Since I am still learning how to make good text prompts, the results may improve for experienced users.

Caveat: this field is moving fast and my results might not be applicable in a few months. 

Here are the results with prompts.

Craiyon.com is the current version of Dall-E mini. The test prompt ‘Elf with sword in trees’ gave this result. 

My verdict: rough and weird.

 

Dream by Wombo. Test prompt gave a weird image, but you need to create an account to download the image. 

 

Starry AI.com. My prompt ‘alien jungle’ gave this image. 

But my attempts to improve the image gave weirder results.

Verdict: has potential.

 

NightCafe.com. My prompt ‘Elf in forest’ produced this image. 


 Another prompt of ‘alien jungle with purple leaves yellow flowers and blue monkey with six legs gave this interesting image. 


Again, evolving the image tended to give mixed results and was often not an improvement over the first one.

Verdict: promising, has various algorithms, and can be used for free with their credit system. I decided to create more images and obtained several acceptable ones for characters or alien landscapes. The header image is a volcanic landscape. 

 

Other Sites

Pixray: Charges for use.

MidJourney: First 25 images are free, then subscriptions are $10 or $30 per month. It requires access through Discord, which would mean opening a new account.

I'm sure there are other programs available. These ones came up on my searches. 


Friday, September 23, 2022

SEPTEMBER REPORT ON MY WRITING AND PUBLISHING PROGRESS

 


We are moving into the third quarter of 2022, which gives me an opportunity to update my progress as an author.

In June, I reported publishing two stories, a novella and a short novel. See https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/06/mid-year-report-on-my-writing-and.html

Since that time, I’ve been working on the sixth book in Taxyon Space, preparing other formats for my stories, and pursuing new social media venues.


NEW DIRECT BOOKSTORE

All my stories are available at a discount from my virtual store https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels.

 

PRINT BOOKS

I have been preparing paperback versions of my books. All my novels and novellas are now available in paperback.

 

AUDIOBOOKS

Audiobooks are popular, however, they are expensive to produce and authors can expect a low return on their investment. Due to the recent improvements in AI-narration, I decided to test the option in GoogleBooks to create AI-narrated audiobooks. I chose the British female voice of Anya since I retain a British accent and many of my stories are written from the perspective of a female protagonist.

My short stories, the three books in Secret Supers, the three stories in Second Chances in Space, and my epic fantasy Bridget Bramble and the Wandering Elf are now available as audiobooks.

You can listen to chapters of the audiobooks at my YouTube channel: AuroraSpringer

 

EXPANSION INTO DIFFERENT SOCIAL MEDIA

I am now posting images and videos on YouTube,  Instagram  and TikTok.

 

NEW SERIES AND TWO BOOKS PUBLISHED

Earlier this year, I created a new series of standalone stories. The stories in Second Chances in Space feature different combinations of interstellar spies, space pirates, and a widow or widower finding romance. The background conflict is the fight against Emperor Hadros, the aggressive ruler of a major galactic sector. 


Captured by the Hawk

Rollicking space opera starring a feisty Irish spy and a notorious masked pirate with a tragic past. 


Lured by the Lion

Sci-Fi adventure and romance: a widow with a spaceship meets a moody widower and space pirates.


Stung by the Cobra

Sci-Fi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Under the monsoon mud - Excerpt from Stung by the Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

Sorry, I missed posting last week due to a mild case of covid and other stuff. Since my current wip is word-skimpy, I’ll keep posting from my latest novel, Stung by the Cobra. It’s a scifi/fantasy adventure and romance with sprinkle of Hindu mythology.

Zennia is attending a reception to honor Domina Allia, the new ruler of the planet. Events at this reception give background and foreshadow the rest of the story.

You can read my previous excerpt here: https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/08/nagari-again-excerpt-from-cobra-for.html

Released from his duty at Allia's dais, Nagari has come to talk to Zennia.

The final line of last week's excerpt was: "He winced, unmistakably distressed by the mention of his military title." 

After a minute, he recovered enough to ask, “Do you like living in this grubby city?”

She retorted, “If you peer under the monsoon mud, Mattapurna is a vibrant and cheerful place. I’m looking forward to the celebration of Vashali.”

He gave a contemptuous snort. “The festival where men jump into the river?”

“It is the festival of renewal, of change and new beginnings.” She followed her explanation with a challenge, “Do you not desire a change in your life?”

He gasped, “Shan Zennia, you can read my mind.”

“It’s not difficult to guess,” she said drily.

He looked over her shoulder toward the dais.

Ten lines and a few more:

She twisted around to follow his gaze. Allia had risen from her throne. Still entangled with her devoted attendants, she ambled to a side door.  

A servant bowed deeply and opened the door. Smoky haze puffed from the interior as the Domina and her adoring slaves entered the inner sanctum.

Nagari said, “I need a drink. Can I fetch you something?”

“No. I have a glass already.”

He headed toward the long table with refreshments. Two women in matching azure gowns waylaid him, each grasping one of his arms. Sisters, she guessed, with identical fake smiles on their painted faces.

Zennia gave herself a mental shake. Considering his wife’s neglect, she ought not to judge Nagari too harshly if he sought amusement elsewhere. 


 


 
SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including intelligent animals and the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life?

The ebook is discounted by 50c at PayHip

  Amazon   Apple   B&N   Kobo   GooglePlay   Other 

PRINT     AUDIO (AI-narrated) 

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments. 

You can listen to an example of the AI-narration on my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/DZQ-CyX0In0 

The first book in this new series is free for the next month. 


Captured by the Hawk Spaceships crash across the galaxy when thief Grey Kay tangles with notorious pirate Black Hawk.

FREE at Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay  PayHip

 


The Lady is Blue, Book 1 of Atrapako on Eden, is also free. 

Scaly aliens crash on the remote planet of Eden. They mean to dominate the humans. Can Dr. Lucy Stannis save the colony and reignite her dubious friendship with the alien captain?

FREE at: Direct  Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay  Other  

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

Check out the videos on my new YouTube Channel - Aurora Springer

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

All my books are discounted at my new Webstore: https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels.

 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Nagari again - excerpt from Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday #SciFiRomance

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

Sorry, I missed posting last week due to a mild case of covid and other stuff. Since my current wip is word-skimpy, I’ll keep posting from my latest novel, Stung by the Cobra. It’s a scifi/fantasy adventure and romance with sprinkle of Hindu mythology.

Zennia is attending a reception to honor Domina Allia, the new ruler of the planet. Events at this reception give background and foreshadow the rest of the story.

You can read my previous excerpt here: https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/08/domina-allia-speaks-excerpt-from-cobra.html

We last saw Commander Nagari stationed at the base of the dais where his spouse, vain and cruel Domina Allia, sat on her throne.

I’ve jumped over Zennia’s conversation with her friend the librarian to focus on the main characters.

Glancing toward the dais, Zennia noted a smile on Allia’s cruel visage. She lounged in the throne, her arms hanging by her sides. A courtier and two scantily-clad native boys were kissing and caressing her bare arms and beringed fingers. Zennia suppressed a stab of revulsion at her overt depravity. Why couldn’t the deviant princess be satisfied with her consort? But Nagari had disappeared from his station at the foot of the dais. He must hate this abuse of his wedded state.

Somebody touched Zennia’s shoulder.

She swung around to find Nagari, his intense gaze focused on her.

“Curator Shan Zennia,” he said, “do you dance?”

Ten lines and a few more:

“Is that an invitation?” She arched her eyebrows.

He blinked his bloodshot eyes and managed a wry smile. “I wish to talk with you. We can dance if you like.”

Shrugging one shoulder, she said, “I don’t dance. Though I’ll be happy to talk with you, Commander Nagari.”

He winced, unmistakably distressed by the mention of his military title. 



 
SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including intelligent animals and the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life?

The ebook is discounted by 50c at PayHip

  Amazon   Apple   B&N   Kobo   GooglePlay   Other 

PRINT     AUDIO (AI-narrated) 

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments. 

You can listen to an example of the AI-narration on my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/DZQ-CyX0In0 

The first book in this new series is free for the next month. 


Captured by the Hawk Spaceships crash across the galaxy when thief Grey Kay tangles with notorious pirate Black Hawk.

FREE at Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay  PayHip

 


The Lady is Blue, Book 1 of Atrapako on Eden, is also free. 

Scaly aliens crash on the remote planet of Eden. They mean to dominate the humans. Can Dr. Lucy Stannis save the colony and reignite her dubious friendship with the alien captain?

FREE at: Direct  Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay  Other  

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

Check out the videos on my new YouTube Channel - Aurora Springer

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

All my books are discounted at my new Webstore: https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels.

 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Domina Allia speaks - excerpt from Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I’ve been posting from my latest novel, Stung by the Cobra. It’s a scifi/fantasy adventure and romance with sprinkle of Hindu mythology. It is available as ebook, paperback and AI-narrated audio. 

Zennia is attending a reception to honor Domina Allia, the new ruler of the planet.

You can read last week’s excerpt here: https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/07/the-royal-consort-excerpt-from-cobra.html

This excerpt continues directly with a minor deletion to focus on the most pertinent characters.

The ambassador was the first to make his obeisance to Domina Allia. The seneschal pronounced his name and title, The Honorable Viceroy Karjor am Pterakor, Ambassador for the Ptavian Sector.”

The Ptavian bent on one knee and made a deep bow.

Allia’s sullen expression did not alter.

The stylish woman next in line lifted her skirts and curtsied. 

The Domina merely stared down from her throne without acknowledging any of her guests.

Zennia waited her turn in the line. When she reached the base of the dais, she whispered her name to the seneschal.

He announced her name and full title, “Curator Shan Zennia of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos.” 

She performed her obeisance, courteous although totally insincere.

Ten lines and you need a few more:

This time, the Domina’s eyes narrowed and she aimed a beringed forefinger at Zennia. Her tone cold and accusatory, she asked, “Are you recording me?”

Zennia tilted her head in a brief bow. “Illustrious Domina, my mission as curator is to record whatever I observe.”

A haughty smile curled the princess’ scarlet lips, suggesting her confidence in starring as the highlight of the report. She swung her finger to the side, dismissing her subject. 

As Zennia walked past the dais, she glanced at Commander Nagari.

His gaze lighted on her and a faint smile of recognition fleeted across his gaunt face.

After responding with a tiny tilt of her head, she sought her friend among the assembled guests. 


 
SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including intelligent animals and the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life?

The ebook is discounted by 50c at PayHip

  Amazon   Apple   B&N   Kobo   GooglePlay   Other 

PRINT     AUDIO (AI-narrated) 

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

The first book in this new series is free for the next month. 


Captured by the Hawk Spaceships crash across the galaxy when thief Grey Kay tangles with notorious pirate Black Hawk.

FREE at Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay  PayHip

 


The Lady is Blue, Book 1 of Atrapako on Eden, is also free. 

Scaly aliens crash on the remote planet of Eden. They mean to dominate the humans. Can Dr. Lucy Stannis save the colony and reignite her dubious friendship with the alien captain?

FREE at: Direct  Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay  Other  

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

Check out the videos on my new YouTube Channel - Aurora Springer

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

All my books are discounted at my new Webstore: https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels.

 

 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The royal consort - excerpt from Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I’ve been posting from my latest novel, Stung by the Cobra. It’s a scifi/fantasy adventure and romance with sprinkle of Hindu mythology. It is available as ebook, paperback and AI-narrated audio. 

Last week, Zennia was at the reception and waiting to pay homage to the new overlord, Domina Allia. You can read the excerpt here: https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/07/a-dazzling-spectacle-excerpt-from-stung.html

The scene continues in this week’s excerpt. I’ve omitted some sentences about other characters to avoid confusion.  

The royal consort, Commander Nagari, stood at the foot of the dais. His sober black suit was brightened with large gold buttons and ribbons of gold braid along the sleeves of his jacket and the legs of his trousers. A gold torque was clasped around his neck, more symbolic of a slave than a prince. His only other ornament, a sheathed dagger with a ruby on the hilt, was clasped on his belt. The weapon appeared ceremonial, yet doubtless he knew how to stab an enemy. Someone had applied paint to mute the dark circles under his eyes, although it did nothing to improve his appearance. The wooden expression on his haggard face hinted at his discomfort.

Other courtiers, men and woman in ornate garments, stood beyond the dais at the farther side of the auditorium. Near the opposite wall, a band of musicians waited to ply their instruments. 

Nine lines and a few more:

The man in voluminous purple robes at the head of the line must be the ambassador from Ptavi. The Ptavian had the characteristic ape-like features of jutting brows and a receding chin. His presence at the reception had clear political ramifications. It meant the independent Sector of Ptavi had accepted the new ruler of Harappi. In Zennia’s opinion, few other sectors were likely to support the Emperor’s occupation of the planet. They were afraid the Emperor would cast his greedy eyes on one of their own planets. 


 
SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including intelligent animals and the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life?

The ebook is discounted by 50c at PayHip

  Amazon   Apple   B&N   Kobo   GooglePlay   Other 

PRINT     AUDIO (AI-narrated) 

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

The first book in this new series is free for the next month. 


Captured by the Hawk Spaceships crash across the galaxy when thief Grey Kay tangles with notorious pirate Black Hawk.

FREE at Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay  PayHip

 


The Lady is Blue, Book 1 of Atrapako on Eden, is also free. 

Scaly aliens crash on the remote planet of Eden. They mean to dominate the humans. Can Dr. Lucy Stannis save the colony and reignite her dubious friendship with the alien captain?

FREE at: Direct  Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay  Other  

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

Check out the videos on my new YouTube Channel - Aurora Springer

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

All my books are discounted at my new Webstore: https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels.