This, and the other Forthcoming covers, are works in progress. A cover based on a Japanese gate (of which we have many in Hilo) seemed too obvious -- although there may be some I haven't found that might seem "gateless" somehow. In the meantime, I'm using an antique Japanese stirrup, engraved and chased with what might be silver. I liked the shape and the pattern. The first version, which was on the site for a few days, was too muddy -- that's really the right description. I let the background remain largely natural (it was vegetation) but that killed the red lettering and generally just didn't work.


I made another pass at it, and this is the result. You may notice some similarities between this one and Jessamyn Smyth's The Inugami Mochi. In both cases I had a background I needed to simplify and, although I'd forgotten it, I used the same technique with Jessamyn's.

Dane Cervine

The Gateless Gate and Polishing the Moon Sword