Tag Archives: drawing

Be Funny

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Panel 4: Interrobang!

The pressure to accomplish something every day simply because someone else expects you to is a tremendous motivator. For years, the Fox and I emailed each other every day for “accountability.” We would share our word count, or number of pages edited, or queries submitted, like that. Definitely, there came days when I would have just skipped writing, except that it shamed me because he would know that I failed. So I wrote a lot more to keep from disappointing my friend.

Practically every night I think my ideas are good when I come up with them, OK as I create them, and terrible when I upload. Usually trolls don’t excoriate me. Maybe once or twice a year, although 137 upvotes/messages might be an exaggeration. Still, it’s enough to keep me going. Yesterday I was thinking about quitting. Today 7 people told me they hoped I didn’t. So, you know….

If you are among those who get something out of this work and don’t want me to quit, please consider making a small monthly donation to my Patreon. For the price of a cup of coffee a month, you could make a difference in the life of an artist. And to my 2 current Patreon patrons, thank you! You are appreciated.

 

Ensomnus, A Wide Awake Wyrm

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Someone read me a bedtime story? Please?

Per usual, the very idea that I have to be up early in the morning turns me into wide awake wyrm, no matter how tired I might actually be. In fact I’m to exhausted to even bust out the tablet and draw a Dragon Comics that’s already written. All I could draw was this armless, legless, wingless wyrm while doing 12 other things and thinking about 27 ways I could forget something important in the morning. Today was really another artistic bust. It took 3 hours to fold the laundry; that takes a good chunk out of a dragon’s day. And soul.

The next 3 weeks are going to be even more unpredictable and out-of-reality than last weekend was. Blog posts may be spotty.

2 Rainbow Zentangles

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Just trying to unwind here. 

I hope these scans are high quality, because in the process of making them, I got my knee tangled in the cable and knocked the scanner off the shelf and onto the floor. It still seems to function normally, but who knows? Every piece of digital equipment I own seems to be malfunctioning lately. I’ve got a phone with a shattered screen, a laptop with an almost useless battery and a frayed power cable and very limited memory, and suddenly I can’t get any decent macro images out of my camera. At least my brand new Wacom tablet is still under warranty.

Anyway, I’ve been pretty focused on finishing up the book, but it seemed more or less done so of course I spent 2 hours drawing abstract rainbow designs. Tomorrow I can prepare the files to be printer and probably get them sent off. It could be printed this week. I may have to take a break from using the tablet for a little while so my hand doesn’t fall off. Maybe some photography is in order. That camera will do my bidding.

Purple Classic Mandala

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Around and around and around it goes, and where it stops, nobody knows.

If I focus only on the good stuff, it’s hard not to be optimistic. Not only did I manage to convert 1/4 of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters into comic format in a single week, the comics were well-received in literary circles. Two professors told me that they intend to teach the comics with the book in the upcoming year, and Bonnie Jo is already talking to a printer about having the comic printed and bound as a comic book, to take on her paperback tour this fall. There are some other good things that could materialize from this, too.

Plus, just on the strength of the story of how I came to create these comics, another author who I greatly admire has stated that she wants to work with me to create a couple graphic versions of her stories for her next book. (Maybe I can name names when the project has a little more behind it than a single conversation, but it seems fairly likely that it will go forward. I suggested the writer scrutinize my work more closely to ensure that my style would jibe with theirs, and was told, “I feel this in my body,” i.e., she didn’t care what they looked like, she just knew she wanted to work with me.) There was a lot of synchronicity going on that day.

I had to tell the Rabbit that she was correct; putting The Hermit into the Kindle store was the right idea. In the fall, there will be  dead tree version, and it will most likely have quotes from several well-known and successful authors on the back cover.

Candy Delight Mandala

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Delicious and nutritious. Tastes just like chicken. OK, just like chicks. Well, actually, like marshmallow Peeps.

Today I had some very intensive conversations, one with the Rabbit and one with Misses Kitty, on the subject of marketing for artists. I have a fair amount of experience in marketing for other people. It was a huge component of my last real job, and I worked closely with the marketing people when I was in traditional publishing, but I never enjoyed it, or excelled at it. The Rabbit and Misses Kitty are sort of better at it than I am. But I’m supposed to try.

After all, the Owl, whose book coming out really soon, sold her house, bought a van, and swore to spend the entire year on a publicity tour. That’s a real commitment. And what have I done? Made some posts on social media? My books are good. I’m a good writer. But beyond that, the process loses my interest.

Also today I finished reading my next big novel to The Man (I have a slender kids’ book that will come out later this year, but it’s actually older than The Hermit.) This next book is science-fiction-y, and murder-mystery-y, and dystopian-y. It’s also about 800 pages. For quite some time I puzzled over how to cut it down to a manageable level, but the people who’ve read it don’t seem to think it needs cutting down. Still, it needs some editorial work. In reading it to The Man (800 pages, which took about 5 weeks) I found dozens of typos and a number of continuity errors and things like that. After this next book is published, and I have participated in some marketing-related activities, I will make about 2 more passes and then maybe start the entire agent-seeking process all over again. If I can actually sell some copies of The Hermit before then, it will help.

Now I’m writing a horror novel; it’s a genre I’ve barely touched on in my life, even though I read everything Stephen King wrote prior to 1996 and some of the stuff he wrote after it, and all of Clive Barker’s early stuff, and HP Lovecraft and other writers in that vein. I know I can write a novel; it remains to seen whether I can be scary.

Not that I’m scaring anyone with a crayon mandala in cotton candy pink and marshmallow Peep yellow. And I guess those are blue M&Ms and the green are those weird sour candies that kids like today. They didn’t have them in the ’80s, as far as I can remember, so I never got a taste for them.

You know what would help, though? You could buy my book, support my Patreon,  or order my merch.

Proud Mama Dragon

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Usually I name my crayon dragons on the drawing. I think this one’s name is Kissa. Should have put her name into the flames, actually.

Wrote  a script for a comic that had been blooming in my mind for a few days and then started to second-guess myself and decided to check my sources, so to speak, before drawing it. Certain recent events weigh heavily. Anyway, I couldn’t have done justice to the subject matter in the time available.

Instead, I settled on something I used to do all the time, and haven’t done in a while: dragons in crayon. And still, you would not believe the tribulation. I wanted to sit on the floor, but had to adjust the lamp to shine on my workspace. But somehow, I knocked the lamp over, breaking the bulb. Fortunately, although it cracked and no longer emitted light, it stayed in basically one piece and was easy to remove.

Then I went to the closet and got another bulb, but it was so well-packaged that I had difficulty getting it out of the protective packaging. Eventually, I dismantled the entire box, but the bulb was still secured in the cardboard. So I gave it another tug, and it went flying across the floor, shattering into a million pieces. Now I had to get another bulb and install that just so I could see well enough to sweep and vacuum the broken glass in order to safely sit on the floor. Probably end up mad as a hatter anyway.

Finally, I was able to draw this majestic mother dragon guarding her precious egg atop a golden hoard. Classic.

Per usual, I would be eternally grateful if you considered supporting QWERTYvsDvorak by buying my book, supporting my Patreon, or ordering my merch.

Stigma and Anthers

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Macrophotography of flowers on days equal parts scorching and windy in the high desert. Click here to embiggen.

One of the top shots from Sunday’s drive over Mount Graham. Been wanting to photograph this plant for a while: it’s the desert poppy, a showy white blossom that stands on a tall stalk and develops a thistle-like pod when the petals fall off. As I mentioned yesterday, they’re ubiquitous in the high desert, but I live in the low desert and only see them on road trips.

All day long I was thinking of various comics a person could draw about life, stuff about kids and summertime and introversion. Normal comic fodder. But my brain was on a short fuse all day, and just before dinner, when I went to get the mail and found we had received a single letter, from a medical facility threatening to send us to collections despite the fact that we made 3 separate attempts to pay the bill in the last 3 weeks and their billing department was apparently not competent enough to do something as complex as run a credit card or return a phone call, and my head basically exploded. I didn’t even make an effort after that; feeding the children took all my remaining willpower and I knew there was no chance of accomplishing anything else.

On the plus side, The Man fixed the problems I was having with the Wacom tablet/Photoshop for the last 3 months. I spend weeks with tech support working on the issue and never got anywhere close to figuring out the problem. The Man fixed it in 5 minutes. “Oh, CAD has that feature,” he said, once he understood the problem and considered possible solutions. He also fixed the scanner, which stopped working thanks to my implementing the aforementioned tech support’s unhelpful suggestions. So we’re back in business. If only the artist were competent to write and draw today.

The Fox invited me to a writing party tomorrow (yes, I know that’s a drawing party, but it’s a metaphor and the same basic concept). Maybe I can write and draw in the same day.