Introverts go seriously crazy if they can’t get enough time alone. Extraverts go seriously crazy if they have to spend too much time alone. Somehow, they can still enjoy each other’s company. Of course, in my case, it probably helps that I keep radically different hours than the rest of the world, including The Man. We don’t need a lot of physical space…just temporal space.
Whether you’re camping in Death Valley, on a road trip through the midwest, or trekking across a mystical symbolic landscape, there is rarely any excuse to eat poorly. Anyone who’s ever camped in Death Valley, taken a road trip through the midwest, or trekked across a mystical symbolic landscape with me can attest to this fact. Back when I used to get on airplanes, I would have flight attendants salivating over my packed lunches.
Whatever is going on with legs in panel 4, I’m blaming on this colossal headache that erupted a quarter of the way through drawing this comic. I don’t ever really remember drawing it. But by the bottom of panel 4 I couldn’t really think about what legs looked like. The Man is missing a foot and Dragon is doing some kind of interdimensional yoga.
It is what it is. And it is 2 a.m.
The picture and the title don’t really go together, except inasmuch as you can see the corner of my office—bookcase and window—reflected in the eye, and my office is where I most often enjoy my solitude.
Some people have difficulty being alone, and some people have difficulty not being alone. I can cheerfully spend entire days without human company; it takes at least 3 or 4 hours of solitude a day to recharge my batteries. It takes a while to really settle into that quiet place, so I’m grateful for solitude.
This lovely blue eye belongs to my friend Scotty, who always shares my blog posts. I still don’t know how you light a person’s eyeball so you can really see all the detail of the iris in a macro image.
When we were kids, my brother was considered something of a math prodigy. He skipped the 9th grade to attend the Illinois Math and Science Academy and taught at the University of Illinois before he even finished his BA. While he was in college, he told me, laughingly, Paul Erdős’s statement about mathematicians being machines that turn coffee into theorems.
My brother went on to earn advanced degrees from some of the most prestigious schools in the world. On a recent visit, I mentioned that quote to him and he laughed, this time a little bitterly. He said that most mathematicians do their best work before they’re 25, and that if you haven’t had any brilliant and original thoughts in the field before 30, you’re not likely to, ever. It’s like your brain has lost same particular aspect of plasticity that allows it to uncover new truths about numbers.
That’s never been so of writers. It’s the rare author who has both a mastery of craft as well as an interesting story to tell before 30. Maybe authors don’t hit their stride until 40. It’s not at all unusual to come across an extremely talented person who didn’t even start writing until they had retired in their 60s. So age is actually an asset in this field. And I keep telling myself that. It’s not only the facility with words and the understanding of how to structure sentences, chapters, paragraphs, and stories. It’s also the vast increase in life experience: fodder to create stories. And this increases exponentially. I don’t only gain the experience of my own life. I also get the experiences of all the people I talk to, and all the characters in books I read and videos I watch.
There’s absolutely no reason for a person to feel as if they haven’t achieved enough. In the creative arts, your masterwork can still be in the future.