Sunday, March 6, 2016

Worldbuilding and Moonlight

This sketch started out as just a portion of a city lit by the moon, because I loved the texture of the white pencil on black, and there was something phantasmic about the ambience. But I was never happy with the city on its own... it needed to grow. So I let it sit in my project file, coming back every so often to examine it a bit.

I kept thinking cliffs. Tall cliffs with the city built right in. Eventually I retrieved the drawing and began to widen the world. Except the cliffs didn't come out right. The texture was tree-like, not rocky. Trees come organically out of me (so do cliffs in, you know, that kind of mood, but not this time) and I finally understood that this ghostly, abandoned city needed to be built literally into a larger world.

As I filled out the suggestion of that bigger place, I found it still wasn't enough to complete the drawing. I had the distinct impression of two particular people. You can see them sitting on the wall.

And I knew the entire reason this city was built - by some civilization, somewhere in time - was for them. All the strokes, all the stones, all the effort spent, was so these two could have a place to live their story.

Even if it was just for a moment of their story.

Such is the nature of world-building. What are worlds for, if they aren't inhabited by those who need them?

I've had that happen to me before. As I reluctantly stepped out into the chill one morning to combat the degenerative Lyme disease I'd fought with for many years, I had a clear whisper of thought that this trail was here for me. It was here exactly for this moment, so I could use it to get over the hump of weakness and overall lame-ness that'd been my life for too long. It's not that others hadn't and didn't use the trails for their benefit - that's the beauty of community living - but for this moment, it was here for me when I needed it. And I felt humble and grateful, and pounded the trail.

But I don't always remember stuff like that 'til something reminds me. Back to this pic. I knew who the characters were: two individuals inside my virtual-reality novel who exist only inside the system, but who can go anywhere in that world of imagination.

This black and white scene doesn't exist inside the book itself, but it does in an alternate universe between the cracks. This isn't their only picture, either. I've sketched many, in entirely different situations and locations and media (one on a bridge, one under a giant jellyfish), and they all turn out to be moments for these two. I guess they need a lot of them.

Everyone needs a pocket for their story, somewhere inside space and time. Where does your pocket exist? And what has it given you?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Quiz de Fantasy

Quiz time. I drew this pic and couldn't decide exactly what she was pondering over, so I thought I'd ask you...

1. What's she thinking?

a) Revenge, aka do him in because he did her in (and incidentally reunite them in death).
b) Curses, aka make his shoes constantly tie themselves together for the rest of his life.
c) Love spell, aka looove spell. It's just her soul on the line.
d) How to get back to earth to reclaim her very hot guy, and avoid the reincarnation problem.

2. What's her background?

a) High school student
b) Dead girl
c) Witch-in-Training
d) Jealous lover

3. What's he about?

a) Vampire
b) Honor student AND hot
c) Temperamental (and temporary) foreign exchange student
d) Dating her sister

Reply in the comments and I may just have a short story to write for y'alls. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Completions and Celebrations

Hello, my friend!

I believe you've been well. As well as one can expect with all the twists Life gives you, but well, nonetheless--because you are that kind of person who comes out on top, in little things and big, in your own way.

A year passed since I saw you last. A year on my end filled with an unexpected move, an unexpected stay in an in-between place (still there, actually), an expected new addition to the family (due in May), and also an eagerly expected win. Last time I saw you, I had a BIG goal in the works. And...

... you're asking, did you make the goal?

YES! Yes, I did.

Let's have lots of cheering and celebrating :D.

I officially wrote THE END on my novel. Not in the middle, and not in a fireplace, but after a complete last chapter.

My edited times a thousand novel. It will always need more clean-up, but I was happy enough with it to feel brave and I subbed my first query to agent-of-choice yesterday! I'm supposed to hear back within 7 - 10 business days whether they want to follow up or not. Fail or win, we shall see. But I proved I was human by answering the question 36 - 5 = ___, I have a new lucky number, and I received a confirmation page saying "Thank you."

Well, you're welcome. My pleasure entirely :).

And then I was thinking on new goals, and thought that really? I just want to love life. To quit worrying. To enjoy my inky creative process through art and through words, and to allow myself to be happier inside each moment of every day.

Come do it with me, will you?

Much love,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken Sacrifice

Today, we are discussing chicken sacrifice. Graphically.*

The big picture. From one angle... and the other.

Discussion among the hens. Is it ethical? Will this truly empower our baby?

Chanting. The sacrifice is drugged and ready.

The white swan in the corner gazes steadfastly to the egg on the other side.

Then this.

Still, the white swan looks away. A new order is born.

Was this calamity courtesy of the chickens? The toucan? The white swan? The egg? Or was it the gods, angry at chicken stupidity?

Sacrifice is meant to make one stronger. Did it work for any of them? Well, the chickens ended up wasted, which wasn't much of a change. The white swan ended up as guardian of a super baby (this sounds dreadful). And the toucan exercised patience and came out alive. 

What do you think? I think I'm happy the toucan gets to keep sucking on its cherry.

Oh yeah, the gods? They got tired of sacrifices and are moving on to mummification.

*Photos by me, terraforming by Sunshine and Squish.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Have Hope

My dear readers,

Now that the goal has changed and I am writing, I’m really writing. Just kind of intense like that. So I've decided I won’t waste your time with weekly filler (which would be filler if I didn't give the right time on it). Instead, I’ll share when I have meaningful and good stuff for you.

Meanwhile, these tulips are to show you that the groundhog was wrong. Spring is coming.

Love always,

Friday, January 16, 2015

Icy Terrain

I went on a run the other day to get out of a funk, and found that the scenery was too interesting to rush past. The sun had melted the snow into these little formations that were like looking at Antarctica or the Andes from a satellite. Or like some alien landscape.

Enter metaphorical mindset (you do that when you're in a funk). You're this beautiful, fragile snowflake when you fall to the earth, and then the wind and the big noisy snowplow and the sun all beat on you, along with some extreme temperature changes (brr... pant... it's like that in Virginia)...

... and you end up turning into this glowing object that is like no other, with this amazing character and heart.

I smiled, because I knew I'd way rather be someone tough and sparkly than someone who disappears at the touch of a finger.

I walked back to the house and appreciated that we live on this planet where if you just look around outside yourself, a new beauty can make its way in.

Pole of the day - What kind of snow-being are you?

a) the abominable snowman
b) a snow angel
c) a snowy owl
d) a snow-boarder
e) a glacier

Friday, January 9, 2015

behind and before

be-hind and be-fore
the present is sandwiched
with me
and i can see both scenes
slipping yet solid

i don’t budge
from this place
i grasp at my be-s
they balance me so i can step
along my mountain

only a pebble at the rise
yet great, because i have grown
to notice the difference

i’d rather be here
not back where i could not see
nor ahead where i cannot be
but always, i am stepping up
to who i will be-come