July 12th, 2006


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I've been blogging less for the past week or so. I suspect this is because I am diligently hammering out my 1K a day on this story, so when the writing bug bites, I have someplace to put it. On the other hand, it's also been a largely uneventful week here--the hottest part of summer has slowed the garden's headlong rush, the squirrels are panting in the shade, too hot to be defective, and all the cool stuff that HAS happened, I can't really talk about yet, for fear of the jinx of death, although hopefully that will soon change.

I've been arting less, too, which is understandable, since I'm still in post-Con recharge mode, and I'm not strapped for money this month, so other than the usual Digger, I have no pressing reason to crank out art. If the brain's still tired, I'm not gonna force it.

I am starting to get painting guilt, though.

Thing is, between Digger and writing at least 1K words a day, I am arguably continuing to be productive. Prints go out as often as ever. I did a Little Creature story last week, fer cryin' out loud! And yet...the painting guilt.

This makes me realize a horrible thing.

If you choose to pursue two forms of artistic endeavor, you don't just have generalized art guilt. No, you have guilt for each specific form. If I write, I worry that I'm not painting. If I paint, I suspect I will worry that I'm not writing.

I could make the bestseller list and win a Pulitzer, and as I walked up to accept, a nagging voice in my brain would go "Hey, shouldn't you be painting? We haven't painted in awhile now. What are you doing that's supposedly more important than painting, huh? Huh?"

And god help me if I actually sell Nurk's story. I could just about weasel "Black Dogs" under the radar as a one-time fluke, a madness of my youth, but if Nurk DOES sell, the words "three-book contract" have been flung around*, and that means I'll have to admit I could, y'know, be something resembling a writer...which will seal my fate forever. I will never again lift a paintbrush without some other part of my brain going "Hey, shouldn't we be writing?"

*Not by me, but by my agent. According to Deb, this is to be expected--editors want relationships, not one-night stands, and would love to get a trilogy out of you at the slightest provocation. If it'll sell once, the thinking apparently goes, it'll sell three times. This explains something that I'd wondered for years, which might best translate as "Doesn't anybody write a stand-alone story any more?!"

I expressed my concern at producing two more stories on demand to my friend Kathy, who said something to the effect of "You? You'll panic and wibble and then drop a whole book behind you like a skink dropping its tail to throw off the predators." Some people know me WAY too well. Then I went and worked out the plot to Nurk 2: Electric Bugaloo, and it was all good.

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I have in my hands a shiny new advance copy of Digger 2, which will be debuting at ComicCon, and which should be available on-line not long after.


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I have done a sketch. It is a neat sketch. It's a woman with an Elizabethan collar and an egg and a bunch of chickens.

I am staring at it and I cannot shake the feeling that it looks like something I've seen somewhere.

I am not talking about the nagging exasperation that many artists feel when people tell them that something looks just like (insert other thing that it usually doesn't look much like here) which is one of the frustrations you learn to deal with. It's generally just the way that people make conversation, not a thinly veiled accusation of copyright infringement. If you mention the roses in your garden, and somebody says "Ooh! My grandmother used to grow those, I loved them!" it does not mean that they are implying you slunk into Grandma's garden at night with a shovel. People mean well.

No, this is the itch I've gotten now and again that this is some well known thing that I should know at once, but I'm blanking on it because the act of sketching blotted it out of my brain.

Asking people this is dangerous. They tend to tell you. If it was in Labyrinth, god, I don't want to know. But--does anybody recognize this EXACT thing?

I will almost certainly paint it anyway. And yes, I usually DO have faith in my own originality, believe me. This is not a symptom of some terror that I am a derivative hack. But the nagging is so much worse on this one, I have to ask.


I appreciate y'all putting up with my lunacy, guys.