Children’s Book Progress – February 15, 2018

February 15, 2018

This is actually the end page of the book, though I am not to the end. Please don’t take that as me having finished. (grin) I merely had finished inking it and jumped right into coloring it.

It looks kind of weird in my thumbnail panel because I have all these colored pages, a few inked pages, and then the one final colored page. Makes me laugh to myself. And I think back to when I started this and only had a few pages inked and those last few pages were blank. It felt like forever away. But just working on it steadily, I can’t believe I’m now nearing the end and I’m starting to wonder how the process to getting it published is going to work. Novels, short stories, no problem, but I’ve never done a book with pictures before.

I am looking forward to learning though. It will be a process and I’m sure I’ll get frustrated in it, but I will figure it out. The obstacle before me is not that big; I just have to keep walking through it. Quite frankly, it, like all other “obstacles” people think are huge insurmountable things that one has to climb over, is really a tunnel that just must be tread. You can either go through it and enjoy the journey, or you can stand outside wondering how you will ever get to the other side. Too many people turn back.  (I’m thinking this needs to be a Rockin’ Life post — grin!).

Here’s the final page:

eggs

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Progress – February 12, 2018

February 12, 2018

I have to wonder what I was thinking with Onesong. Really!?! Let’s take a story that I know has to happen before the Sacred Knight series and make it into a novel. Brilliant idea. Not! It’s like taking a skeleton you found lying around and deciding to put muscles and flesh on it.

Yeah, can you say, “Frankenstein’s monster”?

I must be just as mad as the good doctor.

Now here’s what may really surprise some of you: this story should have been told from Alityka’s point of view.  I really intended on it being her story. I have no bloody idea why I started telling it from Rivic’s vantage. None.  Well, okay, maybe an inkling. I remember thinking that I needed to tell the story of how Rivic build Lilinar. I honest thought it was going to be something like this: drop Rivic in Gohaldinest, destroy Gohaldinest, begin Rivic’s wandering. Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – January 29, 2018

January 29, 2018

Jugging projects.

That’s been the description for this week.

I’ve been working on Onesong. I had a couple people who read my post on Wednesday as me: what do you mean you’re not working on it?!? I just shrugged and said, “Creative procrastination.” As I knew would happen, the other book, Stonecharmer, settled down. I knew it would happen. I wish I could describe the feeling. It’s kind of like putting a tractor in neutral after you’ve had it going in 4th gear for a while and just letting it roll until it settles into its parking spot. Yeah. I was cruising along with Stonecharmer, then it just eased back. I felt it slowing down, not necessarily the story but the writing. The time for its “creative procrastination” has come.  That means I get back to Onesong.

The two-page spread I’ve been working on for my children’s book has more detail than any other pages so far and I’ve spent all week working on it. I also got a few additional pages inked, but I feel like the whole week has been dedicated to these two pages.

I got a cover done this week and worked on mocking up another cover.

Corrections for Prince of the Ruined Land are coming along.

And I recorded the audio for a short story.

All in a week’s work.

I just want to remind you that I don’t say all this to impress anyone, but rather to impress upon you that if you decide what you want to do and focus your mind, you can achieve big things. Choose and act. That really is the magic formula.

Let’s get to the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 5,470 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,275 words

Writing month to date total:  32,766 words – I currently have a writing streak of hitting my daily word goal for 26 days and hitting the weekly goal for the last 4 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 32,766 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 3 and a half hours working on my kids’ book. I didn’t get any painting done last week. I do regret that — I really meant to spend some time on it over the weekend, but it didn’t happen.

Audio: I spent 7 hours recording and editing audio. This included my short story (and I keep asking myself why I’m spending time on this – craziness as part of the creative procrastination process? I probably would have been better off painting.) and working on Quest for the Three Books.

And now that I’ve had a moment to ponder why I would use audio work as creative procrastination, I wonder if I use audio as a way to procrastinate on painting. That would certainly make sense, considering that I swapped my planned painting time for working on audio. I will have to examine this more because I think there might be something to it.  That’s one tractor I’d certainly like to get out of neutral.

Until next week…


Sketchbook pages

January 26, 2018

While I was going back through my sketchbooks looking for an egg picture I drew some time ago, I started thinking that it’s been awhile since I showed a sketchbook page. I never did find the egg I was looking for (though I did find several others which I’d completely forgotten about – talk about a surprise).

I’ll share some of my egg sketches later. This page, however, I wanted to post. I found a lot of horses in my journal. I can’t say I’m surprised that I have a lot of horses, but I just didn’t remember drawing so many. I know I have a habit of drawing Steigan, the main character from my Sacred Knight series, but I obviously have been feeling a need to draw horses so I can draw the unicorns in the series when I finally get there.

Here’s the full page:

sketchbook page1

Below is a closeup of the upper section of the page. I don’t know what inspired the drawing, but I do enjoy it.

sketchbook closeup

It was fun going through the sketchbooks, even though I was flipping through pages quickly looking for an egg. Not only does it show how much I’ve grown, but also how I’ve developed as an artist. It’s silly, but when I started with my sketches, I would only draw on one side of the page — the right hand side. And I left a lot of white space around each drawing. Then, I started paying attention to the sketchbooks of other artists and saw how interwoven a lot of drawings were. I began to fill up the pages more. Then I saw an artist who was drawing on both front and back sides of each page in their sketchbooks. You can see from the top picture that this is actually the back side of the previous page as its on the left. I’ve even added some things I’ve cut out from junk mail or advertisements. I like to find phrases within junk mail and figure out how to make something new out of it. That’s the writer part of my, I’m sure. The sketchbook that had this page in it is stuffed to the brim with all sorts of goodies. I have little taped flaps, phrases, thoughts, ideas, journaling about what I’m thinking on a certain day, life sketches, folded pictures I thought were interesting. It’s fun to look back at all these treasures.

Yet, I couldn’t let it delay me right now. I would be too easy to go through every picture and waste all evening in nostalgia. So I kept my visit short and sweet.

But in flipping through them all, I found it interesting that I had needed permission to open up. I started off all closed up, tight, keeping things separated. But as I saw what more and more artists were doing, I loosened up and started to let things flow more and more. It seemed like a track that I needed to walk. It was a good reminder to keep trusting the process with the art in my life too.


Progress – January 22, 2018

January 22, 2018

Another week and more words done.

That makes it a good week, right?

Yes, it was a good week (mostly). My son took me out to see Mary and the Witch’s Flower. Not as good as Your Name, but still a beautiful movie and well done. I love it when I’m told a wonderful story.

I’ve started working on my last pass through Prince of the Ruined Land. I finished another story which I hope to get out in February. And, I don’t know if I should feel lucky or not, but I started the 8th Loki novella. For the record, I haven’t even finished the 7th one, though I figure I’m nearly halfway there.

I have also gotten over halfway through my children’s book which I’ve been posting pages here. It feels really good to be making progress on it.

My new novel is coming along and is nearly 10,000 words in length so far. I’m getting to know these characters and what they want. And yes, I’m having fun keeping that away from them.

Let’s get to the numbers.

Fiction words written last week: 8,318 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  785 words

Writing month to date total:  26,021 words – I currently have a writing streak of hitting my daily word goal for 19 days and hitting the weekly goal for the last 3 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 26,021 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 4 hours working on my kids’ book. I didn’t get any painting done last week.

Audio: I spent 4 hours editing audio. I still wish I could speed up this process some. I keep reminding myself that it’s getting done, even if it is in small increments. When you spend half an hour doing something that translates out to 4-5 minutes of a project that I estimate to be about 17 hours, yeah, patience. I’ve never been very good at patience. Again, I’m still learning and working on speeding this up. I believe it can be done. I swear it’s truly a curse of wanting to achieve lots of things. You can’t look at the whole staircase and wonder how you will make it to the top. All you can do is take the next step.


Progress – January 8, 2018

January 8, 2018

Well, we survived the first week of 2018. Personally (and honestly), I’m ready to throw this year back into the river and hope we catch a better one.

Yet, I trust that there is balance in all things, so I know some good will come for the sh’tuff I had to deal with last week.

It felt really hard to get back in my groove. The dust irritation which gave me a cold left me hardly able to do any audio editing because I knew I wasn’t hearing everything correctly. I also forced myself to admit to myself (yes, some of my self talk goes just like that) that I needed to get some sleep and that pushing myself, especially when I wasn’t feeling 100%, was really not healthy physically or mentally. So, I let myself sleep in for a couple days. Yep, that threw off my morning groove. As a result, I didn’t get much audio work or illustration work done. Oh well, healing is important too.

I also had my quarterly publishing business meeting with myself. I write out what I’ve done in the last quarter and what I want to get done in the next quarter so that I can build a picture of where I’m at and where I want to go. Generally I leave these “meetings” feeling optimistic. This time, I just felt overwhelmed. Not because I have so much to do (which I do — I’m not trying to close any gap — I have a lot of projects I want to do and the Universe keeps serving me up with new ones, which I’m glad for because I love starting new stories), but because… well, I’m not really sure. I had hoped writing out the sentence would clue me in, but I still don’t know.

WARNING: authenticity ahead! Tread carefully. The waters will get murky.

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Progress – 2017 official report

January 4, 2018

I have finally gotten caught up on sleep and my word count for the last two weeks of 2017. As promised, I’m ready to give my official wrap-up of 2017.

Fiction words written in the last week of December: 1,747 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  175 words

Writing month to date total:  18,228 words – this does have some words scattered through the middle of December that I had written but not logged (or those ones I’d referenced that I’d dictated but not transcribed — I went back and placed them on the actual day for a more accurate count.

Drawing/painting last week: I spent 4 hours working on my kids’ book.

Audio: I spent 4 hours recording and editing audio.

So how did the year turn out overall?

Writing year to date total: 373,833 words. I don’t know if I mentioned it anywhere along the way, but my writing goal for 2017 had been to do 500,000 words. I knew that writing half a million words would be a stretch when I started, but I wanted something that would push me. By October, I was hoping to get to 400,000 words at least. I fell short of that too, but I still averaged over 31,000 each month so I think that’s pretty spectacular, especially all considering what happened in 2017. Talk about failing forward. I honestly think that having this huge goal kept me focused and in my habit of writing when my dad died. Without it, I would have stopped writing any probably wouldn’t have gotten back to it yet. It would be the middle of 2018 probably before I thought about writing again.

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