Like I said in my Monday progress post, I didn’t get much painting done last week, but I did enough to do a 10″x8″ study painting. Read the rest of this entry »
I thought you might be interested to see how a page develops as i color it.
Here’s the page as just inks (digital of course because I’m working in Clip Studio Paint – though I will always call it Manga Studio):
Then I put my color layer on top on the inks and begin to have fun. It always looks like a mess at the end, but I know that’s part of the process. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I showed the progression painting of the landscape I did which I mentioned I had started out on a canvas which I’d originally airbrushed on. Fortunately, I remembered to take progression pictures as I started this one. Here’s the actual canvas before I started painting:
Yeah, it’s not pretty. After sitting, probably for a year or more, it had gotten dirty, dusty, and scratched. I’ve cleaned it off pretty thoroughly before taking this picture. In fact, from the looks of the wavy lines on it, there might even be another coat of white acrylic Read the rest of this entry »
So I’ve been working on this little story called Fractured Echo which is now released in electronic and audio versions. I won’t be doing a print release yet; I want to be able to compile several stories together for a print version.
While I was writing this, I figured it would be a story I would release (or even – gasp – try to traditionally publish in a magazine) after I released Dragons of Wellsdeep. Instead, it decided it wanted to be the forerunner for the novel, something to prepare readers for what is coming.
Oh, I had better start at the beginning and take a moment to reveal the story behind the story.
I’ve often said that anything and everything that happens in a writer’s life is fodder for a story. Let me share how Fractured Echo begins:
“Hey, that was the car!” The boy riding his bicycle across the street turned to look back at Echo’s white Purreal as she sat at the stop sign. His words along with how he looked at her made fear punch her into the gut. She knew she’d done nothing wrong, but what if she’d missed something?
A smaller, dark haired boy pedaling along shortly behind was now in the middle of the intersection in front of Echo. “Huh?” he said, swerving to miss his friend who had slowed down. He then corrected quickly to avoid hitting the curb.
Echo thought the boys were going to stop. Fairly certain that the intersection was now clear, she stepped on the accelerator and turned right, the opposite direction the boys were heading. What have I done now?
That is exactly what happened. I was on my way to lunch one day and had taken a different route over to where I had been planning on taking a walk that day. Two little boys rode across the intersection and the boy in the lead turned around and said, “Hey! That was the car.” His friend almost crashed into him. I really was afraid they were going to stop.
As I drove off, I started wondering why I had panicked. Why indeed? I hadn’t done anything wrong. Right? What if I’d missed something?
That’s when Echo emerged in my head. I couldn’t get to my destination fast enough at that point. I instantly started writing, trying to hold the birthing story in my head long enough to begin getting it down, first in a voice memo, then on paper.
It took a few days to write and finalize this story. While working on it, it was hard to not become invested in the characters. While I was talking to my youngest son about it one day, I mentioned that I felt I wasn’t done with these characters, and that I had more stories to tell with them. He just grinned at me and said, “Of course.” Maybe that’s why the ending feels so abrupt to me. I will warn you know, the outside influences of the story don’t get finished – they are still going on. Okay, some of the internal issues aren’t fully resolved either, but I get Echo to a place she needs to be. The story told me to end it there. Literally, it screamed at me not to go on. So I didn’t. It leaves it hanging, as I’ve found most short stories do. But, I feel that at some point I will be back with these characters.
And that’s what makes writing such a joy ride!
Last week, I was talking to a reader who is very excited about the next books in each series and was wondering when they were coming out. She asked me how I find the time to write while also working full-time. I laughed and told her it was because I didn’t have a life.
She looked at me and said, “That’s sad.”
Suddenly I was taken aback. I could see how someone might consider that a sad condition.
The truth of the matter is that we all get 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no “do overs.” And, there is an expiration date on the package and none of us can be exactly sure when that will be. But when you and your neighbor each have 168 hours in a week, the two of you can spend that time in radically different ways.
Now as I stood there in this moment, I realized that yes, there are some choices I make consciously so that I can have the time I need to create. I quickly explained that there was nothing I’d rather be doing than telling stories. I trade the hours of my life to do that so that I hopefully can bring joy and entertainment to people. If that means I miss out on many of the things that other people do, I can live with that. All I’ve ever wanted to do was to tell stories. Even when I was younger, I was trading all my “free time” to do that. I was always writing.
Now my stories have expanded into other mediums when I have the time (here I’m talking about painting and drawing mostly, but I am trying to also squeeze in time to produce my stories as audiobooks — yes, it really is happening!) and I am grateful that in do so I’m chasing other dreams I had as a child but that I didn’t realize I’d had until I was older. That could probably expand into more explanation, but I’m going to keep it short and sweet here. Suffice to say that art and audiobooks aren’t on orbits far out from what I was thinking about when I was growing up. The more I review my life, the more links I see.
My challenge really is getting all the tracks of my life to line up rather than being like LEGO pieces scattered all over the floor. I’m still working on getting it all snapped together, but each day I feel closer.
So how do I find the time to do what I do? Fifteen minutes a day on some projects. Deciding to make time for others. And lately, a calendar to make sure I really do make the time. You do only have those 24 hours in a day and you have to know how you will spend them. If you don’t decide, someone will decide for you whether it’s a spouse, your children, your TV, Facebook, etc. It is your life. Do you really want to hand the reins to someone else? When you reach the end of your life, will you be happy with what you traded your days for? That’s a question only you can answer.
For me, dedicating my life to my stories, to my creativity, to my imagination, is the most valuable thing I can do. I love every moment of it.