Painting progress- 02/09/18

February 9, 2018

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 »

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Children’s Book Progress – February 8, 2018

February 8, 2018

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 »


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…


Children’s Book Page

December 23, 2017

Here’s a page done on my children’s book this week. 


I have changed the color of the counters throughout the story. More changes will be coming in sure. 

Have a happy and safe weekend as you get ready for the holidays. 


Landscape #4517004

August 26, 2017

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:

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Landscape #4517004 (work in progress) 5″x7″ acrylic on canvas © 2017 Dawn Blair

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 »


Fractured Echo

September 23, 2016

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.

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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!


Is your life sad?

April 18, 2016

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.