Ithanes

Not too long ago, I showed a picture from my sketchbook of the main character of my Sacred Knight series, Steigan.

A few nights ago I was flipping through my sketchbook again and came across a picture that reminds me of Ithanes. Ah, Ithanes!

He doesn’t come into the story until book 2, Manifest the Magic, but he was so full of surprises for me. I’ve come to utterly adore him. He’s like the king of snark, and very powerful with his magic. He knows what he’s good at, and lets people follow their strengths. He’s a good leader in that he finds people to compensate for the areas where he is weak. I think that’s why he likes Steigan so much. Yet, he also doesn’t often show weakness in himself. He’s lord of two lands, Dubinshire and Gohaldinest, and he lets everyone know it. Don’t let him fool you, though. He does have his deep, dark secrets.

And speaking of which, I so want to look through that curio cabinet he keeps locked in his chambers. In book 3, To Birth a Destiny, the reader gets to see that curio a couple of times and Steigan even describes some of what he saw. But let me tell you, I was right there when Steigan was discussing what he was seeing and he certainly didn’t get to some of the more interesting items toward the back. Some day I’d like to draw that cabinet and all the trinkets in there. I’d also love to sit down and talk to Ithanes about how he collected all of them. Oh, the stories!

This sketch was done in 2018. I do think if I’d intended it to be Ithanes, it should have had a teardrop-shaped gemstone hanging from the circlet. Maybe I just needed practice drawing a circlet, even a wiry one. (grin)

Maybe someday I’ll get around to doing an illustrated Sacred Knight edition, or maybe even a graphic novel. Someday.

Sketchbook ramblings

Sometimes I like to go back through my sketchbook. I find interesting things.

Here’s a partially inked picture of *shock* Steigan. I use to draw him more than anything else. Not so much these days, but every now and then he pops up.

You can see that it’s over 2 years old.

More interesting is that on the next page, I found this statement that I wrote:

His eyes are older,

Yet they still mock me.

Temptation leave me be.

I am an idiot.

His eyes still haunt.

My heart grows none the wiser.

Just have to say, “Say what?” I found this to be a completely odd statement in my journal. Who the heck was I talking about? Was it just words that popped into my head? I have lines that do that sometimes, but I generally write them down in an idea file, not in my sketchbook. This makes me think I was actually referring to someone. Besides, words like “I am an idiot” don’t usually fill the snippets that land in my head; that also feels more like me talking in my head.

Since this was also dated around 2017 and there is absolutely no clue as to what I was thinking about on that day, I guess this will fall off into the mysteries of mankind. The world will never know what adventure I was on that day which led me to write these words.

Oh, and it’s more proof that I am no poet. But I do enjoy it when my past self leaves my future self some tantalizing mysteries.

Inktober #5

Well, this is it. The last of the 2018 Inktober drawings. I hope you’ve had fun seeing them along the way.

If you’ve missed them, you can find the other weeks by clicking these links: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.

 

Prompt #25 was “Prickly”

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I knew that I didn’t want to draw a cactus, at least not a plain cactus, since that was the “low-hanging fruit” on this picture. As I let myself start thinking deeply about this prompt, I started thinking about what makes me prickly. The topic started to make me uncomfortable, so that’s how I knew I was on the right path. I started thinking about how once someone has been hurt by love, they can get prickly and not want anyone close to them.

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Inktober #1

From following other artists on Twitter, I heard about Inktober a couple years ago. It sounded fun, but usually I was so busy that by the time I had the realization that it was going on, October was nearly over.

For those of you who don’t know what Inktober is, you can learn more about it here.

This year, I was paying attention. Even though adding a drawing session to my day seems impossible, I’m going to give it a try.  Worse (at least for me) I’m going to post what I accomplish here on Thursdays during Inktober. Perhaps with an explanation behind the drawing. If you want to see the pictures more regularly, I suggest you follow me on Instagram.

So far, I’ve started drawing off the prompts. #1 was “Poison.”

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This picture came about because of my youngest son. He had his wisdom teeth pulled out several years ago and was given this prescription mouth wash to flush with. As it sat in our bathroom, a weird image began to surface. To me, it looked like a skull facing sideways. I’ve often thought about drawing it, and the only reason it has stayed in the bathroom for so long is because I keep thinking of drawing it, but not ever doing it. So, here it is, Inktober #1. Now maybe I can throw the dang bottle away.

Prompt #2 was “Tranquility.”

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She makes me relax. I see her as meditating outside with a light breeze stirring her hair. Yep, to me, that would be tranquility.

Prompt #3 was “Roasted.”

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All I could think of was roasted chicken. Or s’mores. Okay, you can tell where my mind was: food! It did finally hit upon roasted peanuts. Then, during the afternoon as I was still mulling this over, I saw a minion and thought of there bananas. See, what did I tell you: food! That’s when the image of a minion roasting a banana on a can of peanuts came to mind.

I hope you enjoyed and if you’d like to join Inktober, it’s a great time to do so. If you do, tag me with your photos on social media. Maybe we can pull each other through this month of drawing.

Working on Weblinks

Last week, I showed a page in progress for Weblinks.

Here’s an update on that page:

MS5 Pages

This is just the pencils for this page. Inking and toning to come. Progress!

I do love Lucky’s wimpy arms in the upper panel. You see, Lucky is actually the younger of two brothers. His older brother is the buff, athletic guy. Unfortunately, the events that befall the brother make Lucky into a computer nerd. He’s spent many hours researching and digging through bad scans of arcane texts in a desperate attempt to translate them. He knows just enough to be dangerous.

But oh so much more than what Caitlyn knows. (grin)

I have always felt like this Bite (chapter) of Weblinks is talking heads, but there is so much information here. Don’t worry. We’ll get back to the action soon.

P.S. If you’re wondering why there has been no dialog on these pages, it’s because I’ve taken it off. There is a joke on this page that I’m particularly fond of and I don’t want to ruin it for readers who might see it here first. So, if you want to know what it is, you’ll have to get to reading the comic. Hopefully this page will post next week, maybe two weeks from now.

 

 

Weblinks – sketching March 15, 2018

So I still haven’t had a chance to work on my children’s story and I just haven’t been in the flow to do a Rockin’ Life comic, not after my “just let me be a rock” episode last week. Trust me, there’s a Rockin’ Life comic in all that when I have a moment to look back on it. Actually, it might be in all the words that I wrote but decided not to share — I’ll probably dig the good parts of it for a Rockin’ Life page. Soon, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Instead, today you get to see my page in progress for Weblinks. The green lines is the rough page layout. Here I’ve done some rough pencils for the first and second panels.

I should also note that when I was in Boise over the the weekend for the Sailor Moon musical, I did buy another manga how-to book, plus I bought a painting book online. Yeah, the creative spirit is still alive and kicking in my veins. (I must really stop buying books though! Really! I’m so addicted!)

Okay, here’s the Weblinks page in process (without dialog):

MS5 Pages

A Little Sketching – March 2, 2017

This week I started working on a new page for Weblinks. I have the whole chapter (currently in chapter (a.k.a. Bite) 5 of the story) done in rough sketches, but when I got to this page, I didn’t really like the layout I had for it. It was time to re-envision the page.

So I did.

You can see the new rough sketch in light green. The black on top is my new rough pencil layer.

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Weblinks – Bite 5, page 7 (incomplete) – copyright 2018 Dawn Blair

You can see that rough sketches are really rough. They are never pretty. In fact, sometimes when I come back to them after an interlude (boy, that’s a  nice way of saying that I haven’t gotten to it for several months to a year!), I wonder what point I was trying to get across.

I also have a lot of dialog on the page and it’s not yet in its final placement. But I have it there to give me an idea of how much space I will need.

It’s kind of challenging figuring out how to draw pages when you have two characters sitting in a cafe having a moderately intense conversation that if they got too loud everyone else around them would think they were crazy.  This might not have been the best scene to place them in, but when I wrote the chapter I wasn’t thinking about the challenges involved in drawing the scene. I’m such a green graphic novelist!

I would love to point you all in the direction to read Weblinks if you wanted to start from the beginning and get caught up. I hope to post the previous page to this one next week. However, due to my continuing challenges over my domain names, I don’t know if I’ll have a site to point people to. (Oh ye of little faith!). Time to get my other site up and running. I think this weekend I’ll be hard at work on that. “Yeah, I didn’t have any other projects that need to be worked on right now, ” I say with heavy sarcasm.

At least I have my blog. (grin)

 

Progress – 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 – November 13, 2017

It’s only taken a couple of weeks, but I feel like I’m finally getting myself back together and gotten back to my productive groove.

I spent most of the week just writing. Chapter 17 of Onesong really had me stuck in a cycle of debate. When I sat back and trusted the process of writing, I knew that it was the right part of the book for the scene, but it has been the reaction that has me thrown off. Earlier in the week, I felt as if I’d taken a shotgun and blasted the story to bits. I had its tattered remains lying all over the place. But that was all I could do: fight with the story and try to get the scenes rearranged where they needed to go. If something didn’t work out, stop and think about it some more. I’m glad to say that after a hard won week, I’m now three chapters further and feeling good about the direction of the story. Granted, it is rapidly approaching 100,000 words, but then again I figured it probably would be about 120,000. I knew the first round of the manuscript was too short at it’s 88,000 or so. So you can see that it has grown.

Unfortunately, that meant that I completely forgot about working on my updated Legendary Hero Comics website. I haven’t touched it in a week and I really had hoped to have it completed by now. Oh, well. It will come together when it’s ready. It can remain unpublished for a bit longer.

However (grin) I did update my Zibbet site this weekend. I actually have book covers that fit into their thumbnail space. Thank you, Canva. I should do the same with my paintings, but I wasn’t going to invest that much time on the store for right now. I had to get it together with new things added for my newsletter that’s coming out later this week. You are signed up for that, right? Hint: there’s a discount code coming out in my newsletter this week if you subscribe. See the sidebar to the right to do that now.

I also gave in and decided that I needed to retitle the first book in the Sacred Knight series. Argh! Do you have any idea what a pain that is going to be? Frustration, be thy name! (Suck it up, Cupcake. Get back to the desk and do it!)

Here’s a look at the updated cover. I haven’t put it on anything yet, so don’t expect to see it popping up on my websites and distributors yet.

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Yeah, can you say that there’s a lot of work to be done to get these two words added to the cover? I should have done it years ago. I might go mad getting it done now. And people thought I had an edge of insanity to me before! Mahahahahaha!

(Quit your whining, Cupcake!)

Yeah, guess what? I still love writing. Does it matter if I mess up a title and have to fix it years after the fact? (Maybe I need to fix Stardust now too!)  No, it doesn’t really matter. Brave new world that we live in. It’s the storytelling that matters. I love being in my worlds with noble characters who have the heart to change the living circumstances around them. I may whine and whimper under the stresses their stories give me, but I hear them shouting at me to stand tall and face the obstacles.

I also got Prince of the Ruined Land back from the first reader. I do have some scenes to add and plump up, but nothing terrible. That’ll probably make me forget about working on the Legendary Hero Comics website for another week. (grin)

Also, all my audiobooks except one were uploaded to another distribution platform this weekend that should allow them to go out to libraries. How exciting is that?

So, like I said, an overall productive week.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 7,857 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1.849 words

Writing month to date total:  16,444 words

Writing year to date total: 332,885 words

Drawing/painting last week: Some sketching. I’ve been working on some design ideas for one of the kid’s books I want to draw next year.

Audio: 5.5 hours editing audio. Things are really starting to click along on the audio for The Three Books. Glad I haven’t recorded the intro for it now that I need to change it to Quest for the Three Books. Imagine how mad I’d be if I’d gotten this audio up before I changed the title!

Progress – October 30, 2017

I hope you all enjoyed your little detour to the beach yesterday.

I’m home now and running at full (mindless) speed. I haven’t even had a chance to unpack yet, but my day has been busy.

Since I’m so tired and only wanting to get to bed right now as I’m typing this, I’m going to make this quick. Obviously I didn’t get as many words done last week as I had been doing, nor did I meet the goal I had for the week, but I didn’t do too terrible either. I got words done. And something is better than nothing. (As long as I’m not trying to compare myself to Kevin J. Anderson who finished a novel before even coming to the workshop and was out on the beach dictating several times. But who’s comparing, right?)

Fiction words written last week: 2,370 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  989 words

Writing month to date total:  29,221 words

Writing year to date total: 312,623 words

Drawing/painting last week: No painting, but I did sketch nearly every day, even some days when I didn’t feel like drawing and it just frustrated me to have to do it. That’s not a story worthy of telling.

Audio: Even thought I took my headphones with me and I felt like I was working on audio quite a bit (more than writing actually), I only have an hour recorded for time. I think something’s missing, but I’ll go back and check my log later. With what I learned in my workshop, I hope can start speeding up this time.

I wish you all a happy and safe Halloween. Don’t let any of the spooks scare you. They probably just need a day at the beach too.