Month: November 2012

computer problems

Sorry all, this weeks post has been delayed due to computer problems. Every time I try to work on the post I had planned the internet cut out as if it was allergic to the topic.

As it is I have killed two pens recently writing in the Green Book. When I write I do not tend to go back over my work and make edits until the piece is at least 95% finished. As it stands the Green Book is nowhere near ready for edits, just side notes as I write. I have read and experienced that if you go back and look over your work before you’re finished you’ll get caught up in edits and just keep editing rather than finish the piece which results in becoming stuck. Here’s your writer tip for the week: when working on a poem, short story, novel, essay, etc try not to start editing before you have laid out the basic skeleton of it. After all if there are no bones on the the table how are you going to find the broken one?

Obscure references aside, all I have for you picture-wise this week is the result of my most recent chemistry project:

homemade apple pie with caramel red wine sauce

Enjoy!

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Picture Progress

Alright guys and gals, I’ve got my laptop back but it had to be wiped. I’m not going to even fiddle with my adobe collection until after this weekend so any digital art projects I have in progress are going to be further delayed. Sometimes this is frustrating but at other times it is a strange sort of blessing. I say this because I am able to sort and organize all my projects and put fast work into setting the ground sketches.

As for writing I am still progressing at about a thousand words a day. The Green Book seems to have entered a steady phase where I can work out the ideas and put them down fairly rapidly. While I am writing I am sketching the characters from my work – both past and future scenes and moments. Since I am not working with digital media at the moment they’re all pencil sketches and unfortunately you will not get to see them until much later. In the mean time I am contemplating sketches for a graphic work submission (which will hopefully be ready at the end of January 2013). As for other submissions I did submit poetry to Spry! I only recently found out about this literature magazine but it’s a step forward for me. There is the Barley South Review taking submissions until the end of this November where I can submit one of each genre per cycle – including art! If I can’t make it then I’ll have plenty of time to polish for submissions starting again in January. Do you have any work that may fit with the Barley South Review? Go submit!

Also! If you liked my free short story Ointment you will be pleased to know the next story in the Kaleidoscope series, Poker Face, has been published on Smashwords! Now listen up everyone: there will be a Kaleidoscope short story published every two months. That’s right, this means the third short in the series is coming out in January! Want more updates on Kaleidoscope art or publications? Go to the “About…” tab above where you can find my Twitter and deviantArt site to browse at your leisure.

That’s all for this week. For now have some pictures I’m slowly getting back into working on:

this is a requested work from my art site – I take requests about once or twice a year
characters from my major work and a reference from another artist – click on the image to find out more
a picture for a 100 theme challenge – follow the link to find out more about the challenge an its pictures!

Happy Thanksgiving too all my American readers!

Walkabout Plant Sketches

Alright guys and gals, this week’s post is early because I have to take my laptop in for servicing and I may not get it back until Thursday. I would also prefer not to log onto my private accounts via other computers if I can help it. I may or may not post again on Thursday. It’ll depend on if I get my laptop back in time. Maybe I can start posting bi-weekly in 2013. What do you think?

Also, if all goes well with the laptop I’ll be releasing the second Kaleidoscope story on Smashwords later this week! If you haven’t read the first story yet go check it out for free here. After the third story is released you will have officially met the four driving characters for this series. Isn’t that exciting? Now, onto this week’s post!

So, remember I said walks outside clear my head and potentially help me brew ideas? If not feel free to skim my previous post Raptor Carcass for this post stems from the same walk.

The walk started as just a walk around my neighborhood but I found a path to the sidewalk by the road. On the way I saw some strange plants and flowers I never really looked at before. I set my watch and made a mental notes of the most interesting ones going one way. On the way back I snagged a part of each plant. While I am not in the habit of collecting and preserving greenery I am quite aware that my artistry skills in the area of background foliage is rather lacking. So, the purpose of my cataloging and collecting on this walk was to practice sketching the flora. I am also hoping it will give me ideas on how to describe and create some of the herbs and more notable plants in my larger novel work. I had to hold the plant pieces behind my back on the way home to shield them from being flattened by the wind. Usually the wind in my area is not too strong but the gusts were from the outer edges of a storm which probably felt obligated to send some semblance of its presence further north, the last breath of the butterfly’s wings, so to speak.

Anyways, here are the plants I did manage to collect and sketch. I don’t know the names of all of them and I tried to look up some on the internet. Do any of you know what these are? Let me know in the comments below!

this was them right after I returned home
sketching them helps me understand how they’re put together and the different types – we should have done this in my environmental lab class!
now, with notes added, I can use the information to draw plants in illustrations and make up some of my own realistically functioning plants for stories

Raptor Carcass

I find sometimes that just going for a walk in the grass parallel to the sidewalk, swinging my keys on a lanyard, helps clear my  head. Often I find new things or puzzle out some part of a story I am writing just by letting my mind breathe with somewhat idle thought outside. It was on one such walk that I happened across the mostly stripped carcass of a bird.

Initially I was sad to see the left over bone and feathers but then I was fascinated. Upon the first inspection something about it seemed odd. I picked up a small stick, made sure no more scavengers were around, wished the departed soul well, and squatted down to examine the body. Most of it was just bone and lay sprawled across the reddish brown wood chipping at the base of a tree. What had caught my eye in the first place was one still-feathered wing. It seemed the feathers were mostly intact and still attached to the stiff limb and I wondered how the limb could still be stiff so far after rigor mortis. I tipped it gently this way and that, trying to see how the anatomy of the wing was frozen but I couldn’t make sense of the way it was curled up. All I recognized was that it was in the vague shape of a folded wing and one end consisted of the long feathers customarily found at the tip of a wing.

The body was mostly flat, the breastbone caved into the ribs and spine. There was virtually no meat left, just dried sinews and perhaps tendons. Only after I walked around the remains did I realize what had struck me as odd about it: there was no head. I don’t know how I had missed it before but the skull was on the other side of a tree root dividing the area. It still had feathers attached to it but the artist and biologist in me urged me to crouch down and examine the skull. The first thing I noticed was that this wasn’t really a seed or worm eating bird, it was a raptor by the curve of its beak. What would have killed a hunting bird? Another hunter?

I lingered around longer, I’m not sure why, but further down I saw the body of a turtle who was clearly a victim of roadkill. It make me speculate that perhaps the scavenger birds had been picking at the turtle carcass while it was still on the road and perhaps one of them had been hit from not flying out of the way fast enough and had joined the turtle on the menu. Well, that’s rather gruesome, and I thought about introducing the concept of how bizarre the regularity of roadkill is into my only existent futuristic story. The story already has a base contrast between the mechanical ordered advancement of the human society versus the chaotic natural world. It was a small idea but an idea nonetheless.

 

On the note of story ideas, I am pleased to say I have been on a writing streak of an average of 1,000 words a day for roughly a week now, and I’m still going. I feel like the pink bunny from the old battery commercial rolling over hills and beating on a high school band drum strapped to my chest; I’m just going and going and going and going…

Happy trails until next week~