Guten morgen! Or whenever you’re reading this, I hope it’s guten.
I’m feeling very relieved to be out of the slump I was in for awhile, and when I say slump, what I mean is outright depression. That was no fun. I’d been feeling increasingly hopeless and helpless, unsure of which direction to go in order to heft myself out of it, until I was able to talk my way into a solution with Scott on a little hike last Saturday. Being outdoors, walking, and talking with someone who cares is a huge boon to the soul. I recommend it. Also, grandbabies.
My first step in the right direction is a diet change. I always do great cutting out sugar, so that’s the first to go, and to take it easy on carbohydrates (which convert to sugar, so that’s under the cutting sugar category). Then, get at least some mild exercise every so often. I don’t need to go crazy with this; I just need to keep a leg up. It’s only been a couple days and I’m already feeling more energetic.
Low energy is hell on the creative process, so I hadn’t been doing anything artsy-pants for awhile. I rearranged my workroom and got out the book I’d started writing, and am currently rereading it with the aim of getting back to work on it. I also just ordered a Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch tablet because I am very excited about digital art lately. I’ve been inhaling graphic novels for months now and am inspired and awed and encouraged by the variety of artists out there. There are quite literally no limits to what can be done in this medium and I’m excited to try my hand at it. I’ve been jotting down little stories and anecdotes that might make good panels. In the meantime, I’ve been messing around with my mouse pad in the very rudimentary Paint program that came with my ancient laptop.
Silly, and fun. I am SUPER stoked to try a stylus for drawing instead of my finger. I’m already happy about how quickly I can draw digitally compared to using paper and pencil/pen. You won’t be surprised to hear that each of the above drawings took only minutes instead of hours, as they would have by using traditional means. I love me some technology.
What I don’t love is having to research the best technology to buy. It took me quite awhile to settle on the Wacom. Now I’m on the search for a new laptop. Unfortunately, I’m like a raccoon when it comes to shiny pretties. I’m drawn to this turquoise number made by HP, but it’s all wrong for me, with very little memory and no CD drive. But it’s TURQUOISE. So I’m dealing with that. I wouldn’t bother with a new laptop if my beloved Archimedes (Medes for short) wasn’t on its absolute last legs. The kid’s over twelve years old, has crashed at least four times, and has a chip on its left front corner from having been dropped. It overheats within about twenty minutes of hard use, and since “hard use” includes the process of drawing pictures, there’s no way it’s going to support the tablet once it gets here. Bummer. Medes will have to be retired to Elysian pastures where it will be used only for light grazing and checking emails. I need a younger version with stronger shoulders. That’s the way of the world, idn’t it.
Something I’ve also been loving is a series I’d avoided for years because I hate jumping on bandwagons, but I will happily admit that this bandwagon carries the whole shebang, plus the drumline. Centuries after EVERYONE else, I’ve finally started reading A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Holy shitballs, Batman, what a fantastic story. I’m halfway through A Clash of Kings. It’s possible that I might even like the TV series now… I tried it a couple years ago and wasn’t thrilled. It seemed too misogynistic. But it helps exceedingly, as I read, to picture Sean Bean as Eddard Stark and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion the Imp, as well as a few other actors whose names I don’t know but whose faces I remember. What a great world to get lost in. My only fear–which is apparently also the fear of millions of other fans–is that Martin will die before he finishes the story! He’s old and quite frankly, doesn’t look in the best shape. He also doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get back to writing the books, now that his fingers are all in the television pie. ARGH. Dan Simmons had to finish The Mystery of Edwin Drood for Dickens, and in my opinion, that didn’t turn out so hot.
If you’re interested in graphic novels at all, you might want to try these. They’re some of my recent favorites:
- The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, with Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
- Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
- Saga by Brian K Vaughan, with Fiona Staples
- Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
- Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
- Our Cancer Year by Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner, with Frank Stack
- The Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell
- Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton