Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Light of Nor

We're movin' along on the Manga. The image is a temporary cover image for the catalog for Blooming Tree. Kind of a teaser cover. We're not quite sure where the first book'll stop so the cover will come later.

I really, REALLY, like this cover and the characters. It's surprising for me. And in a way I feel kinda goofy about it. Those who knew me back in high school knew how I liked to draw Disney characters. This is similar but much more creative than being an animator couldv'e been.

It's really neat to start with a script and a blank page. All I need is a folding chair, a megaphone, a riding crop and a berret. It's like a movie in my head and I'm storyboarding it. I can see this getting addictive. I don't even know how exactly I'm doing it. I keep drawing and drawing and the characters just start forming like a ceramic bowl coming up out of the spinning goo.

I did base the guy character on Clive Owen, if only in an inspirational way. His nose if you look close has been broken, his eyes go up in a little in the middle giving him a slightly sad expression and his lips are a cupid's bow: hence, Clive Owen.

The female characters a bit of a wild child. She's a bit feral looking with harsh edges to her features, but still beautiful in that "she's gonna eat me" way, but that's ok 'cause they're both warriors.

First Look at Light of Nor! Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 28, 2005


Some days are like this...

I'm coughing and sputtering in the ole artistic energy engine. The brain is working, but I'm feeling hollow and empty inside. I can still work and get things done, but there's something missing.

I think part of it is stress. I'm aware that there are things out of my control (and everyone else's apparently) and that I shouldn't worry, but my body doesn't seem to heed my brain lately. Might be the Cinimapretzel incindent last month...

I have a booksigning this Saturday and instead of being excited, I'm freaking about the distributor dropping the ball and causing me to spend hours on the phone wondering where the books are and why they're not where they should be. And even though there's a backup plan and no way for me to be without books for the signing... my stomache still churns in knots.

Maybe it's a "first author" type syndrome. That'd be nice so next time I sail through it all without a care.

But it's like the theater... It's incompetance, and man, stupidity is really starting to piss me off. At least I'm not Miriam the publisher. She's gotta be having kittens and wanting scalps as war trophies. It's actually really comforting that I know she's somewhere plotting an attack on these dimwits that are screwing with me and my book. I only hope that I have more books come out with them before she makes good on a threat and has to leave the country until the heat dies down...

The non art related part of it is I don't have much of an emotional cushion. It's good to write about it, because when the art thing is askew it does effect the rest of my life. Mike took me to get a cherry limeade at Sonic and we went through the drivethru. There was a truck in front of us and it had a siberian husky in the back. Now, they're not real common in Texas, and while this one had reddish coloring, the head and face was identical to Two Sox.
At first I was all, "Ahhh, look... A husky... She's got brown eyes and some red in her fur..." and at first it made me happy, and then a second later like some irrational idiot female I was crying. Mike at first thought it was because I wanted a new dog, but that's not it really. I do still miss Twosers, but it was just that my nerves are sort of shot.

I've got heartburn and I'm tired more than I think I should be even with Christmas upon us. My face broke out, so while I feel like I'm 50+, I can pass for a 7th grader if all they see is my complexion. The tooth saga continues in a couple of weeks, too.

I know I'll get my second wind and turn my frown upsidedown. Just got to get through the valley... sigh...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

yes, that's another one of our non-conformist pets, a bearded dragon who developed an unhealthy attachment to the singing snowman. We found him just like that. The snow-woman took it pretty hard... Posted by Picasa

Decked the hall

This is the weirdest weather year...

We played croquet outside in shorts on thanksgiving and set up our christmas tree with the AC on tonight. I mean I know it's Texas, but yeesh!

We have our little tree by the fireplace with all the cool ornaments our family has sent us. Our manger scene has been crashed by the usual well meaning TV/movie theme toys (Jay and Silent Bob stopped off at the Quick Stop for their offerings, heehee). Mike may get all Clark Griswold and put up some Christmas lights. After getting snubbed for Halloween, we're out to prove something now.

More meetings this week with publisher and authors. Turning in tonight though so I can get an early start in the morning. It's funny when friends ask when my day off is and I just laugh. No rest for the wicked or artistically endowed!

Just a camel to add to the holiday cheer... sadly it's rider fell off a mile or two back, but he landed in soft sand... Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 25, 2005

Stupidity Abounds...

So Mike and I go to see Jarhead at the 8:00pm showtime tonight. We know what kind of movie it is because we know the director, the cinematographer, even the composer. We know it's a serious movie about the inner struggle a soldier faced with realities of life and war has to deal with...

Ok, everyone else in the theater thought it was a fun comedic "buddy" flick. All the girls were giggling cause you saw some cute hinnie in the showers, and the men were cracking up everytime someone barked a loud profanity at a private. No one got what the movie was really about. In fact someone brought an effing 8 year old to the R rated movie, and there were some scenes that made me uncomfortable because that kid was right in front of me and I wanted to give her a fiver and send her for some popcorn.

There were some lighter moments, but those were to offset the serious drama that everyone ignored but Mike and I. You saw soldiers lose it, like have a meltdown and people laughed at them, and I wanted to stand up and yell, "Don't you stupid people get it?! There are soldiers out there having experiences we can't understand all so you can buy a ticket to watch a movie based on a true account of a solider's tour of duty and just yuck it up and totally miss the point of the whole thing!"

And it was a great movie, too. It had no political agenda, not pro war/ not anti war. I think every war has soldiers that were made for it and others that realize that war wasn't what they thought it would be. It's not that they couldn't cut it either. In this war the soldier was trained and trained to be a sniper, but when the war ended he hadn't gotten to actually fight anyone. What does a marine trained to kill do alone in the desert with no one to fight while he worries his girlfriend is screwing around back at home?

It reminded me more of Full Metal Jacket and Apocolypse Now. There was some fighting, but mostly it was about the preparaiton of a soldier and what that soldier undergoes in war.

I recommend seeing it... just rent out the theater so you don't have the cheezy laugh track ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I'm finally a Woman!

I mean a Bozeman Woman!

Ok, that may still need some clarifying:

You see the women on my mother's side of the family have this fabulous recipe for "Coca-Cola Salad" and whenever there is a sit down dinner, someone makes it or brings it. It's cherry jello, cream cheese, pecans, black cherries and pineapple.

I have tried before to make it myself and couldn't get it to solidify,


That's something to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Hap-hap-happiest season of all...

Or the Cr-cr-craziest!

For the first time I've had to turn down commissions for Christmas in November because I couldn't guarantee they would get done in time. I was bummed out about it, too. I really love working on things that will be gifts for Christmas, but this year just got so busy and my freetime vanished. I break out in a cold sweat at the thought of me telling someone, "Oh, sure I can get it done" when later I find out I can't. That's why I'm having to take no more jobs for christmas... sigh...

On the up side, at least it's because I'm too busy doing the illustration thing that I've been working so hard to get rolling. I've got the manga coming along, and some stories to illustrate for a summer anthology. I'm also collaborating with a new author who's written a story about a tarantula, which I used to own as a pet (anybody wanna see some pictures! hehehe).

These holiday santas are part of some new items I have in my little online gift store. If I can't do commissions, at least I can offer some christmas merchandise.

The site is:

another Santa  Posted by Picasa

I had problems uploading pictures for a while, so sorry people had to stare at the snake so long :) Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 14, 2005

A word about snakes...

If you hear a high pitch scream, it's probably those scardy-snake people who've just seen the image of me with my new pet albino corn snake, Capote. Don't worry, I won't flood my blog with snake shots, so please come back and check on my blog, but maybe I can use this as a "confront your fear" opportunity for those with snake issues.

I know snakes are predatory, sneaky little cold-blooded creatures. When I come across them on a nature walk I give them a wide berth, especially when I don't know what kind they are. But that doesn't take away from my fascination of them. I love lizards for many of the same characteristics they share with snakes: calculating eyes, beautiful patterns, quick speed and agility... But snakes just have that elegant grace and poise I guess you just have to missing appendages to attain.

It's unfortunate that snakes got a bum wrap in Genesis. I've heard it said that the term the Bible used for"serpent" may not mean the same animal as "snake." I haven't been tempted with the two snakes living here... yet... Our other snake Morty is great fun to watch, he's a ribbon snake, but he's not holding material. We got Capote because he would be a "lap snake" as he got bigger.

A funny note on corn snakes is that they have the most bizarre names for different color variations, and most sound like food. Our albino could fall under the "candy corn" type corn snake which includes "candy cane" corn snakes, "butter" corn snakes, "orange cream-sicle" corn snakes, and "caramel" corn snakes. There's also mocha, sunburst, lavender and a Miami phase corn snake.

And we named him Capote because... well... he is very pink and he'll be eating "In Cold Blood" har har har ;) And if he talked I could imagine a very sibilant "SSssssssss"

WARNING: Images may cause my mother to never check my blog again... C'mon, Mom! He's pink and red! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Back to Work

The signings went GREAT! I sold books to people I've known all my life and people I met just 5 seconds earlier.

I owe a ton of thanks to my Mom aka my Biologically Assigned Publicist who handled the craziness with grace and candor. And her Conway friends Susie who hosted the party, and Janet and Janie who wrangled customers and took their money were a Godsend. Little Rock's party was less hectic because I didn't have to meet all the people first, so having them at the Conway party was great. And Afton in Little Rock hosted a wonderful party complete with birthday cake for me, and going through her house brought back a whole lot of memories. So thanks, thanks, and more thanks!

As soon as I got back I got to thinking that my old "light box" wasn't going to cut it as I now delve into Manga work. What I am going to attempt first is to sketch out the pages 100% to scale, then scan those and plot out where I'll have my dividing frames and do those in the computer (yes, I do hate using a ruler that much). I'll then enlarge them about 150% and use the new light box I just bought to redraw them in detail first in pencil and then trace with the new pen set. They will then get rescanned again to do tonal work and add the type. And I'll only have to do that say 200+ times! Yeehaw!

It's a lot, but I'm surprisingly very geared up for it. Must be that whole "rising to the challenge" thing. Well, off to bed so I can get up and get to work!

Here are some shots from my Arkansas book signings... the first of many I hope, they were fun! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 06, 2005

here's a random assortment of photos. The top has the store window at BN in Westlake, all China themed with a banner for my book coming soon... There's an actual little bunny kung fu lookalike with the black ears and white body. And yes, I'm holding a pig! Siooooue! Posted by Picasa

Hopping to Arkansas

I hit the road tomorrow for two book signings in my home state. I'm so grateful to everyone who's helped pull all this together. I'm looking forward to seeing people I haven't seen in years. Now if only I can get over this sinus infection, I'll be set.

There are more requests and offers for visits and signings coming in. My social card will be full of engagements and thus justify the existence of my organizer!

I'm going to have to think carefully about how many christmas commissions I can realistically do this year. I can't help wanting to do them, I mean I love helping people get the perfect gift.

In other news...

I heard through an email a really amazing story. A private school in Austin was given a 3 million dollar donation by an obvious wealthy family if the school and the school library would remove Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx from it's optional reading list because it contained homosexual references. Rather than cave to the family's demands, the school returned the donation, saying they couldn't accept contributions with conditions attached. That amazes me. That's a lot of money for a school to return, and I applaud them. Annie Proulx won several literary awards including the Pulitzer, and I think the family only tried this because the movie is coming out this fall that's based on the book. Now I have my own views on censorship and homosexuality, as does everyone else, and I truly feel those with the most money in this country shouldn't be the ones deciding things for everyone else.

Well, I gotta pack every outfit I own since I'm not sure what I'll end up wearing...