INKtober!!!

draw an ink picture for every day of october! that sounds more like a good time than a challenge. i am all over this. my friend for 40 years now (no…that’s impossible) told me about INKtober on facebook and i peed myself with excitement. i immediately tried to draw one of my dogs & failed. okay, realism is not my cup of tea. so then this guy came out of me. my sons named him “phil.” i wanted to draw him with a fencing sword but messed up his hand. i went & got a mirror so i could see how he would be holding his hand, but my minions went mad over the mirror (???) and left me unable to model for myself. i was feeling strangely self-conscious about it to begin with. i really really need a room of my own.

anyhoo! see, i am one of those people who needs deadlines & structure enforced by an outside entity in order to produce art in a timely manner. that is why school worked so well for me. when i have no demands for production, i wander off & do other things like dig holes in the ground and chase sheep. so that is why i was so excited to have a challenge that would actually be more like a vacation. drawing a picture a day! with ink!!!!

in other news, on the new moon, i had a break-through. my brain had been itching with an idea that i could not quite reach, and through a messaged conversation with my friend who is somehow in her 40s, i had an epiphany. it is going to be awesome. she instructed me to keep it to myself. i assured her that no one actually reads my blog (other than the truly devoted), however, i guess i will wait & surprise y’all with it. it will probably start emerging here in the #inktober excitement. also, more pages of moses jones can be part of my ink drawings a day! so exciting. so exciting.

doodles.

here’s a doodle from my journal.

i am working on a new page. i have some words…some panels…. now i wait for a break in the chaos to pencil in some interactions between mojo & dusty.
man, she is stupid for that man.
i know the feeling.

i hope to have it finished today.
okay, just kidding.
a page a week?
maybe i can beat that this week.
we’ll see.

waiting for keanu

i have a new laptop! and a new digital camera! (thanks student loans!)

and my drawing class is going great…(my digital art class not so much….)

my professor wants me to go epic with my graphic novelling. he gave me a rolled up sheet of paper to do a huge page with. meanwhile, my larger page is almost done.

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i totally should be done by now. but i had to go to court for a disorderly conduct charge & that had me too neurotic to draw for way too long. but, note to self, any dude who is going to put you in the position to get a disorderly conduct charge is not a dude who is worth getting charged with disorderly conduct over–especially if he also cheats, lies, and treats the mother of his children like poo. so new leaf turning time. i need to dedicate my passion to my art & children…not to their absent father. in my comic i have him physically absent–but in real life he is emotionally absent.

up top is an in process rendering of my very first comic venture as a child–hey, diddle diddle. i think i will do just the one page. or more. but more as prints than as a continuing story. but, as of today, i have decided to write a graphic novel about all the fucked-up-ness of all my relationships and title it waiting for keanu. maybe i will make that one epic as well….

(keanu, where are you? i’m waiting…come home!)

set backs galore! (or how i became a jerry springer show special)

okay–so i’m of irish descent….

(excuses! just the facts,ma’am!)

and though i am aware of most of the rules & laws & such of our society…i don’t understand them. like, if a person comes across the love her life making out with a brain-damaged pothead in broad daylight just a block from her house…shouldn’t one kick to the knee be allowed? granted, as the man cop alluded to, i should have kicked dusty as well…. but i kicked a girl. i lost my heart. and i broke my elbow all in the span of a few blurry rage-filled moments.

and now my pages aren’t done yet.

maybe i can work more tonight. or maybe i will take one or two of the tylenols with codeine that the kind & handsome dr. joe gave me for my elbow.

one thing is for damn sure. i need to stop finding new material to work with. enough already. keep the drama to the pages, mama.

upcoming pages of moses jones or the end of the world as we know it

yesterday i did some layout of my text to decide what would go in which panels. today i did some thumbnail sketches. hopefully i will get a chance to paint in panels later today. i also read through my journal. i have some good ideas & cool art in there. i need to use that more often–read it–inspire myself.

so, anyone who’s been reading this is aware that i am between homes, turns out i forgot to pack the rapidograph ink i use to refill my pens, and both of my pens ran dry today. all i have is my sumi ink that i use for painting in ink shadows & shades. throwing caution to the wind, i filled my high maintenance pens with an ink they aren’t used to.

so far so good. no riots. no protests. no refusals to draw.

i guess time will tell.

all in all i am feeling more settled in this home of mine–for two more weeks–this home with its good vibe & comfortable fit. i dread going back to the house of ex-in-laws. mostly for how it causes dusty’s bad behavior to amplify. but after that week with dusty’s kin, i will be in a home that will be my home for at least a year.

although the neurotic part of me believes something awful will happen in the next three weeks that will prevent our new home from ever becoming a reality. my somewhat psychic abilities are unable to see past the next three weeks & that is freaking me out. i know i sound crazy when i say that…but that doesn’t make it any less unsettling for me.

don’t tell anyone that!

yikes.

maybe society as we know it is about to crash & send us into a dystopian society full of zombies & cannibals…and me with only a baseball bat.

or i will get more pages done. move into a new place. make a second zine. attend zine fest. be discovered. and somehow save the world from certain doom.

home is where you ink your comics

i sit in a borrowed house that is home until the end of july. peaceful chaos abounds. not quite a room of my own but also not staying in a guest room. not being forced to “helicopter parent” my children for fear they will break, damage or be damaged in another person’s living space. parenting in someone else’s space has to be one of the most stressful ways to parent. parenting with an audience–also extraordinarily stressful. add in stressed out minions who are amped up on uncertainty and lack of familiar routines…it is a perfect storm of a parenting nightmare.

in the nick of time, before i lost what was left of my mind, a friend of mine abandoned her house, leaving the door open for us to squat here for a few weeks.

i miss moses jones. i think this journal page shows how much i miss her.

yesterday, at an impromptu birthday party for me, a friend of a friend who is involved with the michigan womyn’s festival asked if she could use some mojo for the back cover of the zine for the festival. i agreed–though i do worry about some of the politics–i mean, i am a feminist, but i am a very inclusive feminist…a feminist who believes that all the infighting among women should stop and we should be a united front…and that one of our best hopes for the future is to raise feminist sons as well as feminist daughters….. anyhoo, one of my early early moses jones pictures (done for an art class) is about to be used as the back cover for this zine. it will be cool to get some exposure.

speaking of zines, i am hoping to get the final pages of this episode finished & have two zines for the madison zine fest this year. hopefully, now that i have a space almost of my own, i will be a bit more productive.

topsy-turvy

so i’m “between homes” with dusty & my minions. we are staying with dusty’s family…all of them…in a duplex in small town wisconsin….sigh. dusty disappears as dusty does, and apocalyptic mamas lose a little bit more of their minds. but this too shall pass…right?

i have moses jones with me. all my materials and pages. i even remembered to get my pens out and take them for a walk to keep them from clogging as i struggle in an unfamiliar environment. struggle with my routine being fucked up. struggle with kids and cohorts stressed to the maximum.

i have not found the time, energy, or space to work on moses jones.

i need to find a place to live. so so need to do that. a room of one’s own, right? a home of one’s own? an artist loses what little she has of her mind when she squats in a two bedroom apartment with three other adults & four small children.

and i accidentally got hired to work a real job. a real job? who do i think i am? i haven’t worked outside my home since early 2006. fuck an alarm clock.

sigh.

history of the death of a pen

(current projects–doodling as i think about bluejean & trials of the moonfish. and i just started jonathan lethem’s the ecstacy of influence–i have never heard of him, though i gather from how he refers to himself that he is pretty famous. i am enjoying his writing style…but i have only read the preface.)

& back onto topic:

i use rapidograph pens. which i love, but i have heard them compared to keeping a pet in terms of upkeep required. if you don’t use them frequently, they dry up. then they are a bitch to clean.

but i love them. i love my high maintenance pens.

i got a full set of them back in the old century. when i lived in lexington, kentucky. i had just moved out of the house of my first husband. we had been married a month. i had known him for about two months. ha! another theory tested. another failed experiment in life. i decided to write a zine. i was going to call it “twat.” then i started working on the comic that would be featured in it. confusion perfume. a girl, her dog, and her neurotic dealings with life & relationships. the zine was forgotten, and i fell in love with writing & drawing comics.

backtrack to 1990. i decided i wanted to go into comics. i went to a local iowa city, iowa comic book store called “daydreams” to ask about comic writing and was directed to one of their employees, paul tobin. then a struggling comic writer. now a more successful comic writer. we became friends. but my comics were not taken seriously by me nor by him and were filed away. but i learned the comic process. pencilling , inking, lettering. & the tools. rapidograph pens & illustration board.

(as a side note, in 1992 i ended up dating a comic book artist named tim bradstreet, but he left me for this nasty girl who was apparently the love of his life. whatever. he also failed to take me seriously as a future comic powerhouse. however, i also was unimpressed with his comic art–though he was extremely impressed with himself.)

then, as mentioned, in 1998, i began my first real comic endeavor, confusion perfume. i used illustration board and a full set of rapidograph pens. my most used size–the red one–broke at one point when i lived in athens, georgia…what year was that? 2000? 2001? anyhoo. i bought a new red rapidograph with the birthday money from my grandma. and i sent her a gracious thank you note. i have continued to use that pen–reviving it when it dried up–up until yesterday when i said, “fuck it,” and put it in the pen holder with the rest of the set that i no longer use.

i had to buy new rapidographs as i started working on moses jones because i started working on smaller pages–watercolor paper instead of illustration board–therefore, in a smaller format. the smaller pens from my original set where too clogged & too tenacious in their death to be revived. so i bought new pens to work in my smaller format. my red pen just wasn’t getting the time. if i need bigger spaces inked now, i use my brush. a changing of the guards, perhaps.

rest in peace, red rapidograph.

ps. sometimes i wonder if i should revive…reissue? my comic confusion perfume. with packing to move, i still have all of those illustration boards. i’m thinking i should somehow mat & frame them & sell them. maybe i need to make a name for myself first? or i could just decorate my new place with them….

but! should i put them out there like on tapastic or something? maybe i’ll do that….who wants to read confusion perfume? speak now.

also, here’s a doodle from an idea that has just begun swimming around in my head.

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artist, mama, student, baker, writer?

or candlestick maker?

i doodled this as my daughter, misha, did a study for language and development. she is delayed in her speech. the speech pathologist made a point of telling me how important it was that we get her ways to communicate all the amazing things that must be going on in her head. or else she will become frustrated with not being able to show people how amazing she is. “it’s especially important with children as bright as she is to learn to communicate.” dumb kids need not apply, i guess. ha! i felt sad thinking of her frustration–perhaps because i know that frustration. being misunderstood. not being able to put into words–or the right words–all the amazing things in your head. my own delayed speech, i think, must have contributed to my wanting to be a writer and an artist–to my wanting to find a better way to communicate where spoken language had left me wanting.

as i watched misha play with the speech pathologist, i was reading hip mama’s latest issue and trying to read the short story that won first prize in a contest i did not place in. the story was…lackluster? it did nothing for me. this won? i thought, and tried not to take it personally. i need to try harder. i can do better than this. were the next thoughts to run through my mind. doing better. i can do better than the entry i sent to the contest, and i can do better than the story that won first prize. i am actually a very good writer. it’s true. i need more focus maybe. more practice. but i do have something. i need to start writing again! i determined. i quit writing fiction (other than graphic novels) because i was tired of being rejected and tired of competing with the never-ending parade of writers there are these days. but i have a renewed desire to write and to compete. some of it is a need for money–should i start winning contests and getting published–but a lot of it is just my need to communicate. graphic novels are my first love, but–fuck me–the story unfolds slowly. i think i need to be spewing other thoughts of mine in a quicker fiction.

speaking of money. i have not “worked” since shortly after fidgit was born. almost 10 years ago. i have worked–hard for no money–as a mom. i have done some freelance writing for demand studios (google “em connell mccarty” for your ehow articles on how to give a dog a birthday party…ha!) and i have gone to school for writing and art. however, as unconventional and low-impact as our family is–we need a bit more of the green stuff. and not the green stuff we can forage for. today i am trying to write up my resume for a baking job. i love baking–but i’m not sure about the hours. so far i have my name & phone number written down. no address because i’m not sure where i will be living at the end of the month. though! good news there. the woman we met with about renting part of her home seemed to like us, and having had two sons of her own (now grown) she was not terrified by the antics of figdit & iggy. so we might might might have a place to live other than my mazda5…. and maybe more income if i can remember my work history from my previous lives and use it to find work. or! maybe i will win a fiction writing contest…hmmm.

what keeps me busy

i am so wrapped up in house hunting. i think of little else. plans. back-up plans. panic attacks and deep funks. i hate house hunting. house hunting when four little people are involved is…oh my god…how do i do this? today we are meeting with a single woman who is entertaining the idea of renting part of her home to us. i think about someone else having to live with my children and i find myself thinking, “i don’t even want to live with them–how can i ask a stranger to?”

okay. i don’t always feel this way about the minions. lately is just…special. poppy is grumpy. iggy is grumpy. i am grumpy. we act and react to each other all day long.

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meanwhile, in my comic process, i did manage to draw something. just a journal page. but it turned out kinda cool. also, in my quest to be a better artist, i am reading the gift by lewis hyde. it is taking me awhile to read it. just snippets here and there when i’m not wrapped up in needy kids or house hunting. but so far so good. i am finally in the second half which is more applied towards artists. i will let you know what i think.

that’s all i can update you on today. poppy is screaming at me and iggy is screaming at fidgit. yay. good times.