my camera…she dies slowly. my laptop…she is four years old and easily over-heated. my new apartment…she is very very expensive to a struggling artist-writer mama and her dusty cohort (who is a very talented cook & grossly underpaid.)
i need confidence and a benefactor.
i am returning to school this fall, taking a class in confidence–er, digital media. i’m hoping to feel more competitive with freelance work once i feel more confident about creating digitally.
i am reading amanda palmer’s the art of asking. okay, i haven’t yet gotten the introduction read, but it is on my kitchen table waiting for me to have a free moment to focus. i am hoping it will be so damned inspirational that i have no choice but to fly out of my little hole in the ground and start molesting people with my awesomeness…er…or, maybe i misunderstood the book jacket message….
i have a new apartment! & internet!
but no furniture. i live in the college town of madison and all the fucking uhauls are rented through 5:15pm on sunday, august 16th. holy fuck. so we are living on the bare minimum of furniture, dishes, & utensils. i have my cast iron skillets with me and am seeing what all they can be used for. i did make a cheesecake for misha’s birthday in a cast iron skillet. cheesecake pans are for pussies (or, people who can afford cheesecake pans.)
i draw. i write bad poetry. i pace. i wince as my children shriek. (how did i give birth to FOUR shrieking children?? my poor neighbors. please don’t hate me new neighbors.) i am an artist.
next week, i will have a desk…maybe. with a desk to draw upon–the world will be my oyster.
i have doodled a bit.
& written bad poetry…as i am prone to do when feeling heartsick…or hopeful. or both at the same time.
and i have started reading neil gaiman’s collection of short stories trigger warning. i have only read the introduction and the first couple of stories, but i can tell you this–though i have always loved neil gaiman’s writing…now i am in love with his writing. plus, he seems like such an authentic person. i think about trying to contact him…but i’m still recovering from lynda barry’s callous treatment of my heart.
i miss my bubble. i know i live in somewhat of a bubble. the fictitious town of madison, wisconsin. where farmer’s market abound and local organic food is a given. where everyone recycles and liberal bumper stickers decorate many a hybrid car. not the kind of town that in on the landscape of moses jones’s world. and a rare town in my own world, i am realizing as i leave my bubble.
i miss my dusty. i can’t make the coffee right on my own. i have no one to tell the funny stuff to. and the scary stuff. well, no one i want to tell it to. how does moses jones live so long without her dusty? she must have strong walls around her heart. she must be protecting herself. not just from zombies…but from love.
ah, the insight one gets from leaving one’s comfort zone.
while uploading the picture of my daily doodles, i realized i also had pictures of dusty & poppy–and dusty & fidgit–on my camera.
i miss dusty…i even miss watching him playing killing floor 2. (dusty spends a lot of time preparing to fight zombies.) i think we will be back together soon though. he has given me reason to feel hopeful that we can save our relationship from the (w)horrors that cannibalize it. however, i find that dusty waxes and wanes like the moon, controlling the tides of me. right now the moon is full & bright…although i have learned the hard way, there is always a dark side to the moon.
all of my stuff is in the garage of dusty’s sister. that includes my india ink for my rapidograph pens. i carry my yumi ink with me, but i packed away my india ink.
& now my pens are pissed off at me.
here is a whole page of doodles as a result of my trying to get my pens to accept chinese ink over indian ink. i’m not sure what the problem is. is it like car oil? is it the weight of the ink? or does yumi ink dry up faster due to higher water content? or is it just nationalism on the part of my pens?
(so i just googled to see where kor-i-noor rapidograph pens are manufactured to see if they were made in china–thus, disproving a nationalism for india; however, it appears as if they are made in the usa?? which is pretty cool if that’s right. also, i found where you can send them to massachusetts and have them repaired?? so cool if that is accurate. also, while looking at all of the rapidograph pens on all of the sites, i just got so excited. i love these pens so much. i just love them so much….)
i did get my pens to both work. the one with the smaller tip doesn’t want to. i had been carefully tapping & scribbling and tapping & scribbling to no avail. my pen would not start working. so yesterday i started shaking my pen (which is not advised) and it started working. sometimes, i guess, you have to get rough with your art supplies.
enough exciting narrative about pens.
still no pages of mojo…but soon, yes? if not this week though–then probably not before mid-august, because as of next friday, i will be crashing on couches again with dusty & the minions.
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!
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.
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.
i have nothing new to post unless you want to see pages and pages of apartment listings that probably won’t work out and we will have to live out of my mazda5 squatting near the house of some crazy relative or another.
i want to be working on moses jones or any project rather than sitting and looking at craigslist and dreading having to actually call people about apartments and possibly suffer some sort of rejection or another…. (i’m terrified of phones & of rejection.)
i need to do laundry. i need to clean the bathroom. i need to interact with my children other than screaming, “knock it off unless you want to be homeless!” as i cruise craigslist on my laptop while they beg for food. how dumb is it to yell at your kids to stop yelling so much?
but! when i have to get off craigslist to nurse poppy, i do read books on how to be a better, more successful artist & writer. i did not finish the gift by Lewis Hyde. i liked the concept, but it became too convoluted to continue. then i read bird by bird by anne lamott. i really enjoyed it. i googled her though and was alarmed to see she had made some insensitive comments about one transsexual which had been then determined to mean she was insensitive to all transsexuals. i am totally in support of transsexualism, but having known several men who were conveniently women and then men again–and not having much knowledge about the whole caitlyn jenner situaltion–and having enjoyed her dark sense of humor…i guess i’m willing to cut her some slack. and i did totally enjoy bird by bird. it is a very well written and enjoyable book about writing. then i started reading ignore everybody by hugh mcleod. i didn’t get very far into it. it seemed awfully self-indulgent. though i did like that he was saying doing something different is sure to get you attention. moses jones, is so different that i am having trouble finding my audience. ha! i should be wildly successful…right? maybe i read that wrong…. now i am looking at rework by jason fried & david heinemeier hansson. it is more about business and i almost put it down for this reason. but…i can be an artist and know about business. (i had to tell myself that.) it will not corrupt me. it will not corrupt me. it will not corrupt me.
okay, back to the house hunt. you will know i have found a place when i am able to post new stuff again. if you don’t hear from me again it is because i cannot get my scanner to work plugged into my mazda5. ha!
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.
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.
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.
if it’s not one thing….
we are slowly recovering from our zombie infection. but now poppy is teething–which means, he spends as much time attached to my nipple as i can endure…and then some. which means i don’t get much sleep. if you have ever tried to sleep while someone incessantly sucks at your nipple…. i can’t do it. eventually i get tired enough to fall asleep while he comforts his teething by nursing off my tender nipples, but i have to be pretty damn exhausted to do so. if i don’t nurse him, he screams and gives me the stinkeye until i give in and nurse him again. motherhood is so much like being captured, imprisoned, and tortured by the enemy camp. yay motherhood.
i’m pretty damn exhausted…maybe a bit bitter.
i did manage to do thumbnail sketches of the next two pages. i was going to go straight into the woods with moses & the gang, but then i got to thinking about the others who were watching her march off into zombie-infested woods with her kids in tow. then i started writing that. so that will be the next two pages. plus! i practiced my katana drawings a bit. however, fidgit told me they still don’t look right and would not stop criticizing them. so dusty told him how the japanese used to test out new katanas. yikes. poor fidgit is going to have nightmares for a week. though he traumatized fidgit in the doing, it was kind of sweet of dusty to defend my katana sketches. he suggested i should do a story about how she got her katana. i replied, “well, dusty gave it to her, of course.”
one night, just before passing out around ten pm, i did manage to do some layout for my pages. i am hoping that later today i will get a chance to ink in my first draft of at least one of the pages. i usually update my tapastic page on sunday or monday. i am all caught up so that i cannot update it until page 30 is done. it might take a miracle to get a new page up by monday. new page on monday…is that a duran duran song?
sadly, this is about all my printer/copier/and most importantly–scanner is good for now. a place to rest. headed for its own resting place at HP Consumer Buyback & Planet Partners Recycling Program. (check it out for recycling your technology!)
i figured out that i can still post photos here. of course, photos of my work might not be as clear, but that is an option while i figure out if & how i can get a new scanner to upload my art. of course, my poor camera has a limited lifespan as well and tends to fall apart every time it is dropped on the floor by sticky little kids. and my laptop–also sticky and abused. having four kids. technology not made to last. not a good mix for a poor mother. my minions abuse my toys, and it is expensive to replace said toys. i’m afraid the death of my scanner is just a prelude to a technological strike amid my household electronics.
on the topic of my art & moses jones. slowly. slowly the wheels of progress turn.