INKtober day seven–i’m still in this

i ran errands all day today. for an introvert, that is like doing a triathlon.
i went to goodwill to get presents for my kids (fidgit & poppy have a birthday week after next.) i go to goodwill to save money & to save the environment. i love thrift stores, but i usually stick to the ones i know–goodwill & st. vinny’s.
however, today, after goodwill i went to a thrift store i’d never been before.
it was cheaper…but smelly. and had kind of a serial killer vibe. but that might just be me.
then i dropped off a cat carrier someone lent me to take a rooster home in.
(i saw four deer cross the road–which is the universe reminding me to be gentle–something i am super dooper struggling with)
then i went to the library to report that i have not yet found the dvd of “box trolls” that a certain 3 year old saw fit to hide away somewhere. the librarian was very sympathetic & gave me another week.
then i went to the grocery store. grocery stores for me are a full-time job because i take food buying very seriously and have to read labels and debate every purchase in my head forever.
then i ended up going to another grocery store because the first one just didn’t have the right things that i needed.
then i went to a farm store to price fence posts & get straw bales (i’m going to build a cold frame out of straw bales to grow winter veg–i’m so excited!!)
then i went to a local farmer’s market-y type store to look for bones & cow hearts for my dogs.

at some point in my adventure i glanced in a mirror and was weirded out by my own face. it looks different. like someone replaced me with an exact copy that wasn’t quite exact. next time i looked in a mirror my new face was still there.

so that’s where i was when i sat down to do my inktober drawing for today.
maybe that explains it?
i was tired, so i started with a rabbit yawn. rabbit’s have the cutest yawns. my rendition of a rabbit’s yawn, however….

so was born chimp plays a snake tuba with a yawning bunny & red balloons

photo blue pencil

so you can’t tell how much work i’ve gotten done because it is all done in photo blue pencil. ha! but i have drawn some. soon to be inked! hint: it is a new page of moses jones! yes.

that’s exciting, right?

a homesteading, unschooling mother of four makes a pretty unproductive graphic novelist, as it turns out, but the urge to create (in all forms!) is strong in me. i miss art when i am not doing it. it feels like part of me is missing when i am not doing art.

i need a partner who likes doing hard labor, housework, enjoys chaos and anarchy, and who can be utterly supportive to his (or her) artist/homesteading wife-ish person. so, if you know anyone. must like kids & sheep & dogs. and rural life.

like the photo blue pencil, you have to be able to see what might not be readily visible…to be with me. that is required.

sylvia plath, lynda barry, and a sheep named tyler durden

i am going to get some pages of moses jones done. i really really am. i have been busy…a bit suicidal…depressed…and busy.

i would be lying if i said i had been working on this zine that i started by drawing the cover. although i have worked a bit on an essay about john irving and also lynda barry. but that is all. and i did this journal page thinking about doing some ink brush paintings of livestock:

journal-page-2

livestock!
so now i have ten chickens and four sheep. i have a tendency to just wing it in many areas of my life. like i never seem to get adequate directions, do not have a smart phone or gps, yet constantly set out on adventures saying, “we’ll find it.” so i got chickens before i had a coop built. i got dogs before making sure my chickens would not be harassed by them. and i got sheep before i had a fenced pasture. long story short. i have lost one rooster to an over-zealous herd dog and have poisoned one sheep by not researching very well and just thinking, “it’ll be fine.” strange that someone as neurotic as me would be so okay with winging it. but i am. another example of my oxymoronity.

we named our sheep after favorite characters from favorite movies. i got to name the ram. i really wanted to name him tyler durden…but decided on harold (from harold & maude) because i was afraid a sheep named tyler durden might be prone to fighting as well as challenging the status quo. but harold the ram got really sick after eating something (acorns? toxic lambsquarters? too much chicken food?) and was looking awful. so i re-re-named him tyler durden and “drenched” (which means to force liquids on–not to douse with a hose!) him with apple cider vinegar and began my journey towards being a holistic shepherd.

but it is my depression more than anything that has crippled my creative process. i read something recently that said that depression is “living in the past.” you know, with anxiety being “living in the future.” i can see that…but my problem is my depression is a current event. i am very unhappy–not with my homestead…but with my live-in ex-husband. aka dusty knickers. he is happy to live at my folks place, contributing only when he sees the whites of my eyes, and otherwise playing video games and being a pain in the ass. i don’t know how to get him to move on…move out…move! i have come to peace with some things–like that it is not my job to let him know he is an asshole…but i do not know how to find peace with him always here. always being dusty.

but i have not taken the sylvia plath route. mostly because of what it would do to my kids. i decided that suicide is something best done when you are young and childless. i passed my open window of opportunity in 1998 (the last time i seriously contemplated suicide but ended up marrying some guy i just met instead. marriage & suicide are on about the same level for me, i guess. ha!) now i have four kids and have to commit to being here no matter how painful it is.

yay.

so i’m putting together this zine. you can be in it if you want. right now it is in a very loose stage of development. but, you know, art–poetry–essays.
and i’m still working on all my other projects: moses jones, lizard brain, whimsy, one up on sylvia plath, space aliens & serial killers…. kids, homestead, survival, etc. you know the drill. and reading, always reading. i totally recommend david wong. but most recently i finally read lynda barry’s notes of an accidental professor. as you may or may not know, i attended uw where she teaches, but somehow i never made it into her class despite her being an early influence for my comics. self-sabotage? fear of my heroes? just plain goofy? we had a nodding acquaintance, mostly because i took my kids to her monthly drawing jams…but i never became soul sisters with her even though my inner geek dreamed of this.
it’s a regret i have.
so i’m sending her a postcard.
you know, a moses jones postcard.
(who knows, maybe she will be my best friend forever after all.) a postcard, and then i will close that chapter and open a new one.

i’m here i’m here i’m here i’m here!

let’s recap.
last summer, a year ago this week, i was homeless for a month and a half while waiting for our new apartment to open up.
then at the new year, i packed up my four minions and moved two hours north of dusty to a different home.
then, this spring, my landlord/housemate asked me to leave so she could have the place to herself.
and i moved again.
this time to another state, to my childhood home, with dusty & the minions.
i wasn’t ready to live with dusty again.
but circumstances….
so now, though i think of moses jones & other projects every day, i have a new place to settle. land & house in serious need of care-taking. a yard & garden. a flock of chickens. two dogs who need training. four minions on hyper-drive as they try to adjust to the fourth move in a year….

i’m here though. never far away. treading water.

i am in the process of collecting all of my poetry from my other blog to put into a collection of sorts. then i will delete the bulk of that blog to convert it (once more) into a different blog. this time about the dysfunctional adventures of a homesteading family.

and i look at my barely started first page of just me and my lizard brain every day, sighing softly.

and i daydream about doing some fantastic & wildly popular chinese ink brush paintings of the central illinois landscape.

and mojo. i think about mojo. her humble beginnings, her journey thus far, and her future in the graphic novel world….

chaos never sleeps

it has been a long time since i have finished or started anything. i could blame my kids (two of them are actually climbing on me as i try to do this), but in truth, my life is just chaotic–again–right now and i am unable to focus.

i did however work on this treasure map, for my kids, an experiment in ink on canvas…actually the back of a used canvas. things to learn from, the way the water in the canvas spread the ink to places i did not intend for it to go. i was going to go back with black ink, but the treasure map has been stolen and since it was intended to be played with, i guess they don’t mind the ink that got away from me. the back of the canvas is rougher, it seems than the front. but i do like painting with ink & hope to do more of it soon.

meanwhile! my life is in upheaval again. my housemate/landlord has asked me and my tribe to move along. this will be the fourth time in a year i have had to pack up everything my family owns & relocate with them–and do all the things again that a relocation with a big family entails. at least we have a place to go at which we will hopefully be able to put down roots. we are going to my childhood home. it is a few acres in rural illinois. the heart of illinois, they call it. if you read my comic about racism…yeah, that place. but our place is in the country & hopefully i will be able to create a beautiful existence there. and maybe contribute in a positive way to the existing culture?? we will see. i have lots of plans. which should include more art! more moses jones! more whimsy! more lizard brain! along with all the fun of homesteading!

dusty is coming with me. he is excited about it. could be good for us…or we might be reenacting the shining. either way, it should be interesting. might be i can turn my other blog (quixotic mama) into a homesteading blog.

next up…

i’m not sure how i feel about this one. there are some aspects of it i really like, but overall i do not care for it. i told my professor that i was just going to keep putting ink on it until i do like it. i liked “spoketh the blackbear” way better. also! i am working on taking my whimsy to another dimension…

 

and i’m pretty excited about this. originally, i was going to do face, neck, chest, shoulder, arm, & wing…but my critique is next week. so i need to get these painted and decorated for that. maybe i will add on later. i love paper mache…but i was using myself, and that was tricky–especially when misha wakes up from a nightmare when i am covered in soggy newspaper….

the semester is over in a week. i have to get busy and finish this final large narrative and finish my paper mache bluejean. then what?

more moses jones. yup. but what changes will the new episode bring…hmmm. and more whimsy, but smaller i’m sure.

plus, i am moving. leaving dusty and embracing a new future. no more fucked-up relationships. i have enough material. now i need a farm. a homestead. a room of my own.