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.

page 004

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.

filling up the page

i’ve been writing bucket-loads of bad poetry instead of getting drawing done. whenever i open my journal, my tormented thoughts spill out in my juvenile voice. so i haven’t gotten much drawing done. i did try to fill up this page with some drawings. drawings of words. describing my rabid state.

but, in theory, moving my hand is moving my creativity…or something like that. there’s something there about how writing by hand…drawing…how it creates bridges….

okay, i’m just rationalizing now.

page 34 & 35 are in the works. i drew the panels.

i sometimes wonder if i should use less panels & open the page up more. but i kinda like panels. some order to the chaos.

i hope my life mellows out soon and stops taking me for this twisted, fucked-up, roller coaster of a ride i’m on right now.  i could use some peace. my art could use some of the attention i’ve been giving a certain stupid situation i am in.

as much as i complain about my kids & my husband, their distractions are a part of my life and i love them for it. they keep my life interesting and give me inspiration. i do not need any psycho hello kitty drama clogging up my creative process…keep your eyes peeled for a hello kitty zombie for me to decapitate. it’s bound to happen.

if you’re looking for moses jones….

i am working on a new page, as promised…but i keep wanting to draw on my new comic as well. the story keeps unfolding in my head as i lay and nurse a baby to sleep. so i’m also working on a page of moonfish. and i found myself at the art store, with blinders on, buying just one bottle of blue ink–nothing else. i have art supplies out my ass, but i still find myself fondling paper and pens and other pretty toys whenever i go to the art store. the blue ink is for moonfish. i am going to put blue highlights on my main character. maybe elsewhere…i’m still figuring it out. i’ll know more when i get to the ink & brush stage of that first page.

also! i have, as my signature on a forum for webcomics, this site. however, this site is more of a journal and a report of process and random thoughts & occurrences that go along with creating a graphic novel when you are me. this means, it is not strictly moses jones living here. which might be confusing to someone who is just looking to read the story–not know the entirety of what is happening in my head & life as i work on said story.

therefore, i have done two things. i have created a link to my tapastic site. it should be right over there somewhere—->

and in the category section right —> there, under the tapastic link, i made it so all you had to do is click on the category of “pages” to get all of the pages that are story pages. of course, on this site, you get more than just the story. you also get the story behind the story and other random ramblings of the such. so if you just want to read the goddamned comic already, go over to tapastic (click on the enormous picture of mj’s face asking you your post apocalyptic preference).

and just because i like to share some of the adorable obstacles to my progress as a graphic novelist, this is a photo shoot i had to do when i got my camera out to document the pages i am working on.

clemonster! 009 clemonster! 010 clemonster! 011

doodle pad family portrait

do the drawings i do on my three year old’s doodle pad count as drawing a picture a day?  she comes and asks me to draw “gaga” (her 9 year old brother,) and i do.  then she clears it and asks me to draw “wahwah” (her 6 year old brother.)  then it is “mimi” (herself) and then “baby” and then “mama” and then “daddy.”  i draw her the family, and she erases each picture to have me do it all over again.  sometimes pepper the cat is requested as well.

here i recreated–with a little more detail than allowed by the doodle pad–the people i draw for her.  minus daddy & the cat.

so that’s as much as i have been drawing other than when i remember to draw in my journal.

journal2one of my doodles here is from Jen Wang’s graphic novel Koko be Good.  i have been working on noticing drawing styles i really like and drawing them.  i don’t want to copy someone else, but if i can evolve my own style, inspired by someone else’s work, that would be cool.  that’s how moses jones was born.  i was trying to re-create this character based loosely on me.  i looked at Jaime Hernendez’s work as well as Tank Girl to take in new ideas and evolve my own style.

speaking of moses jones, i was able to ink a page last night!!  the baby stayed asleep!!  the night before that, i drew two squares–before a tumbling stumbling baby wandered to the living room to find me.  i am working on getting the brushwork done now.  hopefully, it will be up by tomorrow.  maybe i can develop a rhythm.  sleep for 3 nights–stay up the fourth and do art.  something like that.