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.

new directions

just two weeks into school and i am ready to try some new things. something i was thinking of doing anyway which was also suggested by one of my professors, going bigger with my originals. back way back when i first started doing comics, i was a purist and used story boards. i penciled. i inked. i used a printer service to reduce and produce my final sheets…. then when i started moses jones, i started doing it the way i wanted to–not the way the bossy male “friend” comic artists told me i had to do it. i worked smaller & used just ink! ink! ink! but now i am ready to compromise. i even bought one of those blue pencils and am entertaining the idea of using pencils again. maybe….

i used a blue pencil here to try to make a slightly cleaner picture....
i used a blue pencil here to try to make a slightly cleaner picture….

so the last page of episode two will be larger & i will photograph it instead of scanning it. with the help of student loans (i am hoping our education system will be socialized soon & all these loans will be forgiven!) i am getting a new & better camera for art. i also have to get a new laptop. this one has at least four nonworking keys, overheats constantly, moves at the speed of snot, and has no battery life. i have to use adobe illustrator for one of my classes & i was afraid to install it into a dying computer…. so my buy nothing new is a bit conflicted right now because in order to get the drop & spill protection (four kids!!) i had to buy new….

so lots of stuff going on here.

the last page should be done soon! then i will make a second zine & start episode three!

while my children scream at me

i sneak away to my scanner….
since my camera is sad these days, i will try scanning more. since i have a home again, i will try scanning more.

i finally have the right ink in my pens. though this page was done before it occurred to me that i could dump the wrong ink out of my pen and refill it with the right ink. i was just trying to run it out by using my pen. my pen was not digging that and no amount of shaking or tapping was getting it to draw. so this journal page is a bit rough. also, i was using styles that aren’t mine. just for fun.

iggy called the bikini top “weed boob sacks”–ha!

i’m still reading amanda palmer’s book. i am tempted to contact her. maybe i will. she touts her own accessibility quite a lot in her book, however, i am new to the fan base…and i think i just rub people the wrong way–so i dread contacting her & being ignored. as she says in her book, social rejection hurts as much as physical pain. it does. plus, i realize that i may never be good at asking. as a child, i was ignored by my parents. the fourth of six, they just kinda forgot about me. they were pretty lackluster parents to begin with, and i was lost in the shuffle. instead of making a ruckus–like poppy does (i admire his 4th child technique of constantly demanding he get at least equal consideration, even though said technique exhausts me!)–instead of demanding attention–i decided to disappear. my feeling, even as a young child, was that if they weren’t going to give me the attention i deserved, i would not stoop to ask for it.

and i didn’t.

and now the art of asking is an art that i cannot grasp.

though i need to.

so how do i start interacting on a better level with my fan base? how do i reach out to people? how do i become human? these are the puzzles i occupy myself with these days. i hope to figure it out. being a successful artist & writer is important to me, but it may never happen if i do not learn how to interact with my audience.

ay fuck.

as for moses jones…my living room is still full of the wrong furniture & unpacked boxes. my desk sits amidst the mess, calling to me. hopefully, i will get the excess furniture & boxes out of the living room tonight so i can set up my desk & feel like myself again. and get some pages of mojo out to y’all. soon!

with my desk en route

at the point of this update, my desk–the home of my art & writings–is in a uhaul somewhere in stoughton, wisconsin en route to madison. i miss my desk terribly and anxiously await her arrival.

meanwhile, i doodle on. as my life rises and falls beneath my feet, i doodle on. i ride the waves of my own drama while i doodle and vent in the pages of my journal.

mojo, i have not forsaken you! i keep you close, but do not dare remove you from the portfolio which is your temporary home for fear of young children wreaking havoc on your fragile pages….

and i continue to read amanda palmer’s book the art of asking. i think i have ventured past the point where i am envious, petty, and sad–and now i am able to enjoy the book. i fear repeating my mistake of making contact with someone who seems a kindred soul. lynda barry has taught me to stay hidden in my hole. but i still fantasize about it. what would amanda palmer & i talk about at lunch? would she like my comic? would she make me some new eyebrows? what would she wear? would she let me draw on her eyebrows?

i’m a crazy stalker chick. there is no denying that. however, the book does have me wondering–in addition to what would happen if i started asking for things–where in my life can i be more giving of things? any book that gets me thinking is a good book in my opinion. hers is a good book. a memoir more than a self-help. and it isn’t chronological. and there aren’t chapters per se. she seems authentic. i like that. neil chose well. i look forward to attending one of their anniversary parties once amanda palmer & i have become best friends & gotten matching tattoos.

while the baby naps…

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.

& daddy 007 & daddy 012

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.

i’m still here! i’m still here!!

another rerun….

i have been doodling and could post a picture accordingly, but i don’t feel like walking downstairs & finding my camera to take a picture of my artwork. plus, my canon digital camera is acting as if it does not have much longer to live. if i have any benefactors out there…hint. hint. too many kids dropping said camera after massaging it with sticky fingers, i suppose.

but i am doodling. exercising my pens, as it were, who are much happier now that i have started shaking them loose.

i am still–still still still–between homes. we had to move out of the abandoned house we were squatting in. we went back to dusty’s sister’s house, but after a fight with dusty, i packed up the minions and went to my brother’s house in my gloriously flat home state of illiniois. at least my brother keeps his fridge stocked with beer.

why did dusty & i fight? spoilers! the other woman factor…which will be addressed in comic form eventually. the other fucking woman. as if moses jones is not enough woman for any man?? phih-shaw!

so i drove off…as i will…moving my babies for the fourth time this summer. but my brother’s house, as i said, has more beer…and has fewer (none) pitbulls. there is one cranky golden lab mix however. a lot more room! a trampoline even! iggy should be in seventh heaven, but iggy is iggy and like his dusty daddy, he is hard to please.

forgive me, i babble a bit. must be the well-stocked beer fridge.

in one week…one week! if dusty & i work out our differences…in one week, we will be sleeping in our own beds and irritating our own neighbors. so exciting. in one week, i will have a space of my own once more.

and the art will flow!

until then, don’t forget me. (i have not forgotten you.)

how being without a home affects my art….

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.

okay.

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.

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.