Getting things done

I’ve just spent hours working on a single panel of a comic, and have not yet finished it. A single panel. It was drawn when I started. Drawn and scanned. Ready to go. I’m not even at a point in the story that calls for me to make photo-realistic characters or backgrounds or composites thereof. Hours. This panel, another panel, re-drawing a final drawing from scratch (or Photoshopping something that looks like I drew it again from scratch) based on the scale and spacing of the final layout, plus all the text and text-layout, and I’m there. I’ll be done. Fuck. At this rate, it may be a gajillion years before I get this done.

I suppose it’s going faster than the other comic I was working on today. I’m carving that one out of wood. I’ve never carved anything out of wood before, and for some reason when the question was put to me as to what I’d like to do, I drew a comic. Fuck. What the fuck was I thinking? Well, after a couple hours work yesterday and another half hour or so today, I managed to roughly carve out the first, least-detailed panel. I’m going to have to paint this thing when I’m done so you can see what I meant it to be. Then I started on the second panel & started immediately to screw the whole thing up. I even managed to damage the first panel. Oh well. I suppose it’s all part of experience. My first attempt is not supposed to be perfect, is it? I’ve only managed to carve my fingers a little so far. We’ll see how long we can keep that up.

I hit that frustration with the carving and switched projects. No hurry on anything, really. Just do it until it gets done. I started working on cutting up wood for fire. Old, rotten 2x4s, dozens of them, and cutting them up with a skilsaw. Moving the boards around and hefting the saw and then stacking the cut wood got me pretty sore pretty quick, so I’ll probably do a couple of hours on that a day until it’s done and I’ll still be way ahead of the game. No need to try to force myself to do it all at once; the rotting wood has got a while to dry in the woodshed before it can be burned anyway.

My dad’s coming up tomorrow. He’s probably got a dozen projects he needs to do. Some of it is quick, but it all adds up, and he likely won’t get to a third or a half of it until the sun is gone. Sometime tomorrow someone is supposed to come by and look at one of our last rentals, and based on what I’ve heard will probably want to be in by the 1st. Which means a little work in there to get it ready for him, but also means a lot of carrying 1300 sq.ft. of old stuff and junk out of there as fast as possible so he can start moving his stuff in. I’d been thinking of getting my art set up in there this week/weekend, but having a renter in there is much better than what we have going now. Actually, just about everything is renting now. We had a guy looking at the smaller log cabin today who’ll probably move in post-haste, and Grampa found a renter for the last of the smaller spaces at dinner tonight. Which is probably because not 20 minutes beforehand I’d mentioned to him that I was thinking of putting my art in there if the big space rents out tomorrow. Oh well. Having income is important. Makes it easier to do things like pay the bills and eat.

I really want to ramp up my painting. I went through everything I have here and dated and serialized it and while I was very happy to see the way my art has been evolving over time, I was disappointed by the volume of work I’ve been creating. For instance, I’ve painted more new paintings so far in 2003 than in each of 2001 and 2002. And it’s still been slow-going. I need to do more. I need to keep working. I also need to pick up these new skills my grandfather can offer me while I’m here, like wood carving, stone carving, welding, et al. So carving this comic is a good thing. But painting is my passion.

And so is writing. I need to re-write Forlorn. Cafepress promises they’ll be doing Print On Demand soon for books, and I’d love to offer it for sale. Or at least to have a copy to hold in my own hands. I have another work, one I’ve showed (or tried to show) a couple of people recently that I also began work on in November which I’d like to finish, to rewrite, to offer for sale. I have a lot of other ideas I should be getting down. Like the other day I solved the problem of wormholes. Now, the smart thing to do is to research all the latest work done in the field by the most prominent physicists, carefully document my theory and back it up mathematically and with reference to their published papers, and send it out into the world, maybe try to get it published in a journal or something. Instead, I’m going to write a hard Sci-Fi short story or novella surrounding the technology and just put it out there. Maybe the right people will see it someday. Whatever. I didn’t really want to be able to instantly be transported anywhere in the solar system using no more power than it takes to light my room for a few minutes. Not within my lifetime, anyway.

Did I mention that the specs I came up with my sophomore year of high school for a 3D computer monitor are finally in late-stages of R&D by three major monitor manufacturers? I was too lazy to try to figure out how to go from my raw idea to a product, so I just told as many people as could understand it and hoped eventually some other smart people in the industry would figure it out on their own. Look for 3D monitors that cost the same to manufacture as modern LCD flat-panel displays to hit the market within 1-3 years. One of these days I’ll figure out how to get off my ass about ideas like this and maybe see them working faster than a decade.

Okay, enough of that.

The more random comments from people about how Dani has treated them that pop up on my entries about how I feel about her, the more paranoid I get. the more it occurs to me that maybe she really is just jerking me around. I mean, she’s known Zuri for quite a long while and I know enough about Zuri to trust her judgement about people … to an extent. But maybe Dani treats Zuri differently than myself and the other person or persons commenting around here lately. I don’t know. I don’t want to make any judgements without all the facts, but I do want to keep an open mind.

You know what would be fun? Another one of those conversations in poetry. Alison and Iain and I had fun with that one a while ago. Maybe we can get Dani to play, too. What do you think, guys?

I should be sleeping by now. My dad is probably already up, or will be up soon. He delivers newspapers in the middle of the night, so by the time he shows up here, he’ll have already put in a full day’s work. If I make it seem like he doesn’t work hard enough up here, I don’t mean it. He works as hard as he can. He can only do so much before his body gives out. Of course, then he expects me to work until my body gives out, too. Except I want to be able to get things done the next day, too, so I try to pace myself. Like with the firewood today, just doing some of it instead of pushing myself until I couldn’t have lifted a fork to my mouth at supper.

Did I mention I drove to supper tonight? With a manual transmission, even. It was only a couple of miles, and since both my home and the restaurant are on Highway 87, it was all highway driving, but I managed to switch gears. Which is more than I could do last time I tried to learn how to drive manual. (I got it started, and got it moving in 1st gear, but simply couldn’t get it to switch to 2nd. After several stalls and some backed up traffic (again, on the highway) I pulled over and let my grampa take over.) I kept missing 3rd and going into overdrive, but after doing that a couple of times I got into 3rd okay. It’s just so much to think about. I’ve done so little driving in my life that just doing that alone is still a lot to think about, and adding all these things I’m supposed to be doing with my feet and with my hand off the wheel… I’m sure I’ll get it if I keep trying, but it’s pretty hard right now. I’ve been riding a bicycle for so long that all my reflexes are way off. Steering this vehicle with sensitive powered steering is bizarre to my hands and arms which are used to having a 1 to 1 direct effect on how much my vehicle turns, and at low speeds. Of course, when I want to go from 0 to 10 miles an hour on a bike, my right foot pushes down on the pedal as hard as it can, and I tell you what, I can go from 0 to 10 from a red light before I cross the intersection. You try that on a bike. I loved passing three or four bikes from a stop before I got to the end of the intersection when I rode in Tempe. Anyway, the tiny amount of pressure I need to apply to a gas pedal to go from 0 to 10 (or from 0 to 25, or 35) just doesn’t make sense to my leg. “Okay, now give it a little gas and slowly let the clutch out.” VVVRRROOOOMMM!!! “That was too much. Just a little while you get it in gear.” Oh well. I’ll get it. It only took 10 or 15 minutes to calm down after getting out of the vehicle. Grampa drove us home.

Well, I’m still up too late, and my mind is still not ready to shut down, calm down, quiet down. I’m typing faster than I should be at this hour and I’m too active above my beard. I wish I could update my Virtual Webcam image with some of the ones I took to Phoenix this weekend, but I couldn’t get the CD to burn. So, you just get to keep looking at me looking depressed and frustrated and confused while I was talking to Dani the other day. Pthbbbt!

Maybe I should go write that short story I’ve been meaning to write about a Flea Circus. Maybe I should try to clean off my table so I have someplace to work. Maybe I should .. Yes. I think I’ll go put that final element of paint on the painting I’ve had sitting here, unfinished, for months. It was unfinished because until a few days ago I didn’t know what it needed, what I should do with it. With most of the things I work on I would never be satisfied with them, never call them done, if I had the time and energy and resources to keep on them. So I just choose a point where it’s close enough, or where … well, where my mind says it’s okay to move on to the next thing, and I put a signature on it and … well, then it’s easy. I’ve made a deal with myself not to keep working on signed paintings. Also not to sign paintings that I want to keep working on (well, that I have specific things in mind for). Does that make sense? Anyway, I’m going to change my top shirt and go do that and … well, if I’m still as awake as all this when I get done with that, I’ll find something else to occupy my mind. (Knowing where my mind’s been the last couple of weeks, yes, it will likely be Dani.)

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.

2 thoughts on “Getting things done”

  1. I have no idea what you think is “fun” because that poem thing pissed me off. But I’ll see what I can do. Give me a minute…

  2. I have no idea what you think is “fun” because that poem thing pissed me off. But I’ll see what I can do. Give me a minute…

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