Monday, March 25, 2013

I cannot blog today, because MASKS is coming back ...

This is not the Orb of Occam.

I don’t have time to blog today. I am stupidly busy.

What am I doing? Oh, just writing a couple of Masks chapters. And probably drawing at least one chapter illustration. Also a certain amount of cursing and banging my head on the table.

Half my work hours got canceled today, and I’m not even all that upset because it gives me more time to eat this elephant.

The next new chapter goes up sometime on Wednesday. Maybe not super early in the day, but Wednesday.

There is a very big fight in it. Fight choreography is going to be a thing for me today. And for those of you who have read previous drafts … yeah, the Orb of Occam is in it. We all remember the Orb of Occam. As in, “No! Not the Orb of Occam!”

So this is me not blogging. I’m writing instead.

Why are you still reading this? You’re keeping me from working …

Monday, March 18, 2013

Shiny new toys ...

This was supposed to be an art blog.

The goal was to take this not-too-bad sketch I did of Rae’s new costume (note the pretty patterning on her hood) and use a new trick I’ve thought up to demonstrate what might be the new art style for Volume 2. I’m hoping to use the watercolor effects on my Bamboo tablet to create a sort of painted look over pencil art.

Well, personal drama intervened last night, and I’ve got a dental appointment this morning, so all I’ve got for you today is the very first sketch in my shiny new sketchbook (pictured in last week’s blog entry). I’ll try to post the painted-up version to the Facebook page soon.

In the meantime, you’ll all be pleased to hear that I made this sketch as a reward for writing 1000 words last night. 1000 words in which we find out what was inside those envelopes we saw at the end of Volume 1, and why Trevor’s in particular is driving him berserk. And I left off just at the point where somebody smells an approaching horse in a place where a horse cannot possibly be … 

Such things keep me motivated. After all, I've got to get back to work if I want to find out what happens.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I am not dead yet. And on a related note ...

Hello again, everyone. I’m not dead! Isn’t that super?

As you can see from the image above, I’m back at work on a couple of things. Teh Novel is in what I hope to God is the home stretch, and I’m back on Masks stuff. As to where I’ve been … well, it’s long and complicated and I’m going to avoid discussing personal stuff on this blog for a while, but oh the stories I will tell when I finally stop avoiding. Hoo boy.

The part of all this that you need to know is 1) I hope to get back to posting chapters before the month is out; 2) I’m experimenting with a new art style that you may find intriguing; and 3) I need your opinion on something I’m writing. Yes, yours. Yes, writing.

You see, among the many, many things I am not talking about from the past few months, one of the nastiest ones that’s been holding up my progress on just about everything is that I’ve had to write a ton of promotional stuff for Teh Novel, trying to get it sold, and that’s all been hugely complicated by the fact that I haven’t got a title for it. The one thing all the beta readers agree on is that my working title, which was never much of a title anyway, is absolutely terrible. And I’m hitting the point where I really need a title that works with the rest of the work in order to finish the work.

But last month, I got a new library card.

I just moved to a new corner of the planet, you see, and there’s a splendid library ten minutes’ drive from my new home. I mean gorgeous. Books as far as the eye can see, a bookshop and a coffee stall, the comfiest of comfy chairs … I would live there if I could. I’ve lusted after a library card there for years. And now that I live so close by, I have the perfect excuse to get my seventh library card. (That’s cards for seven different library systems, not seven individual cards—I’ve had way more than seven library cards over the years, what with replacing worn-out ones and libraries getting new computer and check-out systems.) So I filled out the forms, picked the design of card I wanted (it’s got owls on it!), and proceeded to wander the shelves, gripping my shiny new library card and drooling like a kid in a newly opened candy store.

And one of the first books that caught my eye was this:

The Resurrection Kid: A Western Quartet. Something about that title just snagged me. It was the first thing I picked up. It had been a few years since I’d read Westerns of any sort, let alone the pulp reprints these turned out to be, but the title of the last story in this collection—“A Gun for the Resurrection Kid”—sank its hook into my soul and wouldn’t let go. You see, Teh Novel is very much concerned with resurrection, and it has a sort of post-apocalyptic pseudo-Western setting. Think The Hunger Games meets Firefly. And so I began experimenting with the word resurrection and all its variations. And I came up with two possible titles.
So here’s my question, fellas and girls … would you read a post-apocalyptic YA novel called either The Resurrectionist or The Resurrectionist’s Song?

A resurrectionist, for anyone who cares, is an old term for someone who digs up fresh corpses from graveyards and sells them to medical schools. (This was back in the days when there was a real shortage of cadavers, and not many legal ways of getting them.) Resurrectionists play a minor but significant role in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, among other works of literature. The first time I read the term and realized what it was, the poetry of it made me smile (pretty much the only time Dickens had that effect on me). And while nobody in Teh Novel actually digs up a grave, there are two characters who, for their own separate reasons, bring the dead back to life. I wouldn’t expect the average bookstore browser to know what a resurrectionist is, of course, but I hope the word would be intriguing as well as unfamiliar.

So what do you think? If you were a random reader, would you want to spend a few hours with a resurrectionist, or hear a resurrectionist’s song? I look forward to the comments.

And now, by way of an apology, here’s a little song just for you: