Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Quick Progress Report

Just to start off, tomorrow night I'm going to the reception for the latest issue of the award-winning Milvia Street magazine. They used four or five pieces of mine, depending on whether they published one or both of the hyeanodon drawings. Here they are! I'm pretty sure they gave Bluehive a color page but we shall see.

This one actually turned out to be my first print sale. The missus's dad was staying with us and when he saw the large print of this he wanted to buy it. I'm letting her handle the financial side of things...

This is one of a series of drawings I did for my sister's aborted website. She wanted a retro look so I obliged.

So I decided that since the novel was going awry and it was getting harder and harder for me to do anything but visual art stuff it was high time for a little tough lovin'. The rule is now a thousand pages-I-mean-words a day. Every day. Creatively I'm a sprinter, not a marathon runner, so this kind of rule is hard for me to stick to.

But I've been doing okay so far. I topped 70,000 words this morning -- for you non-writers, that's a respectable length for a novel, one of those big fat bestselling rat-smashers runs about 100,000 words -- and I can see the end from here. I can imagine being done with this draft inside of a month. We'll see, but it's possible.

As for short fiction. My tough guy dinosaur story for David Byron isn't talking to me -- I should have finished the damned thing in one go. Note to self -- knock out the rough draft to a short story in one sitting if at all possible.

But the story I'd planned to give to Milvia Street was three times longer than they'd publish. So I sent it off to Rob and it's going to be in Swill. This suits me fine -- it's one of the best things I've written and I really, really like the idea that Ellen Datlow, editor of horror half of the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror will get a chance to read it. It's called Hate Her, Hate Her, Tribulator! and it wasn't until I'd finished the second or third draft that I realized it was a deal with the Devil story. Instead of the usual approach where the point is to come up with a twist on the fulfilled wish (there is one of those but it's not the center of the story) I show how the devil-character, the Tribulator, is destroyed by culture shock. It also features very, very jaundiced views of both of my romantic relationships -- something I didn't know I was doing while I was writing it.

Oh, it is a mean little unit.

Which means the creepy/funny SF bar story I'd written for Swill is now free. I'll do a rewrite this weekend and get it of to Mr. Byron to compensate for the loss of the story I'd promised him before.

So I need to come up with something for Milvia Street and something for Monday Night. One piece is going to be about my first three clear memories -- bedwetting, agnosticism, and a doberman attack. The other? I'm hunting for inspiration.

I'm putting off scheduling a print day for my art until I'm done with the Anomalocaris canadensis piece. Yesterday I spent some time studying Illustrator techniques for handling color rendering. One that looks interesting is to use the gradient tool to lay in rough tones, then convert it to a gradient mesh and refine it. So that's the tack I'm taking. Soon as I get this posted it's gonna be time to pick some colors and start laying down gradients...

No comments: