Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm Bicuspal.

I'm really getting a kick out of photography. Working with this image was funny -- I had to cut the highlights, then pump up the light tones, cut dark tones, and pump up the blacks. Trying to get clarity without going all digital-image candy-color was a challenge.

But given the day's subject matter, I feel obliged to include a paleo-image. Here's a Hyaenodon horridus.

So this morning I come down and find and email that takes me by surprise. Through my association with Art Evolved, I've been invited to take place in a public art project at Harvard on September twenty-ninth.

(Of course this takes place during the month when time pressures have kept me from drawing my Anomalocaris.)

They're going to be making a chalk drawing of a timeline of the history of life on Earth outside the Harvard library and they want me to both draw and answer the questions of passers-by.

Normally I'd be thrilled but frustrated by the fact that I couldn't get there, but my current circumstances put me into a tantalizing position. By which I mean I'm in the position of Tantalus, who had fruit above him and water below him, both of which retreated when he reached for them.

See, I'm going to be passing through Boston on October fourth, in order to attend the Viable Paradise writer's workshop on Martha's Vineyard. (Among other things, I'll be asking for advice on selling my novel. If I play my cards right I should be able to get some kind of a boost.)

In order to participate, I'd have to take an extra week off from school and miss two classes in a row. I'd also have to find a way of attaching chalk to a stick and practice drawing with it -- my back ain't gonna let me crouch for five hours. I'd have to pay to have my flight changed, and find some way to stay in Boston for a week.

But this would be a hell of an experience, a great thing to put on my resume, and I could probably place an article on it in Prehistoric Times magazine. Heck, maybe a more prestigious publication might find it of interest...

I'm probably not going to be able to do it. But I'm going to try.

The Missus flat-out said, "You can't be gone for that long."

And I flat-out said, "I am not such an idiot as to fail to take advantage of an opportunity."

And she heard me...

It's weird -- I'm a writer, first and foremost, but the art thing just won't go away. In the long run, I intend to find a way of bringing the two together, but right now it seems that just as I'm getting my teeth sunk into the writing, the art busts in the door and pins me to the wall, screaming demands. I'm on the cusp of achievement in two areas -- I'm bicuspal.

All this gave me a sense of not-quite-deja-vu. I felt as though I'd been in this place before, where I was simultaneously getting a sense of real and unexpected progress in my main fields of endeavor. So I looked back at what I'd blogged a year ago today.

I wonder if there's something about the season...


RW Ridley said...

Insanely cool news. Congrats! I hope you get to do it.

Sean Craven said...

Hey, RW! Good to see you here. Alas, I ain't gonna do it. I was able to figure out the logistics of how to be there, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that sidewalk chalk drawing is not a sport for a guy missing a couple of discs. Alas, what might have been.

Anyway, I need to stay focused on the damned novel.