It figures. As soon as I stopped looking for my long-lost character sketch and started looking for something else...there it was. It was tucked away in a pile of papers I must have flipped through ten times. But I never saw it until I stopped trying. I'm really glad I found it, too, because the sketch I started a week ago got put aside so I could work on some really detailed illustrations for work. (I can't share them, unfortunately.) I just barely finished them on time and haven't had any time to work on anything else. And since I'll be out of town on an much, much-needed vacation next week, I thought I'd share with you this, sadly, unfinished drawing. This is my bad guy from the story I am...or was...writing back in August and haven't had time to work on much. I guess it's fairly obvious what the nature of his, um, condition is. But I don't want to give too much away as I fully intend to publish this one. For various reasons, I've never pursued any of my story ideas to any degree of completion. But I think this one may actually be marketable. As soon as my life uncomplicates itself a little, I'll get back to work on it.
I think I'm finally getting a grip on what I want him to look like and how I'll be drawing the book. I had started with a super-cartoony, loose style because of my Darwyn Cooke obsession but this is (to my chagrin) the way I actually draw and fighting against it was only frustrating me.
As I said, we're going on vacation starting tomorrow. I can't tell you how much we need this. It's been about a year since I took any time off that wasn't spent doing something I'd rather not have been doing. I'm exhausted both physically and emotionally.
My back is hurting worse than it has been in some time. A constant, nagging ache that just won't go away. And the pain in my hip that started as an occasional twinge about two years ago has also become chronic and my chiropractor tells me it's arthritis. I foresee a hip replacement in my not-too-distant future.
Mike is still on my mind every waking minute. I've finally reached the point where thinking about the good times makes me smile instead of cry but I miss him so much it hurts. A part of me still hasn't accepted that he's gone and sometimes when I think of him there's that instant of "I can't wait to tell Mike...oh, yeah..." And it hurts every single time.
Sorry to be such a downer. I'm just making the point that Suzanne and I are both excited to be going on vacation. We'll be going down to see Suzanne's parents on Harker's Island and staying in the cottage on the water across the street. I don't mind telling you I'll be sipping quite a bit of rum and coke and whatever else I can get my hands on. I'm not usually a big drinker because I tend to get sick when I drink too much. But this yearly vacation is when I usually cut myself some slack. I'm also taking a foot-tall stack of books to read and a pile of DVDs to watch and I plan on drawing until my fingers fall off. Drawing has finally become fun for me after nearly 40 years and I plan to take advantage of it. Whenever I draw for someone else, they always hand me something they saw and tell me they want me to "draw like this guy." I gotta tell you, that gets tiring. I never get to draw like me. That's why I like having this blog so much. I can do whatever I want. So I'll be storing up some blog sketches while I'm on vacation and I'll share them with you when I get back.
Finally, with all the traveling and picnicking and general goofing-off that goes on on Memorial Day, it's easy to forget why we get the day off from work in the first place. This Monday, wherever you happen to be and however you may feel about the conflicts we find ourselves in right now, please take a minute to remember the men and women who have given their lives to protect us and our way of life. It's something I try not to take for granted. But I often do. We all do. So, on this one day at least, spare a minute to think about these fine folks and what they gave up for us.