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Becoming Deviant

I’ve blown the dust off my old DeviantArt account. If you want to follow my drawing and painting, that will be the best place to do it. I’ll still share some paintings and drawings on this blog, but I plan to upload most of my new output on DeviantArt. It’s funny to think that One Last Sketch was finally living up to its title again, but I think it’s more appropriate to keep the literary focus going here.

I’ve actually lived up to my vow from nearly a year ago to draw something every day, and it’s resulted some concrete, demonstrable improvement. That’s hugely rewarding, and I’m going to keep at it for the foreseeable future.

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Example: The drawing on the left is from October 2016, the painting on the right, March 2017. I’ve been doing a few repaints of work from a few months ago, in part to get a sense of “where I’m at” with this whole art thing.

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I’m three-quarters of the way through Thomas Wharton’s The Shadow of Malabron and I’m just not feeling it–not the characters, not the world, not the story. Passages go by where I realize my inattentiveness several pages later, reading but not registering, and then having to flip back to figure out why Will is doing this thing or why the wolf is over there. Not a good sign, and one that chafes because Wharton’s glacially-paced Icefields kept me far more engaged. Much more happens in Shadow, yet the impact is much less. Continue Reading »

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There are a lot of books on writing fiction, so many that I wonder just who’s buying them all. They’re either disproportionate to the people who actually sit down and write, or publishers can always count on writers (published and unpublished and self-published) to buy these books to the degree that releasing one is always a safe investment. Or else I’m missing something about the marketplace completely. Continue Reading »

A Street at Nightfall

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A quick perspective exercise in ink and watercolour using MyPaint 1.0.

If you’re tired of my bumbling attempts at digital painting, I recommend taking a look at Carciphona, a webcomic with some gorgeous artwork. It’s one of those stories the creator seems to have had in mind since she was a teenager and has refined over years and years; her passion for that story and characters really shines through.

I’ve had a lazy winter so far. Drawing and painting a lot more than I used to, only writing occasionally (and then finding the things I do write overly depressing and fit for the trunk), and back to reading Murakami again. Maybe I’ll post a review of Norwegian Wood when I’m done.

Screaming for Vengeance

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In retrospect, this one was inevitable. Created with MyPaint 1.0.

Pulpy Thoughts

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Back in 2013 I wrote about new digital distribution models being ideal for a return of old-style pulp literature, because those “new” models looked a lot like experiments from the early days of mass print. The small presses I hoped would specialize pulp have largely failed to materialize, though in a large part that “lack” links directly to my own narrow definition of “pulp.” The media filling the void left by pulp magazines and dime novels doesn’t often look much like the stuff I seek out from the heyday of the pulp era, but the audience is the same class demographic and that’s what drives the content, after all. Continue Reading »

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I’ve been trying to get into Avatar: The Last Airbender on the urgings of Alasdair Czyrnyj, with the eventual goal of being able to talk intelligibly about The Legend of Korra. Avatar has all the hallmarks of a great show custom-made to appeal to my interests: dynamic animation, strong characters, solid storytelling and a “land of adventure” setting with distinct, inter-meshing cultures. Yet I find myself continually pulled away from the show, and despite watching the first episode back in December I haven’t managed to get beyond episode six. Meanwhile, I’ve been obsessively watching Last Exile even though I can’t say the two shows are qualitatively that much different (and the plot of Avatar is certainly less confusing). Continue Reading »