We…let me dial that back a bit. It’s easy for me to look at a week, or a month, or a year and define it by large events, both good or bad. One of the reasons I’m growing to love this Friday post is that I can’t just say this week was hard, or challenging, exhausting or wonderful and leave it at that. Even if I don’t talk about the pictures in the grid, making it means that I look at some of those small moments from the last seven days.
We had a…I don’t think snow storm is the right word. A snow event last Friday. The roads were slick in the south part of the city. I had a show opening with some of my favorite humans, Sally and Stephanie up north in Staunton, IL. It ended up being a very quiet opening where only the artists and owners of the gallery were in attendance. But it was lovely drinking wine and beers and talking to my friends for a few hours. I think we want to do another group show again in the fall maybe.
Sunday was derby day with the girls. They had head-shots taken and I just love them. They enjoy skating so much and the community and culture of our roller derby league has really made them feel confident, accepted, and comfortable in their own skins. Olive beat the pants off of me twice at Monopoly Junior this week, but I beat everyone at Cooties…so I guess there’s a balance. They’re helping make dinner now and talking about what they want and need. The two of them are really great kids and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
There’s a place in the city called the London Tea Room and I love it. My best friend Sandy met there this week for tea and to talk about work and life. I mean, we talk every day on messenger but I’m so glad my friends and I carve out face to face time for each other. It’s a totally different thing. PLUS I got to meet and cuddle with her new puppy, and she’s super cute and sweet.
I talked to my accountability partners this week about putting the life with girls comics away for now so that I can move forward into other projects. As I’m getting ready to start on it, I find myself working on things that are tangentially related. The girls and I have been going through a project book, learning to sew dolls clothes for Barbie. Which leads me into something that I’ve been working much too slowly on but that I need to work on and finish.
A while back, my friend Steve Johnson and I talked through a cover design concept for his new game system Cinemachanics. The concept is to use stop motion style puppets of a director and (literal) cameraman directing player characters in a staged scene. Sort of a Chris Sickels, Terry Gilliam, Toy Story mash up. I’ve been really excited about the idea but intimidated by the work. The time has come though, because i really want to do this well and develop my ability to do these dolls for my own work, stories and shows.
Which brings me around to my big (huge, kind of crazy, but kind of doable as long as I work a bit at a time and keep tasks small) project. I want to do an online picture book of stories and drawings and world building, based around a character created by Olive named Gunchiss: The Warrior Who Died 1,000 Deaths. My working title for the story is Astorya.
It’s a story about the power of names, true love, and darkness. The princess Ogweena (a young magician) separates her shadow from her body, casting it out into the world in the form of a sparrow. Her little explorer. Without her shadow, she felt stronger and more confident, and soon she began sending it further out into the world.
The shadow though grew stronger and darker too. Feeding off of the hurt and despair in the world it began to seek power and a spirit of its own. Stealing into the home of the three fates, the witches of past, present, and future, the shadow stole the voice of the present. Taking dominion of now, the shadow drew a curtain of darkness over the world.
Powerless in the face of her despair, and knowing that the shadow (and with it, the voice of the present) couldn’t die as long as she lived, the princess Ogweena put herself into an enchanted sleep to buy time for a hero to help her mend things. The strings of fate are tied so strongly between Ogweena and her one true love that they form an unbreakable cable, keeping him in the present and undying (for long). Each time he dies, Gunchiss comes back to life on the same morning that she fell asleep. To try again.
The shadow, all of the princesses’ despair made flesh, kills Gunchiss over and over again. His love for Ogweena keeps bringing him back to life so he can defeat her shadow, return the voice of now, and wake his true love.
I don’t know how to write a book, so I’m going to embrace the “There’s no right way to write a book” philosophy and figure it out as I go along. I’ve done a lot of the ground work already and am looking forward to sharing that with you. This is a big project, and a daunting one. I like planning projects though, and am excited about it. Long term maintenance when I’m in the middle terrifies me though. I will be making small goals for it each week with my accountability partners and sharing process and progress here every Friday to make sure that I carve out regular time. A little bit of work is better than no work.
Thank you for your continued support, it makes things like this project possible and I can’t thank you enough for that. Until next week, take care and be good.