Trust the Art and Other Foibles

Whoops, looks like I haven’t posted here in a month. Guess my motivation is still pretty low, not to mention not having much to really talk about in September. But October is here, and now I have a little smorgasbord of topics to touch on:

INKTOBER

I’ve been participating in Inktober, which is a month-long challenge to draw a picture using ink each day. They offer a list of prompts, which I have been following so I don’t get artist block. If you’re interested, I’m posting my daily efforts on my DeviantART page and on Twitter. But there’s something I’ve learned after drawing for only a few days:

Trust the art.

Whenever I do something to the piece that, once done, makes me go, “Oh I wish I hadn’t done that, it doesn’t look as good now,” it’s because I didn’t trust the art. Whenever there’s a part of it I don’t like or regret doing a certain way, it’s because I didn’t trust the art. I didn’t trust it to do what I wanted it to do without any more help or emphasis. I didn’t trust it to convey what I wanted. I didn’t trust myself to know when I should stop. I meddled too much and while the picture isn’t ruined, it isn’t quite as nice as I wanted it to be.

I think this translates into writing as well. We either want it perfect on the first try, or we meddle with the result so much that we end up destroying what made it work, what made it special. It’s a fine line to walk, and one that, I think, can only been seen through the lens of experience. Too much editing or not enough? It can be hard to tell sometimes, especially when we’re trying to make something work the way we want it (or think we want it) to be. This is why feedback is so important.

Speaking of feedback…

REJECTION

Sadly, “The Distal King” did not find a home at Uncanny Magazine. Part of me isn’t surprised, but part is also disappointed. This is normal. The most frustrating thing about rejection from magazines is that usually you have no idea why it was rejected. Did the reader just not care for it? Were there too many other stories like it? Was there a typo or grammar issue you missed while proofreading? Was it a decent concept poorly executed or an inadequate concept well-executed? Should I work on revising the story or just scrap it an try something else? I understand that, due to the nature of the submission process, the editors and their assistants do not have the time to write individual rejection letters with suggestions for improvement. But man, it would be nice to know why the story got rejected.

Oh well. On to the next thing…

OKAMI

I finished playing Okami for, like, the third time (although this was my first HD experience) AND I finished editing the fanfic! Now I just need to assemble everything into a PDF, get the spacing and layout right, and see if I can get this sucker printed. Hoping to get that done during October.

NANOWRIMO

Aaaaand it’s prep time for National Novel Writing Month! It’s been 10 years since I started NaNoWriMo, and wow, has it been a ride! Although I’m a bit sad that I haven’t been able to focus (like, at all) on completing Ravens and Roses this year, I am excited to use NaNoWriMo to get another chunk of prose done for another story. Because I need something light and fluffy that I can just play around with, I’ve decided to work on my middle-grade/possibly YA fantasy book DragonFriend about the adventures of a young blacksmith/innkeeper’s assistant with a talent for languages who becomes a magical zoologist. I’ve got a basic idea, a few pages already written, and a ton of fantasy creatures my hero Hagan can encounter, so it promises to be pretty fun.  

…AND SUNDRY

  • I’ve been taking walks a little more regularly, although I’m still sleeping too much. I like autumn more now as an adult, but the cooler temperatures make me sluggish.
  • My shower is broken, but fortunately, I can just run upstairs and use that one… but now I am being forced to CLEAN the darn thing… which has become a bit of a project, as I am a VERY indifferent housekeeper. >_<
  • I miss going to the movie theater with my friends. Netflix Parties are fun, but there’s nothing quite like going to the theater. Hopefully they’ll be able to survive the shut-downs and return next year.
  • I’m trying to get back into my local comic book store a little more often, but I’m still wary about going out places.
  • Got my first migraine last Wednesday, which was a bundle of fun.
  • I read a book called Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal which was very good and gave me a lot to think about as I try to restructure my life and gain some traction.
  • Tis the season of candles, so I’ve bought candles. So. Many. Candles. Absolutely LOVE the bibliophile collection of candles from Frostbeard Studio, so check them out if you haven’t already!

My apologies once again if this was not of great substance… but at least it’s a little something. I’ll try to get another entry up on time at the end of October, but no promises, especially when NaNo hits!

 

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