I spent most of yesterday cleaning and rearranging my apartment, but I sat down afterward and drew in my new sketchbook for a couple of hours. This is a picture of Tiffany, one of the ladies at the Dollar General in my neighborhood. I drew her earlier this year, but I wasn’t completely happy with the way it turned out. I like this one a little bit better. Hope you’re all having a good week.

Delving into my new sketchbook

My sister gave me a new sketchbook for my 35th birthday. Here’s one of the first pictures I’ve drawn in it. This is Anna Keating, the lady in charge of Sound Stage Direct, an online store that I’ve ordered a few records from. It’s fun to do business with her.

I haven’t posted much on here lately because I’ve been busy kicking around ideas for a cartoon strip and working on a new book. The new book isn’t fiction. It’s more like a giant blog post … and therefore, I’ve been pouring most of my “essay energy” into that rather than the blog. Sorry I haven’t been as sociable on Word Press lately. I feel a little bit rotten about that. I hope you’re all doing well. And I hope you have a great Christmas/holiday season.

New record

Several months ago, I bought a record player and started collecting vinyl. I buy old records at the pawn shop near my apartment (one of them is Walter Cronkite discussing the highlights of 1959 … another is a Colonel Sanders Christmas record) but I also order brand new records from online stores. Last week, I got Flood by They Might Be Giants. Flood originally came out in 1991, but they just re-released it on green vinyl. It’s one of the most beautiful records I’ve seen so far. And it’s nice to listen to these songs again, songs that I was obsessed with in middle school. I love the whole album, but my favorite songs are Birdhouse In Your Soul and Istanbul and Road Movie To Berlin.

Bird’s eye view

I went flying with my cousin and my uncle a few weeks ago. It was a wonderful experience. It would have been better if I wasn’t having a “sinus day.” I did take some decent photos and doodle in my sketchbook while I was up there, though. Maybe next time I’ll be in better shape and I can enjoy it a little more.

* Note to self

I don’t expect you to understand my garbled handwriting. This post is mostly for my own benefit, so I don’t have to re-learn all this business next time I publish a book on Create Space. In case I lose these notes, I can just come back and read them here. If you are able to read my chicken scratch and learn something from it, that’s wonderful too. A few of you publish your own work through Kindle and Create Space like I do. Maybe this will help you in some small way. Right now, I’m taking a break from writing. Now that The Gasoline Diet is finished and available, I’m going to turn my energy toward a comic strip I’ve been thinking about. If I like the way it turns out, I’ll publish the “episodes” here on my blog. I’m buzzing with energy and excitement tonight. I love this cold, crisp, windy weather. I’m sitting in my living room, listening to old records and getting ready for a long night of drawing. The comic strip series, if it works out the way I want it to, will involve space creatures and fried chicken. God bless you.

The Gasoline Diet

I’ve written a new novel. It’s called The Gasoline Diet. It’s about a young man named Charlie who struggles with a weight problem and low self-esteem. One morning, while Charlie eats a sausage biscuit at the local gas station, a gas pump explodes outside the window. A raging ball of fire consumes the self-service island as Charlie watches in horror. He and the other people in the gas station rush out the back door in a frantic stampede, fearful that the store itself will catch on fire. As Charlie scrambles away from the gas station, he experiences chest pains. He believes he’s having a heart attack. Afterward, he resolves to go on a diet and start exercising. He quickly sheds his excess weight and transforms into a new person. He gains self-confidence, buys a leather jacket, throws an eggplant at a robber, meets an eccentric software developer in the woods, and falls in love with a girl who sees the future. The Gasoline Diet is available on Amazon. You can click here to order a copy.

A quick sketch

I haven’t drawn much lately since I’ve been absorbed in my new book, but here’s a little sketch I did last night. It’s my friend Rachel Thompson.

Hope you’re all doing well. I’ll post more soon. I’m hoping the new book will be available on Amazon in two or three weeks.

Blog hop: meet my character

My good friend Liz Fountain invited me to participate in the “meet my character” blog hop. I was supposed to post this one yesterday, but I got distracted and derailed. Anyway, here goes.

* Is your character fictional or historical?

Charlie Crabtree, the main character in my new novel, is fictional.

* When and where is the story set?

The book takes place in North Georgia in 2014. I haven’t come up with a title yet, but most of the manuscript is written. I’m fine-tuning it right now.

* What should we know about him/her?

Charlie has struggled with a weight problem all his life. One morning, as he sits in a gas station and munches on a sausage biscuit, a gas pump explodes outside. He has to run out the back door of the gas station with the other customers. As he rushes out the door, he suffers some chest pains. He thinks he’s having a heart attack. Thus, Charlie goes on a diet and undergoes an intense transformation.

* What is the main conflict? What messes up?

Charlie’s father bought him comic books all the time when he was a boy. Unfortunately, Charlie’s father passed away when he was only eight. Ever since then, Charlie has kept the comic books in a wooden chest in the closet. They’re his only link to his father. One afternoon, a robber breaks into Charlie’s apartment and steals several items — including the old comic books. Charlie spends the rest of the story looking for the robber and the beloved comics.

* What is the personal goal of the character?

He has two goals: to lose weight and get back his old comic books. During his journey, he also meets a girl named Tanya. He falls deliriously in love with her.

* Is it published?

Not yet, but I expect it to drop in a month of two. I just need to think of a good title and tinker with a few minor things.


(I have no idea where the photo at the top came from. It’s not my work. The person responsible for it is a genius, though.)

Coffee with Jack White

I’m still hammering away on my new novel, but I took a break from it over the weekend and drew a picture of myself drinking coffee with my favorite musician, Jack White. This image popped into my mind the other night at work and I had to sit down and draw it. I hope you’re doing well. Have a nice weekend. I’ll write more later.