The Joy of Painting is now on YouTube. I’m happy to see that Bob Ross and his pleasant voice will live on in internet land. I loved watching him on PBS when I was a kid. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Mabel Kwong told me about a site called keepvid.com that allows you to download videos from YouTube and store them on your computer. I now have a nice little folder on my desktop stuffed with all kinds of gems — a lot of cheesy TV from the 80s as well as a vicious roller derby game from 1949. I’m going to add Bob Ross to that collection right away.
No, I didn’t mind sitting in the Burger King drive-thru for twenty minutes while you parked next to the speaker box and haggled about prices. Really, it’s fine. It was smart of you to demand a detailed breakdown of the many, many items you ordered. I understand that Burger King isn’t a public place. It’s your restaurant. It was made just for you and your rolling battleship SUV. I should be grateful that you allowed me to come and buy food at your personal hamburger facility. Not only were you kind enough to leave some food for me after you thundered away, you even let me inhale the exhaust fumes from your vehicle while I waited. It was such a lovely aroma, better than a forest after a fresh summer rain. Thank you again for your kindness. It’s so generous of you to share the Burger King drive-thru with the rest of mankind.
I hope you’ve been doing well. Sorry I haven’t been on WordPress much lately. I’m not ignoring you. I’ve just been tied up, cleaning up a couple of my older books and trying to re-promote them. Anyway, a thought just occurred to me while I was sitting here at my desk, watching a Georgia Championship Wrestling clip from 1983. (Please don’t judge me.) Does anyone know how to download videos from YouTube? I don’t want to steal anybody’s material, but I just think it would be nice to keep some of my favorite YouTube gems stored safely on my computer — in case they ever disappear from YouTube, the way they sometimes do. For example, there was an old music video I used to watch all the time. (Southside Johnny singing Walk Away Renee from 1986.) And then one day I went to YouTube to watch it … but it was gone like morning fog. Surely there’s a way you can capture videos and save them on your computer the way you right-click pictures and save them. Any advice? Anyway, have a nice Sunday. Stay warm and dry. Cheers.
Sorry I haven’t been on WordPress much lately. Since I finished the last book, I’ve spent most of my free time cleaning my apartment and throwing a lot of old junk away. I did sit down this weekend and do some drawing. This is a picture of a fictional character named Skink, who appears in some of Carl Hiaasen’s novels. Hope the weather’s good where you live.
My new book is on Amazon now. The Kindle version will be free August 1 – 5. This one isn’t fiction. How to Make an Artist Miserable is a journal/essay/tirade about some of my frustrations as an artist — and how I’ve learned to overcome them. Like people assuming I work on a “for hire” basis and requesting giant portraits of their children, for example. Over the last few years, I’ve actually found a way to deal with those people. I no longer draw pictures I don’t want to draw. It’s very liberating.
You can click here to learn more.
When I write a book, the title is usually the last thing I think of. The title sums up the book. The title describes the book. Since a manuscript evolves and changes as I write it, I don’t know what kind of title will describe it until it’s actually finished. For me, the title is like the last little dab of icing on top of the cake.
Any time I tell people that I’m writing a new book, they blurt out, “What’s the name of it?”
I shrug and say, “I haven’t thought of that part yet.”
At that point, they frown at me and look away, shaking their heads, almost in disgust. Like there’s something wrong with me. Like I apparently don’t know what I’m doing. If I don’t know the title, I must not know anything.
It annoys me when people do that. It’s like walking up to a college student and asking, “What kind of career are you pursuing?”
And the student says, “I want to be an accountant.”
“Oh really? That’s great! When you become an accountant, what color do you want the carpet in your office to be?”
And the student says, “Well, I haven’t really thought about that yet. I’m just trying to get my degree right now.”
And you say, “Obviously, you’ll never make it as an accountant. That office carpet is a big deal!”
I’m not saying the title doesn’t matter. The title of a book is profoundly important. It has to draw attention to itself. It has to make people want to pick up the book. But there’s no rule that says you have to think of a title before you begin writing.
Many people who don’t write (or even read, for that matter) seem to think they’re experts on the writing process. Bugs me.
(The typewriter image isn’t mine.)
Here’s a colored pencil drawing I did a couple of months ago. There’s a real store called “Pay N Tote” in the town where I live. It’s a quaint little place. I’ve wanted to draw it for a long time, but I wanted to throw something strange in it. Hope you’ve been doing well. I’ve been busy working on a new book.