Angela

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The snow began to melt away this afternoon. The neighborhood isn’t a magical wonderland anymore. Patches of grass and gravel are showing everywhere. “Real life” is quickly resuming. I’m sad to see the snow vanish, but I’m also relieved. I know it’s caused some serious trouble for a lot of people.

I spent most of the day nestled in my apartment, enjoying the warmth of the kerosene heater and watching an old VHS tape of The Andy Griffith Show recorded in 1987. I also finished drawing a picture of my beautiful friend Angela. And here she is. I’m not completely happy with the way this picture turned out … but I don’t completely hate it either.

Lately, I’ve been drawing on manila folders. It’s similar to the paper in a Moleskine sketchbook, but much cheaper. (Still, I’m planning to buy a new Moleskine sketchbook when I have a little more money. Maybe I’ll do that when my income tax money comes in.)

Thanks for reading. Hope you have a great week.

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You can click here to download my two novels, Citizens of Purgatory and Under the Electric Sun. They will also be available in paperback soon. (Crosses fingers.)

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Snowbound

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It snowed heavily today. Well, some people might not use the word “heavily,” but we rarely get snow in Georgia, so any amount of snow is a major event. Because the roads were icy and people had a hard time driving, there were traffic jams galore. A lot of people were stranded in their vehicles for hours. And many other people abandoned their vehicles and started walking.

I’m thankful I didn’t have to work today. I didn’t have to get out in it. I mostly stayed home and drew. At one point, I did walk over to the gas station on the corner to buy a phone card. On my way back, I saw people in trucks struggling to drive up the gentle slope in the road nearby. They weren’t able to make it. They kept sliding backwards. I was terrified for them. I helped one lady push her SUV into a ditch — since her tires kept spinning on the ice … and the ditch seemed to be the safest place.

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The other day, my friend Dan (who was my history teacher in high school) came over and brought me a kerosene heater. For some reason, this image (above) popped into my head after he left. This evening, while I was hanging around in my apartment with nothing to do, I sat down and put it on paper. (While watching the Andy Williams Christmas Special from 1967 on YouTube.)

It’s a dog … with Dan’s head … warming himself in front of a heater. I’m hoping to do a better version later, maybe tomorrow if I’m still snowed in.

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NOTE: My novel, Citizens of Purgatory, will be available in paperback soon. In the meantime, you can click here to download the electronic version to your Kindle. Citizens of Purgatory is a novel about the misadventures of Nick, a young sportswriter who doesn’t know anything about sports. Nick’s life turns into a nightmare when an ex-convict crashes into his car one morning.

The Electronic Lemonade Stand

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About a year ago, I set up a store on CafePress. Several of my drawings are available on coffee mugs, posters, puzzles, and other items. During the past year, I’ve become busy with this blog, with my e-books, and with the relentless demands of everyday life … and I forgot all about the store. Last night, I realized what a lousy shopkeeper I was. I went in and made a few little nit-picky changes and added a couple of new items.

If you’re interested, you can click here to visit The Electronic Lemonade Stand.

I hope you’re all having a great year and staying warm. I’ll write more later, after my hands thaw out. Cheers.

 

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn

Not long ago, I was sitting in a waiting room while a mechanic changed the oil in my car. After I got tired of watching The Weather Channel, I picked up a copy of Sports Illustrated that was lying on the table. I read an article about Lindsey Vonn, the skiing champion, and decided I wanted to draw her. Here it is. (Hope you had a nice weekend.)

January musings

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I decided not to write or draw this month. (Except for this blog.) That way, I can come back down to Earth and refocus on real-life matters, like budgeting, eating better, and cleaning my apartment. This is a yearly tradition. Each January, I tune into the real world again. It’s relieving and refreshing. It’s like stepping off a high-speed treadmill and catching my breath.

The other day, my friend David Mott, pictured above, challenged me to write a short story (1,000 words or less) in one week. He said he would write one too. In one week’s time, we would meet up and read what each other had written. At first, I hesitated. Then I decided to take him up on it. But I wrote my story in just two days. On the third day, I submitted it to two magazines. After that, I returned to my “January Sabbatical.”

Since then, I’ve barely thought about the story at all. It’s bliss. Usually, when I write a piece of fiction, it consumes my mind. I spend all my time worrying about it and I consequently neglect everything else in my life — such as buying decent groceries and keeping my home clean.

But this time, it’s different. A week ago, I was cleaning and rearranging furniture and thinking of ways to manage my money. Then I knocked out a short story and went right back to those other things without ever losing sight of them.

Today, as I was walking into the mill, I thought about the original reason for my January Sabbaticals. I realized why I had started doing this thing in the first place, shutting down my creative activities in order to get re-acquainted with real-life responsibilities. It’s because, when I have a writing project (or an art project) in my life, I forget everything else. All the other areas of my life fall apart and become a pitiful train wreck. I forget to buy groceries, subsisting on McDonald’s food and vending machine trash instead. My home begins to look like a crime scene. And I don’t bother to save money. Therefore, I can only focus on one “section” of my life at a time. The creative stuff has to go out the window in order for me to focus on the important stuff.

But apparently, by the grace of God, I’m growing. I’m learning to juggle a little bit better now. For the past few years, different people in my life (particularly people at church) have mentioned the word “balance” to me. I feel like God has been urging me to lead a more balanced life. At first, I didn’t understand exactly what that meant … but now it’s becoming more clear to me. I think I’m learning to keep things balanced now.

So I might draw something before the end of the month.

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You can click here to download a copy of my new e-book, Citizens of Purgatory. It’s a novel about a young sportswriter who doesn’t know anything about sports. His life becomes dangerously complicated when a crazy drunk man crashes into the back of his car one morning.

More drawings from 2013

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Happy New Year. I hope you’re enjoying 2014 so far. Here are a few more drawings from 2013.

The first one is a picture of my friend Ann Bisky, a writer/blogger I met last year. The second is Piyush Mishra, one of my Word Press friends. The third is Stephanie Abrams, the queen of The Weather Channel.

Then there’s Robert Guillaume, the actor who starred in Benson in the 80s. (I’m going to draw him again later.) The last picture is a nonsensical doodle of Captain Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was in a silly mood when I did that one.

Thanks for reading.