Starlight Desperado

Good morning. My new book is on Amazon now. It’s a story about growing up in church, feeling extremely uneasy about God, leaving church, struggling with anxiety, using substances to cope with that anxiety, and then eventually realizing that God wasn’t the scary monster I thought He was.

I’ve been clean for eight years now. Even though I still struggle with anxiety sometimes, I’ve learned to lean on God and pray during those nervous moments — instead of grabbing pills. My life is much better now. I don’t miss my old habits at all.

The book is available in paperback and on Kindle. You can click here to order.

 

Copyright 2018 Matthew David Curry.

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The check list syndrome

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My psyche is beginning to feel clogged again. That’s the best way to describe the state I’m in right now. I’ve drawn a few pictures I’m happy with and I have some more ideas in mind. But now I’ve reached a point where I’m getting jittery and uncomfortable. This always happens when I pick up the pencil and start drawing again after being away from it for a little while. As soon as I start on one picture, an idea pops into my head for a second picture. And then a third. And then a fourth. The whole time, I’m hastily struggling to complete the first one. It’s like I’m running down a railroad track, desperately chasing a train that’s pulling out of the station.

At some point, I stop enjoying the process. Instead, I become anxious and frustrated about the whole thing. And I don’t feel like I can fully relax until I draw ALL the pictures that are lined up inside my brain. That’s when I start writing check lists. Not only do I write check lists, I chant them silently in my head, especially at work. Over the last few days, I’ve been walking around in the mill, telling myself, “OK, I want to draw that picture of Cassidy next … then Ananya … and then G.E. Gallas. And then I’m going to stop and rest for a while.”

Lately, you see, I’ve been drawing portraits of different people I’ve met on the internet, especially here on WordPress. Not long ago, I drew Piyush Mishra, a blogger who lives in India. I also drew Elena Levon, a Russian lady who dances all over the globe, enjoying one adventure after another.

Anyway, I plan to draw a girl named Cassidy next. And then I want to draw Ananya, one of my new Indian friends. And then G.E. Gallas, an artist/writer/blogger. Then I’ll step back from drawing for a while and take a mini-vacation.

SEE??!!! I just did it again!!!! I can’t stop this stupid chanting!!!!

 

(PS — The picture above is a colored pencil drawing I did in 2010. It’s called “The Rat Race.” It’s the third piece in the “Clockwork” series. It seems appropriate for this post. You can see the rest of them on my Facebook page, Colored Pencil Art by Matthew Curry. And please click here to check out my e-book, Under the Electric Sun. Thank you for taking a look!)

Illustration angst

One of the characters in my book is supposed to have a dark complexion. That’s how I described her in the narrative. I did six illustrations for the book, beginning last summer and finishing up last month. Yes, that does seem like a long time for just six pictures. But I did them in colored pencil. (I also re-wrote the book twice during that period.) One illustration is a picture of this particular character, the one with the dark complexion, standing all by herself and smiling warmly at the viewer. Basically, it’s just a portait — a portrait of a fictional person.

A couple of days ago, out of the blue, I realized that I didn’t make her skin dark enough. Or I suddenly thought I didn’t, anyway. I had drawn her with jet-black hair and dark eyes, but her skin wasn’t really very dark. 

I started feeling jittery and uncomfortable about the whole situation last night, the way I always do when I find a new thing to worry about. So I sat down on the couch and worked until about four o’clock in the morning, trying to make her skin a richer shade of brown.

I should have left the stupid thing alone. Whenever I put a dark color on top of a light color, it never goes on smoothly. I know that. I don’t know what I was thinking. The dark color and the light color always mix together like oil and water. In other words, they don’t. Now the girl’s skin has a rough, grainy texture. Her face looks like it’s made of oatmeal. I went to sleep feeling angry, disappointed, and defeated.

Luckily, I scanned the drawing a month ago when I first “finished” it. The earlier version is still in my computer, so I can use it like I was originally planning to. And it really doesn’t look that bad anyway.

My good friend Trisha told me I’m just worrying too much because it’s almost time to upload the book to Kindle. I think she’s right.

A little muscle under my left eye has been twitching all day long. I think I need some sleep.

Plane

Early this morning, I dreamed I was sitting on a plane, waiting for it to take off. I was about to go to Germany. There was a stewardess and a few other passengers hanging around inside the plane with me, making small talk and pacing around. The atmosphere was extremely casual. Ridiculous, actually. I hadn’t even bought a ticket yet, but they were still letting me sit there.

Then I pulled out my wallet and counted my money. I didn’t have as much as I had thought, but I did notice a couple of twenty dollar bills, wadded up and crammed in one end of the wallet.

I asked the stewardess how much it cost to ride the plane. I don’t remember what she told me, but the amount she asked for was more than I had. So I got up and shuffled off the plane, feeling embarrassed and bummed out.

In the next scene, I was walking quietly through Kroger with my mother, watching her place items in her buggy. I still felt disappointed.

I need to mention that I went on a school trip to Germany in 1998 and spent three weeks there. I stayed with a family there for two of those weeks. They’re wonderful people. I still keep in touch with them. In my dream, I was excited about visiting them again and seeing all the castles, cathedrals, villages, trains, and ice cream shops.

I’m not sure what the dream meant. But I thought I would write about it here so I can remember it later.

Also, I’m sorry for the sloppiness of these blogs. I used to write for a newspaper, and I was pretty good at writing in a hurry. But that was a long time ago. I still write on a regular basis, but I mostly do fiction now. I believe in the importance of a strong work ethic, but I’m not used to popping out little nuggets like this every day. I generally write something … and then I dilligently re-write it … and re-write it … and re-write it. So I feel embarrassed about the quality of these posts. I’m afraid I’ve been churning out crap for the last three days.