Weekend sketching

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Here are some drawings I’ve done recently. The first is Suzanne Somers. I drew her last weekend … or was it the weekend before? I can’t remember. Recent events are running together in my mind like oil in a parking lot. Anyway, I know for sure that I drew the second and third pictures this past Saturday. One is a caricature of Emily, a little girl who attends my church. I drew her in her taekwondo uniform. And the picture on the bottom is my new Facebook friend, Lorian Hemingway.

I drew the picture of Lorian Hemingway while spending Saturday night at the Econo Lodge in Rome, Georgia. I can’t explain it … I know it doesn’t make any sense at all … but I enjoy checking into a hotel room (once or twice a year) and drawing all night long, with nothing but the TV and the hum of the air conditioner to keep me company. It’s absolute bliss. In the middle of the night, I walked over to the diner next door (The Huddle House) and ate some greasy food. Then I returned to my room and kept on drawing. And this caricature of Lorian Hemingway is the result.

I’m not sure when I’ll post again. I haven’t been drawing as much lately since I’m still learning my new job. But I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying spring. (That is, if it’s spring in your part of the world … for some of you, I think it’s winter right now. Is it? Sorry. Never mind.)

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If you’re interested, you can click here to order my novels from Amazon. The new one is called Citizens of Purgatory. It’s about the misadventures of a struggling young sportswriter in Alabama. The other is Under the Electric Sun, a dark dystopian story aimed at young adults. The star is an electronic raccoon with a bitter outlook on life.

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Citizens of Purgatory

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Nick Youngblood just moved to Moccasin County two years ago. He works as a sportswriter at the local newspaper, even though he doesn’t know anything about sports. He stretches out his articles by using lots of adjectives. Since Nick is relatively new to the small community, he doesn’t know many of the locals yet. One morning, as he drives to work, a wild-eyed stranger crashes into the back of his car. The man identifies himself as Angus Rayburn. After hurling insults at Angus Rayburn in the middle of the highway, Nick learns that Angus is a notorious murderer who only served a brief stint in prison. Nick’s heart is filled with terror when he realizes he’s insulted a very dangerous man. As Nick struggles to cope with the situation, he throws up on a cheerleader at a football game and loses his job with the newspaper. Next, he finds a job at a textile mill, the same place where Angus works. On his first day, Nick encounters Angus in the men’s room. The demented ex-convict pins Nick against the wall and promises to gouge out his eyes if he ever sees him outside the mill. While Nick lives in a constant state of panic, worrying about Angus Rayburn, other fears and frustrations also plague him. He spends countless hours thinking of Ashleigh, a girl who sat in front of him in his high school algebra class. Nick desperately wants to find Ashleigh and marry her. But, most of all, he wants to flee Moccasin County and move back home before Angus cuts out his eyeballs.

Click here to download a copy.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’re having a great week.

 

Coming soon

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My science fiction novel will be available on Kindle very, very soon. I promise. My editor, Judy Brooks, has carefully combed through the whole manuscript. The illustrations are drawn, the jacket blurb is written, and my friend Emma Ball has designed the cover. (Thank you Emma!) As soon as the book is uploaded, I will post a couple of the illustrations on here, along with a link to Amazon.

I hope you’ll find the story exciting, terrifying, and funny.

Right now, I’m reading “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. My cousin Ellice loaned it to me on New Year’s Day. I skimmed over the first few pages that afternoon, but I got distracted with other things and left it lying on my coffee table for a long time. When I finally picked it up again and delved deeper into it, I found that it was one of the best books I’ve ever come across. I was reading it yesterday afternoon in The Crushed Tomato, sitting by the window and waiting for my pizza. I almost started to cry. I was reading a sad scene involving an elephant. (I can’t say anything else because I don’t want to ruin it.)

I can’t think of anything interesting to say, so I’ll end it here. Have a good weekend.

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.