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.)

Merry Christmas!

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I can’t think of anything interesting to say, so I just decided to post a handful of drawings.

Today I’ve been sitting in front of my heater, sipping eggnog, and watching episodes of Benson on DVD. (The DVDs were a Christmas present from my parents. Benson is one of the first shows I ever remember seeing as a child. It’s like comfort food to me.) I’ve also been writing down some goals and plans for 2014 in a little blue notebook. I’m excited about the coming year.

I hope you had a merry Christmas, wherever you are in the world. And I hope you have a wonderful 2014.

Miller, Spock, and the Colonel



Here are a few pictures I’ve drawn lately in my Moleskine sketchbook. One is a caricature of Donald Miller, an author I like. The second is Spock from Star Trek and the third is Colonel Sanders. (I drew the Colonel from a black and white photo I found on Google. In all the photos I’ve seen, his face looks different from the illustration you see on the KFC signs.)

I just reformatted and re-uploaded Under the Electric Sun and gave it a new cover. I also finished another book recently, a dark comedy set in Alabama. My friend Hannah is proofreading it right now. I’m planning to upload it to Kindle as soon as she’s finished. I designed a cover for it yesterday afternoon.

Anyway, I’m exhausted. My brain needs to rest now. I feel like a hamster running inside a plastic wheel. For the next several days, I’m not going to write or draw anything. I plan to spend my evenings lying on the couch with the window open, letting a nice breeze blow in on me while I read. I keep buying these cheap paperback novels at the Dollar General, but I haven’t gotten around to reading any of them. It’s time to do that now. I’m also going to do some praying. I haven’t done enough of that lately, but I need to. My relationship with Jesus is the only thing that really keeps me sane.

Hope you have a good week. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

(Oh, I almost forgot. You can click here to download a copy of the book.)

Saturday afternoon doodling

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I hope you’re all having a great weekend and staying cool.

I just finished the first draft of my new novel and now I’m taking a break from writing. If I push forward and start on the second draft right now, I’ll just write a bunch of slop I’m not proud of. I need a siesta. I need to shove the whole thing out of my head for a little while and focus on something else.

I want to do some drawing. I promised my friend Belinda I would do a portrait of her. I’m also itching to draw Noemi of Pinay Flying High. She lives in Dubai but she doesn’t stay there very often. She hops all over the world, posting pictures of beautiful scenery and delicious food. I would really like to draw her with some kind of strange/exotic background. I think that would be a lot of fun.

But I’m out of practice right now. I haven’t drawn anything lately. So today I did this warm-up doodle, just to get things rolling again. I drew Patrick Stewart (a.k.a. Captain Picard of Star Trek: the Next Generation) with little people sprouting from the top of his head. The picture is vaguely inspired by my friend Theanne and her blog, Out Of My Mind Images. She’s been drawing people with various things on their heads lately. I enjoy her work.

Maybe I’ll post drawings of Belinda and Noemi next time.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Try not to melt.

Something else from the sketchbook

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I’ve had a wicked sinus headache all day, but I thought it was time to go ahead and write a new post. Lately I’ve been working diligently on my new novel and cleaning the house. I use the word “clean,” but I suppose the more accurate word would be “purge.” There’s something so glorious and satisfying and cathartic about walking through the house with a big plastic garbage bag, grabbing up handfuls of things I don’t want anymore and shoving them into the bag without mercy. It feels lovely to hurl one bag after another into the dumpster, freeing myself of all this stupid, needless clutter.

I’ve also been watching old commercials on YouTube the past few days, one of my favorite pastimes. The other day, I discovered some 1970s Burger King commercials that were designed for Saturday mornings, when kids were watching cartoons. They’re a lot of fun … in a grotesque, disturbing, psychedelic kind of way. I remember my cousin Troy telling me a long, long time ago that one of his friends had horrific nightmares about the Burger King mascot. Now I can see why.

The picture above is from my sketchbook. I drew it during Memorial Day weekend, in the middle of my epic Vsauce binge. This is supposed to be a picture of Michael Stevens. When I first drew it, I wasn’t happy with it. I thought it looked like the product of a genetic experiment involving James Lipton and Steve Jobs. (No disrespect to either one of them.) However, when I flipped through the sketchbook the other day and looked at the picture again, I decided I liked it after all. So here it is. Enjoy.

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You can click here to download a copy of my science fiction novel, Under the Electric Sun.

Memorial Day doodling

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I had intended to spend most of my Memorial Day weekend working on my new novel. I did make a lot of progress on it … but I also spent huge chunks of time watching Vsauce, a YouTube channel devoted to geek culture. (One of the videos is featured in my previous post, the one about children growing up in outer space.) When I watch one Vsauce video, I usually end up watching four or five or six. It’s like eating candy out of a bag, one piece after another. Even though I enjoyed watching all of them, a little voice deep in my head kept whispering to me, telling me I should be doing something more productive with my time. This little voice plagues me whenever I watching anything on YouTube, preventing me from fully enjoying the experience.

Earlier this evening, after I put the finishing touches on Chapter 3, I drew a picture of Jake Roper, one of the Vsauce guys. This is the latest drawing in my Moleskine sketchbook. I also attempted to draw Michael Stevens several times, but he always ended up looking like Steve Jobs or James Lipton. Oh well.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

As usual, you can click here to download a copy of my science fiction novel, Under the Electric Sun.

Yard sale treasures

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Here are some more pictures I’ve drawn in my new Moleskine sketchbook. The top one is Matt Smith, the star of Doctor Who. I told my friend Jill I wasn’t going to post it, but I changed my mind. The other picture is my blogger friend Sophie Bowns. I put a lot more time and energy into the Sophie picture. The Matt Smith picture was just a spasm of silliness.

This afternoon, as I was walking out of the bank, I noticed there was a yard sale going on at my church — which is a stone’s throw away from the bank. (If you really want to get technical, it wasn’t a yard sale. It was actually a parking lot sale. But never mind that.) I shuffled over to the church parking lot, where my pastor and his wife had arranged clothes, coffee mugs, DVDs, and several other knickknacks on tables under a canopy. The first thing I saw was a purple coffee mug, situated at the very front of the pile, with the words “Ich liebe dich” printed on it. (That means “I love you” in German.) There was also a picture of a German cartoon character called Diddle Mouse on the mug. I thought this was amazing because I bought a Diddle Mouse doll when I was in Germany fifteen years ago. (For my little sister, not for myself. I want to clarify that.) I was just wondering the other day if Diddle Mouse was still around. And there he was, on a table in the church parking lot, a LONG way from home. So I snatched up the coffee mug.

I also bought a movie called Murder on Flight 502, starring Farrah Fawcett and Sonny Bono. It looked exactly like the kind of thing nobody in their right mind would ever want to watch, so I’m sure I’ll love it. Judging by the picture on the front of the DVD case, it looks very melodramatic … and very 70s. I might write a review of it later.

My new sketchbook

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When my German friends, Wolfgang and Regine, landed in Georgia last week for a quick visit, they surprised me with a couple of neatly wrapped presents. They gave me a Moleskine sketchbook and a set of Faber-Castell colored pencils in a fancy metal case. (They actually gave me three gifts, if you count the Haribo gummy bears. It was like a mini-Christmas in April.) Even though I was thrilled with all three gifts, my favorite was the sketchbook. I’ve heard a lot of artists talk about Moleskine sketchbooks, but I never knew exactly what they were. Now I have one. The pages are thick and heavy-duty, but soft and smooth at the same time — similar to the card in the back of a library book with all the due-dates stamped on it.

On the first page of my new sketchbook, I drew a caricature of Matt Smith, the current star of Doctor Who. It looked terrible. I almost tore it out, but I didn’t want to cheapen my brand-new sketchbook by ripping out the first page. So I reluctantly left it in there. On the second page, I drew a picture of Billie Piper. This one also turned out to be a hideous train wreck. On the third page, I did a sketch of G.E. Gallas, one of my blogger friends I met here on WordPress. She’s a writer/illustrator who lives in San Francisco. I was actually happy with this one. Tomorrow, I’m going to attempt to draw Carl D’Agostino, a new friend of mine in Miami.

I still plan to draw a few other citizens of the blog universe, but it will take time. I haven’t forgotten you, I promise.