An Unlooked for Update

As you can see, The Overlord’s on quality control for my newest project: a boardbook without the boards. I’m using the same print company as my previous two projects, and while someday I hope to have a real publisher backing me, until then boardbooks will come just as floppy as “The Hatastrophe” and “The Bump Under the Bed.” “Wanda Won’t” clocks in at 43 words and 28 pages, making it decidedly less wordy than the combined 2,298 words of the other two. Projected deadline is was December 1st, and now I’ve got my fingers crossed for the week of the 4th. I’m fantastically productive when I wait long enough for the panic to kick in.

And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids

I nearly managed to skip today’s post, but if you’re in Mountain Time I’m coming in right under the wire for my Thursday update. I blame meddling kids entirely, because my sister’s got three of them and they’re all here visiting. Add my brother’s daughter (they live here so we get to see them everyday too), and that’s four kids four and under. Yea, verily, that’s also four excuses not to get around to my blog post today. I decided to get around to it anyways.

Unfortunately, I have very little to say. Fortunately, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Marker coloring is officially done for “The Bump Under the Bed” (though you can actually see a tree I missed in the bottom right corner of one of the pages – though that’s officially rectified at this point). Since this picture was taken I’ve hunted down a paper cutter at the public library, chopped off the borders, cut these in half for easier scanning and editing, and scanned them into my computer. Next step is to use my art program to clean up any mistakes and fill in the grays of the background. Most of this book takes place in the dark, and I decided to try and save ink, money, and time by using Clip Studio to do the boring shades. I hope to have all the text placed by the end of the month as well, with the book ready to go to the printers for the first draft proof copy by the first week of August. But once more with feeling:


I say this with love, if in all capitals. The good news is that I’m a week ahead of schedule, which gives me a few extra days to fritter away. I may even skip Monday’s update and just wait until I have at least the title page ready to show off. Like zoinks.

King Friday Speaks

Montana in July, anyone? Oofta, I’m tired of it being 80 degrees by ten in the morning. I can hear my relatives in Arizona laughing at me from here, but to a Montanan this is the closest thing we have to a death sentence. We’re used to the temperature dropping back into the 50s at night, which it has not been. Worse, because it’s so hot so early in the summer, there’s a good chance we’ll spend the next three months or so on fire – or at least under a heavy pall of smoke. Hopefully rain will break the heatwave soon.

(We actually did have a little hail earlier today, but it didn’t last long enough. There’s still an unholy haze sitting along the horizon, but it doesn’t look near promising enough.)

And now, an announcement from a higher authority:


Sketches and inks for “The Bump Under the Bed” are done! Huzzah! This is an artful representation of what my work space looks like when I’m trying to set up promo shots of all the work I’ve done:

I’m officially taking a break from illustrating for a day, but I’ll be hitting up ye olde Prismacolor markers tomorrow. Yesterday at lunch I actually put together a list for the order in which I plan to color things – beginning with skin tone, then moving on to hair, clothes, bed sheets, and on through the bedroom carpet – because there’s nothing like illustrating assembly-line style to really take the emotional thrill out of coloring. Boy oh boy, I love my job.

Streeeetch that clothing dollar

I was looking for a way to squeeze blood out of a rock this morning (in lieu of writing any original content – particularly since I keep forgetting to borrow that poem from IT Guy), and came up with this:

  • DUNA Mining Corp
  • Guttersnipe
  • Mr. and Mrs. Fox Come Calling
  • Selective Mutism 1
  • Selective Mutism 2
  • Sir George and the Dragon Lady
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Art of the Catapult – Series idea
  • The Fools
  • The MacWitts
  • The Marquis of Fools

These 11 documents currently reside in a folder called “_WIPs” which is, in turn, hiding in my “Short Stories” file. I’m working on a novel (I’m always working on a novel, however, so this is hardly remarkable) but that doesn’t stop the ideas from coming. I’ll throw a bunch of thoughts into a Word document – occasionally packed around a few descriptive paragraphs and a handful of dialogue – and then let them percolate in the back of my mind for upwards of three years. I have a very vague plan to keyboard mash these short stories into existence once my young adult novel is finished, if only to check them off my mental to-do list. But as today is not that day, feel free to admire these working titles.

The shortest of these documents is “The Art of the Catapult – Series idea” with 217 words, and at 5,186 words “The MacWitts” clocks in as the longest. Most of the rest of them sit between 2,000 and 3,000 words, and because I really wanted to stretch what little I had to say, I pulled out my calculator and came up with 23,218 words for the entire lot. Have I mentioned lately that I’m terrible at keeping my short stories short? Because I’m terrible at keeping my short stories short.

I wasn’t kidding about needing to work on my focus. That’s over 20,000 currently unusable words, which is 19,500 more words than I have written for my novel. If you don’t count the following:

  • 15 versions of chapter 1
  • 4 versions of chapter 2
  • 2 versions of chapter 3
  • 26 paragraphs from a long discarded chapter 4
  • 3 versions of a prologue – also long discarded
  • 5 Word files acting as a repository for both notes and lines
  • 2 paper-and-pen notebooks filled entirely with unreadable cursive
  • and a document that is literally titled “Waste of Time”

Fortunately, my picture books are heading forward at a more productive speed. I’ve inked eleven two-page spreads for “The Bump Under the Bed” since Saturday, with six left. I should have the inks done by next week and, though coloring is a much slower process, I actually have a decent chance at making my self-inflicted deadline by the end of the month. That gives me another week to mess around with backgrounds and text, which should leave me with three more for ordering proof copies in time to make any edits. If I don’t make my September 1st deadline, I should, at the very least, be close.

Finally, I watched “Little Shop of Horrors” last night with my parents and had some barely conceived notion of using today’s post to talk about the differing psychological impacts between movies and plays, but that’ll keep for another time. I have a novel to put off write.