Archive for February, 2007

Creative Marathon Piece

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Technically, this post doesn’t have squat to do with The Sum of David, but the marathon was a focus of my time and energy over the last six weeks, so it gets to squeeze itself in alongside my tSoD stuff. I think I’m an artist before I’m a writer, so here’s my attempt to legitamize that theory.

Ta daa! I’d say this took me a good 12 hours of the 24, with the other hours filled in with planning, eating, consuming energy drinks and/or coffee, socializing, sleeping, waiting for the paint to dry, and helping to set up for the event and show. Almost all the pieces were centered around “treehouse”, and I was pleasantly surprised at all the different interpretations of that theme. It was LOTS of fun. I couldn’t do it every weekend (I’m still recovering) but it was well worth the time and effort. Hopefully everyone that participated thinks so too.

…and I don’t know what those are at the bottom: worms? slugs? stumpy snakes? I really couldn’t tell you.

Chapter Eight: Help Will Come

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I hate the Rakers. I don’t know where the idea for the boars came from, but they are sufficiently nasty. Black, horned, lumpy, red-eyed… I think they are terrifying. Apparently, so does David.

This is one of my favorite scenes in the story (of course, I have several ‘favorites’). We see the Matecai in action, with that vicious rumble/scream and those spectacular elongating horns, tearing through those awful Rakers. Plus, we meet Charlie, who can apparently pack his own punch where the Soulless are concerned. I love Charlie. I hope you do too. He such a conversationalist.

As I mentioned in my last post, Josh and I participated in the Creative Treehouse’s Creative Marathon last weekend. We got there about 7 pm to help set up, and stayed most of the 24 hours. I left about 5:30 am to get some sleep at home since we only live about ten minutes away, but was back in the saddle at about 10 am the same morning. We ended up having something like 70 artists show up, and probably twice that many at the gallery afterwards. We learned a whole lot about hosting something like that; and about how much energy drink and pizza the human body can handle… The response was very positive overall, and we’ll be doing it again.

I ended up really pleased with the piece I was able to do, and approaching something like that with such patience — I had a full 24 hours, after all — ended up greatly benefitting the artwork. I’ll have to keep that mind for future projects… and I fully intend to pull something similar in the privacy of my own studio in the coming months.

I’ll post pics of the painting when I get them, but in the meantime you can watch this on the gallery that culminated at the end of the whole thing. STBD was kind enough to come out and film the event, and the video really looks great… I’m the one rambling about being exhausted and happy that so many people showed up, and Josh is the guy at the mic wearing the preppy suit jacket.

Chapter Seven: The Wishing Well

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

We’re almost done with the desert, I promise. We get to watch David muse a little about his destination – what it is and what it means. Unfortunately, he finds he’s not alone shortly after arriving. …and he’s met this kind before.

I’m participating in Pittsburgh’s Creative Marathon this week. The boys at Creative Treehouse (to open officially in March) are throwing a 24-hour get-together-and-create party.

Starting on Friday night at 8 pm, people are encouraged to show up with supplies, stake out a place in their enormous second floor room in Bellevue and dig into their creative expression of choice. Work all the through the night (with the help of sponsors Burn and Vocelli’s Pizza) and into the next day. At 8 pm on Saturday night, there’ll be a gallery showcasing all the work made in the previous 24 hours, along with appetizers and music.

The theme is “Treehouse” if you need the inspiration, and all pieces sold at the gallery are split 50/50 with the house. As I understand it, the only stipulation is that art needs to be 12” x 12” in size. Outside of that, you rock your own stuff.

I think I’ll spend most of the time doing acrylics, but I’m also toying with a few differently themed pieces, a painting/written word piece, and possibly a little sculpting. My original goal had been to use the event as a good excuse for doing David artwork, but since I’m working on a much larger scale for that stuff I’ve decided to unplug for the event. Since Josh and I are also having a gallery at our wedding in June, we also need to make pieces for that… or, if anyone at the show next Saturday wants to buy any of the pieces, that is even better.

Treehouse will soon be a great resource for work/studio/meeting space, networking, and, my personal favorite: educating the public on the importance of professional art/design work and why they want to pay for it. As a graphic designer, that in particular is right up my alley.

Come join the artfest on Friday night or Saturday, or stop down on Saturday night to see what sleep deprivation plus art plus music makes… See you there!

Chapter Six: Take It Down

Friday, February 16th, 2007

At first glance, the desert can seem boring and dull — I hope that’s not what the reader walks away with, however. Not an action chapter at all, but a significant(?) glance into David’s mind and — even though he can’t recall them — memories. Maybe. There’s some recognition there.

After the action and dialogue of the last two chapters, it seems very slow to leave David alone in silence, but sometimes we just need to be alone with ourselves, eh? A desert is perfect for that: the beige repetition of endless dunes, the sound of whispering wind and grainy footsteps. I think you’d have to look inward to find any variation, even for someone that’s operating at full capacity, which D obviously is not.

I have been told I am good at dialogue (don’t all moms find something?), so what do I do? I have a chapter (or two, or five) without it. I do love writing people speaking, but I also love introspective mental wanderings, especially when that person is trying to process what David is. I myself am not a crazy social butterfly, so I spent a good part of my adolescence entertaining myself inside my own head. Writing someone else doing that is refreshing… and I daresay he’s had more happen to him, so that exploration should prove much more exciting than my own adventures.

My intentions to update this blog every Monday have proven pretty weak. I’m rededicating myself to it, but we’ll have to see. I may move the whole thing to a Chapter on Mon/Blog on Thurs kind of thing. My weekends are quickly filling to the brim by the Wed before, so we’ll see. Last Sunday night I sat up in bed before falling off to sleep with the realization I had forgotten to post the chapter. oops.

Chapter Five: Take It Down

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Oh, Red. The stakes get higher. It was hard for me to do, but the fate of the Guiding Post serves as the perfect translation of danger. An attempt was made on David’s life, but it was unsuccessful; and sometimes it’s hard to take an enemy seriously unless they can prove they are a true danger. And here’s a whole posse of dangerous creatures, intent on finding what the first Raker couldn’t take care of… I hope David is motoring.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m reading Stephen King’s “On Writing”, and I’ve gotten to a part in the book where he’s explained that he feels a story is like a fossil — a tale that you have to sort of dig up from the ground, sometimes in fast large chunks and others in small carefully-handled snippets. This is a very encouraging thing to hear.

The four things of length that I’ve written have always gotten about half-way through and then… well, then I don’t know the answer. I don’t know the end. I have to think and wonder about where it’s going and run a million plotlines in my head before I find the one that sticks. Actually, when I finished up the third piece (and the culmination of a trilogy) I actually had my fiance reading it as I wrote because I couldn’t come up with a satisfactory ending. I figured it out — or, perhaps, uncovered it — in time for him to read to the end uninterrupted; he was completely shocked by the end and impressed by the outcome. His words “Aw, why didn’t I see that! I can’t believe you pulled it off!”

But in my opinion, I can’t really take full credit for that. I’m just glad I uncovered the important bits that allowed me to share the whole story, especially in time for Christmas that year.

I’m sure I’ll go into this more when tSoD is coming to a close, but it’s what I’m reading right now, so I thought I’d share.