Tea & Simplicity

If I did a 180, I could see this picture on the wall as I type.

Advice of the day: calm down. Make a pot of tea and relax.

There's too much of this rushing around. Though you may not feel it, there is a mental tax from multitasking. Focus on the present for once. Close the twelve hundred tabs you have crowding your browser. Close your eyes and sip a cup of tea. Maybe mint. But not if you hate mint. Try something herbal, light on the caffeine.

Imagine a plan to throw a tea party with crazy hats and cucumber sandwiches. Explain to a few confused guests that it isn't a political rally. Scratch the whole idea. Who wants to plan things when you're drinking tea? It's a drink of relaxation - unless it tastes of bitter almonds.


Fluffy Dresses vs. Moth Wings

Last time I walked around Barnes and Noble, the cover of every YA chic book had a character in a full ball gown. In many of the getups I saw, it would be awfully hard to break into a jog, let alone a sprint. I prefer my protagonists to take the novel sensibly attired in something that allows mobility. Then they can face the conflicts of the novel at a sprint, or at least a jog. And they can sneak. Every try to move stealthily in a full ball gown? They rustle. A lot. 

Of course, back in the day, I was guilty of drawing all sorts of equally useful fashion designs. These, and especially the central figure, introduce a whole new set of pitfalls in high fashion.
Clearly, I should have my own fashion line.
Forget ballgowns - if people like me ruled the fashion world, everyone and their dog would go around wearing things as useful as an enormous pair of Luna Moth wings. But! If giant moth wings became the fashion standard, it would have several obvious benefits to the economy:

  • Doorways would need to be widened for everyday convenience. This would reemploy carpenters and construction workers everywhere and solve the housing crisis. Just think of the industry! Statistics suggest that 99% of houses have doors.
  • We would have more manufacturing and tech jobs to allow a fully electrical wardrobe. This would be necessary to give the wearer full control of flapping and potential gliding. 
  • A powered wardrobe would necessitate more efficient portable power. This would lead to more efficient solar panels, with perks like ultraconvenient cell phone chargers in your shirt. What could be better?

This is not much better either.
At least she can move her legs.
Better, dare I say, may be something lighter, perhaps with your legs free. I distrust any book with really bulky dresses on the cover. It says to me that the character will be able to leisurely glide through all the problems of the novel. And that's not what I want in a story. You have to find the right outfit for the pace. Whatever she wears on the cover, I picture as she jumps over every obstacle, through every hoop. (Can she even fit through a hoop in those dresses?)

Rule of Hoops: If wearing a hoopskirt doesn't hamper your protagonist, you may need to pick up the pace of the narrative. 


Thrones are lame.

Moonblind Monday: well, sort of.
Oh man, it's Monday already? Lame. I spent all of last week adjusting to a new part-time job that somehow managed to give me a full-time percentage of souldeath and distraction from everything useful, like creating art. But on the plus side, I've been cleaning up my art desk, laughing at old artwork, and trying to clear some space so I'll have room to smack some art into those canvasses. 

So I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss my upcoming art plans for Moonblind. The plan is thus: pictures that are awesome. 

This is not moonblind art.
What is necessary for awesome pictures is avoiding boring things. Like thrones. They are inherently flat and lend themselves to crowded and flat compositions. Fortunately, the Moonblind characters are the people doing the grunt work. They are not caught in boring compositions; they are full of action and excitement. 

As you can see in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2, Royalty are pretty boring people. They spend all day sitting on thrones, which probably hurts their backs and sitting-pads, and leaves them in dull, static compositions. And as long as they're stuck sitting on a throne, they worry constantly about symmetry, looking impressive, lighting, and whether or not tigers will get hungry before feeding time. It is a dull, hard life, keeping up appearances. 

Also super old. Apparently her throne
is part octopus. Again, not quite Moonblind.
Lessons learned from old art: 
-Royalty is pretty boring. I'm sticking to action-oriented protagonists.
-Sitting is also boring.
- Bright colors are cheery no matter how many skulls you sneak in.
- Thrones are boring to draw.
- Depth is in a static, needlessly detailed picture.
- I wish I had a tiger foot-stool. I guess Comma will do for now.


The Slow Death of the Desk Drawer

Weekly Wordcount: Negligable. Done a little editing. 26,000 total.
This Week's Reads: Beloved. In progress: Embassytown, Assassins
To read: Villains by Necessity (It just arrived, and it is in super nice condition. I am excited.)

Desk Drawer Projects
Once upon a time, two summers ago, I wrote a novel for a school thing. This was an inherently bad idea, because I set upon the project from the lens of wondering what the school like to see - not what would I like to write. 

This story was not a fun romp. It was a turgid, pretentious piece of work, an uneasy mix of college lore, depression, and the ways in which people are pathetic. All is tainted with modernism. The biggest influences were Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey into Night, and the memory of a hurricane that left my house powerless for a week.

I have long wondered what to do with the thing. It sits there, in that metaphorical desk drawer (it's on my computer, in a folder somewhere). I take it out once in a while and see if enough time has passed, and has revealed to me how to fix the story. Every six months or so I think I am ready to renew the project, to finalize it once and for all, and turn it into an ebook. But I can't, because it doesn't quite work. 

Why not?

It lacks tension, stakes. The characters are bitchy. And what is the conflict? The characters are their own worst enemies. Who cares about hurricanes and fires? There is no connection between internal and external conflicts. Everyone fights themselves and mopes about the state of things around them. 

It's a day, a tense day. It might help the thing to deal with the consequences. My current pet theory is to interlace another day, or series of days, three weeks in the future.

And then everything is reveled to be zombies. Zombies are the cure for modernism.