Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Running around....

Sometimes I think life is running out! But most of the time I'm running after it... Like my current, entirely self-inflicted schedule:

I've written 29 000 or so words of a new  crime story. Why bother? I'll never be published except on Amazon for kindle, and that's something I do for myself (2 novels and a miscellany up there right now). But writing is fun, and I discovered long ago that inventing characters is an entirely productive way of populating my life with people who can be controlled, whereas real people do their own thing. No, because the characters in books have desires and weaknesses, too. If I don't expose them, they will. They take over. They do unexpected things, tip the plot, create complications, turn things upside down. I've taken to adding a short account of the content to each new chapter. It's a working index. If, for example, someone does something important for the overall plot, I say so just after the chapter number. It's a system that works very well. I could be working on chapter 17 now. Time to kill someone off? Oh yes. I already  did, in chapter 16... Because of the weaknesses in my system while writing the previous book, I more or less had to rewrite it, though it had a strong plot and good characters, which are in the new book, too. During revision, I wrote an elaborate account of what was going on in each chapter. If I'd done that in the first place, I would have saved myself a lot of time.

I've started a new project: "Aquadoodling", which is exactly what it says it is. I'm running out of motivation for zentangle/neopoprealism drawing. My designs were starting to duplicate themselves. I know you can go on and on using different patterns on the same string (= outline, template), but I find that rather boring. Here's an example of the repetition of design that I was finding tedious:

mookabird trio

rocking mookabirds
It happened by chance, of course. I wasn't thinking of that shape. It just happened. Looking at the second one now, I like it better, so I might colour or shade it after all! I drew it for a challenge involving doodling on grids (meaning you draw something called a 'seed' in one space, then draw it again and again (yawn), but didn't post it because most of my patterns are drawn on grids anyway (sometimes a yawn, sometimes frustration because I can't remember how I did the previous one if it's complicated and I take a break!), such as the coloured mookabirds above, which are drawn entirely on grids but had already been posted for a different challenge (I think it was for the pattern on the left hand bird). I noticed from the entries that quite a bit of distortion and variation from the challenge (grids don't normally have varying sized 'holes') was going on. That's legitimate, of course, from an artistic point of view, but rather begs the queestion. I could have posted at least 50 entries to that challenge, so I didn't post any.

The same thing has happened to my mandala drawing. They've started to clone themselves, notwithstanding the differing templates. And I always feel the need to break out of mandala restrictions. So again, I skipped the previous challenge/dare. I think I've skipped more than one now.

Here are two on different templates. There's a gap of 6 months between the drawings, but I don't feel I've 'gone' anywhere with them and if I didn't know which one I drew last year, I couldn't guess.

 That may be the whole idea of mandalas, of course.....

I probably just need a break. My easel is exerting a strong gravitational pull on me with several projects unfinished, and the aquadoodling is my evening resource at the moment, whereas doodling took up every free evening from August 2012 till May 2013! I'll make it my vacational task. Easy equipment. No mess. No water.......

I'm also getting ready to do some new arrangements for my ladies chorus. We sing a capella and I write all the material, as I have since 1991 for all my various chorus projects. It all takes time, and new arrangements can take an awful lot of time, though if I'm lucky, I find a concept early on. The songs not only have to be recognizable, they also have to be singable by amateurs! Even the choice of song is a problem. I'm not often stuck, but now and again a song is simply unsingable except as a solo, often by someone who can't, or won't hit the notes accurately. Then there's the perennial problem of many song-writers not being able to read music, let alone write it. Yes!!! They strum along till something turns up. Many famous songs have been born in the recording studio. Later they are transcribed for people who can read music, but very often exist only as MIDI (=sound) files for Kareoke machines.

I reserved today for painting, and now I'm still sitting in front of my PC reviewing blogs. Better move on....

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