|Going with the flow, sketches, artist book, ink wash on rag papers, 4/23/2017|
Today. April 29th. Oh – today – it’s been 18 years since I started writing my books. I opened up a salt n’ pepper notebook and started writing the first novel that I would ever complete. (I finished writing it on October 29th 1999.) I had a lot of stories that I started and discarded before this, but this is the day that I became more certain about what I must do. The first one, Washed Glass – is not yet published. Being the first one, it’s a bit of a mess. (I know it is a mess, but it’s a good kind of mess, my sitting on it for almost 20 years has granted me to become a better writer, so I can do it right this time around.) Without that first book, there wouldn’t be the others, while writing it, I found the other stories that became Dusty Waters, a Ghost Story, The Fractured Hues of White Light, and Drinking from the Fishbowl, and there’s also the drafts of Layers of Illusion and Wish that are waiting their turn for my attention. They’re all connected, kind of like Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, the characters know one another, and everyone has their story, but the books themselves are independent, they’re not a continuous series with a specific order. It’s complicated, but not. Anyway, it makes me extremely happy when I reach this day and look back and remember that first day, that old notebook, and the ink stains on my fingers from the pen that started to leak.
I'm still puttering my way through the first page proof of Drinking from the Fishbowl, I’m taking my sweet old time. I’m looking the spots off of it. I found a few flubs-ups, but nothing too awful. And as always, while I’m working on a book, I’m insecure about it, my inner critic is being a real asshole to me along the way, so the inner battering has been a bit rough going. I expect to make another dent or two in it today.
The artwork in the photo above is an artist book that I made last weekend and had the best time making it - just going with the flow - ink, brushes, water, paper, and randomness, accidents, and inspiration. There is no top or bottom, left or right, front or back, this or that - it's probably one of the most personal pieces of artwork I made in a very long time - it's made from the things that I have no words for...