Monday, March 29, 2010

Drawing or Not? -- 2

In the page "Drawing or Not?" of this page, I received a commentary March 13th:

Elyz said:
Tears can be of joy. Can't you draw your new happyness or is it really not your thing?
I have been busy translating the pages if this blog in French and I was overwhelmed with details of everyday's life (and I fell asleep really early many times too!), I also worked the drawing of the map for my project... in short, I couldn't answer before now...

The first week, I thought I would answer "no, I can't really draw happiness"... Why? Simply because I rather live my joy, express it by gestures or games with my daughter, etc. unlike my sadness where my tears were not enough; I also had a lot of hate back than and I never wanted to hurt anyone... so drawing was practical in that way.

And then, the week after (this week), I was crushed by stress; my minis-conflicts with some of my co-workers put me in a foul mood!

Anger is an emotion that I find... particular. Again, I don't want to hurt anyone, so I'm holding it. I could talk about it a long time, which I won't do here (not now anyway), because there's too much details and it's too much personal. I'll simply say that I'm afraid of my own anger.

On the eyes of many, I'm "a softy" (like people often say to me); my colleagues (I think) see me like someone contained, who socialize very little, the one who's never loud, the office's ghost that no ones never see or hear coming. On the side of my family and friends, they would laugh, because I'm to them (I believe) the one who talks the most, often the loudest, with the tendency to put myself in the center of the attention. I simply what to say here that I don't have the same personality at work. But rare are those who saw me really angry. And it's a good thing! To make a long story short, anger (hate and frustration included) is the one emotion I'm holding inside in the everyday's life.

To get back on subject, I wouldn't draw happiness, but during the second week, I have thought about drawing my anger... a thing, again, I don't really allow myself to... The simple idea seams to me as choking as if I would start screaming out loud in the middle of the office. The reason is simple: I'm afraid of the horrors that might come out on paper! I'm afraid to pass for a severely deranged psychopath! But, I also think it could relieve me greatly, since repressed emotion is never a good thing.

As a result, I had a couple of flashes of drawing in my mind. Well, having ideas, finding inspiration, it's better than before, but it doesn't creates time to do it... I would need to execute the drawings with a certain speed, to be sure of finishing them... which implies a more aggressive line, less neat (which goes well with the anger theme), a bit like my school project "I'm here to stay":

This drawing technique is a bit "against my nature", because I'm the kind, at least in drawing, to retouch each detail to it's most perfect expression... and I don't have time for this anymore... I would also need to be less demanding about the final result... I'm quickly discouraged if the drawing I'm doing is not as good as my expectations.

Which makes me think about a technique I was often using when I was in College: I was leaving my hands trace lines without knowing where I was going, and letting the drawing become with it wanted. That technique brought me to do illustrations like those ones:

Anyways, I don't know for now... I have to I hold a pencil and scribble on a paper... I'm not even sure if I would dare showing drawings about my anger; I don't know. It'll depend on the result.

So, the final word, I'm "weathervaning*" again and I answer "maybe"; maybe I still have something to say through drawings, but I don't know if it'll be a "professional ambitioned" material (meaning with the option of selling). ;o)

*Weathervane:  I don't know if the expression exist in English, so if not, I'll translate here. In French, "to be a weathervane" is an expression meaning that one is ofter changing his/her mind as soon as the wind blows differently... ;o)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

French version of this blog

I simply wanted to mention that I've opened a french version of this blog, here, I have been absent because I was translating in french what was here.

No need to say that I didn't have time to work on the project directly, since all my free time went on the translation. Now that the french version is updated, I'll get back to work ;oP

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reporting to you

I came to realize that this blog idea is the right one for me. It doesn't really matters if someone is actually reading this or not (though it's always better if you are there, reading and commenting =D ). What does matter is the fact that this blog gives me the impression that I report the work I'm doing to someone else, and somehow, I work better this way.

I started the week being really tired, like most of the people in early spring (probably will get worst next week with the time change...). I fell asleep a few days in a row while I was sending my daughter to bed.

Like always when I intensively work on a project, not finding time to work on it bring me to a point where it hurts, because I come to collect too many ideas! I'm always afraid to have too many ideas in the head and nothing on paper... Yesterday, my daughter when to bed earlier, giving me long enough time to really push the project further.

My mind-map is now nearly completed:

Each color is a different character thread. I still miss a few thread... Well, I miss one and there's one that needs more work out and details to be completed.

Then, from there, I'll be able to sort what will be in the book and what will remind anecdote and fall on the "lost pages" side. At the moment, I have 3 shorts stories that will probably be on the "lost pages" side of the project.

See you later with more updates!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Drawing or Not?

Hehe, long time no see!

Last week, I haven't work much on my project (reasons: tiredness, baby needs, etc.)

I have a small and easy drawings project I started, but for some reasons, I realized I was bored with it. When I asked myself "what else I could draw, (anything, like... if I would do a 5 minutes drawing), what subject would I pick?" and I couldn't find an answer. My mind was... blank!

It bugged me, since, in the past, I couldn't live without drawing! Now, I miss it! But I can't get myself in the mood of drawing again and enjoy it. I took the time to think as to why that is. The only reason I could found is, back then, my life was hard. I didn't have a soft childhood or teenagehood; my heart was broken, I was in pain! And drawing was one of my ways to keep my head off the water (the other way is writing).

Back then, I was holding to the thought that someday, things would be better. I worked so hard to change my fate; at some point, I was afraid that if I would heal my life, I might have nothing to say through art...

I did heal my life and soul; things are so much better then they used to!  =) I'm one of the rare person saying that I would NOT like to go back in time, go back to when I was younger... No, please no!! I'm feeling so much better now! I was waiting to be better myself before having a baby and I started my family when I felt ready. I'm so very happy now (if I don't count my job, which is pretty boring)! And my daughter just adds more joy in my life! In contrary of most people who reached 30, I don't feel old; in fact, I feel younger than when I was 16 or 21... Something I feel like I started my life old and I going through life, to younger and freedom ^_^

So, one of my fear did happen. The ink for my drawings was my blood and tears. Now that my soul stop crying and bleeding, I don't have anything to express, so I can't draw anymore, because I have nothing "interesting" to say anymore... Well, not in a visual art way.

Once I got that, I first looked at my loss and thought it was a shame... But then again on second thought, if I have to choose between "drawing (and access to a graphic and exciting job) and pain and heaviness in the heart, and dark clouds in the head, nightmares at night, nightmares day by day, acid in my throat, hate, sadness and depression in my eyes" OR "a balm on my heart, harmony and serenity inside, joy in the corners of my eyes, laughs that tickles the tips of my fingers, and love and happiness that overflows my being, but no drawing (and boring job)"... I definitely prefer happiness!

So, once I've mourn drawings, I remembered that I still can write! In the end, if I only have to write, it may be easier to focus my time and energy on one art and one project. At the very beginning, writting was the most important, then drawing came across for an big episode, and now, I'm back again on the first track, the one that always matter the most to me: storytelling!

So, last week, once I finished philosophizing about my little life -- mourned my past drawings, and made peace with the fact that it was the center of my life once, but it's probably gone now since I don't need it anymore -- I focused on my novel project.

At the end of last week, I started to put some ideas on paper during my lunch time. Because I restart the project from scratch, and go back to "the origin" of the story, all is new, so all has to be designed. I'm at the point where I have a rough idea of the main-lines of the story, on three episodes (they might end up being in six books, I don't know yet). That is for Part I, because there might be few others episode on Part II... and maybe Part III. I know, it's really... really long and big project. There is still so many questions to be answered to fully develop the storyline.

Some weeks/months ago, I started on "Calc" (from the free OpenOffice, it's the equivalent of Excel for Microsoft) and spreadsheet with main actions and started to draw some chapters for the three "episodes". But with the latest questions, I started to find some answers to, I felt blocked... like, I need a tool to help me put all my ideas together.

I described what I want to my boyfriend, innocently hoping he would say it's easy to program and maybe do something ourselves... (like if we had time for this!?). Instead, he said that what I was looking for, is called a mind map and that we can find it for free on the web. After looking quickly for a mind mapping software, we installed one, didn't like it, flushed it away and tried another one, liked it, and working with it now.

I chose VUE. It's slightly buggy, which can easily get pretty annoying, but grosso modo, it's a great tool! I started (on top) family trees and (the second one) threads of stories:

Each colors represent a different "narrative line", meaning the story from different characters point of view (and, obviously, those narrative-lines come accross). So I've started to write all the ideas that comes to my mind by blocks. I'll then be able to sort them by character point of view and chronological order. Once all the pieces of the puzzle will be there, once every essential questions to built the story will be answered, I'd be able to pick the important blocks to put in the book and leave the rest as "lost pages". Maybe some day, I'll complete the "anecdote lost-pages" and do something... like a "side book" or... I don't know, put them on a personal website for books promotions, or maybe they'll remain "lost pages" for ever, who knows?

Elisabeth Vonarburg, in her writing workshop, repeated that no matter what will end up in the book and what will be left aside, all the questions AND the answers has to be known to the writer, in order to really, deeply, understand her/his story and avoid the silly and ashamed situation where the only answer to a question is "oh... I haven't thought about that... You're right, it makes no sense!". She said (by memory, in my words and my understanding) "you don't have to put everything in the book and answer all the questions; of course not, please don't! Let the readers do some thinking! But You, as the writer, HAVE TO know. You HAVE to have your answers, even if you choose never to talk about it".

So, this week, with this new tool -- and with the release of trying to draw, the release of guilt, because I can't draw -- I start answering major questions and the story started to unfold before me again  =D. I started the week with a structure of a story (made some time ago), some bones, and now, it start to have a lot of meat on it! =P

My biggest fear about this project remains the same: I'm still a novice in writing and this project may be too big to start with. Elisabeth always says about my text that the subject is too complicated for my level... but I can't help it! Every time I tried to work on another smaller projects and more adapted to a beginner, I end up adding a new character to this big project!

So I stopped fighting against it, stop trying to do things I don't feel like doing, and just work in this too big fella! I'll see where it will bring me... =)