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Friday, September 30, 2005

Nightwing: Fundamentals complete!

Gate Gate
* Click for larger versions *


Finally done! This project has been in the works for quite a while now. It's written by John Robert Johnson and fully illustrated (that's pencils, inks, and colors) by me using a Wacom tablet and Photoshop 7. We'll have a lettered version up soon.

And to see the rest of the art for this, go to the Art Gallery on my website, or visit the Golden Goat Studios message boards, where it's been documented.

Let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Chapter 22!!

Gate 20,000 words in at Chapter 20, and that puts me a few chapters from the halfway point. Yippee!! Excuse the cryptic photo. Couldn't find anything with stairs that worked for the mood of my novel except for this one with the words across it. It's a great reference photo, though. ;o)

Went to a book sell at the libary Sunday and picked up a bunch of new books for $1 a bag!!

"Poppy" by Avi, who also wrote "Crispin and the Cross of Lead." That was a pretty good book. I wandered through the other books he's written and liked the variety, so I thought I'd start with this one.

"Witches, Wit, and a Werewolf," retold by Jeanne B. Hardendorff and illustrated b Laszlo Kubinyi. Really, the title and the pencil renderings sold me on this one.

"The Inch Boy" by Junko Morimoto. It looks to be a great little story a fearless boy who wants to become a famous Samurai. Beautiful illustrations with thick brush strokes.

"Going Hollywood: A Dinosaur's Dream" by Hudson Talbot. This one is close to me. This Dino goes out to Hollywood and loses himself (and almost his friends) then makes his way back home and to who he was. Really cool illustrations in this one, too.

"Teacher's Treasury of Stories for Every Occasion." This is a book from 1958 that is set up like an encyclopedia, alphabetically by subject. Each listing has a few stories and quotes that relate to it.

"Secret of the Samurai Sword" by Phyllis A. Whitney. A story about a couple who visit their grandmother in Japan and find her garden haunted by a Samurai.

I also checked out some books to read:

"Shattered Mirrors" by Amelia Atwater Rhodes. That's her third published by the time she was like 19.

"Mostly Ghostly #1: Who Let the Ghosts Out?" by R. L. Stine. Always been a fan. ;o)

"The Keys to the Kingdom #1: Mister Monday" by Garth Nix (I kept thinking the title was Garth Nix. ;o) Looks really interesting. Makes me think of King and Straub's "The Black House."

And, finally:
"Donuthead" by Sue Stauffacher. Only a few chapters in, but, so far, it's an hilarious (and actually touching) book about a paranoid boy named Franklin Delano Donuthead. I'm really excited about the rest. Plus, it has that great cover by C. F. Payne.

Plus, I plan on reading "Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" the collection (with an introduction by Stephen King) for Halloween.

So, I've got reading material coming out of my ears for the next few months. Yikes!! ;o)

If you've read any of these, let me know your thoughts on them.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fresh Baby!

Escape
Click for larger version
Here's another one for Illustration Friday. Running a little late with it, but tharr it be!

The prompt was "Fresh" and what's better than a freshborn baby! (or newborn for people who like "real" words) This guy's pretty giggly and googly, which is how I like my babies. Some big 'ol ears and a squiggly mouth. ;o)

I had to kick this one out faster than last weeks, because I didn't have the time, so it's more of a sketch painting.

As always, this was created with Photoshop 7 and a Wacom Tablet. Thanks for stoppin' by and I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Goofing Off!!

So, I barely ever do this, but yesterday, I spent the entire day off the phone and internet and even away from work, and just relaxed, read, watched, and played. I guess the stuff I was doing was slightly related to work, but was done for fun. Just an impromptu day of remembering why I do what I do. Kinda recharges me.

Gate
I watched "The Secret of NIMH," which was a childhood favorite. Such a great story about a mother trying to protect her son. Don Bluth = genius! Love the work that went into it. Found out it was based off of a book titled "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH." I'll have to track that down. The DVD I've linked to for that has a crappy new cover on it. Don't know why they did that. Makes it look all cheesy when it's a pretty dark and serious film (like the one to the left kinda portrays).

Gate
Finished reading "The Chronicles of Narnia." This was a milestone in my life. I was lucky enough to catch the BBC Movie of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" on tv when I was home sick one day in about third or fourth grade. I fell in love. But, for over a decade, I couldn't find anything about them, and no one seemed to know what I was talking about. So, this is my first time reading the series all the way through. Love the way it ended. Great, great storytelling. Oh, and the collection had a really cool essay by Lewis in the back about Writing for Children. Here's an awesome quote, "When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." I love that, and I'm totally going to use it when people pick no me for my tastes.

... Went for a bike ride. ;o)

Gate
Played a couple of games on my new Sega Plug and Play. Not much of a gamer anymore, in fact, this and the Gameboy Advance that I never use are the only game systems I have any more. But, I was a game fanatic as a kid, which is why I got this. It has one of my all-time favorites on it. "Altered Beast!" a game that the local C-Mart had the Arcade machine of back in Smith Center when I was a youngin'. I'd ride my bike clear across town everyday (just about) and play, eat mini-pizzas, candy, and suicide slushies. Fond childhood memories. Anywho, it also has 5 other games, including Sonic, Kid Chameleon, a tetris-like game, Golden Axe, and a weird one called Flicky. Pretty amazing that they can get 6 awesome games on one little box now. Times'a changin'.

Gate
Watched a Jack and the Beanstalk cartoon by Michael Palin (Monty Python). Actually, it was more like a children's book that's narrated to music, because nothing was animated, it just moved around on illustrations. Which was great. It was a suprisingly well done production. Loved the sketchy pen drawings by Edward Sorel. Fun stuff and pretty inspirational. I even drew an ogre in that sketchy style. I'll have to scan that sometime.

Gate
Watched a Goosebumps DVD. Episode: "The Werewolf of Fever Swamp." I've always been a big fan of R. L. Stine's (and I'll site that C. S. Lewis quote once more, naysayers. ;o) He tells fun stories in interesting locations with unique characters. Yeah, they're a bit formulaic, but they're also surprising. Anyway, I loved the TV show after school when I was a kid. Plus, I'm getting into the Halloween mood.

... Ate a cheese and chicken quesadilla lean pocket. That was tasty.

I read a short story in "The Best Horror Stories from the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Vol. 1" by Brian W. Aldiss, titled "Poor Little Warrior!" Very weird, but really interesting style of writing. Very flowery and loaded with metaphors, but it works.

Watched a little cartoonage and went to bed.

All in all, a really great day that helped inspire and recharge me. Don't get to do that often, so I enjoyed it immensely.

Today, I'm back to writing, working out, drawing, emailing, blogging, calling, etc. Though, I think I'm also going to watch "The Silver Chair" DVD from the Chronicles of Narnia collection. And tomorrow, I'm going to see "Corpse Bride," which I'm really excited about. But, then on Monday, I'm back to full-fledged workin' like a dog (who works from home ... and doesn't actually do any manual labor).

Peace out, Napoleon. ;o)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Chapter 16!!

Gate Hey, alright! Made it to Chapter 16 today (been writing everyday, but I figure I'd only yak about where I'm at every four chapters or so). That's about 15,600 words in. It's shaping up quite nicely and moving along smoothly. If I'm half as original as I think I am, I might have something special here. ;o) Hooves crossed.

It's funny how sometimes something huge can take place in just a few sentences or words. I was in the middle of a huge, exciting scene today, then scrolled back up and realized it was only a paragraph. 'But, it seemed so BIG!,' I thought. It sort of jolted me to realize that. Reminded me of something the director of the new movie version of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" said at the San Diego Comic Con. He talked about reading the battle between the Narnians and the White Witch's minions, and how massive that seemed, and really, it's only a page long. Also makes me think of "The Never-Ending Story," because I was totally into the story, feeling it as really happening, then saw a few words on the screen and was brought back to reality. Kinda cool ... kinda sad. ;o)

I have jury duty tomorrow morning. This will be about the fourth time I've been served, and (if they don't cancel tonight), the second time I've actually had to go. Last time, I went into it as an eager writer, thinking I'd pick up life experience and material for stories, and maybe I did (though I haven't found it yet), but all that happened was, they gave me a ten dollar bill, sat me down, and had me wait for like five hours while nothing happened. Horrible waste of time. This time, I'm a little less eager ... unless they started paying better. Definitely going to screw up my day. So, I'm glad I did a bit extra today.

But, I did have to cancel an appointment with my accountant and that's kind of a pain, because that was the only time either of us could do it this week. So, next week, I guess. But, that's all boring stuff.

Hey, did you read that Stephen King is going to be writing some Marvel Comics. That makes my millenium.

Dig that abstract hint to my novel. Lips are sealed. ;o)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Finished the Escape!

Escape
Click for larger version

Okay, got it done. Man, I'm a slow painter. ;o) Maybe not compared to other painters, I don't know, but compared to other techniques I use, it takes forever. Contour lines just speed things up sooo much.

I think for future Illustration Friday entries, I'll have to go with sketches and whatnot. I can't NOT finish a piece like this, but I can't really devote this much time to extra, just-for-fun projects.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Chapter 12!!

Into the Sky Whoo!! Had a great writing day today. Wrote four chapters in my new novel that took me to Chapter 12 at about 11,400 words. Yippee!!

I was talking to a fellow Goat just yesterday about writing speed, because he brought up Stephen King writing 10,000 words a day. That droped my jaw for sure. I'm sure he only writes for a small portion of the day, because he spends a lot of time with family and other stuff, so he just must be so fast nowadays that he burns through it. He could write one of his books in about 10 days keeping up with that schedule!

Most days, I write about 400-1,000 words. Today, I wrote about 4,000, but it took me a good 6-8 hours. I don't think I could go much faster than that.

And, yes, I'm well aware that faster isn't better, but it's fun to have some kind of quantification while you write or draw or whatever. Getting faster and keeping the quality is a sign of improvement.

Oh, and dig that crazy-vague hint at the story. Doesn't help a bit. ;o)

"Escape" - Work in Progress

Escape
Click for larger version

Well, it's not done, but I started this for Illustration Friday! for 9.16.2005. The title and prompt was "escape." Made it complicated by turning it into a painting, so I didn't get it done. But, I will be finishing it soon.

My favorite form of escape is in creation, so that is my subject. "There are" after all "Worlds to be Created." (Man, I'm clever!) And, this little fella is doing just that.

You can see from this, since I'm using Photoshop 7 with a Wacom tablet, I'm working in layers. I have my sketch layer on top, so I can see form as I work in the "paint." I can click that on and off as I need to.

Let me know what you think so far and make sure to come back so you can see the final.

I'm tired and going to bed. ;o)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Chapter 8!

Rose Marble Wow. I'm now on Chapter 8 of my new novel, about 7,400 words in. Things are starting to flow a bit more smoothly. I think I've fallen into the groove. I'm still pretty sure this one will require some heavy editing, but we'll see.

Recently talking about this on the Absolute Write forums, the topic was chapter size. Mine tend to be pretty short, about 4-6 pages, with little *** breaks in between. I love the pace of books with short chapters. I don't like being in the middle of a 30-page chapter, knowing that I have so far still to go before there is a real break, and I don't like stopping in between chapters. And when they are consistently shorter, I seem to read more, knowing that it's only a few more pages until the next one, then a few more to the next, and so on. So, I've kind of naturally picked up that quicker pace in terms of chapters and sub-chapter breaks. It feels like you're accomplishing little goals to encourage you to keep going.

Oh, and I'm coming up on Part Two of the story, which is where some really fun stuff starts to happen.

Let's see, what else have I been up to? Well, I'm about to start coloring a hardcover graphic novel for a kid's publisher that I'm really excited about. Can't tell you anything about that yet. Did some sketches to show to some big company to see about getting a really cool gig. That tells you nothing. Working on the next page of that Nightwing story.

I'll try to be on later tonight with a little something to show you. Thanks for stoppin' by!

* Edit - Well, scratch that. No artwork to show. But I did add that very abstract visual hint at my novel up at the top. ;o)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Praise for Noble Causes!

Noble Causes I'm trudging along, writing the new novel, but have other projects going on, too, so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about one of them. A personal favorite of mine.

I've been working on Noble Causes as letterer (and sometimes designer) for going on five years now. Holy cow! Hard to believe it's been that long. NC was my first foray into the Big 3 of comics publishers, with Image Comics. Jay Faerber, the series writer/creator, contacted me through my old website, asking me to letter a back-up story. By the next issue, it became the whole book (former letterer was having a baby, so she was a tad busy). I was psyched!

Well, four-plus years later, I'm still psyched. This is a really great book and just keeps getting better. Tagged as a superhero soap-opera, but I think it's much more than that (even though that's great in itself), because it's not campy like soap operas. It uses some of the elements of that genre and brings them to a higher level. I know this because my parents have crammed "All My Children" down my throat since I was a lad. Noble Causes has mystery, suspense, love, loss, murder, betrayal, hard choices, regret, family bonds, happiness, and secrets, as well as fantastic, in-depth characters and some of the best revelations and cliffhangers I've ever read in comics. Oh, and superpowered humans are a great addition to this ever-evolving story. And I'm not a fan of superhero books, generally. This is something very different and unique.

So, the thrill of the book never goes away for me. It just keeps getting more and more fresh all the time. I could have passed the job on to someone else a long time ago, but I'm happy as a clam to continue working on it for as long as Jay will let me ;o). It's currently on it's fourth trade paperback and issue 13 of the ongoing series (which happens to be a great jumping on point). If you haven't read this book, you really should give it a try. If you're a fan of progressive comics, then you would be remiss not to.

Click here for a 6-page lettered Preview of Issue 13>>
Click here to head over to Jay Faerber's Message Board>>

Oh, and I finished lettering issue 14 last night. BRILLIANT!! Jay's the man!

Buy this book. I ain't playin', foo'!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Attempting the impossible ... apparently ...

Art and Writing?
Click for larger version

So, I've known for sometime that my goal in writing was going to be pretty tough, but recently, it's been brought to my attention that it's ridiculous and presented with an amateur's attitude to think that it'll happen.

My goal is to write, illustrate, and design all aspects of my children's prose novels.

See, a huge part of storytelling and style is in the packaging. The Spiderwick Chonicles would not be as powerful if Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black didn't have as much say over the look of the book. The only difference is that I'm not as well known and I want my projects to be a sole effort. From the cover, to the interior illustrations, to the paper and page numbers. To me, having a product that is one passionate person's sole effort (or even a personal team) is a beautiful thing. The alternative is a contrived package that a freelance illustrator and designer were hired to do. They may be perfectly capable of packaging it really well and do great work, but they just won't have the same connection to the work.

And, I'm well aware that sometimes outsiders can make a project even better; that's what editors are for and I enjoy working with them, but that doesn't change the fact that I love all aspects of writing, illustrating, and packaging something, have worked in the field doing that for 5 years now, and truly WANT to pour my heart and creativity into each aspect. That's my goal, and I'm not sure why some people seem to be offended by that.

I've had plenty of people tell me over the years that I can't do something. A high school art teacher practically beat me to death daily with the notion that I was stupid for thinking I could make a living with this "garbage," meaning comic books. Now, everyday I roll out of bed and get to work in comics. And, I'm not starving. So, THERE you mean ol' teacher! :oP

Point is, that's what I want to accomplish, so that's what I'm going to work towards. I'm sure it'll make it harder on me, might have to do some self-publishing, but it's really important to me.

I've also had an outpouring of support from people saying that they appreciate my passion for it and think that if I stick with it, I'll accomplish whatever I set my mind to. So, BIG THANKS to those folks. I hope the rest of you can wish me luck as well.

And if there are any publishers out there who aren't entirely opposed to the idea, let me know. ;o)

Publish both?
Click for larger version

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Eureka!!

Yay for me! Of all the ironic, stereotypical places to be ... while I was in the bathroom and wasn't thinking about my novel, I found the answer to get me back on track. I just have to go back, rearrange a couple of things, and add a short chapter of my main character writing a letter to a friend. And that solves all the problems I'm having right now of how to piece some things together. Without giving too much away, it made a bunch of things click into place. So, I should be able to mosey along after this.

I am happy. I can sleep well tonight.

And tomorrow ...

G'night.

(Someday, I'm going to write an entire novel with smilies.)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Breaking for Colors...

NightwingClick the image to see it larger.

I took a break from writing today to do some colors on this Nightwing short story I've been working on. Pencils, Inks, and Colors, by me using Photoshop 7 and a Wacom Tablet. That's right, all digital.

That gave me some time to think about my novel and where it's headed and I've got some new things figured out that I will hop on tonight probably before bed, or spend tomorrow on. It also gave me the opportunity to sing along really loudly to Incubus and My Chemical Romance. That's something I can't do while I'm writing. I'm a big Incubus fan, but My Chemical Romance is kinda weird. Sorta Jimmy Eat World mixed with Marilyn Manson or something. I think they're growing on me, though.

Helps to mix up my schedule a bit like this.

You can see more of those Nightwing pages on my Art Gallery: www.RayDillon.com

The progress has also been posted on the Golden Goat Studios Message Board, so you can see each stage of development.

Check 'em out and let me know what you think!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Wranglin' the Story...

Wrangling the StoryClick the image to see it larger (and to see the progress of the beard contest ... yeah, that's basically as far as I've gotten in a month).

When I got into chapter 4 of my new novel, I felt myself heading towards a BLOCK! I'll reiterate that normally I know where the story is heading and I map it all out ahead of time, working through the problems so that once I get to the writing, I just have to get from point A to point B and enjoy myself.

But, with this one, it's wanting to leap out all over the place and that makes me excited, but also a little nervous that I'll end up in a corner, then some deadlines will come crashing down, I'll hesitate and procrastinate, and before ya know it, I haven't written in a few of weeks and I'm lost on the story. That could be a helpful thing to recharge, or it could put the project in limbo indefinitely. I'm trying to avoid it altogether.

So, today I decided that I needed to start wrangling it in.

I sat down and started fleshing out the Characters, Plot, and Theme.

This is a lot of fun. I've found questions to ask yourself about your characters from a bunch of sources from screenwriting books to children's literature books, and have compiled a list. Some of my favorites include:

. What does your character WANT?
. What does your character LOVE?
. What does your character FEAR?
. Why does your character INVOLVE himself in extreme situations?

These also help to develop your PLOT. But, you also have to ask yourself what changes the character will go through and why, and a lot of that revolves around the THEME. So, to develop my theme, once I figure out what the heck it is, I make a list of how my characters, events, and even the environment can support the theme. For instance, if your theme is "Don't Be Afraid to Take Chances," you can have characters who are afraid of taking chances and characters who are not, and maybe your main character looks up to them. You can have a lot of examples where your 'fraidy cat will have to take chances in order to save a friend and finds out that taking chances can be a good thing. Chuckie from "Rugrats" is a good example. ;o)

I also took some time to draw out characters and elements from the world my story takes place in. But, I can't show ya those yet. Sorry. I think I'll need a few more days of developing before I'll be able to get back into the writing.

Okay, on to phase two of my day: The Workout! Then, I will on to coloring some more Nightwing: Fundamentals

Have a splindiferous day! ;o)

Not so speedy speed-painting!

Dark Angel
Click for slightly larger version
Photoshop 7 and a wacom tablet


After a long, eventful day of writing (didn't quite get to Chapter 5), jogging, lettering, and coloring, I started this without a clue what the subject matter was or where I was going with it; just kinda felt like painting. I didn't feel like doing something really complex and time-consuming, but, I got carried away and about an hour and a half later, this is what came out. Kinda wonky, but whatever.

It's funny how the creation (especially lately for me) can control the creator. It made me stay up too late! ;o)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Chapter 4...

Well, writing is going well today. I'm heading into chapter 4 of my new novel (about 4,000 words in), should be able to make it to chapter 5 today. And, hey, it's only 3pm. Not too shabby. I'm really excited about how it's turning out. Feels really unique. A little confused in some places, and I'm sure that will continue, but that's what editing is for. Kinda scary, actually. Last night before bed I found I had some peculiar anxiety over it; just the enormity of what it's become and how I'm almost not in control of it. Maybe that means it's something big? That'd be nice.

Not ready to say anything about it, but I will give some incredibly cryptic hints along the way, like the inspirational image to the upper left (which I found in a Yahoo image search. I'm just using it for inspiration. Please, don't sue me.) ;o)

And a sentence from the end of chapter three.

Just then, the marble door flashed blue and the most beautiful woman Anna had ever seen walked in.

Haha-haha-ha! That doesn't tell ya anything! But, it's really important! Hee-haha-hahah!

Well, back to writing I go. ;o)

Hssr o gydae! (Making up a language as I go! And, NO, I'm not planning on speaking it in any interviews on CNN. I'm not THAT much of a nerd; the characters just need it, so I give it to them)

Oh, and please let me know how that image shows up in terms of alignment with the text. I can't get the image posting system to work (on a Mac), so I'm trying to code it myself. Looks okay to me, but you never know. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Day in the Life ...



My schedule tends to change throughout the year, but lately, it's been kinda weird (in a good way). I've gotten pretty lax on things (in my opinion), which is quite different from the 20 hour a day, seven days a week work schedule I kept up for the first few years of my career.

. I get up around 8-9am (on my own; no irritating alarm, generally around 6-8 hours, depending on what time I went to bed). I've decided (and been adviced) that sleep is a very good thing for health. So, I'm trying not to sacrifice that when I can. But, if I could remain healthy and rested and never sleep a wink, I would do so ecstatically.

. I check email and play around on the internet for about 30 minutes, then get breakfast (it's a good habit when trying to stay fit to wait on breakfast, but not too long). Web stuff a little while longer while I eat.

. I write until I can't any longer, or until the day starts wearing on (which is usually the case since once I get started writing, unless it's late and I'm exhausted, it's hard to stop. Writing in the beginning of the day is good for me, because my brain works more better. ;o) If I'm tired, my brain starts to shut down.

. I eat small meals about every two hours. So, mix that up in the rest of this.

. After that, if it's still early, I draw until about 4pm. If I have any business work to be done, that's the time. If it's already 4pm ...

. I jog for about 45 minutes, then do my weight workout for about an hour and a half. Eat my protein shake. Check a little email. Take a quick shower.

. When I get out, it's time for NUDE lettering and design, if it needs to be done. (Kidding about the nude part, but often in a bathrobe). It doesn't take as much out of me as writing and drawing does. If not, I go back to drawing/coloring/etc. on whatever is due the soonest. And pretty much work until 10 or midnight, depending on what kind of role I'm on.

. When I start getting too tired to focus, I check some more email, get ready for bed, and do some reading and/or watch Family Guy and Futurama. ;o)

It's all gotten very organic, instead of the stressful rush of previous years. And the writing has really helped me to relax. Plus, I still get a ton of work done. And occasionally, I'll even take a day or two "off" (the work never really stops, but it can feel like a good break) and just hang out. Weekends I keep pretty open to recharge me for the coming week. After all, you can't create art based on life, if you don't live it. And 20 hours a day in my cave isn't living it. I definitely avoid the bar scene, though. That's just silly.

Of course, this all changes drastically when deadlines are really serious, or when I'm travelling. Then, it's all-nighters left and right, non-stop work in and out of the little bit of sleep I get, and stress, stress, stress. Maybe that's why I've finally learned to balance it. For most of the month, I let myself relax and enjoy the hours I put into work. Though, with some of the projects on the horizon, I'm not sure how long this will last.

Well, my web time is up and this has been a nice little warm-up to get to writing, so I'll catch you on the flipside.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

More inspiration! - they're getting younger...

Okay, lately, I've been getting kicked in the butt by the realization that despite normally feeling pretty proud of what I've accomplished in my 23 years on the planet, there are people out there that are, well, kicking my butt!

First it was Eragon author, Christopher Paolini, who at age 15 (the same age he graduated from high school), began writing his first novel. Now, at age 21, he's on his second of a bestselling series.

Then, it was Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, who's first novel was published when she was 14 and at 21 is now on her 7th! Read more about her in the previous post.

Now, it's the 7-year old author, Adora Svitak, who has already written 300 stories!! She has a pretty amazing story of her own. Go check it out:



They're getting younger and I need to catch up!!

Oh, and I found her blog through: AuthorsBlogs.com

My inspiration for today!

And this is what got me over my writer's block (both in inspiration for getting it done and a bit for the world that this story takes place in):



I am absolutely amazed, not by her work, though it's very good, but just her example. She was first picked up when she was 14. And she had already started several novels from first grade on.

She's continued a steady stream of books since then and is now attending college. She just IS a writer and always has been. It's in her being.

Anyway, I discovered her first book, and liked it, read her second and third and saw big improvements with each one. Now, she's on her 7th book!! I need to get caught up. Regardless of what her books are about, it's a great learning experience to see the growth in her work.

And her new website has great advice for writers:

Amelia Atwater Rhodes website

Wrote myself into or out of a corner?



So, there's this short story I've been working on titled "The Tourist," which was for my local writing group. I think the prompt might have even been "something about a tourist." Anyway, I started writing a story with a good idea of where it was headed. It's about: A reclusive girl steps out of her shell to meet a strange, pale tourist. I really liked how I started it, really liked the main character and her mother, and I thought it was going to be a simple write, but, unfortunately, I got writers block pretty quickly on it.

So, I put it down and worked on some other stuff. Finally, despite still having writer's block on it, I decided to just start writing again and force myself through it; figured it would come to me.

Well, it did.

And rather easily. With one tiny detail, I figured out where I wanted to take it ... which was a completely different direction and I think I just turned it into a novel!! HA! It's grown up and out of the constraints of the short story of it's own accord. Kinda scary since this isn't the novel I'm currently working on, or the one I had planned next. I meant it to be content for the website; just a little supplemental story to everything else I'm working on, but alas, it's taken over. Going to be interesting working on two novels at once. And I still need to prepare for the National Novel Writing Month that I plan on entering.

So, I'm trying to flesh the whole thing out based on this slightly expanded beginning to the story. Wish me luck and ignore that "coming soon" thing on my website. I'll have to change that soon.

Monday, September 05, 2005

New Site is Up!!

Yay! Finally got the new site up. It's been bugging me for a while. Started getting just way too cramped. Some new artwork and stories, and a new layout. Plus, I seperated out the art and writing into galleries:

Art:


&

Writing:


Go check it out and let me know what you think:

www.RayDillon.com

Friday, September 02, 2005

Yeah, yeah. I know ...

Okay, I realize it's been over a year since I posted my first blog. So, if any of the people that wandered on here (as I didn't advertise my blog at all) ever wander back on, I apologize for having a sucky blog. ;o)

Now, I'm still trying to figure out how to fit this blog thing into my 'web identity,' if you will. It's just, I've got two websites (which I have trouble keeping updated), a message board (which is where I post most of my news, though I've been slacking there, too), MySpace (which never gets updated, but I run into a lot of people that I know, and that's cool), blah, blah, blah. I really like the way Blogger is set up; it feels like a great, simple, and well organized way to post news. Maybe I'll end up making it my news page on my site. I dunno. Just don't want to end up posting things two or three different places.

Anyway, what I'm up to:

. Lettering Noble Causes #14
. Finally getting around to coloring Nightwing: Fundamentals
. Growing my first beard ... and it's not going so well. ;o) At least, not as well as this guy.
. Learning a little jazz on the piano
. Finishing reading and watching "The Chronicles of Narnia" books and DVD's
. Buying a new camera, because mine was lost ... haven't gotten around to deciding what I'm going to get yet, though. Miss having it really bad. gotta get a new one.
. Working on my new, more spread out website
. Wrote a new poem and short story. I'll post that soon.

Oh, and funnest of all...

. Getting myself prepared to START OVER! on my graphic novel. I had 12 pages of full-color layouts done, and accidentally saved over the folder with and older version, so POOF! Going through a depression right now about that. After I get a few things done, I'll start again. In my layouts stage, that's where I do all of my hard thinking; figuring out where elements will go, what colors to use, how the story will flow, composition, everything. So, when I start the final page, I just go to town without having to think as much about it. So, having to do that for 12 pages all over again is pretty draining. Razzafrazzin!

So, anywho, keeping busy as always. Got some new projects on the horizon that I'm pretty excited about. Hooves crossed on those.

Oh, and Ed Dukeshire of Digital Webbing inspired me to get the Blog going again, so go give him a visit:



And buy lots of Digital Webbing comics!!!