Art!, Cadence, Manga, Writing Journey, Writing!

I Love You, Cadence

Up until I wrote Sophie in “Farewell, Fairytale,” during my first year of college, I really struggled with female characters. I came up with hotshots like Micah and smart guys like Andrew and tough guys like Danyil without any problems, but Shani was annoying and Kyasai was a bitch and Cirrus in …WtR drove me nuts. Creating characters that did things I would do, as Sophie did, was kind of a breakthrough for my approach to character design. One of the worst women I wrote prior to this was Cadence. In the original graphic novel, she was definitely a catalyst but, essentially, I hated her. Which is probably why I killed her in the end. Anyway re-writing the story this time around has given me a cool opportunity to hang onto the strengths of her character — she’s fiercely determined and always speaks her mind — while rounding out the parts of her that were a little unbelievable. Indeed, I could almost credit this one scene I decided to put in towards the beginning of the story. In the original draft you don’t even actually see her and Solaris until the second volume, which was roughly two hundred pages into the story (…159 pages, actually). I talked to Ana (one of the story’s best readers) who agreed it was weird that the namesake of the story took so long to show her face. Anyway, I wrote about that in my last entry. I just wanted to kind of squeal about her a little bit because suddenly I’m really excited about her character. I’ve also changed her fate. As for her image, it’s remained largely the same and has of course simply benefited from a few more years (oh my God…four years) of practice on my part.
Writing Cadence this time around, it’s weird, ’cause I see how she fits in with the rest of the story now. Why Solaris, such a powerful man, would have fallen in love with her. Why she’d have gotten children from epic cosmic forces. Why she didn’t want Cirrus to be with Syracrus. And it’s weird to only now be getting in touch with the main roots of the story, but as far as most people are concerned, the product I’m turning out now is the first of its kind.

Seriously, getting into this graphic novel business again is bringing me a level of pleasure and satisfaction I couldn’t have anticipated. I was expecting to get frustrated…or lose interest…or to not feel like it was doing what it was supposed to. I kept telling people I was done with drawing graphic novels till I felt like I could bring to them something that I couldn’t before. I guess that day felt much more distant than a place I’m at now. But it works. People would always ask me if I would color my penciled pages, but when they’d ask me that I simply couldn’t color. So for years now I’ve been trying to get comfortable with it, and part of it has been a surrender to digital media. But I will accept digital art if it is the key to doing what I want to do with my art. In this case, it means being able to illustrate the characters in TCoaRH the way I mean to. They need colors, and that’s what stopped me from even finishing my novelization. I want to add more images to this than I currently can because frankly I want to go keep working on pages. But I’m 33 pages into this story and I can’t believe it. Yesterday though I thought of how much I have left to write and I started to laugh because I’ve gotten virtually nowhere…but I’m committed. There is a long haul ahead, and I’ll make allowances when I have to put it down to focus on, for instance, graduating. But I believe in this story, and in Cadence.

As an example that I had to come back and add, of how this story needs images…I have been waiting to do a page like this of Solaris since I came up with him in high school. Maybe it seems a little simple, his character design…you know, you’re trying to make the Sun King, so you slap him with a warm-toned palette and give him crazy hair and a godlike body. But when I tried to do him in high school I hadn’t committed to the idea of the Element Kings looking like their elements. Plus unfortunately TCoaRH was done while I was on my way out of my phase where all my characters looked like women. So this is the best I could come up with in 2008 or 2009 when I was angry at people during my last drawing class before English class with Miss Kope. It’s cropped weird ’cause it’s on some of Vifquain’s bigger paper that’s too big for my flatbed.

Also, STATIC. Dynamic images are one thing I’ve kind of aimed for, I’m not sure for how long, but whenever I’m making a character like Solaris these days it’s movement I want. Maybe a part of me has come to believe that a plain old portrait like the one above can’t qualify as art.
So, I figured out sometime before I started working with TCoaRH that I wanted Syracrus to be black and Solaris to have batshit crazy hair. Well the hair comes out later like Shepherd Book in Firefly (God I’m sad) but for now I let him tame it. In the aforementioned scene I introduce Cadence and Solaris. While watching Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke on Monday, I decided to really introduce them, and I gave them actual full-page spreads. Solaris’s page was what I’ve kept saying: Exactly the image of him I’ve wanted to do for 4 years.

I won’t even bother pointing out anything that might annoy me about this image because mostly it’s precisely what I wanted to produce.

Art!, Cadence, Emotional Breakdowns, Manga, Writing!

Computers Eat Art

Okay I’m sorry I’ve got to rant in a way that I might remove later, but what the hell, I’ve been annoyed for the past 3 days and I want to own to it.

See I’m entering what has always been a tricky phase of “The Cadence of a Restless Heart” — the phase where the kids are supposed to learn their history. About like Cadence and Solaris and dying and stuff. Well the rather cumbersome original approach was more and more disgruntling and I went from a steady jog with the pages down to slogging through muck when I got to this part, both with thumbnails and linework, not to mention coloring. So I decided if I had to force it that hard there had to be another way. The whole story’s riddled with full flashbacks so I thought I’d introduce it earlier with a scene between Cadence and Solaris where Solaris proposes the idea of resurrecting them. I talked to Ana about how it was weird they weren’t in the story at all till the second volume even though Cay is the namesake for the story and Solaris is the most powerful figure in it.

Anyway this isn’t really even about that, it’s just about how I shifted approaches like I’d been contemplating doing for weeks. I’ve been comfortable with my hybrid approach of traditional lines and digital color except sometimes I mess up the linework so badly that half the page is redrawn digitally anyway. But still I love getting ink down on paper — nothing can beat that, ever. But with the uncertainty surrounding this scene with Cay and Solaris I ended up sketching pages including dialogue (hitherto the dialogue has been entirely added after, because I didn’t need it apart from the thumbnail ideas of what’s discussed on each page), because I was faced with communicating a very important part of the story first-hand instead of the original narration from Solimin, which meant tinkering with each “it,” “and,” or “but.” As a result, I was less inclined to just ink over the pages because they got sloppier than when I exclude dialogue. So I scanned in sketches and decided, “Well, why don’t I try digitally inking these ones?”


It’s still slower than doing it by hand. And there’s something about the result that’s more…juvenile than my traditional lines. Also any headway I’ve made with backgrounds has been OBLITERATED. Plus, by the time I get to coloring I’ve been working with my damn cramped stylus for so long that I hardly pay attention to what I’m doing anymore. Inking lines by hand is a pleasure; inking them on a computer makes me crazy.

I mean, what this comes down to is obviously I’m not going to continue doing the lines digitally for a while, but it’s disappointing because these 2-1/2 pages I’ve done are beautiful except for that aspect about them that’s faintly…off. And part of me really wants to back up and ink the pages, even if it means making almost the same works. At least doing them digitally I’ll have gotten the layout strong, which was a concern about doing the dialogue-heavy pages digitally (because when the dialogue is heavier I feel inclined to keep the visual interest tighter than the more action-packed pages like the first 20 were). I’m not sure how I feel about back-tracking, because it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine — working slowly — but I’m kind of interested to see how the pages would compare.

Then again, I’ve always known my attitude towards a drawing affects how it turns out (damn my emotional landscape), and so the pages I do traditionally will probably turn out better largely in part because I expect them to…but it’s worth a little experimentation, I suppose. I mean, also, they’ll probably turn out better because I’ll have practiced them. And Cay and Solaris, while I’ve drawn their kids for 18 pages, are still new faces to my hands. OKAY I GET IT I’M JUST GONNA DO IT AND POST A COMPARISON LATER


[edit] as soon as I posted this entry and went off to try to sketch new pages, I felt dumb. ‘Cause yeah there’s something weird about them but hand-sketching them definitely didn’t go better…guess I’ll just move on. xD

Art!, Redefining Evil, Sun-Walking, Writing!

Puppies & Pecs & Pretty Girls

I’m torn between the impulse to write all about my creative happenings now, but without full access to anything I did traditionally, or to wait until I get home (in like 2 weeks) and just take a MASSIVE DUMP (sorry, but the excitement of having my own flatbed scanner back at my fingertips just brings from me disgusting phraseology).

Well, then, to tide me over, in list-format, here’s what I’m working on:

  • The Cadence of a Restless Heart pages, 17 full pages coloured and 1 in the works, with 3 more inked pages to follow
  • Redefining Evil/The Terror of Night revisions — I did most of them, but I’m still meaning to change the ending a little bit. A LITTLE BIT. Only a little. I finally figured out a good direction for the remaining characters to go in, and it’s exciting.
  • …SUN-WALKING WOOO. No I mean I guess I just opened it up and GOODNESS that story’s got the best action sequences! Plus when I reached the end of what I have written in “Sky-Dancing,” I was like ooo boy…now where was I going with that? Turns out for a change I DID write down my planned ending and I went “oooohh” when I read it, and there’s not really that much more to write and I’ll be much happier with a rough but at least finished draft of the story. 0___0
    Okay and I’m coming back to this a few days later (after my second of three finals!) and I got back into working “Wind-Running” because I had this breakthrough that sometimes I make my characters overreact where in life people would respond more subtly, so like, Isaac isn’t as angry at Levi as he was in the last draft. Also, “Wind-Running” will be almost completely told through Lucy’s journal entries, up until the point where she gets tranquilized by Keenan, where it will switch back to third for the duration of the story. This is because you really need to be inside Lucienne’s head as she transforms, otherwise it all seems too simple.
    The changes I was proposing to Sun-Walking, such as solidifying Helios and whatnot, I realized some of them started going overboard. I do want to keep that one told in third-person, so that means I don’t want to rewrite the whole thing…I will need to dig into it at some point and hone down Helios and the Sun-Creatures, but in general I don’t want to rework as much as I did before.

And now…without further ado, a sketch dump!

I mean but seriously. This is my favorite gif I’ve ever made. I MEAN BUT REALLY. Also, this was a reasonable movie.

So I JUST finished this listening to Cartel, which is one of the two or three bands I will always and forever associate with Micah. And okay I didn’t JUST draw him without a shirt on to indulge myself. Okay it was mostly that, but he wasn’t wearing a shirt in his first scene in the new draft of “Wind-Running” because Levi decides to go there in the middle of the night so what dude sleeps with a shirt on in the summer?
Anyway, this is another attempt to get the hang of lineless digital work. I’m a lot happier with it. I almost just went through with the sketch I had laid over it but finishing most of my schoolwork made me ambitious. Also lineless work is a lot easier when I can still kind of work with lines…TCoaRH helped me figure out to just use the pen tool and layer over it to blend things, rather than copping out and using the airbrush like I thought I needed to in the past.
And okay I’m trying to convince myself that my favorite part of this isn’t just his pecs because they’re his pecs, but it’s not working.
Oh and don’t worry, he’s not the only person I’ve been drawing naked lately. I did a nude of Lucienne last night in my sketchbook. o_O And on that note, I mean “nude” as in the kind of pose I did during Life Drawing, not “HUAAA HERE ARE MY TA-TAs” but…I don’t think my intentions were as noble with this picture.


This was seriously my FIRST satisfying lineless piece I think…ever. And it kind of slipped away from me because things got so busy here what with classes ending and my uncle dying. I did it when I was doing the latest (and hopefully last) re-write of the ballroom scene of ToN (yes that’s right, I am implementing the new acronym of RE with its new name…Margaret), even though that’s not even what Ingrid was wearing in the scene. I just kind of like the fairytale effect of this picture but then it’s like OH THEY’RE BOTH VAMPIRES THEY’RE DEAD THEY COULD KILL YOU IF THEY WANTED MUAHAHAHA delicate kiss

There’s definitely more of a vampire vibe in this picture, but I’m not as pleased with it and I didn’t work on it for as long (obviously). On another layer I had a doodle of Danny getting the wind knocked out of him when Ingrid punches him in the gut right before this part in the story, but it looks like I deleted the layer. xD The rewrite of this ballroom scene reached a nice compromise of all the previous drafts. Danny and Ingrid do get a nice kiss, but no sex…Ingrid gets mad, but she doesn’t blow up at Lacy (that scene was very contrived, and long-winded, and a perfect example of what I was saying earlier about subtlety of reactions)…Ingrid gets in touch with her life back at the force because I introduce her mother, but I didn’t get carried away with that by implementing the whole huge “foster home” concept and all her rather obnoxious (and contrived) friends that were in previous drafts. Plus I got to write another scene of Micah being paranoid and sick and that’s always fun.

Then here’s Ingrid looking badass as usual. I don’t have a ton to say about this one except that I like the movement of her skirt. When I did this I almost decided to add all my other heroines but unless I’m feeling particularly dedicated, usually the thought of doing that is much better than the product.

Then here’s a biology lesson I learned. I feel pretty dumb because I really should have known that incisors are different than canines, but right after I read that in my notes on animal digestion, I searched “incisors” in my latest ToN draft and I used it like six times in relation to what I meant to be their fangs. e___e; Oh well, at least I learned it now.

Well, I think that’s the end of my seemingly endless stream of art updates. There are some more I won’t get to till I’m back State-side and settled, but this is pretty satisfying in the meantime.

Art!, Redefining Evil


I will always love this character. I love his design, I love his delivery, I love how long he’s been around. I love that he’s old, and he bears his age — he’s got nearly-grown children — but in some ways he’s still got the same heart that got broken by his family as a teenager. This is Julian Evereaux, and I miss writing him. He was the lead in the first short story I ever wrote for school in 7th grade, although he was around 11 years old in that. I wouldn’t even dare trying to incorporate a character like him anywhere else, unless I could get as deeply into him as I did in “Redefining Evil.” I mean, in a way he’s tragic to the core, because his grieving is a fundamental part of his character. His grieving makes him strong, unbeatable, really. He and Danyil make a great pair in RE, and I started with a sketch of the two of them but as soon as I drew these fingers I knew I needed to do Julian alone.

Other Peoples' Work!

Music is Art, Too…

Man, only for Search the City would I have so many feelings I have to write about a digital concert experience. I’ve loved this band since 11th grade. I’ve carried their songs all the way through graduation and through three and a half years of college, the most recent of which is 10,000 miles away from their base in Michigan. They’re the kind of approachable guys that still work their own Facebook page, and respond to their fans, and make their shit public enough for you to know that just because they’ve got a solid fanbase, and are very talented musicians, they’re still human and prone to drama like the rest of us. I’ve incorporated them into my art and my webdesign on a number of occasions, and picture designs besides. I got my high school group of friends as addicted to The Rescue as me. And today, I skipped my lecture and was with them for an online performance approximately 10,000 miles away from them. Fortunately I’m here, because the internet’s so much faster I’m not sure Minnesota internet would have let me see them.

I guess there’s a few things that have combined in Search the City to keep them as my longest-running favorite band. First of all, falsetto. I figured out I can’t like a male singer without the ability to go into falsetto. No, I don’t want some guy crooning/squeaking for the whole song, but I’m a sucker for a sweeping chorus with some peaking notes. Not shrill, but richly high. Okay, so there’s that. Secondly, poetic lyrics. Songs that are about life. Not just love lost or found.
You will never be prepared for this, there’s no use in being scared…
I’ll take these chances, just like the way you took a chance on me…
I’ve got this half-moon; I’ll save the other half for you…
streetlights carry me home tonight…
And I know you’re sharp, but sharp just doesn’t cut it anymore.
You will be missed; you were always here to get us through times like this…

And also, instrumentals. I will admit to being a little daft about instruments: I’m not attuned to guitar or piano chords or whether something sounds “complex” or not. But I will “sing along” to all the guitar riffs in StC like I do for few other bands. And “singing along” to guitar riffs is usually unpleasant to hear but very nice to do.
Today with drizzly weather alternating with nice midday sunshine, I sat down to my first Search the City concert, 10,000 miles away, with headphones on, in my bedroom in Auckland with a cat on my bed with me. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think the distance injured the experience. Indeed, I think it was better for it — the arrangement, anyway. On the right was a little scrolling chat room for the fans, which meant there was a constant commentary through StC’s set…which meant they were constantly stopping to interact with us. Jim, Travis, and Alex stayed on camera with their guitars (which were heavenly) while Joe and Chris were on the sides reading out funny comments or fiddling with the sound levels. On several occasions, I heard them saying my comments, and of course this could only be in a digital concert because I’d never be that loud live. I got to hear the guy on the left read my greeting from NZ and go “New ZEALAND!” with a level of enthusiasm I won’t soon forget. Then before they sang The Rescue (duh, my all-time favorite song in the history of my life) I wrote “hit those high notes, man!” ’cause man are they BEAUTIFUL and then they read that out loud back in Michigan so I could pretend like I was the reason why Travis sounded so damn good on that song.

Not to mention, the guys were so alive. I loved hearing their new (breath-taking, heavy) demo from someone’s iPod held up to their mic, because I loved watching their eager faces watch their computer screen, to see our scrolling praise in our little fan box, to smile like little boys that love what they’re doing. They’ve got enough to make an outsider to the musical industry/field of musical production understand what drives people to make music to share with people in the first place.

No but really, rolling around on my bed to their new songs and singing badly to their old songs…it was so great. In so many ways. I felt like they gave me sunshine and made me feel completely like myself, alive and on fire.

Art!, Cadence, Manga, Writing Journey

A New Beginning

I guess I can only ignore that ache for so long. I’ve said it in so many places that every time I looked at TCoaRH pages I desperately wanted to start it as a graphic novel again. I thought maybe it would go away while I was novelizing it, but really, during every scene I’m writing I just wish I were drawing it. My moleskine sketchbook I brought with me to NZ is ridiculously full of sketches of the people from this story. The narration of the novel is clunky and sparse because I’m busy visualizing the scene so that I forget to write it well. This story is begging to be drawn.

I’ve also always known since I drew my last graphic novel that committing to a graphic novel would be a huge investment of time and energy and resources. But because of how many times I’ve told this story now (once in full, and I’m over halfway through the novelization), I’m willing to slow down and work patiently with this endeavor.

I’ve more or less figured out what my process for doing this will be. I know I wouldn’t be satisfied with digital lines. At this point, I can only produce sloppy lines I’m happy with, not neat ones. Meanwhile, I tend to be naturally meticulous drawing traditional ink lines, and I’m really comfortable with them. I know I can colorize traditional lines digitally with ease, and this is such a fantastically colorful story. I might struggle with backgrounds, but I’ll go easy on myself with them.

I already have to be patient, because I don’t have any paper suitable for starting pages here. I am going to buy that tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m slowly thumbnailing my first pages, and working on character designs. I think I need to make myself some legit reference sheets for the characters, especially Solimin, who’s got visible tattoos most of the time. I also happily reminded myself it’ll be a while before a lot of these characters get introduced, which will give me time to fine-tune them and brush up on drawing their faces.

Who knows if this will take off or not, but the thing is I’m not asking for immediate gratification. So it might take off over the course of the next few years. At some point soon I’ll set up a website for this so I can get a webcomic system working.



Emotional Breakdowns, Other Peoples' Work!

The Sixth Station



Got a little story to tell. I am living in New Zealand right now and this past week my study abroad group and I went to the Cook Islands. I don’t need to tell you that an island like that, tropical, surrounded by coral, carpeted in deep green, is unbelievably beautiful.
But it was exhausting — the heat; being with 18 other people for 6 days straight; all of the new and amazing foods and people and sights and experiences.
We were due at the airport at 1am on our last day, and we were all staying in the same house and restlessly mucking about till it was time to leave. I’d been feeling increasingly ill and unbelievably exhausted over the past 2 days, and our 4 hours on the beach earlier that day left me burned to a shriveled crisp. All I wanted to do was leave but time seemed to stop moving. I was wandering up and down stairs, lying down only to toss and turn to try to find a place to lay that wasn’t painful. I was trying to avoid voices because I’d had so many buffeting my ears and I wanted silence.
I was standing by the door digging through my bag when my study abroad adviser, who’s got quiet insight into feeling which I hate to love, asked me if I was all right [he texted me to see how I was feeling while I was writing this…WHAT IS THIS HOW DOES HE KNOW]. I was grim-faced in my reply and he saw that as I was pulling out my headphones to try to find somewhere quiet. He told me to go upstairs, go outside where the breeze would feel nice on my burns.
I did, and the stairs underfoot groaned loudly.
Outside in the blue moonlit night the wind was strong and the ocean far below was loud. I closed the doors behind me, locking myself into solitude, and sat on a wooden chair with my feet pressed to the railing in front of me.
When the song came on, the wind had already begun to burrow through my skin and force my bones to quiver, but I welcomed it, like my chills would cleanse me.
The Sixth Station has long been probably the most emotive songs I’ve known in my life. It’s deeply entwined with the imagery from its scene, but the song definitely lives on its own.
In the middle of the night when this song came on, while I shivered and stared at the moonlit waters, I started to cry. I cried because I hurt so badly and I so desperately needed the comfort these piano notes offered me.
Sitting on a deck in the dark overlooking the ocean, listening to The Sixth Station, crying silently because when was the last time I felt so miserable for so many reasons. It was a terrible moment but I will confess now it was terribly beautiful. It was life being felt most acutely, painfully but with sublime beauty. I’ll never listen to that song again in that place when I needed those piano notes so desperately. I’ll never redo that moment, and I doubt I’ll ever forget it.

Other Peoples' Work!

Let the Right One In

Vampire stories as they should be

I usually don’t have much luck with random movies I decide to watch by myself, but once in a while a friend’s “like” on Facebook will lead me to a surprisingly superb film like Let the Right One In. After admittedly struggling with finding a good link and then trying to find the Swedish one instead of a terrible English dub, I was happy I struggled through this because even the first few minutes of the film are captivating.

There’s always something to be said for films that manage to have a very strong narrative quality with very little dialogue. It wasn’t even a film that had actors with those great subtle facial expressions, but somehow, by some creative genius, it survived all the same.

You can tell right away when a film is not aiming to be sensational. When it’s too quiet. When they let the camera linger on scenery or when they draw out a new scene or don’t cut from one image to the next so quickly you don’t know what you’re looking at. This has the uncomfortably hyper-realistic pacing of a lot of indie films. There’s no real sense of time passing; you sort of sit in a stasis, and it’s the events which indicate progression and nothing else.

That being said, this is still a gory film about the lifestyle that must (MUST) be maintained by a realistic vampire that must kill to stay alive. It dealt with all the traditional vampire lore, including one character that gets bitten by the vampire Eli but doesn’t die — so she changes, and the change drives her mad, so in the hospital she has her doctor open the blinds and she bursts into flame. A little cheesy with the special effects in this moment (also when she got attacked by cats…I guess that explains why Danyil’s never liked cats), but it was still refreshing to see vampire lore followed so far like this. Additionally there is the aspect where Eli starts bleeding from every pore of her body if she enters a house where she hasn’t been verbally welcomed. I enjoyed that aspect. Grim, but hey, I guess that explains why that rule would be in place.

Another aspect of the film I enjoyed is Oskar’s…pasty whiteness. I mean, he’s your typical Swede — big, clear blue eyes; WHITE blond hair (straight as fettuccine); virtually transparent skin. But it played well in one of the final scenes when Eli wakes up to this guy that’s trying to kill her because she killed his best friend and his girlfriend, and she kills him in your typical nasty bloody fashion, so she comes out to Oskar and says she has to leave, and she kisses him, and it’s like Eli come on, couldn’t you wipe your mouth first. But when she pulls back and Oskar’s white white whiteness is corrupted just around his lips by a bloody kiss, it’s like DAMN, way to reverse stereotypical gender roles!

Let the Right One In is set in a cold white winter that painfully reminded me of Minnesota winters. The main boy, Oskar, is a little white creature struggling with bullies and mildly dysfunctional parents. He’s quite mild himself, keeping his cool most of the film so that even in the more violent moments he’s not squealing or freaking out in an annoying way, as children (and all people involved in vampire stories) have the tendency to be.

This was a good random film to find to keep my mind off my 4-hour flight in the morning, but it might have kept me up a little later than intended. The weird thing about films like this though is that they can be bloody as fuck and still not really scare me. I guess I’ve written so many scenes like that myself I just don’t expect anything different.

Emotional Breakdowns, Other Peoples' Work!

Maturing Into Literature

I read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar when I was way too young, maybe 14 or 15. It was absolutely horrifying to me, drifting about from one mishap to the next with prose that made me want to cry.
But because of all of the elements I seem to be pulling from old American literature for this new Cadence/Solaris story, I started thinking about The Bell Jar again and found myself a digital copy for my Nook just this evening.
And…it’s so real. Esther is the 20-year-old first-person narrator struggling through her somewhat meaningless life and making friends with people she doesn’t really want and hoping for something to wake her up. Well…there you go. Not to say it’s NZ that’s making me feel that way, but I’ve been in her position so many times — coming to realize you’re embarrassed to be associated with someone, deciding deep down you won’t be but keeping them around as a resource because they’re brilliant or sly or fantastic.
And the line I just read, that finally pushed me into writing about it in here,

There I went again, building up a glamorous picture of a man who would love me passionately the minute he met me, and all out of a few prosy nothings.


Okay that’s all.

Art!, Cadence, Writing!

Falling into the Sun

I, like, figuratively, never, ever, ever come up with good story titles BUT I DID
And the idea sprang forth like RE, in that it would be based on the idea of …WtR, but a new story, about CADENCE AND SOLARIS
They have always, always fascinated me because they sort of drive the whole story…Cadence is angry at the world ’cause she’s stuck forever as the Sidereal Ambassador which is sort of why she ends up screwing with everybody. Anyway the reason she IS stuck as the Sidereal Ambassador is because of Solaris, but he still loves her but she won’t forgive him and for some reason I really like that.
Anyway I started thinking about how the two of them got into that situation — I wrote a tiny blip about Cadence’s past and realized her and Solaris meeting, falling for each other, and subsequently falling to ruins, would make a really interesting novel. It’s got the romance in it but when Cadence meets Solaris, he’s a Night Magician/Sun King so he’s CRAZY POWER HUNGRY, and Cadence sort of is too, hungry and proud, which is why she’s attracted to him…but then he kills the former Sidereal Ambassador and then WOOP go Cadence! And that would be the ending, and it’s a horrible ending but it’s STRONG
Hmm, spoilers?
Anyway I wanted to doodle because I was just sort of staring at TCoaRH and not writing anything, so I ended up with this sketch of Cadence and Solaris which totally sums of what their relationship would have even begun like. I like the idea of writing a pretty but kind of crazy woman, so I’d probably write it from Cadence’s perspective…then again, in a story about a man and a woman you tend to get the woman’s side, so maybe Solaris might be cool. That way I’d avoid the whole “la la la, I’m a pretty girl living a normal life OH MY GOD IT’S A SMOKING HOT MAN HE’S THE SUN KING HE’S BAD I’M SO ATTRACTED TO HIM WHAT’S HIS WORLD LIKE” But first person. Definitely feeling first person. Yeah I guess Solaris would tell that well. For some reason I just thought of The Great Gatsby. Who’s that crazy lady Gats is in love with. Okay well that just made me think of Brett from The Sun Also Rises. Both good models for Cay Cay.
Also, I was just debating over the time period to set this in — I was hesitant to stick with Cadence’s 1500s roots because…well that sounds boring. But then I argued, “But for Solaris to really totally shatter the expectations she has for her life, she should have totally been looking for a traditional future as housewife by 20yrs old.” So then I decided a lot of people do still have that mentality, and that was really common to find in southern MN in the country, where the communities are smaller and stabler. So if – GASP – I set FitS in the contemporary countryside, it would change things, and give Sol more freedom to introduce Cay into the underbelly of modern living…and Element Kings.
Oh and then countryside girl made me sing, I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can bear…and for once it might be grand, to have someone…understand.

after discussing body language with Margaret I decided I ought to do better.
So NOW, check out Cay’s resistance
and I put her into a skankier dress, yeahhh
Well because I did the one before with my limited/nonexistent knowledge of 16th century fashion
Which then led me to change it to contemporary
Hence skanky dress
She’s all like WHOA tiger, look but don’t touch and god how I love when you look.

I wrote half an opening scene for this. I think I’m going to alternate between the end and the beginning of the story, and as suggested by Margaret tell it from Cay AND Solaris’s 1st person POVs.

Also, I decided Cay is going to meet Sol through her dad, who works with Night Magicians, which is interesting because essentially this will be a pair of bad guys that’s forced to go good. WOOO