Saturday, November 5, 2016

Well it has been a while since I have posted. I've traveled and lived a little and now it's time to get back to work! Though there's a lot to be said for creative slacking. So, in the spirit of procrastinating on writing a blog post, I will ruminate.

Slacking lets you:

-peacefully observe instead of do. You're taking in stimuli and letting your unconscious play around with it and make new connections.

-focus your attention on things you might not notice, like cracks in the wall. I'm into photographing manhole covers these days. I'm sure I'm not alone. What a story they tell! They're the portal to a netherworld.

-get outside more and enjoy nature. The colors are changing and it's glorious.

-catch up on reading. It's hard to even find a store that sells books! I buy them online sometimes but I prefer to support local bookstores, and just enjoy them. Luckily there are still libraries but wish we had more bookstores.

-find new places to be productive. While wandering around I've found some cool places where I can get work done, with Wi-fi, even free coffee!

OK now onto the nitty gritty. I continue my doodler's quest for the drawing tablets. I'm heading toward the new super Wacoms such as the MobileStudio Pro with a zillion levels of pressure. OK, 8192. I realize I'll never use up the levels as far as pressing down and making a mark that size. But couldn't it make drawing feel super smooth? There was a huge difference between the 256-level Surface Pro and the later 1,024-level one. It wasn't just about marketing. However 8192 does sound like overkill! It's like the way they keep pushing up the retirement age, after a while there's nothing left! Of course, pressure levels can keep going up and up in a Zeno's paradox.

And of course the iPad Pro is ever fun.

Been carrying my paper sketchbook too, of course, which keeps me from staring at my phone. Digital procrastination is not good. It's more addictive than TV! I don't watch much TV. And I don't feel like all the shows I watched over and over as a kid were a waste of time. They were great shows that are part of my identity. I do not feel the same about, say, Twitter, though maybe some do.

btw, while I could never quite understand why people like adult coloring books, I tried one and actually wasn't totally bored! I could concentrate just on the colors and the interaction between them. Color theory was one of my favorite classes. We'd rip up papers and talk about the Bezel effect and Bauhaus. What more could you ask? For adult coloring books, markers and pencils are the way to go, rather than pastels, crayons, or paint, though you can do these too, but I like not having to spray fixative or worry about stuff coming off on my hands or a lot of drying time.

Oh well, another day, another doodle.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

In search of... free picture books on the Internet!

Well, it's been a while since I've posted here, because I'm doing more posting over at my main blog, Doodle Soop. In case you happen to be here, thought I'd do a little roundup about what's going on over there (East Coast vs. West Coast? Orange vs. blue?) Just did a post about my favorite sites for free 'n' legal online kids books. Some are readalounds, some streaming, but all have high quality books. You can see that post here.

I've also gotten on a mystery jag and wrote three posts about children's book mysteries for the different age groups. I learned a lot from this, and perused by Kindle. Not sure any of my own stories counts as mysteries, but one is maybe thriller-related. Here is the post about picture book mysteries. I think my favorite one is Mystery of Eatum Hall! And Miss Nelson is Missing. Its older sibling is about chapter book and middle-grade mysteries and can be found here, though I wrote this one first (did a lot with the cover thumbnails, but didn't continue with that after). I still miss good old Encyclopedia Brown. And last but not least, here is my post about teen mysteries. That includes tweens. Paper Towns come to mind.

One thing's for sure, this genre is awesome, and it's hawt. The sleuths, being kids, don't have to wear trenchcoats or say things like "Just one more thing." (Though I like that). They're just regular kids trying to hide their involvement in stuff from their parents. Or, they're busy trying to figure out who stole the cookies.