Hours and Hours

Sometimes, my brain fills with blood and anger thinking about how many hours I’ve racked up concentrating on needless worries, obsessing on useless tasks, trying my hand, desperately, toward futile goals. I suppose you don’t figure this shit out until you’re old. What the hell am I doing?? Where did the time go?

But I don’t think I have it figured out yet, since the last 48 hours I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to get new themes to work in WordPress. I spent so much time dicking with it on the Shrapnel blog, that I could’ve just built a new website from scratch by now. I don’t have any time left to spend on it. I have to move onto my other “important” endeavors.

Well, I do have a couple “real” endeavors, as I do part time work for the NADC, other than that, I’m working hard, scrambling. I scramble to put ideas into motion, research, organize, meticulously work on every project I have, yet get nowhere (it sure seems that way!). Somehow, I get caught in rabbit holes on the Internet. They’re rabbit holes, but they aren’t. It’s all research on how to take additional steps needed on this book path I’m on, but it’s goddamn overwhelming. Every time I feel like I’ve completely exhausted every resource there is, there’s another mountain to climb.

I’ll probably cross post some of this on the Shrapnel site once I get it back up and running (I broke the hell out of it), but after querying agencies and publishers from here to Timbuktu, I learn if you want to get some book reviews before (and after) you publish your book, you also have to query book reviewers too. You must try to convince them to read your book. It’s all about being a good salesman. It’s all about the pitch. All of this is. It feels dirty.

Most people aren’t even reading any part of my manuscript. They have been turning me down based on my query letter and my “platform.” This is what I hear the most. “You need a much larger platform, or be a celebrity.” What’s funny is that most of these come-back comments haven’t even gone deep enough to know what my platform is. They just look me up on Facebook and assume I only have a couple thousand peeps. Well, let them think that, if they have even done that? They haven’t asked to read my full proposal and have no idea what other networks I have access to. Maybe I don’t have a million potential readers, but I can sell a few books. I’m just glad I have some options. I won’t be self-publishing (I’m pretty sure, not 100% sure though) — not that self-publishing is bad. Not at all. There are just some things about it I don’t want to deal with, and frankly can’t deal with. If I do wind up self-publishing, I will have to legitimize Careless Press as a commercial undertaking because of Amazon and yadda blah blah blah, it’s a whole story.

Now that I’m done complaining about that, I’ll move onto kavetching about something else. Just give me time. I’ll think of something.

In the meantime, last weekend, the people that are furnishing the UC San Francisco Precision Cancer Center (that will open in the Spring of 2019) with artwork, have come and gone from my home this last weekend to pick up five paintings. They will be on permanent display, I believe, on five separate floors. I am so honored, I can’t stop feeling it. I feel like my work as an artist is done (almost).

I still want to paint, don’t worry. First I want to experiment with those ink drawings I talked about. I finished all the drawings for my book. I did them all on Bristol and don’t know how well that will hold water media. I also used my trusty Micron Sakura pens that don’t usually smear, but in this case, I want them to. The only thing with messing with them in this way is that I will lose the original image/drawing forever once I paint on them, in which case, my scans need to be on point for the publisher.

I also want to hand write on them — copy a few lines from the book that are relevant to the image. All the drawings are very small, no bigger than four inches. Framing won’t cost too much. I just wonder if I’ll have enough for a whole show.

I just counted how many illustrations there are in the book and there’s 120, but I used many that I’ve already done. In fact, I used 90! I’ll have to either redraw the old ones, or fish them out and see what kind of paper I drew them on. I don’t think I used very good paper. In the meantime, I’ll see what happens with the watercolor.


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