Has a working title: walls of broken stone.
I'm trying to figure out which elements of the base story are essential and which can be changed or discarded.
...I don't even know what I'm going to do with this if/when I write it. Probably just post to AO3 or something rather than selling it. It's not like BatB rewrites are that New And Differeht any more, plus I don't think I have the courage to try publishing -- or the energy for all the negotiating stuff and promotion that being a Real Writrr involves. But I think some of that is my brainweasels trying to trip me up in advance, so I am not going to even think about it until I actually have something to do something sigh.
Note: above post written on my iPad (which likes to not word correctly) without my glasses and it's almost 1aj so my vision is blurry. Any mistakes or typos or odd phrasings will be fixed on the morning.
I had these drawing studies for my last gods picture and thought they might be an interesting process story.
The nice thing about these gods, Nečeron and Eši, is that they have things they can do. Nečeron is god of craft, so he can be building. Eši is god of art, so she can be doing art. But just that would be a little boring. From somewhere, but undoubtedly influenced by M.C. Escher, came the idea of each creating the structure that’s holding up the other.
Here are some doodles trying to make it work:
Nečeron’s bit is easy: he’s creating whatever Eši is standing on. (It starts as a table.) But what is she painting? Maybe some sort of framework holding up the platform he’s sitting on? That’s the lower left drawing; it looked cumbersome. Maybe a ladder (bottom right), but then he only has one hand free to work. Finally I tried a set of stairs, and that worked.
Here’s the second attempt at that:
I decided that the concept worked, but now ran into the next problem: I can’t really draw this scene out of my own brain. The figures here don’t look terrible, but the proportion and placement of the limbs was difficult, and the blobs representing the hands hide the fact that the concept requires four iterations of my personal drawing bugbear: hands holding objects.
(These are sketches, and would certainly have been improved if I kept working on them. But one thing I’ve learned is that poor proportions do not improve by rendering them really well. Better to get the sketch right.)
I tried looking for photos online, but getting these specific poses would be difficult.
Taking reference photos, however, is easy! I have an iPad! Here’s the pictures as they appear in Photoshop, with the sketch done right on top of them.
Who’s the model? Oh, just some guy who’s available very cheaply.
If you compare this with the previous step, you can find an embarrassing number of errors in the original. E.g. Eši’s legs are way too small, the shoulder facing us is too low, and her neck is not drawn as if we’re looking up at her. Plus I think the final poses are far more dramatic.
I did the final outline over the purple sketch. Then the procedure is: select an area in the outline; fix the selection to make sure it includes everything I want, and fill it in on a separate color layer with a flat color. Then go over each flat color area and use the airbrush to add shading. The bricks and stairs also get some texturing, added with filters. The jewelry is done on a separate layer with its own drop shadow— a cheap, quick way to add realistic shadows.
The gods aren’t wearing much. That’s just how gods are, of course. On an operational level, there are two reasons for this (which we can assume are shared to some extent by Almean sculptors and painters). The lofty level is that I like the human figure and hate to cover it up. The less lofty reason is… clothes are frigging hard to draw. Figure drawing is hard enough, and clothing requires a whole new set of skills and rules of thumb, and looks terrible when you get it wrong. Plus, these are Caďinorian gods, so they should be wearing Caďinorian robes, which require, like, a black belt in drawing. They’re made of wrinkles. There’s a reason so many superheroes wear leotards: they’re basically drawn on top of the nude figure, with no folds.
The final picture:
Tonight, I like it; in a year, I’m sure it’ll dissatisfy me. Actually, when I look at it, I wonder if the angle of the iPad foreshortened the figures, making their feet proportionately too big. Oh well.
It's challenge time!
Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.
Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!
Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!
Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.
I'm pretty sure the main part of the story revolved around a female character trying to escape a ruling class of bird-like (?) people.
There are really only one thing I remember clearly... that there was a river that turned living creatures who fell into it into wood. There was a ship captain who had pulled out a pregnant woman who had fallen in. He sketched her everyday and realized she was trying to speak,but moving super slowly. I think he ended up removing her child, who was then some kind of living wood creature.
These weren't the main characters from what I can remember. I really hope this rings a bell with someone, it's been bothering me for the last 15 years!
Teach 5 classes - I taught my first class this weekend. It went pretty well, but I only used up 20 minutes of my hour time slot. I need ideas for what to add to this class. This was Historical Research Methods.
Post 100 situations prompts to AO3 - I've posted another story.
Listen to 90 other podcasts - I listened to a freakonomics podcast about when helping is actually hurting. It had to do with mentoring kids one on one and how those kids went on to have universally worse outcomes than the kids who were not mentored.
Read the entire Bible - I'm in 1 Kings.
Go on a 30 minute poke walk 140 times - Went on another walk today. It was about 30 minutes, around Thrasher Park.
Go to the PSWC 140 times - I went to the HVN meeting today.
Ctrl + Alt + P will give me a performance meter but sadly only tracks CPU usage per track--if it also tracked RAM usage per track (if that's even a thing, hell if I know how computers/DAWs work) my problem would be solved.
It's not that I don't have enough RAM. It's that something in the project is causing a memory leak. I'm guessing one of the virtual instruments. The problem is that there are NO good options. Like, if Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings or Metropolis Ark 1 is the source of the memory leak, I am going to...I don't even know. Write tech support, I guess, and hope they have a solution.
Right now the best bet is to track memory usage in a completely new project in which I introduce a single instrument at a time and see where the leak starts/begins. Time-consuming and annoying, but doable. Not happening tonight--probably after I turn in this novel.
I received the results over e-mail in the third week of July; for various logistical reasons having to do with incomplete bloodwork (the lab's fault, not mine; I gave blood twice and they still managed to lose part of the order) and then with the allergist going on vacation, I couldn't talk to her about them until now. Instead I got an upsetting call from a nurse or receptionist at the practice who simply told me to cut out all foods for which I had gotten positive flags (a list incidentally including tree nuts, some legumes, and a random-looking selection of vegetables) and then tried to commiserate with me about her late-breaking walnut allergy, which did not make me feel better. It was a devastating uncertainty. Eating the sea is part of being close to it. It wouldn't have mattered if I kept kosher, but speaking as someone who as a toddler intercepted two orders of shrimp tempura meant for my mother and was only bought off with a third order all my own, a full month without bivalves or crustaceans was hell, especially in summer, especially in cities by the sea. I carried an epipen and looked longingly at other people's sushi and tried to trust that the allergist had warned me that blood tests were less reliable than scratch tests and this had to be some kind of mistake. I couldn't imagine not ever eating clam chowder again.
I can eat clam chowder. As the allergist explained it, the blood tests that are used for food allergies detect the presence of antibodies, which are caused by exposure to the foods in question. They are not considered diagnostic for allergies in the absence of symptoms. I have no history of rash, swelling, shortness of breath, nausea, any of these things around eating. I do have a history of decades of seafood on a regular basis. That history explained the low positive numbers to the allergist's satisfaction: they were not false positives in the strict sense, but they were false in that they did not point to anything that pertained to my experience at Readercon. Especially since there was a much more obvious culprit in the new medication which I had taken within the classic onset window—and which I have not taken again since that night—she felt comfortable skipping the scratch tests entirely (unnecessary expense of time, money, and itching) and sending me off to eat shellfish. Allergists are cautious by nature and profession, she emphasized. She wouldn't make the recommendation unless she thought it was safe. She was just sorry I'd had to spend a month denied something that was both seasonally tasty and emotionally important to me.
So I walked into Harvard Square and purchased the seasonal lobster bao from Tom's Bao Bao and ate it and it was delicious and I waited half an hour and then an hour and nothing bad happened except that I wanted another one, but by that time I was upstairs in Crema Cafe, drinking an herbal chai latte and writing about weird British TV, so I ate a macaroon instead. Later in the evening I met rushthatspeaks for a return trip to the MIT Science Fiction Society and we opted for dinner afterward at Roxy's Grilled Cheese in Central Square, where we discovered their speakeasy arcade with pinball and skeeball and cabinets of video games. (We're going back when we are not each carrying large bags of books which make it difficult to maneuver between games.) It was a much, much better end to my day than I had feared.
I am still carrying an epipen and may for the rest of my life, because my body has now demonstrated that there exists at least one thing in this world to which it reacts by trying to choke me to death and that is not cool. It was a closer call than I had thought on the night. I did not correctly assess the severity of what was happening to me. God forbid, if there is a next time, I don't try to wait it out with Benadryl: I go to the ER.
But it should not be the sea that sends me there.
I feel like it’s been interesting playing a little with the definitions of what’s “important”, what “matters”, etc – on the one hand, Ultimates is about literally everything that has ever been in the Marvel Universe, but at the same time it’s not about Iron Man. And I’m allowed to wander off and grow this cosmic garden and make wonderful things out of it because I can do that without stepping on too many toes. We’re operating on such a big scale that it’s almost like when particle physicists reveal that actually the universe is a hologram and all the information of our lives is encoded on the outer walls of spacetime, or whatever it is this week. It’s great, and it blows your mind, and it’s wonderful to know that human beings are able to come together and explore this territory… but it doesn’t pay your bills or fix your car, at least not in a way you can immediately see. So, yeah, we now have an idea that Marvel’s multiversal history is much bigger and broader than we thought – but at the same time, that’s not likely to pop up in a Daredevil story. -- Al Ewing
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