A Certain Lack of Focus

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Blog

Update: New blog: A Certain Lack of Focus is up and running! See above for most recent updates.

Ok, you may have noticed over the last few weeks that my blog has been moving around a lot. The problem is that I've recently decided that, as much as I enjoy the ease of use in blogger, I want a bit more freedom when it comes to design. I temporarily moved hosting over to my website, but if anything this puts more restrictions on design, so I finally decided that it's time to move to blogging software. I'm still fiddling around with what kind, because at this point, I really know nothing about it.

The challenge has been trying to figure out how to use new software without losing the content of this blog, and I'm still not entirely sure whether it's possible. At this point, I think it's not worth it, and so instead, I'm putting Living in Space on permanent hiatus.

I'll be starting up my new blog at www.hadesarrow/blog just as soon as I can figure out how to work the software. I'll keep you posted once it's officially "launched" but to be sure you catch me, please change your bookmarks to www.hadesarrow/blog. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honeymoon Sketch Journal Page 8

Sorry I missed posting yesterday... it was after eleven when I got home and getting showered seemed more important at the time. This page was fun to draw, though I had a hard time initially getting the arms rendered, because the train was jumping all over the place.journal"Even after it started to fade, I kept getting comments on the henna. For some reason, I kept forgetting that I had henna, and it often took me a couple seconds to figure out what people were talking about. Interestingly, once we crossed an invisible line into the Northwest, the comments changed from 'is it permanent?' to, 'Nice henna! Did you just get married?'"

The henna is completely gone from my hands and arms now, but there are still remnants on my ankles, which is pretty impressive.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Honeymoon Sketch Journal Page 7

This page was one of my favorites to draw because of all the weird little details necessary to show the space on a train room. My first grade teacher would be proud.journal"The first night on the train we stopped for no apparent reason in the middle of nowhere. For about an hour. I had a bit of Harry Potter PTSD. I was sure dementors were boarding the train."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Honeymoon Sketch Journal Page 6

Illustration Friday folks, "Wise" is the next post, further down. This drawing kind of makes Matt look like an old man, but I'm happy with the line work at least. He moved half way though so I had to guess in a few parts and ended up just giving up on his hand.journal"We did a lot of reading on the trip. We also brought some travel board games but didn't play them. Sometimes it's hard to tell if Matt is reading or sleeping."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Illustration Friday: Wise

This is the first time I've participated in Illustration Friday in AGES. This week's topic is Wise.
masterWhen I saw the topic I immediately thought of the faeries from my novel. This is a sketch of a character called "the Master," who resembles the devil, which is not an accident. Really though, the character is more bitter and desperate than truly evil. In spite of everything, I've gotten to quite like him as I've written the novel, or at least feel sorry for him.

Honeymoon Sketch Journal Page 5

This one's a little sappy, but it's sincere.
journal"I was warned that much of America is a whole lot of corn, wheat, grass, dirt, empty fields, grazing fields, scrubby plants or flat barren rock. Montana is boring. Kansas is horrifically boring. Nebraska, Iowa, Idaho, Utah, it's amazing how many states are supposedly empty. There are many, many flat patches, but it seems like they go by quickly. And even these 'empty' areas- miles of harvest lines or just broken fie4lds, had a beauty of their own. The wheat, on a clear day, really does look just like gold."

Traveling by train is the way to see the country. When you drive you're distracted by being stuck in this little car, and when you fly all you can see is pastel squares, but when you take the train... you have the freedom to relax and just look.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Journal Page 4

Here's the next page. The oval shaped thing in the upper left corner is supposed to be a pair of chocolates on a doily. Ah well.journalThis one says: "Apparently, getting married is the best way to get lots of free champagne, wine, and best of all, chocolate."

So true. Matt and I decided that we would be on our "honeymoon" for another year or so, just for all the free stuff.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Journal Page 3

Here's page 3. For blogging this is probably a better way to orient the page, but not so much for journaling. You can click on the page for a bigger image.journal"On the wedding day, Matt and I didn't really have much time to enjoy our wedding cake. This cake was actually pretty tasty: yellow/choc. marble, Irish cream filling and normal buttercream icing. So we brought it with us. The first two nights on the train we retreated to our roomette-sleeper and had wedding cake with leftover sparkling grape juice. The warm grape juice was every bit as romantic/elegant as champagne."

I had some fun drawing the underside of Matt's seat, though I should mention that I'm sure the real underside looks nothing like that. The cake came from Create a Cake in Lakewood, and it was really yummy (and pretty) so I'm glad we got to take some with us. The charm of the cake started to fade by the forth day, but I finished it up on my own because throwing it away seemed like bad luck. It didn't make me sick, so I guess buttercream doesn't go bad, either that or I just got lucky.


mapSo Cool.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote Tattoo

Ok, well, I'm not gunna get a tattoo, because I'm not a tattoo person, but it occurred to me that as commemorative tattoos go, today's election seems like a pretty good reason to get one. So even though I'm not going to get one, I went ahead and designed one:

tattooOne of the big objections people have to tattoos is, "what will you tell your kids?" It seems to me that this is exactly the kind of tattoo you would want to tell your kids all about. Dad, if you're reading, NO, I promise I'm not getting a tattoo.

Obviously the design is pretty simple, I ripped off the Obama logo, but I think it's pretty effective. Feel free to download it and give it to your tattoo artist or pass it on. Let me know if anyone actually uses this, or some other tattoo to celebrate the occasion. :)

Sketch Journal Page 2

I think I was trying to be a bit too clever with this one, but it was fun to draw. For our honeymoon we took a train from Cleveland to Chicago, and after a few hours went on to the Empire Builder, all the way to Seattle. We had just enough time in Chicago to get sandwiches from a chain called Potbelly (YUM) and a cheese/caramel corn mix from Garrett's, which just barely lasted us through the train ride. I think I gained 3 pounds on caramel corn alone.journalI wrote this journal page during a free minute in Seattle, but most of the journal was done on the train, since that's when we had the most spare time. This one reads:

"The bed in Seattle is roughly three times the size of the sleeper car on the train. Sleeping on a train has some ups and downs (but more importantly: side to sides.) It's more cozy than cramped, but when the train gets moving super fast at night, the bad spots on the track make the car lurch all over the place, and you kind of think the whole thing is going to tip over at 100 miles per hour. On better patches though, the motion is soothing, and once you get used to it, the train rocks you to sleep. At least until the next rough patch."

One major down side of a honeymoon spend half on a train is that, of course, the beds are bunked. It's more narrow than a normal twin sized bed, so squeezing in together was kind of out of the question, but it was only for short times, so not a huge deal. I loved the feel of the train moving at night, and I even liked feeling so enclosed from all sides. Though, being somewhat claustrophobic, I would have gone nuts without the window right next to me. Matt was kind enough to take the upper bunk, and I suspect the motion in rougher areas was even more frightening up there, but fortunately, he managed not to be thrown out of bed!

My Hope Vote

At 11:00 am, I cast my vote for change.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Don't Forget To VOTE

I don't wanna, you know, push anyone in one direction or the other (snort) but really? Is anyone actually still planning to vote for this guy? Really?mccainPhoto from yahoo. Thanks to Sundry for finding it.

Honeymoon Journal

Well, Matt and I are back in town. The honeymoon was awesome, and I'm still feeling a little lazy from the trip, so rather than go over it all at once I'm going to post a page at a time from the journal I started keeping over the honeymoon. I'll talk about the trip in detail as I go.

I've been wanting to start a journal for a while, the cool visual kind like you see at Pen in Hand or Lost in Wonder, but haven't exactly managed to get motivated. With lots of down time, the honeymoon was a good time to start.

Here's the first page, which has nothing to do with the honeymoon, but I felt I needed a into page that matched the happy goofy feeling I had immediately after the wedding (ok, I still have some of the happy goofy feeling actually). My handwriting isn't as good as most of the sketch journals I follow online, so I'll be translating.pageI think I got better as I went along, but I guess we'll see. This page says:

"I'm Married
I'm actually far shorter than this. Matt is 6'4 and I'm 5'2 so the top hat really only added insult to injury. That's ok though, I had henna and a ribbon wrapped around my dress and a bouquet made of metal that even lit up, so it really didn't matter how short I am. I should carry around light up flowers all the time. Also, we got married in the zoo. Best wedding ever."

Technically the journal page says "boquette" not bouquet, but since I now have spell check, I'm going to correct myself as I go. I should have wedding photos up here at some point (assuming I can convince Matt to let me show his face online) and I'll be posting honeymoon photos along the way. Hopefully they won't be too boring. :)

Oh yeah, I decided not to change my last name because I'm rather attached to it, but I did want to take Matt's name somehow. So written up the side, the page also says:


Monday, October 20, 2008

See You Soon

treeAnd this is one of the big reasons I haven't been blogging much lately... I am now married! Check back in a couple weeks for photos from the wedding and honeymoon.