Okay. Well. Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday. Therefore, it’s time for another of my weekly blog posts, the last one in August of 2021. This year, this month, this day, will never exist again…unless time itself is cyclical, which I suppose is possible, in principle. If that were learned to be the case, I guess it would be both good and bad—we’d be able to look forward[i] to reexperiencing all the positive things that have happened in our lives and in history, but then again, all the bad things in our lives, and the bad things in history, would also repeat. I guess that suggests that, if we ever come to suspect that time is on a loop and history literally repeats itself, we should really try hard to maximize the number of good things and minimize the number (and severity) of bad things, since they are all going to happen again…and again…and again, ad infinitum.
I missed a day of editing this week on In the Shade—that was Tuesday morning—because I got distracted by some utterly trivial math(s)-based curiosity, which I described in a post yesterday on Iterations of Zero. As of the time of this writing, not one person has “liked” that post, and I’m not sure if anyone has read it. Part of the reason for that is surely because I post quite irregularly on IoZ, so even people who would be interested wouldn’t know when to look for it.
I also spewed out a little post at IoZ on Monday, about some “environmental” notions that came to me then, which have come to me before, that I figured I might as well share in case there was any possibility that they ever might be useful or interesting to anyone. What are the odds?
Actually, that question might be an interesting point of departure for another Iterations of Zero post, but I’ll leave that for the future. Or for nonexistence, since there’s every chance that I won’t ever write anything else about it. The odds of that, at least, are likely greater than fifty percent.
Anyway, the editing is going along nicely. I’m almost done with the penultimate run-through of In the Shade, and then I’m going to be laying out and arranging my collection, Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities. I intend to draw and paint the cover picture myself, if I can manage it. It’s not anything new for me to design my covers—I’ve designed and laid out all the covers of my books and stories so far. But the last time I actually drew, then inked, then painted, an illustration that went on the cover of a book was for Mark Red, and I didn’t create that picture with the intent of making it into the cover. I just did it for fun, years earlier. But I liked it and thought it captured some of the essence of the character in manga-style, which is how I had originally imagined the story, so I used it.
I also drew and colored (with colored pencils) the picture on The Chasm and the Collision, but that was specifically meant to be the drawing that Meghan rather hastily made after her dream of Burdock Tamis, and so is purposely somewhat simplistic.
For this coming collection, I want to draw (and then ink and color) a sort of prototypical cabinet of curiosities, with shelves and doors and the like, with items inside representing or referring to the various stories that will be included. But I’m out of practice, especially with painting, so I bought some cheap (but decent) watercolors and some slightly less cheap inks of a kind that I used in the past[ii] as well as some water-color paper. None of it is top quality, but I’m neither good enough nor picky enough for that to matter. Still, I at least want to try to get a little practice in and reacquaint myself with such things before I go and try to do the cover art.
I may be setting myself up for embarrassment by mentioning this. If the book comes out and the cover is not an inked and water colored picture, then people who have read this who also see the cover will know[iii] that I was not able to produce anything that satisfied me.
Again, how likely is it that such a person exists, other than I? I have a hard time estimating the odds on that one.
At least I’m being somewhat productive, both here and on Iterations of Zero. I even have another “audio blog”/video that I did last week—I think—that I haven’t even posted yet. I may put it up this weekend. In the meantime, if you are interested in pointless math or in odd ideas about energy and the environment, do please go check out those posts on Iterations of Zero. And definitely, definitely, buy my books, in paperback or e-book form, whether you find them interesting or not[iv].
And of course, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones and friends and try not to be unkind to everyone else while you’re at it. Try to avoid getting sick and spreading illness to others; and do all the other ordinary things civilized people do when forced to live amongst other members of their species.
Also, try your best to be as happy as you can reasonably be.
[i] Not literally, of course. In a sense that would be looking both backward and forward, but we wouldn’t really be able to anticipate anything, anymore than the hero of a movie can look forward to the point where he or she defeats the bad guy like they did the last time you watched. For them, it’s always undecided. For all they know, they might very well lose.
[ii] I used them to ink in the best version of my picture of the Desperado and the Dark Fairy meeting, where she looks like she’s about to throw a fireball at him, and he is prepared to shoot her, over the unconscious form of her blue-black lion/wolf friend. The colors were so bright and vivid! Excellent quality stuff, those water-soluble inks, by Winsor and Newton. They have my upvote, so to speak.
[iii] When I wrote this first draft, I wrote this word as “no” instead of “know”. What kind of bizarre typo is that? It just goes to show that reading and writing are auditory experiences for me—in my head, at least.
[iv] I say this last bit with tongue in cheek, obviously. Though I’m sure I’m not above begging in the proper circumstances, I don’t think I’d be inclined to beg regarding my stories. I do think they’re good and that they’re worth reading, but you should follow your own preferences. Life is short; read the stuff that seems interesting to you!
Robert, you have a great blog! Congratulations! I love to paint with Winsor and Newton, nice photograph!
Thank you very much!
You are welcome.