No, I am not calling you an idiot, dear reader. I am the one providing the guidance material.
So, if I were to try to explain art day in an Idiot’s Guide aimed at explaining the essence of it to Doofy Fuddbugg, one idiot trying to educate another, I would explain that I am lazy on Saturdays. All I want to do is post pictures and not have to write a lot of heavily-thought-out words and ideas in the usual droning idiot’s essay of 500 words or more. So, I go through my WordPress picture file and find interesting pictures to post without having to draw or paint anything new.
I confess that I do not merely select pictures at random. I try to get pictures I haven’t used in a good while. This double portrait of Gretel Graymalkin, and what she looks like naked in the moonlight, hasn’t been used in a post since last year. And there is a bit of rhyme and reason to it too. Gretel is an idiot.
And this is a picture that any idiot can tell is a real picture of fairies in the park discussing the building of a new fairy circle after it finally started raining heavily again in Texas after almost a decade of drought. Of course, it has to be an idiot to tell that. Most people would recognize this as a pen-and-colored-pencil drawing photo-shopped over a photograph. Even the mushrooms are not real. I have it on good authority from fairy-kind that they are actually pixies in disguise.
And then there is this rare bird I drew a couple of years back. He is a surrealistic peacock who thought of auditioning for NBC before he learned they don’t still do those “Now in Living Color…” ads anymore. He’s surrealistic in that he could not possibly be real, unless he were really just a bowling pin and lady’s fan put together by a deranged painter with a mental disorder that makes him do decoratively dippy drawings on things you really shouldn’t be drawing upon in the middle of a bowling tournament.
And who can forget this idiot, an avatar of me as a purple Mickey in the style of the late great Don Martin of Mad Magazine fame? He’s the whole reason you get foolish lazy-Saturday posts like this at all, There has got to be a cure for that somewhere in the multiverse.
I don’t believe my art will ever be gallery quality. I don’t know how long any of it can survive my own demise. My family is not overly concerned with preserving my piles of drawings and paintings. And I am not Van Gogh.
What I am is a hoarder of the things I have created. And one hope I have is that posting these things online will extend their existence at least for a little while.
I would remind you that I am a surrealist by choice. I generally juxtapose things and ideas and images that ate opposed in their interpretive import.
My daughter the Princess often disses my cover designs for my novels. The one I created for my half-written manuscript, displayed above, is really too yellow by about 500 degrees. I wanted to write a yellow book about sea stories and island magic set in Iowa, a State about as far removed from an ocean in any direction as a State can be (Well, maybe tied with Kansas and Nebraska). But yellow is not the right color. In fact, the green accent color makes me a bit nauseous next to the yellow. So, I vowed to my critic I would try again and do better.
Take a look at these alternative designs;
Will this one attract woodpeckers, do you think? Or is that too racy an idea for a novel about a young girl growing up. Woody Woodpecker is a sex symbol, isn’t he? No? Whereever did I get a fool notion like that?
I could really use your input. If you wanted to vote, you could choose a cover name from this list to tell me about it in the comments;
Purple and Wood
Something better, Stupid!
I promise not to get mad about any commentors who choose the last one. But I don’t promise to make any new ones either. It is, however, quite easy to make changes using computer programs. I don’t have to redraw anything. Although I could be slightly worried that the Tiki totem could be viewed as racist, even though his race is “little men made out of wood.”
I now have six good books and one embarrassing one published. They represent stories I have been crafting, revising, telling, and retelling for over 40 years. They represent things that happened to me in real life and people I have known and loved in real life that have all been transformed in the wizard’s crucible and witch’s cauldrons of my bizarre imagination. They contain some of my best magic spells and some of my most worthwhile wordsmithing, by which I mean writing in ways that give the spellchecker fits.
I tried to tell you this story about telling stories yesterday, but my computer glitched and burped and spontaneously deleted more than half of what I wrote just as I was finishing it to publish it. So the complex part I had planned to explain this Paffooney was lost and the resulting tantrum I threw kept me from remembering and rewriting.
But it was fortunate that I delayed the repair of this post until today. Because last night my daughter finished her end-of-the-year art project for school, and the snafu-demons have inadvertently given me the opportunity to include it here.
It is a soft sculpture dragon made of felt and hand-sewn. She didn’t tell me what his name is, or even that it is a him, but one can imagine that it must be something like Rumple-Tum Sneezer, or something equally awkwardly foolish like that. One can imagine it because one has a slightly off-kilter and Disney-demented imagination. But the whole project took a boatload of time, and you can see she crafted it with great care and skill.
Treasure takes time to create. We who attempt to create it in the red-hot forges of our stupid little creative heads put all the skill we have acquired over time into it. And the endeavor renders something of value almost every time. Time… time… time… Treasure takes time. And now I need to hurry and publish this before the computer tries to fart it all away again.
There are many ways to fly. Airplanes, bird wings, hot air balloons, bubble-gum-blowing goldfish… well, maybe I am really talking about flying by imagination. The more my six incurable diseases and old age limit my movement, my ability to get out of bed and do things, the more I rely on reading, writing, and the movie in my head to go places I want to be.
Sometimes the wings I use to fly come from other writers. I get the flight feathers I need not only from books, but also from YouTube videos, movies, and television shows.
This magic carpet ride in video form is by the thoughtful creative thinker Will Schoder. In it he carefully explains how Mister Rogers used the persuasion techniques of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos to talk to elephants and convinced a congressman intent on cutting the budget to actually give Public Television more money for educational programming. This is a video full of warmth and grace and lovingly crafted magic flight feathers that anybody can use to soar across new skies and blue skies and higher skies than before. I hope you will watch it more than once like I did, to see how beautifully the central explanation spreads its wings and gives us ideas that can keep us aloft in the realm of ideas.
It is important to stay in the air of fresh ideas and new thinking. The magic carpet ride that takes you there is the product of vivid imagination, cogent thinking, and the accurate connection of idea to better idea. So instead of falling from the sunlit sky into the darkness that so easily consumes us on the ground, keep imagining, keep dreaming, and keep flying. You won’t regret having learned to fly.
In a world filled with interesting and engaging ideas, I get frustrated with the constant barrage of word salad on social media tossed at me by conservative friends. As Trump seems to be coming closer and closer to ending his administration with his own chaotic behavior, those who supported him are tossing more and more flavorless lettuce and rotted vegetables in the mix. I have to resist the urge to throw the same thing back at them. I do not resist such salad-making well. Witness my attempts to alter this stupid meme from a friend;
I admit, I kinda barfed half-digested word salad all over this one. I get tired of debating the issues only to be insulted like this and then accused of only insulting Trump and avoiding what they call the “Real Issues”, like Hillary giving a gazillion per cent of our uranium wealth to the Russians and Obama being the one guilty of colluding with Russians.
But, enough of that. It is time to make something healthier out of words and ideas. I have a lot of things on my mind, and I want to get a lot of them said before I die. So let me make some idea casserole, cooking a whole lot of very different ideas into one multivitamin dish.
Trump, for all the damage he’s done, will end up being good for us if we can just survive his administration to the end. Scar tissue is always tougher than the surrounding flesh when the wound heals. Repairing the damage he has done will leave us stronger, wiser, and more able to cope with the root causes of the Trump phenomenon.
My friends and family who supported the whole Trump mess primarily to hurt people whom they feel are smarter than them and so more stuck-up and self-important than them, will eventually get back to leading more productive lives than they did before. And they will continue not to credit the ones who actually made that happen the way they didn’t credit Obama for healing the blunders of Bush.
I will get back to writing gentler, non-political-type humor novels.
I have my novel Superchicken half-way through the final edit to publish it on Amazon Kindle. You can see I have been playing with cover ideas. I plan to write Sing Sad Songs next. Also I have two more novel ideas that I will add to this casserole as separate ingredients. And I have The Bicycle Wheel Genius, Recipes for Gingerbread Children, and The Baby Werewolffinished and ready to edit as well.
Here’s new idea number one; The Boy Who Lived Forever is a fantasy novel about Icarus Jones coming to stay with the Jones family of Norwall. He has survived a house fire that killed his parents and now must evade the dragon that pursues him while trying to figure out what is wrong with him health-wise. Could he be dying? Or did he survive the fire because he somehow can’t die?
Here’s new idea number two; Kingdoms Under the Earth is a fantasy novel about Blueberry Bates, a troubled young girl, falling seriously ill, and the measures her boyfriend, Mike Murphy, and her friends have to take in a realm made of magic and fever dreams to save her.
The truth is I really can’t do anything about politics and government beyond expressing my beliefs and voting my conscience. I need to concentrate on telling stories. It is the one thing that still gives my life meaning through the pain, illness, and suffering. I am not dead yet. And, not being dead, I need to be writing.