Well, it was bound to happen. I am easily writing my 1,000 words plus every single day, but most of it is not going into the novel. On top of that, it is a much bigger story than the NaNoWriMo’s 50,000 words, so I will not even be able to make last year’s excuse that I finished the novel in November. Magical Miss Morgan comes in at 40,000 plus, but I finished the first draft last November by Mark Twain’s birthday on the 30th. (I should wish Sam Clemens a happy 180th birthday, by the way. He and I were born the same month.) When the Captain Came Calling is only at 20,000 plus at the moment, but it will probably end up in the neighborhood of 70 to 80 thousand. It is just that much bigger of a tale.
This is not an actual cover, just a mock-up using a colored-pencil piece that I created to illustrate the story. Here is another picture in the series that helps create a main character… Valerie Clarke is the girl above. Mary Philips (based on my own sister) is the girl below.
So, the shameful truth is, I will go bust on NaNoWriMo this month. My November novel will not be even half way done. Shame on me. But you can benefit still from my laziness. I also spent time watching some of my favorite crap on YouTube. So I will share another bit of the cream of the crap that you really ought to see if you haven’t already.
I have finished all but December in my goal of blog posting every day of 2015. So I can point to that accomplishment to offset the failure of NaNoWriMo. 4,114 visitors to date have viewed things 8,602 times this year. There were also 933 comments made, although about half of those are my replies. I am slowly gaining something I never thought I could achieve, a readership who actually does more than just look at the pictures. I used to write for nobody. I used to keep it in my closet and my desk drawer at school. Now, as a published author, I have hopes that my work will outlive the bonfire that my wife will make to clean out my closet to make more room for her shoes when I am dead. I just can’t say that this month did a lot to help that cause.
I have been working on the beginnings of the novel When the Captain Came Calling. It is not the first draft. It is the third entire re-write. I wrote this as a graphic novel before graphic novels were an established form. Then I tried to rewrite it as a traditional novel, and it is now coming into its YA novel form. But I can’t begin to explain this novel-writing project without telling you about the Clarkes. Yes, they are a very important Iowegian family who farm and are entirely fictional. (Kids, what other words do you know that begin with the letter F?) They are based, at least a tiny bit, on my own family when I was a kid, but very specific parts of it. My Uncle Larry, mother’s older brother who is now gone (but never forgotten) was the inspiration for Dash Clarke. Kyle Clarke, the father in the picture, is Dash’s younger brother… though he is not based on my other maternal uncle. The daughter in the Paffooney picture, Valerie Clarke, is based on my own daughter combined with a girl I had a crush on in grade school and a girl who had a deeply felt crush on me when I was a young teacher. The Clarkes are third generation farmers, just as my own family were back in the time this story is set. Unlike my family, the Clarkes do not come out of the 80’s with their family farms intact. What grandparents built, the sons lose hold of, and the world becomes a much sadder place because of it. The story is about a lot of things in addition to a family losing their farm. It is filled with magic, telling sea stories and other lies, and the truth behind both the magic and the lies.
I posted this today because today is the day I finished the Paffooney illustration that started the post. Here is what it looked like in progress;
Paffooneys are a made-up thing by which I name the whole great glob of artwork and stories I have created that represent the never-ending music in my soul. I am not a singer or a song-writer. The only way these tunes come to life is through the toons which I ignorantly call the Paffoons because the loons have nothing on me.
Here is a cover mock-up for the novel which shows another picture of Valerie Clarke, the most beautiful little girl ever born in Norwall, Iowa (a phrase that her Uncle Dash christened her with when she was small, and it caught on with the entire town.)
What is a Paffooney? A looney-tuney, full of goony-balloony-cartoony-buffooney? Well, obviously Paffooney is a word made up by me in the Suessian style, to rhyme and dance and sing for a while… Um, where was I going with this? Yeah. It is a word made up by me with three poetic beats in it, a suggestion of the buffoon, the cartoon, the looney tune, to be used to represent one of my wacky doodles set to words. I blog with that word in my tags to bring together a certain style of post that defines me as a writer and artist.
Some of my posts and Paffoonies help me to define myself and my mission in life. Here are a couple of examples of this kind of Paffooney post.
Some of my posts use Paffooney pictures to promote a book I am working on and give insight into the creation of one of my babies, my silly stories, my liar’s tales about everything that is true in life.
Some are simply silly humor posts, meant to make merry mirth and make you laugh a little laugh.
An Overdose of Cheerios
Still others describe and critique the things I read and see and that have an effect on me. Of course, critique is probably the wrong term. I only describe things I can really gush about. I don’t post about stuff I hate. Who has time for that?
And then there’s the kind of post I am doing now, about doodling something and waiting to see where the doodles take me.
Pen and Ink Progress
Can You Draw Happy?
Today’s Paffooney is a drawing of a dippy chihuahua, a potentially evil cat, and a pear-shaped rat. Where does this go from here? I honestly don’t even know. We must wait and see what the future brings. (Clearly I am trying to hook the foolish readers (who come to this blog just to see how dippy I can be) so that they will be thoroughly tempted to come back for more another day. And I have even pulled the trick of referencing other dippy posts that might make you click-sick enough to get totally lost in a Mickian maze of Paffooney Posts. I am such an evil genius that I even exploit myself sometimes.)