Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Up Wednesdays: Wait, what?

What I'm reading: 

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. I somehow didn't realize Robin Hobb was a woman until I read this sentence: "He ran his hand over his brow, pushing fine black hair from his eyes and smiled." I had been reading the book oblivious until that point, then it brought me to a screeching halt and I thought "A man wouldn't write that." It's probably all the Pratchett I've been reading.

Hobb is the second adult fantasy author I've read in awhile. I mostly read Terry Pratchett when I'm not reading YA fantasy. I'm only on page 21 of this book and the jury is still out on the writing style, but I like the story. After reading Pratchett, Hobb feels stilted and too formal, also too descriptive in comparison. "He strode along under the sun and against the wind, his fine boots leaving clean tracks in the wet sand." Fine boots, clean tracks, wet sand. I don't know why that trinity of description bothered me, but it did. My internal editor is balking at this writing style compared to other books I've read. My reading palate was used to Rowling, Hardinge, Pratchett, various YA authors (Dashner, Collins, Taylor). Delving into the rainbow of authors who write adult fantasy is tricky business. Any recommendations?

For any of you who've read Hobb or this book in particular, what'd you think? Have you ever had a hard time getting into a book by an author you've never read before?

What I'm working on:

Drawing portraits again at the local fair! To the left is me drawing a boy who looked startlingly like Harry Potter.

 To the right is my good-looking library coworker Adam holding an equally good-looking portrait of himself and his gravity-defying hair. 

 To the left is Tessa, one of the girls who sat for me. She was a great model and I really loved how her portrait turned out.

 Just so you get a clear impression of how it felt to work at the fair booth, it was 90-something degrees, but felt like 100, and it was actually cooler outside than in. Not only that, but outside had a breeze and inside didn't. Combine that with sitting in one of those foldable bucket chairs made of unbreathable nylon. The fun part was getting to draw for two straight hours (for several days in a row) and make lots of people break their faces from grinning over the goofy things I said to them.

What else I've been up to: 

Neopets! I just can't resist signing in to spin the wheels and do the 'jobs' so I can afford a plushie paint brush. *ahem* I'm trying to wean myself away and focus instead on the STEAM SUMMER SALE that's going on until July 22nd! *runs about waving her arms* Any gamers probably already know about it, and if you don't, now you do! It's basically an excuse for gamers to stay inside glued to their pcs (more than usual) through the middle of July. It means for a limited time you can get games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Batman Arkham City for under $10! I am SO going to buy stuff!
What inspires me right now:

People's faces. I believe that's thanks to the fair portraits.

One last thing:

I have a confession. Writing and I are having a falling out. Since I realized I needed to stop querying my Lividia novel and write more on it instead, I've stopped writing. The thought of it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. That I worked for roughly 3 years on writing, revising, and querying that book and it's still not done makes me angry and frustrated. Have I given up on the novel? No. But I have thought and rethought about the direction I want to take my creative career in.

I can draw whether I'm inspired or not. I can draw portraits, I can draw scenery, I can draw tin cans. It doesn't matter. I can't do the same thing with writing. It used to be a really fun interest - an interest I one day want to turn into a lucrative thing that people will know me for. I still desperately want to write and illustrate my own YA novel series, but I want to enjoy it. Right now I really don't.

I've felt for awhile that I didn't fit in the writing community because I wasn't a writer first. I heard other writers talk about writing like the air they breathe, but it isn't the same for me. Writing comes third and drawing comes second in the 'air I breathe' category. I have a few other talents sprinkled around as well.

So, I guess my real confession is this: What I really am is an illustrator. What I've always been is an illustrator - a storyteller using writing as a second medium. Boy, do I feel better now!
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