I Was a Weird Kid

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Hello dear readers!

I hope the day went well for you. I mostly moved from wilting spot to wilting spot much like a slug, complaining about the boiling temperature at each spot.

I do not do well with heat. I would much rather be cold than I would hot. I realize for most people this is probably not true, but I am weird. Speaking of weird (Nice transition there, right?), today’s musing is on being weird. I was a VERY weird child. This was due to a number of factors, none of which matter for today’s musing. The point is that I was in fact weird.

I talked by myself…a lot. I liked dead things. I carried around a rubber pterodactyl instead of a fluffy bunny or bear. I adored cats to such an extreme degree that I once followed one into a perfect stranger’s home (I am so sorry perfect stranger.).

No.

I am not going to tell that story right now.

Seriously, no.

Stop looking at me like that.

NO.

Moving on, Where was I? Oh yes, I was WEIRD.

Yesterday I happened across an article that discussed creative types who altered the world (like Steve Jobs) spending time alone and just how important that was. It resonated very strongly with me. It wasn’t until the lovely problems with insanity left a comment on my web comic Goth Gal that this message really clicked and set my wheels spinning. Weird kids = weird adults. Weird adults make art for the weird kids who become weird adults and on and on. Weird is GOOD. Weird is fun and crazy and different. Weird keeps the world going. Weird breaks up the monotony of everyday life. So, here’s to the weird ones, as Apple once said.

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PS – I’m moving these weekly posts to Sunday as of next week. Saturday has become too troublesome for me. Hopefully I will have time for longer musings then as well! ūüôā

Sometimes I Forget Things

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Hello!

I was sitting in my house enjoying a nice breeze when suddenly I realized I forgot to blog yesterday. When this thought successfully burrowed its way into my brain, I rushed over here to write this.

I am of course aware that, despite my slight egomania, you dear readers do not in fact hang on my every word. Probably you did not even notice my absence, unless you per chance happened across something that reminded you of this blog. Even then, it most likely did not cause more than a momentary pause.

So, today I am musing on forgetting. I have more experience with forgetting than most people. I am missing a good portion of my life (about half) to the murky sees of forgetting. Psychologists claim that you actually remember everything. It’s your ability to recall these memories that becomes damaged. I hope to tell this story some day, but not here, not now. Now I want to thank about what happens to one when they lose this ability to recall.

I have heard many times that we are the sum of our experiences. If this is so then what can be said for those who are missing crucial experiences? Does their very absence provide an experience all its own? I think so. Even the memories that are unable to be recalled will work their way into a form of memory. You might feel them physically, or you might for no apparent reason suddenly feel the need to leave a place, or go to a different place.

The mind is an endlessly fascinating creature to me. I once heard that it has more connections in it than stars in the universe. I thought it was a beautiful statement. I since learned that this information is most likely false. I say most likely because all theories that attempt to number the stars are in fact theories. Until we get there, we won’t know for sure how many there are.

I would modify the statement to say that the human brain has more possibility than there are stars in the universe. The stars are (theoretically) finite, the possibilities of the human mind are not. At least, that is what I think. I am sure a legitimate astronomer would be able to clarify my statement with fact, but I don’t believe an astronomer could disprove it entirely.

Speaking of astronomy, a friend and I were recently discussing the fact that we humans are made of stardust. Everything we are is thought to have¬†resided in the heart of a star. This is beautiful and poetic and fascinating all at once. The mad scientist in me wants to examine the stardust, to see what secrets it might hold, even in these forms. The¬†mad¬†artist¬†in me wants to write sonnets immortalizing the beauty of the idea and paint pictures.¬†I think I’ll settle for a cup of coffee now, some sketching today, and¬†some¬†stargazing tonight…unless of course I forget.

Until next time dear readers.

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Just A Quick Stop

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Hello kiddies…

My apologies. I seem to be watching far too much Tales From the Crypt.

If you have been with this blog for any amount of time, you may notice this post is late. Truth be told I have been under the weather recently–I watch horror shows and nothing but horror shows when I feel ill. Or read horror books, comics, listen to horror music etc. (you get the idea). As a child I was a lot like Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman. Horror was my LIFE and then adults tried to take it! But I shall tell that story some other time.

Hopefully I’ll be back to my old self soon. Until then I just wanted to stop in and say hi.

Hi.

Also, I just saw Creepshow for the first time. If you like horror, classic E.C. comics or Stephen King, you would probably like this film. The opening credits were all nostalgic for me.

I am going to crawl back into my coffin now to get some rest. (Ok I confess I really don’t have a coffin large enough to sleep in, but I DO have an evil lair!)

Until next time!

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When I Do Not Feel Like Writing

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Hello.

First, a shout out to Goth Gabi for being the first patron of Goth Gal! Seriously Gabi, your support is SO appreciated! Thanks to you I get to keep making art, and that is really awesome.¬†Goth on Gabi! I promise to try and get my Goth Gal updates out sooner in the day! My eventual goal is that they come out at midnight, but since I don’t make enough to do it full time yet…life blargh.

(Yes, blargh is a word…I just made it up and I am a writer…so it is a word now.)

I do not really feel like writing today, but here I am…writing.

I’ve learned that making myself¬†sit there and write is the best way to actually write.¬†If I allow myself to procrastinate, I could¬†procrastinate indefinitely. There are always other things that need done. I find that my rooms become magically clean when I need to write.¬†I will inevitably come to myself in a haze, moving like a white hurricane through the house. Do not ask me why this is so, but it is so.

These daily project goals (Goth Gal, writing, this blog, etc.) I have are helping me with this problem. Sometimes it is a real struggle to meet these goals, but so far, so good. I have also recently discovered the wonders of eyeliner. This is perhaps a different topic for a different day, but today I will say eyeliner can help make a character REAL. Seriously, it can. Eyeliner is magic.

Soon I will have news for you dear readers¬†about my new “hobby”. I do not have news yet because I have not finished all that I need to do. (SO MANY THINGS I NEED TO DO!) A family affair took over my weekend, but as I have a few moments to myself, I am stopping in to say hi…and to post on Saturdays like I said I would.

Consistency matters to me. Not consistency for the sake itself mind you, consistency for the sake of itself chokes me like weeds choke out a baby flower. Consistency for a project, to learn something new, or for people you care about matters. That kind of consistency has some life to it. Something that makes it more than a mere structure.

Well, I am off now to work some more. Hopefully I will have more to say next time. Until then bonsoir!

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Sometimes I Am Not Funny

Bonsoir!

I hope you are well dear readers.

I am having a grand, but strange day right now. I have a new hobby. I don’t know if you can call something that has absorbed all my thought for several days a hobby (I tend to obsess over things), but I intend it as a hobby.

When I was small, I loved watching late night television. It was not just any program that interested me, I needed horror. I needed to sink my fangs into something scary–the spookier the better! I’ve mentioned that I wanted to be a mad scientist as a child. I did not explain that this¬†was so I could live i the same world as the monsters I adored from media.

My child brain assumed the horror hosts like the Cryptkeeper of¬†Tales from the Crypt, Big Chuck and Lil John from the show of the same name and the other horror hosts lived in the same world as the monsters. Some of the hosts were monsters themselves (Cryptkeeper, Vampira). I didn’t know how one might become a monster, but I knew that mad scientists were often stars of the show. I knew that they went around creating monsters from nothing. It wasn’t long before I had decided this was my path.

My career choice set, I tried many, many, MANY ways to become a mad scientist. This post is not about those. I might do a post about those adventures later if anyone is interested, but today’s post is not that post.¬†I only mention my childhood obsession to explain my new hobby. I am going to become a horror host. If you don’t know what that is, I am so sorry. Please go google it or watch American Scary on amazon/iTunes/your media provider of choice.

Here are some of the great, legendary horror hosts:

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Zacherley, Shock Theatre
Zacherley, Shock Theatre
Vampira, generally regarded as the 1st Horror Host
Vampira, generally regarded as the 1st Horror Host

Vampira was inspired by Morticia Addams by the way:

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Normal is just an illusion. What is normal to the spider is chaos to the fly.

I adore Morticia. I actually adore the entire Addams family, but she has a special place in my black little heart. When I have a finished video up, I will post a link here. Until then I will leave you this experiment of mine to imagine with:

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Hello Ghouls!

This post however is not really on horror hosts or monsters, as I keep saying. I’ll try not to get distracted again (it is hard!). I only mention such things¬†because this post does have to do with a particular kind of monster.¬†The “it’s no good” monster:

Artist Rendering of the It's No Good Monster
Artist Rendering of the impossible to photograph It’s No Good Monster

The it’s no good monster mucks about in creative spaces. It boldly declares that art isn’t good enough. It criticizes the particulars of each piece with distinctive viciousness. It does not sleep; it needs no rest. It is always at the ready wherever and whenever art is being born.¬†To a baby piece of art the art monster can be particularly devastating.¬†Those brave souls¬†who dare to study the art monster have found only one weakness in its vast metallic body: the “magical so what formula“.

It works like this. The it’s no good¬†monster slithers into the room focused on an unsuspecting baby art. The baby art is displayed proudly. It sits,¬†waiting to be seen, trying not to tremble with too much excitement. The It’s no good monster begins to criticize: The lines are wrong. The proportioning is off. The colors are bad. The work is bad. IT’S NO GOOD!

In the past you might have tried to parry words with the it’s no good monster. This is a trap that never works. The it’s no good monster does not care. It ignores your reasoning and attacks the art even more viciously than before.¬†When the it’s no good monster begins to criticize respond with the magical SO WHAT? formula as quickly as possible.

It might look something like this:

I.N.G. Monster: The lines are bad.

Artist: So what?

I.N.G. Monster: The proportioning is off.

Artist: So what?

I.N.G. Monster: The colors are bad.

Artist: So what?

At this point the artist could even throw in an “I like it that way.” or “That’s on purpose” formula in there. The monster will most likely get to its main weapon now.

I.N.G. Monster: IT’S NO GOOD.

Artist: SO WHAT?

The it’s no good monster will have nothing left to respond with, so it’s best at this point to throw in a few “I like it” and “it’s beautiful”. The monster, having been defeated, will slither back to it’s smelly cave. It might try a few more things if it is a particularly nasty beastie, or, it might slither out again in five minutes ready for another round. Stick with the so what? magical formula. The monster cannot really deal with it.

I had my most recent¬†fight with the it’s no good monster yesterday. I made a new comic in Goth Gal, like I do every Friday. It had been a struggle to create a comic that day. I was feeling pretty down and I find it particularly difficult to be funny when I am down. However, I had managed create a comic and to publish it before 7pm–the day was beginning to look up. I stretched and waited for people laugh at it, like it, comment on it–the works.

Nothing happened online. Normally I at least get one or two likes. (at the time of this posting there is actually one like, but there wasn’t yesterday.)¬†No one around me¬†got it either. I don’t know why. I thought it was ok. Certainly not as great as some of the comics, but not bad either. Still, everyone has off days. I doubt if there is a single comic in existence that is 100% funny 100% of the time.¬†I’ve realized that this imperfection thing is normal.

Being human is all about contradictions. I am kind, cruel, afraid, courageous, powerful, weak, confident and hesitant all at the same time. And that’s ok. I came across a post today on tumlbr’s post it forward page that said something like “artists can get hung up on the imperfections, but those imperfections are part of what make the masterpiece.” The post was referring to one’s body, but I think it can apply to anything anyone makes. The point is: you can’t let the inevitable imperfections keep you from creating.

Sometimes I feel like it’s no good, but SO WHAT? I did it. I made that thing. I created something that wasn’t there before I put it there. I pushed myself to use my talent, to do something I enjoy, to make art. It does not matter if it’s good or right or near perfect, it matters that I made it. It matters that I keep making it, despite the doubts and fears and it’s no good monsters that I, as an artist, face every day.

Who...me?
Facing Face of Faceness   

Sometimes I am not funny…and that’s ok.

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Stories and Structures

Bonsoir.

Apparently, I have a thing for alliteration. I always have. I’ve heard that the magical laws of writing say not to use alliteration. I can see how that would apply to writing things of a more serious tone. Can you imagine an alliterated obituary? It would be like the writer was making fun of the deceased.

Doctor Diles died today due to a dubious dental detriment.

See what I mean? Horrible. For blog post titles, I think it works okay.

Today’s musing concerns ¬†structure–something I traditionally struggle with. I suspect a lot of artists have this same trouble, but I think the media tends to exaggerate it. For me, my sleep patterns are fairly sensitive. If something screws them up, it takes me forever to fix them. Currently I am attempting a 16 hour fast from food¬†reset again (see here for more info on that, how it works and why it works). I did it once before and it worked like a charm. Here’s hoping it works this time.

I have been an insomniac ever since I was a baby, so it really is very difficult for me to break this mold. When things mess with my sleep cycle, it returns to this natural comfort zone and I can’t sleep until well after dawn. I am only realizing why this happens as I sit here typing it out for you. Funny how the brain works. In any case, I need to be awake with the majority of people for many reasons, so I’m working towards that. I’ll let you know next week if it worked ,or if I have to find more extreme measures.

In case you’re wondering, sleep substances don’t work for me. I tend to become hyperactive on them and end up pinging off the walls until several days have passed and my body crashes due to extreme exhaustion. Not fun.

I also need to be able to work on The Novel if I am to be that world famous writer person I wrote about in my future diary. Structure is very important to this process. I think structure can be a cage for you or it can be scaffolding to help hold you up, it’s all up to how you use it.

Traditionally, structure imposed by others has been a cage for me. It wasn’t until I was no longer employed in a traditional way that I realized how set life is for most people. We are forced into structures for school that accommodate adult work structures that are based on antiquated farming practices. Second and Third shift workers’ schedules are different, but are ultimately determined by this same old system. We really need to update as a society, but I don’t see that happening as long as businesses run things.

I realized that for the first time in my life, I am the only one setting the structure. That’s not to say other people don’t effect and influence my structure, but I am entirely in charge of when I do things. Incredibly empowering, but also daunting. It’s all down to me if I screw it up too.

Presently, I am trying my hand at freelance. I don’t have much experience doing this type of work, but I am excited for the opportunity to try my hand at it. I suppose we will see how that works out. Hopefully I will be a rip roaring success. (Yes, I am still fighting my natural tendency towards doubting any hope.)

I would also love to try my hand as a voice actor, but so far it seems like that is as difficult to break in as normal acting and you have to live in busier cities. I suppose further research is needed on this one.

In other news, I cannot write in watches.

Every time I try my wrist pitches an epic level temper tantrum and refuses to comply until the offending accessory is removed. I typically have a polar wearable on my wrist to track my sleep patterns and activity level. It is very good at tracking sleep patterns, but not that great at tracking non step related activities, like yoga. If you bike or run, it does an acceptable job. I might upgrade eventually,  or just wait until it dies and give up on wearables entirely.

Well, it is time for me to dash. Thanks for reading. Keep hoping my dear non-hoper readers. Keep making art. We can do this.

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PS – Another mini-series is coming in Goth Gal. Here is a wallpaper for you of my Goth Gal parody of Orphan Black. Click on it to see/download the full size.

Goth On.
Goth On.

Future Diary

Bon apres-midi!

It is sunny, sunny, SUNNY where I am. This may effect my writing. I shall apologize now for what will inevitably be an overuse of exclamation points, CAPS LOCK and/or bubbly text.

Now that that’s out of the way…on to the show!

The delay in writing here has been due to a variety of factors including, but not limited to: moving, project work and, of course,¬†the artist’s natural self doubt.¬†(More on that last part a little later in this post.)

Moving is HARD. Moving to a home that you love helps soften the blow, but it is exhausting in mind body and soul. The¬†last month has been a Mobius strip of packing, sorting, moving, unpacking, sorting, moving…you get the idea. Now I am basically moved in, but I still have plenty of unpacking/sorting to do. For a more amusing and detailed idea of how it is to move with me, please¬†click here. This will take you to part one of six in “The Moving Saga”, a miniseries in my comic Goth Gal.

In other non-comic related news, you may recall a few months ago I said I was working on a secret thing? Well, secret is out: I applied for an art program and was accepted. Yay! In case you’re scratching your head right now and saying something like “Wait, aren’t you a WRITER?”, yes! I am in fact a writer, but I am also an artist. I feel that I have progressed as far as I can in my own art without some sort of guidance. I want to be able to write and illustrate my own books, especially my children’s books. For this, I need some training…badly. So, come the Fall 2015 semester, yours truly will be attending Graduate school.

It is now that I wish to turn my attention to a little discussion on HOPE. (I told you we would get here.) I hate hope. HATE. Hope far too often has equaled extreme disappointment in my life. Someone once asked me what my hopeful expression was, I couldn’t answer them right then and there because I didn’t really know. So, I thought about something I was hesitantly hopeful about and to my surprise my face morphed into a distrustful mask of skepticism. Oops?

I have since discovered that hope is very important. As children, we have to have hope so powerfully that the mind will twist all of reality to create hope if it has to. For some, this means that abusive parents become the “good” guys while they in turn are transformed into the “bad” guy. See, you have no power over your parents, but you can change yourself to be “better” if you want to fix things. Unfortunately, this screws up a lot of other things. This happened to me. Not fun, I can tell you.¬†The power of hope can be amazing, but also terrifying.

In an effort to provide hope during a period when I had none, I came up with a random idea that I will now share with you. If it helps you, please let me know. Post pictures. Say stuff. TELL SOMEONE! Pass it on to people you love who need some hope. I really want this thing to spread like fire because I find it so helpful for my chronic skepticism.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE THING?!?!?!!?

REALLY?!

OK!

I call it the FUTURE DIARY.

(If that sounds familiar you have awesome taste in anime. Note: this in no way resembles the anime, it’s just the name for the thing. You can sit back down now and not worry that someone is going to try to assassinate you…seriously SIT BACK DOWN.)

Ahem.

The way it works is pretty simple.

Step One:

Get a bank notebook, journal, sketchbook, or any other blank mass of paper somehow held together. Mine looks like this (yes that is a duplicate of River Song’s notebook–I love you guys!):

If I Could Write As Mysterious as a Cat
If I Could Write As Mysterious as a Cat

Find a pen–any pen will do. Open the notebook and write This is the Future Diary of YOUR NAME. (Feel free to add a tagline.) This notebook is now SACRED. You can only use it for your Future Diary. I wrote in mine like so (drawings are¬†optional):

Warning: Spoilers
Warning: Spoilers

Step Two:

You pick something you are having trouble hoping for. This could be ANYTHING. You could pick a possible promotion, getting accepted somewhere like Grad school, meeting “the one”…the possibilities are endless. You pick a topic.

Step Three:

Pick a random spot in the notebook. As a rule of thumb, I put my larger hopes (i.e.- those things that will probably take longer to fulfill) further back in the notebook and the more everyday style hopes closer to the beginning of¬†the notebook. You can also do these in order if you want. I prefer the randomness thing…obviously.

Pages Waiting to Be Filled
Pages Waiting to Be Filled

Step Four:

This is the most crucial step for the hope process. You must imagine your hope being fulfilled. Imagine how it smells, how it feels, where you are, what you can hear etc. The more detail you can get in there the better. Then you write that down as if it’s already happened, like you would in a normal diary.

NOTE: If you can’t imagine whatever it is, you should pick another hope that you can imagine. For example, I couldn’t hope for grad school, so I didn’t write it down. I could hope for being a world famous author, so I went with that. (Yes, I know…no idea why, but this is how my brain works.)

Step Five:

Keep at it. Keep thinking up hopes and writing them in the notebook. It’s okay if you entry is crazy detailed and then the actual event is quite different. We are not clairvoyant, we are non-hopers trying to hope. (And, if you are clairvoyant, why are you reading this?) You may surprise yourself with the results.¬†I was having a really bad day when I came up with this idea. After I did several entries,¬†I felt like I was on cloud nine. I was seriously dancing¬†around the house. Scary, I know.

Step Six:

Pick a spot for your diary. It is now a SACRED object, it needs a SACRED spot. When you take it down to use it, make sure to put it back so you can always find it. Mine sits before the Great Nameless Owl:

The Great Nameless Owl Guards the Future Diary
The Great Nameless Owl Guards the Future Diary

Step Seven:

GO OUT AND DO THE THINGS! Don’t let the diary be the end, let it be the beginning. Let it inspire you to go accomplish the things you want to, to chase your dreams and fight your fears. In short, write then LIVE. Living is the point here dears. Living is what too many forget to do in modern society. I don’t know who said it, but I once read a quote that went something like: “Don’t live the same day for seventy years¬†and call it a life.”

So, you.

Yes YOU!

GET OUT THERE!

LIVE!

GO MAKE ART!

And I’ll share with¬†you a little something¬†future Madison¬†told present day me:

Thanks Future Madison!
Thanks Future Madison!

So there you are. That’s what I’m doing right now. Feel free to take the idea and experiment like crazy with it until you find what works for you.

I will, from now on, be updating this journal weekly. Every Saturday, you can expect an update from yours truly. Thank you to Problems With Infinity for giving me the motivation to make this a regular thing. If you haven’t checked out her blog you should.

So dare to be hopeful and write your futures the way you want dear readers!

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