Notes from the Field: July 24 2017

Here’s a quickie brief rundown of what’s been happening at this end these days lately:

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Book Update: Upgraded

So, this happened:


Our duct-taped Chromebook has been replaced with a refurbished HP laptop. Thanks to the vagaries of technology, I think they ended up costing the same years apart. The HP is much more loaded, and HUGE.

According to the free word processing program that came bundled on the laptop, I already was over the 80,000 word count threshold, and am now in the 90,000s. I have no idea what to believe anymore. The formula of 150x(number of pages) says I’m at roughly 40,000. Who knows. Not me! (I really don’t how if you have to really crank up the margins for that formula to be relevant. I dare say a standard Word document holds far more than 150 words per page.)

I’m closer to the finish line. I have a clear stopping point, then it’s onward to polish the manuscript and prepare it for shopping around. I have every intention of continuing the story into at least one more book. Depending on what happens I may start making the Book Two draft while working on finalizing Book One. Much depends on much.

Anyway, the feedback from some additional readers has been encouraging, and I’m really hoping I’ve got something legit here. I’m starting to allow myself the luxury of imagining the book in print as a hardcover. This is a huge no-no, but as a thought exercise I am thinking about what the cover art would entail. That’s not for me to say, however. But it’s heady.

Off to dream of hardcover first editions…

New Colored Pencils PLUS Another Completed Coloring Pattern

Whoa, too much for a Monday! Let me see if I can break this into bite-sized chunks.

First: I finished an actual drawing (pencil base with colored pencil finishing) but half of the files are on my home computer, and the other half are on my phone. So that story will appear tomorrow.

Second: I was pricing out colored pencils for the serious artist, and a) decided I’m not triple-digits-dollars serious, b) this is a completely unsolicited plug, but apparently Dick Blick slashes prices damn like whoa, and c) found out that Joann’s jacks their prices waaaaaay up, calling into question the “value” of their discount coupons. For example: The 120-pack of Prismacolor Premier pencils goes for about $93 at Blick, about $120 at Michaels, and $229 at Joann’s. (All the same set.)

However, I went foraging around at Joann’s anyway because 50% coupon, and found out that Spectrum Noir (of my go-to alcohol markers fame) also makes colored pencils. And! They’re actually a good value with the 50% coupon: $34.99 USD down to $19 with sales tax. Thus:


Here’s the inside of the box:

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Sketchbook: Expanding the Toolbox

Ever since I got all hopped up on trying out the tutorials and other exercises over at Rapid Fire Art, I decided to “invest” in a set of drawing pencils. I say that in quotes because Michaels has a series of art supplies called “Artist’s Loft” that tends to run about $5 USD per item/set, depending on what you’re into. I stopped by this weekend and picked up a set of colored pencils as well, because the set I’ve been using is rather brittle and certain colors aren’t holding up to being sharpened very well. Oh well. More on that story later, by the way.


Note: I am not receiving any sort of compensation from anybody referenced in this blog post. If that ever changes, I will disclose accordingly. Just saying.

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Fashion Plates – Just for the girls?


Jaime ordered the mega super duper supreme edition of “Fashion Plates”, which women of a certain age may associate with their childhood, like Jaime does. After this purchase, I have concluded that adulthood is a second crack at childhood. Now, there’s nobody to say no! Or now, there’s money to buy the stuff you missed out on when your allowance was comparatively little!

It seems to be the same for dudes, and Star Wars stuff. Just sayin’.

Jaime demonstrates how it works (click here for the video if the embedded one doesn’t show up):

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Da Square

Why, yes, I am posting about coloring squares… u mad?

Truthfully, I just finished my final coloring square for a while. I only have one unfinished design left, and as told in a prior post I’m not feeling much love for it. Which opens the door to drop in this question as posed by the Isn’t She Crafty blog, which caught my attention by being my first to comment on this site:

Does anyone else buy things, get really excited by them, then tidy them away and even at times forget all about them? I only do this with crafty bits, but I’m really bad for it.

Heck yes! My wife and I have quite the stash going ourselves, without veering into hoarder territory. We do use our craft stuff eventually, but at the moment I loaded up on art supplies when I was in Chicago (as one does) and I have a stack of unused coloring books and markers (among other goodies) sitting and waiting. Ah, well.

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What Kind of Markers Do I Use?

Question: What types of markers do I use?

Answer: Mostly alcohol markers.

(Note: This is the extended remix of my prior post about my adventures in coloring squares.)

In the beginning (harp music) I got a set of 4 “brush” markers at Dollar Tree for – wait for it – $1 USD. I used them to color a sketch pad cover and really got into “adult coloring” despite using the cheapest possible art supplies. They were actually felt-tip markers with the tip cut into a brush shape, like so:

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