STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy

I’ve been foxbitten. For the past year, I’ve had a vulpine literary foreshadow. I keep finding science fiction and fantasy that’s paw-printed and lushly tailed. I’m not complaining. Quite the opposite. But these glimpses are making me obsessive (foxfoxfox), and as a grad student of Folklore already thinking about thesis ideas, I want to make this into an ongoing project, known simply as this:

 Storyfox: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The obvious question, of course, is this: why foxes? At the moment, I honestly don’t have a well-defined answer (one of many reasons for this project)–thus far, it’s mostly because I’ve got this gut-deep attraction to the creatures. But I’m also drawn to the intersections that seem to be rising to the surface as I explore these fox-laden stories: a meeting of folktales, foxes, gender, sexuality, and the feral/becoming feral.

In time, and with help of the community, I hope to make Storyfox into a sort of database of SF/F works that feature the fleet-footed creatures. Short stories, comics, poetry, novels, films, video games–any kind of media, really, as long as foxes play more than a passing role in the tale. In its present state, this idea of mine is admittedly self-serving, but my intent is for it to evolve into a resource, a reading list, a study of foxes and the reasons they’ve nosed into our media. I know I’m not the only one who’s been breathing vulpine aphrodisiacs, so hopefully this collection will be of interest to others, as well, and help us all find new, fox-boned narratives.

If you want to help gather an endless reading supply foxful of goodness, send on your recommendations and send out the word. Any and all contributions are welcome! THAT SAID. While I’m interested in material from any/all sources–because whatever form it is, whatever state it’s in, it exists and I am thusly curious–I’m especially interested in making this list diverse. Diverse media from a diverse cosmos.

So. Spread the word. Submit links, book/film/etc titles, and I’ll expand the list, which can be found in its current kit-like form, here. If you have anything to add to the list (whether of your own creation, or otherwise), please let me know! You can contact me here, or on twitter.

Thanks much! Now send on the foxes.

ghostlinks for mediums

Continuing with my backlog of links. This time it’s media-related.

More specifically, things I’ve been obsessing over:

<>This cover of Bjork’s Joga, by Georgi Kay. Heard on the show Top of the Lake (which is worth a watch).

<>And this cover of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, by Daughter. So much moodier, and…desperate. And fitting. I love it. For…for reasons.

<> Woodkid’s Run Boy Run.

<>Ever since finding the BBC’s production of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in my hometown’s library in high school, I’ve loved audio dramas. I listened to the Secondary, Tertiary, and Quandary Phases over and over the summer of my senior year, while baking hundreds of pounds of granola and cookies. I can quote from it with ease (or could, at one time), but these days, AWAKE is the audio drama of my heart. It recently finished up, and is free to stream, and whether or not you’ve been looking for a generation ship murder mystery with a diverse, heart-punching cast, then congratulations! you’ve found exactly what you need. I have to admit that I haven’t actually listened to the last chapter, but that’s only because I really don’t want it to end. IT CAN’T BE OVER.

<>Because of Phobs, I’ve been tossed violently back into The Silmarillion fandom. I say violently, because I’ve been bewitched by her Melkor and Sauron. Yay for the dark lords of Middle Earth. ;  )

<>Stunning Nude Photo Series Will Make You Think Twice About The ‘Ideal Body’ (NSFW) I love many things about this, but something especially about the lighting, and the occasional vivid green biomass, and what it all speaks to.

<>I’ve been waiting to link to this post, Roads to the Heart: Cascadian Yule MMXII, because I hadn’t had a chance to fully sink into its loam. If you want to know what being embedded in the core of Cascadian music  (especially metal and folk) is like, read this. I finally got a chance to read through the whole narrative, and found it really beautiful. Reminds me a bit of Canis Aureus, which was a dark folk/black and doom metal festival held on private land near Eugene, OR this summer.

keeping myself alive

Writing and drumming and making things are hooks I hang myself on. These are the things I do. I choose to dangle from their lures. I’m my own bait and, being the narcissistic creature I can’t say I’m not, I will always catch myself. The hunt and its end aren’t always pretty or proper or fruitful, but the blood pattern (art) is always there.

My attachment to art and making is somewhat violent. In the mind. A trot on knife-edge. In my own context only, of course, because my life is pretty great compared to everything, everyone, else, beyond my bubble. My so-called problems are small in the global perspective, and will always be because really, I have no desire for world domination. But I do a lot to keep myself at bay; I’ve learned how to cope with myself.

In the past, I propped myself up with anorexia, and pro-ana imagery and record-keeping, and visceral films like (the original) Oldboy and Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance. I’m not anorexic now, but the possibility of it is never far; sometimes I use it as a threat–against weakness, or lack of control. I don’t doubt that my ability to vice-grip myself is still in here, and if I topple too far, I may just dredge it back up again.

But I didn’t start writing today to talk about anorexia, my constant ghost. I want to write about how I stabilize myself today. In a post a couple weeks ago, Theodora Goss wrote about Staying Healthy as a writer. After reading it, I knew immediately I wanted to react to it with words, because what she said resonated. I figured that, considering how eating and movement and body image and obsession and bull-headedness are all embedded in me forever, considering that I’ve written about anorexia before, about my history with eating in the skin I’m in, maybe it was time I wrote about how I stay healthy now.

First, I need to point out that my relationship with my body and food is, and likely will always be, fucked. Though this is a response to a post called Staying Healthy (a post I love, in case I haven’t said it already), I can’t say my own habits are healthy. I am healthy because of them, and I am–for the most part–comfortable with the structures and rules I’ve made for myself, but the strategies, the constraints, I use are not the best. Then again, I’d probably fall apart with without those bones. I’m feral in those bounds–on my long bikes rides (talking/narrating/burning/panting with myself), in the viscera of my story parts–but surrounding myself with calcified focus is how I survive.

At any rate, it’s better than starvation. And so, this. This is how I cope, as a writer, an artist in general, as a human being.

I think the easiest way to talk about all this is to detail the form of my day. (Note: this is my schedule as of the past three months. Note 2: this schedule will change in a couple weeks, when I start grad school. Maybe I’ll post a re-introspection once things have shifted.)

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MORNING

Usually I’m up at seven. Depends on what time I headed to bed the night before–usually midnight, which means I aim for seven hours of sleep, except on my rest days. On rest days, I sleep till I wake (which typically means I’m up by seven-thirty or eight. What can I say that I haven’t already said? A creature of habit. That’s me). Ultimately, I’d like to always get eight hours a night, but at this point, that’s a pipedream.

I get up, I eat either a slice of soaked (fermented) banana bread (if I’m going on a 20+ mile bike ride) with peanut butter and half a banana, or a piece of this sourdough rye bread (on the days of less extensive exercise). Or some variation of it, plus PB and half a banana.

After eating, exercise. This varies day by day, but my schedule is typically as follows:

  • Sunday: Upper body strength training + some kind of cardio.
  • Monday: Lower body strength training + interval training.
  • Tuesday: Active rest day.
  • Wednesday: Upper body strength training + yoga.
  • Thursday: Long bike ride (20+ miles).
  • Friday: Lower body strength training + interval training.
  • Saturday: Long bike ride (10 to 15-ish miles).

After exercise, more eating–of what I consider to be my breakfast. I have this tendency to mash my food together, so this typically consists of peanut butter, mixed with plain whole milk yoghurt, and sunflower seeds soaked with apple cider vinegar. An apple on the side, or some other fruit–preferably figs, if they’re in season and I’m lucky enough to find them in the 50% off bin at my local market.

MID-MORNING/AFTERNOON

I recently found that I write far faster with pen and paper (2000 words or so in a couple hours, as opposed to struggling all day for a few thousand), so after breakfast, I’ll type up whatever I wrote the previous day.

Then I drum, which consists of speed/muscle memory training, rudiments, learning new songs, and writing for my band. After that, I write half my wordcount-goal for the day (I usually aim for 2000+ in total, per day). Sometimes the drumming happens at night.

Also sometimes, I have lunch. And sometimes not. I’m trying to get better about eating three meals a day, but…it probably only occurs half of the week. It’s a work in progress. On the days I do have lunch, it’s typically protein (cheese, nuts, whatever [usually a combo of animal/biomass-based protein]) + veggies.

At three o’clock, I have a piece of chocolate. Usually it’s homemade (a mashed mixture of bananas, avocado, coconut oil, nuts, and cocoa powder, all poured into a cookie tray, frozen, and cut into daily doses), free of processed sugar, because the only time I eat sugar not in fruit/veggies/etc is on Fridays. (More on this later.)

EVENING/NIGHT

Dinner. Which could be anything, really. One constant: whatever it is, I mix it with greens. Lettuce, kale, spinach, whatever. If it is a leaf, and green, I will chop it and put the rest of my food on top. Basically, my greens are your rice/pasta/whatever you put on or beside your main course. There are good reasons/less good (see: messed up) reasons for this, but suffice to say, this is what I do.

After dinner, maybe a walk. And then more writing/a usually failed attempt to meet my self-assigned wordcount. Sometimes I make it. Sometimes I spend too much time on tumblr/Archive of Our Own and utterly fail. In the end, I can only do what I can do.

<><><>

The above varies, of course. Sometimes there are hikes. Sometimes (lots of times) there are shows to go to at night, which usually sees me writing during soundchecks. My eating habits, however, rarely change. My breakfast doesn’t really ever change. Lunch and dinner vary more, but generally, my diet is mostly fruit/vegetables, and protein. I refuse to eat reduced fat products. Almost always whole foods. Minimal processing. Lots of fermented and/or sprouted deliciousness. I don’t eat many grains (nothing against them, I just feel better, less ungainly and bloated, when I stay away), but when I do, they’re almost always lacto-fermented. Or, again, sprouted. Farewell, phytic acid!

The only sugar I eat is the sort that occurs naturally in whole foods (veggies/fruit, mostly), except for Fridays. Fridays are my sugardays. I eat ice-cream. I have honey with my pre-exercise bread, peanut butter, and banana. Plus other, small, things of processed/pure sugar.

And then, sometimes, I break my normalform:

 *Once a month, for one meal, I eat whatever the hel I want as an incentive to cleave to my self-imposed rules. There are more stipulations that accompany this, but I’ll leave it at this for now. Because I tend to repeat myself, the meal usually consists of chocolate-hazelnut granola, dates rolled in oat flour, and some sort of chocolate–all dipped in cashew butter.

Side note: I love the food corralled in my self-imposed rules, so the rules aren’t really synonymous with hardship. Which is probably why my free-meal is really not that different from my usual diet (except the granola).

 *Once a month, restaurant-food. Whatever that may be. Quality and tastiness are really the only requirements.

 *And of course, sometimes, I just break the rules. (Many of you may understand that when I say the rules, I mean me.)

 And…that’s pretty much it. Self-dissection, self-exposure, on display. Nothing more than a chronicle of my daily how-I-stay-alive routine.

Are there better ways to stay alive? Absolutely. Maybe? There’s no perfect way of being; what works best for me, is terrible for you. What’s terrible for me makes you superhuman. Truth: I have this constant urge to just let myself be, to trust my body to know, because on the brain-level, I know my body knows what it needs. But I’ve spent so long telling my body that it doesn’t know, that I know better (question: in this context, who the fuck is I?), that I no longer trust it. I don’t trust myself. I worry that the urge to let go, is just that: the desire to let go, to feast, to embrace excess. (What’s so wrong with that?) But mostly, I think I’m afraid I’ve pushed myself so far out of my context I wouldn’t know what to do to say fuck it all, and eat what/when/as my gut sees fit.

So I wonder: have I lost my instinct, or embraced it? Because I know what I need better than I did in high school. Making myself an exoskeleton to exist in is confining, and yet, it’s my exoskeleton. It fits, and it feels good. In it, I’m strong, and I’m me. It is me. It might be wrong, but so much of me is wrong, so much of everything is, so maybe my structure is healthy, maybe it’s not. All I can do is clench the words of Daniel Gildenlöw, and so many others, between my teeth–I don’t know. I just don’t know–and do my best to survive.

Links? Lynx?

I’ve an accumulation of things from…the beginning in April? I think I’ll do these in a couple of posts, to keep things organized.

First, links on writing:

Fundamentals of Writing the Other Basically, Writing Beyond the Default 101. This is good. Also, lots of Julie Dillon‘s stunning art. (On a side note, she recently won the 2014 Hugo for Best Professional Artist, and is utterly deserving.)

Should White People Write About People of Color Listen to Malinda Lo. JUST LISTEN:

When white writers come to me and ask if it’s OK for them to write about people of color, it seems as if they’re asking for my blessing. I can’t give them my blessing because I don’t speak for other people of color. I only speak for myself, and I have personal stakes in specific kinds of narratives.

It also feels as if they’re asking for a simple answer, and frankly, there is no simple answer. Writing outside your culture is a complicated endeavor that requires extensive research, being aware of your own biases and limitations, and a commitment to delving deeply into the story. However, writing any fiction requires this. There are no shortcuts to writing fiction truthfully and well.

Cultural appropriation (from Aliette de Bodard)

When a writer is perpetuating horrible clichés in the course of their writing, when they’re propagating transparently false ideas of what it means to live in a place and/or a time period… This is cultural appropriation, and it’s bad–and whether said writer meant it or not doesn’t change the fact that they’ve egregiously mangled someone’s culture through lack of care.

Five Common Problems I See in Your Stories Chuck Wendig has smart things to say about doom and dream-teats and eating things made out of paper. And maybe some stuff about writing, too. I don’t know. I read this months ago, so why don’t you go and find out.

now i’m looking in the mirror all the time wondering what she don’t see in me (from Elizabeth Bear) “Everybody deserves stories. “

And some resources:

Writing with Color What the URL says. Lots of questions, accompanied by good answers.

Diversity Crosscheck Tumlr “This Tumblr is intended as a platform for writers to interact with the very marginalized people they want to write into their stories, in order to minimize stereotyping. Nothing will ever be a 100% perfect portrayal, but this will hopefully open conversations and take us a step in the right direction. Diversify your writing. Don’t be afraid.”

card-swiping for diversity

I’m going to talk about publishing–specifically, my publisher, Sparkler Monthly. But first, I’m going to talk about apologies.

The word sorry leaves my mouth a lot. And yet, never often enough. Sometimes, it’s fear that stops me. Or ego. Usually ego, especially because the fear is often there because my ego is a coward (clarification: I am). But I try to keep my ego in tight-check, so I’m usually able to get the apology out. Sorry.

I’ve also had apologies made to me, and in both instances (as the giver and receiver of remorse), apologies can be genuine or they can clog themselves with inaction. Because apologies are half-assed when all you do is say sorry. You can look at me all frowny and penitent, with contrition bleeding sweet as liquified lollipops from your eyesockets, but if action doesn’t accompany your words, sorry sounds like an insult. Same goes for me: if I ever apologize and neglect to follow up, I am (again) sorry, I have failed and you now have permission to stuff my socks full of meal worms and snap my drum sticks and poke holes in my rain pants. I will be better. Do better.

Here are a couple guides to apologizing: Getting Called Out: How to Apologize and Apologies: What, When, and How.

This framework of inaction = questionable sincerity, and action = sincerity that might actually mean something can be applied elsewhere, too. For my purposes, I’m using it to talk about writing and publishing—specifically, women and diversity in writing and publishing. Other people have discussed it (eg: Malinda Lo, Kameron Hurley, and nattosoup), with more eloquence and intelligence than I will, but this is an important conversation. And a conversation is only a conversation if there’s some conversing occurring.

A piece of the dialogue: you can talk all you want about diversity in publishing and narratives, but true support is action. I can say I support diverse authors all I want, but if I go out and spend all my (paltry) allotment for book purchases on Scott Lynch and George RR Martin, then I have failed. I mean, I fucking love Scott Lynch (GRRM I enjoy, but not to the same extent), but I love Aliette de Bodard and Ann Leckie just as much, so wouldn’t it make just a little sense for me to swipe my card just as often (if not more) for them?

I’m not saying don’t ever give a straight white cis male your money ever again, the end. I’m saying that if you believe in something, act on it. Give women your money, prove we have value, that we sell. Which, yeah, is objectifying as hel and a really terrible way to frame this, BUT. In many ways, this is how worth is established. With money. You want more diverse writers, stories, characters, settings? Buy it ALL. Everything you claim keeps you grinning and thrilling and screaming in biblioporno bliss? Let it feed upon the belly of your bank account. (This is, also and by the way, a reminder to myself.)

As I said earlier, I’m just pissing at the mouth, basically regurgitating what my betters have said, so here’s my personal spin on it:

I have a serialized novel running in Sparkler Monthly.   (It’s called Skyglass, and is about sex, cyber- elves, rock ‘n’ roll, and murderous firecats). Sparkler Monthly is a multimedia publisher of comics, prose and audio dramas written from the female gaze, with diverse, ensnaring casts: people of color, a wide breadth of sexualities, fluid genders. This is quirky and not normal, because what is normal, what is expected, is the male gaze, is lack of diversity, and to have someone out there giving us great stories that aren’t cemented into that default? It’s vital.

But Sparkler is only just entering their second year and if they want to see a third year (and beyond), they need the support of everyone who says they support this kind of thing. (That’s you, by the way.) To keep stable, they need 2000 subscribers. Right now they have 142. They’re still small, and relatively unknown, but they deserve to be known. Their stories deserve to be read, and listened to. They deserve, and need, your support.

I admit: I have a stake in this. Multiple stakes, actually:

    1. Sparkler Monthly gives me money, because I give them words. It’s a good arrangement, and worthwhile for us both, I like to think.
    2. They publish really addictive stories, really important stories because they feature strong, diverse, female characters (and male characters, as well as those who don’t strictly adhere to that binary). And let me be clear: when I say strong I don’t intend ‘strong’ to only mean brawny-but-still-beautiful, kick-ass women. When I say strong, I mean nuanced, and potent. And deep. Women who get to be full characters. Which leads me to my last stake (and look! I could almost raise a tent with all these stakes…)
    3. Me. The third stake is me, because I’m female, and I get to see myself in the stories they publish. I’m not wallpaper, or a bed-prop, or a convenient orifice. I am a necessary, narrative creature with lungs and teeth and heart and spine, and I want more. So much more.

I know I’m not the only who wants all this. I know I’m not the only one who wants to do something. So consider a membership to Sparkler Monthly. Read up on their membership drive, and all of its excellent tiers. If you’re lacking funds, try their sampler issue, which is free to download. Also, their submissions are currently open, so if you’re looking to get published (or if you’re a voice actor), go send them something. (Something good, preferably.)

There’s continuing the conversation–and then there’s engaging and leveling it up. Make art that matters, art that syncs with this necessary diversity, and keep talking. Do everything you can, keep on and keep on, and the storyworld will grow close and colossal.

clocks cut

Sometimes you find that something you love with all your dirt-gritty and blood-gravid heart isn’t universally loved.

Fourteen. I was fourteen when I found my music. Mine and mine and just mine (so you’d think, then, I wouldn’t give a damn about universal adoration–but you know, there’s that whole being human thing, brimming full with logicfuck). Not all the bands from that time survived the course I forged from there to here, but some have. Some I still keep with me, earside, and spine- and bellywards. Pain of Salvation is one of these roadrazers, these unknowing companions (roadrazers), as all bands are (and, somehow, ineffably, aren’t) to the listener.

They:

Viscera. Greencoil. Mosswrecked epiphytic interdependency and knee-plunge and hipclutch. Plunge and batter and rust.

I don’t know how else to verbalize their soundscapes and stories, except with wordstreams like the above. Their music, it’s like kneeling in someone’s chest, stealing their lungs and squeezing the air into your mouth. The taste is seaweed and candlefish all solar-bright and a-flair–salt and oil and ash–and it drips down thick, sick, as any other pearlescent bodily fluid.

But–but I was wondering about the universe, and love. I recently spoke to a friend about Pain of Salvation, and found she isn’t fond of their newer work. Utterly fine. However, it lead me to think–about why Road Salt One and Two rope me in probably harder than any of their previous work.

This is what I wrote, more or less incoherently:

Apparently I have lots of thoughts and feelings about these albums. While Road Salt One does spin a sex-narrative, for me it’s more intensely about the fucked up ways humans catch (fire) against each other, the pain and viciousness and just humanness that ignites when people come in contact. There’s a bonus track that I’m not whole-hardheartedly fond of, but I think its last line sums up one vein of the album:

[And I don't know where I need to be, but it is not here inside her]

Sometimes sex is the worst answer. The most painful? The least urgent despite all its gravid thrust?

And then, beyond–I think the album is about finding the spinal, self-machinated strength to just fucking trudge on and not letting the bruising and knee-dirt and bed-bow-and-warp keep you from existing in the world, from walking the road. (The songs Road Salt–and Tell Me You Don’t Know–for context seekers.)

But more than any of it, when I listen to Road Salt One, in the context of its it sonic power and musicianship, the thing is…giant. And purgative. Like some sort of wounded animal stranglehold put to music. (Am I somehow implying that strangulation is cathartic? Dunno.)

And then, more intimately, plain, me? I think of the song She Likes to Hide, because I like to hide. And Tell Me Where it Hurts, and Mortar Grind from Road Salt Two, because–just because. (Quiet.)

So on and on.

Listening to songs like Sisters, even after having heard them too-too many times probably than is healthy, the immersion is still…too much? Part of it is just the edgy, doomy subtly of the music (especially in the Leo Margarit’s drumming–not to mention Daniel’s breathwrenching and terribly vulnerable vocal performance on that song) and then, again,

Sisters, Sisters, Sisters. I’ve never been in love with anyone’s sister, yet it. It. It, the song, is oceanic and huge and so so small. The story isn’t mine (but somehow, I don’t know how, it is, it is) chokes me, but beyond that skin, the catharsis is anatomically negating and I can’t help but just sit and sink when that song comes on. I inhabit it?

I change every single fucking time I listen to the Road Salt albums–especially the first. Like I undergo a premature and quick and bloody chrysalis. And when it’s over, though I’m not actually all that different, in the between time, the friction of middle, the heaviness that falls before beginning and after end, in those places, I’m…something else.

And all I know is that I don’t. I just…don’t.

an obsessive anatomy

an obsessive anatomy

I made a decision at the beginning of high school that changed me forever. I have no regrets. The memory isn’t bitter. At the time, my choice made sense, and it still does–nonetheless, it was a strange decision to make.

From the near-beginning of my life until ninth grade, my foci were drumming, writing, and visual art. I think drawing was the first, it had always been, I’d always done it. Writing came not long after. (I had to learn to enjoy books first, but once my hunger for narrative started in third grade, feeding myself was a quick and natural progression.) Drumming took longer–in fifth grade I started band as a percussionist, but didn’t connect with it in that innate gut-kindling inescapable magnetism till the summer before ninth grade, when I began studying the drum set.

I can’t pinpoint the existential moment I started drawing, but I know when I stopped: high school. This goes back to the choice I began with. Two weeks before high school began, there was band camp. The day it was supposed to start I was wavering: I could continue with music and let it become my own personal, friendly parasite (I’d heard stories of high school band and its tyranny)–or, I could quit, and focus on visual art. (At the time, I had aims of going into character design.)

My mom neatly dispatched my indecision. Her solution: attend a day of band camp, test the waters, choose. I tested the water, chose the drums–and for the most part, turned my back on visual art.

I’m not sure why. It’s not that I thought my percussive center was already folding, that I was groping desperately for anything that might save it–because it wasn’t folding. On the contrary; it was lifting its head. Sniffing the air. But still. Why side with a medium I’d loved only a year, when visual art had been with me almost my whole life? The simple answer is that band was a hel of a lot of fun (probably mostly because it was actually pre-, percussionists-only, band camp). And, undoubtedly, my…interest in a certain unnamed instrumentalist (who I had no doubt would be continuing band) had something to do with it, as well.

My other answer: I’d found my musical heart (metal) a year before, and already knew I wanted a band of my own. Alas, I wasn’t a stellar drummer (still working on that, always will be), and I knew I needed help. Band, and its percussionist director, could be that help.

End-story: I gave up drawing. I kept doodling on my paper edges, but the intensity was gone. I stopped filling sketches, I stopped trying. This lasted for years–a decade, I just realized, looking at the calendar. I was fourteen at the time. I’m twenty four now.

In June, I started drawing again. Not scribbles; not copious, repetitious and embarrassingly sloppy eyeballs. I began drawing with intent. Studying anatomy and form and movement–distilling and stilling it all as I focused on the lines I was making, learning to be dissatisfied again, to see my failures once again, learning shove through them and find even more, because that’s how you get better, you know. That span of lost time has the potential to sicken and frustrate me (just think how much better I’d be now if I’d kept at it), but I won’t let it, and it just doesn’t. I did plenty during that time, and I’m glad for it, and the way I went forth. I wrote and drummed demonically, and now I have a published book, published stories and poems. I have a band (multiple bands) to call my own.

One thing I remembered vaguely about drawing, but didn’t really truly recall, was how obsessive I can get about it. I’m driven and (paradoxically) singular in all things, but with visual art, the obsession is even more innate, somehow deeper. When I’m free-playing on my drums, I can find my flow easy, but if I’m working through a new groove, or focusing on some weird foot ostinato with tricky limb independence over top I have to be awake–and while that wakefulness is sinewy, it can, on occasion, be snapped. Yet, if I sit down and tell myself ten minutes on this painting and NO MORE, I’ll typically find myself still drawing or painting, arting, whatever, three hours later. It’s a dangerous preoccupation, because drumming and writing are still my heart (rather than being a near satellite like visual art is), and lately, it’s been destructively distracting (for those of you nonexistent people who’ve wondering at the lack of blog posts that contain words, you’ve found your answer). The haze is so addictive that if I want to get anything done, I have to keep my sketchbook in a separate room, and my tablet unplugged.

I want to keep drawing. There’s so much I want to be able to do with pen and paper and paint and pencil, etc , whether it’s digital or analogue, so in these dwindling months till grad school, when time will be severely squished, I need to learn how to get things done again (I’m currently not counting making visual art in the ‘getting things done category’). Maybe teach myself to make drawing a treat. Or possibly a bribe.

But until I reign myself in, have some arts/works in progress. Including a new chapter of Skyglass.