It’s good to be drawing again. The going is slow because, as with everything else, there are limits now where once it seemed there were none. Eyes, back, chelicerae, whichever parts are called upon get weary. As with the computer, I stand away regularly to look around the room and out the window. Hurry has no place in the toolkit, and that is not a problem. I have always done my best work as a plodding, methodical illustrator under no deadline. That is also when I have done my best thinking.
Today as I drew and this evening as I typed, I waited, and still wait, on a physical proof of The Song of Worlds (Dzadefve oa Charls’m). At the last minute, I put the English title before the Dvarsh in the registration. It makes a simpler search. Breathless notices from the print-on-demand service advise that my little bundle of reassurance ships Monday on a one day rush.
When I finished everything about the book except the planned drawings, the book was finished…except for the drawings. Although it was designed to accommodate a series of illustrations, the layout was ready to go to print without them. The poem champed at the bit. Knocking out a set of pencil compositions didn’t take long. That was heartening, except for the last one, which just isn’t evocative in the same way. Despite that falter, the work felt on track. I figured I’d sort out that final drawing while attending to the rest of them.
When I started to ink the first image, the scope of the task hit home. This series of illustrations is not subject to quick finish. There is no way to rush them. I don’t want to rush them. I choose not to. The point of The Song of Worlds (Dzadefve oa Charls’m) is the poem itself, an ambitious literary work in a language no one speaks. The drawings would have added reinforcement, but the Dvarsh origin myth was primed and ready. The cover had been aging for a couple of weeks, since I finished it for the fundraising cards that raised nothing. I uploaded the files, requested a physical proof, and went back to stippling the first illustration.
Although the drawings are not in the book, the poem is their inspiration. They will be integral to the next shape the work adopts, and there will be a next shape. Life management right now requires both hands on the wheel, but not too far down the road an author reading beckons. Meanwhile, I’ll stipple in the intervals when business does not interrupt. Big changes loom. I’ll get to those later.