Sharpie sketch of Leslie Nielsen, another actor who has played a vampire (came up with Dakota mocking (in her head) a vampire she met). Roughed in non-repro blue, which was surprisingly easy to remove in Photoshop, but actually made it a little bit hard to tweak the roughs to get the landscape right (hence the tilted smile) and Sharpies, while forcing me to work quickly and helping me learn the role of blacks and whites in composition, are still doing no favors on the rendering. Drawing every day. -the Centaur P.S. 1900+ words on SPIRAL NEEDLE. Onward.
Posts published in “Challenges”
National Novel Writing Month, Camp Nano, and similar challenges.
Quick Sharpie sketch of Roger Moore. Head's a bit squashed, but it's not too bad. I admit, I threw my first drawing away and made myself start over, rather than deal with one messed up line in his right jawline. It's interesting to me how much of the character of even a very young Roger Moore is made up not just by that whale of a jaw, but by the subtle lines all over his face. He was strangely old even when young. Drawing every day. -the Centaur P.S. Only ~800 words today, which was quite a struggle. Roger Moore came up very tangentially when Dakota was snarking about a vampire looking like a cross between Roger Moore and Leslie Nielsen.
Quick Sharpie sketch of an Apsara dancer, a mythical spirit appearing in Southeast Asian cultures. Came up in some tangential research for a scene in Dakota Frost #7, SPIRAL NEEDLE, but decided this was too rich a mine of mythology for a throwaway line, so I ended up using something else. Drawing every day. -the Centaur Oh, and on Camp Nano: just got ~1000 words so far. Not sure why I got fewer words when I had more to do yesterday than today. Perhaps I need to break more paintings?
Quick Sharpie sketch of King Mongkut of Thailand, the famous king from The King and I, and also, not a bad mathematician and astronomer. Tangentially came up in today's Dakota Frost Camp Nano adventure (2300+ words today, still behind, but catching up). The real guy's head is more egg-shaped, and the left eye has an iris placement mistake: we are near the limit of what I can do with a Sharpie, but it's still the best tool I have to keep myself drawing when it's super late and I'm tired. Drawing. Every. Day. -the Centaur
Sharpie sketch of Peter Capaldi from the Doctor Who episode "The Pilot," which is lightweight in tone and stakes but stands up surprisingly well to repeated viewings, especially Capaldi's knockout speech about time in the beginning, the Doctor's amazing office, and the introduction of the TARDIS. The sketch is ... OK. Slightly squashed, and I'm still doing eyes too big (likely a function of the Sharpie sketches, which put a minimum size on the features I can draw). But it ... kinda looks like him? His head's not turned the right way, and I still have trouble getting the "landscape" of the face right. Still, drawing every day. -the Centaur P. S. Only got ~50 words on Camp Nano, but I feel good about those words, as they're stitching parts of a scene together so I can really roll with it tomorrow. 11K words behind, but I've been behind worse.
Quick sketch - much of it, just a dry erase marker, not even a Sharpie - on Strathmore 9x12. Not completely terrible for the first two, but I sure did squeeze Bolton's head. Sorry, man. Drawing every day. -the Centaur P.S. Only 250 words with Camp Nano, but then, I still feel that maybe-vaccine headache, so, ugh.
Quick Sharpie sketch of Dakota Frost, based on the model from the BLOOD ROCK / LIQUID FIRE covers. I tried to do this upside down at first, to "see" it better, and OH BOY it did not turn out well - the landscape was all off. So this is an even quicker sketch, because I need to get to bed early. Also, Camp Nano only got ~150 added words, but again, I need sleep. Rough draftiness:
“Your voice,” the priest said, taking another step back. “If not a vampire, surely … surely not a werewolf … but your voice … why do I know your voice?” I spun, rolling my neck, unfurling more vines into a soft green halo that lit my face. “Do you know me now?” I asked. “Oh … God,” the priest said. “You were on the news, the mother of that weretiger—” “That I am, and if she is here,” I said, “you should point the way … then run.” “She … here?” The priest blinked, then his eyes flicked at the coffin. “But it’s not—” My heart fell. The prisoner in the coffin was not Cinnamon—but as the priest’ eyes went wide in terror, I realized that in his shock he’d given away there was a prisoner in that coffin. I drew a breath, my face flushing, feeling my blood pounding in my ears.Hopefully I'll pick up speed now that I'm out of the Lenten "Jesus and Godel" series. I wrote 45,000 words of nonfiction in Lent, which is nowhere near the needed Nano rate, but I think is probably the fastest rate and largest single body of nonfiction writing I've done since perhaps my thesis. But what I really did today was move boxes into the room that's going to become my wife's art studio. Drawing, writing, moving every day. -the Centaur
Day 3, just under 600 words, still behind. A lot of today was spent on planning the scene. Rough draftiness, with Dakota infiltrating a church using her magic tattoos:
My eyelids flickered as the orchid petals infiltrated the lock, a jumble of images and feelings flooding back to me as the interlocking parts of the stamen column felt the tumblers. It was hard to see and “see” at the same time, much less guide the— Click. I drew a careful breath, then turned my hand. The petals and sepals closed on the knob and turned it, softly, and I gingerly opened the doors. My vines and their floating leaves shifted as the heavy wood parted, but did not otherwise react: no security system had been triggered. The church was spacious, almost cavernous … but not wholly dark. An eerie blue glow filtered in from the twin rows of stained glass, but the white light glinting off the rows of pews came from a pool of spotlights, pinioning before the altar a gleaming silver coffin. “My friend,” came a quiet Asian voice. “You should not have come here.” Instantly I whirled 270, twisting mana up in my body, murmuring shield just as I came face to face with … a priest? A typical, nay, stereotypical long-cassocked priest, stepping from a confessional, bearing an ornate pectoral cross and carrying a gun … no … a water pistol? “Let this be a warning to you,” he said, and fired. “Begone!”Writing every day. -the Centaur
Just added roughly 250 words today. An excerpt, all first-drafty stuff:
I strode up to the silver coffin, the parallel blades of the Salt Chamber Sword singing hungry in my hand. The closer I got, the more it vibrated, testing my grip and rattling my teeth. The coils of my Dragon looped out around me in a spiral, pushing the guards back; her wings covered me protectively, but none of them were fool enough to try shooting again. “Alright, alright,” I murmured to my sword. “I’ll give you what you want.” I drew the Salzkammergutschwert down the length of the silver coffin. The black tuning-fork blade squealed through the thick metal case as easily as drawing a pen across paper, except the line left by this writing instrument was a hot metal gash. The ancient faerie blade jerked and popped in my hand, and I struggled to control it so I didn’t harm the occupant—oh, that precious occupant!—as the screeching Salt Chamber Sword popped clamps and cut hinges alike, bits of hardware clattering to the floor in glowing showers of sparks. My arm completed its motion. The Salzkammergutschwert quit singing. Something thudded against the lid, which shuddered, jumped, then flipped aside, the thin hands of the occupant clawing for the air. A slender child rose from the prison, screaming, fanged, eyes glowing, and for the briefest snap-second I imagined it might have been Cinnamon. Then the starved vampire child’s gaze fell on me—and he lunged.Onward. -the Centaur
Taking on Dakota Frost, Book 7. Added 305 words. A raw unedited excerpt (including some prior text from Tuesday for context):
Agent Grant, commander of the MIRTH unit—if I remember my DEI alphabet soup, that stands for something twee like Magical Incident Response Transportable Headquarters—turned towards us, turned off his earpiece, and turned completely serious. “She’s right, this is an operation,” he said evenly but firmly, his full beard making him look grimmer and sterner than he already sounded. “It doesn’t matter if you two are the only ones on deck. If you’re not ready, I am not sending you in.” “I fought in the Great War, you ridiculous pup!” But Nyissa’s voice quavered. I knew she was not particularly brave; but what was up? More than just anger at being awakened before the crack of sunset, I think. “But I’ll not be going in at all, I think—” My hand fell on her knee. “And no-one thinks less of you for it,” I said. Nyissa sagged a bit. Grant raised his eyebrows at me. “So we have one operative,” he said. “We have one operative,” Philip said. “And it’s Red Sonja here,” Grant said. “Hey!” I said. “Just because I have a metal bikini and a sword—” “Outclassed by my own supposed sub,” Nyissa said. “Some bodyguard I am.” “Different kind of discipline,” Grant said, looking between us. “Frost, you ready?” “As much as I ever am,” I grumbled, squinting at the church. “What can you tell me?”That is all. Zzzzz... -the Centaur