Saturday, December 27, 2014

Guilty pleasures

I guess this is heresy for a writer, but ... *whispers* ... writing is neither my first nor my only artistic love.

*Looks around shiftily, expecting the Spanish Inquisition*

Whereas most writers that I know have had stories bubbling out of their heads for as long as they can remember, I only started writing ten years ago. And I can hardly pretend to have a logjam of story ideas bursting forth.

On the other hand, I was practically born with pencils and crayons in my hands. I think I could draw a pretty mean Dalek long before I could spell it.

So, on to a related confession. I haven't done much writing this month.

I had been on target to finish revising Tiamat's Nest by the end of January. I started the month over 60% done, after an intense three months' work, then hit a tough spot and came to a screeching halt. I've drafted a few sections of The Critique Survival Guide, but I think that's something I'll need to take in easy stages. Non-fiction writing is very different from fiction.

So, rather than beat myself over the head, I'm indulging in some guilty pleasures this month. You can see examples of my paintings on this blog and on my website, but for pure self-indulgence I like to draw plans and maps. I have a fascination for architectural drawings and for ship designs, so I'm having a go at drawing up one of the spaceships from Ghosts of Innocence. Here's the side view in progress, and I'm also working on deck plans. When they're done, I'll post them up to the website as part of the package of background information I'm slowly assembling.


  1. Like you, I've been writing for about ten years. My first love has always been painting and story telling, just not with words. For years I worked as a professional illustrator and art instructor at our local art college. This summer after a ten year hiatus I returned to painting. It felt good.

    Good luck with your art and writing projects. Hopefully 2015 will provide the success you no doubt deserve. Take care.

  2. Neat ship's blueprint! I'm very impressed! I have no skills whatsoever at visual artistry. That's my brother (and our mother). But I always admire--and secretly covet--the skill in others. Haha!

    Hey, good luck on the revisions. You still have time to buckle down and get it done!

  3. Wow - cool!
    As a bit of a drawer myself I treated myself to a book called Perspective Made Easy, by Ernest R. Norling.
    As I'm in epic renovation mode I've been playing with ideas for my kitchen and being able to draw something at doesn't resemble chicken scratch is rather helpful.

    You're renderings are amazing!

    Happy New Year - may 2015 be the year!

  4. Hi Ian - good for you ... I'd love to be able to draw etc ... but that's great you're using your talents ... architectural drawings - what fun and they will be amazing once finished ...

    Have a good year ahead ... cheers Hilary

  5. You really shouldn't admit to people who are waiting to read the next story that you have been 'goofing off' lol. You are very very talented Ian.

  6. That's a cool drawing!
    Writing for publication is fairly new for me as well. Artistically, music is my first passion.

  7. Stephen, my book cover was a welcome return to painting after years of absence. Yes, it felt good.

    David, I also admire skills in others that I don't have. The biggest one for me is music.

    Jenny, I've also put those skills to good use over the years on many reno projects. And of course things like the tree fort and pirate ship.

    Hilary, architectural drawings are fun!

    Delores, sorry you're having to wait a bit longer. I prefer not to think of it as goofing off, more like catching my breath :)

    Alex, I don't feel so bad now. I love music, just never been able to play it. I envy its immediacy compared with artwork.

  8. Impressive drawing the ship plans!

    I went through most of my younger years torn between drawing/painting and writing. I'm pretty sure my creative writing teacher and my art teacher had heated words over which one got to submit my work to an arts competition one year in high school. It wasn't until my mid-twenties that writing won me over. Shhh, don't tell my writing muse, but I still greatly enjoy my other creative pursuits from time to time. ;)

  9. Jean, I can see your artistic side from the highly inventive creative crafts you've posted on your blog over the years. It's good to have a few different outlets to choose from.


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