I need to get the details of this down before I forget. I'm not sure when I am going to be able to start. The woman who is editing my book hasn't responded to the last several messages. Uhm. Would anyone else like to do it? I am partway through my first big round of editing. It's painful in a variety of ways. I wrote the book in strange piecemeal fashion moving things around and adding in random order as I remembered. Thus a given chapter might tell the same story three times in three different ways with different details every time. I'm trying to consolidate and "improve flow" or some shit like that.
But the idea I want to get down is one that is making me feel pretty nervous. Noah has been holding me down and forcing me to read comic books. (Ok, not exactly. But close.) I don't want to do an actual graphic novel, but I want to draw a series of pictures of houses that I have lived in. Certainly not everywhere I lived, I moved too many times. There will be a few "amalgam" houses as well. I want to use the pictures as a base and produce many volleys of text that will eventually mostly fill the pages in a format that looks kind of like "pull out" descriptions of the houses.
The first book will have very few words. It will be a general outline that is totally appropriate for a three year to look at while learning about my life. Pictures can be pretty scary. I'm scared because this is a serious artistic endeavor. I'm not usually real fond of my art. Eek.
I have always been obsessed with drawing houses. Other people seem to have other things that they draw over and over or doodle. For me it is houses. I want to find a way to have my house pictures communicate a lot before I say anything about them. I want to figure out a way to talk to my kids about my life.
Shanna asked me recently, after I apologized for yelling, why I yell so much. She makes me happy. I told her, "Well, when I was a kid people thought nothing of yelling at me, hitting me too. It wasn't nice. It made me feel bad. I decided that I didn't want to grow up and do that to kids. But I was yelled at a really lot and I wasn't taught any other way of dealing with frustrations. I'm trying to learn but it's hard. I'm hoping that if I work hard to learn and you help me learn, both of us won't need to yell just because something frustrates us." She said that sounded like a good plan.
Children believe they have a lot of responsibility. They think that things happen because of them. It's normal and healthy. I want my daughter to really understand in her soul that when I over react to things it isn't about her. She is perfect. She is exactly what a child and human should be. I'm not. Not "it's not my fault I'm an asshole... I had a bad childhood!" Rather, there are things that are genuinely harder for me than other people. I work hard at them but I make mistakes. I want my daughter to understand that I am making a mistake and there is an appropriate way of acting out there and we are striving towards it. Everyone makes mistakes. My mistakes are not because of her. They are because I am trying so hard at so many things all the time that sometimes I'm not able to put my all into every step and I make a mistake. How do I fix that? How do I repair that?
I know other people don't think that telling their story is a necessary part of that. I guess that's what makes me a writer. I really want to put a smiley with a tongue sticking our right here. But I won't. Because I am dignified and adult and I promised myself I would avoid them in my blog. Damnit.
The house in Whittier needs to have a conspicuously open window on the side; it won't be drawn the way my actual window worked because it would be hard to get the angles. A lot of the focus of that picture will be the tree. And the hill of gravel I fell down on rollerskates. And the rock.
The houses in the mountains. Oh those are going to have details. I think the first book should say, "This is where I learned to love the trees."
The apartment row in Apple Valley with that bitch sitting on my front walkway waiting to kick the crap out of me. Early on Shanna will probably assume she is a friend. I won't mention the constant ass-kickings for a few years.
The best part is drawing pictures is something I can do with the kids around. I'm thinking about playing with mediums. Some crayon, some paint... not sure what else. Pencils. The house in Whittier is going to be the only picture done solely in black ink. It was an evil place.
I've been thinking about this while running. I'm really enjoying how much thinking I do. I daydream more than I can at other times. Usually I get interrupted. I'm so glad today is a rest day. I'm exhausted. I need to stretch. And I need to go edit that book. If I want to release it on March 1st I'd better get my ass in gear.