Oh, hi there

It’s 9:18 p.m. as I write this, and there’s a two-year-old sitting in the middle of the living room watching Dora on the iPad. The switch to standard time on Sunday should’ve crushed her little toddler internal clock, which should’ve had her fast asleep something like two hours ago. Yeah, that didn’t work.

Four posts in October and I haven’t been around for three weeks. Well, I’ve been around; just not here. I haven’t been writing anywhere though; not here, and not in the thing I’ve been doing on the side (no entries there since the 14th of October; so just barely less time than I’ve been blowing this off).

I really just haven’t wanted to come here – or anywhere, really – to write. I would be a miserable failure if I were to be graded on “just show up” right now. But I haven’t felt up to it. Lame excuse, I know, but whatever.

30-day drawing challenge

The guys who did the #Inktober drawing challenge on Twitter have started a new 30-day challenge for November called #drawvember. Their 30 challenges for the month are:

  1. self portrait
  2. imaginary friend
  3. most-recent dream (which with me could get really, really interesting…)
  4. redesign a book cover
  5. childhood memory
  6. what’s in your bag?
  7. hybrid animal
  8. scene from a movie
  9. Siamese twins!
  10. super hero
  11. super villain
  12. an elderly person (I’d be tempted to finish something I sketched out a couple of years ago, and it’d get me in trouble…)
  13. a freaking baby
  14. portrait of a pet
  15. a dinosaur
  16. draw something with your eyes closed
  17. a delicious food
  19. sea creature
  20. your dream job (this would be fun right now, given my current mental distractions)
  21. a guilty pleasure
  22. favorite cartoon character
  23. actor/actress
  24. collage
  25. best friend
  26. instrument
  27. something of sentimental value
  28. your zodiac sign
  29. the meaning of your name
  30. favorite outfit

I put up one thing for #Inktober, and it was horrible; it was an experiment with my Pentel pocket brush pen that I spent maybe 30 minutes on from start to finish, and about all it accomplished was to hammer home how freaking hard it is to ink with a brush. I totally missed the start of #drawvember, but maybe I can do something to try and catch up. Basically all of those 30 challenges could be a lot of fun, and they’d force me to start trying to draw what’s in my head, rather than just copying something somebody else has done, which really is one of my most-glaring limitations as a horrific hack with pencils.


I decided today that I’m going to try and adjust my workflow at work to do drafts of the stories I’m writing using iA Writer instead of Apple’s Pages. I’ve got a few reasons for wanting to try this: Pages (and, really, all of iWork) is in desperate need of an update; since I don’t have Pages for my iPad (and really don’t have a compelling reason to buy it), its iCloud integration is essentially being wasted. Conversely iA Writer is on my Mac, my iPad and my iPhone, so I would have access to my work any where, any time, on demand; I like the added availability of having my drafts on my phone with iA Writer; I’m intrigued by Markdown as I’m using it in another writing platform and like the ability to have a formatted document written in mostly plain text. It also bugs me that when I cut-and-paste from Pages into InDesign, I lose the spaces between my paragraphs. On the scale of annoyances it’s probably pretty minor, but the few seconds it takes to scroll through the document and put the spaces back between my paragraphs bugs me. There are a lot of reasons I’m tempted to try this, really – and, honestly, one of them is that I think iA Writer seems like a pretty great piece of software, I haven’t bothered to use it yet, and this seems like as good a “force me to use software” project as any. I’ve got a story I desperately need to get written tomorrow (I had it scheduled for last week but a couple of “make this a priority” projects shoved it down a couple of notches on the totem pole), and I think I’ll take a run at it with iA Writer.

Complete Collection

The final score from my absolute assault on Amazon.com around my birthday in April will finally be here tomorrow — IDW is reprinting Marvel’s run of G.I. Joe comics in hardcover format as G.I. Joe – The Complete Collection, and the first volume reprinting G.I. Joe numbers 1-12 will be on my doorstep tomorrow. I’m curious to know how often these are going to be released; there were 154 issues in the Marvel series, so at 12 issues apiece this could get to be a pretty significant space hog in my library. We’ll see how I feel about continuing with these after I get the first one. I’ve never had anything resembling a complete run of Marvel’s series; even my brothers and I were missing a ton of issues. If this reprint series is nice, it seems like it’d be a pretty great way to finally have this series on my shelves.

I pre-ordered this in mid-May. I’m thrilled that it’s finally going to be here.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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