Es wird eng: In der Wißmannstraße im Stadtteil Forstfeld ist gerade ein Umzug in vollem Gange. Der Möbeltransporter steht zur Hälfte auf der Straße, auf der gegenüberliegenden Straßenseite wird geparkt, die Durchfahrt wird an dieser Stelle also doppelt erschwert. (plf)

Old routines Old behaviours

I’m currently sitting in a loud and busy Starbucks in Wimbledon with the intension of burning through 2000 words or several chapters before they kick me out.  

There was a time when i had memorised all the opening times and locations of the all the libraries and coffeeshops that had internet access within a 10 mile radius.  Adopting that mentality allowed me to finish writing several drafts of my novel, one novella and several short stories.

Then, for better use of a word, I became lazy and spent more time at home and lost my focus. I’ve set myself a deadline of september to get this second-to-last draft of my novel finished and printed and sent off to friends for criticism and critiques so that by Autumn i’ll hopefully be able to spend the remaining months of the year reworking and editing the final draft in time for its uploading to the kindle platform ad well as other Epub formats.  And to be able to do that i have to re-adopt old behaviours.  

So, here I am.  Wish me luck.  I’m going to need it.

Sketch underlay for a book illustration. I’m trying to do it in the style of those old school magazine illustrations from Readers Digest and the like. Old school 70’s illustration. It’s for something I want to have done for #thoughtbubble. Next, reference. #frostfeld #sketchbookpro

Book Illustration Pencils by JECOLEUK

In 2009 i planned to make the image one of the illustrations for my novel. I was heavily into Tim Bradstreet at the time and decided to created imagery in his style. I use models, found reference and a light box to create a series of images which, on refection simultaneously inspire and revolt. I was avoiding my short comings and creating work that was deceitful. This wasn’t now I draw. This was me using photos and a light box to cover up my weaknesses.

Roll on 2014 and i look back a this and find it has some merit. Im slightly closer to where i should be in that I’d do thing freehand instead to tracing but i still have aways to go.

I think i want to have a second stab at this but this time i’ll attempt it completely freehand.

This is what the raw third draft of a novel looks like before it’s edited.  

This is what days, weeks and months of hard work and sacrifice look like.

This is what the physical manifestation of self belief, courage and, for better use of a word, love, looks like.

Writing is fun, but it’s also very hard work.  In more ways than one.

The joy of text: rewriting a manuscript

Writing is fun.  Writing at it best can be noble, empowering and life changing.

But it is hard work.  Make no mistake.

Currently I’m ploughing my way though the THIRD draft of my novel.  This is not unusual.  Novels, good novels, go through countless drafts until they’re readable.  Then, once put in the hands of an editor and copywriter, the process of writing and rewriting begins anew until the manuscript is the best, leanest, most coherent permutation of the writers voice possible.

Then the book arrives in the stores and has to duke it out with ever other schlubs books.

Hard work.  Filled with writing and rewriting.  Deletion. additions, subtractions, moving…ye gods.  Who would want to do this for a living, eh?

Ah yes.  That would be me.  


Actually I’m wrong.  The correct analogy would be hacking slashing my way though a forest.  Because that’s exactly what it feels like I’m doing.

Its fun.  But its hard work.  Make no mistake. 

Don’t even get me started about the illustrations.  Yeesh!  I need a drink.  Think I’ve done enough re/writing for one day.

Afraid to fail

I’m such a pussy and I really need to stop being one.  Pathological fear has held me back artistically for years.  The simple fear of looking crap, of what i see in my head not being what i see on the paper has had me focus almost entirely on the writing side of my novel.  And although this has led to me finishing work and getting further along with my novel/novella writing it brought me to a stage where i’m still unable/too afraid to commit images to paper because i cant get them looking how i want them to look.

This problem is circular, as by not doing it and failing and learning i never reach a point of learning from my mistakes and improving.  I mean it got to a point where i was actually prepared to commission artists to provide work for the book in terms of cover and internal illustrations.  

Then i realised what i was doing and that putting my work in the hands of another artist would be an exercise in failure and frustration.  Failure because I hadn’t done/couldn’t/wouldn’t do the work , frustration because though the work turned in would have been accomplished, professional, it still wouldn’t have been how i would have done it.  

Simply put, i was afraid to fail.

I’ve gotta man up, man.  Gotta stop being a fucking pussy and take my hits man.  

So, one finished, edited, self published novel with four black and white illustrations and one cover all done by me by Monday 5th in January 2015.  Yeah, i think i can do that.

I can do that.

I will do that. 

Gotta stop being a pussy sometime.

I had a nap and woke at around 2am then started working. I’m trying to do thumbnails for all the illustrations that occur to me, or have occurred to me whiles writing the short story that has ballooned into a novel named :French Suicide Song. Need to see how feasible they all. I think I might be mad. #amwriting #novelwriting #frostfeld

A VERY rough layout for an illustration I’m working on. I want to blow up to A2 size, so that when it’s reduced on the page, it’ll look striking and tight.

I’ve been look at people whose work I wanted to learn from with this piece, so that would include John Paul Leon  and Robert Fawcett. I’m looking forward to putting some ink on paper.

An epilogue to write and this manuscript is done.

For now.

The second story for my short story collection will be completed. I’m thinking I’m going to call the collection ARCADE, after that track on the man of steel soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. Brilliant soundtrack. Anyway back to work. #amwriting #shortstories #novella #frostfeld