Posted tagged ‘ManicDDaily drawings’


December 15, 2010



I was thinking last night about past topics/obsessions of this blog.  Two came to mind:  Sarah Palin and Robert Pattinson (who, for the non-cognoscienti, plays Edward Cullen, star vampire, in the movies based on Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.)

So, what do Palin and Pattinson have in common?

  1. Big hair.
  2. Careers in which they act out the part of  ordinary Americans.   (Rob, of course, pretends to be a blood-sucking ordinary American, Sarah to be a non-money and celebrity-sucking ordinary American.)
  3. Close relationships with dark-haired teenage girls (or just past teenage), which have somehow augmented their celebrity.  (Okay, that one’s a bit silly.)
  4. Media vehicles that promote fantasy, the bare suppression (or not) of intense (seeming) passion, and (ahem) abstinence.  (Twilight/Fox).
  5. Fortunes that have been made from such media vehicles.
  6. Exuberant fans who do not seem to question what skeptics view as possible deficiencies–Rob’s acting, Sarah’s governing.   (Query–is it the hair?  Or the fantasy?)

Blocking Writer’s Block – Terry Pratchett- Parallel Parking?

October 1, 2010

Parallel Parking?

Sometimes you feel like you need a change.  You want to do a whole U-turn, but that feels as dangerous and illegal in the real i.e. metaphorical sense, as it does on the street.  But you don’t feel you have the time or patience to turn the slow way, the way that, well, parallels parallel parking–that is, the type of turn that involves a lot of backing and twisting and backing and twisting.

I just finished the new novel, I Shall Wear Midnight, by the incomparable Terry Pratchett.  It is not one of Pratchett’s best books;  it has a very complex plot with a great many characters  (long-time denizens of Discworld) who may not resonate with a non-Pratchett afficionado.   But like all of Pratchett’s books, it has wonderful moments of ingenuity, wackiness, and above all, generosity.  Also a lesson:  find out who you are and be it.  Find out what you like to do and do it.

Pratchett, who has now written over 40 books, is someone who found out what he liked to do at a relatively early age and who has done it a lot, even continuing now through early onset Alzheimer’s.

Which brings me to one of my perennially favorite topics–blocking writer’s block.  We can’t all have Pratchett’s prolific elan.  But we can like him, work with what we have.

Easily said, I told myself.  So what about all the projects you want to do?   I thought of, for example, a book on writer’s block, for example?  I’ve already written a fair amount about the topic, but it immediately felt unmanageable.   My mind even filled with illustrations–yet, they too felt impossible.  (For one thing, they didn’t have elephants.)

And then, I got a phone call from a college-age daughter.   She wanted to talk; to get some advice.  So lovely to be sought in that way.  After a while, still listening, I began to draw.

The drawing, below, was not exactly what was in my head.  Still, it was a start.

First "Blocking Writer's Block" Drawing

My lesson:  give yourself the gift of trying.  Make yourself make a start.   Better yet, let yourself make a start.  Even if you have to twist and back into it, slowly working yourself into your chosen spot or direction.

Then, after a while, start again.

Second "Blocking Writer's Block" Drawing

Continuing Legal Education – First Koala

September 30, 2010

Yesterday, I had to take a class in law.  I am a lawyer and New York State requires all lawyers to take a certain number of hours of law classes every couple of years.

Although most lawyers complain about them, the requirements are probably a good thing, at least in principle.  Laws change; people forget; you can’t take everything in law school.

Unfortunately, the classes actually pertain to, you know, law. Which means that they can be–well, not to mitigate it, put too fine a point on it, split hairs, obfuscate the truth… a bit boring.

Although the speakers do try, their topics are…dry.

And usually the lectures are taped, so there’s not even the frisson (okay, let’s not go wild here) the mild distraction (the possibility of tics, throat-clearing, unfamiliar windows) of a live performance.

Yesterday’s lecturer was particularly  lawyerly.

Yesterday's Lecturer

The great thing about watching a videotaped lecture is that one is free to doodle while listening without actually being rude.

The other good thing is that you can eat a sandwich.   Mine was tuna fish.  I also had a little pasta salad.

Black & White Tuna Sandwich (and a bit of rigatoni)

But how long can you stretch out a tuna fish sandwich?  Or a little pasta?  The guy in front of me had  a reddish ear.  (You’d see it if this were in color.)

Black & White Recreation of Reddish Ear

(This is a re-creation–I actually erased that drawing in case he turned around.)

It was a lecture on business torts–the types of actionable offenses people commit in advertising, for example.   Be very careful about disparagement of competitors.

Elephants jump to hand.   But everyone tells me that there’s no future in elephants–that that territory has been completely explored by Babar.  You’ve got to spread out, they tell me.

Ears… ears… ears… koalas!

First Koala

Okay, the first one is just recognizable, but the second—

It really would be better in color--

One thing I never before realized is that koalas look remarkably like robots.  Also, like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.  Especially if they are not done in color (which would show the variation in their fur.)

This was getting really discouraging and the lecturer had only just started on the Lanham Act.

Note Presence of Dog!

I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  At least there’s a little dog.

Elephant a la Astaire

Okay, so there’s not even the little dog this time.   But he’s tapdancing!  When does Babar ever tapdance?

(What was that about disparagement?)