It’s been weighing on me that I haven’t posted to my bloggie in quite some time. I’ve had a lot going on and just haven’t found the time to write – not even in my book. I am still about half way through the first pass, perhaps a bit more at more than 100,000 words. I think one or two more stealthy sittings will take me to the three quarter mark.
I’m not sure if I ever announced it officially, but the title is Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley. The book is about my life and there are many, many characters in it – many of whom will most likely be edited out because it’s just too many people! If you are a close friend of mine, don’t be mad if you don’t wind up in the book. Actually, be glad. I am about to make a number of enemies in publishing it.
The first year that I was writing my story, everything was fictionalized. After many consults with trusted friends that are also amazing writers, I realized that the most interesting and special part of the entire book is that it’s all true. Some may never believe it, but that just can’t matter to me anymore. It’s going to be from my perspective after all. It’s my life as I remember it and quite a few people are not going to like me outing them about this, that, or the other, but I guess I will just let the chips fall where they may.
Believe it or not, I will be losing a couple of friends because of this. Not because I want to, but because of rules and regulations that they follow according to their faith. It is the whole reason why I fictionalized it in the beginning. It’s also been very, very tough for me to make certain decisions regarding what I will and won’t disclose, which has lead to me feeling reluctant to continue. There are two particular people that I currently have in my life that no longer will be, and one family member that will most likely try to sue me.
So why publish it?
I have many reasons to formally put my story out there into the world. First of all, it’s quite a story. If you’ve ever read Push, or seen Precious, you might understand the importance of sharing such a story for the mere fact that it helps other people to overcome their circumstances. I have done it with art, and music. I am a survivor – of some pretty unbelievable situations. All the odds were stacked against me, and I am in no way a thick skinned or strong, super person. If I could survive it all, so can anybody, and that’s my main message in publishing my, what might otherwise seem self-indulgent story.
I will shut up about all that for now. I haven’t been working on the book at all really because I’ve been having more health issues! I know. Hard to even fathom at this point. What else could possibly go wrong with my health now? Well, there are many complications that arise when you have an auto-immune disorder, never mind two. MS and Lupus also seem alike, so it’s also tricky to know which one is giving me which kind of hell.
Well, this time the culprit is the Lupus. I now have welts (Panniculilis) all over my body that have been there for months. It’s been causing some (extra) pain and atrophy in my legs. It got so bad, I had to be put on immune-suppressant medications and it’s been taking me some time to tolerate some of the side effects. Like any chemo drug, it makes you feel sick to your stomach, but I think that part has finally subsided. I feel lucky about that. The dosage will eventually ramp up, so we’ll see how it all goes. I’m still an itchy, painful mess, but hopefully it will start to get better soon.
I wasn’t making much art until a couple of weeks ago. I started a watercolor on the day of my first outing with my “little sister” Alicia. We went to the Armory Center for Arts in Pasadena for a few hours and just painted while getting to know each other a bit. It was fun and opened me up a lot, so I wound up working on a few more little pieces on paper ever since…
Here is the one I started with Alicia (It still needs to be finished) “Somewhere:”
Then I did a few during SketchFest, an on-line “get-together” that happens once a month for 48 hours. The ones on the map pages have little mini stories about them:
“Pink in the Belly”
“Dan About Town”
Dan is a nondescript animal. No one knows if he is a dog, a cat, a horse, or two people in an animal suit. He likes to roller skate and pick flowers. And when no one is looking, he will eat cake and Ding Dongs.
Orville is a purple octopus that lives in the South Bay. He like it there because the tides are choppy and the fish are less pretentious than the fish in the Santa Monica Bay.
Bunny Guy lives near Compton. He travels around other parts of Los Angeles to explain to other residents that Compton has a bad rap and is not as dangerous as the Hollywood movies and rap music proclaims. He picks flowers along his travels. Bunny Guy also has Asperger’s Disorder.
“Cell Patterns on Pattern”
Then, I just finished this one the other day, which I started during SketchFest:
I think I am most happiest with Summer Ride. It turned out the way I wanted it to.
I also made this little 8 x 8 inch oil painting for my friend Tracey’s birthday:
Sorry that last one is pretty blurry. It is because I needed to shoot it fast before I sent it off in the mail and didn’t have my good camera charged at the time, AND it was still too wet to set it down on the scanner bed. I did the best I could with what I had… Like everything!
Today is Tracey’s Birthday, so if she happens upon this long-ass blog post: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRACEY!!!