What is New? First Pass Done!

Wow, I haven’t blogged in a long time! Sorry for the radio silence, but I’ve had my head in my book – writing like a fiend I tell ya. But I was able to finally finish this painting that I have been working on since the beginning of the year it seems. It’s finally done and it’s called “The Good Life.” It’s 24 x 30 inches, mixed media, and the first completed painting of 2016:


I am pretty proud of this thing actually. It’s just the direction I would like to be taking now. It’s really a marriage of my last two bodies of work: the mixed media pieces from Rock and Refuge on the birch panels, and the Joshua Tree landscapes.

Something I did that was way different for me was that I used acrylic paint on the cerulean blue sky because I wanted it as flat as I could make it to contrast it from all the texture of the oils in the rest of the painting. I got some tips on how to make it the way I wanted it from a couple people in the WetCanvas forums. (Thanks guys!) I mixed a bit of gesso with the blue, and added water and did it all in three thin layers so that it would come out very flat. Although, it probably could use a 4th layer, but maybe I got a little lazy – I’m not sure. Not really lazy, but I’ve been so sucked into my book that I’ve just not been into the painting tip lately.

The thing is, Wednesday night, March 30th, I finished the first pass of my entire book! That’s right. Maybe that’s not such exciting news to hear, but for me it is a major milestone! Woo hoo!

I didn’t really promote it all when I first posted it, but you can check out a very rough first pass of one of the chapters that may or may not make it into the book here, called Little Pieces of Eight.

I started working on this book in 2010, so this is a very big deal for me. The first pass is not quite a real draft, but it just means it’s all down on paper – or in this case, down on computer. I use a program called Scrivener, as I think I’ve mentioned a hundred times before. I swear by it. It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I’m not kidding. I think I started using it three years ago and ever since, my writing just took off. The book really started to come together at that point – and I even took a whole year off when I worked on Exodus. That shows you how fast this program helped with my process.

Anyway, after Wednesday night when I finished the first pass, I stopped to celebrate for about 10 minutes, and then I just got right back to work. I opened the whole thing into a new second file and started working on it as a true first draft, and you know where I am now? HALF WAY DONE! I have been working on the thing every single day since, like a mad woman. And this thing is over 300,000 words now. A lot will be edited out, but it will most likely stay in that range, give or take 50,000 words. It’s going to be a big book. I just have to make sure it’s not a boring one when I get to the 2nd draft.

My plan is to get it to a 4th draft before I actually have someone read it, either my editor, or a trusted guinea pig. So I am looking forward to 2017 when I will most likely finish it.

So that’s what’s new. It’s pretty big news.

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