Friday, December 28, 2007

Creative Exhaustion

I like to do funny calendars for people as Christmas presents. I like to take an ordinary calendar and add to the pictures, putting in word balloons and pictures of my own to give the image a new, comical meaning. For example, if there's a water setting in one of the calendar's pictures, I'll draw in some shark fins and maybe a swimmer or two getting eaten. It's fun, it's creative, and it's a challenge.

This year I did five calendars. I did one for my parents, my brother and his wife, my sister, my sister-in-law, and Violet. Five calendars, each with twelve pictures (some had December '07, and therefore 13 pictures). All that added up to a lot of creative work needing to be done by Christmas. I'm happy to say I finished the last one off on Christmas Eve, and the next day they were all very well received.

However, for all the time I was working on those calendars, I couldn't write a thing. It actually isn't all that easy to come up with funny stuff for every calendar picture. With some images I have ideas straight away, but there are always a couple of pages that stump me right up until the deadline I simply couldn't do that and work on a novel at the same time, and when I was done I needed three days before I could pick up my pen once more. I'd strained my resources to the breaking point, and needed a rest.

Was it worth it? Hell, yes! Seeing my family laugh at the work I'd done was so rewarding. Yes, I do wish I'd been able to push further ahead with The 25 Demons You Meet In Hell, but I'm back into it now. I don't think I'm going to finish it off by New Year's as I'd hoped, however. My new target date for that one is the end of January. I'd better mark that on a calendar...

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