The manuscript for “Swamis” is up to, and slightly over 70,000 words. That doesn’t mean it’s nearly complete. I just looked at a painting project with a client whose background is in teaching and a knowledge of writing and writers. When I mentioned the word count, adding I never thought I’d get to 60,000, and now I probably need another 30,000; and that, every time I take the time to work on the novel, I end up tightening up rather than adding onto the story.
“Well,” she said, I tell my students writing is never done, it’s merely due.”
Without going into any particular neurosis, I have similar issues with drawing. I’ve been concentrating on pen and ink, and only occasionally risk pencil or watercolors. BUT, for the novel, I want some of the illustrations to convey that soft, backlit look that John Severson accomplished in the early “Surfer” magazines.
Yeah, well; this is easier said than accomplished.
Incidentally, since, in “Swamis,” ostensibly a memoir, I steal stories and experiences from myself (and others), give them to the narrator, Joseph DeFreines, Jr.; and because I want people to know Joseph is not me; I have included, along with fictionalized versions of real people from my life, a character named Erwin.
So, that Erwin is the illustrator.
I think he is, also, a bit neurotic, unable to decide on his own when something is truly complete. SO:
The first illustration, above, is the pencil drawing scanned in black and white, the second was scanned in grayscale, the third, after I (I mean Erwin) went back in with ink.
I do kind of like the underlying white lines from laying it out with a very hard pencil, as I was taught in art classes at Palomar Jr. College, back in 1969. Maybe…
Should I add that, now that I’m getting closer to the end of the story, I’m getting a little bit paranoid, a little less willing to share the various storylines? NO, probably not, but I could tell you that I know who killed Chulo, not sure who killed Joseph DeFreines, Sr.