So please please please, let me, let me, let me …

IF, Life 25 Comments »

*WARNING* THE FOLLOWING POST MAY CONTAIN ALTOGETHER TOO MUCH SELF-PITY (& SOME TECHNICAL TERMS. CLICK ON THE LINKS.)
Which is one of the reasons I’ve avoided writing it up until now.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about our infertility issues (should that be our fertility issues? I feel we’re doing marvelously at the old INfertility…), but it’s difficult to know what to say. And some days I feel a bit raw and I really worry that I’ll get upset by people’s comments. So, while I’ve tried to be pretty open on Twitter, that land of sound-bites and truncated @-replies, I’ve kept away from actually blogging about it.

Okay. I guess I’ll start at the beginning. I met Gareth, Gar is awesome, we love each other, and we decided that most definitely how fan-bloody-tastic would it be to be involved in the creation of something that had a little bit of both of us, and try to give it love and a good life and all sorts of stuff like that. It’s not an unusual story.

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My head explodes and my body aches

Life, Site Updates 1 Comment »

Tuesdays are clearly bad days for health. Or maybe it’s the gym that’s making me ill…

Last week I had a full-on migraine attack with blindness and curl-up-in-dark-roomness, and then yesterday what I thought might be the beginnings of appendicitis, but seems more likely is a bout of Winter Vomiting Virus (was ever an illness more horribly named?).

Anyway, that is not why I am here. I just wanted to point at the pretty pages of Gar’s books, with things he says about them, and links to Amazon here: http://thatsnotmysquid.com/bibliography.html.

Of course any of you who are interested in this sort of thing probably have all they want already. But go and look anyway :)

You – you look a bit like coffee and you taste a little like me

Fish for Fish, Life, Work Process 3 Comments »

Excitement for all – Chapter 4 of Fish for Fish is all up and it starts here. It’s a shorter chapter than usual, but that’s just the way the story flowed (apparently – blame the writer, anyway).

And (even more excitement) it’s drawn in the shiny dusty new medium of chalk pastels. There are advantages and disadvantages to this – not least of which is the state of my right leg, where I seem to be compelled to wipe my fingers. Detail suffers, but I feel there is a nicer “overall impression” of a picture, and each panel is certainly a lot faster to produce. Chapter 5 is likely to be done the same way – though hopefully with some improved technique – so let us know what (if anything) you love or hate about the new style.

I’m also thinking that I’ll only put up complete Chapters or half chapters – of course with the comicblog software I’m using, I have to align each page to a day, but perhaps online is not the best medium for reading a more story based comic like this anyway. Which brings me to my next project… once we’ve completed Chapter 5, we reckon we should have enough material to collate as a mini book. We’ll be making it available through this website probably in both print and pdf formats for those who are interested.

I’m not sure how long it will take me to get it all print ready. A goodly portion of January was spent creating a print version of Chapter 1 (which included covers, extra character info and other fun stuff) but part of the time taken there was the extra stuff and that I hadn’t made the images print-ready frmo the start. The limited print run was a success and Warpcon’s charity auction even managed to sell a copy for a cool 120 euro.

Other comicy news – we’ve started a little bit of work on 100% Reality Mind (for those of you who haven’t been paying attention, this is to be a shorter, standalone strip-style comic that we’ll hope to publish once or twice a week). Hopefully there’ll be something to see in early March, but we’ll have to see how fast I can draw – one of my aims with this strip is to improve my illustrator skillz….

Other other news – we’ve moved! Again there is a room filled with boxes and gaming debris that will probably remain for far longer than intended. Also, there is not a single weekend in March without plans. I’m going to have to start to organize my time better…

And for those of you with similar disorganization problems, check out: Doitdoitdone!
You don’t even have to sign up, and it looks pretty. What more could you ask for in a web-app!

And he had made of his ass a trumpet

Life No Comments »

Things have been busy – to say the least – over the past couple of months. But that is nothing new, nor is it necessarily undesirable. There have been mishaps aplenty with our cursed abode, cumulating in a gas leak on Christmas Eve Eve, and a turkey that took 3 hours longer than expected to cook. We handed in our letter of No Intent to Renew our lease (which expires on February 11th) and now we face into moving. Yet again. As I type, we are sitting in Mytholder’s mother’s house while torrential rain and vicious winds whip round outside, and the place at which we pay rent appears to have sprung a roof leak or two. This move is not premature.

The UCC gaming convention WarpCon is taking place next weekend, and Gareth has written two scenarios for it (apparently this is the 11th year he’s written a Call of Cthulhu scenario). I’m taking a bit of a break from painting Fish for Fish (even though I’ve prepped Chapter 4) to layout the scenarios nicely in InDesign. We’ll make the PDFs available for download here after the con.

I’ve also been laying out Fish for Fish Chapter 1 for print and we’ll be making some hardcopies of this available soon for those who are interested. There’s a surprising amount of work involved in making something print-ready, and Chapter 1 hadn’t been created with print in mind, thus necessitating quite a bit of extra work. It’s been a very fun learning experience and I’m looking forward to seeing the final hard copies. I’ve a bit of work to do with re-arranging margins before I send it in though.

With this extra non-painty work going on, it’s looking like Chapter 4 will be quite a bit later than expected.

In other news, my Digital Imaging course starts on February 8th, so hopefully I can get started creating some digital images for some of the other many projects we have on the back boiler.

That’s all for now – I will see those of you who are about for it at Warpcon. It’s my first ever time attending it!

Fish for Fish – Chapter 3

Fish for Fish, Life No Comments »

Chapter 3 is now all complete and up starting here.

Hopefully I’ll be caught up on the November delay by the end of Chapter 4. At least we always live in hope!

I’m also hoping to get back into semi-regular blogging in the coming month, but as we’re going to be moving house again things are likely to be somewhat hectic. I will at least try and put down some thoughts on using InDesign for layout, etc. and comment on what I think I’ve learned over the past month or so.

As always, all comments and feedback are welcome and for those lj-users who prefer to get the page updates as they occur, mytholder has created an lj-feed just for that purpose.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

They’re gone (and it’s quiet now)

Life, Review No Comments »

There are few sounds as simultaneously beautiful, disturbing and heart-rending as the music of Tindersticks. Tonight’s performance at the Cork Opera house was no exception; After enjoying a splendid performance from Irish singer/songwriter David Kitt, the house lights dimmed, and the stage slowly populated as the first song (aptly named Intro) from The Hungry Saw picked its way to gentle fullness. Things went uphill from there.

The band were joined on stage by a string quartet who seemed very happy to step outside of their normal roles and join in a bit of maraca shaking, glass tapping and whatever else was needed to produce the fantastically beautiful analogue cacophony that makes up your standard Tindersticks song.

Sleepy song about half-way through the performance was the highlight of the evening for me. But then it’s always been a favourite of mine. This was quickly followed by She’s Gone which singer Stuart Staples claims he’s spent most of his life attempting to write a better song than.

It was announced during the encore that it was guitarist Neil Fraser’s birthday tonight and he nearly broke his right arm in a brilliant and frighteningly fast rendition of Her.

They left the stage and a very satisfied audience in typical low key fashion, with very few words. “Thank you. I think we’d better go now.” said Staples.

I think I’ll take my cue from him. If you get a chance, do go and see them.

It seemed better than shooting myself

Fish for Fish, Life, Site Updates 2 Comments »

We have a newly designed main site!

Plans are afoot to fill in more content and possibly tweak the design a bit more over the coming weeks, but in the meantime, all feedback is appreciated.

In other news, I am a bit under the weather with migraines and brokenfootpain, but had a fantastic time visiting friends and their offspring in England. I am very much enjoying reading The Chronicles of Amber and this Saturday we’re off to see Tindersticks who are one of my favourite bands of all time, and not at all depressing, despite anything Gar might say to the contrary.

We should also finally have the rest of Chapter 2 of Fish for Fish up by the end of the month. Thank you for patience anyone who’s been waiting.

Through the tarlatan holes

Life 28 Comments »

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with most projects on hiatus. For those of you who don’t read mytholder’s blog, his mother has been very ill – mainly due to a bout of pneumonia on top of an existing lung condition. She’s on the mend now, and will hopefully be leaving hospital within the week (so we are frantically cleaning and clearing her house).

We’ll be trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy this week, but this chapter of Fish for Fish may be delayed a bit further as I work on some design and other projects (some of which may make an appearance on this site eventually).

My design course is going well, and I’m going to miss it when it finishes at the end of this semester. I’ll have to make sure I continue working on it and try to build up a portfolio. Some of the projects we’re doing as part of the course will give me a step up on that, at least.

I’m hoping to start the “sister course” in Digital Imaging in January, but there’s a chance it won’t be running if they can’t get the numbers.

In other news, we now have a car. I feel some eco-guilt about this, but given that the public transport system in Ireland is so very very shoddy, and we will probably need it for Mother Transporting, I feel we can justify it. I’ll probably continue to walk out to CIT and back twice a week, though. I need to renew my provisional license and I’ll probably need to take a few driving lessons as it’s been 6 years since I’ve been behind the wheel.

I’m also flying over to England on Saturday to visit a good friend, so, additional eco guilt there. At least the car means the ferry will be a viable option for future trips.

That’s all for now. More updates to come as life allows.

To the waters and the wild

Life No Comments »

It’s not an ideal morning for running. Even the red-beaked demon swans of The Lough were hiding out under the trees as we splashed and spattered our way past. But fitness is slowly creeping in – by which I mean neither of us seems to be writhing in agony by the end of it. And I find it somewhat energising for the day.

Thanks to all for feedback on Fish for Fish. One of the things that was mentioned was the need to have a proper page for the comic itself, with links to “First Page”, “Last Page”, etc. This will be coming in time – and hopefully by the end of this month, but certainly not before.

Life Stuff should be starting to calm down from this month, and I may see my computer for more than 5 minute bursts between running from one place to the next.

I’m looking forward to starting project work in my course from next week, and once I (hopefully soon) have Adobe CS3 installed here, I’ll be able to work on getting the layout and text looking a good bit more polished. (Again, hopefully).

Now though, it’s time to hunt for breakfast rewards post a rainy morning run.

-sunlight and singing welcome your coming

Life, Typography, Work Process 8 Comments »

After an exhausting and fantastic weekend in London, I return to a house of disarray and an ever lengthening list of things to make and do.

We spent the weekend with friends of mytholder, who were consummate hosts – not only providing a comfortable bed, but oyster cards, directions and delicious lasagne.

Saturday evening – and the reason for our visit – a surprise HHGTTG themed party for the ever charming James Wallis. There were Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters to drink, Vogon poetry to recite, and the most delicious birthday cake I’ve ever tasted – all courtesy of the excellent party organizing and baking skills of James’ wife, Cat.

Since last Wednesday’s Design for Print class, I’ve been nurturing an expanding fascination with fonts and typography. I’ve always had an interest in layout and typesetting (which is probably a good thing, given the course I’m taking), but poor Gar is being driven to distraction as I coo and criticize every sign and poster I pass by. I have a little mini stack of books to read through to help me foster this new obsession, and hopefully the longer term will see me use my ligature-obsessed powers for good.

Fish for Fish will be updated tomorrow. It’s likely to be just a page update, with perhaps a second update by the end of the week. In any case, Chapter 2 will be completed by the end of the month.

Thank you to all who commented on both my and mytholder‘s blogs. You are all very kind, and please don’t hesitate to give harsher criticism. This project is being done both for fun and as a learning experience for the two of us. I’m quite conscious of some mistakes and issues, and am striving to improve on these as we move forward – perhaps by Chapter n (for a large value of n) there will be some noticeable improvement.

I thought I’d write a little about the “process” (such as it is) I am using to create the pages.
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