And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us

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I am seeking more consistency in my life, and to this end, I’m trying to set certain recurrent goals and scheduled tasks. Google Calendar mails me daily, with a list of things I had promised myself I would do (at the start of the month or week. Damn that PastMe, says I. Perhaps FutureMe will help me out?).

In any case, Google Calendar reliably informs me that today I am to blog. Thus, blogging I am.  (Apparently PastMe has committed a host of FutureMes to this task every future week.)

Tonight I finally got around to going through the various Sympathy and Mass Cards that many wonderful people sent to us following Helen’s passing. I am trying to compile a list of names and addresses in order to send out thank-you cards. It’s turning out to be quite difficult – not least because we don’t know the addresses of people, but often because it is night on impossible to make out some of the names! We have clearly been spoiled by the Internet Era and its printed text. 

It’s, not unexpectedly, quite a sad task. And I was once again touched by some beautiful messages of condolence from some wonderful people. We made it through that tough tough time with the help & support of many extraordinary friends. You know who you are. Thank you.

It’s nearly 4 months now since Helen passed away. It’s hard to put into words what those four months have been like. There’s been a whole load of keeping on keeping on. There’s been the usual busy-ness that life contains. There have been many small moments where we remember “This Time Last Year” – in something as simple as the type of meal we are preparing, or ordering coal – and stop for a moment of sad reflection.

And I’ve had a collection of crazy dreams (3 or more scattered through the months) where Helen has come back to life and been invariably annoyed with us for burying her. Who could blame her!

We call down to the graveyard mostly once a week (sometimes the WeatherO’Doom has just been far too inclement for this, and it’s been a bit longer), to say hello and even chat a bit. It’s a thing that helps in some way, I guess. 

I’m not really sure what I believe when it comes to thoughts of an afterlife (well, I have some theories involving a greater number of dimensions than our 4-D consciousness readily perceives and the wave equations of Quantum Mechanics – but that probably deserves its own blog post, and for readers to be after a significant amount of wine), but – at the moment – this is what it feels right for us to do. Whether we are heard or not.

I mentioned in my previous post that we are training for the Cork City marathon in June, with plans to raise and donate money to charity in Helen’s name, and I will mention it again closer to the time – poking our wonderful friends to donate. Those 26 miles will be hard fought, if the last few weeks’ training is anything to go by. I may blog further about distance training and running once I’ve enough experience to have anything more to say about it than “ow”. 

But for now – Anon, my friends. ‘Till Google Calendar bids me write once more.

There’d be no distance that could hold us back

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So this is the New Year … 

I’ve been blogging in my head on and off for the past week.  
Death Cab for Cutie’s New Year has been playing in my head the whole time. 2009 was an horrendous toil for a variety of different reasons, and I’ve been feeling like I’ve been holding out for that turn of the dial, to bring me into a New Year and a new phase of living.

And I don’t feel any different.

But another day turning over and stretching doesn’t really change anything.  I’m not much of a person for New Year’s resolutions. For one reason and another, not just to do with the arbitrary line in the sandness of the whole thing, and the tendancy to give ourselves excuses, to “put things off” until the year has changed.

The clanking of crystal

I gave up drinking alcohol at the end of November, and New Year’s was chimed in with cranberry juice in champagne glasses.  I don’t know how long I’m going to stay away from alcoholic beverages, but it will be at least until the Spring Equinox. My long standing struggle with depression has almost always been exacerbated by the long nights of Winter, but this year’s has been the most difficult I can remember in a long time. I suppose I’d forgotten quite how terrible it can be in Ireland when the little daylight that’s there is obscured by fog and rain.  Some mornings it’s lethargy, others sadness, but most commonly it’s a twisting, paralyzing terror in my stomach that grows through the day until I can’t sleep at night with the fear, and the cycle starts again.

This is not the only reason I’ve given up drinking, but I do feel that keeping alcohol out of this mix is a sensible plan.

Explosions off in the distance.

This is the year that I’m due to marry, and there’s plenty for organizing. I had planned on blogging out the details here over the course of the year, but failed failed failed. I don’t think I’m going to pick up the reigns on it now, but I will be updating this site  very shortly (this week) with details on accomodation and the likes (now that hotels have finally gotten back to me with prices).

So this is the new year 
And I have no resolutions

We’re running a marathon on June 7th –just over 2 weeks before the wedding. The hope is to raise money for a (as yet undetermined) charity and donate the money in Helen’s name. A kind of memorial thing.  I got a pretty shiny gps running watch to help with the training, and we’re ramping up to follow this schedule in a week’s time. I very hope some of the slippy slidey ice has cleared by then.

For self assigned penance   
For problems with easy solutions

The house is a huge thing on the 2010 agenda as well. It needs a serious cleaning out and refurbishing. We possibly need to get in contact with a structural engineer of some kind as well and sort out damp proofing. I’m sure it’s one of those things that will be very easily sorted out by throwing money at the problem :)

So everybody put your best suit or dress on   
Let’s make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogues bleed into one

We are definitely far from wealthy in the fiscal sense.

Gareth got a phone call on Wednesday this week. I could hear him talking out in the hallway, serious low tone and drifting scary words. In he came with worried stance and thumbs down. The company he’s been a staff writer for for coming up on 7 years have decided to let him go with less than a month’s notice, and nothing more than a pat on the back.It’s … unexpected.

It’s, I think, going to be one of the best bloody things that has every happened to us.

I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then I could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speedtrains, or freeways
There’d be no distance that can hold us back.

Gar, despite his lack of belief in himself, is stupidly talented and relentlessly imaginative and hardworking. We’re putting together a framework of plans and schedules that will let us survive financially but (hopefully) still allow Gar to finally create some things that don’t get mangled by bad editing slipshod layout and look-a-shiny-thing style management choices.

Meanwhile, I’m (hopefully) heading back to college in the Autumn, and thereafter will have the chance to let the yoof of today in on the secret that mathematics is actually fun and not as scary as bad teachers would have them believe. Well, that’s the dream …

So. This is the New Year.

When you’re living in a hallway that keeps growing

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100 print copies of Fish for Fish are missing somewhere in time and space. We hope to find them before Saturday, but in the meantime, we’re working on a back-up plan of sorts.

On Saturday, as those who read mytholder‘s blog know, we’re due to be exhibiting at Dublin’s Edition Book Arts – a fun indie publishing & artist book arts fair.

T’would be great if people can come and see us.

However, we may not have too many copies of our comic (at the moment, we have the proof copy and not much more .. ). But we will have a poster!

A Blue Poster!

A Blue Poster!

and some post-cards!

 

100% Reality Mind Postcard

100% Reality Mind Postcard

Its been a year or more since they shipped me to this foreign shore

Wedding 8 Comments »

As probably anyone who reads this blog already knows, myself and Gareth got engaged at the start of this month. It was a surprise to very few people, ourselves included. However, we are now faced with the rather large task of organizing the actual Wedding – something that seems quite secondary at the time of engagement.

For your amusement and mine, I have decided to blog my approach to the various tasks involved in this undertaking as they occur. I have also decided to be kind to the eyes of those on LJ who do not wish to read more and put the details behind a link.

Today’s Topic:

The Guest List

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We were born like tangled vine

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I seem to do all my Fish for Fish blogging on this blog, rather than the “wordy” part of the comic blog. I just find it more convenient really, I think.

Anyway, this month’s news is that Chapter 6 is now complete and up on the site for those who are reading.

Also! A very shiny electronic version of Book 1 (Chapters 1 – 5) is now available from Drive Thru Comics. It has extra character info and the original text for Chapter 1 for those who have an interest in what the writing looks like before pictures get added.

We’re currently waiting on the print version of this – we went with a company in the states for the print run, so hopefully shipping goes smoothly and we’ll see our copies in time for Edition Book Arts where we’ll be exhibiting this year.

So, lots of excitement and busy-ness.

Also, became engaged to Gareth, bought a new domain (more on that when there’s something to show) and have been busily giving Maths and Physics instruction to a growing number of boys and girls for the upcoming Leaving and Junior Cert exams. It is no wonder I had to create The Schedule of Dooom(tm)!

From out here, it’s the rest of the world that looks so small

Fish for Fish 1 Comment »

Sorry for the silence. At a glance, I would be hard pushed to tell you what I’ve been doing with my life, but I know that I’ve been getting up early, bedding late, and busy for all the intervening hours!

Last month saw my week of teaching practice – introducing secondary school students to the deli world view in Maths and Business shape. It went better than I had been expecting – I’ll post anon in more detail about my teaching thoughts.

What I really came here to tell you all is that ….
Chapter 5 of Fish for Fish is now up here: http://thatsnotmysquid.com/comic/?p=89. Tell all you know to spend five minutes of their lives they’ll never get back on reading it.

And in extra good news, we’ll be collating Ch 1-5 as Book 1 of Fish for Fish this month to be available in either print form or as PDF. Watch this space.

Finally, this will probably be the last of the pastel-based updates – I’m not a huge fan for several reasons, but the main one is probably the sacrifice of control and detail. Chapter 6 won’t be a return to ink and brush, but rather and more traditional pen and ink style. Well, this was always meant to be a platform for Gareth and myself to explore different methods of writing and drawing. Let’s see how it goes!

As always, we love to hear from anyone out there reading on what they prefer. So comment and let us know your thoughts and opinions.

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!

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