Friday, October 09, 2009


It has been a unique feeling for me, in the days since I finished the first draft, for me to have no interest in the manuscript whatsoever. The books I've finished before, I was on such a high after finishing that I couldn't wait to go back and start reading from the beginning, experience the whole thing in one big panorama.

I haven't done that this time. I actually started divorcing myself from the manuscript even before I finished it. After 32 or 33 days, I was sick of pushing myself, especially at the end when I could feel the failure pressing in on me. So I did the GIMP-shop that serves as my new profile photo. Then I made myself finish the manuscript, and instead of rereading it from the beginning as I formerly have, I didn't even think about it.

Instead, I started up another GIMP project. It was originally supposed to be a quick and dirty test of a concept for photoshopping a picture of a person into a superhero (and yes, I just used "photoshop" as a generic verb--if Adobe wants to sue me, they are welcome to learn just how broke I am). No, the character is not anyone you would have heard of. I just made her up as I went along, obviously ripping off the outfit from Mr. Incredible/the Flash, and going on from there.

As you can see, it eventually grew into something bigger, and is now the wallpaper on my desktop (this is a scaled-down version for web display).It's not perfect, but it's better than I expected it to turn out. If I were trying to sell this (I can't, because I have no rights to the model image I used), I'd spend a lot more time on details like making the boots and belt and bracers more realistic and improving the graphics spelling out Neutrina's name down the side.

On the other hand, the logo symbol I tossed off for the character looks pretty good, and the background, which was assembled as an afterthought, isn't horrible either. I learned some valuable lessons putting this together, and added some techniques to my toolbox, like layer modes. If I had the patience and inclination to do this all the time, I almost start to think I could make a living at it. Of course, you could say the same thing about writing, probably. Alas, I don't have the patience or inclination to become good enough at any one thing to make a living at it.

That would appear to be my doom.

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