Dead Work
Carapace

I have spent ALL DAY- as in, twelve hours- drawing a page I am still not happy about. This isn't artblock; I know what I'm drawing, I'm on the inking and shading phase, and but and...nothing's coming together. Inside Hill House lines do not meet and expressions do not cohere. The occasional sense I've trained into my fingers that lets me lift or impress a line is just not working for me today. The inks, today, are failing like meringues in wet weather- I KNOW what to do, and conditions are just not letting me do it.  

Except that if this were really meringues I would know how to fix the problem. I am aces with meringues. I can save them in a monsoon, without even using extra sugar. With this page I am just watching my work fall into a sodden heap again and again.

A great writer once called this "the dead work", like chopping wood all year to enjoy the living warmth of a fire in winter. Just sheer bull headed practice with faith that it will pay off in improvement later, in those moments when I get to  look at my hand doing its dang job and be briefly satisfied that I have, maybe, a little bit, improved.  

I believe in the dead work.  So I do the wretched stuff,and if I were on any deadline but self-imposed betawork deadline I'd take this wet mess o' page and post it. But I'm not, and I've worked myself into a migraine and hand cramps, and I'm pretty sure I'm at the point where continuing will only make everything worse.  So I'm headin' to bed for a couple hours.

So all of this to basically say, yeah, page will be late. BUT WORK IS HAPPENING.  So much dead, rotting work.  And any hour now the lightning will strike and it will come to unholy unlife...