There is a story in my head that wants out and if I don’t get it out it will make me a little crazy. To avoid insanity these past couple of weeks I found myself writing, or rather, trying to write. Writing is annoying and hard, but I still do it and I’ve discovered something.
I find my writing process has more in common with a blacksmith working with iron than anything else. My ideas collect and pool together, heating up in the fires of my brain. Purifying and distilling themselves. I pour off the impurities keeping the best parts of my idea. At least, I like to think that happens. I’m sure plenty of dross sticks around. I dump it out of my head and on to the page. Hoping to mold it into a general shape. And then beat the crap out of it and try shape it and sharpen it into something presentable, getting burned, banged and bruised in the process.
Someone should have warned me. My lit and writing teachers never mentioned this. I bet it’s easier wrestling metal into submission than my jumbled thoughts. At the very least I would get a useful object out of it, instead of a random piece of writing about writing.
This month is October and I’m an artist, so I supposedly should be participating in, Inktober. Inktober, for the uninitiated, is an art challenge where you create an ink drawing for every day in the month of October. It’s not a bad idea, especially if you’er a digital artist. For me, on the other hand, drawing with ink is literally* my job. So, I could participate, but I don’t wanna. I did do something to go with the madness of the month. I did a drawing based on what I predict will be the hot scary costume for 2017. They’er are going to be everywhere and this is how I’m prepping for ‘It.’ (See what I did there?)
*When I say ‘literally’ I don’t mean ‘figuratively’… EVER.
Despite the disasters, natural and man-made, recent or on going, Vegas keeps rolling along. This city offers a very unique brand of escapism and sometimes that’s exactly what is needed. In my tiny way I get to help with that. For a moment, when I reveal my caricature to the customers everything falls away. It’s just them, laughing at a silly picture of themselves. Just for a second there’s nothing else going in the world at all. All is Right.
Enough the the vaguely melancholy. On to the silly.
This week I was working on a witch for a Halloween themed sample drawing and the lady in the hat comes up to me and says, “I want to be on a broom!” I was happy to oblige. Her daughter joined her for the drawing They weren’t the most sober customers I’ve had, but the were certainly a lot of fun.
Someone better would have handled things differently. Someone smarter would have known exactly what to do. He was only who he was, so he just did the best he could.
So when the gun shots rang out he didn’t have a better plan.
He just shielded her body with his.
It was the best he could do.
* * *
I live in Las Vegas. It’s been a week, give or take a few hours, since a guy decided open fire on thousands of people at a concert. I want this to be the last time. I had friends at the event and while I didn’t loose anyone I know a few folks who did. I don’t know what I can do. However, I do know that to do nothing is wrong. I’ve had this bit of flash-fiction (maybe non-fiction) kicking around my head for a while, so I decided to drop it here. That’s not the end of it for me, just the end of me posting about it.
One more thing. Don’t get hung up on the pronouns. They are just stand-ins, generic terms. Use the ones are correct for you.
I truly hope no one ever has to find out who the heroes are in their lives this way.
I had this couple come to the caricature stand this past week. I like the way it turned out so I thought I’d post it. He asked for a extra muscle, so I obliged. He said when he came back next year he’d have those muscles. To balance things out, next year he gets noodle arms.