I didn’t want to make this yet another post about how being a writer is hard. I think you all know that one. Personally, these last couple of weeks have been, shall we say, difficult. I’d hoped that getting together with friends a week ago now would jog my brain into producing – that often happens. Nope. No joy. In the ensuing week I was dealing with all sorts of family duties that have left me feeling like a wrung out dirty dishrag.
I’d hoped to have some software reviews for you, but in order to properly review them, I have to use them. I have Plottr on my phone as an app to help me retcon my own books into outlines, character profiles, and settings. In theory this will assist me in moving forward on series to keep things straight, and to keep from dropping loose story threads I meant to tuck into the next volume. It’s a fantastic idea, and it’s available as desktop software as well, but… time. Ask me for anything but time.
I’ve been very focused on art – this is Inktober, after all! – so I have also finally done something I have meant to do for some time, and started the process of cutting ties with Adobe. I hateses adobes, I does, and their greedy subscription model that is like a leech sucking the blood of their customers until death do them part. So I have been eyeing this new upstart, Serif, and their Affinity products for some time. I took the plunge on Affinity Publisher a while back, and intend to use it to lay out my next coloring book, when I have time. This last week I scooped up Affinity Photo on sale and realized that is is a worthy challenger to Photoshop. I have been using it lightly, in lieu of PS, all week for postprocessing some art, and so far, so great. The absolute best thing about all the Affinity programs is that they are buy once, own (for values of owning software these days) and then never have to worry about them sucking your bank account dry like the parasitic Adobe. I can’t give an in-depth review, but I can say that if you are looking for a step up (a giant step) from GIMP then look closely at APhoto. There are a ton of videos on their site to walk you through tips and tricks, before you buy, and I think you’ll learn a lot of stuff as well.
I also scooped up a Humble Bundle of Corel software. *covers face with hands* *mumbles* what have I done? In my defense, I had birthday money to spend. And as I was still in the throes of setting up my awesome new laptop, I also put my Dogwaffle Howler and Verve painter on it… because I’ll have time to create art. Hah. Yeah, about that… I do art when I can’t write. The writing, and the arting, use separate parts of me, it feels like. I can sit here with Apophysis blooming fractals into something beautiful, when I can’t plot a scene. I need to find the time to generate spaceships with Mandelbulb, but that’s a whole ‘nother project. Sometimes the mind balks when I try to push it into directions. It’s like steering sheep with a herding dog. You might get most of them headed towards the destination, but then one squirts out the side of the flock, and then a bunch of his buddies decide he might be smart, at that.
I have faith that once I have gathered the scattered bits of my brain – and more important, have found the time to sleep and then focus once my brain is functional again – I’ll be writing again. I have moments in the wee hours when I can’t sleep that I think ‘I’ll never write again.’ The light of day usually brings me hope. In the meantime, while I wait for words, I will inarticulately speak in pictures.