i used to tell my brother, troy, that when he wanted me to watch creature feature with him on saturday mornings–i just wanna color. he was too frightened to watch them alone. i would lug my 96 box of crayolas and my latest coloring book downstairs to the “rumpus room” (where the hell that name came from i don’t know. when i was small i would go in there with trepidation looking for the rumpus creature around the door, beneath the couch, hiding behind the book-case—but i digress) i would color and he would allow himself willingly to be terrified. i was just as easily terrified, but i didn’t look. i still don’t look at horror stuff. i wear a hoodie and pull my hood up when the terrifying stuff starts. it doesn’t embarrass me–i can’t see myself, as for my companions…well. i spent a lot of my early misspent youth coloring. i couldn’t draw, but i could color. it was also when i discovered harriet the spy and her notebook. i graduated from coloring as an artistic outlet to spying on people and jotting down my thoughts–now remember that part (i’m assuming you all have read harriet the spy–pleeease, what childhood would be complete without it–but i digress) where her friends discover her notebook and read it? well, that stuff really does happen. mine was discovered and not exactly perused–i got it back in time, but its contents came under suspicion and then it disappeared. my mother swears it is somewhere in the house–but i looked a lot. to this day is still missing.
now where was i going with all this? oh, yeah, i started coloring again. i find it relaxing. i don’t relax well. well, in fact i don’t relax. i work ten hours a day, come home, shower, eat and then head to my computer to write or edit. i never considered myself a workaholic, but i think i have may a problem. my girlfriend layce told me last night when i came home sick after working ten hours that i needed to relax–just chill. i looked at her in alarm. “what would i do?” i showered, ate dinner and edited. i went to bed early that’s got to count for something. this morning i edited and then my coloring books called my name. “hey, you, wanna color?” the one with the medieval gargoyles whispered. “come on you need to relax.” so i did. now we have to digress to how the coloring came back into my life.
layce and i are standing in the office supply aisle and she sees the crayons. “i used to like to color,” she said. “me too!” i replied. we bought the crayons and then went in search of coloring books–that’s when the trail got thorny. there’s a lot of disney coloring books out there. we bought two but not with delight. nothing against disney. so when i got amazon gift cards for christmas i went in search of coloring books. there are hundreds of them! oh, my younger self had a pogo stick moment. my older self did that hand-flapping thing i’m noted for–something akin to hummingbird wings. i was excited and overwhelmed. i did narrow it down to three. they’re medieval tapestries and gargoyles. those choices have reason, but we’ll leave that for another time.
i carefully chose my colored pencils. okay, i admit my adult self came into the buying equation and said, “come on, buck up and get a good set of colored pencils. you won’t regret it.” so i did. now to the real crux of my blog and a personal fascination of mine. right brain left brain. i’ve mentioned it before. i’m coloring away and a scene for my new book comes up, the characters start talking to me and a new persona pops in my tech gal. she says “look, write these scenes with each character, put it in its own file and then when we weave the book together you can do that control-c, control-v thing that you’ve learned, kind of. we’ll have supervision when we do it. i’m telling you it’ll be so much better than that last debacle with the notebook and post-it thing you did. i don’t think even i can straighten that one out.”
the left brain isn’t even interested in any of this. she is happily coloring along and thinking about shading and cross hatching, color choices and the effects of lighting. the right brain is coming up with a scene between a little girl name Pen and the doctor she meets in the ER for my new novel 33 Moon Street.