It's finished. Three long months ago, I undertook a challenge to write a novel in 90 days, with the aid of a book called, uncannily enough, "The 90-Day Novel." I took with my on my journey my friend and colleague Holly Myer, who was going to draw ninety illustrations in that same time period. How did we do? Well, let's just say, I waited the WHOLE night, but Rumpelstiltskin did not show up to rescue me and spin my straw into narrative gold. Damn him. Holly fared better:
James Sie: Saw your blog. The Olsen twins. You really want to finish this whole thing with the Olsen twins?
Holly Myer: I don't know why it had to end with the Olsens. It just happened. I’ve been watching a lot of Full House.
JS: I'm so sorry. Trauma conditioning? Or John Stamos?
HM: I love John Stamos more than words can say. I've done extensive studies on his face, and I've discovered many similarities between his Full House-years face and Zac Efron's current face.
|This is the last Efron photo|
I will ever post on my blog.
Hand to God.
JS: Glad to see the technology has advanced.
So, how did the challenge end for you? Cross the finish line?
HM: I ended up with 90 drawings. I aimed for 100, but 90 is still good!
JS: A drawing a day! Perfect!
HM: Yep! Very proud of the collection overall.
JS: You've got quite a lot of stuff to work with! What were some of your favorites?
HM: : One of a family photo of my dad and brother, the OITNB characters, and one from the last week-a portrait of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts.
HM: My original idea was to illustrate all my blog entries/essays thus far, based on GIFs I've used, but most ended up being based on random family photos, frames from TV/movies, or historical portraits. Though, I still did some based on the GIFs.
JS: Why did it go that way? And do you wish you had done more of the GIF's, or is this new direction giving you more?
HM: I think by starting with that idea was a good warm-up, but getting exercise with the digital art made me want to just run wild and abandon the path I'd set out on… but that’s okay, because I ended up with a series of illustrations that still says something! And maybe I can incorporate them into a collection with the essays so far.
JS: Certainly the iconic TV images can be in a section all their own. Maybe with commentary.
How about YOUUU, sir? Do you have a first draft??
JS: Well, I wrote just shy of 27000 words. I have 108 pages completed.
HM: THAT'S SO MANY PAGES!
JS: Yah, but it's only about a third of the way done. HOWEVER, if I'm being honest, judging from my last book, it ended up being about my usual pace— a little more than a page a day… So my natural tendencies pulled stronger than my self-imposed challenge.
HM: Nature wins once again!
JS: "Nature, Mr. Allnut, was what we were put on this earth to rise above."
JS: Say it with a quavering, strident voice and you might get it.
HM: When I said it out loud, it was accidentally in Maya Rudolph's Whitney Houston impersonation voice. Is that close?
JS: Not even.
HM: Sorry. I had to google that.
JS: I will do my Katharine Hepburn impression for you some time. You will be impressed.
|"Maybe you'd get a little more writing done without this Satan juice."|
HM: Oh well. But YES! See, we both made big plans that were super optimistic.
JS: You know what the big downfall for me was? The whole seven days a week thing. I needed one day to get the rest of my life in order. One day of respite. I struggled to write every day, and once I transgressed that rule, it was easy to let the whole thing slide. Like, "Oh well, if I'm not getting this part of it done I'm already screwed so..."
HM: Yeah, it's easy to feel like you're sliding, so you may as well give up.
JS: Exactly. Today, however, feels DELICIOUS. So many possibilities of things to do, with no guilt. How 'bout you? Are you going to miss the pressure?
HM: Nope, not one bit. Now I feel great, since I have some good samples… which I wouldn't have if I didn't do this whole thing
JS: And what's your plan for going forward?
HM: Build a portfolio website, and try to connect to people in the world of editorial illustration. But also/mostly, write! I missed writing. I still worked on essays, but didn't post them. I'm excited to go back to sharing.
And you? Will you keep working on the book?
JS: I think so, though now there’s also a short story I've been wanting to revise, plus an old stage adaptation that I’ve got to revamp for a production next year. And selling the book that’s already written. It’s all in the realm of good productive stuff.
HM: Awesome!! You've got the writing activated, so keep going, even if it's on other projects!
JS: Well, I'm glad we went through this together.
HM: Me too. Thank you so much for inviting me to do this with you!
JS: It was MUCH less lonely a venture.
JS: Until next time... any final thoughts?
HM: When I was little, I got very frustrated when I didn't have time to create every picture/craft/play I wanted to. My mom would tell me, "Holly, it's okay. You don't have to do ALL your ideas. Some ideas just stay ideas. And the ones that become real things are the best ones anyway."
I think about that all the time, even now.
JS: Wise words, Mom. I think she trumps Zac Efron. Speaking of which, how many Efrons got created?
HM: Only 4, surprisingly.
JS: He was such a part of this whole challenge, sadly. Our patron saint. No wonder I was doomed.
JS: Nice. It's like he's looking down from the heavens. Good night, Ms. Golightly.