I feel like I don’t post here enough, and since I’ve slowly been settling into some sort of routine recently, I figured I’d do a blog post about my workload.
TEACHING – I’m currently a full-time faculty member for a local parochial private school, teaching middle- and high-school English. I’m also teaching American literature once a week at night at a local college I’ve periodically been teaching at since I finished graduate school like ten years ago, and will soon be teaching and helping manage a “pre-college” course for some of my high schoolers through a nearby university.
The workload for teaching eats up A LOT of time. Even with my expanded office hours on campus at the high school and an assistant, I regularly stay late and bring work home to grade. At home I write and research exams to do, answer emails, (I have about 40-odd 12th graders this year who were all clamoring for letters of recommendation), and prep for the upcoming days and weeks (our administration suggests we be about two weeks ahead in terms of planning, so I throw another week or so in there), etc.
WRITING/CARTOONING – I’m in the middle of transcribing/editing/proofing the first draft of the script for my big comic projects, WHERE YOU BELONG, into a readable second draft I can start to work with for chapters 4 and 5. Once that’s done I’m moving on to thumbnails for those two chapters, which will mean I’ll be about 1/2 done writing the comic. I’m still deciding when to start penciling pages on that, because I’m doing the whole thing myself (art and lettering and post-production)
I also try to have at least one other short prose piece or short comic being worked on around my desk, I just wrapped up “Asleep” (available to read below!) so right now it’s something prose, tentatively titled HANDS/KNIVES as a code-name on my computer desktop. I haven’t had regular scanner access in a while so comics on any semblance of a regular schedule isn’t a priority. I’m working a lot in sketchbooks to just beef up my chops, doing one-pagers for myself, little sketchbook comics, pin-ups, etc.
MISC. – Emails w/an artist on a project we wanna do once he’s done a few things. Periodic website maintenance, I recently discovered that a lot of links on my site here (for stuff like press and links to work I’ve done for other people) have gone dead/disappeared, so it’s triggered a gradual spring cleaning of the old site/blog. Social media pimping of work once in a blue moon (it’s weirder to do when you’re not regularly putting work out, but I like to use it for more than just chatting with guys about death metal and tacos, believe it or not).
Also…I have a life. My girlfriend and I love to cook together, go to bookstores and concerts and the park, walk around, watch bad TV together, spend time together. I have friends I enjoy seeing and spending time with, bullshitting, so once in a while, I actively ignore people telling me I should be slaving away every waking moment on my personal projects. Writing and comics has gotten to a point nowadays where I work on it because I love it, and therefore can accept my own rate of work as me doing it on my own terms.
Other things are just as important, and they definitely influence how I work. Which isn’t to say I don’t work, because it’s 8pm right now and I’m listening to French trance-metal writing this after working on prose stuff and doing my laundry, instead of watching TV or running around at the corner bar knocking back bourbons.
I could actually go for a bourbon, come to think of it. I’ve got a lovely 1870 Kentucky bourbon, 92 proof, sitting on the shelf, with a wonderful sweet aftertaste and notes of warmth that I’m sort of in love with. Might have me some before bed.