Thursday, May 21, 2009

doctors, medicine, old characters with new lives, and cookies

I’m back from the doctor. Don’t worry, it’s not the swine flu. I didn’t think it was, but with the news lately, I thought it would be good to reassure everyone that the piggies haven’t gotten me, well other than the ones on my toes and the character in one of my books.

My doctor is a bit like Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) from NCIS (he could be a Jimmy look-a-like, although a few years older). I’ve been going to my doctor before NCIS existed on TV; I didn't just pick him because he looks like one of the cast members. Just like Jimmy, my doctor likes to talk about interesting medical things, whether it’s what I’m there for or not and non-medical things (a lot like Jimmy and Ducky on NCIS). It always makes it fun to go to the doctor, because I never know what we’re going to talk about. Today we talked about jury duty, since that’s where I got my cold, and since my doctor had recently did jury duty too.

He gave me a couple of prescriptions (here’s where I channel my grandma) … one of them was $50, for five pills! That’s $10 a pill! And we have prescription insurance! Grama used to complain about the cost and tell us that she counted her pills to make sure they were all there. I totally get what she meant now.

Along with my prescriptions, I got some chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, because you know the old saying, “a big chocolate cookie makes the medicine go down.” No wait, maybe that was, “a spoon full of sugar.” The two guys behind the counter looked at my cookies, and their conversation went something like this:

“Oooh, those are the dark chocolate cookies.”
“You mean the good cookies.”
“You have to have them with milk. Cold milk, not warm milk, like some people like.”
“Warm milk? No. You have to have cold milk.”

At this point, they are off in milk-and-cookie land and I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I like my cookies sans milk (it dilutes the chocolate). For some reason it made me really happy that they approved of my cookie selection. Maybe it’s because they were saying, “if you eat chocolate cookies, it will make you feel better.” I want to believe that, because this might not be the first batch of cookies I’ve eaten since I got sick.

Being sick hasn’t been all bad. The head cold wouldn’t let me concentrate on anything for long, so I thought about old stories and characters, my current WIP, and new stuff I want to do in the future. I started thinking in pictures again, which is easier and more creative (for me) than trying to think about how I’m going to write the story. And I finally figured out two projects that have been plaguing me for a while. Yay! (Finally!)

Project One
Then: During a portfolio review a couple of years ago, the art director picked one image in my portfolio and wanted to see a PB dummy with a new story – she didn’t like the other images or the original storyline.

Now: I combined the scene in the picture with an old idea that I couldn’t figure out and it works now! It’s probably too late to sub it to her, but I’m going to draw it out and see what happens. I’m just happy that I thought of a plausible story to go with the picture.

Project Two
Then: Many years ago I had an idea that I just loved, but couldn’t make work. I tried it as a PB, chapter book, MG, and comic strip. I even subbed it to a children’s book publisher (before I had a clue about subbing or children’s books).

Now: I combined the old idea with some characters that I drew last year (that I couldn’t find a story for). Not all of the characters made it into the new version, but I think the ones that did work well with the new plot and story idea. I think it’s going to be a young MG graphic novel. I’m trying to get as much of the story written as possible before next week, when I start my comics class and go back to my WIP graphic novel.

With my new medicine, chocolate cookies, new and improved projects, and NCIS reruns, I’ll be feeling better in no time (I hope). 14 week novel post later tonight.

Happy Anniversary to my sweetie! We started dating 10 years ago today and were married 4 years ago today.