Micro-update, here, just so you don’t all think I’ve TOTALLY slacked off.  I am back from the South, a trip which was both informative and… some other adjective that doesn’t come to mind.  And I have now settled in for Christmas and New Years, so I’m working on page 19 and those to follow.  Many thanks for the patience and all that – I know this thing with its fits and starts isn’t the easiest to follow, but I do my best, like.  There WILL be stuff to see soon!  Promise!

Page eighteen.  It took a lot of revision, but I finally got it the way I wanted it, and I like the outcome.  Originally, this scene was going to be very different, but I swapped it with one later in the story and found that it worked hugely better.  Actually, what inspired me to do that was a suggestion from my long-suffering Mother, who pointed out how effective the pastoral scenes from Sarah’s childhood home were in contrasting the heavy military wasteland I’ve made of the Congo.  Here, it works pretty well to lead the scene in, I think.  So I scrapped the first idea and went with this, and so much the better.

With all the delays and weird update schedules, you can probably tell that there’ve been a lot of changes around the Central Committee lately, and that has left me with greatly reduced time and energy to devote to my comics.  I am of the type of mind that can do many different things, but requires a steady routine to accomplish them effectively.  And the last few weeks were hardly what I’d call routine.  What was it all about?  Well, in short, I’ve resigned from my job.

Okay, that was really just an over-dramatic way of putting it.  I am a cartoonist, after all.  I’m also an architect – that’s the part of my “work” that keeps the lights on.  And more than that, it’s what I consider to be my true contribution – it’s what I do.  Cartoons are my hobby, architecture is my life’s work.  And given that so much of my identity is wrapped up in what I do, it was an extremely stressful and emotionally difficult decision to tender my resignation.  Over the years I’ve worked for the firm I’m leaving, I’ve developed a a lot of personal connections and loyalties to the people I work with, and for, and I have really been fortunate to have such a good job through such trying times.  It was really difficult to go from a place where everyone knows me and has forgiven me and make the leap of faith that a major change like this requires, especially in the current economic climate, where the onus is on people to stay put.  But the opportunity which presented itself was one I couldn’t pass up, and so, reluctantly and after much consideration, I decided it was time to go.

At the end of this week, I have to make a trip south for a few days.  But after that, I finally get a little time off – two weeks, in fact.  Then, starting in the new year, I begin the next phase of my career with a different architectural firm.  Laid out like that, it seems really simple.  But believe me, from my end, it’s been anything but.

And to top it all off, it’s my birthday, and it’s snowing.  Thirty-one years!  And every one of them, I secretly wished for snow.  I think it comes from being born in the winter that I long for this time of year, and for snow, and every year since I was old enough to remember, I wished it would snow on my birthday.  This year, it did.  It was little more than a half inch, but in my book it counts.  And it portends well for me, I like to think.

Onward and upward.

Because I’ll be down South over the weekend, next week’s page will likely be delayed, but I am going to try to make it the last time for a while.  One of the things I really want to do over my vacation is some drawing, and with any luck I may even manage to get a little bit ahead.  Which would be great!

So.  Until next time, folks, be well, and thanks for all the encouragement!