Just a few thousands words more.

Just a few pages more.

Just a little while longer.

142k words. 305 pages.

Nearly there.
No seriously. What is it like?
What is it like to hold in your hand something for which you have labored on and sacrificed time and energy for?
What is it like to hold in your hand something that would not exist if not for you?

What is it like to hold a physical representation of hours/days/months/years worth of work?

My thoughts have been dwelling on these questions of late. As i approach the end of creating the most demanding thing i have ever attempted, I find myself wondering what it will feel like to finish.

Let me share a small revelation with you: I've never completed anything that I've not cut a corner or tried to find a short cut through. I've never had to sit on my arse and work on something until I got it right. Sure, there will be grammatical errors and plot holes but none have been recreated though laziness or a desire to get the bloody thing done, finished and off my back.

I have an invested interest in doing this right. Never before have I been so committed to delivering something which is genuinely that best that I can do.


This is an entirely new experience for me. Part of me wondered why I've never done it before, then another part of me remember full well how much hard work it has taken for me to reach this point. Part of me remembers how much time i have sacrificed for this..novel.

Let me share another revelation with you. It is only now, after writing nearly 124,000 words, 272 pages, reading voraciously in a manner that I've not done since i was a child, and actually buying books for research purposes that i actually feel that conformable with calling myself a writer. Previously, i felt like a fraud. As if at any moment, someone would tap me on the shoulder and inform me that i was a fake and charlatan. That I would be escorted off the premises forthwith and not be allow back in. I've been informed by several writers that this feeling is quite common when your just starting out.

The end, the REAL end is still some way off. But AN end is within sight. And for some reason i feel a great sense of....apprehension. That the feeling of euphoria I'll experience will be tainted by the knowledge that i should and could have done this sooner if not my my own laziness and fear. A fear of failure or fear of looking stupid.

So i ask: What is like to finish?

Tell me.
So I'm far enough into the first draft of the novel that the end is now just over the horizon and within sight.  And after a year of life drawing, painting, studying and reading I'm confident enough to start building the visual aspects of my world.  Previously i relied heavily on found imagery, my own photograph and tracing light boxing to create images, all done in an effort to avoid doing the hard graft of gaining the art muscles i knew i didn't have.  And even with the reference i had, i didn't have the necessary skill to interpret it as I saw fit or bend it to my needs.  This all came from a severe lack to practice.  A lesson which had to learn the hard way

But now, having learnt or at the very least having started to learn what i didn't know and know exactly what i didn't know and how to find out how to learn what i don't know, I'm in a far better position than i was last January.

Still, i can guarantee you, writing was the easy part!!

For the next few weeks I'm going to start breathing life into my characters.  With pencil and ink and brushes Im going to try to get them looking as close to how I envision them as humanly possible.
I've got well over 25 empty sketchbook littered around my room.  I aim to fill up at least half of them by the time all of the illustrations are completed.  And i can promise you that they will look at much like this as possible.

And as a rough estimate, we are talking about a 40+ black and white illustrations for a 200+ page book.  Not to mention a color front cover.  To to be done by the beginning of the festive season.

Sweet baby Jesus, i better get started and very organised!!

Wish me luck

Oh yes.  Remind me to show you the books and the artist whom I'm looking at for inspiration.  It's a long and varied list, i can promise you!
To hell with it.
Lets try and get this novel written, illustrated and printed by Christmas.

If I fail, I fail. But at least I tried.

To work then
Well, as 2009 draws to close, and the first decade of the 21st century ends with it we’re forced to stop and take note of all that has occurred over the last 10 years.

I’m forced to accept that the last decade had been, for me at least, concerned with evolution, education, awareness, challenge, change and acceptance. I’m going to be 30 in 29 days, and I believe that I’m now at the point, finally at point that I know what I want to do and how I have to do it. I used to ask myself: why didn’t I simply do the things I wanted to do? Why would I go out of my way to avoid doing the things that I’ve known for years I’ve been up here to do? Was it avoidance? Self esteem issues? Environmental conditions? All of the above?

I don’t believe it was any of the aforementioned. I believe you have to be at certain point in your life and have encountered certain things and have had certain experiences before you can actually start being creative. I believe that you had to either grow into or change yourself into the person you want to become before you can start doing the things you want to do. All the creative people we admire and respect didn’t start doing what they’re famous for straight off the bat. They had to be become the people they were going to be for the rest of their lives. The Miles Davis’ (or insert any famous individual of the last 3000 years) we all know and love wasn’t born the Miles Davis' we know and love. They had to become them.

We have to build ourselves into the people we want to become. This doesn’t happen over night. It takes a lifetime and it’s process which never stops.

Well, it’s been almost nine years since that day in sunny September that I decided to get back on the creative horse. Or rather, events conspired in my favour to remind me why I’m here and that it’s not to be a bloody C++ coding monkey!! And only now do I feel confident enough and have learned enough and have lived enough to start transforming myself in the man human being that I want to become.

2010 and the new decade that come into existence at the stroke of midnight this evening signal not only a new year and a new decade. It signals something more important for all of us.

It signals another chance for us to get it right.

Draw a line in the sand and say: I was that person but I’m not that person anymore. Begin the metamorphic process. Start the change. Become who you want to be. Because if I can do it, I’m quite sure you can too.

We mortals have only one true purpose on in this life. And it’s more of a responsibility than a purpose: It’s to leave the world a better place then it  was when we entered it. So not too much weight on our shoulders then, huh? :)

Your future is bright. But only if you choose to make it so. See you in the next decade. As you me..shit...I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself:)
© J.C.Cole 2009-2010
....drawing chubby mermaids and trying to get a pose right whiles listening to the new Wu-Tang album as well as the soundtracks for the Godfather movies.  I'll have one illustration done by the end of tonight. Here's the rough

I've found that decreasing my sugar intake had substantially increased my concentration span.  I can actually get stuff done with out being distracted.

Sugar, or my large intake of sugar appears to be my achilles heel. Of all things in the world, bloody sugar. 

Well, better to find out now than later, eh?



March 2015

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