New Start, New Projects

Well, I can say that my creativity is at a high ebb.

I won’t say completely why this is both good and bad…just that the soil from which my latest ideas have sprung is of the blackest one can till in the subconscious.

It has not been a good fall/winter.  Continuing family health concerns have caused almost unbearable anxiety for me and mine, but thank God, they aren’t as bad as they could be and are, at present, much better than they have been for a long time.  I include myself in this.  I, too, have had my issues over the past several months.  Again, I will not detail them here, as personal trials are not the focus of this blog, but I will say that I am a changed person-for the better, and for good, as Wicked put it so eloquently.

The Pack, upon completion, was raved over by the publisher of ReadFlicks, but alas…he isn’t publishing at this time due to personal woes of his own, so the project has been shelved for (hopeful) future distribution.

In the aftermath of the trauma that I faced in the fall and early winter, I began to experiment with a new art form that had intrigued me for a long time.  The idea is not new, but the execution was my own design.  I had the notion of telling a story on a block of wood, with a different scene on each face, along with one line of dialogue offering a cryptic comment on the action, and leaving the rest of the story up to the beholder to fill in.  I dubbed this new art form a “Cryptic”-natch-and made a total of eight of them.  I began with a two-inch wooden block, which I painted black. I then created scenes for each face of the block by combining my own sketches digitally with stock photography of background settings. The digital images were appropriately sized, printed out with laser ink, then cut out and decoupaged to each surface of the wood.  As I explained it on my new marketing platform for these projects, titled CrypticBaubles, on Etsy.com-if you are a creative person, or know of someone who is, this would be an excellent tool for brainstorming a story. It is also a really cool conversation piece unlike anything else you would be likely to find in a typical store. All the artwork is original, although the digital images can be duplicated for reproductions, if necessary. I have signed my name in permanent ink on one side.  And the muse was at last satisfied, having seen this intriguing little project through to completion.  Click on the link to CrypticBaubles at right for more information and pics.ImageImage

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On another note, I have begun working on a new creative project which has me more psyched up and excited than anything since Dot’s Journey.  This also is a new format-one that I have decided to call a PhotoPlay, being that it is different from the Film in Print or straightforward novel in that it will be composed mainly of text-a short novel, really-with various photographic sequences throughout, marking key moments.  The title of the work is In Frame, and it is conceptual in that it seeks to explore the life of a lonely young warehouse worker who pursues vicarious thrills through the many silent films that he attends (the story is set in 1919).  Eventually, the protagonist, Philip, will fall in love-and become obsessed with-an inaccessible romantic interest, Lucinda.  His increasing obsession will manifest itself in his dreams, which take on the appearance of silent melodrama/horror films populated with larger-than-life characters representing those around him.  I am really putting everything I have into this project, and I intend to take the utmost care with its execution.    The key character which gave me this inspiration is actually a relatively minor one-a chauffeur named Ivan, whom I have based on an unsettling recurring dream figure of my own-an emaciated, chalk-white figure in black, very much like Cesare in Robert Wiene’s classic film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which was, incidentally, released in 1919.

Aside from that, I’m living the dream…an artist and writer who depends more and more on his work for sustenance as he travels down a particularly dark and uncertain path.  Sometimes I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…at other times…well, I guess that’s what the Prozac and Klonopin are for.

I’ve also been offered the privilege of playing Ty Williamson in a local production of Del Shores’s Sordid Lives, described most accurately as a “black comedy about white trash”.  You have to see it to believe it.  The whole experience has been tremendously therapeutic.  God bless the director, cast, and crew for welcoming me aboard.

To end on a positive note-my play Below the Surface is currently in rehearsal at the Victorian Players Theatre in Youngstown, and according to the director, it is going very well.  He described a staging idea for the very end which gave me chills…why didn’t think of that?  The play will run April 5-21st.

And, Dot’s Journey will be staged again, full-out, aboard the St. Helena III in Canal Fulton, as a dinner theatre show, no less.  I’m not directing this time, and I am glad, because I haven’t the faintest idea how it will be done.  But that’s the fun of it, right?

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About RetroMan

My three greatest inspirations as an artist are, in no particular order, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Alfred Hitchcock. Their films and their personal lives were the reason I started writing and creating back when I was a very lonely and misunderstood teenager. I am at present commencing to hammer out a career-primary or secondary-as an author/illustrator. I already have several books self-published and I've included links to where those are available. Thanks for stopping by! View all posts by RetroMan

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