Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My Annual Sketchbook Purge: Pro Prose And Random BBB Sketches of 2019

December 31, 2019
   Traditionally, today and tomorrow are days when I like to go back through my sketchbooks for the year and cull out the best prose from the pros (quotes and ideas from the news and books I'm reading) and any sketches I find amusing, and, or, half-way decent. It's both a purge and an inventory of effort to hopefully build on in the coming year.

   Was any of it worth it? I've said it before and I'll say it again: half the stuff I do is a total waste of time. I just wish I knew which half!

   For the record, I finished 5-and-a-half sketchbooks (size 11" X 14", 100 Strathmore paper sheets in each one). 

Not so random pages from all six 2019 sketchbooks

   I started 2019 hell bent on finally doing a graphic novel on Sharlot Hall and Olive Oatman. Looking back, I'm pleasantly surprised that I achieved some decent coverage, although I eventually got hijacked by other projects (mainly True West covers and features, plus a book on Geronimo). We will see the G-Man in tomorrow's continuation of my sketchbook purging. My good friend Mort Mortensen did manage to produce a snappy script of the story. But, back to the first part of 2019:

Daily Whip Out: "Sharlot Hall In Red"

Old Man Hall

    I also spent quite a bit of time trying to capture Sharlot's mentor and boss.

Charles Fletcher Lummis at El Alisal

   When Carson Mell got married last summer, I finally got to see the Lummis house in Pasadena and I wasn't disappointed:

BBB with the curators of the
Charlie Lummis hand built home, El Alisal
June 9, 2019

   From this visit I also got inspired to tell the story of this guy.

"You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep."

—El Pendejo

   I've got big plans for that story next year.

   Another longtime obsession of mine had a minor resurgence in 2019:

Daily Whip Out: "Four Billys"

"That old boy would rather lie on credit than tell the truth for cash."

—Granthum P. Hooker

Actress Maude Fealy early 1900s

"Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, you don't have to sit on it."
—Joyce Meyer

Kathy faking like she sat on one at Saguaro National Monument Eastside Tucson

Random Observations Culled From My Sketchbooks for 2019

  I can tell if people are judgmental just by looking at them.

   For men, the first 50 years of childhood are the hardest.

   I can't believe I forgot to go to the gym today. That's seven years in a row now.

   Nothing kills a story quicker than the truth.

   There is plenty that is false and wildly absurd in any era. There isn't more lying, or false news now, everything is simply louder and in your face.

"Almost every story is some kind of lie, except this time."
—Orson Welles, trying to sell his questionable opus "The Other Side of The Wind"

"Old myths, old gods, old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our mind, waiting for our call. We have a need for them. They represent the wisdom of our race."
—Stanley Kunitz

"I have never made but one prayer to God. A very short one: 'Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."

"The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you how it felt."
—E. L. Doctorow

"It's a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research and study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other."
—Aldous Huxley

Dear Diary,
   The One Hundred Years War started today.
[the absurdity of looking back]

"The whore man came out the back, yellow-toothed and nervous, smoothing his hair. . ."
—Pete Dexter, "Deadwood"

"If you can talk about it, why paint it?"
—Francis Bacon

"You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from."
—Cormac McCarthy

"Grandpa, tell us about the days when you had to buy the whole album even if you only wanted one song."
—Dave Sipress

"It's easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled."
—Mark Twain

"Originality is nothing more than connecting familiar elements in unfamiliar ways."
—James Scott Bell

"Captain Jack [Crawford] told the account three different times that night, which to Charlie [Utter] was unforgivable for a man drinking milk."
—Pete Dexter, "Deadwood"

"Funny guys are dangerous. They make you laugh and laugh, and laugh and laugh. Then, Boom! you're naked."
—Old Vaquero Saying

"You're on earth. There's no cure for that."
—Samuel Beckett

Daily Whip Out: "Samuel Beckett"

"Husbands are the best people to share a secret with. They'll never tell anyone, because they aren't even listening."
—Old Wife Wisdom

"The reason it's so difficult to find men who are sensitive, caring and good looking is because they already have boyfriends."
—Old Maid's Lament

"Life could be really hard on the early pioneers, but every now and then someone would pull out a fiddle and a banjo and make it worse."
—Old Show Low Saying

Daily Whip Out: "Not-So-Gentle Tamer"

"She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there, leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together."
—J. D. Salinger

"An intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way."
—Charles Bukowski

"There's nothing worse than an idiot with a valid point."
—Old Republican Saying

"The arc of history bends towards delusion."
—Stephen Kotkin

"What did our parents do to kill boredom before the internet? I asked my ten brothers and sisters and they didn't know either."
—Old OK Boomer Story

"Crap! That's due tomorrow?"
—Thomas Jefferson, July 3, 1776

"Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."
—The Big Lebowski

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