Showing posts with label short people. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short people. Show all posts

My New Distraction

You may notice I missed a post yesterday. That's the first post I've missed since I decided to have a schedule, but I have a really good reason:

Also without the crying:

Her name is Anica Joy Heine, and she's going to ensure I never get anything productive done again.

And actually, I'm okay with that.

Seriously though, this space will be quiet until Friday, when I will attempt to present the appearance of normality once more. I'll be online, I just won't be writing anything new or witty. Which I guess is the same as always, but...

You know what? Whatever. I have a baby girl!

That Thing Where I Draw: Tee and Heart

I took a break this week (not entirely intentionally), so here's an older drawing from my sketchbook. I couldn't find any dates, but near as I can figure this sketch is from about 4.5 years ago. I drew this during naptime at an orphanage called Im Jai House. That's Tee on the left and Heart on the right.

Cindy and I started working with Im Jai House almost immediately after we moved here. At first we just went in the evenings, but soon we were there all day (minus time we left for language school). It was actually really hard for me. I mean, I loved the kids, but I never felt like an authority or role model. I didn't really know how I fit in their lives.

I don't know what impact I had on them, but they impacted me a lot. Not only did we learn Thai at an insane speed, but I realized that I wanted to have a place in their lives -- not just as the volunteer who sometimes plays/sometimes disciplines. I wanted to be the dad.

Tee, in particular, really got to me. We were there the day he first arrived at Im Jai. He was 6, with no friends, and scared. He hung around me a lot. I don't know why since I could hardly talk to him.

I remember one day I was playing soccer with him. Some older kids joined and soon after -- mostly because I was tired -- I left them to their game. Tee came to me in tears. I tried, in my broken Thai, to ask him what was wrong. Between heaving sobs I understood the words, "I wanted... to play... with you."

It was the first meaningful conversation I remember having in this language, with Tee or anyone.

Later, Cindy and I realized that we couldn't do what we wanted to do at an orphanage with over 50 kids. We gradually lessened our commitments until we had foster kids of our own to take care of, and we left Im Jai House. Tee is 10 now, and living with a family who does what we do just down the road. I see him sometimes, though I don't think he remembers that scene like I do. I doubt he even thinks of me at all other than "that farang I used to play with at Im Jai," but I'll never forget him.

Dang. And here I thought I was just going to say, "These are a couple of kids at an orphanage we used to work at." Well there you go. Merry Christmas.

That Thing Where I Draw: Panchiwa

My latest experiment with pastels. This is our foster daughter, Pan,* though she's a lot more beautiful in person (one more thing I wish I could take credit for).

Mostly I wanted to try out realistic, non-cartoon colors and shading. Skintone, in particular, is really hard, but like every other pastel I've done, I had a lot of fun with this, and really that's the point.

Though there was a moment -- after I'd finished the pencil sketch but before I put down any color -- when I considered just detailing it in pencil. Maybe my creative mind is saying it's time to go back to that.

* That's pronounced bpahn. For you linguists, it's an unvoiced, unaspirated p. For you Thai readers, it's ปาน.

Land of Smiles

To continue Positive Waves Week, I bring you pictures from Thailand, the land of smiles. (If one of these doesn't make you smile, we may need a whole Positive Waves Month until you get better).

I posted this first one a long time ago, back before most of you knew I was here. This ad was in the window of the local Toyota dealership. No, I don't get it either. While it didn't make me want to buy a Toyota, it did make me want to go pirating.

This snack reminded me of a scene from a certain favorite movie. They served it at church. I kept expecting one of the youth to flip out and kill everyone.

E-books have finally come to Thailand! Oh, wait. No. No, they haven't.

Thailand might be behind the curve, but my boys aren't. Here's Nathan and Isaac sporting the latest in steampunk fashion.

You can't see it, but Isaac's shirt says "The animal to pirate". Again, I'm not sure what that means, but I know that boy's going to be swinging from the monkey bars some day with a wooden sword and an eye patch. *snif* I'm so proud!

(If you'd like to continue Positive Waves Week on your own blog, feel free to drop a link in the comments. I'll follow every one.)

Positive Waves Week

A number of things happened last week, both online and off, such that I felt totally assaulted by negative waves. Therefore, I hereby declare this week Positive Waves Week at Author's Echo. There will be no rants this week, no posts bemoaning any aspect of writing or the publishing industry, no insanity -- temporary or otherwise. There will only be posts to make you happy (or, because I cannot actually control or otherwise guarantee your happiness, to make me happy).

You know what makes me happy?
  • Movies -- Star Wars IV-VI, The Matrix, Serenity, The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean... Give me action, fantasy, sci-fi. Give me a Chosen One, someone coming into his own, someone with special powers. Love interest? If you must. But don't overshadow the rebellion/rescue/vengeance with unnecessary kissing.
  • Anime -- Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, Escaflowne, Steamboy, Naruto, and of course Miyazaki (Laputa, Nausicaa, Mononoke)... It's not the animation style I love, it's the culture behind it. It's the worlds that are so different from the fantasy worlds the West is used to. The airships, giant fighting robots, and ninjas certainly don't hurt.
  • Board Games -- I'm talking about real strategy games. Settlers, Ticket to Ride, Puerto Rico, Alhambra, Carcassonne... I think it's my German blood.
  • Food -- I'm blessed to be in a foreign city that has so many Westerners in it. Though it costs 5-10 times more than Thai food, I have access to pizza, pasta, hamburgers, KFC, and (praise the Lord!) Mexican food when I'm feeling down. I love Chiang Mai.
  • You! -- Every time one of you leaves a comment or sends me a note, I smile. Especially when you make jokes, laugh at mine, or tell me you enjoyed a post. You guys are awesome.
  • My Kids -- I have awesome kids, guys. Right now we've got 4. There's the boys, Isaac and Nathan, both 2, who make me laugh everyday; if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably know that. There's Lutiya (10), willing to learn any game I'll teach her, even though she's just learning English. And Pan (17), who is the most respectful, helpful teenager I've ever met; I just wish I could take credit for it.
  • My Wife -- Cindy is the pinnacle of what makes me happy. She quotes Star Wars to me, asks me why Shikamaru is my favorite Naruto character, tries out 2-player variants for Settlers, brings me pizza, and laughs at my jokes (usually). She's the mother of my kids and my favorite alpha reader. She's just the most awesomest thing that's ever happened to me.
Now listen. Positive Waves Week isn't just about me, nor does it need to be confined to a single blog. Are you feeling me? Talk about what makes you happy. Write a post to make you or others smile, and drop the link here. I'll follow every one, all week.

Phew. I feel better already.

Fan Art

I'm sure most of you haven't noticed but (a) I'm giving you more than one sketch a week and (b) I haven't been uploading "What I Drew This Week." Part of that is I'm still evaluating this whole show-people-my-sketches thing, so I'm just trying things out. The other part is that I haven't finished a sketch for a few weeks, so in lieu of showing the current one, I'm sort of catching you up on what I've been drawing since I decided to draw (>=) once a week.

The first is a piece of fan art I drew for Natalie Whipple's Relax, I'm a Ninja (for which she now has an agent, if you hadn't heard). Readers of Natalie's blog may remember a couple months ago when she found the perfect actor for Tosh. Well that's who I drew. I love this sketch. Every time I look at it I go, "Woah. I drew that?"

The second piece of fan art is for my daughter, Lutiya. If you don't already know, my wife and I live in Thailand where we take in children who have nowhere to go. Lutiya is one such child and has been with us for 2.5 years now. (I recently wrote about Lutiya on our other blog, if you're interested).

This was my first try at inking. Personally, I like the pencil a lot better, but of course I have more practice with pencil. I'm going to keep inking things for a while and see what I learn. If nothing else, the inked sketches last longer.

A Pirate, an Author, and a Baby

One sketchbook page today, three pictures. Also a demonstration of the difference between what I draw from life (or, in this case, pictures of life) and what comes out of my head.

I'll save the best for last, cuz I'm like that. So first up is Fitch Mickells, an air pirate whose only loyalty is saving his own keel. It's almost a shame he hooked up with Sam Draper when he did.

Drawing from my imagination like this is fun, but hurts my fear of failure. I never know where everything is supposed to go. So I figure if I draw like a thousand real faces, I'll be better at drawing made-up ones. With that, here's one of my very favorite authors:

And one of my very favorite sons: