October has been a very difficult month. I am quite literally being buried alive by deadlines, expectations, and demands and it has worn me down. Badly. This Heart of Darkness project is, in some ways, a monster. It's constant battle. Even more so than Moby-Dick, which surprises even me. The book is so dark, so corrosive, so toxic. It's working on me. It's been hard to get the kind of real traction I need to do battle with this thing and win. I feel sometimes like I am always on the run, always trying to fight back against it, to push it away and beat it. It's draining me and I am running out of time.
And then, Wednesday night, a night that I had planned on using to draw for 4 or 5 hours to catch up on these many many projects I am involved in, I hear a muffled boom from somewhere off in our lovely little suburban subdivision and the house goes black. For the second time in less than a month, and the third time in three months, we lost power due to what is apparently a very weak and vulnerable substation or transformer. This last happened in September, around 9pm, and the power was restored by around 3am. The weather then was much warmer so it was little more than an annoyance. On Wednesday though, aside from the obvious frustration of not being able to get some work done, the power went out at 7:40pm and did not return until nearly 5am. On a dark night when the outside temperature was in the mid 30s. The house got very dark and very cold very quickly, and it only got worse.
I had no choice though, and I had to work. During the first power outage in June and July, due to the Great Derecho of 2012, I purchased one of those strange little miner's lights that you wear around your head. It's a bit more up to date, with a flexible nylon band and a small but very bright light, but it has been a godsend. With my back to the wall and deadlines looming, I strapped it on and kept drawing in the cold and the darkness.
And here is the result. What will eventually be page 31, the silent African jungle at night. You can see my miner's light shining on the page there. I didn't trust the light to be good enough to let me do the color ink work, but that is always the last, quickest, and easiest stage of a drawing. I am impressed with what I was able to do under these conditions. Maybe there is hope after all.