I’ve been off so long, I can’t remember when I last tried to write a blog post. I’ve been busy. Too busy. I have two teens in two different schools, doing different activities, and I still run a Girl Scout troop and handle cookie sales. I’ve also been sick, and dealing with aging parents. So I’ve fallen way out of practice in drawing webcomics.
But I’ve been looking at how I could get started again. I don’t have a laptop I like using to draw the webcomics, so I’ve been playing with various drawing apps on my iPad to see what I could do. During the year when I tore my ACL, I drew all the webcomics on the iPad. It was kind of clunky. I had to draw the panels in one app, then import each panel as a separate image into another app to arrange the panels and add text. And I didn’t have the option of doing anything in vector in a way I liked to draw in Manga Studio on my desktop. And I couldn’t get to the desktop because it was in the office above our garage, separate from the rest of the house, and while I was on crutches, I couldn’t really handle climbing a second set of stairs multiple times a day. Seriously, our first floor bathroom was out of commission that year, so if I needed the toilet, I had to climb down the stairs from the office and go up another flight of steps to get to the second floor bathroom. I was not up to doing that with a reconstructed ACL and crutches.
I thought I had things figured out when I got a new Surface Pro, and for a while, I drew the webcomic happily in Manga Studio again, taking full advantage of the Surface’s touch screen and a nifty Wacom stylus. Then I made the mistake of upgrading to a newer Surface that DIDN’T allow me to use a Wacom stylus, and I started running into all sorts of problems again.
And then, of course, other things cropped up. My Dad had a heart attack and I learned that my Mom had dementia. I spent a month living with them, trying to take care of them both, only to end up angry and depressed because no matter what I tried, my parents did not want my help. So I spent the year following that dealing with depression. I was functional – I could take care of the kids and do housework – but that was about it.
Then I started having problems with joint pain and exhaustion AGAIN. I’d already been sidelined before for several months with similar problems, but the illness combined with the depression left me with no energy for anything but the absolute necessities.
I finally decided about a year ago to try and turn things around. Getting a dog – which was not something I had ever planned to do – put a big demand on me, but it also helped. I had to get outside daily to walk Gibbie and take care of him, and he has turned out to be my constant companion throughout the day, always urging me to play and be active. I finally went to the doctor to see what could be done about the exhaustion problems I was having, and that is another blog post (or even several) all in its own! I will say, we did find out I do not have sleep apnea, but that’s about all the doctor was able to tell me.
But I have been doing better. I decided to tackle the sleep issues on my own, and have finally started getting around seven to eight hours of sleep every night. And since I have more energy, I’m able to do more things, like get into the Y more often to exercise. That wears me out, but it also improves my sleep at night, which means I’ve slowly gained even more energy, so I can do more things. Funny how that works.
Now I’m working on doing things beyond exercise and housework. I’m getting back to drawing more often, and I’m working on making it a daily habit. Once I’ve got that down, I’ll get back to work on drawing webcomics again. Until then, I’ll post whatever doodles, scribbles and sketches I do throughout the week. You’ll be able to find them here or on Instagram at @cynical_woman. So stay tuned, and I’ll get some artwork and comics up as soon as I can!