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Here is a sneak peek at one of the newest spreads for ‘Hug Something Horrible’ (see previous post for more). I actually started this painting about a year and half ago. It was packed up during a move and forgotten about. I started back up on it this weekend. It’s sort of odd picking up the same painting after such a long break, but I’m excited to be working on the book again.

I’m posting some photos of the process for this painting because this one took me back to my childhood and memories of a particular book I used to love as a kid. I wish I could remember the name of it. One of the pages that stands out so vividly depicted a dungeon cell with two huge, gnarly, monstrous feet poking out through the cell bars. The legs continued up for a way then disappeared into the darkness. It’s interesting to me that the most memorable image from that book was just the hint of something. My imagination ran wild wondering what awful beast belonged to those feet!

As you can see in some of the thumbnail sketches below, this particular illustration called for a very large monster as well. I played around with some different scenarios but in the end had to pay homage to the image I loved so much as a kid.

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Last week I performed a very non-scientific, error-filled, inconclusive test: I posted a link on five of my social networking outlets directing clickers to my blog – yes, this very blog. I only collected data from one day. I did not factor in how many contacts I had on a particular network vs percentage of hits from that network or anything practical like that. I simply posted the links and looked at the data generated by WordPress.  I then made a bar chart of the somewhat predictable results. I’m hoping Facebook will write me a generous check for all the research and development. You’re welcome.

…and no one is around to hear it – does it make a sound? I don’t know. But I do know if a tree falls behind your house at 3 o’clock in the morning you sure as hell are going to hear it. A record setting year for rainfall mixed with high winds was more than the giant oak tree could handle. I was awoken to, what I thought was, a train crashing through my bedroom. Turns out it was just the enormous oak behind us uprooting and bringing down the 3 nearby power lines with it. Thankfully that’s all it took with it – it fell about the only direction it could to not fall on someone or something. In fact, the tree snapped in two as it fell directly on top of a power line pole, saving several cars that would have been in the way.

My office held its first annual pumpkin carving ‘contest’ today. I hadn’t carved a pumpkin in years, but with the help of my trusty $2.99 pumpkin carving kit from Target, a favorite childhood activity was relived. I’ll blame my rusty carving skills on a 10 year hiatus from the sport. Everyone had a good time carving, no one suffered an injury,  and all the pumpkins turned out nicely…Happy Halloween.

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A shout out to my buddy, Michael Galardi, who recently completed an 11,000 mile journey biking across the nation. He took off last January 1, just he and his bike, on a mission to discover America and encourage, inspire, motivate and teach others along the way what can be accomplished when you put your mind to something. His trek across 48 states took him only 8 months to complete! Michael documented his travels which you can check out at The Jolly Green Ice Machine. Congratulations on a truly incredible accomplishment.

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