Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Who Needs A Stinkin' Tardis? Okay, I Would Love to Have A Tardis

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By J.C. Lynne

I’ve been looking for a job which as it turns out is harder than I thought it would be. I’m over qualified for most and they won’t even consider me. I’m under qualified for some of the things I’d love to do.

Last month, I was looking at my book sales and thinking, “You know, I’m making forty dollars a month. That’s great!” Now, I’m worried and depressed because I’m not contributing to the financial well-being of this circus of ours. This see-saw of euphoria and bleakness is familiar to most artists I’m guessing.

My Preferred Method of Travel
I work part time at my friend’s art gallery and tattoo studio. I don’t get paid, it’s sort of a quid pro quo thing. One of the bonuses of visiting a shop full of artists isn’t just the cast of characters, it’s hearing the different perspectives each artist has of the craft.

There is patterned ebb and flow for tattoo artists. November through February is slow. Holidays, weather and general hibernation keep people out of the studio. It’s a seasonal migration. The end of February and beginning of March see them return.

Working in the studio has offered me a ringside seat on how other artists get through the doldrums.

One of the characters of characters is Shawn McDonald. Shawn is from Massachusetts. He’s a gravel-voiced, hockey playing, black metal performing guy who studies classic artists and talks like a teamster. I’m basing my Satan on him in a book I’m writing because he’s got a certain cavalier moxie befitting a Morningstar. He’s also a talented artist with a penchant for Caravaggio.

It’s no secret I’ve been feeling the starving artist blues. Even going over my proof, concrete evidence of my creative power didn’t shake me out of the brain cloud I’ve been under.

I have plans to sit down and record a podcast with him because there’s no way I can do justice to his voice. But imagine if you will, the following conversation with a gravely voiced, Bawston accented Pacino.

Shawn turned the proof of The Esau Convergence over in his hands and flipped the pages. “You made this.” His voice is reverent, empty of his usual sarcasm.

“Yep, I did.” I’m still feeling the post book, broke as f&^% blues.

“It’s amazing.” He looks at me. “You know, we live in multiple dimensions. It’s not everyone who can step at will between the planes of existence.” Shawn opens the book again. “These words, this world…it’s a place you can enter whenever you choose. Like my paintings, they are doorways to other worlds that we can visit whenever we want.”

I look at my book thinking of all of the time I’ve spent with the characters. The hours I’ve had their conversations rattling around in my head. The new conversations the next batch are having even at that moment. I never thought of it like that. I mean, sure, I’ve thought about his paintings that way. I see the stories he depicts. Vibrant, detailed stories. "You’re right. We’re dimensional travelers.”

“And how friggin’ lucky are we?” He smiles.

You know what? We Are friggin’ lucky. We writers, we artists, to have the ability to walk in waking dream. So when I’m struggling with my career goals, when I’m reminding myself there are no overnight sensations, and trolling around for a part-time job I’ll be remembering the incredible curse we carry.

I need to worry about the day the voices in my head go silent.


April Moore said...

The right-brained life can be such a struggle. Of course, I wouldn't trade it for anything. And being surrounded by fellow artists is one of my favorite places to be.

JC Lynne said...

Word sista!

JC Lynne said...

Ahem, (register for the writer's conference).

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