My co-editor Matt wrote a great article for the Machine of Death blog about how to finish a short story; how to muscle up and drag it past the finish line — great advice if you’re trying to complete a piece to submit to Machine of Death 2, in this final week, or just for writing under the gun in general.
…This post is specifically for those of you who have about half of a story and about one week to finish it. It’s for those of you who are feeling increasingly panicked as the deadline ticks ever closer. It’s for those of you who are saying to yourselves, I’m almost out of time! What the heck should I do now???
First thing first: DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP. We want to read your story. In order for that to happen, we need to have it by midnight on July 15. And we have faith in you. We know you can do this. But here are some thoughts that might help point you in the right direction. (Read more)
I’ve also started a couple of fun little contests on the Machine of Death Facebook group: try and guess when (down to the minute!) we’ll break Volume 1′s record for total submissions received, AND ALSO try and guess what the title of the record-breaking submission will be. Post your guesses here! Winners will be given prizes from the all-new MOD store on TopatoCo.
(P.S. Caption Contest #3 submissions are now closed — winners will be announced soon!)
OR, FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
This guy has a webcomic that consists entirely of his friend Hays being killed in cartoony ways. I contributed two sketches of same at a recent convention, which have been colored and posted on the site! Here and here. But my favorite episode of the comic is definitely this one.
Just look at that strapping fellow in the photo! What a delightful book he’s holding, what a clever shirt he’s wearing! (Pay no attention to the seething jealousy seeping from the eyes of the man in the background. He is clearly a man consumed.)
Many, many thanks to the hero of the photo and the many others who came to visit at the Calgary Expo. It was tremendous fun and I sold out of pretty much everything I brought, which made it even more fun. We had a blast playing Machine of Death Draw & Guess on Sunday, and all in all I left Calgary feeling INSPIRED.
Not least because of an incredible achievement I managed on the way home:
…I am the type of person who wants things to work out. I want puzzle pieces to fit, and I want objects to be aligned. I once sorted a stack of bills by serial number because I was bored. I stack coins by size, take exhausting and overlong trips because I can make the itineraries mesh like beautiful gears, and before every trip I agonize over which suitcase will most exactly fit the things I need to pack. I HATE the idea of 43 Canadian cents burning a worthless hole in my pants as I cross the border home.
Here is a picture I drew in a book:
And here is a newspaper headline that I saw:
…Which at first glance appears to indicate that R2-D2 and a charming moppet dove from a bridge to save a drowning man in an incredible moment of heroism.
Unless R2-D2 is what they mean by “motorist.”
Here is a sketch I did at Heroes Con the other week! I believe the request was “mermaid.” So I drew the only mermaid I knew how.
It planted a seed, though, so I decided to work on a more polished version of the same idea:
This final, inked version was donated to the Heroes Con Art Auction, the proceeds of which go toward putting on the show. But I know it will remain firmly in your hearts forevermore!
This weekend I will be in Calgary for the Calgary Comics & Entertainment Expo! TopatoCo has a map of the show. It’ll be my first time in Calgary, so I won’t know any of the local customs. Please don’t make fun of me for “shaking hands” — it is what we do where I come from.
What should I watch out for in Calgary? What faux pas will I certainly stumble into, without your kind guidance? Leave me a comment!
Finally, here is a little thing I wrote yesterday about a haircut that made me cry.
Thanks to everyone who said hello at Maker Faire last weekend! It was a whirlwind trip, but what fun it was. Here are some sketches I did for folks at the show!
(Confidential to the Annie E.Z. and Nancy C.D. who got books from me at Maker Faire: Would you email me please?)
Next weekend — I’m in Dearborn, Michigan for the World Steam Expo! It will be my first time ever visiting Michigan, and I’m very excited to meet Eminem. He will be at the airport, right?
The show runs Friday through Monday at the
Henry Ford Museum, which I’ve heard is quite the place. I mean the Hyatt! Which I’m sure is nice too. I’ll be doing a special “Making of Wondermark” panel on Sunday afternoon, but if that wasn’t enough, there is also a ton of other steampunky programming, including a “Mad Science Fair.” Oh and I also designed the programs for the show!
Then, on Wednesday, June 1, I’ll be presenting my “True Stuff from Old Books” lecture at the Ann Arbor District Library! I believe it is free to attend. I further believe that it will be amazing? I’ll be signing books and stuff afterward as well.
Finally — I’ll have a little time to kill in Ann Arbor and environs during the trip. Any recommendations of things to check out while I’m in town? Leave a comment or send me an email!