I had a great Birthday... Week. I was fed well, and on Thursday, The Fireman threw a lovely party for me!

Tuesday in Thesis Seminar we talked about some comics. They didn't really get me excited, but I liked my notes, so...

Our teacher, Sophie Yanow, shared her own process for organizing and writing her graphic novels. I particularly liked her idea of using a binder with clear-pocket pages. One pocket for each page of the book. The notes and thumbnails go in the pockets, which can be easily rearranged. As a page gets worked on... sketches, then inks, they replace the earlier thumbs. So you can always see what needs work. I'm going to try it that way.

I'm also going to take a look at Scrivener. I actually have it installed on my computer but have never opened it... It would be useful to try dictating my journal entries into it.

Tuesday night, The Fireman and I had our first Swing Dance class at CCS. We suck. But it was tons of fun and we just need some practice. A lot of practice. And some whiskey.

Wednesday I attended an interesting forum at the VA Hospital called Clinicians and Cartoonists. Intriguing idea to use cartooning to help treat vets with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

I drove home afterwards to attend Lilah's elementary school Open House. She presented me with this unusual comic about a little fox going into the woods. Created from cheese and crackers!

This is a medium I had not considered using for my Thesis. Hmmm....
After talking with her teacher, viewing her art, and wading through hundreds of anxious parents and students - I raced back to Vermont for film class. I was late - but got to see the tail end of The Man from the South - a short Alfred Hitchcock thriller about bets. And losing fingers. Creepy.

Thursday I have Professional Practices and Visiting Artist classes. The following photos were taken by one of my teachers, Caleb Brown, of our class in action. Or... inaction.

Our second teacher, James Sturm (above), is also the co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies.

James presented on a topic I have been struggling with - Focus. Or perhaps, "Lack of Focus". For others, this might show up as "Writer's Block". He not only explained 22 ways to combat it, but used cartoons to illustrate his points. His advice is helpful for all creatives - take a look and share it with your friends:

Writer's Block: A Cartoonist's Guide by James Sturm

The afternoon's Visiting Artist, K.L. Ricks, joined us in class to share her roller coaster adventure in comics from graduating in 2012 from Rhode Island School of Design (Yeah RISD!!) to her current comics fame. She was really fun to talk with and later, during her official talk, she did a demo of how she uses a brush and sumi-e inks to draw her comics.

Friday I returned home for an appointment, lunch with my mom, then back to Vermont for the opening of the newest exhibit at the Montshire Museum of Science - Dinosaur Revolution.

Now I need to hunker down and spend the next few days WORKing!