September 23, 2002

I've gotten lots of feedback from Schlockers regarding last Friday's entry, and it's been overwhelmingly positive. I appreciate all the support. Now the waiting begins to see if the deal gets inked.

I've just finished a week's worth of the most demanding artwork yet required by Schlock Mercenary, and I'm pretty pleased with myself. Not only did I succeed in finishing two four-row Sundays and the equivalent of 14 rows of very meticulously inked Schlock, but I managed to keep the buffer above 21 (23 as of this writing), AND spend a weekend camping with the family. Oh, and I got sick, and got better, and took two Sunday naps, too.

Sometimes you have to sit back and enumerate your accomplishments before you realize all you've really done.

At any rate, Schlocktoberfest 2002 has taken shape very nicely. If you're a Keenspot PREMIUM subscriber, you've already gotten a sneak preview of some of it (not enough to give away any plot points -- just a sampling of this meticulously executed artwork of which I spoke earlier). If you're NOT a subscriber, well, you'll just have to wait. Rest assured, the wait will be worth it.

I mentioned camping. I went to what amounted to a 10-year reunion for Aspen Grove staffers. I worked for the last three of my 'marital status=single' summers up at the Aspen Grove family camp, and in the intervening years I seem to have forgotten just how wonderful an experience it was. It sounds trite, I know, but I was in a good measure shaped by the work I did in the high nooks and cirques behind Mt. Timpanogas.

The camp has changed a lot, but the wilderness hasn't. Friday night I walked along a dark trail, flashlight off and in my pocket, looking up at the trees silhouetted against the starscape. A chill ran down my spine as I realized just how frightened our distant ancestors must have been by the deep forests.

Fortunately, I've discovered not only fire, but firearms, chainsaws, and concrete. The forest knows better than to scare me too much, 'cause I'll cut it down, shoot what tries to get away, and pave it over for good measure. Next time you're wandering through the woods, shout this threat aloud. The forest will open right up for you and shoo you out to civilization. (Either that or some tree-hugging environmentalcase will chase you down and force-feed you pine-nut granola.)

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