a sphere
Daily drawing, 4-3-2020

I’m not going to admit how many of the days since I started my daily drawing project have not included a daily drawing. Too many. Daily drawing has turned out to be more like, “drawing when the moon is right and I’m not traveling and the pandemic news isn’t completely overwhelming and stressful.”

But I’ve persisted, because persisting is something I’m good at, and every day is another chance to start again. And I’m actually so delighted with today’s daily drawing that I wanted to save it. Yes, I made a sphere!

I know this is probably not exciting to anyone else. I should admit that I even cheated by starting with a circle shape using Affinity Photo’s ellipsis tool. I think my next one will have to start with a hand-drawn circle, because I’ve learned that hand-drawn circles are both really hard and a basic skill that artists in training are supposed to practice a lot. But that’s not the point. I’m pleased with my sphere because believe it or not, quite a lot of learning went into creating that shape with its highlights and reflected light and shadow and smudging. Yay, me! Shine on, self.

In other news, Arcata is quiet and peaceful and I’m still feeling very relieved to be safely here. I’m trying to stay mostly isolated — the best physical distancing I can manage! — but Suzanne is essential personnel, so she’s out and about all the time. I think it’ll be a few more days before I’m 100% sure that I didn’t bring her any germs, but so far there’s no sign I gave her anything. She’s fairly gloomy about her chance of escaping entirely, though, because Humboldt County is up to 39 cases, with definite community spread, and some of her co-workers have been sick. Still, the longer she stays healthy, the better. I’m doing my part by including lots of vegetables in our meals. I can’t do much about my general feeling of helplessness, but broccoli and brussels sprouts have to help, right?

On her day off, we went to CostCo and stocked up. The freezer is full! So I’ve been cooking a lot, which I like. Last night, I sautéed sous vide pork chops, topped them with a lemon-mint pan sauce and garnished them with slices of lemon and tiny leaves of mint. They tasted great and looked quite pretty. Alas, I didn’t think to take a picture. The night before it was cod and pea pods in a spicy sauce over noodles made with brown rice and millet. The day before that it was baked cod filets sprinkled with parmesan, plus roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli. I’m pretty sure I could actually bake rocks for Suzanne and she would just add some chili-garlic sauce and say they were delicious, but I’ve been finding it very comforting to be cooking. Tonight it’s going to be, I hope, baked chicken thighs with lemon, olives, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, and goat cheese. And probably some rice to soak up the sauce, which I expect to be delicious.

First, though, I should write some more words. I suspect every writer in the middle of a project is having the same problem I’m having: how does the pandemic affect the characters? Do I pretend it never happened? Does my story take place in a pre-pandemic world? Or an alternate universe with no pandemic? I haven’t figured out my answer yet, but I suspect it’s got to be one of the latter two, because my characters are in Disney World and it’s going to be a long time before any of us view Disney with equanimity. But actually, if Akira and Zane got together in 2011, Baby Helen would have been born in 2012, so the year in this story should actually be 2013. Simpler times, and my problem is solved! Which doesn’t mean that it’s going to get any easier to write, I suppose, but at least it means I can let go of that one issue… so onward I go.

Stay safe and wash your hands!