Desk Sweepings

Garden hat Cedar Sanderson

The authoress of the blog

It’s been a busy week, and it isn’t over yet. I’m falling behind on my writing schedule, which means that I shall write a short bit here, then accomplish breakfast, kiss my First Reader goodbye as he heads out to work… and take myself offline to do at least 3000 words. I think I can do that, I have a party this evening, but a solid few hours to write until prep time.

I’m looking at my desk this morning, and thinking I may have to carve a half-hour of my schedule into something resembling tidying. I’ve got temporary tattoo ink pallette, a bottle of the super-strong alcohol it needs, a watercolor paint tin, my camera, a handful of balloons, stack of papers-to-be-filed, and a book on top of my working space. Yes, only one book… I normally stack the incoming on the lower level of the table next to my desk. We won’t talk about that stack.

The book on my desk had been recommended over and over, and I finally picked up an inexpensive copy. Judge Dee at Work, by Robert Van Gulik, promises me eight short stories, mysteries set in seventh-century China. I’m really looking forward to this, I love mysteries almost as much as I love science fiction. But in a different way.

Oh, here is another book. Only this one I need to put in a box for my kids, Addie King’s Grimm Legacy. I think the girls will really like it.

Yes, my desk is a mess. It always is. I could have it all cleaned off this morning, and by evening it would have accreted another layer of clutter. After decades of this, I’ve given up. Happy clutter it is, and I will just clear it off from time to time.

Not on my desk, but on the small table off to the side is my new pentablet. I rewarded myself with this as a carrot for having gotten through this last semester. It’s a Huion Professional Pen Tablet, with a 6.25″x10″ active working area, which is so much better than the tiny Vistablet I tried before, and at less than $60, very affordable. I fired it up for the first time a couple of days ago, and have been very pleased with it so far. I installed it on my 2009 iMac, first, and tested it with Gimp, which is what I use for most of my graphic design work. With just a ten minute trial and a rough sketch, I could already see that it has great potential.

Then I installed it on my Dell laptop, unknown vintage (I bought it used, it’s pretty beat up at this point), running Windows XP. On the laptop I have Corel Paint Shop, which I bought last year for cover work but hadn’t really tested out yet. I also have a very old version of Adobe Photoshop. I was able to really paint, with the pen tablet and the Corel program. I as an artist need to do lots of learning, but for a first attempt I am pretty pleased with the performance of the tablet and the painting program. Yay! Adobe PS on the other hand, was slow, laggy, and impossible. I’m going to strip it off the laptop. I don’t need it, I have other programs that will do all it ever would, and more, and they don’t have the aggravating strings attached like all Adobe programs do. Also, hopefully uninstalling will make room for Verve, which is not Mac-friendly (boo! how can you create a graphics program which won’t work on a Mac?) but looks amazing in the demos.

And last, but certainly not least, we traveled to Kentucky yesterday, to visit the folks. I always love seeing them, and being allowed to putter around in Dorothy’s Garden with my camera is just icing on the cake. Below is my favorite photo from yesterday, from the 269 I took! I love having a digital camera *big grin*

Perfect poppy

Poppy, in bloom and bud