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Notebook Fun - Lazy Page Numbering
I decided to go computer-less during the talks at VueConf 2018, opting instead for a small Rhodia notebook and my TWSBI ECO-T fountain pen for taking notes about talks, vendors, people I met, and all the awesome things I found in New Orleans. I had been introduced to Bullet Journaling recently and liked the flexibility of the system, so I tried one part of it – the Index with page numbers – to wrangle my normally-unsearchable paper notes.
However, those little Rhodia books have a lot of pages, and half of those pages are more awkward to write on than others, specifically the pages at the “top” of the notebook when it’s open and cradled in my left hand. I did not want to number both the “top” and “bottom” pages sequentially, so I ended up only numbering the “bottom” pages. When I used a “top” page, I gave it the “bottom” page’s number with an up arrow. This worked out really well for being able to jump around in this small notebook and keep track of what was where.
I decided to not stop there. I did not want to number all of the pages of this little book, not knowing if I’d use it all, but I did want some things in the back. If I wanted to move an item to the back to the book, I started numbering from the bottom pages at the back of the book with the last page being 1, but marked with a down arrow. And if I wanted to write on the top page, the top page got both an up and down arrow:
This lets me use the whole book from both directions without having to number the whole book, and while letting me throw in whatever I want at any spot in the book and find it quickly.
Linux Ubuntu Wacom Pen Proximity Click Issue
(I hope that’s enough keywords to help others)
- Deselcting the thing you’re working on in Inkscape
- Causing random palette changes or paint blobs in Krita
- Making web browsing near-impossible
- Making near-everything even more annoying
The solution is to manually install
0.37.1 or up of
input-wacom. It only took me a few minutes, and my pen returned to the pre-17.04 behavior.
2017 Year In Review
This year was the first year that I went into my personal creative projects with a real, solid plan.
I moved the majority of my cloud-based document services to a Sandstorm instance, inside of which I ran numerous text documents, spreadsheets, wikis, git repos, file shares, and even more. I did this for two reasons: to get my data off of cloud providers that I don’t trust to varying degrees, and to experiment with developing for this platformm, which I was doing earlier this year.
There’ll be a lot of links to Cortex episodes, so be ready. Episode 4 starts the conversation about checklists for codifying repeatable tasks. I’ve shared a Remember The Milk account with my wife for years now, but didn’t start really digging in until after Cortex. I discovered that it’s possible to add subtasks to a task and then duplicate a task, preserving the subtasks, which gave me the power of repeatable templates I could develop over time.
Personally, I have a bunch of checklists for packing lists and weekly reviews. For the comic business, I have monthly and quarterly reviews mapped out, a packling list for cons, steps for posting something to Patreon that gets promoted elsewhere, and other smaller ones. Big win for remembering how to do stuff I don’t do too often, and for staying motivated when I don’t feel like doing everything in a review.
I now do reviews the following times:
- Friday after work for personal stuff for the past week
- Monthly for personal and work stuff for the past month
- Quarterly for personal and work stuff for the past quarter
These let me catch up on ongoing things, like financial tracking and such, and give me time to reflect and pivot in different directions. They’ve been super useful.
For the business reviews, I was, at the beginning of the year, very good about getting out of the house to a coffee shop for an hour and planning things out without distraction or diving into art or code or writing. I need to start doing this again, especially as 2018 gets started.
Super-Focused Work Periods
Another Cortex recommendation. I’m now using either All Day, Feed The Animals, or Night Ripper by Girl Talk if I have either 70, 55, or 45 minutes available to work without distraction. Noise-Cancelling Earbuds help too (affiliate link, I bought them, like them a lot, and recommend them to whoever I can).
By working this way, I can crank out several full panels of art super-fast and stay on target with the work, with way less context switching which just drains energy. It works great with my programming as well. A+++, would work this way again.
Having something non-kid friendly with my particular art style
I wouldn’t say Baltimore Comic-Con fell flat for me this year, but I would say it would have gone a lot better if I had something on the table for ages 8 and up. I’m looking to fill that gap in 2018.
Not putting in enough buffer for life stuff
A lot of crazy things happened this year which set me back in my creative projects a lot. I don’t feel bad about not getting this stuff done – life happens, and it’s often more important than drawing comics – but I wish that, when I put my content plan together at the beginning of the year, I had lowered my expectations more than I had. I would have been more focused on the things I really wanted to get done, like Issue 3 of Wizard/Metalsmith.
Non-memetic social media promotion
I keep forgetting that longform comics like the ones I typically do just don’t get the likes on Facebook and Instagram like single-image, easily shared images. It works better on Tumblr, but you really have to find that niche community to get that going. Next year’s marketing plan…well, it’s still in flux.
What’s still up for debate?
Using Tumblr to cross-promote work
187 Football Heads has been great, but I need to figure out good ways to get folks from there to look at my other stuff when it’s done. Still mulling this one over.
Krita Canvas Corruption Fix for Laptops
I don’t know how many others experience this issue, but when I have Krita open and I close the lid on my Lenovo laptop w/ an nVidia card, running Kubuntu, then open it, the art area becomes corrupted, most likely because the graphics card’s memory becomes screwy or something during sleep. The fix is simple: pick a layer or a few layers that cover large parts of the canvas and toggle them on and off. This will force Krita to have to redraw these areas and get them back into the video card’s RAM correctly. The layer on which I draw comic panel borders is the one I ususally use, since they cover nearly the whole canvas.
Connectable Desktop 3d Prints up on Thingiverse
I have way too many keyboards:
- An Apple keyboard from about a decade ago.
- A numeric keypad for when I want to do Blender work.
- A Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad or whatever.
- A keyboard for my left hand (affiliate link, I bought it myself & like it) that I use with Krita and other drawing apps.
I also have way too many fountain pens (is that possible?), notebooks, and other writing tools:
- Three TWSBI Ecos.
- A LAMY Safari.
- A stylus for my laptop, pencils, etc.
I decided to design two connectable keyboard/notebook/pen holders that I could 3d print out. You can grab them off of my Thingiverse designs profile. I printed these with orange Inland PLA and they’re quite sturdy. I even ended up printing a few more of the keyboard holders and using them for holding cutting boards in my kitchen.
I’m slowly getting my websites put back together. For now, you should check out the other places I’m currently maintaining on the information superhighway that I have linked to on the left.