Archive for Creating

Blerg?

Well, this is embarrassing. After all the hullabaloo I made about posting stuff, I almost shrugged off making a post today. The only thought I had this morning was a rather childlike “I don’t wanna.” It’s a thought I’ve been having a lot lately, between applications, doing my taxes, and slowly fixing up the house.

God, growing up sucks. You think it’s going to be all staying up late and bacon whenever you want it, but it turns out to be bills and the slow, inexorable hands of mortality and death haunting your every waking thought.

Am I right?

Though, I am feeling better day by day. I’m reading again, and it’s slowly bringing back the creative parts of me that got burnt out over the last six months. Hell, two days ago my friend Kevin and I tried to write a rock opera. We even made it through half a song, a cigar, and two whiskeys before we got bored.

So, slowly getting back to baseline. That’s the cool thing about us humans. Give us three weeks, and we can get used to just about anything.

-Austin

Wet Paint

Pretty quiet week here. I’ve spent the week either getting ready to paint my new house, or actually painting my new house. Two weeks ago the only thing I knew about paint was that it was not a thing I should touch. Or have anything to do with.

Because, as we all know, if you get a drop of paint on the floor, the house will immediately burn down. Still, I won’t have a better time to do it, and no time like the present, as they say.

Doing the DIY thing is a pretty big confidence booster. In retrospect. In the moment, it was kind of just a stream of “Oh god this is expensive and I’m screwing it up so bad,” followed by a string of curse words.

But now that it’s mostly done with? Bam. it turned out well, the living room looks good, and I can take pride in something I did with my own two hands. There’s the lesson, by the way. Do stuff with your own two hands, it makes you feel better. Helps take your mind off of how crappy life can be, too. So, win-win, I guess.

-Austin

An Old Letter

While I was cleaning out my grandma’s house, I found an old letter from my grandpa, addressed to me. I only have two memories of the man. The first memory was him taking me out to Applebee’s for ice cream. The second was of the day he died, though he wasn’t really there for that one. After reading this letter, I wish I had known him better. It reads:

January 10, 1990

Letters to my unborn grandson

Dear __________ ,

          I don’t know your name because your mother, my daughter, and your father can’t agree on a name for you. I suggested several, but kids never follow a parent’s suggestion. Maybe you ought to make a note of that profundity for future reference, which brings me to the point of these and other letters which are to follow. Anyone who has reached my advanced age wants to insure that his progeny (look it up) doesn’t make the same mistakes that he made, as he at least makes an attempt to allow the possibility that his grandson will have a chance for a better life than he has had. It is not that I had a bad life by any means, but we always want something better for our kids and their kids. Beside that, I think it is a good idea to tell you something of the way your predecessors lived. That way you may better appreciate whatever advantages may come your way. Also, I might not be around when you reach the age of understanding.

          In my short life I have seen an enormous growth of technology. Some of these are talking movies, technicolor, T.V., radar, dirigibles, which I used to see fairly often as a small child in Dallas, jet planes, rockets, nuclear power, and a myriad of wonders in the areas of chemistry, astronomy, physics, biology, medicine, and so on too numerous to mention and most of which I don’t understand anyway.

         I have lived through three major wars and never served in any of them. I was too young for World War II (look it up, it was in all the papers); Korea came along when I was old enough, but three of the armed forces didn’t want guys with flat feet. Incidentally, if you have flat feet, you get them from me. All of the males from my mother’s side have, or had, flat feet. I used to fret about not having been in the service, but I have since come to the conclusion that it was a blessing in disguise. I don’t think that you will ever be called upon to serve, much less actually see combat. Events in the last six months have pretty much excluded the threat of any major conflicts in the United States.

The letter ends there. He probably intended to write more. Whether there are more letters hiding in that old house or not, I don’t know. I hope there are.

-Austin

Some Kind of Medicine

It’s been two weeks since I left my job, and it still stings. Fiercely, if I’m being honest. Most of my time and mental energy is spent staving off the unhealthy. This is on top of my grandma’s failing health, car trouble, money trouble, and who knows what else. Understandably, I’m a bit overwhelmed right now.

But let it never be said I can’t take my own medicine. I’ve worked with people who were in situations as crappy as the one I’m in now. Crappier, even. I have a new appreciation for what they went through.

There’s something I used to tell my clients who were down, out, and unemployed. Coming back from something big isn’t something that happens. It’s something you do. It’s a habit you create. Right now, the dark thoughts and the listlessness, those are the things I have to fight. Not letting them get a foothold is a habit I’ve used before, and will use again. It’s a bigger job than I thought it would be.

That said, I’m taking a couple weeks, before I start looking for work again. I think I’ve earned that much simplicity. It might be hypocritical, it might be spot-on. I’m not sure.

I’m trying to stay busy, at least in spurts. Dan and I have big things coming out this week. In fact, there are going to be a few announcements this week explaining that better. And it’s going to be something We’re very proud of.

So there’s a silver lining at least. Stay tuned.

-Austin

Working for the weekend

I won’t bore you with my usual musing. Instead, here is a teaser image for a brand new web comic, coming from myself, Austin, and the incredible artist, Matthew Stefani!imageBe on the look out for more news coming soon!

 

This Was a Triumph

One year ago, Dan doubled down on dreaming big, Austin considered coping mechanisms, and I promised myself a year of hardship.

Today? Dan is declaring the death of his childhood, Austin is watching a loved one fade away, and my year has been overwhelmingly difficult.

Mission accomplished?

I think so.

All cynicism aside, this year has been a massive turning point for the writers of Gold in Them Hills. Dan made huge steps towards publishing his work, Austin helped dozens of kids find a sense of stability, and I completely abandoned my comfort zone on a quest for perspective.

Amid the paralyzing anxiety, forced deadlines, longing for companionship, inability to find my dream job, roller coaster of emotions, and utter confusion, I’ve managed to come out of 2014 with more passion and drive than ever before. Bigger things are coming, and this time I’m going to ride the wave instead of being pummeled by it.

There’s a fire in my heart, and it’s not going anywhere. I have a few announcements in the pipeline for 2015, and I’m sharpening my skills and hitting my knees for the next season of life.

So here’s to 2015. May you all learn from your mistakes, remember the good times, and be brave enough to keep trying when the times are tough.

– Clark

Go It Alone

In just over a week, I will spend my first Christmas away from home. I’m blessed that I was able to make it home for the first 24 holidays, but that doesn’t make it any easier to miss the 25th. I’ll also have the apartment to myself for the next couple weeks, making it a very muted, very sparse holiday – in my apartment, at least.

Fortunately, I have some amazing neighbors that are letting me spend Christmas with them, and the day will be full of food, singing, and merriment. Thank you so much, Cameron and Amanda – I’m looking forward to it.

Until then, I’m buckling down on building websites and making presents. With the roommates gone, my projects can spread into the common areas – a welcome option when working on multiple pieces at a time. As sad as I am to be without roommates, I think I’m going to be a productive powerhouse with my newfound freedom.

So away I go to keep clicking, painting, and working.

Happy holidays, everyone.

– Clark

Big Fish

I applied for a job today. Well, not exactly applied, but I talked to the owner of a large Manhattan company about building a new website for his business.

If he had been interested, I could have moved to part time in food service and reintroduced web design into my daily schedule. Unfortunately, he already had someone on the job, so I’m sticking with the food service lifestyle.

Post-move, I keep hoping that I’ll strike it rich – that I’ll find one job or one connection that will pull me out of my retail/food service world and into the professional Manhattan lifestyle. Every time I think I’ve found my break, it crumbles away in front of my eyes. This was one of those opportunities, and I must say it stung a bit.

This rejection makes me think that it’s time to look for some smaller breaks. A bunch of normal-sized finds that add up to something bigger. I’ve been looking for a very large Lego™, while maybe I should be building up the small pieces that already surround me.

Who knows, maybe a small website gig will turn into a big job. I’ll never find out unless I start trying. The idea of working full time while taking on side work is terrifying, but not nearly as terrifying as being stuck in an expensive city with too much fear to take risks.

So it’s time to brush off my Photoshop, defrag my computer, and start kicking some web design butt.

On the road again…again…

Last week, I posted part one of a three part poem.

This is part two.

Road

(Being part 2 in Walking)

He has cast iron eyes.

The tears that fall onto the road

are smolders. This water dimples the paving stones.

He cries because he is trapped on the highway.

Made to shuffle between purgatories in a track laid down by

the ones who reached paradise and put up walls.

Lost on the shoulder, he is chipped. Tell him, where

is the heaven on the rise? He might have known were

the years not grass, his hands not cracked, and life not chalk on his tongue.

There is a pond at the left shoulder. No, it is a lake.

He would gaze upon it, but he lacks the company,

and the temple of the one true God  is in ruin on the right,

burning like a whicker idol. He does not feel the flame.

Trekking in ruts like canyons, his limbs will fail. And soon,

the only notion of his life will be gone from here. He passes many on

the road. He will not stop, and it will not end. There is nothing behind the

curtain, and his feet will rub away until his legs stop moving.

 

On the Road again!

An other poem. I have been in a very poetic mood. Enjoy!

Highway

(Being part 1 of Walking)

The man Jesus was found of the highway. The roads then were

fine Roman work that lasted none the less. His lot

fallowed the word and his feet, when they felt like it, and never  truly

in step with either. Still, the Christ child went from place to place, in

the cradle of life. The road under foot was the veins from his chest.

The first of the great walkers is gone from earth. He left, and others

have tried the highway of diamonds, but no it is deserted.

There are no travelers, only the four, the horsemen,

it is their turf now. Only the blind come near these places.

Still, the flood will come. No one will know

the horror of the fallen man. The record of our

failure in this course will be a permanent scene

in the sediment of the eastern Eden.  No one

will hear us, no one will see a shield barring our

face. The death of my people descends

and all we do is walk toward it.