Karl (louderback) wrote,

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Nostalgia and some freewriting

The Code of Doc Savage

Let me strive, every moment of my life, to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it.

Let me think of the right, and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice.

Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.

Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do.

Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
—Lester Dent
Kenneth Robeson
I read all these stories many years ago. I remember seeing a good many of them in magazine form. Although I can't imagine how I ever got hold of the magazines— they absolutely were not the sort of thing my parents or family would have purchased. I actually read all 181 novels, published in the '80s, back-to-back.

     Today seems to be a nostalgic day. I'm listening to all 3 volumes of "Queen's Greatest Hits". Oddly enough relatively few of the songs on these albums seem to me to be their "greatest". I wonder what criteria were used?

Thinking back on the days when I was reading Doc Savage, Conan the Barbarian, Jirel of Joiry, Ka-Zar, Tarzan, Zorro, The Shadow, Flash Gordon, and so many others I realize that grandiloquent fiction has colored my taste in reading, listening, and nearly all things. My favorite authors tended to be a bit extravagant in their descriptiveness. I've always favored, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Eric Frank Russell, Glen Cook, and a similar writers of fiction. All of them tend to be a bit bombastic or at least "preachy". My favorite writings on philosophy are by Ayn Rand. Could you describe her writing or philosophies as other than grandiloquent? In music, I listen to Queen and Meat Loaf. Is there such a thing as bombastic music? (well, other than Wagner, of course—another favorite). It's probably just as well that didn't really carry over into my taste in clothes. I'd probably be wearing a velvet jacket with lace at the throat and cuffs right now…

Thinking of those good ol' days makes me miss my eyes. There's no chance whatsoever I'll ever find Eric Frank Russell or the old Doc Savage stories on tape. Even Glen Cook is unlikely. Even if I do, it's just not the same. I wonder if I'll ever come to terms with not being able to read?

     On the subject of nostalgia. I've been looking to resurrect my painting skills. I haven't painted using oils or acrylic for many years. I keep hoping to get a start to see what I'm still capable of doing. Step 1 is to begin sketching. I'm equipped fully for that. I just have to get motivated.

     Everybody that has my phone number, call me. A friend tells me that all my phone calls go directly to voice mail. I've received some calls, but, (perhaps) not the usual volume. I'm not racking up a lot of calls, but the "regulars", the local callers, are getting through. If you fail to reach me directly, please leave a message so I know things are messing up.

     Aches and pains due to the weather continue to plague me though the weather has improved. I suppose this problem will only get worse as the fall and winter seasons move in. Great! I've complained about the weather all year and now I have new seasons to gripe about. <sigh>I've been reduced to talking about the weather in my journal…</sigh>


An old sketchbook
     I found an old sketchbook in my attic. I thought little of it at the time and put it in the "trash" pile. Hours later, I carried a laundry basket of trash to the curb and exhausted plopped it down for the "spring clean up" crew to haul away. There was that sketchbook on top. I turned back to the house, stopped, turned back, snagged the book, and headed for the sofa.
     A cold drink in hand I flopped, gloriously tired, on the sofa and started thumbing through images over 40 years old.
     The first page was horrid. Disembodied and hideously disfigured faces stared back at me. I remembered the frustration of trying to draw faces. These were my first attempts at a realistic representation of a person. I was not yet twelve when I started drawing them. It was quite a long time before I improved.
     The back of that page was better. Long-legged horses cavorted on the page. They circled around a huge-bodied beast that had the virtue of being a three-quarter view instead of a profile. It showed a little imagination at least. The next page was devoted to hooves, tails, saddles and a few ears. Some were actually pretty good.
     With a flip I moved into the realm of automobiles. Funny, but every car in the world seemed to have a spoiler on the tail and a scoop on the hood. In the corner, crowded out by all that horsepower was a bicycle. The wright brothers would have been proud of it.
     Another bicycle occupied much of the next page. It must have been dead, as birds circled it all over the page. You know those birds, the "V" birds that don't actually require much drawing. Alone, at the top of the page and separated from the birds, was a perfect Halloween bat, lacking only the string to be completely unconvincing.
     Did I draw all these close together? How separated in time were these? I can't remember. Did do then as I do now and sometimes fill in an empty spot on a page? Was I this prolific in those days? Moving from bike to bird to bat? Was that the "b" page?
     The next page moved away from the "b" theme, well… perhaps. There was a torso that was entirely too muscular to be a real man. There were half a dozen hands with bulging biceps and very small hands. Elbows seem to have been a problem for me back then. Shoulders too. Must have been reading too many comic books, every figure was entirely too fit to be anything but a superhero.
     The next page was torn out. With a flash, I remembered it. Odd what sticks in your mind. It was a "naughty" page. I drew some nudes. Men and women that certainly not were anatomically correct. But then, what did I know at that age. I remember drawing a woman in lotus who would have been unable to rise (or stand if she did) endowed as I had her.
     After the missing page, landscapes seem to have captured my attention. Trees and bits of trees, some flowing water, a bit of grass. Rocks of course, studded the page. Lots of rocks studded the page— and the next. I must have gone through a rock phase.
     Crosshatching and hashing seems to have entered my repertoire at this point. Perhaps a new artist had interested me. There were a good many fantastic shapes and amorphous designs. I wonder if this was my "Steve Ditko" phase? Certainly the next few pages showed signs of surrealism.
     I flipped Forward and things just stopped. More than half the book was blank. Why did I quit? Did I get a new book? I know I continued sketching… have continued to this day. I flipped backward.
     The last picture was a portrait. Full-faced. Shaded, rendered well, altogether well executed. A notation at the bottom read "as the Silver Surfer". It took me a moment to realize I was looking at my own face.
Tags: freewriting

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