I owe my readers an apology. While I always expected to take some downtime once I (FINALLY) wrapped up the Ian's No Good Very Bad Night scene, I don't think I ever *said* I would be taking some per se -- in part because I never thought it would be this long. I had a pretty decent idea which characters I would be switching to and what would be happening; I thought I could knock out a couple of scripts and start making pages, no sweat.
... yeah, not so much.
There are a few reasons for this.
One: I'm burnt out. Not so much on the story, which I'm as attached to as ever, just on... well... the stuff I have to do to *get* the story. DAZ isn't all that fun just now and, let's face it, when I'm tired dragging words and scenes out of my brain is like hauling rocks up a mountain. I can *see* what I want to write, it's just over there somewhere, across the great honkin' wall of tired. The good news is, this is the part that's getting better with time. As usual, my writer-brain can only take so much inactivity and nibbling on never-to-be-finished projects before it starts looking for some meat to sink its teeth into.
Two: Life hates me. I did three trips in late April/early May (two business, one family) in between which I redid the production interface for my job's custom database to be a paperless iPad interface, met with a school counselor to enroll kidlet in kindergarten, broke in four new employees, held my daughter's fifth birthday party*, wrote a database for the farm side of the business, fielded four doctor's appointments (three mine), and dealt with the various minor tax-related shrapnel from the family business, plus, you know, my usual jobs. (Also I fell off the production room platform and filleted my finger, but that was more a brief bump). The last part of May has mostly been a frantic dash to get the business's new facility from "construction workers say it's clean" to food safe clean before we had to halt production due to no space to put stuff.** The bad news? This... isn't actually noticeably more busy than my *normal* life. I mean, I have down months, but when I add up the times when I'm complaining about train wrecks slowing me down vs. the times I'm not, well, yeah. Train wreck is my normal now. DAMMIT.
Which sort of leads to point three, the one where I gradually realized part of the reason I was moving so slowly on getting the comic back was... well... because I felt like nothing was going to change, I was going to continue scrambling to get comics up, fighting off the various ducks trying to nibble me to death, posting lame excuses, apologizing for being late, apologizing for not being around, the basic enjoyment of the story crushed under guilt and shame for the crappy job I was doing. This didn't appeal.
So... I'm trying to work that out right now. Mostly, I've decided that this whole seat-of-the-pants thing I do? Where I have a vague end in mind but only the vaguest idea how I'm getting there, running half-a-dozen scripts ahead of what I'm posting IF I'm being good? Yeah, that's not working any more. I need a plan, something I've done up when I'm *not* too tired to think so that when I am, I don't have to stop work entirely. I need a framework to cling to. Pre-work that will make the "oh shit" moments fewer and farther between, because having them every few weeks was one thing when I had, yanno, a brain, but now? Nope. A buffer would be killer, but I'm not betting on it.
So that's where I am. I do in fact have four or five scripts written; I've been doing some set work and outfitting characters and such; I've been carefully sidling towards longer-term planning, trying to sneak up on it without either of us noticing and getting scared off,*** and it does *seem* to be working. But... I can't exactly say right now when the comic will be coming back. Too many variables, too little certainty.
So yeah. Sorry it's taken so long to check in; explaining all this at some point became a Thing, and once something's a Thing I avoid it like the plague. I'll try and get something up on the main page soon, if I can talk myself into doing some filler art. The comic is not dead, but it's taking a bit of a bed rest.
Thank you all for your patience. Thank you for believing in me.
* She got a loft bed and it is apparently the BEST THING IN THE WORLD. When we left her with my parents for the weekend, she missed the bed more than us.
** Pressure washers are awesome! Even if I couldn't feel my arms for the rest of the day! Mopping... nope, still not awesome.
*** Planning a writing project and I have not gotten along so well in the past. Don't get me wrong: I can outline! I can outline all day! It just has absolutely nothing to do with the story I actually write and is zero help in getting me unstuck or moving me forward. And don't even *talk* to me about the three-act structure or *shudder* "raising conflict". Thanks to my collectivemate Aja of True Magic, though, I did find a loose plotting method that seems to kinda-sorta, with a little bending and breaking, work for the way I think, so I'm cautiously trying that. Although I may need the world's biggest corkboard by the end of it....