I like walking through my neighbourhood late at night. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years, which is the longest uninterrupted stretch I’ve ever lived in one place (when I was a kid we moved fairly often. I hated it at the time, but in retrospect it was on the best things that ever happened to me. Without those experiences there’s no way I would’ve had the courage to move coast-to-coast in 1997).

Last night I walked home from a friend’s place in the wee hours, and I mostly took side streets where it was a little more tranquil (unlike my own street, where it’s apparently a rite of passage for drunk couples to fight in public, usually screaming from opposite sides of the street).

I can’t really turn my brain off during these walks (you really have to be extra-vigilant for skunks), but it’s still a good opportunity for a little unfocused thinking. So the subconscious just does its thing. Ideas bubble around in my head, and every so often, something useful actually rises to the surface.

(At this point I should mention that over the past couple years, I’ve been putting together a book of pinup sketches called Heartbreakers. Simple blueline portraits of women - a couple of whom are quite real, though most are purely creatures of the imagination. I think of it as a hymn to the muses.

And guess what? It’s nearly finished.)

On the walk home last night, as on many late-night walks lately, I found myself remembering people who are no longer in my life. People who moved away, people who drifted away, people whose lives got complicated, people who are just...

... gone.

I remembered 19 years worth of conversations with those people. Parties we went to, meals we ate, adventures we had. And in the process I figured out the last few illustrations to go in my book - though they have little or no logical connection to all these barely-tangible memories percolating up through my subconscious.

The picture at the top is just the most recent sketch, but it should give you a solid idea of where I’m coming from creatively with this project.

So keep an eye out for the announcement. The book is almost ready for publication.

Soon. Very soon.