drawing of a queen

I have all these queens roaming around in my head.

There are the ten queens, of course, who make up The Book of Ten Queens—Imbra, Aven, Enn and the rest. Erise, the lost queen, and Robin, the false queen, are both a part of that cycle, too. (You can go hunting for early signs of them in my old blog archives if you want.) I’ve been working on a more visual way of telling that story (or parts of it), which may appear here someday soon.

Three little birds, sisters, who want to be queens have been clamoring for attention lately. Someday soon I’d like to see which one of them is successful.

Djara will never be a queen herself, but she will shelter them.

Queen Vivienne is in there, but mostly quiet these days, as her story is no longer mine to tell.

And of course there’s Elaine, whose story I’m supposed to be working on now. She didn’t even know she was a queen for the first 15 years, and is not sure she wants the job. I can’t say that I blame her.

None of the queens just mentioned are related to the pictures shown here.

drawing of a queen

I wish I could say that, after I wrote my last post about my writer’s block, all the dams had burst open and a well-spring of creative productivity had been unleashed. In fact, I suspect that half my motivation in writing that post was so that something like that might happen—you know, acknowledging the problem, identifying the source of the block being enough “medicine” to overcome it. Sadly, it wasn’t so.

Instead of writing about any of the many queens holed up inside my head, I went off and drew three more.

Long-time readers might remember when I did a 30-day face-a-day challenge back in 2008, but I haven’t done much in the way of drawing faces since then, and what I have done (mere scribbles on the sketchpad) hasn’t been worth showing off. So I don’t know what compelled me to sit down a couple weeks and draw these queenly ladies out one evening. All I know is that I found them halfway pleasing and decided to take the next step and color them in (watercolor pencils, mostly).

I’m kind of glad that they haven’t developed names or characters or stories of their own along the way, because I don’t need more of that right now. (But if you feel stories about any of these three calling to you, feel free to take the inspiration and run with it!)

drawing of a queen

I don’t know if this kind of artistic pursuit is good for my writer’s block, or just a distraction from dealing with it. I admit I’ve been avoiding the word processor since I wrote that last post—even though I have it set to open the current file when I turn on the computer, I just let it get buried under all the other windows.

It’s become the chore that you keep putting off because you know how hard it’s going to be, and I don’t know how writing, the thing I’ve always loved, became that way for me.

All the tricks and bargains you can make with yourself—set the timer, make up a deadline, set a word-count goal, offer yourself a reward—they feel false and pointless to me right now. I will know they are only mental tricks, and therefore they won’t work. The real problem feels deeper, in need of a more profound cure than “just keep writing.” I think I need a serious mental reset. Starting this week, my schedule has some new demands that might provide the needed jolt, but otherwise I’m still looking for a fresh solution.

I’d like to get those queens out of my head and down on paper.

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