Ready for New Adventures? By Nevada McPherson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “Ready for New Adventures?” Enjoy!
Summer is still with us but “back to school” is just around the corner (or already here in some places) and I’ve started to assess what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks and figure out what will be my focus as fall approaches. Did I get to everything I wanted to do this summer? Well, not quite, but there’s still some time left which I’m hoping will help me to structure my days in order to complete any unfinished tasks or projects. How about you? Did you mostly read, write, or enjoy yourself doing other activities that feed your soul? Good. Whatever it was, I hope that you’re refreshed and ready to move forward and to finish 2017 strong!
I’d planned to read more books this summer but so far I’ve only finished one. It was Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night, about the march on the Pentagon during the Vietnam War where Mailer was arrested and spent some time in jail, or at least in holding facilities where he contemplated the march and what it meant and his part in it. It was about that and much more, such as the whole Peace Movement in general at the time and how very different groups had to come together to find the best way forward to make their voices heard. I’ve had the book since 2005 when I bought a copy at a bookstore during the evacuation from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina; I’ve always meant to read it and now I have and I’m glad I did. What book did you read this summer that you’ve been meaning to get to? Even if you had a stack of books and only finished one, what did you get out of that book that inspires you going forward?
One thing that inspires me about outspoken, fearless writers like Mailer and one of my other favorite authors Henry Miller is that they wrestle with big ideas and examine their own ideas and actions as ruthlessly as they do others’. As I read their writing it inspires me to be more honest and forthright in my own work. For those of us who have a tendency to avoid controversy when dealing face to face with others or to overthink and over-edit ourselves when we speak or write, the work of such authors is a breath of fresh air, and inspiration to be more forthright and honest – more fearless!
I’ve been working on the second installment of my third graphic novel Queensgate as well and it’s a slow go but not nearly as slow as it used to be. I’m coming to accept my imperfect art work as a style all its own, so re-doing ad nauseam is now off the table. As I look back at very early pencil sketches that I did two summers ago, I can see little expressions, vignettes, curves and marks that are more authentic and fresh than the most careful ink drawing that’s been gone over one too many times trying to make it perfect—it’s not perfect and therein lies the essence of my style. It’s evolving and now looks more like comic drawing but it doesn’t have to be perfect. It has to real and true to the story and characters and style of the overall work. And that’s good enough—plenty!
If you have some project you’ve been trying to perfect this summer and it’s driving you a little crazy, why don’t you take a step back and look at it in a new way? Not in comparison to the work of others, but as your own one-of-a-kind creation, with your own unique fingerprints all over it. Some will get it, some won’t, and it may not be everybody’s cup of tea (as one of my former writing teachers used to say) but the more you appreciate your unique contribution to the world, the more fearless you’ll be, and that’s the best way to head into the fall season. That’s what I plan to do. Join me and let’s see where it takes us!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nevada McPherson lives with her husband Bill and rescue Chihuahua, Mitzi in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she is an associate professor of Humanities at Georgia Military College. Nevada received a BA in English/ Creative Writing and an MFA in Screenwriting from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. She has written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, plays, short stories and the graphic novels, Uptowners and Piano Lessons. Queensgate, the sequel to Uptowners, is her third graphic novel. For more information, visit www.nevada-mcpherson.com.