Line by Line

Archives: 2014

2014 was uneven, but there were some really promising fits and starts of productivity. Progress is progress!

New Art: Not Getting This Back

posted December 31, 2014

After way too many months of on-and-off work on my latest art project, it's finally finished. I present to you: Not Getting This Back.

Also, I hope everyone out there has been enjoying the holidays. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, a blessed Solemnity of Mary the Holy Mother of God, happy New Year, good luck with your resolutions, and other assorted platitudes!

New Art: A Very Vivian Birthday

posted July 30, 2014

I made a silly little comic in honor of MtfoxX3's birthday, which is today.

MtfoxX3 writes and draws Flint and Steel, a series of comics and illustrated stories about humans and dragons who don't get along very well. I've been enjoying it quite a bit, and thought it would be fun to draw one of the characters.

So check out A Very Vivian Birthday and then follow the link above to MtfoxX3's deviantArt gallery to read Flint and Steel! (You can find it under its old name, Cartoon Dragons.)

Scale Studies

posted June 30, 2014

Tags: art

It's been almost a year since the last time I posted any artwork. Sadly I just haven't been finding much time to draw. That doesn't mean I haven't done anything, though. It just means I'm even slower than normal.

I do have a project that I'm working on. It's taken me a few months of on-again, off-again work and a whole lot more prep work and studies than I expected when I started, but it's getting close to being done. In the mean time, though, I figure I'd better share something so people don't think I've stoppped drawing altogether.

So here's a page of scale studies.

Image: A page of scale studies from my sketchbook.

I also have a 2000 x 1500 px version of the image.

I'm not overly impressed with these, but I think they've given me enough information to get back to work on the drawing itself.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.

Seven Posts in Seven Days Wrapup

posted April 2, 2014

Tags: Jennifer Fulwiler, writing

You may have noticed that this blog got suddenly and uncharacteristically busy the last week of February. So busy, in fact, that during that week I broke my previous record for the number of blog posts in a year. Why did this happen?

It's all thanks to Jeniffer Fulwiler, who blogs at Conversion Diary. She's responsible for the Seven Quick Takes phenomenon and the Where do you write?" meme that I almost participated in a couple years ago. To that list we may now add the 7 Posts, 7 Days challenge.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.

A little revisit of the Little Book

posted March 2, 2014

Tags: definitions

Lent begins this Wednesday, so of course my parish started handing out Little Black Books. I've written about the Little Black Books before and I was not kind to them. It seemed to me that their meditations were too touchy-feely, self-centered, and even heterodox.

It's possible I was too hard on the Little Book. After all, one of my strongest criticisms was of the book's choice of words, "the whole Christ offers the whole Christ," referring to the congregation offering the Eucharist in the Mass. Then I found out that the Catechism of the Catholic Church uses similar language in a few places, e.g. where #795 says, "Christ and his Church thus together make up the 'whole Christ' (Christus totus)."

After a look at this year's model, though I'm pretty comfortable with my initial impression.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.


posted March 1, 2014

Tags: definitions

Definitions are important. If you're going to be arguing about something, you'd darn well better know exactly what you're arguing about. Otherwise you and your opponent will just talk past each other, and you'll each be baffled at why the other can't comprehend what you're trying to say. I touched on this Monday in the post about use of the word Literally.

One thing I find funny is that "definition" itself is a somewhat ambiguous word.

The way I see it, there are two basic types of definitions (and probably a few more I'm forgetting, but for now let's just focus on the two). One kind of definition is simply an explanation of what a word means. The other kind is some kind of quasi-authoritative source or specification for what something is.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.

February 2014 Reading List Update

posted February 28, 2014

Tags: reading list

Once upon a time, I put together a reading list and posted it to the Internet with the thought that I'd do some reading, and then use the blog to share my thoughts about what I read.

I think I got one more post out of that, and then I barely read anything else on that list. So now I want to give it another shot.

Here's the list as it was when I left off in 2010. The books I had completed were:

And the ones still in progress or not yet started were:

I have finished a few of those books, so here are my thoughts.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.

Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing

posted February 27, 2014

Tags: inspiration, sayings

You're no doubt familiar with the old saying, "Anything worth doing is worth doing well." What it means, of course, is that if something is important enough that you're bothering to do it in the first place, it's probably important enough to be worth the effort it takes to do it right.

You may also have heard G.K. Chesterton's famous statement, from What's Wrong with the World, "that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly." It had a certain meaning in the book relating to women and their hobbies (and I'm just going to grit my teeth and set aside Chesterton's problems with women for the time being) but it's taken on a life of its own these days. It's often used to mean that if something is important enough that you're bothering to do it in the first place, it's important enough not to give up just because you aren't very good at it.

I try to take both of these to heart. In fact, taking only one of them to heart is a recipe for disaster. (Or at least failure.)


Read the rest of this post in the blog.


posted February 26, 2014

Tags: BumbleKing, writing

Something that's come up on BumbleKing recently is the question of whether people take the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise too seriously. I'll probably post my answer to the question in that forum thread once I get it figured out, but in the mean time I want to step back and focus on something broader: What exactly does it mean to take a work of fiction seriously?

After noodling over it for a while, I'm beginning to think that there are several different ways one can interpret the phrase. It can refer to how important the thing is or how big a part of one's life it is. It can also mean a desire for the work itself to be serious, as opposed to flippant. (This is more or less the meaning the BumbleKing thread focuses on.) I think there's also a sense that's a tad harder to define, but boils down to willing suspension of disbelief. It's that last sense that I'm going to focus on here.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.

Why I Like Video Games

posted February 25, 2014

Tags: video games

It seems like I do a lot of negative writing. It's like I'm always complaining. So today I'm going to write about something I like:

Video games.

(What, you were expecting something profound? I just quoted from the Summa Theologica yesterday. That's got to filll my profundity quota for, like, a month.)

Video games are a big part of my life. I spend almost as much time playing them as I do complaining about things! But why do I like them so much?


Read the rest of this post in the blog.


posted February 24, 2014

Tags: catechism, definitions, Summa Theologica

One of the most misused words on the entire Internet is "literally."

One problem is that it gets used as a generic intensifier. It's almost as if people have gotten so bored with figurative language that, in order to restore some of the shock value that hyperbole once had, speakers have to add another layer of exaggeration by claiming (figuratively, of course) that the figure of speech is not figurative.

I hope it's obvious why this is a problem: If the same exact word, in the same exact context, can mean either one thing or the exact opposite of that thing, the word becomes useless. How am I supposed to tell whether it means that something that sounds like an exaggeration really isn't, or the speaker just wants the exaggeration to be really impressive? The word no longer clarifies anything.

But that's an obvious enough point. Aside from examples (of which I'm sure your favorite search engine will help you find plenty), I don't think there's much more to say about that.

Instead, I want to focus on a use of the word that, while more correct, is also much more troublesome.


Read the rest of this post in the blog.