What a day...

The last 24 hours have been, well... you never know where things will take you. I came home last night after working all day to find my computer totally unresponsive.

There's nothing like a PC catastrophe-- it sent my day veering off into a hell of confusion, cursing, and the cracking of tiny computer bits. Dread sank deep inside me as I desperately encouraged my computer to start, to show some sign of life besides its sad whirring of fans.

I scoured the internet for some help, and after a few hours of scrambling around the computer's innards, I resolved that I was doing much more harm than good. I would, sigh, have to pony up some cash and have a professional repair it.

Just then, someone called about a Craigslist ad I'd posted weeks ago, trying to unload some old comic trade paperbacks. He ended up coming over, chatting for quite a bit, and buying a huge pile of them. Just as he was leaving, he asked me about my computer trouble, and suggested a good repair place nearby.

I headed there this morning, sure I'd have to spend hundreds to salvage my creative productivity-- I had finally gotten back into the swing of things with preparations for a new webcomic:

Despite my pessimism, the repair guy (Shung at Core Components in Ann Arbor) turned out to be friendly, helpful, and had my computer working in a few hours! And he didn't charge me, even though I insisted.

I can't express what a relief it was to find such a generous, genuinely cool guy to help me through my morass of self-pity and howling at the universe.

Once I got home, my monitor decided to die, promptly after hooking it up to the newly fixed computer. But I'm confident Shung can repair that, too.

In any case, I started work on the top image of this post, which is the sixth and final illustration for a novelist (Manuel Munoz, yet another great character I met through sheer happenstance).

As the drawing was taking shape, my roommate Tina gave me a call--she had checked our old mailbox one last time before handing in the keys to our landlord, and she had found a handwritten letter to me from Craig Thompson.

I had submitted some art to him earlier in the summer, hoping to work with him at an artist-in-residency program. Although that didn't work out, he sent a gracious, encouraging note, and a delightful drawing of Doodleville's protagonist Drew and his beloved character Chunky Rice!

Yet another good thing to come of adverse circumstances, an unexpectedly pleasant surprise!

(I'm only barely managing to restrain myself from posting it here)

Tina dropped off the letter for me at my new place--one of innumerable kindnesses she's shown me in the years I've known her. She'll soon be leaving Michigan, but I gave her this in the hopes that she'll remember me (and my kitties) fondly:

(The first experimenting with watercolors I'd done in years! Expect to see more in the near future!)

Despite the rollercoaster ride of the past day, I feel oddly blessed by the cold, bleak emptiness that is our universe.

It's something, I guess.