Tagged: life of a writer

Week 44, It Was January and Now It Is Suddenly November?

I’m not gonna make up any excuses for my inactivity!

But… BUT! I have been busy. Also, my personal life is kinda boring anyways, its just work work work. Anyhow, I have updated the design of my blog… well at least a little bit. I have also been figuring out HOW to blog. I spent weeks researching and coming up with “best practices”, but even then it is just overwhelming.

As you can see at the top of the blog, I now have categories as a menu! Makes the blog less cluttery.

There is something I don’t quite understand with blogging though, how do you navigate? Imagine if I had 1000 posts in one category, how do you navigate all that? I imagine having a simple list of all the posts in one endless column. That has to be the only solution… right?

I’ll see what I will do, right now I don’t have much content anyways, but I can already predict how problematic it would be to have thousands of posts.

So what have I been up to eh?

I’ve mostly been working as mentioned earlier. I wrote a lot on both novels that I have been working since last year, and accidentally began on a third story. The initial idea was to submit a short story to some magazine for a puny $100. I am barely surviving right now with a 0 income. Anyways, I fell in love with the story, not that it is a romantic one, oh not at all, it is far from being romantic. But I “shelved” it, don’t have time to work on that right now!

Ah, yes, I also streamed for a month or two, a fun experience. It was a creative stream, where I would show my process for learning to draw. A couple of viewers joined along, which was really fun. Also did a lot of art requests, probably more than I should have. I wanted to continue streaming but life caught up, I just had too much work to do.

I have been reading a lot as well, researching previous “top” authors. It seems that most authors back then did well because there was no television. Because some of the stuff I read had a horrendous prose. No offence to the dead!

Entered a short story competition

…and lost miserably. I didn’t even make it into top 10. Mine was written in first person TELLING mode with some SHOWING. The winner and those in top 10 were all written in THIRD PERSON and were mostly SHOWING rather than TELLING. What a bunch of bullshit. This “Show don’t Tell” mantra is way stuck up peoples black hole.

Anyhow, I began to revise my first novel, rewriting some parts to SHOW more than TELL. I do too much TELLING… sad :(, oops I mean “I sigh and drop my head down, only to catch it by the forehead with my right fist in a timely dare. Reminding me of those brave – or foolish – circus gymnasts, who threw themselves out into the hands of life and death. The weight of my head caused a bone breaking snap from my wrist. My hand was weak, not from the lack of practice, but from resting three whole months away from any practice. The same weakness ran throughout every bone in my body. Shaking, screaming to be put to sweaty use. Maybe tomorrow. I turn my head to examine life outside the window; it showed none. The rain had terrorized the people for days now, everybody was locked up in stacked cages, except for the rich, they had a small garden to mow. My lips sagged down after stretching into a hopeful smile. – No exercise today either then. said I”

 

A couple more things that I did between week 7 and now

Is – if you remember – I began playing Tibia, but I also stopped after one month of playing it intensively. So that’s one month down the drain.

I wasted time on dating, not actual dates, but finding women and chatting. None of them seemed interesting, too much feminism in their head. So that was wasted time as well.

Wrote a lot of scripts for my upcoming comic, it is something I want to see up and running, but it is on hold now, I want to focus on finishing and publishing my novel first.

I also began a romance type of novel on wattpad, “My Naughty Teachers”. It is a fun experiment. I basically don’t see myself writing these types of romance novels, so I decided to challenge myself and write one. I hope you enjoy it.

Well, that concludes this update in my personal life, I won’t be making these weekly reports anymore. Instead I will update you in a similar fashion as this post, whenever it seems relevant.

Week 6, Making a text-based RPG… I guess I’m a game designer as well now!

Spent whole week working on my twitch channel, I began coding a bunch of mini-games, then decided to create a text-based RPG. And so far so good, the coding took a lot of time, especially the debugging. I had to work within the limitations of AnkhBot; it’s not exactly made for such big tasks! The original game design had many concepts, but I had to be realistic and not spend too much time on the project, so I basically killed off lots of things from the project and focused on making it simple and using the simplicity to its maximum instead.

Anyhow, I spent two days designing the map, areas, monsters, bosses and how the player progresses through the game. I then almost finished off the coding for one area, just two lines of code missing before I got so tired that it was either falling face-first on the keyboard or the pillow… priorities!

I’m happy with how things are moving along, hopefully my computer can handle more than a couple of players… otherwise I will have to make it V.I.P. only : (

 

Hope your week was fine as well! Feel free to share anything you’ve done over the past week or if there is any book, movie or series you want to recommend. I’ll make sure to check it out and give my opinion.

Thanks for reading, GOD bless!

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com

Week 5, Humblebundle is The Best

Monday: 2017-01-30

Applied for a couple of jobs, can’t believe the first month of the new year is almost gone already! I’ve kept myself busy the whole time, but it still feels as if I’ve done nothing. This is why I keep doing this journal thingy, to keep track of what I have been up to. And I must say I have done a lot! All the paintings, the marketing, the trailer, the catalog, the website changes, all the comic scripts and character designs, and so much more. Please pat me on my head and say I’m a good boy! *voff*

Anyhow, today was a fix-the-stream-day, I tried a couple more settings and found what works good for now, might do minor adjustments in the future to find the perfect settings.

I also streamed today, for a couple of hours actually, played League of Legends, although I promised to never play it again. My account got permanently banned for calling someone a fag boy. I guess he took offence… like a little fag boy.

So I made a new account with a completely fresh skill rating, hopefully I will be able to climb the ranks easier now. I’m guessing the reason I kept getting teamed up with bad people is because I used to intentionally lose games whenever someone insulted me, to punish them. This lowers my own skill rating, so that was a bad move; I should’ve just reported them.

Tuesday: 2017-01-31

Still working on the stream, adjusting the twitch alert settings, and tried to find something similar for YouTube but there was none at this moment, I hope they will implement it in the future. Signed up for a 12 month subscription at humblebundle.com to receive games cheap and donate money to various charities, what an interesting combination.

Anyhow, this will quickly fill up my game library so I can stream different kinds of games, which is great!

I managed to only write three comic scripts, it wasn’t due to all the playing, but due to the fact that I was doing so many other things. Money transfers, codes, accounts, adjusting settings to make streaming a better experience. Had to play around with various screen elements, reposition them so they don’t block important aspects of the game. I experimented a lot with the microphone settings, applied a noise reduction and a gate. My current computer sounds like a truck, so I had to set up the microphone properly. Surrounded it with some left over soundproofing that I had saved (good thing I saved it!!!)).

The webcam I’m using is from 2002 or something like that, really old, however it still does its job. However, it requires a lot of lighting, need to figure out a solution for that as well. It will probably be the final piece because it will require investing time into setting up a proper lighting environment; I will probably have to build a light box or something like that.

Wednesday: 2017-02-01

Still working on the stream, tried out a couple of recordings, adjusted the bitrates even more, will have to do more testing.

Managed to write a couple of comic scripts.

Thursday: 2017-02-02

Worked even more on the stream, testing various filters to enhance the quality, it seems like the coloring profile – the streaming services demand – desaturates all the colors, making it look dark and boring. Will have to try out a couple more recordings before I begin streaming online.

There is much to do before it is ready, I can’t believe I left things this unfinished. I believe it was a year ago when I decided I wanted to stream while working. But I got caught up in lots of other projects, like moving, painting the apartment, building a sound booth, decorating and a whole bunch of other things.

Anyhow, I spent the final hours of the day watching other streamers in hopes of learning what makes them successful.

Friday: 2017-02-03

Spent the whole day setting up various streaming tools, I’m using AnkhBot to do many automated commands for me. It is a great tool, but it does have its limitations so I had to spend quite a lot of time researching how to get things done.

It was so time consuming that I stayed awake for 24 hours, coding and trying things out.

Saturday: 2017-02-04

Continued working on the streaming tools, it is a lot of work. I continued on setting up Ankhbot for a couple more hours until I got tired and fixed other minor stuff instead so I don’t get too caught up and forget about the other millions of things that has to be done.

Sunday: 2017-02-05

Today was a pretty chill day, worked on setting up the streaming tools until the afternoon, where I spent time with family instead. Helped my little brother move because his apartment got invaded by ONE mouse, oh well!

I continued my work after sunset, got lots of things done, researched into PHP and decided to learn it… when I find the time for it.

Wrote a game design, a text based RPG people can play in the chat while watching my stream, it will be a lot of work so I’ll first plan and think about possible problems before I even begin coding it.

 

Hope your week was fine as well! Feel free to share anything you’ve done over the past week or if there is any book, movie or series you want to recommend. I’ll make sure to check it out and give my opinion.

Thanks for reading, GOD bless!

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com

Week 4, Completed Two More Comic Characters

Monday: 2017-01-23

Administrative work, checking emails, applied for jobs and such. Managed to finish off the third character for my upcoming comic! The character took quite some time to finish, even though it is simplistic in its design. Was having some issues deciding which design I wanted to go with, so I had to try many different things until I found what was working… this took quite some time, didn’t finish until late in the afternoon. Anyhow, I’m really happy with how the character turned out!

I’m not making ANY type of character… I’m actually putting real design effort into it, making them unique and stand out from the other thousands manmade characters in the world.

Hopefully my characters will stand out and become known worldwide!

Tuesday: 2017-01-24

A very productive day, I did some minor adjustments on the second character and then moved on to begin work on the third character.

It felt good to work on an empty stomach; I’ve basically decided to fast from dawn to sunset every day. It feels great, I feel lighter and more relaxed which helps me focus better.

Anyhow, I managed to finish the third character in one day, worked from 8 AM to 7 PM, so that’s 11 hours of work on the third character, but I’m also including the time it took to cook food, eat and other daily life thingies. So I guess it really only took 9 hours or something like that.

I felt like doing more work after finishing the third character, so I began on the fourth one! And everything went smoothly, worked from 7 PM to 2 AM, so that’s another 7 hours of work and I almost managed to finish the fourth character! Well, actually I did finish it, but decided to add some more design elements that fit the character, so one or two hours more and it would’ve been done as well.

If only sleep wasn’t important!

Wednesday: 2017-01-25

Continued working on the fourth character, apparently it took more time than expected to finish it. The final design element was a bit more complex; I had to make over thirty copies of the same detail LOOK different, took five hours to finish, instead of the predicted two hours.

Anyways, I was pretty much tired after all this work so I spent the rest of the day just chilling, cooking food for my family and tried out a new game “Overwatch” by Blizzard. Played it for six hours straight, but got bored of it, don’t get me wrong, the game is great, but it’s just not my type of game, too much aiming-aid. It removes one important skill that separates bad and good players… which makes it even more difficult to carry a match, WHICH MEANS your success depends on others. And I hate those kinds of games!

That’s why I play CSGO, it is team based, however; it still allows for the opportunity for you to win the game, even if you are alone against a whole team.

I remember one game that I will remember forever, and that is Unreal Tournament, the original. Damn that game was great. Nothing beats it, and I’m afraid playing Overwatch just made me reminisce of the good old times. I remember my aiming skills made clans chase after me and I jumped from clan to clan.

My aim in Counter Strike was also great, however, it doesn’t translate well into CSGO, the latest version of Counter Strike. I kept wondering why… that perhaps my skills suck? However, it turns out that CSGO has a system called “Lagg compensation”, meaning the hitbox (the thing that gets hit when people shoot at you) is always lagging behind depending on the other player’s connection latency.

For example, let’s say an enemy sees you, and you run behind a corner to hide. Well, if the enemy shoots, you will still get hit, even if you are completely behind the corner. Because they are hitting your hitbox, that is lagging behind FOR THEIR SAKE, because THEY have bad latency!

Now, on the other hand, if you play LAN, or on a server where everybody has a equally low latency, then this problem doesn’t exist.

Thursday: 2017-01-26

Not one of my proudest days, did absolutely no work at all.

I did apply for jobs, which I do daily, but other than that I didn’t write any comic scripts, didn’t write anything in my novels and I didn’t design anything either.

I just played the whole day away, no idea why, but I just felt like doing absolutely nothing today. Couldn’t be that I overate yesterday and basically had zero sleep because I would wake up every two hours to visit the restroom.

If I only had a wife or wives to keep track of my eating and make sure I don’t do anything wrong!

Friday: 2017-01-27

Same as yesterday, just not feeling like doing anything… the only solution is taking those daily walks… but it is still too damn cold outside. Oh well, I’m still trying to do some kind of work at least, I keep making to-do lists and jotting down ideas.

For example, I discovered that I need a couple of additional characters, some of them will be re-occurring a lot while others will probably only see light just once or twice (according to the scripts I have written so far). But you never know, I have plenty more scripts to write, I’ve only covered around 10% of the topics and that alone produced almost 100 scripts or so.

Anyhow, I’m leaning towards just making the characters that will be re-occurring more detailed, and other side-characters to be more symbolic. I’m already using a lot of stereotyping for my characters, but the side-characters will be even more so!

Saturday: 2017-01-28

Worked a little on my streaming profile, removed the old design I had on twitch and designed something much simpler. Spent the day designing new elements to go with the new design, which took quite some time.

Sunday: 2017-01-29

Continued from where I left off yesterday, finished up some of the major work on the design for my new streaming “profile”.

I believe it is time to start streaming and stop pushing that to the side all the time, I doubt I will be getting lots of viewers anyways; I’m not exactly a social butterfly. But, I do want to stream, it seems like a fun concept, I’m hoping it will give me more public exposure and thus be another channel for me to market my books and other work.

I streamed for a couple of hours, tried out different settings but was not happy at all with the stream equality. Stayed up to 4 AM! Oh well, will have to do some more experimenting tomorrow.

 

Hope your week was fine as well! Feel free to share anything you’ve done over the past week or if there is any book, movie or series you want to recommend. I’ll make sure to check it out and give my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com

Week 3, Character Designing for Upcoming Comic Strip

Monday: 2017-01-16

Did the usual Monday stuff, applied for a couple of jobs, checked email, also decided to publish these weekly journal blog thingies on Sunday night, or rather at midnight. No clue why, it just happened, deal with it!

Been thinking a lot about the comic, managed to write a few scripts today, but I really had the urge to start drawing out a few strips and perhaps start publishing on a weekly basis. I have enough material to run the comic for one year, and I’m hoping I will manage to write more with time.

If you’ve been reading my blog-journal-thingies, then you will remember that my initial plan was to write twenty scripts a day, and basically have 200 scripts ready in just ten days… yeah, that didn’t happen. Reality kicked in and I simply have to adjust. I believe switching things between writing and drawing will kill downtime. I know I talked about combining playing games and work, but why not combine two different kinds of work instead? Writing will be the intensive work and drawing will be the relaxing work.

Anyways, that’s the plan, and I spent the day gathering resources and such to begin the designs of the other characters.

Tuesday: 2017-01-17

Didn’t do much work today, zero writing basically, spent time mostly on the character designs. Was having trouble with the face and how big the head should be compared to the body. Tried out different version until I found what I was looking for. Then I went ahead and began inking the final design, a very slow and tedious process.

I’m already looking forward to work on the other characters; I know I need a couple more standard characters that I will be re-using over and over. According to the scripts I have written, there will be a couple re-occurring characters, so might as well do those too.

Wednesday: 2017-01-18

Not much to report, continued from where I left off yesterday, the inking process is much more time consuming than I thought. It is coming along nicely though.

I also contemplated a little about using color instead just black and white, I’m not quite sure yet, will research deeper into it tomorrow. I was hoping that using color would stand out from the crowd since most comics are black and white.

Thursday: 2017-01-19

Still working on the inking process of one of the characters, I will probably never make another character like this one with this many details. I want to keep the comic very simple and quick, however, I had to invest this much time on details for this character because it is part of its story and personality. Anyways, it is almost finished, can’t wait to start on the next characters.

Friday: 2017-01-20

Finally finished the character I have been working on, I quickly colored it to test how it would look like and I love how it turned out. However, I will be spending some hours tomorrow, or next week to really figure out the coloring. I’m after a specific kind of style, will have to experiment later on. It is important that the coloring “feels” the same across all characters. So I will probably wait a little with the coloring part until I do more research into it and try out the characters side by side to make sure they don’t clutter things up or take away attention from each other.

I might need to adjust the line-weight as well, to make sure all the designs are uniform and don’t compete for attention.

Saturday: 2017-01-21

Did some minor adjustments to the character I have been working on, it took a couple of hours, had to do some last minute design choices, moved around some stuff and removed whatever wasn’t working for me.

When I was happy with that, I then moved on to work on the third character, which is a much simpler character. The initial design went smoothly; I will be keeping the details to a minimum. However, I know I want freckles on this one, so perhaps only the face will be detailed.

Once I was happy with the concept I then began inking and solve issues along the way such how each part connect etcetera. I did get carried away and added too many details, so I had to go back and redo some of the work.

Sunday: 2017-01-22

Most unproductive day of the week, I had a severe headache since morning.

Spent the first half of the day chilling out and playing some games, and then I watched a classic movie in the afternoon, hoping it would make the headache disappear, but that didn’t work at all. Had to stay in bed the rest of the day, caught up with news and stuff of what is going on in the world. I’ve basically ignored all news for the past month, and honestly, there isn’t any new news. Just a repetition of the same old same old. The only good news is that Donald Trump is president now, I’m really happy about that and I’m not even an American. However, it is sad to see all these racists opening their ugly mouths; they are the devil’s constituents. GOD tells us that we were created different so we can learn from each other and appreciate GOD’s beautiful creations, just like how flowers are different. So, only the devil will tell an individual to hate other people just because they are different.

Anyhow, Trump sure has some very cool ideas, like building the wall. He has gotten a lot of hate because of this, but think about it… imagine if your house didn’t have a door, and people would sneak into your house and take your stuff or hide under your bed… a silly comparison, but logically, it is the same thing.

Oh well, I hope everything works out well and Trump keeps his promises, otherwise GOD will smite him.

 

Hope your week was fine as well! Feel free to share anything you’ve done over the past week or if there is any book, movie or series you want to recommend. I’ll make sure to check it out and give my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com

Week 2, Play at Work is a Winning Concept

Monday: 2017-01-09

Finally back to writing… and it didn’t go that well, feel a bit rusty! I did write a couple of good scripts for the comic and came up with additional character design. I also figured out that I need one more character, but was having a hard time coming up with something that hasn’t been done to death. Will continue brainstorming tomorrow!

Also did the usual Monday stuff, like administrative work and such. Was really fired up for going out on my daily 8 km walk, but it was quite damp outside with tiny cute raindrops. Oh well… hopefully tomorrow will be different.

Tuesday: 2017-01-10

Yay, finally, went out for my 8 km walk… came back home running after just half an hour! Too windy, too cold and too many distractions! I only managed to write one script during the walk, really disappointing. Oh well, things got better once I got home, tidied things up in the library and sat down to continue where I left off yesterday! And guess what, I managed to come up with the fourth character; the character is hilarious… if you like dark humor. I’m probably going to get a lot of heat from lots of rights groups and shitty humans like that. But oh well, that’s life.

I modified the design of the main character and then began drawing out one of the other characters. I have the concept that I want, but was not happy with any of the designs so far. Wrote a couple more scripts, it is becoming like a chore now, I feel very drained, but I keep pushing myself, really want to complete this project. Sometimes I feel so drained that I contemplate becoming a coffee drinker. But naaah, never.

Wednesday: 2017-01-11

Absolutely no energy today, yet I still managed to write at least eight comic scripts. Confusing, usually I get less done when I’m putting all my focus and energy into it. Oh well, writing works in mysterious ways.

I kept going back and forth between playing games and writing, after every round of CSGO I would sit down and write. Then before the next match starts I look up what topic to write about, so I do most of the thinking during the match. It reminded me a lot about college, I would play World of Warcraft at least 14 hours a day and still managed to get straight A, did the homework while playing! The pvp arena queues back then were very long, like sometimes you had to wait 10 minutes just to get into Warsong Gulch.

Looking for a PvE group was even more tedious, you had to look for people manually through the chat and the social window by searching for people in the level range you are looking for and talk to at least 20 people to form a proper 5 man team. You had to keep track of everybody as well, some people would leave so you had to find replacements and such.

My tactic was simple, since I was a tank, I could basically do what I want and get away with it, good tanks were worshiped back then. Anyhow, I would just find ONE person and then tell him or her to do the rest bwahahaha *evil grin*

But most of the time I would just get spammed daily about doing some tanking for people, so it wasn’t that bad.

Also, usually people would need to go away to eat dinner or use the restroom, so there was plenty of downtime for me to study.

I will try it again tomorrow and see if I can get more done this way.

Thursday: 2017-01-12

A productive day, although I spent too much of it fooling around, I tried the play games while working thingy and managed write at least 10 comic scripts, which is the highest amount so far. I guess the issue is that I get easily bored with repetitive work, my brain kind of goes to sleep, into day-dream-land. And games are unpredictable, anything can happen, which makes my brain stay awake and satisfied. At least this is my theory, because I feel extremely focused after each match of CSGO which makes me able to write a lot, however, after half an hour my brain begins to sink into day-dream-land.

I remember having the same issue everywhere I worked, for example when I worked as a metal smith, welding and constructing stuff, I would get bored quickly and being day dreaming if the work was repetitive, predictable and not stimulating my brain with opportunities to solve problems. So I would always demand more difficult tasks on a daily basis, after a couple of months I had learned basically everything about that company’s work and how to do it all by myself. However, this meant they no longer had anything new to offer for me to learn… so I began learning how the company was being run… and yeah, I bet you know where this is going. I learned about the customers and the other companies we did business with, proposed solutions and soon I was telling the CEO how to do his job. Then suddenly I get fired! Oh well, when I look at it from the bright side, then at least it ended with something unpredictable, hah!

Friday: 2017-01-13

Wrote a lot today, think 8 or 9 comic scripts… wanted to write more but felt burned out at the end of the day so I went to bed early. However, going to bed doesn’t mean sleeping – in insomnia terms; going to bed means just lying down on the bed, hoping for the best that can happen! Sleeping happens four hours later.

Saturday: 2017-01-14

Didn’t get much done at all, wrote around four scripts and edited two or three to remove grammar errors and misspellings. Spent the whole day playing CSGO more than I should… I’m starting to hate team-based games, like, any game where you depend on others to succeed. Whenever I trust that someone will cover for me, I end up getting stabbed from behind, like literally, that’s the only realistic part of games I guess. Whenever I trust someone in real life, I’m usually going to be disappointed, I just prepare for the worst and sometimes that’s not even enough because what actually happens is worse than the worst, like something that completely ruins your life. Some humans are disgusting beyond saving; the only way to stop their insanity is locking them up for life. They are the kind of people that destroy pieces of society, and with time as such people grow in numbers and strength; society crumbles.

Sunday: 2017-01-15

A good but slow day, wrote a couple of comic scripts, and also came up with a series which I’m probably going to get 30 scripts out of. Not really proud of how I spent the day, played too much. I’m trying to find good single player adventure games that don’t cost a fortune and work on an old computer with 2010 components. It is basically so bad that it turns off now and then as soon as the graphics-card gets too worked out.

Speaking of worked out, I worked out today; I’m predicting some major burn over the next couple of days.

 

Hope your week was fine as well! Feel free to share anything you’ve done over the past week or if there is any book, movie or series you want to recommend. I’ll make sure to check it out and give my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com

Week 1, One Project Done, a Thousand More to Go!

Monday: 2017-01-02

First work day of the New Year! I’m pretty happy with how much I got done! Received word from the printing company, the catalog only had one issue which I fixed easily. That was a minor setback, but I fixed it and sent a new updated version, hopefully it will pass through this time.

Other than that, it is a Monday and Monday is typical administrative work. I applied for some jobs and updated some minor misspellings on my painting’s descriptions. I had written it in a regular .txt file, so there was no autocorrect, oopsi… but it was just two words, not a big deal.

I also finished with the online version of the catalog; the images have a lower resolution to prevent theft! You can download it here for free:

https://ahmadwehbe.com/art/ART_WITH_A_PURPOSE_PAINTINGS_BY_AHMAD_WEHBE_online.pdf

You can download, print it and make paper-planes or other origami, actually now that I think of it; the colors will make for beautiful origami, so go ahead and do print it out to make origami!

However, most importantly, share it! Spread the news, help me reach people who might be interested in my art, it would help me a lot.

The catalog as a print will be available as soon as the printing company has approved it and I have proofed a copy.

I worked extensively on the website as well, added a lot of things and tidied things up. Added a FAQ page, check it out, also if you got any questions then don’t hesitate to ask away.

Went to bed around 3 am, and did some reading and YouTubing till I fell asleep at around 4 am, it was a successful day. A really amazing start for my 2017! Go ahead and share your experience, how was your first few days for 2017? Did you break a New Year promise just seconds after promising it?

Tuesday: 2017-01-03

The catalog was accepted so now I only need to proof a physical copy and approve it and then it will be available for purchase!

Spent some time on fixing the website, moved files around, did some cleaning. Discovered a couple of issues as well, but was too lazy to fix them, was thinking of only one thing the whole day… ever since I woke up… how to do a video promotion for my paintings!

I had a couple of ideas in my mind, but when I sat down to figure things out and plan them out, they kind of became their own big projects, so I had to throw away idea after idea until I figured out something less time consuming… the first plan was to model 3D environments, texture them and render them with my paintings in the room, and using animation to showcase different angels and moods. Then the other ideas were about pasting my paintings into photographs and do some color correction and such, but, it didn’t turn out that well. The focus of the photographs made the paintings too much “in the background”, so those ideas didn’t work either.

It was basically night by the time I figured out how I wanted to go about doing the video promotion. Was too tired to work actively, but I did force myself to do the basic stuff, like document size and figure out minor issues to make things flow better tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow… goodnight!

Wednesday: 2017-01-04

Applied for some jobs, skipped the daily walk as usual… getting really angry with myself about that… but, everything will be back to normal once I finish this entire art project thingy.

Worked the whole day on making the video trailer for my paintings… it’s not exactly normal to see trailers about paintings…  I have zero reference for how to make it, I need to invent the wheel so to speak, and it is harder than I thought, but I finally figured out how to make it. Took me the whole day to figure it out, hopefully it will turn out great! And if not, then it will be yet another cut on my chiseling towards that wheel. Damn I’m tired, I have no clue if I’m even using English properly, but one thing I do know, me tired, me bed.

Thursday: 2017-01-05

Another 14 hours work day, except that I took more pauses this time. I believe I got burned out from last week’s intensive work, for example I didn’t feel like doing much the last couple days, but good thing most of the work is just repetitive right now, so I can at least get something done.

Anyhow, today was good. Finished the video trailer, really happy… after 15 different versions and corrections… all this work and revising for a barely 4 minute video clip… I now understand the pain of movie makers and editors, wow, what a bunch of champions… nerds, but champions nonetheless. hah!

Worked out, applied for some jobs, the usual daily stuff… except the 8 km walk thingy, damn I miss it. Almost there though… wait for me… legs; please don’t go all chicken on me… beach 2017. Just kidding, I never go to the beach, it is too people-y for my taste.

So what more can I add… I ripped up some chicken for food, ate lots of candy, chewed a one day old gum, mumbled lots of crazy stuff to myself, laughed at my own jokes and plenty of other things that make people avoid me. hah again!

Anyways, I’m excited for marketing my paintings, it will be good practice for when I release my future projects! Goodnight!

Friday: 2017-01-06

Did some finishing touches to the video trailer, watched it over and over again until everything that bothered me stopped bothering me. For example the overuse of certain words etc, I had to find alternative sentence structure and words. It worked out great in the end.

That was the first half of the day, the other half was spent on the website, fixing some minor issues, added some additional meta data and edited the old ones. Basically every page lacked a description… oops? They only had a title and robots info, took a couple of hours to figure things out. Did lots of research as well to make sure I don’t mess things up by using outdated meta code or write things that will annoy search engines.

After that, I did some corrections on a couple of pages, updated the legal page, one word was misspelled, and I also added a couple of additional information.

A black background was also missing on that page; it is supposed to be placed behind the menu bar to make it look more uniform. The whole ordeal took more time and effort than what I had hoped for. Had a couple more stuff to fix, but I was tired of coding and instead finished off designing the new home page and began working a little on the video page before going to bed.

Saturday: 2017-01-07

Did some minor edits to the promotional video and then uploaded it. Spent the whole day designing and coding some parts of the website, published a new layout on the home page that I had design a couple days back.

I also updated the video page; I designed it to show the latest video as a big wide frame. And then added a list below it with different kinds of videos in smaller frames for different materials, such as trailers, vlogs and other upcoming projects but I had to remove them from the code of course, I will write the code again once I have uploaded such videos.

The whole project was very time consuming, just uploading to youtube took me a couple of hours. The uploading part was simple, however, the editing part takes a lot of time, had to add description, tags, closed captions, had to design a thumbnail and a card image, many details.

Anyhow, I’m happy with how things turned out, go check it out! https://www.ahmadwehbe.com

Uploaded the paintings to Facebook and Twitter, and then started an ad campaign on Facebook for the promotional video. You can check them out here:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorAhmadWehbe/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1807665782820437
https://twitter.com/AuthorAWehbe/media?lang=en

Sunday: 2017-01-08

Today I uploaded the paintings to Instagram and Pinterest, which took quite some time. Go check it out!
https://www.instagram.com/authorahmadwehbe/
https://www.pinterest.se/authorahmadwehbe/

I quickly noticed how responsive the Instagram community is, lots of likes, some comments and a few new followers. Which is a lot compared to the response I’ve received on Facebook and Twitter.

Pinterest has been super silent on me though, like zero everything. However, I did read ten blog posts about pinterest, and most people report seeing their posts fire up at least one year later, so you got to be in it for the long run I guess. Oh well, I’ll complain again in a year or so.

I also ran an ad campaign on YouTube and Twitter today, let’s see how that will turn out… so far Instagram has been the best marketing place… WITHOUT even running any ad campaign. I do suspect that to succeed on Facebook one has to also participate in groups and do micro marketing by engaging with others… and time grows on trees. 

Anyhow, I’m pretty happy with my new year so far, got lots of stuff done. And I can now get back to my writing! I can’t wait until I have to start drawing out each comic strip, now that’s going to be labor intensive! I will start publishing the comic as soon as I feel like I have enough material to keep the show running.

Hope your week was fine as well! Feel free to share anything you’ve done over the past week or if there is any book, movie or series you want to recommend. I’ll make sure to check it out and give my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com

Week 52, Happy New Year! + Made a Catalog for My Paintings

Monday: 2016-12-26

Interesting… a Monday that doesn’t feel like one! Perhaps staying up late from last week’s Sunday ruined my clock or something. Whatever, I couldn’t fall asleep yesterday, so I stayed up to 8 AM, continued working on the paintings, converting the raw files into uploadable files. Fell asleep instantly once I was done and woke up 5 hours later around 1 PM to finish editing my last week’s blog post before publishing it. Managed to get some administrative work done before that as well!

Anyhow, my brain suddenly tells me to offer the paintings as free wallpapers! Why not? So I’ve been meditating on how to do that without enabling opportunistic thieves from stealing the paintings and selling them. Did a little research and came up with something that will work -GOOD enough.

I stumbled upon some very annoying news as well, my web-host added some weird policy to their web builder tool. They now want me to pay if I want to publish more than 5 pages… my website already has like 15 pages, so when I logged in, I couldn’t even edit those and publish them anymore. Just great… just what I needed, MORE WORK. Now I have to do everything manually, I have to code stuff and make everything the old way.

I’m quite mad at them… when I signed up with them, they offered their web-builder tool for free, it was part of the basic package. And the basic package is still quite pricy, at almost $40 a year. But, with this new change, they want me to pay $60 more, which makes it $100 annually. Sure, the tool is worth it, but, my website is supposed to be simple, so spending $60 on a tool, just to update news and such seems beyond stupid at the moment. Perhaps when my website is huge and demands daily attention, then sure, I will gladly pay $60 for a tool that makes my web-editing faster. But for now, I will have to code stuff myself, which sucks. And it took pretty much the whole day to do just that, I didn’t get far either, it took me an hour to edit the legal page… something I could’ve done in the web-builder tool within just 2 minutes. Oh well… like a wise woman once said; work work work work work work *laughs madly at his own joke*

Tuesday: 2016-12-27

Stayed up late from yesterday, finally fell asleep around 4 am. I was continuing work from yesterday. Been working since yesterday on a new design for the main page on the website, I finished just past midnight, only to start working on the wallpapers, I spent three hours after midnight making smaller – resized –  copies of each painting, and then adding metadata to every file as well.

Was going to start adding metadata to the bigger files as well, but was too tired, went to bed and then woke up 6 hours later to continue working on the metadata. Don’t you wish your life was exciting just like mine? Don’t you? DON’T YOU? *psycho gaze*

Finished up with the metadata around mid-day, then went on to work on the website… I basically have to do all the coding manually now, so everything takes 10 times longer to do. Will be updating it slowly with time, there will be lots of errors and such, make sure to clear your cache now and then when you visit it, also, if you are using Firefox Mozilla then you can hold down the shift button while left clicking the refresh button, this will force the page to refresh without relying on the cache files you already have.

Anyhow, finished up some coding, but couldn’t go further because I was lacking content. Which brings us to the next phase, artwork! The metadata for all the paintings is finally done, so I went ahead and began uploading my paintings to fineartamerica and pixels, you can find them by following this link: http://pixels.com/profiles/ahmadwehbe.html?tab=artworkgalleries

Anyhow, I managed to upload 11 pieces before the clock struck midnight. Worked for another hour and a half to finish uploading a couple more paintings before I hit the bed…face first.

Wednesday: 2016-12-28

Couldn’t sleep last night, woke up just an hour later, only to find myself firing up the computer to continue uploading my paintings. Managed to finish uploading another set before I felt tired enough to fall asleep again.

Woke up at 9 AM, took a long warm shower, applied for some jobs and then went back to uploading my paintings. Finished uploading everything around lunch time, stressed about what to do next, there is so much that needs to be done before I want to start promoting anything… need to update the website and so much more. But I started from the beginning, went through every setting on the POD platform I’m using (pixels.com, fineartamerica.com), turned on some stuff, turned off other stuff etc… all while thinking about how I want to go about doing things. I also went through every setting on my Facebook page as well. I basically spent hours just going through every detail on all platforms to make sure everything is 100% setup the way I want it, to avoid future issues (due to laziness and ignorance).

Anyways, during this thinking period, I decided to also create a catalog for all my paintings, basically a magazine with my art, which includes available sizes, prices and much more. It will make marketing so much easier; I will make it available for free as a downloadable .pdf, and also make it available for purchase as a magazine. I will then be able to order a few copies and pass them along to local locations.

So there is a lot of work ahead of me… tedious work, hopefully I will be able to finish this whole ordeal this week and be done with everything so I can return to my novel and comic writing.

Thursday: 2016-12-29

Re-did the entire design for the catalogue that I had worked on for hours yesterday! Oh well, it is all part of the process. I’m very happy with how it turned out… and yeah, I started working on the catalogue from 11 AM… it is 1 AM now as of typing this, so that makes it 14 hours of work. Almost no breaks (except for eating food and taking a shower). I’m I done? NO, it’s my first catalogue ever, a lot of research, design testing and trying this and that has gone into it. But I can say this… wow… even I’m impressed with my own work, like, how often am I impressed with my own work? All the time of course… but that’s beside the point! It’s coming together and it is looking hot! Well worth the time invested, can’t wait to share it with y’all. There will be two versions, one that can be ordered from amazon as cheaply as the printing company allows, and one that can be downloaded for free. But the most important thing for now is me going to sleep, goodniihzzzZzzz… *snoring sound*

Friday: 2016-12-30

Yet another 14 hour work day, got a lot of stuff done. Formatting is the big time sink here, it is so damn tedious, took me hours to work things out inside word. The sections system is so cumbersome and annoying at times. But I learned a lot, I could say I’m a Word Section master now. WHICH IS GREAT for my many book projects. I remember having issues while formatting my philosophy book “GOD THE CREATOR”, I redid the formatting at least five times to get it right, had to create a new file every time, because once you mess up the formatting in word… there is basically no coming back from that, just a big mess that would take hours to untangle, might as well make a new file and start over. And that’s what I had to do a couple of times today for the catalogue I’m working on. Took quite a while to figure out how to make things work out the way I want.

There is always something that needs to be changed, or added, or mistakes that need to be corrected… for example, as of writing this, I discovered that I have to redo the images for six pages… that’s like 1 hour of work, just because of a mistake.

But, I’m quite happy with how things are turning out, I hope it will be all worth it in the end.

Saturday: 2016-12-31

And another 14 hour work day, continued from where I left off yesterday. It’s crazy how big word files can get, with all images imported, my word document is almost 200 mb! Anyways, it was tedious work, small changes here and there. Sometimes doing thing in one place will change stuff around in another place, really annoying. I will probably look for a new application to work with, one that doesn’t use a system that automatically moves stuff to other pages… I like my pages to be like strict canvases. Such a small concept, yet it is not allowed in word… stupid decision by the program designers. The whole system just feels heavy and unpredictable at times. Too many time-sinks… oh well, good for text-based work with minimal visual content.

Sunday: 2017-01-01

This time I only had to work 12 hours before finishing the whole catalog! I even uploaded it to my printer, and it is going through the proofing process at the moment, hopefully everything will go fine and I can finalize some details and then publish it.

I also began working on the ONLINE FREE version, it will probably take two days to finish… or I will try one of those online PDF resize services, if those really work, then the online version will be ready the same day I publish the paper version.

Oh well, what can I say, it feels great; it has been an interesting experience. I never realized how important catalogs can be… unless I made one. I highly recommend everyone who got products for sale to make a catalog.

It is time for me to go to bed, it has been a very intense week. 14 hour work days take their toll. I gained weight from 76 kg to 80 kg this week alone! That’s crazy.

Anyways, Happy New Year!
I wish you all a wonderfully new productive year!

Hope your week was fine as well! Feel free to share anything you’ve done over the past week or if there is any book, movie or series you want to recommend. I’ll make sure to check it out and give my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com

Week 50, Painting is Less Painful Than Writing

Monday: 2016-12-12

Today is administrative work as usual, paid some bills and applied for a couple of jobs.

Continued my painting work from last week, almost done with this color set (I don’t want to spoil which colors I’m working with… I know, I’m such a douche). Just got a couple more ideas to finish and then I will move on to a new set with different colors. If I have to count how many ideas I have turned into paintings over these three last days, then the number is around 150 pieces, but only 7 or so were good enough to reach the next stage… that’s a lot of work! Quickly now! Pat me on the back! Just kidding, that was so un-humbly of me, don’t worry, I pat my own back. *drops mic, puts shades on, puffs on a chocolate candy cigar*

After this initial concept stage, I try to look for color balance, shape balance, and a whole lot of other things to make sure it works out for me, a painting has to speak to me before it moves on to the next phase, where I spend more time working on a painting until I’m satisfied.

Read a couple of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft, “The Beast in the Cave” was so deceptive, I had to look it up on wikipedia, turns out he wrote that short piece when he was fourteen years old… or thirteen? The first draft was done in 1903 and the final draft was released in 1904. Anyhow, it explains a lot about the quality, but, I must admit that H.P. Lovecraft had a very good talent for creating suspense from such a young age.

Tuesday: 2016-12-13

Finished up with the painting set and moved on to the next set!

Was a slow day, spent more time than I should watching House Of Cards episodes, shame on me! It is getting a bit tiresome now, just a repeat of conflicts, it’s always like this with TV-series, they sell you the characters, make you want to see more of them, and once that’s done, then people get stuck watching the series no matter how bad or repetitive the episodes become. But it is okay, some interesting things are happening.

I actually had to check out Wikipedia quickly… turns out that people have similar complaints, especially for season 3, which is exactly the season my complaint is based on!

So what more did I do… applied for jobs, read a little and watched some YouTube before falling asleep. Oh, and I skipped my 8 km walk, sigh.

Wednesday: 2016-12-14

Finished up yet another set of paintings, the color didn’t work the way I planned, so I had to try something different, however, I’m happy with the result even though they are different in style from the other sets.

I was going to begin on the next set but it was pretty late, went to bed instead, watched some YouTube and read a little.

Thursday: 2016-12-15

Today was a not-in-the-mood kind of day, felt tired all day, didn’t sleep that well yesterday. Not taking those daily walks is very bad for my health, I thrive in the outdoors, hate being indoors so much but it feels like I have no choice. Bad weather, freezing cold, besides, I can’t paint while walking, that would have been too good to be true then!

Played a couple of CSGO matches and watched at least three episodes of House of Cards, that basically ate up most the day.

Friday: 2016-12-16

Woke up tired just like yesterday, but decided to remain in bed and read instead. Managed to read just a couple of pages before I feel back to sleep… the story wasn’t that exciting… still reading H.P. Lovecraft, the buildup of suspense is important in the horror genre, but, surely it doesn’t have to be dragged out, slow and boring?

Worked on the final color set, a very interesting color I must say, never imagined myself working with it, ever! It is difficult to work with, but when it works then it produces some very interesting paintings.

Saturday: 2016-12-17

Today I worked for 10 hours to finish off the last color set, I’m pretty happy with how the color worked out, never thought it would give me this much pleasure. I hope others will love the paintings as much as I do.

Anyhow, my brain was fried at the end of the day, tried out GTA5 Online to relax, it was fun, I have enjoyed GTA since the very first version came out on PC back in the 90’s! Crazy times! It’s a shame they have removed the top view from their latest versions, it added a unique style to the game, which is what made the franchise so popular in the first place.

Sunday: 2016-12-18

Went through all my finished paintings to check if they were still working, I will begin releasing them in a week or so, after I have had a couple of days of “cooling off” so my eyes and mind are renewed when I look at them. So far so good though, very happy with how everything turned out. Spent some time thinking about metadata and signature, and also some additional pieces for my first set of paintings that I did way back in 2014, there was originally 5 pieces in the set, but I had two removed because they didn’t work that well for me anymore. I did learn a lot from that experience and avoided the same mistakes whilst working on these latest paintings. Anyhow, I will have to add 3 more paintings to the original set.

I had them all removed from all the print on demand sites except pixels.com (fineartamerica.com) and my official website, you can still find them there for the time being. This reminds me to share that I will be making a big update to my website in the coming days. The landing page needs to be slightly changed. I’m still working out the details though.

Another thing that happened today was a big damn headache that hit me around mid-day. It basically ruined my favorite time during a day; night! Sadly, I couldn’t get much done today, not sure exactly why I got an headache but the theory I cooked up was a combination of things.

Spent the time in bed, watched the movie Spectral, a bunch of YouTube clips and finished reading another short story by H.P. Lovecraft. I’m uncertain for now if I really want to write a review of it. I’m starting to understand his writing style much better, it was as I suspected the first time, but it is becoming more evident the more I read his works. He was a genius; however, the problem we geniuses suffer from is that we expect others to understand us on our level. This explains why his work is perhaps not mainstream, or the average intellect back in his days was much higher than today.

 

Hope your week was fine as well! Feel free to share anything you’ve done over the past week or if there is any book, movie or series you want to recommend. I’ll make sure to check it out and give my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

– A. Wehbe, www.ahmadwehbe.com