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An artist in the weeds

I've reached an odd place tonight where I've got 2 important creative projects swirling around my brain and I'm not sure what direction to take either of them next. The first is my novel where I've created a lot of interesting plot threads and twists and I'm not sure how to tie them together. The story takes place in an unimaginably harsh world where the laws of physics are twisted. I've reached a point in the story where I have to start resolving them and I'm not sure how. This isn't writer's block. I could write 10,000 word in any one of a dozen directions, I just want to pick the one that will pull this story into the station with an original bang.

The other connundrum is with a flute I'm designing. I'm trying to tell the story of the early history of jazz up to the 1950's in silver images. I've got a dozen faces if jazz greats and a few dance crazes that I can sculpt into the metal. The problem is I haven't found the heart of this story yet. Of course, the heart of jazz is in the people who created it, but I'm trying to depict it entirely in tiny images on a flute and it will take more than portraits to reach inside and pull the guts out and show my love for jazz. I need to put my feelings into a visual portrait of a musical medium that stirs you up as much as it does me.

So here I sit telling you my problems, listening to Bessie, and Basie, and Billie and Tess, while trying to thread that fine needle between illustration & art / writing & literature. No wonder so many artists drink themselves to death.