I’ve been wanting to do a blog for a while where I chronicle what my typical day is like as a stay-at-home dad/cartoonist. The caveat being I didn’t want to plan it.
I didn’t want to decide what I was going to wear, or what I was going to do, or what day might be the most interesting. That just seemed like cheating. So, I shelved it for a while and figured I’d get to it sometime down the road.
Well, yesterday was the day. It hit me early in the morning after the day had begun and I just sort of went with it.
So, here’s a pretty typical day:
5:00 Alarm goes off. Curse daylight, roll out of bed, and put on my sweats.
5:10 Check email and website/blog stats.
5:20 Walk the dog, drink coffee.
5:45 Shower/breakfast/CNN Headline News/more coffee. (I have an idea for a business cartoon involving a souffle in the shower, but the more I think about it the worse it sounds. I scrap it.)
6:30 Wake up Henry. Get a load of diapers washing. (My wife and I use cloth diapers, so I wash a load just about every other day. It’s not as bad as it sounds. You’d be amazed at what you can get used to.)
6:50 My wife heads to work and I feed the boy.
7:05 This is where I officially had the idea to document my entire day. Track down the camera. (I had to sort of backtrack for the first few hours, but it’s pretty right on.)
7:20 Clean up Henry, take the first picture, and get down to play-time.
8:15 Vacuum the house. I try to get my head in cartoon writing mode, but nothing comes.
8:30 Run to the bank to deposit some cartoon checks. Drop by Krispy Kreme and pick up donuts for my father-in-law. (He’s coming over to watch Henry so I can go to the dentist.)
8:58 I sold a cartoon! An industrial sweeper/scrubber company purchases this cartoon for an upcoming presentation.
9:00 More play-time.
9:15 My father-in-law arrives and we both marvel at Henry.
9:35 The dentist. The hygienist asks why I’m taking pictures of myself. I try to explain, but I don’t think she understands.
10:37 Off to Subway to pick up sandwiches for my father-in-law and myself. (I almost always get seafood with lettuce, onion and pickles for those of you playing at home.)
11:00 Chit-chat with father-in-law. Continued marveling at Henry.
12:00 My father-in-law heads out and Henry and I head outside to, as my Mom puts it, “blow some stink off.”
12:30 Back inside for play-time and stories.
12:55 Henry goes down for his nap and my cartooning day officially begins. I waste some time checking my email and surfing.
1:15 Actually get down to work. I usually write first because that part is the most difficult for me. I’ve gotten a lot better over the years, but there’s still no real method. I sit and think about stuff and try to let my brain run free.
1:35 Everything I’ve written is crap sp far. Here are some examples:
Businessman to other – “I’d love to show you my business model, but the glue isn’t dry yet.”
Worker at auto dent removal place to customer – “Sorry, we don’t do pocketbooks.”
Old man to another – “You know what I miss? Nostalgia.”
Grocery clerk to kangaroo – “Paper or pouch?”
I get up and start to walk around to try and jumpstart my brain.
1:50 I get my first decent idea.
Female snail on couch next to salt shaker remarks under breath to another female snail seated across from her – “I’ll change him.”
1:52 Another decent one.
Owl on couch to psychiatrist – “Anymore I just don’t give a hoot.”
I just need one more idea, but the last one always comes slow. (I try to write as many cartoons as I plan to draw for the day. Today I’ll be doing three.)
2:05 Got it.
Ostrich in emergency room to ostrich with head stuck inside hourglass – “I told you that thing was trouble.”
2:10 Pick out three older gags, get Ed Wood going on the DVD, and sit down and start to sketch my cartoons for the day.
2:25 Sketches went relatively quickly today. I start inking.
2:55 The time I save on sketches I more than made up for in inking. Two cartoons got drawn three times each to get them right. I start shading the final inks.
3:10 Shading is all done and I take a second to check my email.
3:20 Scan in the cartoons, make changes and add captions in Photoshop.
3:30 The mail comes and I resist the urge to jump up and get it.
3:45 All three cartoons are finished and I allow myself to get the mail. (I’m a mail junkie!) There’s nothing good today.
4:00 Get Henry up from his nap and give him a snack.
4:20 Margie comes home and plays with Henry. I get some housework done; the sink in the kitchen gets a good scrubbing.
5:15 Dinner. (Beef stroganoff, Jell-O and some crescent rolls with apple butter. Yum-yum!)
5:55 Upload pictures and get them ready for the blog.
6:45 Play-time with Henry and Margie
7:15 Margie reads Henry his bedtime stories and I begin blogging in earnest.
9:00 The blog is finished and I’m done for the day.
9:15 Now for some reading and some well-deserved sleep.