Lodge 49: The Day of Days

Lodge 49 Fan Art by Shirley Pesto

As a good friend and fellow writer put it, “What a wonderful surprise.”

Lodge 49 is a unique mix of whimsy, comedy, mundanity, wonderment, happenstance, and belonging. It is a story that surrounds the members of an organization called The Ancient & Benevolent Order of the Lynx. They have lodges all over the world, but most of the Lynx members that we follow are part of Lodge 49, based in Long Beach, California.

The Lynx mirrors some secret societies in that they have a membership fee, ranking levels of officers, and secret induction ceremonies. Except with the Lynx at Lodge 49, it’s not secret, they dabble in alchemy, the membership fees are put towards things like Bunco night and Lynx-official beer steins, and anybody is allowed the chance to join as long as they ask. There are still semi-secret induction ceremonies, but they’re usually followed up with something like a pizza party afterwards.

The story allows time for each of the characters to introduce themselves. As viewers, we get to know their strengths and flaws which makes them all the more relatable. While societal issues aren’t a specific subject matter, there is a nuanced look at what each character deals with and where their hardships intersect. And through all of that, there is still room for hilarity.

The show’s original story stands strongly on its own, but I felt some warm hints of nostalgia from past shows like Twin Peaks (1990), Northern Exposure (1990), 30 Rock (2006), and Key West (1993).

The other thing I love about this show is the awesome cast-n-crew. Those that are active online seem like they genuinely enjoyed working on the production. Also, for entertainment purposes, there’s a delightfully themed website that is not only designed in character, but includes goodies like gifs, downloadable high-res artwork, and Spotify lists that showcase the impeccable soundtrack.

It’s hard to describe how special the story of Lodge 49 is to me. I can only say that it was something I needed to see exactly when I saw it. It was a sad realization that AMC canceled this show after the second season. Regardless of its brevity, it was a gift. A perfect package of mystery with just enough answers to keep us guessing what all the rest of it meant.

At one point in the show, two characters discuss how great moments are often only realized after they’ve passed. After you realize it, you wish for moments like those to happen again, so you can appreciate them while they’re happening. Like an otherwise mundane day, where all your loved ones are casually able to stop by. You make your favorite food, someone brings your favorite drink. Everybody gets their chance to relax and shine on that perfect day. You always remember that day fondly: a Day of Days.

Lodge 49 is the Day of Days of television. It was a special treat to meet you there. If we ever meet again in the Lodge, first drink is on me.

Technical Difficulties

For my writing and drawing hardware, I use a MacBook Air and a Wacom Bamboo tablet. Both were purchased in 2012.

The MacBook Air is fast and the battery still lasts surprisingly long. The Wacom Bamboo tablet is the first digital pen and tablet I used for drawing and I grew to be comfortable with it.

Before the tablet, I’d use paper and pencil and would then scan the drawings into Photoshop. If I drew digitally, I’d draw with vectors in Illustrator, using a mouse or trackpad. I don’t know if there was an easier way or if it was just a transitional time of the digital age, but it always seemed like I was making it harder on myself, haha!

There was a years long gap where I didn’t draw much just because of stuff like work and whatever. Then when I decided to get back into it, there were all these tools, but at more affordable prices.

For writing, I use Pages (free) :O)

For drawing, I use Pixelmator. I love it. I believe I got it on sale for $10, but full price is $29.99. Now there’s a Pixelmator Pro app available for $40 (upgrade bundle for $35). For now, I’m sticking with what I’ve got, but Pro seems like it’s got some pretty cool new bells and whistles! Check it out if you’re interested (https://www.pixelmator.com/pro/).

I’ve been really happy with my tools, especially because they have lasted for almost 8 years now.

I decided to update my 2012 MacBook Air to Catalina. All else was smooth, except the Wacom Bamboo tablet could not connect correctly. When I went to the Wacom website, the only options were to:

  1. Downgrade my operating system to before Mojave, or
  2. Get a new tablet

That kind of bummed me out. I was expecting to find a driver or something that I could install to get things working again.

Seeing the only options from Wacom were to downgrade my OS or buy a newer tablet, I wasn’t really in the mood to buy a Wacom product. I researched what Apple products were available. The best quality for the price option was to get an iPad and an Apple Pen. That would be about $350-$400. So that kind of bummed me out, too. The Apple tools still look cool, but now’s not the time for me.

So I found this app in the Apple store called “Connect my tablet” created by WPTRNPT LTD for $9.99. Most of the reviews said that it worked and some specifically referenced “old Wacoms” and Catalina. It was worth a ($10) shot. I’m happy to say that it worked!

A few notes:

  • The initial installation and troubleshooting process is seriously step-by-step prompt boxes written in the kindest manner I have ever seen
  • Though the tablet connected fine, I did encounter a “permissions issue” that the developer fixed with a helper program. The only negative is that it must be run each time I restart BUT it’s just a simple double click to open and run it, and it was free.
  • The developer had a quick response turn around time and was super nice
  • Every time I restart, I don’t need to open “Connect my tablet”, unless I want to change the tablet settings.

Therefore, if you’re in a Wacom/Catalina pickle, you might want to check out the “Connect my tablet” app to see if it can fix your pickle.

Here’s a doodle I drew today with my newly connected old tablet! :O)

Single Line Self Portrait

November Weekday Wordcounts

Thanks to some positive encouragement, I’m going to bring back Weekday Wordcount posts on my Instagram and Twitter accounts for the month of November. I’ll be drawing a cartoon to accompany each wordcount total post.

While I’ve been writing a lot, I feel like it has been a little bit aimless and irregular lately. I need to edit down what I’ve got, but also need to write more (always!). So I think the wordcount tracking, however big or small the total, will help me hold myself accountable :O)

I would also like to draw more comfortably again and think the only way to do that is to draw daily. My goal is to get a healthy habit where I’m either writing or drawing for a good chunk of the day.

I’m working to make a few submissions to open calls and contests for both writing and comics. Specifically, my short term goals have been to submit at least one short story to the Screencraft Cinematic Short Story Competition by the November 30th deadline. Then, to submit to an open call for an Asian American Comics Anthology by the deadline on January 31st.

Just a note, Writers’ HQ (UK) posts a monthly list of writing competitions and also offers many other writing resources. It’s where I found out about the Screencraft contest. Check them out if you’re interested.

Lastly, I’ll be posting my Weekday Wordcount Cartoons here in case you’d like to see them outside of Instagram or Twitter :O)

Happy Writing!

Script Writing

Earlier this week, I submitted a short film script to an open call. Even though they (very kindly) passed on it, I think it was an important step. I hadn’t written a script before, so I consider it useful that:

1) I wrote it, and

2) I submitted it, despite my fear that it was too novice.

It was also an opportunity to have my work read, which is so valuable to me. If you’re interested in reading it, you can download a PDF of it here.

As always, thank you for reading! :O)

Short Story News! Detective X: Conclusion & Epilogue

Hello :O) I’ve posted the Conclusion of Detective X. It’s the longest part in the series and I hope you enjoy it.

As a surprise, I’ve also posted an Epilogue! So be sure to check it out after you read the Conclusion.

If you’ve been waiting to read the story in one fell swoop, today’s the day :O) The word count comes in at a grand total of 17,603 words and I’m proud of it. Writing this story has been an experience like no other for me. Thank you to everybody that has read and shared it.

A special thank you to: my family for their continuous support, my mom for helping with Japanese to English translations, and my husband for detailed editing and for designing the e-book versions.

Which leads me to this! If you’d like a digital version of Detective X, you can download it for free!