Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 11: Wrong hand

It took me a while to come up with a book for this prompt, which was to use your off hand. People who don't know me in person may not be aware I'm left handed, and very dominantly so. Apparently right from infancy I would reach across my body for things, just to use the left hand instead of the right. Of course I've tried things like writing my name with my right hand before, with near-illegible results. I was pretty much resigned to my drawing attempts for this to be disastrous.

Except they're not. I have no idea how I pulled this off, but I drew it during a very slow Farmer's Market this morning and people kept coming by and admiring it, without realizing I was essentially doing it all backwards and having trouble even holding the pencils. Add to that, I did no underlying rough sketch, because I assumed that would be pointless. It took me hours to do what I could have drawn with my left in ten minutes, but it's not bad at all.
Bad scanner. There are no lines on the paper.
'Dragonsong' is just one of the books in Anne McCaffrey's massive Pern series, and the first in the Harper Hall trilogy. I've had to buy all the books of this series I currently own, because my mother wasn't about to give up hers. This was the first of the Pern books I ever read, though, at her recommendation.
The main character, Menolly, is a gifted musician in a very male-dominated society, that forbids her from taking up music as a career. She could still practice it in private, of course, but the real final blow comes when her hand is grievously injured to the point where she never expects to be able to play an instrument again.
Drawing is as much a part of life for me as music is to her, and if my left hand were injured I'd be devastated. On the other hand, as painstaking as this drawing was, it shows me that I would be able to adapt, with effort. Menolly doesn't lose her gift with music, either.

If you're not familiar with the Pern series at all, the major feature that draws most people is the dragons. They're not really dragons, in the traditional sense, but actually psychic alien animals on an alien planet colonized by humans who've forgotten they ever came from another world. In addition to the aliens they call dragons, there's a smaller version called fire lizards. These have usually been feral animals, rarely spotted, but around the time of the story people are just starting to discover they can bond psychically to humans the way the larger dragons do. Menolly is witness to a hatching, and ends up psychically bonding with all nine of the survivors of the litter. That's a lot of fire lizards. I was very careful to draw all nine here, in the correct colors.
'Dragonsong' is not the first book in the Pern series, and I'm not technically sure what is, because there are prequels, but it's an excellent place to dive into their world.

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