More doodles. This time a map of Vietnam done in a spare half an hour. A version of the sketch on the left will appear in my book. I didn’t even submit this one to the publisher, but they found it, liked it and stuck it in the book. I’m glad they did, it looks great opposite the title page in the galley.

Photo by me of sketches by me.



This blog appears to be turning into a doodle repository. Notebooks for Project T and (new, yet to be announced) Project K.



This is the “working copy” of my book. Second pass edits are due to arrive tomorrow and I’ll be working inside these pages again. It’s beginning to look very lived in. I quite like that.


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Some more doodlings with 0.1 mm nib, black ink, Steadler pigment liner Fineliner pen, on Moleskine plain paper notebook..


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0.1 mm nib, black ink, Steadler pigment liner Fineliner pen, on Moleskine plain paper notebook.

sitar city

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Looking out over Dakar while listening to a recording of Annapurna Devi & Ravi Shankar from the 1950s.

Annapurna Devi, born Roshanara Khan) on 23 April 1927, is an Indian surbahar (bass sitar) player of Hindustani Classical Music. She is the daughter and disciple of Allauddin Khan, the founder of Maihar gharana, and was married to sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, also one of her father’s disciples from 1941 to 1962. After her divorce, she never performed in public, moved to Mumbai, became a recluse and started teaching. link

Photo by me of sketch by me

nodding in agreement


I’d never heard of Wendy MacNaughton before I listened to her interview on the excellent Longform podcast today. She’s an “artist, illustrator and graphic journalist”. The way she describes how she works and how she gets work is very similar to how things have worked out for myself; she blogged, people noticed, she got work. And, like me, she also worked in Rwanda. It’s the first Longform podcast that I’ve listened to and found myself nodding in agreement to pretty everything the interviewee says,

We’re getting so much information right now… non-stop with the Twitter, the Tumblr, Instagram and the whatever, we’re getting so much, so fast, of all of these digital based images, gifs and all that, that when you see something that was created by hand, like you see that someone actually drew something, I think that you see, Oh, it took somebody time to do that, it took energy and some kind of like care, and so we treat it in the same way, like we actually slow down to the pace of the person drawing and I think that that provides a real break in this, like, crazy rapidness that we’re all involved in constantly. link

Illustration of surfers by Wendy MacNaughton

the second pass

folded pages of the galley edit of Eating Viet Nam Dispatches from a Blue Plastic Table copy

The second editing pass, that’s the one before the final editing pass, officially starts on October 23. I got a head start today by adding all my first editing pass edits and more recent edits to the galley, pictured above. That way I can effectively start the second editing pass, the one before the final pass, before the official second pass start date. You follow? After the second pass is over, and during the final pass, at least five pairs of eyes will look it over. After the final pass changes are made, the book is published. Goddit? Meanwhile, on the importance of the editor,

Like a counterterrorism operative, a good editor had done her best work when you don’t realize she’s done anything at all. link