The Details

Fatherhood is a lot like standing in the shallows.

To one side of you is a huge stretch of sun-baked sand. To the other side is an unimaginably immense expanse of water.

You’re not technically on the beach anymore, but you’re not out in the ocean either. You’re swayed by the pull of ceaseless currents while your feet still dig into the land, and an occasional wave hits you just a bit higher than you’d like, and no matter how many times it happens, it makes you suck in your breath and wince every time. And you consider getting out, but then you’ll have to walk over all those searing, pointy rocks, and you left your sandals up by your towel instead of at the tide line because you ran down like crazy to jump in, but by the time you got a few feet into the surf you realized it was just so cold. Then another wave slaps you in the crotch, and as you wipe the windblown sand from your eyes and think about all the other places you’re going to be finding sand over the next few days, you remember why you prefer going to the movies over going to the beach.

Honestly, I named this online collection of thoughts and pictures “Standing in the Shallows” because I can’t draw hands, so most of my figures are sticking out of waist- or elbow-deep rippling water. Also, the name sounded a lot better than “Sketchy Parenting” (don’t want CWS at the door) and “Doodle Dad” (the same). Sometimes I draw people sticking out of cracks in the Earth, just for some variation.

I’m a professional writer, journalist, and editor, and since I don’t drink coffee, I chew on pens and doodle. I have a wife, two young daughters, and a toddling son.

I’m not a visual artist, nor do I call myself one. I have a sense of proportion, and perspective, and technique, but sense isn’t talent. You will find little continuity in my art. For the sake of some aesthetic foundation, I have reduced my family to basic caricatures (I have a beard! My wife wears glasses! One of my daughters has wispy hair!).

I draw with a black Sharpie ultra fine point permanent marker on 3-by-5 index cards of any brand, unless otherwise noted. I write with sustainable organic fonts displayed in wild caught (never farmed) pixels on discerning—preferably fair trade—monitors.

7 thoughts on “The Details

  1. LOL! I love that your characters stand in water because you can’t draw hands. You are brilliant! I absolutely love your drawing style and your blog man! Great, great stuff!!!

  2. Caitlin May says:

    I’m enjoying wading (ha! pun intended) around your watery-blog. But I have a question, can you draw feet/shoes? You could (potentially) draw people standing with their hands behind their back! Just an idea… unless you like sopping wet clothing. To each his own!

    Love the blog, love the humor. Glad you were FP’d so I could find this blog.

  3. itsjustjaco says:

    Love the blog

  4. I love your blog – your writing style is great and your posts always make me smile so I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blog Award 😀 : http://jigokucho.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/sunshine-blog-award/

  5. Mrs Finkling says:

    Hi! I just wanted you to know that I have nominated you for a “very inspiring blogger award.” Here’s the link to my post: http://finkling.com/2014/01/03/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award/ — Have an awesome day!

  6. Rae says:

    Who can draw hands? No one! Or at least no one cool. Maybe a few cool people, but I don’t like them. Unless by saying that they’re cool reveals that I do like them. Then… I don’t know what to think anymore.

  7. […] Ryan Miller is a professional writer, journalist, and editor, and since he doesn’t drink coffee, he chews on pens and doodles. His debut picture book, MATILDA MACKINCHEESE, is forthcoming from Sterling Children’s Books! To learn more about Ryan, visit his blog at standingintheshallows.com […]

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