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NaNo Prep: Pending Insanity Mode

29 Oct

So we’re now roughly 50 hours away from NaNoWriMo kickoff, so I’m  getting myself into epic preparing for insanity mode. This is something I do every year, because it’s always better to be prepared when facing a month of abandoning all other free time to write a novel or two like a crazy person.

How am I preparing? Here’s the list:

1. Get comics straightened out 

I’m not updating Thursday’s Child during the month of November. Seems like a weird hiatus, but it will allow me to concentrate totally and completely on noveling instead of having to split my attention between two major projects. To do this I have to get three comics scanned and coloured so I have an update for the 31st (Before November) and updates prepped and ready for December so I don’t have to worry about them in a month. Thus, after I finish this up and drop in on a friend’s party I’ll be spending my evening dicking around with photoshop. Good times.

2. Wordcount: the starting point

This year I’m a nano rebel; I started writing Necromancer two weeks early. Why? I was inspired, and it was fun, and I was going a little insane at work and needed something creative to do on my lunch break. Before the 1st I need to have a definitive separation in scenes/chapters between my pre-november writing and my november writing, so as to keep an accurate word count. Thus, tonight or tomorrow I’ll be finishing up a scene so I have a clear November 1st starting point.

3. Stocking up 

I have a few sustenance requirements for NaNo: pixy stix, cookies and whiskey. I’ll be picking up all three at some point in the next two days, and setting them up at my desk within easy reaching distance. As well as this I’ll be picking up microwaveable meals and easy to cook foods like ramen so dinner won’t be as much of a distraction.

4. Printing and organizing 

I want my outline next to me in print at all times so I don’t have to muck around with switching to different documents while writing. So I have to print that, and organize all of the other things in my little story binder I set up a few weeks ago. It has maps, character information, timelines, plotlines and various derpery relevant to the stories I’m working on in this universe. Hopefully we’ll have enough paper and ink to get the outlines printed into hard copies for easy perusal.

5. Warning the world 

So hey guys, starting November first at about midnight, I’m out of commission. Assume that I’m at my keyboard typing frantically with no regard for the outside world unless I come to you. If I come to you, ask me if I’ve gotten my wordcount for the day and if I say I haven’t, chase me back to my computer with a pitchfork and don’t let me pester you until I’m done for the day. I CAN be social, but if I get behind then that’s it folks. This will happen especially during weekends since my weekdays are also full of 8 to 9 hours of working like a slave at the day jorb, so if I say I can’t hang out until I’m done writing, it’s just the way it has to be. I promise that December 1st, after I sleep a lot, will be a good day to hang out.

6. Rewards

This year my rewards for hitting wordcount goals will be videogames. I’m currently working my way through Batman: Arkham Asylum, I have Skyrim coming to me on the 11th and I bought Alice: The Madness Returns a few days ago. My life will consist of work, writing and videogames, and thus my plan is that whenever I finish my writing for the day, i’ll plop myself down in front of the TV and game to my sad little heart’s content. Nerdery is a great motivator.

7. Soundtrack

See previous post. My soundtrack has been assembled and I have a good-to-go playlist for all my writing needs. As long as I have the internet of course. >.>

8. Location, Location, Locaation 

I can’t prep my home writing space until my house guest leaves on Monday, but I know I won’t be doing all my writing at home, since distractions are far more abundant there. I have at least three coffee shops near my place of work downtown that have been welcome noveling havens in past years on my list, and I’m looking into some restaurants and cafes that have a good food supply so I can write into the late hours if necessary. I also want to attend at least a couple of write-ins just to see my fellow writing buddies in the local space and wish them luck and happiness in their novel excursions.

 

So I’m going to prepare for going insane now. Tonight I have a halloween party to drop in on and a bunch of comics to draw, and I should probably get that writing done. So we’ll see how it all goes. Those of you also joining in the madness, I hope your preamble is less insane but just as fun as mine.

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NaNoWriMo: Preparation Meme

23 Oct

I found a couple of NaNo related memes on LJ last year, and instead of writing a long, rambly blog about what my plans and plots for 2011 are, I figure filling this little form out will be much more informative. I highly recommend it, fellow NaNoers. If you decide to post it somewhere, leave a link in the comments – I’d love to see what everyone else is working on this year 🙂

**

Working Title: The Undertaker Chronicles Book I: Necromancer / Book II: Collector
Genre: Urban fantasy horror
Projected Word Count: probably 80 to 100k for each book, but I’m only aiming for 100k for NaNo. I’ve already started writing Necromancer, and am about 3k in.

AT THE START DO YOU:
Have an outline? Yes. Collector still needs an outline, but it’s on my To-Do list before the 1st.
Scene-by-scene? Yes – I work better in scenes
Know how it starts? Yes for both – Necromancer has a scene under its belt, and I’ve known how Collector was going to start since I figured out the end of Necromancer.
Know how it ends? Yes, for both of them. Bearing in mind that Undertaker as a series has at least six books in proto-planning, the beginnings and ends of all the books are mostly formed.
Have your climax in order? Necromancer is sorted. I know some things about the climax of Collector, but I’m still figuring out the details.
Know your main characters yet? Yes. My main characters are the same for the entire series, and I’ve been getting to know them for the last few months.
Plan to draw on your own experiences? In a few places. My MC just finished her PHD and is at a loss for how to fit into the world, which I experienced (am still experiencing really) in my post-BA life.

IS YOUR WORK GOING TO BE:
Funny? I’d use the word witty rather than funny. My MC’s usual reaction to danger is very Buffy-esque: snark and destroy.
Serious? Yes – fantasy often involves Fate of the World at Stake, so there’ll be serious moments, especially as the series progresses. Collector is going to be MUCH more serious than Necromancer from what I have in mind.
Sad? In places, but not overarchingly so, at least that’s not what I have in mind at the moment.
Semi-Autobiographical? Nope. I am not a necromancer, or any other kind of magic user or reluctant hero.
Based on another story? Not really. I’ve toyed with a couple of short stories in the same setting. The setting is similar to the one used in my ’09 NaNo, but different enough for a complete new universe.

HOW HAVE MUCH YOU PLANNED? HAVE YOU USED:
A paper journal? Yes. Several actually, full of near-intelligible freehand notes and ideas
Multicolored pens? Not for structural purposes, just because I have those at my desk at work and sometimes inspiration strikes on the clock
A computer? Yes – I keep my outlines and initial notes on computer, as I type faster than I write by a longshot.
Index cards? Nope
Bulleted lists? For plot outlines and character development
Plot Charts? I don’t know what that is…
Character Charts? Little ones, just to keep track of everyone.
Character formulas? I don’t know what that is, so no
Favorite writing resource?: I love the internet in general as a research tool. Other than that just having people to chatter with on the NaNo website when I’m in a funk is infinitely helpful, and not just in November. Half my twitter friends are NaNoers, and they’re always up for a writing chat.

ODDS AND ENDS:
A line you would like to use: “You have your head so far up your self-righteous knightly ass you can’t see that your family – hell, the entire world – is in danger, and it has nothing to do with me!” Also: “NecroMANCER. Necrophiles are completely different and a lot less icky, and even though the two aren’t mutually exclusive, the ick factor is extremely high.”
A scene you would like to include: Both books will likely involve scenes of arguments around the family dinner table. These are always amusing.
A concept you would like to explore: Finding a place to fit in when you live in a small town that judges you because of who you are. The problems with religious bigotry. Bisexual characters.
A cliché you would like to avoid: Anything deus-ex. General fantasy cliches. Nothing fancy. The thing about genre writing is not to avoid the cliche but to find a way to make it your own in such a way that it’s fresh and amusing.
A character you would like to use: I have lots of them planned out, but I definitely want to do more with my MC’s siblings. The bartender should be fun too.

FORWARD THINKING:
Do you expect to be able to complete it? I expect to complete Necromancer for sure. Collector may take a little longer, but it’ll be started.
Do you intend to complete it? Of course. And write another couple of sequels to boot.
Would you ever try to publish it? That’s the overarching plan.
What do you expect to get out of this month of frantic writing? A proto-first draft or two to spend the first half of 2012 re-drafting and tweaking for publishing, a bunch of sleepless nights and fun times with writing buddies, and the joy of writing something new again.

 

A week and two days to NaNo. Definitely getting excited.

 

 

Updates, Novel-Writing and Nerdery

22 Oct

Another instance of blog neglect for me – a month and a half since my last post! D: .

I’d be more apologetic, but I’ll be honest with you reader-folk, work ate me. My job rocks, but every now and then a couple of hell weeks pop up and I get completely devoured. The last two weeks of September were deadline central, so I barely had the energy to get comics drawn, let alone blog. I even neglected my Minecraft playing, and that’s when you know things are going to hell in a handbasket.

I am still alive though, somehow, since that last week of deadline-chasing gave me the stress cold from hell, which turned into the sinus infection from hell because I’m an idiot and decided I was too busy to go to the doctor. I did finally make it, and I’m just finishing up a ten day cycle of antibiotics that have made me feel much, much less like death, which I am grateful for.

As well as working for the last one and a half months, I went on vacation briefly, as I detail at my other blog, since it was a very geeky vacation. I returned home with a bag 20 pounds heavier due to all the books I bought. Because that’s just how I roll.

So now it’s October. My birthday is in just over a week, and I turn 24. Not sure if I’m ready for that, but time stops for no one, so I plan on just accepting it and using the day as a good excuse to go out for sushi.

I’m still mostly a hermit. Last night we had a Rapture party, since apparently the world was supposed to end. We watched Red State and Dogma and ate soup. That’s about as social as I’ve been.

I’m also still drawing comics. My comic is still updating 3 times a week. It’s almost November, so I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo 2011. I admit though, I’ve gone for Novel Rebellion this year because I couldn’t wait a month to start the book, so I’m most likely going to be writing a series for the rest of the year. My book, Undertaker, has turned into a series of at least six titled The Undertaker Chronicles, and the first book, Necromancer, is in process. I expect to complete that book in November, and continue on to book two, Collector, after that first 70-80k. Did I mention I’m going for 100k this year? I’m tired of not getting shit done, and this seems like the time to do it. Thus, November will be a writing frenzy, and I’ll most likely be on here blogging about it, since I’m tired of not blogging. I miss it. It’s fun, I get to ramble about silliness and vent about my days. At least partially – this is a public blog, and my coworkers live on the internet, so don’t expect work stories. Things are getting better at the workplace though, so part of that is I won’t have much to complain about.

Expect a writing-related blog post later this weekend, a little less vague than this one. I want to use this blog for my NaNo progress this year. Geek-related posts will be over at Not Your Gamer Girlfriend. Wordcounts and story progress will be here.

So, and I’m holding myself to it now, more blogging for the rest of 2011. Hope you still stick around to read 🙂

 

Home, Time Passing, Perseverance

31 Aug

Currently curled up in bed surrounded by fluffy pillows and small stuffed animals. In the kitchen I hear Jeff cooking fresh vegetables he picked up at a little farmer’s market on the way home from school today. It smells like garlic and onions, delicious flavours I know he’s going to mix together with some peppers and mushrooms and serve over pasta. The only thing missing is a loaf of crusty french bread to make that perfection.

Work has been devouring my soul slowly, Sarlacc style, throwing more long hours and challenges my way. On my worse days I find myself holding back tears from the stress, simply because a combination of insomnia and not eating due to stress has left me a bit fragile. On the bad days. Most days that bad is combatted by audiobooks and caffeine coupled with frequent breaks to daydream or sneak out to way hi to Jeff when he’s walking by my building. He has a second interview at my company tomorrow afternoon. If he gets the job he’ll have the perfect schedule: flexible work hours and two classes. I’m very, very hopeful for him. Long as he doesn’t get promoted like I did, he’ll enjoy it.

I found out that I’m not the only person who feels swamped and overwhelmed by everything at work – an outside advisor talked to my team today, and we spent an hour and a half explaining what we were having problems with – my biggest problem being “I need a bigger desk!” (no seriously). It was somewhat depressing to know my colleagues have it just as bad as I do, if not worse, but also something of a relief. I know I’m not the only one with more than they can handle. Not being alone is the key to survival.

It’s still not enough though. I want to go back to school. I want to be a graduate student working towards a day job that I can at least like, if not genuinely enjoy. I want to move out of this too-hot too-cold hard to live in state, want to study and learn and live instead of dragging myself out the door at too-early in the morning. I miss having the energy to be creative at work. I’ve been drawing, but that’s all I’ve had time for. My novels are gathering dust, my new ideas shoved to the back of my mind to make way for numbers and tasks and drudgery.

I don’t know if I can make it two years.

What keeps me sane? Friends. Twitter. A boyfriend who cooks dinner when I’m too exhausted to move and lots of hugs when I’m feeling down and miserable. a wonderful fanbase of people who read my comic. I love drawing my comic, coming up with new ideas for novels. I’m going to buy a bicycle as soon as my new credit card arrives in the mail to replace my stolen one. In 39 days I leave for a week to visit my wonderful friend Karen in Washington for GEEKGIRLCON and a much needed vacation.

Having things to look forward to is the key to surviving.

It could always be worse. I turn 24 in October. I have at least two ideas for NaNoWriMo. The new season of Doctor Who is excellent. I’m starting to look into getting a Masters in Library Science in a couple of years. I want to be an archivist. I’m eating better (when I eat). My friends and boyfriend rock. Life is pretty good, even if I’m stressed and overwhelmed sometimes.

It still smells like garlic and onions. It’s warm and delicious and makes this apartment, this place Jeff and I have lived in for a month now, really feel like home.

As long as I have that, I can keep going.

Having a place where you feel you belong is the key to surviving.

I belong here.

The Kindness of Strangers

27 Aug

Last night Jeff and I went to see my favourite band. Well, favourite band that still actively tours, but they’re still in my top three bands I love of all time. The Hold Steady playing a free outdoor show; sounded like the perfect evening.

For the most part it was too; we ran into some friends, the openers were moderately entertaining, we drank bad beer and people-watched and let the exhaustion of our weeks slowly slip away from us. It wasn’t too hot out and we got a good place to stand. All in all, an excellent concert.

During the wait before the band came on (which was long – I’m compulsive so we got there early) we sat on a picnic table drinking beer and talking, and when Jeff got up to get a beer this guy wandered over. Fairly nondescript, lanky, brown hair and bearded, and a pretty sweet tattoo of a robot fighting a dinosaur on his left forearm. He asked if he could sit with us and I said okay.

That’s the thing about shows like this. People are chill. The Hold Steady attracts a crowd that’s sort of a weird hybrid of hipsters, hippies, party people, druggies, college kids, older folks… you name it, we saw it there. He sat with us and we talked after Jeff came back with beer. His name was Zack, he’d just gotten back into town (Lincoln) from Austin Texas, he liked bands like The Hold Steady and Radiohead and Modest Mouse.

As the conversation progressed he realized that he’d left his phone in his friend’s car. His friends were supposed to come back to the show, but he had no way of contacting them without his cell phone, and the crowd was getting large and milling, making finding people next to impossible. He was clearly stranded, stuck in Omaha over night, with no real way of getting back to Lincoln save for camping out in a doorway overnight and then hopping a train in the morning (his idea, not ours).

So Jeff and I offered to give him a ride home. It seemed reasonable. The guy seemed nice even if some aspects of his personality were (in retrospect) a little shady and weird. It was the kind of crowd where drugs were easy to come by, and it’s a fair chance that he was on something, or several somethings, by the time the night was over.

We met him after the show outside the Slowdown. He thanked us profusely for letting him tag along with us to Lincoln. We get to the car, my sister’s Honda Civic, and I start climbing into the backseat, shoving my purse and sweater and other things in front of me.

It was at this point that several items from my open purse spilled out into the backseat.

Zack insisted that he sit in the back, that he didn’t want to inconvenience me by making me sit in the back all crunched up (2 door cars are a joy like that), and so I let him into the back and got into the passenger front seat. That was how we rode home.

I did not grab my purse out of the backseat at this time.

We drive the 50ish minutes or so back into Lincoln, and we’re all very conversational and nice. Zach asks us questions that seem innocuous, like what kind of car we were driving in and what jobs Jeff and I had and other things of that nature. Things that only seem suspicious in hindsight.

We get to Lincoln and he asks us to drop him off at 14th and O street. He complains repeatedly that he really, really needs to go to the restroom as we’re driving into Lincoln, and as we pull up to the sidewalk and we let him out he’s definitely in a hurry, stopping to give high fives and handshakes but definitely in a hurry.

No worries, I figure. He just needs to pee. Look, he’s even walking funny he has to pee so bad.

We drive the mile or so back to the apartment and as we get out of the car I head for the backseat, starting to gather up my things.

It is at this point that I realize my wallet is missing.

Genuinely missing, not just misplaced or shoved under one of the seats or under a sweater. We tore that car apart, which didn’t take long as it was small and recently cleaned. And we realize there’s another reason this guy was walking funny. Probably a reason he asked so many questions about our lives. A reason he hightailed it out of there before we noticed anything was wrong.

I go inside, immediately call my bank to cancel my credit card, and begin taking inventory of all the things I had carried in that wallet, that long rectangular bright red ladybug wallet I loved so much. My driver’s license was in Jeff’s wallet since I’d needed it for the show and didn’t want to take in my whole purse since I knew I’d be dancing. My cash was in my pocket. Overall my net losses were my library card, my now-cancelled credit card, my insurance cards, my old student ID, my birth control pills, a couple of expired giftcards and some receipts.

He also took my day planner. Why he did that is completely beyond me. It doesn’t even look useful.

He got nothing important. Everything in that wallet is replaceable, even with a little hassle. He didn’t get anything like my social security card or my computer passwords. The planner had my address in it, but we live in a secured entry building two blocks from a police station. I have my driver’s license. I can replace my insurance cards. I have another pill pack I can use to take my medication. Inconvenient, but manageable.

It just sucks is all.

It sucks that we do this guy a favor, two normally not very trusting kids, and he thanks us by stealing something of no use to him. He tells us what kind of person he is. That he judged us by our well-maintained car and the answers we gave about our lives and our jobs. He determined that we were clearly doing well enough that he needed my things more than I did.

Or he was just high out of his mind. That’s also a possibility.

Jeff and I are doing well for ourselves. It’s easy to judge people by their covers, we all do it all the time. I work a damned good, well-paying job. We were driving a very nice, still very new looking car. We gave the impression of being college kids even though I’m not and Jeff’s only part time.

Impressions are dangerous. Judgments are dangerous. I don’t work any less hard for my money because I work in an office for a corporation that gives me benefits and paid time off. Jeff doesn’t work any less hard because he’s a part time student. We still get help from our parents, yes, but we’re young, and extremely lucky, and we’re grateful. Painfully grateful. We never acted like we were better than this guy. That was something he invented for himself.

So it hurts. It makes me rage that this is what kindness to strangers will net you in this world. It makes me want to track down this guy and punch him in his face. Or at least get Jeff to punch him in his face.

We were up until 2 or 3 sorting things out, and sleep was nearly impossible.

Once I got there though, I did okay. I woke up and felt better, not just from getting the rest.

My memories weren’t tarnished. The show was still fresh in my head and it was still as glorious as I had remembered.

It really was an amazing show. This is the third time I’ve seen The Hold Steady, and they just keep getting better and better. We muscled our way close to the front, and after six solid months of listening to their music at least daily I knew all the words to all the songs. I was that kid, screaming along with the songs and pounding my fist in the air.

I forgot everything in those moments. Music profoundly affects me, and there’s a reason I love it. Normally my brain is a hyperactive chittering mess, like a squirrel on speed suffering from ADD. I’m always dealing with at least five things on my mind: work, impending grad school, my comic, my novel, what to make for dinner, various songs I like. It’s busy up in here.

The music and the crowd washed it all away. I thought of nothing in those moments but being right there, right where I was, singing along and feeling exuberant joy at experiencing The Hold Steady the way they were made to be experienced.

Nothing can take it away. Not even some asshole who decides to rip off a couple kids who did him a solid.

Thanks for trying buddy.

So maybe I’ll be more reluctant to help strangers now. I usually am anyway. But it’s not all bad. My friend Jen saved a guy’s life last night by being a kind stranger, calling 9-1-1 when she noticed him passed out on the sidewalk. When I first met Jeff he was a stranger, in a friend-of-a-friend just met kind of way, and I DD-ed for him so he wouldn’t have to drive on his birthday.

I’m cynical. I’m jaded. This incident has lowered my opinion of humanity, made me feel foolish and caused me a lot of trouble.

But everyone’s different. We all have our reasons for the stupid shit we do, even if this guy’s reason made no sense to us.

As Jeff said, he’ll get his. Especially since we have every intention of filing a police report.

But I won’t let the best part of the evening be taken away. That concert was fucking amazing. So, nice try buddy, but your assholery is just a tiny blip on the radar in my life, and after time, I’ll forget you, and just remember the music.

Stay Positive.

Frenetic Waltz

13 Aug

Good day internet friends. It’s been almost a month since I updated here, due to my aforementioned promotion to a new position at work combined with moving. To say it’s been a little frantic is by far an understatement. So here’s what’s been going on:

Work, Money, etc. 

So yes. Promotion. I work 40 hours instead of 28ish, starting at 8 AM every day Monday through Friday, and while it’s quite exhausting, I think I’m getting a handle on it. I’m listening to a insane number of audiobooks these days, going through between two and a half a week depending on the length of the book. Recent books I’ve devoured include Haunted, Rant (Both by Chuck Palahniuk), The Lost World (Michael Crichton), Dreamcatcher (Stephen King), Fool, A Dirty Job (both by Christopher Moore) and I’m currently listening to How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu.

Despite this literary joy (Seriously, I haven’t enjoyed reading this much since before I went to college) I’m rather exhausted. Work is an ever-changing environment and while sometimes I can cope with that, sometimes the mental exhaustion and sleep deprivation drives me to urges to go sit in the bathroom and cry for no reason other than I can’t really believe that this is what I should do for the rest of my life.

Today my first paycheck arrived. The first thing I bought? Three volumes of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. One of my goals is to expand my graphic novel collection, and Sandman is a good place to start in my mind. Other things this paycheck will go to include groceries, savings for a new bicycle (or my next tattoo, whichever one I want to get first :3 ) and probably some art supplies.

Art

Comic is still updating, and it’s going well. Not to give spoilers, but we’re rapidly approaching the end of Part I, and I’m excited to continue drawing it. So don’t worry folks, I may be exhausted, but I’m going to keep drawing Thursday’s Child until my limbs fall off. I am debating making a ‘real’ website for it over a tumblr feed, so if any of you nice folk have tips for starting up a comic website, please send them my way, as I’m a complete noob and haven’t the foggiest clue where to start. I’ll give you bragging rights, cookies, whatever. ❤ I just want something easy to navigate with cast pages and other pages. Like comicpress. Can anyone teach my how to use comicpress?

Yes, I am a noob. You had to ask?

Writing 

I’m getting there. Still have half-a-dozen novel ideas battling to the death to get my attention. I’m hoping to get something done before NaNo this year, but it doesn’t seem likely. That said, I’ve deliberately set aside time from my comic schedule to write this november, so I WILL get a novel written. It’s gonna happen, it’s gonna be awesome.

Apartment

We moved two weeks ago. Our new apartment is glorious and wonderful. We’ve seriously cooked every single night we’ve lived here, which is a huge HUGE record for us since we used to live off takeout and restaurant food. I’ve put pictures up on Google + for the curious/nosey. If you don’t have G+, I have invites 🙂

Future

*sigh* this… this will probably need a separate post. I’ve been doing some insane soul searching lately and I have a lot to say about it. So hopefully i’ll get that up here later today or tomorrow. Needless to say, things are happening.

Other stuff

I no longer have a car. The car is now my sister’s. This is a wee bit inconvenient, but the fact that I’ve walked a minimum of two miles a day for the last two week compared to the zero miles of the past is huge for me.

That’s the quick update. Now it’s time for me to throw together some breakfast and bake some bread.

Developments

13 Jul

So, THINGS have happened. Big things, big messy lifechanging things, and even though I’ve presented the TL:DR version on various social networking whatsits, I figure I should fill all you folk in, especially since some of you don’t know me in meatspace or talk to me on the IM’s.

So yeah.

I got a promotion. At the workplace. I’m basically being bumped up to full time, plus shiny benefits and a pay increase that is both more than I’ve ever made in my life and near double what I was getting paid as a part-time data entry drone. Apparently I DO catch on quickly and learn fast and they need more of that in the survey building area of where I work.

This is good, excellent, brilliant news, and I’m excited, and nervous, for that ball to start rolling this coming monday.

Only downside? The work hours are 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. Which means waking up at around 6:30 every morning.

This will be… interesting… and a bit icky. Hopefully I’ll manage to adjust without going completely insane.

Jeff and I move in 19 days. Our new apartment is closer to downtown than the current one, and we’ll be free of roommates, so it’s a big exciting thing. Hopefully packing won’t be too much of a pain in the ass.

My sister got back from her study abroad in London. She’s jet lagged and homesick but she’s back with our parents and her kitty cat, so it could be worse.

I’m still drawing comics, though JulNo didn’t go very well. Guess I’ll just chalk it up to an impossibility and accept that I can throw myself into NaNo in a couple months.

I got Google +. Feel free to track me down on it, I don’t have much up there but a few random photos and thoughts.

And I’m catching up on season 5 of doctor who. It’s better than I expected, though Matt Smith’s head still looks like a bloody potato.

That’s your update from me. More adventures to report later, when life’s gotten even more exciting. Because it always does.

 

 

 

Freedom, Friendship, Chips and Dip, Worth It

5 Jul

It’s about 2 am. I have to get up for work at eleven, which isn’t awful but could be handled better. Jeff’s across the room reading comics on the internet, Morbo is asleep in his food bowl, the roommates are derping around with anime and I’m covered in bug bites.

Tomorrow I go back to work, which is a bummer that I’m dealing with. Things like seeing my sister next week and Ben Folds in concert on Friday are what are keeping me going. That and the new apartment, which feels so far away right now, a million years and countless hours of packing and work between now and then.

JulNoWriMo is going okay – I’m behind because today I decided to hang around with friends and cook instead of write. That’s okay. I’ll catch up.

Today I made a seven layer dip and a six layered cake. This amused me. It was pretty delicious stuff too – thank Nathan Fillion’s twitter recipe he posted a good six or seven months ago. Turns out you can be a brilliant actor and a genius cook too.

The comic continues, fairly well. I occasionally have spasms about the quality of my art and storytelling ability, but I figure I have what I have, I”m improving as time goes by, and I love doing it, so fuck the rest.

Sometimes I wish I could fast forward a few years and be able to live off my art and my writing. Somehow that feels like cheating though, so I suck it up and go to work for six hours and then come home and work another six hours drawing and beating my head against my novel. It’s all worth it. Fuck plan B.

Friends are friends. Still mostly a hermit, but had a great time tonight with folk, first with Jeff, Dan and Brandon watching movies and grilling and eating and conversing, then with Sam and Jess setting off fireworks while being chewed alive by mosquitoes, then going back to their apartment to play with their adorably spazzy kitty and watch The Emperor’s new groove.

I may be a hermit, but I love the friends I have. They remind me there’s something in the real world worth sticking around for.

Back to work tomorrow. I have a Carl Hiaasen book on audio to listen to, havarti cheese and cucumbers in the fridge to make sammiches with, enough money to survive frugally for the next two weeks even though I blew most of it on food and concert tickets.

Totally worth it.

Sometimes life just is.

Hope everyone else had a good 4th, even if you aren’t American and celebrating by blowing shit up. Hopefully today was freeing for all of us.

The Artist at Home: Six Months

15 Jun

It’s June. Six-ish months ago I dragged my scared, uncomfortable ass out of bed on a saturday and walked across the stage to get a diploma that took four and a half years of my life to earn. I was living off of my parents kindness for the most part along with a part-time bowling alley job, and didn’t have the slightest clue where I was going.

Cut to six months later.

I have a job. Part time yes, but it involves mostly just typing things in a nice, air-conditioned basement, there are vending machines, low lighting, and all the music and audiobooks I can listen to. I make enough money to get by for now. I have free time coming out of my ears and am only just now getting past the whole ‘what homework do I have to do next?’ mentality.

I have another job too. Also part time, but only because of necessity. I get done with my data entry work, shuffle myself home, throw something together to eat, and sit down at my desk and draw. I have a webcomic that I post here on mondays, wednesdays and fridays. Each page is hand drawn and takes between two and four hours depending on how solid a grasp I have on the concept. When I’m not working on the comic I’m writing, or thinking about writing. I’m working on a new novel, The Heretics, which is science fiction, and I have an idea for a dark humor fantasy novel that I’m keeping on the backburner until November.

Last year I didn’t know what I was going to do. Didn’t know where I was going.

Now I have a better idea.

My comic is a personal project above anything else. I’m doing it to improve my art skills, to tell a story I’m passionate about, and to have fun. Maybe after I’ve been updating for a couple months I’ll put up a donate button or start offering commissions. I draw art for friends’ birthdays and holidays as a personal gesture as well as a relief to my budget. I hope to submit some short stories to places once I get the ideas down on paper. I hope to have both The Heretics and this new novel idea done by December, and 2012 will be the Year of the Nerve-Wracking Publisher Hunt Experience.

So there you go. I work two jobs now. One is part-time and pays the bills. The other is full time and goes on constantly in my head.

It’s difficult, the conundrum of wanting more hours at the Real Job to make the monies but also knowing that this will cut into the Dream Time. I need more money, but I also love having time to sit at home and draw or write. I don’t get more hours for another couple of months though, so I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.

And will I daydream about being able to write and draw full-time? All the time. If enough people start donating, I could even go full time. I could also start a unicorn farm.

Hey, when you dream, dream stupid right?

Do I miss school? Somewhat, but only because I miss the familiar. The Real World is still something I’m getting used to, especially the financial side of it. My parents are infinitely supportive of my dreams and my goals, my boyfriend is in the same boat as I am so we hold each other up. I make just enough money to make rent and pay bills, put gas in my car, buy food and squirrel a tiny bit away to save up for things like plane tickets to visit my friend Karen in Washington, a bicycle, my next tattoo.

I’m poor like dirt. My living situation is still a month and a half away from being more than just tolerable. There’s pockets of drama blowing up every which way because people don’t function well during the summer. It’s hot as balls and it’s gonna get hotter. I have to move soon.

I couldn’t be happier.

This is living the dream.

Time to go to work now. Six hours of data entry slaving, but I have techno and books to keep me going. Then I get home and I have a comic page to draw and at least three birthday presents to start work on. It’s gonna be awesome.

Don’t give up folks. The dream is in reach, even if it’s uphill struggle all the way.

Scenes from an Artist

8 Jun

It’s Wednesday. I got off work at about six and then proceeded directly to the cave that is my bedroom and threw myself into some good old art, since my webcomic is now up and running (you can find it here if you haven’t tracked it down already). I settled down with some snacks and got to verk.

I’m working a good three weeks ahead of the update schedule, so call that a very distant preview. Also visible are all my art pens and pencils.

And how did I inspire myself to finish this page?

Watching The Voice. Because I’m a nerd for quality singing voices, Cee Lo is a badass and Raquel Castro is pretty fuckin’ awesome. Seriously. She’s the adorable little girl from Jersey Girl!

*Kevin Smith fangirl moment*

I’m starting to work on more scripts. I’ve got sketches for the next few weeks of updates. I’m drawing when I get free moments. Wishing I didn’t need that peskity day job so I could just spend my whole day writing and drawing, especially since that new novel is feeling slightly neglected. I’ll get back to it though. The summer is young.

Back to the art slavery I go. At least the art store has some quality sales!

Cool grey prismacolor 12-pack sets for $9 each?! I think I’m in heaven ❤

 

Happy June everyone. Hope your creative endeavors are going as well as mine are (At least for now).