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Back From Beyond the Blogosphere

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Egad! What year is it? *Dusts off cobwebs and coughs up grave dirt* Well, I certainly didn’t mean to go on hiatus for like a quarter of the year, but life was . . . to put it mildly, a raging dumpster fire. Truth be told, it wasn’t ALL bad, but damn, did it get overwhelming. To be fair, there were some good points over the past few months, but for the most part, it’s just seemed like one exhausting and endless loop of me or any assortment of my loved ones being sick/injured/having surgery/requiring around the clock care at any given time. Aaaand, to make things even more stressful, apparently, somewhere in the back of my burnt-out mind, I thought this to be the perfect time to throw bringing home a puppy into the mix, because, who really likes being able to get even a moment’s rest anyway? Not this girl, apparently.

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Buuuuut, things are looking a little more stable (for now, at least) so I wanted to make sure to dust off my trusty old blog and try to catch up with my favorite blogging buddies. ❀ How are you guys?? What exciting things have you been up to lately, and what are your plans for the last few weeks of the year?? πŸ™‚

As we continue to race ever closer to the new year (can you believe 2022 is almost over?!) I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my goals and the ways I can best check them off my list one by one. Aaaand, to be honest, I’m getting pretty damn excited about it. More news on that to come though! πŸ˜‰

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August 2022: Victories, Video Games and Vaudeville

Is anyone else absolutely blown away by how quickly this summer is going by?? I, for one, am always Team Autumn so I’m not completely heartbroken about it, but it’s certainly shocking that August is already nearly at an end!

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As per usual, things have been pretty busy. Family medical stuff, work, big career moves, and more haven’t left me with as much free time as I’d like but I think I still managed to squeeze in some time for a lot of good stuff. πŸ™‚

READING:

Cupcakes & Machetes and I had a couple back-to-back buddy reads, and as luck would have it, we really enjoyed BOTH books!

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Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia was the first of the books we read, and we’ll be posting a buddy review for it in the near future over on our joint blog Sugar & Scream so keep an eye out to find out what we thought of this gothic horror! πŸ˜‰

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Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals, by Laurie Zaleski. This one was C&M’s pick and I was a little reluctant, expecting it to be a total tear jerker but although it definitely had its sad points, it was SUCH a good book. C&M already posted her review for it over on her blog, so be sure to check it out. We both loved it!

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As for solo reads, I’m currently reading I’m Glad My Mom Died, by Jennette McCurdy. As shocking as the title is, it isn’t hard to see her motivation behind it while reading through the chapters I have so far. The author does not hold back anything as she unveils the story of her mother’s manipulative, psychologically abusive and toxic parenting, as well as the way the life of a young child actor was forced upon her when she never even wanted it.

BAKING:

I tackled a new dessert and baked a S’mores Cake for my sister-in-law’s birthday. We’re talking a graham cracker crust bottom, chocolate cake, vanilla marshmallow frosting, topped with toasted marshmallows, a chocolate drizzle, and graham cracker crumbs.

My dad’s birthday is right around the corner as well, so I just picked up the ingredients to make him the cherry cheesecake that was his birthday treat of choice this time around. πŸ™‚

DRAWING:

With limited free time this month, I haven’t drawn anything yet in August, buuuuut I am brainstorming some ideas for a video game themed collaboration with C&M’s hubby for his streaming channel https://www.twitch.tv/heathen_rite this November. (More to come on that later!) πŸ˜‰ I’m also eagerly anticipating the prompts for some of October’s art challenges like #inktober and #corpsetober to pop up (hopefully) in the near future so I can start cooking up some ideas for spooky season as well.

WRITING:

Writing has been touch and go lately. With a lot of family stuff going on and whatnot, I haven’t had much time for writing, but when I have, it’s been a lot more productive than usual. Now that I’m taking medication for my ADHD, I can definitely see a difference in my ability to focus and not get as distracted by other things during writing time and other activities. It’s been really nice. πŸ™‚

EVENTS:

I recently got the honor of presenting at this year’s International Gentle Teaching Conference. It was such a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to co-present with. This was definitely a high point for me in my career and I’m so proud to have gotten the opportunity to present among so many wonderful speakers. Public speaking is TERRIFYING to me, but thankfully, since I’ve started actually treating my anxiety, it is now something that is much more possible.

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As for events coming in the near future, after a few years off due to Covid,Β Theatre Bizarre finally makes it’s grand return to Detroit this October! If you don’t know what that is, imagine the most epic Halloween party ever. Multiple floors in one of Detroit’s historic buildings are transformed into one big spooky bash with live performances, sideshow acts galore, fire performers, devils and deranged clowns, and more. We immediately snagged our tickets as soon as they went on sale. Aaand, to make things even better, Mr. and Mrs. C&M are attending this year for their very first time! We’re so excited to get to go together this time around. Time to start working on costumes! πŸ˜€

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In other vaudeville-themed news, I also recently got in touch with another event planner in our neck of the woods and got the inside scoop that they will be bringing back the “Carniville of Madness” (a Gatsby style upscale event with performers and oddities) which made its debut before the pandemic hit. Mr. Moth and I had a blast there but since their first year was right before Covid, we feared they may not make a return. Thankfully, those worries were put to rest and we now have another great costume event to look forward to.

Also, a couple’s resort vacation with Mr. & Mrs. C&M is right around the corner and after all the stress and chaos the past couple years have brought, we are ready for a relaxing vacation with our besties! ❀

AAAAND, we haven’t nailed down the details yet, but in October Mr. Moth and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, so we’re hoping to swing another vacation at that point too to celebrate. ❀

VIDEO GAMES/ENTERTAINMENT:

Re-playing Mario games with Mr. Moth for fun is always a nice way to enjoy a bit of free time.

I’ve also been continuing along on completionist mode in Hungry Shark World. After you beat the game, you unlock 2 extra sharks that have really high goals and I just pick at those goals when I need to mindlessly de-stress for a bit.

I’ve had a lot of fun lately nerding out with Imperial Rebel Ork over the Predator movies. We even did a buddy review over on the Sugar & Scream blog for the latest film installment in the franchise Prey.

So, that pretty much sums up how things have been going on my end. How have you guys been? Any exciting August moments I may have missed? How’s your summer been??

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5 Years Ignited

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Oops! I might be a few days late posting this, but my humble little blog has officially been fluttering around the blogosphere for 5 years now. Half a decade! πŸ˜€

I just wanted to thank all of you for being the best blogging buddies a girl could ask for. I highly doubt I would have stuck around this long if it weren’t for all the wonderful friends I’ve made here, so thank you for making this such a fun and amazing place to be time and time again. ❀

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4 Years Ignited

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Woo! If you see a bunch of fireworks lighting up the night sky tomorrow night, no need to be surprised. They’re clearly in celebration of my blog’s fourth birthday! πŸ˜‰

With social distancing the new norm these days, what better celebration than an online celebration? And who better to party with than all the amazing blogging buddies I’ve made these past four years?? ❀

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So, how are we celebrating? I thought I’d try something interesting and get some creative input from you guys. πŸ™‚ After all, there’s no way I would have stuck around this long blogging if it weren’t for all you amazing people that make up the WP community. ❀ Since the 4th of July officially marks my 4 year blogiversary, I figured I’d have each of you who want to participate give me 4 bits of inspiration for drawing, and that I could post the illustrations I come up with based off your individual input. So, here are my 4 questions posed to whoever is game to play. (No pressure!) All you have to do is leave me a comment with your answers to the following 4 questions and I’ll (eventually in the near-ish future) draw pieces that you helped inspire. So, let’s get onto it, shall we?

My Questions For YOU:

1.) What is your favorite mythical creature?

2.) If you lived in a fantasy or science fiction story, what sort of occupation would you want to have?

3.) What is your favorite character from a well-known fairy tale, fable, or legend?

4.) What real-life animal do you find to be the strangest-looking?

I hope you liked the questions I posed for you guys and that you will join in on the fun and leave your input. When I draw something based off your answer(s) I’ll post it here on my blog and leave a link to your blog in thanks for the inspiration you gave. Like I said, I just thought it would be fun to try a little something different.

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Thanks again to each and every one of you who has kept me coming back time and time again over the past 4 years. I hope you all have a great weekend, and Happy 4th of July to those of you who celebrate it! ❀

 

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January 2020 Updates

I can’t believe the first month of the new year is already almost over! January is always a big month for reflection and goal setting for me. It marks not only the start of a new calendar year, but also a new year in my life since it is my birthday month.

I know my blog posts have been far and few between and while I’d like to say that that is about to change, I’m afraid I can make no such claim. This year is going to be nuts. Between planning our wedding/honeymoon, my creative pursuits, work, etc. I will do my best to post when I can, but I also am not going to beat myself up over it if it isn’t as often as I’d like. 2020 is going to be an interesting year full of lots of crazy adventures and I’m kind of just living in the moment and trying to push forward to work toward my goals while also making sure I have time for the things and people that make me happy. ❀

Anywhoooo, onto some of the stuff I’ve been up to the past couple weeks!

Currently Reading:

I’m currently hopping back and forth between Mira Grant’s second Parasitology novel, Symbiont, and January’s book club choice, Missing in Michigan, by April A. Taylor. And because reading two books at once is never enough, I’ve decided that adding a graphic novel into the mix was obviously the right way to go. πŸ˜‰ Lady Mechanika, Volume 1 has been on my TBR List (and bookshelf of neglected titles) for too long, so I finally decided to take the plunge. Between one book about everything that could go wrong when scientists play God with genetically engineered tapeworms, another about a mystery-solving therapist to the dead, and yet another filled with lots of steampunk and monster goodness, I think I have plenty to keep me entertained no matter what I’m in the mood for.

Currently Playing:

Mr. Moth and I gifted each other a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and we’ve been having an absolute blast with it. I have always loved Mario Kart 64 but never ventured into any of the following iterations of the game over the years. I always worried with all the loopy crazy tracks that it would bitch smack me with some serious vertigo. Fortunately, this turned out not to be the case. πŸ˜€ There’s definitely a lot of differences from what I’m used to with the Nintendo 64 version, but I love it. We’ve been playing some other games along the way and have really enjoyed Unravel Two. It’s such a mellow and oddly-calming game. Kind of reminds me of how I felt when I played Never Alone. Speaking of games I’ve played and enjoyed before, Shovel Knight was one we decided we wanted to re-play. “All hail the Troupple King!”

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In other gaming news, although I, myself, am not playing it, I have been watching Mr. Moth play Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It’s a cool puzzle-based blend of history/mythology/psychology, and it’s been fun (and frustrating) helping Mr. Moth hunt for runes in the game. I like playing games, but I also enjoy watching others play them as well. πŸ™‚

Current Creative Projects:

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Back in November I found my writing groove once more through NaNoWriMo, buuuuut then the holiday season brought it all to a grinding halt. Thankfully, things have finally settled down once more and I’m back at it. πŸ™‚

In other creative news, I have a very exciting update regarding my future art projects. Although my birthday isn’t technically until the end of the month, celebrations have already begun. Among other awesome prezzies, I received a snazzy new drawing tablet! I’m so excited about it. There’s a lot for me to learn and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to work on any digital art, but I can’t wait to get the hang of it and start making lots of new illustrations.

Anyway, that’s it for my January update post. πŸ™‚ I think I’ll try to at least do one of these types of post near the end of each month, and then we’ll see what else I can pepper in here and there throughout the months to come. I hope everyone is doing well and having a fantastic start to the new year. ❀ ❀ ❀

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Inktober 2019: Week 2 Roundup

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Bailey rocking her new Halloween bandana.

Hello, it’s your resident sick girl here, living her best couch potato life with her trusted fuzzy minion cohort by her side, and we’ve got lots of new Inktober pieces for ya. A whole week’s worth, in fact!

Day 8: The daily prompt was β€œFRAIL” and I took my inspiration from old desiccated mummy faces. I then kind of took it into a more living dead sort of direction and ended up with this:

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Day 9: The daily prompt was β€œSWING” and chose to do a little sketchbook quickie of my girl, Batwoman (Bombshells batter style, of course!) πŸ˜‰

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Day 10: The daily prompt was β€œPATTERN” and I was completely and utterly stumped on this one. I decided to just draw some quick little jack o’lanterns in a pattern of sizes (tall-short-tall-short). Hey, they can’t all be winners, right? πŸ˜›

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Day 11: The daily prompt was β€œSNOW” and at this point I really wanted to up my Inktober game. I took inspiration from the legends of the wendigo since they’re associated with winter/snow.

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Day 12: The daily prompt was β€œDRAGON” and I was feeling sick as a dog at this point, so I *technically* posted this the morning of Day 13, but oh, well. I did start it on the 12th, but NyQuil landed me in bed earlier than I would have intended.

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Day 13: The daily prompt was β€œASH” and I embraced my sickly current state and drew a sickly woman covered in ash.

Day 14: The daily prompt was β€œOVERGROWN” and I went with a wild forest nymph with overgrown, wild red hair and branches growing out of her head because why the hell not?? πŸ˜‰

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Well, that’s this week’s Inktober installment from yours truly. I hope you guys have been enjoying your October so far. There’s plenty of Halloween fun still to be had this month. What fun autumn hijinks have you been up to? What creative stuff are you working on? πŸ™‚

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INKTOBER 2019: LET’S DO THIS!

Awww yeahhh! October, which is only the bestest month ever (fact), is nearly upon us! That means Inktober is nearly upon us as well. Bust out your ink pens and watch out for paper cuts because we’re talking about 31 days of pure unadulterated, hand-drawn inky goodness.Β  Last year was my first year participating in the infamous art challenge, but I just kinda did whatever I wanted and only ended up doing a few pieces. This year, however, I’m following the official Inktober prompts for 2019 and following the official rules.

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I recently went and got my art supply haul for Inktober and am feeling good about my weapons of choice for the year. I’ve never actually worked with India ink before so I’m pretty excited to check that out and give it a whirl. I might add the odd dash of color here and there throughout the month, but ultimately I’m going with the traditional black and white look with the occasional metallic accents.

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So, who’s with me? πŸ˜‰ Any fellow participants for this year’s Inktober challenge? Any past participants with sage knowledge and tips to pass on to a newbie like me? I’m aiming to complete a drawing for each theme throughout the month. I’ll try to share them daily over on my Instagram and will probably share a roundup of my drawings here on my good ol’ blog once a week.

I also plan to follow The Shameful Narcissist’s lead and start prepping for November’s NaNoWriMo challenge. Pile plenty of Halloween fun on top of that and October is going to be a busy-but-very-fun month. πŸ™‚

 

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August Wrap-Up

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I don’t know about you guys, but my August was nuts. It really was a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. My dad just had his 60th birthday and started his sixth decade right in the hospital. He’s doing a lot better now thankfully and was able to return home after one overnight stay, but I know it wasn’t how he planned to celebrate the big 6-0.

Thankfully, the month wasn’t all bad. In fact, I’d say it was mostly pretty damn good, just very busy. Mr. Moth and I started pre-gaming for the Halloween season by going to the ticket launch party for Theatre Bizarre and going to the inaugural Carniville of Madness, a 1920’s themed event where you dress up, watch aerialists, burlesque performances, sideshow acts, play carnival games, check out vendors selling various oddities and crafts, etc.

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Ticket Launch Party for Theatre Bizarre at Leon & Lulu

I also got to go stay a very fun weekend out of town with Mrs. and Mr. Cupcakes & Machetes and my fur nieces and nephew, as well as hang out with most of my book club ladies, so that was fun too. There was also a big work party, 2 birthday parties, and other shenanigans so this month didn’t leave me with much free time for reading, writing, or drawing. Fall is on its way though, and that is always a creative season for me, so hopefully I can make up for the lost time asap and get working on some of my projects I have going.

This weekend I’m ending the month by doing a LOT of yard work. By the time September officially begins, our backyard should be looking vastly different. This labor day weekend is pretty much all work and no play even though I’m off from work, but that’s okay. Happy Labor Day to those of you who celebrate it, and wishes for a happy weekend to everyone! ❀

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My Blogiversary: 3 Years Ignited

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Three days ago officially marked my little corner of the blogosphere’s third birthday!! I had no idea when I started my humble little blog 1,098 days ago that I would still be calling this bit of cyberspace my little home away from home, but look at that, here we are! πŸ˜€

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It’s been such a fun and inspiring three years, and such a large part of that is the fantastic community here on WordPress. You guys are the best. ❀ It’s amazing how you can form such great connections with people you’ve never met face to face, some even living in a completely different hemisphere than the one you live in. The world is crazy and awesome like that sometimes. πŸ™‚ So, a big shout out to all you amazing people who have shared in this experience with me the past three years. There’s no way I would have stuck around this long without such an outstanding community to share in all the fun with. ❀

I originally made this blog as a little hub of creativity. Adulting can make chasing creative pursuits challenging, but I feel like I’m starting to find a good balance now to focus and squeeze in more time for it on a larger scale again. It isn’t much, but I’ve started using my sketchbook again for the first time since the beginning of the year, and I feel like I’ve finally settled down on and committed to a single writing project. As I continue to nurture my creativity again I’d like to start sharing more about that journey here on the blog. I still plan to do reviews and my other random posts, but I think I’d like to make a turn back to focusing on creativity here again, be it mine personally or just the topic in general. πŸ™‚

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Well, there are officially only six months remaining in 2019, and I don’t know about you, but knowing that has reignited a fire in me to GET. SHIT. DONE. Both creatively, and here on my blog. Looking forward to sharing the journey with all you wonderful people. ❀ Thanks for making this adventure such a great experience the last three years. πŸ˜€