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August 2020 Art Update: Part 2

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Apparently August was a good month for drawing, because here we are with another art update for the month! πŸ˜€ It’s been really nice drawing so much more. I’m hoping this trend will continue when I return to work.Β  I wish I’d done the above drawing in a proper sketchbook, but when inspiration strikes while you’re on hold with your insurance company, you draw on whatever you have within arm’s reach. πŸ˜›

Part of my drawing spree this month can definitely be attributed to Shark Week. I took part in the #DrawingSharkWeek art challenge on Instagram created by MarcctheSharkk. It was a lot of fun, and the daily prompts pushed me into drawing some different sharks that I may never have done without that dose of inspiration. I did 5 out of the 7 days and I’m really happy with that. πŸ™‚

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I know the last shark image is a sad one, but it’s an important issue that is really messing up our ocean’s ecosystem.Β  If you aren’t already familiar with shark finning, it’s when fishermen catch live sharks, cut their fins off to be sold for shark fin soup or bogus miracle cures and then they discard the rest of the usually still-living shark back into the water. Without their fins, these poor sharks will either slowly suffocate or be completely vulnerable to other predators. Either way, its a horrible death that awaits an astronomical amount of sharks each and every year.

Aaaand back to fluffier content, the next 2 are just 2 ladies I drew in warmer color schemes than I usually do these days. It was kind of fun branching out from the cooler color schemes that have mostly been my comfort zone for a while now. ❀

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How have you guys been keeping busy (and sane) this month? I’ll be doing an August Wrap-Up post soon with more info on what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. Take care, guys, and have a great week! ❀

 

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Art Update: August 2020

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Happy Friday!! ❀ I hope you guys are all doing well and staying safe. I know 2020 has been a total hot mess, but I hope you’re finding ways to keep yourself sane during all of this. I’ve been finding a lot of solace in drawing and it’s been really nice. Like spending time with an old friend from before the stressful days of adulthood. (Maybe it just feels like that because I haven’t actually been able to see any of my friends in-person since February due to the pandemic!)

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For most of my life, drawing was such a huge part of my daily existence. The past 10 years, though, I found myself doing it less and less. Sure, sometimes I’d make time for it, but it just wasn’t how it used to be. Well, the past year I have definitely been at it more again and now I’m pushing myself to not just settle into my drawing comfort zone, but to work on new poses and techniques, and really work at strengthening my skill again. I’ve got a long way to go, and a lot of learning to do, but I’m enjoying being back on the journey. πŸ™‚

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One of the ways I need to push myself further with my art is getting back into digital art again. It’s been a long ass time. I’m strangely intimidated, to be honest. I got this great new art tablet but to quote the Joker from The Dark Knight:

“I’m like a dog chasing cars, I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught one”

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Well, one thing that will eventually force my hand to branch back out into digital art is the fact that most of my markers/brush pens are on their last leg. Filling up that sketchbook I got a while back has been slowly murdering all of them. πŸ˜₯

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Plus, I don’t think I’ll forgive myself if by the time I eventually return to work, I STILL have not gotten the hang of the new art tablet. I mean, it’s literally been 5 months since my work had to temporarily close its doors due to the coronavirus. Usually I have the excuse of not having enough free time, but that excuse has kind of gone right out the window this year, hasn’t it?? πŸ˜‰

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I hope you enjoy the new art. I’ll be posting some shark illustrations soon that I’ve been working on during Shark Week for an Instagram art challenge I’m participating in. It’s been a lot of fun so I figured I’d feature them in their own little post at the end of Shark Week. πŸ˜›

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What skills have you guys been building on during this year? What hobbies have you found comfort in?? What have you been doing to keep from going completely stir-crazy???

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Thanks, as always, for checking out my humble little drawings and reading my ramblings! ❀ Have a great weekend!

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Creativity Fuel

Hey, all you magnificent people, you! ❀ I’ve been trying some different things this past week to spark my creativity and keep the flames a-going. It made me wonder if you guys ever decide to “set the mood” so to speak for your creative endeavors? Do you find that certain things seem to lend themselves to making for a better creative day?

If I’m not making any sense, which I very well may not be, bear with me. πŸ˜‰ I’ve noticed that certain times of year, like the fall or during rainy/stormy days, I tend to feel more inspired. Another element that is, more often than not, very crucial in my writing utility belt is caffeine. I’ve noticed that good writing days often revolve around a variety of things that I find comforting so I figured why not make a point of setting up several of these things all at once?

As I get ready to venture forward into today’s writing journey, I’m surrounded by pillows (seriously, we have a major pillow/throw blanket addiction in this home), I have two candles burning so that the room smells like hazelnut coffee and cinnamon baked goods, I’ve got my caffeinated beverage, and I’m playing some lo-fi rainy lazy ambient music in the background. I’ve noticed I tend to write better while listening to strictly instrumental music (hence why I have an extra fondness for video game soundtracks). πŸ˜›

I’ve also got the ceiling fan going so I can feel a slight breeze. Basically I’m attempting to emulate a rainy autumn day, I suppose. Luckily, it is nice and gray outside, which also helps. πŸ™‚

Anywayyyy, that’s it from me today. What are your thoughts? What do you do to feel inspired? Do you have any sort of creative ritual or do you prefer to dive right in and just go for it? πŸ™‚

 

 

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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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Finding Inspiration During Quarantine

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Hi, guys! ❀ I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well in their own little corner of the world. πŸ™‚ I just thought I’d pop in and share a few of the drawings I’ve been working on over the past several weeks. Some days inspiration comes effortlessly, and other days I really have to fight for it. Some days I draw something because an art buddy creates something and it ignites my own creative fuel to want to make something too. Other days I do it to distract myself and clear my head. Sometimes a random bit of inspiration hits and I just do it for fun. What’s been getting your creativity flowing these days?

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The sketchbook I started at the beginning of 2019 is getting pretty damn full which is always satisfying. I’m actually hoping soon enough to branch back out into digital art. It’s something I used to do years ago, but for some reason I am finding it very intimidating to dive back into. Though, considering that many of my brush pens are on the brink of death, I may be forced back into it sooner than later. πŸ˜›

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What creative activities have you guys been immersing yourselves into lately? Do you feel like you’ve been bursting with inspiration recently, or fighting a creative drought? The past couple days I feel like I’ve been the latter. I’ve tried working on things but can’t concentrate on it for long. I think my head just isn’t in it right now. I know it will pass, and I know the reason for it, so I’m just trying to be patient and wait it out. Thankfully, that reading slump I mentioned in my last post has passed so I’ve been occupying part of my time with good books to keep me company. ❀

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Oh, I gave the ol’ blog a bit of a makeover the other day. What do you guys think? I have no idea what I’m doing with that kind of thing, so I hope it looks okay. I might fiddle around with it more at some point, but for now it’ll do! πŸ™‚

 

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Binge-Watching, Baking and Back to Blogging

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Anyone else feel like they’ve lost their grasp of time lately? It’s been just over two months since my other half and I last had regular Monday through Friday schedules, and almost just as long since my last blog post as well. Quarantine has my brain all over the place, even more than usual these days. I can’t tell you how many times this month I’ve still thought we were in April. lol

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I’d like to say I’ve been using my time wisely and kicking the shit out of my new year’s resolutions, but this is NOT the 2020 I signed up for, so that’s a big NOPE for me. πŸ˜‰ What I have mostly been doing is just been binge-watching shows and movies with my fiance and kitty, and doing things that make me happy and keep me focused on one thing at a time instead of a thousand things and worries all at once. Gotta keep that mental health in check! ❀

I used to bake all the time and eventually got kind of sick of it a while back. (I was always the person who was in charge of baking for every single event, be it in my personal, work, or school life and baking big batches of stuff time and time again just kind of got old after a while.) Well, with all this free time on my hands, I’ve been on quite the Quarantine Baking Spree. Some recipes made include:

  • Pumpkin Toffee Bread
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Rainbow Chip Cake Cookies with Whipped Frosting
  • Strawberry Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Banana Bread
  • Butterscotch Mousse
  • Dark Chocolate Oreo Mousse
  • Banana Cream Mousse

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As for creative things, it’s been touch and go. I have been drawing a fair amount, which has been nice. I’ve been posting the art over on my Instagram account which I use far more regularly. I really like Instagram for more frequent use, but I do miss the wonderful community and friends I’ve found here on WP. Like Imperial Rebel Ork has pointed out before, I think the blogosphere allows us to get more connected and have more of an actual dialogue with one another. πŸ™‚

I’ve also been trying to learn new tricks and techniques to get back into digital art. I got a fancy new art tablet for my birthday back in January and there is sooo much to learn but I am really loving all the options and artistic freedom it allows. Hopefully in the near future I can start actually making pieces with it once I feel I’ve learned how to best utilize it.

Writing has been a real “when it rains it pours” kind of situation. Some days I’m really productive, and others I’m like “What the hell am I even doing??” My attention span has been all over the place during this so my reading has been a lot less frequent as well. I’ve started reading multiple books (interesting ones, too) and then my brain goes “Nah, bitch, not today!” and they return to the TBR pile from whence they came.

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On days that the weather has been kind, we’ve gone walking, but it’s mostly been snowing and raining or just too cold, so there hasn’t been as much of that as we would have liked. I think one of the major things I miss doing is going to the gym. Hitting the treadmill with my earbuds in and listening to music or an audiobook was something I really enjoyed doing before or after work. I’m not cool enough to pretend I haven’t put my gym shoes on and done laps in my dining room/kitchen while listening to an audiobook. πŸ˜›

Mr. Moth returns to work tomorrow, so I’m guessing that will bring some normalcy back into our routine, but I’m also anxious about him going back too. Michigan is one of the states that has been hit really hard with COVID-19, and one of the parts of Michigan that has been a hot spot for the virus is the place we call home. I know good people who have lost their life to the virus, and it breaks my heart thinking about them and their families. Luckily most of the people I know who have gotten it have since fully recovered. ❀ A lot of the major people in my life that I care about are essential workers and have been working through the whole thing and I’m so glad that they’re okay. I hope you guys and your loved ones are doing well, too. ❀ I’m looking forward to catching up on some of the blog posts I’ve been missing. Please feel free to link me some exciting posts of yours I may have missed in the comments! I can’t say for sure how frequently I’ll be posting, but I’ll try not to make it another 2 months of radio silence between posts. πŸ˜‰

 

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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 Final Roundup & Farewell for November

Hello, and Happy Halloween, one and all! ❀ Even though it feels like I’ve spent half of October being sick, it’s been a really good month overall. I’m pleased to report that I have now officially completed October’s annual art challenge INKTOBER! Each day of the month I have unleashed a new ink creation to plague humanity, and it’s been quite the fun teaching experience. Along the way I’ve learned new techniques, pushed myself to think outside the box to meet the daily prompts, and I’ve shown myself that I can in fact make more time for the things I love despite all the constant business of adulting. πŸ™‚ So, before I take my previously mentioned writing hiatus for November, allow me to present my final roundup of Inktober drawings. Thank you all for all of the amazing feedback and support during this month’s challenge. ❀ It truly means a lot, and hopefully November will see me through completing a second challenge for NaNoWriMo.

Day 22: The daily prompt was β€œGHOST” and my immediate thought was Boo, probably my favorite fictional ghost of all time.

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Day 23: The daily prompt was β€œANCIENT” so I went with an elderly Joker-esque batshit crazy granny because why not? πŸ˜›

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Day 24: The daily prompt was β€œDIZZY” and maybe I was feeling inspired by my recent trip to Theatre Bizarre, but I wanted to draw a trippy clown girl for some reason. Hey, I just go where the inspiration takes me. πŸ™‚

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Day 25: The daily prompt was β€œTASTY” so I made a big shadowy werewolf looking forward to his next meal. Don’t mind all the doodles in the background, it was a sketchbook scribble session before I decided to slap some ink on it and call it a day. πŸ˜›

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Day 26: The daily prompt was β€œDARK” and I figured since I’ve been drawing sooo many people throughout the month, I wanted to draw a piece without anyone or anything with a face. There are some moths, sure, but they’re too little to see their faces, so whatever.

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Day 27: The daily prompt was β€œCOAT” and due to how cold it has been lately, I guess I was feeling inspired to draw a cute girl in a cute coat on a cold, chilly autumn day with wind and leaves blowing about.

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Day 28: The daily prompt was β€œRIDE” and what cooler ride is there than the Cat Bus from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro? πŸ˜€ This one was a lot of fun to work on.

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Day 29: The daily prompt was β€œINJURED” and initially I figured I’d draw a couple roller derby girls post-derby, with busted lips, bloody noses, etc. but then I was having an off day and couldn’t quite come up with the look I was going for, so onto Plan B. That’s when I decided to pay homage to Monty Python and the Holy Grail‘s Black Knight.

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Day 30: The daily prompt was β€œCATCH” so I went with an arcade staple, the crane game.

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Aaaaand FINALLY, we come to Day 31: And the daily prompt is β€œRIPE”. With it being Halloween, of course I had to go with a rotting pumpkin, past its prime and overly-ripe, with bugs crawing in and out of its face.

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I hope you guys have enjoyed the various pieces I’ve worked on over the course of Inktober, and, again, thank you SO MUCH for all the kind words and encouragement along the way. ❀ It means so much, and I’m feeling inspired and enjoying drawing more like I used to again and that feels really great. πŸ™‚

While I’m away for November participating in NaNoWriMo I hope you guys all have a very Happy Halloween, a fantastic November, and I look forward to catching up with everyone when I return to my blog in December, hopefully with good news of a completed NaNoWriMo challenge. I’ll still be doing quick posts and updates onΒ Instagram and the NaNoWriMoΒ website in the mean time. Until December, take care and have fun!! ❀ ❀ ❀

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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.

Screenshot_2019-09-29 Ignited Moth ( ignitedmoth) β€’ Instagram photos and videos

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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My Writing Minion

That moment when you’re doing your best to concentrate on character sheets for your writing project and your fuzzy cohort says “Screw that shit, it’s cuddle time!”

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Bailey cares not for productivity. She demands pets and undivided attention from all mortals.

It’s isn’t easy resisting those giant imploring kitty eyes when you’re trying to work on stuff. Still, I wouldn’t trade my writing minion for the world. ❀ Generally she’s pretty good about just relaxing by my side while I write, but today she wasn’t having it, rolling over onto the books I was referencing, meowing at me incessantly.

What are your biggest and/or cutest distractions when you’re trying to get your creativity on? Do you have the willpower to resist or do you succumb to the cuteness? I’m a sucker for all things adorable so I’m pretty sure you already know what my answer is. πŸ˜‰