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. 😉 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. 😀 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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. ❤ ❤ ❤

The Quiet Boy (Short Story) Review

 

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My Inktober wendigo art from this year.

Who loves wendigo stories? Why, yours truly, of course! 😉 To be honest, I love legendary and mythical creatures of all sorts, but wendigos are always a special sort of treat in my book.  Needless to say, I am really excited to see the upcoming horror film Antlers, produced by Guillermo del Toro.

For those of you wondering to yourself, WTF a wendigo is, here is your quick Wendigo 101 lesson for the day: A Wendigo is an evil spirit from Native American Algonquian legend that will corrupts anyone who has committed the unforgivable crime of cannibalism. The evil spirit twists the human it is influencing into a monstrous version of themselves with a horrible, never-ending hunger, and a murderous cruelty that knows no bounds. Since these legends originate in Canada and the Great Lakes regions of the United States, it is no surprise that winters were hard where these tales originated. People didn’t always make it through the winter, and hunger can make people desperate enough that they’d do anything to survive, even taking part in an act as taboo as cannibalism. In a lot of ways the legend of the wendigo can be seen as a cautionary tale.

Last week I found out that this movie is actually based off the plot of a short story called The Quiet Boy, written by Nick Antosca, creator of Channel Zero. Always a fan of reading the source material before I watch a movie or show its based on, I tried to look up the story on GoodReads but couldn’t find it. Then I saw over on the Bloody Disgusting website that you could read the entire short story HERE on the Guernica site. So, if you’re interested, check it out.

Anyway, let’s get onto my review for The Quiet Boy, shall we? 🙂

Julia is just starting her teaching career when Teach For America lands her in a small town in the middle of nowhere, where the unofficial town motto is “Hills, Whores, and Liquor Stores.” Definitely not was she was hoping for when she dreamed of being a teacher. Still, our protagonist wants to do right by her fourth graders.

While teaching her kids about storytelling, specifically of the fairy tale and tall tale variety, one of her young students named Lucas catches her attention with the story he is working on. What she initially assumes is going to be another cookie cutter take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, turns out to be something much different altogether, and something far more sinister.

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Drawing from Lucas’ story in the Antlers movie trailer.

Worried for Lucas, she wants to help the boy, and learn more about what his home life might be like. Between the underlying themes in the boy’s story he is writing and the fact that Lucas always comes to school in old clothes, always smells like damp leaves and damp animal fur, and looks to be very underfed, Julia assumes things aren’t great at home. She also worries that Lucas’ father might be a drunk and not taking proper care of him or his younger brother. Her fellow teachers view Lucas as one of those lost cause kids,  but Julia wants to help him, and to learn more about what his life at home might be like. Due to how private and protective Lucas is any time she brings up home or his family, Julia decides to pay his home a surprise visit when she is sure he won’t be there. What she discovers is nothing she could have imagined. Things get dark pretty quickly from this point on in the story, but I won’t spoil the fun. 😉 It’s a quick read and I provided the link so you can read it if you’re interested in seeing what Julia finds. The story does its own thing with the wendigo legend, and I thought it was interesting the direction it went in.

I’d rate it 4 out of 5 stars, and reading it made me excited to see how it will be adapted into a movie when it hits theaters in April 2020. 🙂

Inktober 2019: Week 1 Roundup

Phew! It has been a busy week. Thankfully I was still able to squeeze in just enough drawing time to complete the first seven days of Inktober. 🙂 Some of the daily prompts were harder than others and some took a few tries to get the look I was going for, but it feels good to have stayed on track so far. I’ve been posting daily over on Instagram but I wanted to share a roundup of my first seven entries with you guys here on the blog. ❤

Day 1: The daily prompt was “RING” and I decided to go with the kind of rings you would see if you were to cut into a tree as my inspiration, rather than actual jewelry.

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Day 2: The daily prompt was “MINDLESS” and I just decided to go with a cute little zombie dude. This one was a quick but doing the blood was fun.

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Day 3: The daily prompt was “BAIT” and I jumped at the opportunity to draw an angler fish because they’re badass and interesting, so why not?

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Day 4: The daily prompt was “FREEZE” and I decided to draw a guy being pulled down beneath the ice by a skeleton woman. I wanted to go with muted color accents for the “freeze” prompt and I’m pretty happy with how they came out. 🙂 I wish I would have added some bubbles, but it’s never too late to go back in later and add them.

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Day 5: The daily prompt was “BUILD” and I made a mad scientist building her own creation. This one was pretty fun since this mad scientist is a character I used to draw a long time ago and wanted to make a comic about.

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Day 6: The daily prompt was “HUSKY” and I just drew a husky. Wasn’t really feeling this one, but I still got it done.

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Day 7: The daily prompt was “ENCHANTED” and I had a lot more fun with this one, drawing a whimsical fairy moth lady. I also really enjoyed adding some brassy, silver and gold with my new metallic sharpies. This one was such a delight to draw that I’m sure I’ll be drawing her again at some point. I may even utilize her to jazz up the blog a little. 😉

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I hope you guys enjoyed the drawings and I look forward to sharing my next batch in a week. Are any of you participating in Inktober or doing any other fun challenges this month? 🙂

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.  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? 😉 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. 🙂

 

Fall 2019 Bucket List

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Sketchbook quickie I affectionately title “Blep” 😛

At last! Fall is finally here and I am all about it! ❤ I have a lot of plans for the next couple of months and who better to share them with than all you spiffy people?? 🙂 So, without further ado, allow me to present my official bucket list for the fall of 2019:

  • Go to the Michigan Renaissance Festival
  • Participate in Inktober
  • Work more on face painting Halloween makeup again this year and put together costumes.
  • Attend Theatre Bizarre
  • Carve/Decorate pumpkins and decorate the house for Halloween
  • Horror Movie Marathon
  • Enter the costume contest at my work
  • Pass out candy to all our little neighborhood ghouls and goblins
  • More trips to more cider mills!
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo
  • Try making some new fall recipes this year
  • Bonfires
  • Decorate the house more and move some things around/finish some projects out in the yard before winter strikes again.

I’m sure there’s plenty more I’ll get up to in the months to come, but for now this is my go-to To-Do List for autumn. What are your big plans for the season? 🙂 Do you know what you’re being for Halloween yet? Apple or Pumpkin??? Let’s revel in fall! 😀

Bon Voyage, Shark Week 2019!

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Shark napkins and the most Jawsome salsa dish in all the land! 🙂

Well, Shark Week has come and gone yet again, but what a great reign it had. ❤ My favorite new fact I learned this year was that basking sharks (the 2nd largest shark in the world) can actually breach the water! It blew my mind.

The week had the perfect sendoff with my amazing chum (you bet your sweet ass that’s a pun. A bloody good one, too!) 😉 😛 I’m sorry, I’ll stop! Anyway, my amazing chums Cupcakes & Machetes and Mr. C&M came to town for a proper showstopper to bring the week to a close. We had delicious Caribbean food and took on the mighty Rum Raid!

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We did a few more things out on the town and then returned home for Shark Week and cake! C&M rocked her Jawsome shark week socks and I rocked my new shark jammies that featured a bunch of great whites with water floaties on their pectoral fins. 😛

Now that Shark Week is over, my focus can snap back to drawing and writing. I’ve got a lot to work on and am looking forward to digging back into things on the creative front. 🙂

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! 😀

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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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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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. 😀