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!”

jangame4

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:

gifwrite

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. ❀ ❀ ❀

The Quiet Boy (Short Story) Review

 

inktober11
My Inktober wendigo art from this year.

Who loves wendigo stories? Why, yours truly, of course! πŸ˜‰ To be honest, I love legendary and mythical creatures of all sorts, but wendigos are always a special sort of treat in my book.Β  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? πŸ™‚

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.

Antlers Art
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,Β  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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ™‚

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.

2019promptlist

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™‚

 

Fall 2019 Bucket List

Screenshot_2019-09-24 Ignited Moth ( ignitedmoth) β€’ Instagram photos and videos
Sketchbook quickie I affectionately title “Blep” πŸ˜›

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?? πŸ™‚ 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? πŸ™‚ Do you know what you’re being for Halloween yet? Apple or Pumpkin??? Let’s revel in fall! πŸ˜€

Shark Week Drawings: 2019

❀ Ahoy! Happy Shark Week! ❀

Screenshot_2019-08-03 Ignited Moth ( ignitedmoth) β€’ Instagram photos and videos
Fan art for the game Hungry Shark World by yours truly.

This has truly been a Jawsome Shark Week so far, but it has also been a VERY busy one! I was beginning to fear that I would run out of time to do some Shark Week art this year, but I managed to squeeze in the time for at least 2! (Which is one more than last year! Haha) πŸ˜›

I recently learned about the game Hungry Shark World (and totally want to play it) which resulted in the fan art you see above. All the sharks in the game have attitude and some are really outlandish and cool looking. It even has zombie sharks and prehistoric sharks you can play as, along with a few other non-shark species. I guess the premise of just eat all the things is pretty simple, but it looks fun to me, so, why not? πŸ˜€

The other drawing I did is definitely more in the “doodle” category, but I did it more for fun anyway. πŸ˜› Every single time I see a photo of a basking shark gliding through the water with its mouth gaping open as it feeds, all I can imagine is it saying “Hey, you guys!” in the voice of Sloth from The Goonies. Don’t ask why my brain works the way it does, because even I couldn’t tell you sometimes. Haha

Screenshot_2019-08-03 Ignited Moth ( ignitedmoth) β€’ Instagram photos and videos

If you don’t know about basking sharks, here’s a quick little Basking Shark 101 for ya:

Basking Sharks are the second largest shark in the entire world, dwarfed only by the whale shark.

Luckily, like the whale shark, basking sharks are one of three gentle giants of the sea, using filter-feeding as their method of consumption. That means, despite the intimidating size and wide, gaping mouths, they’re really just cruising around for plankton and other itty bitty prey.

They are surprisingly capable of breaching the surface and launching themselves out of the water, which, when you consider their size, is pretty cool and terrifying all at once if you just so happen to be in a boat beside one. πŸ˜› The reason they do this isn’t really known since they aren’t doing it for hunting purposes like great whites do. Some theories are that it could be a move to impress the ladies during mating season, or that it is in an effort to rid themselves of parasites and lamprey eels that hitch along on them for a ride. No one knows for certain, though. Apparently one is reported to have unintentionally capsize a boat off the coast of Scotland while breaching, resulting in the drowning of 3 people. 😦

Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed the Shark Week drawings this year! πŸ™‚ I wish I’d had the time to do more, but even though it’s still technically shark week, I am going to be too busy having fun and hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes and Machetes this weekend as we enjoy shark week, our body weight in rum, and celebrating Mr. C&M’s birthday! Have a great weekend, everyone!! ❀ ❀ ❀

SPECIAL SHARK WEEK SPOTLIGHT: Sharktopia

sharktopia

I love art and I love wildlife conservation. Combine the two and you have such an utterly amazing win-win situation on your hands. πŸ™‚ I recently discovered the site sharktopia.org through theirΒ Instagram account and I am absolutely over the moon about it! ❀

Sharktopia is run by the friendly and talented Caiti Rose, a self-described “coffee-loving, shark-obsessed, happy vegan artist with the goal of altering the misconceptions surrounding sharks and other Ocean life”.

Screenshot_2019-07-29 Sharktopia on Instagram β€œI’ve got stickers once again Not for individual sale (at the moment) Two sti[...]
Stickers!
She uses her creative and amazing art to help spread awareness about a variety of topics regarding sharks and other ocean life. Her work ranges from absolutely adorable and lighthearted to impactful and eyeopening, and all of it is for the benefit and love of sharks.

Screenshot_2019-07-29 Sharktopia ( sharktopia) β€’ Instagram photos and videos
The line work and coloring and cuteness, I just absolutely adore it. ❀

I’ve already purchased and received my own shark goodies and can honestly say that they were absolutely worth the money. πŸ™‚ I love what I ordered. ❀ I also printed some of the free coloring pages available on the site for my participants at work to color and learn more about different types of sharks as they do so. The coloring pages are awesome and so informative!

Screenshot_2019-07-29 Sharktopia ( sharktopia) β€’ Instagram photos and videos

 

Be sure to check out the Sharktopia website and enjoy some great artwork featuring our favorite finned friends and Caiti Rose’s great mission to raise awareness about their struggle. There’s the free downloadable coloring pages I mentioned, a great shop, and more to be discovered there, so dive on in! πŸ™‚

IgnitedMoth has fluttered onto Instagram

cffacd3134fd1807eac77731b0b55a0162188753

Hey, guys! ❀ I just wanted to pop in real quick to share with you that I finally joined the Cool Kid Party and started an Instagram account! Took me long enough, right? πŸ˜‰ I guess that’s what getting a new phone and a wicked case of Cabin Fever will do to a girl, huh?

Anyhow, I’m still figuring it all out but it seems pretty straight forward so far, thankfully. I’ve posted a couple things (including 2 new drawings) if any of you lovely people are interested. I go by ignitedmoth on Instagram as well, so I should be pretty easy to find. If you have an Instagram account gimme your user name in the comments so I can creep at you in a sufficient manner. πŸ˜›

I think I’ll pretty much be sharing photos related to the stuff I babble about here on my blog, so books/comics, my drawings, some of the stuff I’ve cooked, and pet/outdoor photos, mostly. πŸ™‚ Who knows, I may throw in the occasional wildcard here and there.

Well, I hope everyone has a fun weekend in store. I’m finally going back to work today, so I should probably go get ready for that, but knowing me I’ll probably wait until the last minute and be rushing all around the house. πŸ˜›