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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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Adjusting to My New “Normal”

Hi, there! Hope you guys are doing well. ❀ In my previous post I mentioned how the trials of sorting out my mental health have not been without its ups and downs, but how I was finally starting to work on creative stuff again. …Guys… it’s been absolutely amazing being back at it. I am someone who thrives off doing creative things just about every day, so to experience the dry spell I recently had where I had no desire to write or draw or do much of anything with my solo free time was a nightmare.

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I’m so happy to be working on my hobbies again. I have really been enjoying working on the next draft for the book I’ve been writing, and I also have plans this week to get together with a friend to create some art. Hopefully I’ll have some new illustrations and maybe even a painting or something to share with you guys soon. πŸ˜‰

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I’ve also become a lot more outgoing recently. It’s been kind of surreal learning how to live a less anxious and more focused life, but hearing the positive changes my loved ones have been seeing really makes me feel like I’m headed in the right direction. ❀

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Now that it’s summer, what things are you guys looking forward to the most? How are your hobbies going? I’m looking forward to more time spent with amazing friends (like this past weekend we spent with Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes & Machetes having fun) and doing the things I love to do, as well as trying new things along the way as well! πŸ™‚

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Mission Accomplished: First Draft

“Writer Girl Summer” is finally at its end, and so is my blog hiatus I was on. My entire summer was pretty much just a caffeine-fueled writing frenzy of utter madness. It feels really damn good though to have completed my (very rough) first draft. I am so ready to take a much-needed break from writing to let the story breathe, and to regain some of my sanity before I go on to tackle the dreaded second draft.

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Luckily for me, Halloween is just around the corner, so I’m going to use the full month of October to recover from my crazy writing binge and to just focus on doing all the things I love to indulge in during spooky season. We’re talking horror movies galore, catching up on some creepy video games, reading scary stories, fall baking, etc. I’m also planning to participate in the 2021 Corpsetober Art Challenge, so I’m really excited to get back into drawing. I really didn’t draw much this summer since I was so focused on completing the first draft of my book, so I can’t wait to get back at it and practice some more with my iPad Pro. It was kind of torturous just seeing it collect dust all summer, but I’m glad I remained focused.Β 

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I can’t wait to start catching up on everyone’s blogs over the next several days, and see what you guys have been up to while I was away. In the mean time, how was your summer?? What are you most excited for this fall?

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37 Day Hiatus

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Oof. Deadlines are ROUGH. As I previouslyΒ mentioned, this summer is all about finishing the first draft of the book I’ve been plotting/writing. Now that I’m in the home stretch (just 37 days left to go) I really need to shift my focus into high gear and remain focused. It’s because of this that I’ve decided to take the remainder of this summer off from my blog and devote just about all of my attention and free time to making my self-imposed deadline.

I’ll still be contributing toΒ Sugar and Scream during this time though, so I won’t be totally removed from WP. Here’s hoping I make it back with a completed first draft AND my sanity intact come the fall. πŸ˜‰

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Pup Cups, Pumpkins, and Photos: July 2021 Wrap-Up

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Update #1: Pup Cups

My mom and I like to try to get together for coffee once a week, specifically Biggby frozen coffees with extra espresso in them because we are absolute fiends for caffeine. Well, as of late, our girls’ day coffee adventures have only gotten better with the addition of a third member of our “Treat Yo’ Self” squad, that being my parents’ new resident fluff monster that they got a few months back. (Like this dog needed any more reasons to love going for car rides.) πŸ˜›

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Update #2: Pumpkin Babies

Our pumpkin patch is already fast at work producing flowers and pumpkin babies for the fall. I think this pumpkin patch will always hold a special place in my heart, not only because I love pumpkins, but also because the first harvest was for our wedding last October. ❀ Hopefully this year’s harvest will be just as good!

Update #3: Writing Progress

Writer Girl Summer is going really well. πŸ™‚ I’ve mostly been cruising along right on track to have my first draft complete by the first day of fall, so here’s hoping I can keep this pace up. *fingers crossed*

Update #4: Reading, Or Rather, a Lack There Of

I didn’t get much reading done in July, mostly due to a misplaced charger for my Kindle that has thankfully since been found. Also, when I wasn’t writing, let’s be honest, I was mostly watching a ton of anime. While my kindle charger was misplaced, I had to take a break on finishing Pet Sematary for my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes, I started reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.

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Update #5: Drawing

Other than completing theΒ Drawing Shark Week art challenge I participated in, I didn’t get a whole lot of drawing time in since this summer my focus is mostly on writing. Buuuut I’m hoping to at least squeeze in a couple Fan Art Friday posts this month since my last one was *GASP* all the way back in mid-May??! I can’t even keep up with time these days it seems. 2021 is just barreling by at breakneck speed and it’s all I can even do to try to remember what day it is half the time. Back to the point though, it will be good to get some more practice in with Procreate and my iPad Pro. I’m still loving it, I just have soooo much to learn!

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Update #6: Watching

July mostly had me been binge-watching the first 4 seasons of My Hero Academia with my husband, but I also started Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on my own. We also enjoyed the 3 week Netflix event for the Fear Street trilogy of movies. I think we may have squeezed a couple other movies in as well, but the only one coming to mind at the moment is Gunpowder Milkshake.

Update #7: Baking

For my husband’s dad’s birthday I made a triple chocolate cake. My husband also really enjoys these honey cornbread muffins I make so I made some of those which we enjoyed with honey cinnamon butter. (SO good.) I also have an abundance of frozen blueberries I want to use up, so this weekend I made blueberry muffins. Aaaand if you follow the Sugar and Scream blog that C&M and I host together, you’ll have seen some pics of freshly bakedΒ bone-shaped snickerdoodle cookies we posted about in early July.

What shenanigans did you get up to in July? Any big plans for August? Hoping you all have an excellent month! πŸ˜€

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1 Month Into “Writer Girl Summer”

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Secretly this past month, behind the scenes, this ignited moth has been busy. Today marks one month since I’ve started my own personal writing goal for the summer. You always see the “Hot Girl Summer” hashtag so I tweaked the name and dubbed this summer “Writer Girl Summer”. πŸ˜› I have a tendency to want to work on a million things at once, but this summer my focus is on writing (with the exception of a couple small drawing challenges like the Shark Week art challenge I previously posted). The goal is simple: take the scraps of writing I’d previously been working on, the very detailed plot outline, and a metric fuck ton of caffeine, and use this summer to complete the first draft for my book I’m working on.

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I feel like this past month was REALLY productive, but the past couple days I’ll admit, I’ve been slacking, so what better way to get motivated again than to hold myself accountable by posting about it here on my blog? πŸ˜‰ Changing some of my writing habits has been really helpful, and I really want to keep that momentum going.

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What are you working on this summer? πŸ™‚ Do you find that the more people you talk to about your goals, the more successful you are in the long run? I’m sure hoping that sharing my writing journey here will help keep me on track. πŸ˜€

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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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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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June Wrap-Up: A Month in Photos

Can you guys believe it’s already almost July?? It feels like June came and went in the blink of an eye somehow. I decided to do something a little different with this month’s wrap-up post, and showcase what I’ve been up to through mostly photos. πŸ™‚

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LAZY DAYS: As has been the case for much of the past few months, there’s been a lot of time at home. Here’s a pic of Bailey curled up for a little catnap in a pile of blankets. ❀ Rest assured, if there is a comfy spot she WILL find it and she WILL nap on it.

GARDENING: Hostas, Rhododendron, Columbine, Peonies, Poppies, Oh My! It was a good month for gardening and learning. We planted more lilies, new bushes, moved some stuff around, and did a lot of other outdoor projects.

BAKING: I finally slowed down my baking spree I had been on. πŸ˜› I did, however, make a really yummy peanut butter ice cream pie (graham cracker crust, thin layer of hot fudge, Reese’s peanut butter ice cream with thin sheets of chocolate, whipped cream, Reese’s peanut butter sauce drizzle, and chopped up Reese’s cups as pictured above). I also baked another loaf of Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread (soooo good!) ❀

DRAWING: I’ve been on a drawing binge lately that you can check out on my Instagram if you’re interested, but here’s a little sample of what I’ve been up to this month. πŸ™‚

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WORK: I got to go to work a couple times (staff only) to start setting up for all of the social distancing/PPE changes we will have to put into effect upon our return. Also got to redecorate a little. Pictured above is the head start I got on one of my room’s bulletin boards. We’re supposed to return to work July 6th, but with COVID cases back on the rise, we’ll see what happens. We can’t open back up until our state enters Phase 5 of our reopening plan, and thankfully our Governor has been taking this very seriously since day 1 so I don’t think she’ll rush us into that until it is actually safe to do so.

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LOSS OF A LOVED ONE: The pic above isn’t from this June, it’s actually from last year when we celebrated my parents’ pug BeeBee’s birthday party for her Sweet 16. ❀ She was such a sweet and adorable little dog and was so loved by our entire family, but unfortunately we were forced to say goodbye to her this June. It is sad not having her around anymore, but she lived such a good life while she was with us. She was adopted by my family a decade ago, and by that point she had already lived through a lot. BeeBee was a puppy mill survivor who didn’t even get to feel the grass beneath her paws for the first 3 years of her life. She was rescued from that awful situation and found a home for some time with a woman who loved her, but eventually her owner became too sick to be able to take care of her any longer. My mom was in contact with a woman from a pug rescue league and she told my mom about BeeBee and that was that. She came to us blind, but this was nothing daunting for our family. We’ve taken in several animals with special needs over the years and her inability to see was no big deal. She was sassy and fun, and my dad especially spoiled her with so much love and affection. She had a new brother and constant companion in my parent’s other pug, Brutis. They were attached at the hip and formed an instant bond with one another. ❀

She had the cutest little “bubble bark” that sounded more like “Borp Borp Borp” than the normal kind of bark you hear, loved being held, liked to adventure forward without a care in the world like she could see where she was going even if she was always bumping into things or barking in the wrong direction while trying to be “tough” like her brother. She preferred to be inside the house and wasn’t shy about making sure you knew it by finding her way back to the door and doing her little bubble bark to announce when she was “over this outdoors bullshit”. Haha

Her vet sent a very sweet card and a package of Forget-Me-Not seeds for my parents to plant and grow in BeeBee’s memory. ❀ I thought that was such a touching and thoughtful thing for the vet’s office to do.

That’s it for my own personal June Wrap-Up. How was your June?? Can you believe the year is already halfway over? With how 2020 has been going I’m sure we’re all hoping for a better second half of the year. As always, take care and be safe, guys! ❀

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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! ❀