Birthday Snow Day

Brrrr! My portion of Michigan is currently under a Wind Chill Warning from the National Weather Service that included fun little details like “Wind chills as low as 45 below zero expected.” and “The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.” So, basically, stepping outside right now is like getting bitch slapped by a Wampa.

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With all the snow and ice we’ve had lately I’ve been on a little unplanned vacation due to all the snow days at my work. All the schools are closed due to the weather so I’ve been able to stay cozy at home and do a bunch of writing, reading and drawing which has been really nice! 🙂 I hadn’t planned on taking my birthday off from work so it’s kind of a fun little surprise having it off today. Mother Nature can be cruel AND kind. 😉

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It can be difficult finding ways to go out and celebrate your birthday when you were born in the frigid dead of winter, but this year I managed to celebrate AND stay warm, so it was a win-win. Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes and Machetes came to stay the weekend, which included going to dinner, going to a giant arcade, prezzies of the most epic caliber, and board games galore! I also celebrated with family before the weekend came to an end, and of course that was fun too because my parents and brother (and the puggies!) are awesome. Needless to say, it was a fun but exhausting weekend, so I wasn’t totally heartbroken when school/work was canceled. 😉 (The only thing that sucks is not getting paid for all these snow days!)

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Poor Mr. Moth had to hop on his tauntaun and brave the cold today to go to work so I plan on getting good and properly caffeinated and writing my butt off. More birthday shenanigans to ensue once he gets home, but for now I’m off to work on my book with an awesome new writing program courtesy of the bestest friend in all the land, C&M. ❤

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Hope any of you a bitter cold winter like us is staying as warm and cozy as possible right now. ❤

 

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Barrier (Brian K. Vaughan’s New Mini-Series!)

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One of the comics I had been most excited to get my hot little hands on during Free Comic Book Day was the first issue to Brian K. Vaughan’s new miniseries, Barrier. I literally knew almost nothing about it other than that it is written by BKV, and that was good enough for me given how much I (along with the rest of the universe) have been loving Saga. ❤

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I started reading the first issue to Barrier this morning, assuming it would be a very quick read, and that I would soon be on my merry way doing other things with my day. Boy, was I wrong. This proved to be a much longer read, because I spent about half of it using Google’s translator so that I could understand all the parts in Spanish. Which is fine, I just wasn’t expecting it. And because I’m a Super Pal, I even wrote down the translations in case anyone else *cough cough Cupcakes and Machetes cough* or my boyfriend also wanted to read it, but didn’t feel like doing the leg work to translate it. 😛

(Or if any of you guys are planning on reading it and don’t want to go through and translate it yourself, let me know and I’ll hook you up!) 😉

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ANYWAY, onto the story itself. Barrier follows two main characters from two very different walks of life. On one hand, we have Liddy, an American rancher who feels threatened after finding one of her horse’s decapitated heads, skinned and missing its eyes. Talk of “El Chupacabra” and even UFO-related cattle mutilations is quickly dismissed by Liddy who is confident that this is a warning from the cartel that plans on using her land to run their drugs. On edge, she begins exploring her options to protect her land, her animals, and herself. Our other main character, Oscar, is a Honduran young man who is attempting to make his way over the border into the United States. We don’t learn a whole lot about him in the first issue, but we do get a hint that he has something very important in his notebook, and that he may know more about what’s really going on than it originally seems.

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The two cross paths on Liddy’s property when Oscar is injured and she is armed and ready to shoot as their respective languages create a barrier (heh, I see what they did there) between them. Just then, SOMETHING pretty crazy happens, but we’ll leave that on a fairly vague note. Let’s just say, that I am definitely ready to check out the rest of this miniseries that will be released in single issues throughout the month of May in five total installments. 🙂

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I look forward to seeing these two characters forced together by bizarre circumstances will interact with one another, how they will be able to communicate, and what is going to happen to them. I also want to learn more about what Oscar seems to know already. Brian K Vaughn is amazing at creating characters who you want to keep reading about, so I am really looking forward to seeing what he does with Liddy and Oscar the more we get to know them. Marcos Martin (the artist) and Munsta Vicente (the colorist) do a great job bringing the story to life with their illustrations and vivid colors, from the characters themselves to the rough landscapes. I can’t wait to see what they do in the next installments since I think things are really about to take a turn for the crazy.

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I know some people may be put off by not being able to understand part of the dialogue if they don’t speak Spanish or are unwilling to look up translations, but I think the language barrier actually adds to this story. BKV knows what he’s doing as a writer, so I trust what he has in mind for this project. Blending science fiction with the often-debated topic of immigration, I think we’re in for a really interesting story. Like Saga, this one is for mature readers only. I heard some parents getting pretty heated during Free Comic Book Day because there’s some adult content in this, so just something to keep in mind. This one is not intended for the kiddos! 😉

Harriet Tubman (Women’s History Month Post #2)

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For my second Women’s History Month illustration, I chose to draw the ever-inspiring Harriet Tubman. I’ll be continuing to post drawings I’ve done of women who have helped shape history throughout the month as part of Cupcake & Machetes’ Women’s History Month Blog Event. (Be sure to check out her post to learn all about it and maybe even join in on the fun if you haven’t already!) 😉

If you’re familiar with U.S. History, you’ve no doubt heard this heroic woman’s name. If you haven’t, or even if you just want to possibly learn more about her, let me fill you in a little on Harriet Tubman and her amazing legacy.

Harriet Tubman cemented her place in American history by fighting back against slavery and freeing not only herself, but many other enslaved people through her work with the Underground Railroad. Her awesomeness does not stop there, though. She even became an armed scout, recruiter, and Union spy during the American Civil War. She became the first woman in United States history to lead a military expedition. And she managed to do all of this after being born into slavery in 1822, in a time when not only her race, but also her gender, were things that would be exploited and used against her.

She was a leading abolitionist, and devoted her entire life to fighting for the freedom of others. Her work was far from done upon the end of the Civil War. She then proceeded to put all she had into helping former slaves, as well as the elderly. Seriously, is it even possible for this woman to get any more inspiring? ❤

HARRIET TUBMAN QUOTES:

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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t cay; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”

Wands for Wildlife!

This might seem like a Harry Potter related post from the title, but the wildlife we’re talking about doesn’t consist of hippogriffs or basilisks. And, chances are, we’re thinking about a different sort of wand entirely.

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Wands for Wildlife is a movement calling for a very particular type of donation: old mascara wands. Yup, you read that right. Here’s a video from Appalachian Wildlife Refuge that sheds some more light on why in the world someone might want you to mail them your old mascara wands:

Who’d have thought something you’re supposed to toss in the garbage every few months could actually wind up helping little baby animals? I think this idea is awesome, and I’m really glad that so many people are already contributing.

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge is a nonprofit that deals with wildlife rehabilitation in North Carolina. They care for orphaned and injured wildlife and educate people on conservation, among other things of that nature. (No pun intended.)

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Since their request went viral people are hosting what is called “wandraising” parties in order to collect wands from their friends to send out to the refuge. They just ask that all wands be cleaned with soap and water before being mailed out. If this is something you’re interested in, you can print up a mail form and get the address to mail out mascara wands and donations to by clicking here!

 

Help Bees Help YOU!

Hey, you! Yeah, you! You like food, right? Well, so do bees. And bees (being the bad ass little pollinators they are) help provide us with so much of the food we eat to stay alive. Cheerios and Veseys Seeds recognize the major decline in bee colony numbers and are giving away MILLIONS of wildflower seeds for FREE to people in the U.S. and Canada to encourage people to do their part and get planting!

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Cupcakes and Machetes and I have already signed up for our seeds so give into peer pressure and be sure to do it too! It’s seriously SO easy. Just click this magical link of awesomeness and get those free seeds!! 😀

Not a bad deal, right? Everyone wins. Free flowers, bees get some much-needed help, you get to enjoy some gardening when spring hits, bee colonies hopefully grow and flourish and the world gets to continue stuffing their faces with all those delicious fruits and veggies and other nutritious noms.

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We’re all on this planet together, and it’s up to us to take care of one another and the earth itself. Even simple little things like this make a big difference if enough of us get off our butts and do something.

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