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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. 😉 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. ❤ ❤ ❤

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Shark Week Drawings: 2019

❤ Ahoy! Happy Shark Week! ❤

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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) 😛

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? 😀

The other drawing I did is definitely more in the “doodle” category, but I did it more for fun anyway. 😛 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

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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. 😛 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! 🙂 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!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Post 2

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I had a lot of fun last week, answering the first seven questions from Luna’s 30 Day Video Game Challenge over @ Gamers United GG. She came up with so many great prompts, so here we are for another batch of answers from yours truly. 😉

Day 8: What’s your favorite video game pet?

Lamarr from Half-Life. Lamarr may be a headcrab, but ya know, I always found her adorable. Maybe because she was rendered harmless and is so obnoxious and troublesome all the time, I don’t know, but I’m giving this one up to Lamarr. ❤

Day 9: What is your favorite childhood video game title?

I would probably have to say the original Sonic the Hedgehog games I played on the Sega Genesis. I have several games I absolutely LOVED as a kid, though, so it’s hard to pick just one. Another game I was all about but haven’t really gotten to talk about yet would be Banjo Kazooie for the N64. SUCH a fun game, and with so many cool and different levels. I had a ton of fun with that one.

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Day 10: What childhood video game would you recommend and why?

I’m going to try to suggest one of the ones I haven’t babbled on about yet in either of these posts. When I was a kid, I really enjoyed playing *SOME* of the Disney games that I played on the Sega Genesis. Specifically The Lion King and Aladdin. They were just so much fun, and I loved the Disney movies that inspired them, aaaand that animation in the game was SO. DAMN. SMOOTH. Look at this shit!

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Day 11: Which video game has the best memories?

Mario Kart 64, without a doubt. From childhood to adulthood, I have so many fond memories of this game. From racing against my family and friends like Cupcakes & Machetes, to playing it tournament-style at parties with friends and strangers alike. This game is my jam. One of my favorite memories of it was destroying this one guy a few years back in one of the party tournaments who insisted girls couldn’t play video games. The same guy also got destroyed by Cupcakes & Machetes and I in doubles air hockey after making more sexist boasts.

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Day 12: What is the hardest game you have played? Why was it hard?

Hmm . . . probably Super Meat Boy? Although . . . The Binding of Isaac comes to mind as well. Both games involve a whole lot of dying, sooo . . .

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Day 13: Do you have a favorite video game villain?

Because I am eternally twelve and thus poop is funny to me, I’m gonna have to say The Great Mighty Poo from Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Because it’s a villain made of poop. Yes, they went there. They even gave him corn kernels for teeth. This guy sticks out to me because of the utter ridiculousness of it, and what a complete WTF moment it was when I first encountered him.

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Day 14: You jump down Mario’s Warp Pipe, where do you end up?

Peach’s Castle, just like how you start the game in Super Mario 64. I’d love to visit that place. I didn’t think of it at the time when I answered Luna’s Day 2 question about what video game world you would live in if you could, but it’s definitely a place I’d love to visit. The castle itself is awesome, but then with all the worlds you can visit from there by hopping through paintings. There would never be a dull moment, that’s for sure.

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Post 1

Hey, guys! 😀 Luna over at Gamers United GG is hosting a 30 day video game blogging challenge, so I figured I’d join in on the fun! Since I don’t have the time to post each day for 30 days, I’m going to answer several of the questions in a few posts spread out through the month. This post will include my first 7 answers to Luna’s questions.

1.) Who is your childhood video game hero?

Probably Sonic the Hedgehog. I was a Sega girl, and I put a lot of hours into the Sonic the Hedgehog games as a kid (and who am I kidding, as an adult, too.) 😛 Plus, you save a bunch of cute and fuzzy little animals, so that was also a plus for me. Tails was my favorite to play as though when you eventually got the option, but we’ll get to Tails in a later question. 😀

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2.) Which video game world would you like to live in? Why?

Planet Pop Star from the Kirby games would be a top pick. Everything is just so cute and fun.

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3.) Who is your favorite video game sidekick?

Miles “Tails” Prower from the Sonic the Hedgehog games. I’ve been a fan since Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I even had a stuffed animal that was a fox (essentially the Hobbes to my Calvin) that I named Tails, despite the stuffed animal only having one singular tail. 😛 I know Tails can sometimes be a hindrance (especially in the special stages) but I still love the little guy.

4.) What was the toughest boss that you had to face?

Haha this is going to sound so lame, but when I beat Diddy Kong Racing for the N64 it was on a pretty junky television, and racing Wizpig was a damn nightmare because the picture was wayyyy too dark to see at times on that TV. So, because I was being stubborn as hell, I did the race over and over again to memorize my way through the race even though I was basically driving blind at times. It was a giant pain in the ass and I was soooo mad, but  eventually I got it!

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5.) If you can have a video game weapon, which would you choose?

I don’t like getting injured, so I’d want something I could use to destroy the baddies and keep myself from harm, so I’m gonna have to go with the Super Stars that give you invincibility in the Mario/Super Smash Bros/Mario Kart games. I’ve always liked mowing people down with the Super Star in Mario Kart. *Evil Laugh!*

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6.) What’s your favorite game?

Ooh, this is tough. I’ve got several games that I love and could play over and over again, but I’m going to have to give this one up to Super Mario 64. Just because it’s so much fun, and I still remember the way I felt blown away by it when I first played it. That game will always hold a special place in my heart. ❤

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7.) You’re in a Western video game and need to rob the bank, which video game character will be your partner?

Hmm . . . maybe Glacius from the Killer Instinct games? He can turn into liquid and slide into places that would be hard to get into otherwise, like vaults and locked doors. The dude can fight, and he has his own built-in weapons, so I could easily see him being the quickest draw in the West with that friggin’ sword-arm uppercut of his. Not to mention being able to freeze people. Yeah, I think we could get away with a bank robbery if I had Glacius as my partner in crime. 🙂

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That’s it for my first 7 questions from Luna’s awesome challenge. Be sure to check out her blog to see her answers, the rest of the questions, and maybe even join in on the fun! Big thanks to her for coming up with the challenge and making such fun questions. Looking forward to doing the next 7 next week! 😀

 

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Past Pumpkin Carvings

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Like many other Halloween fiends, I love carving pumpkins this time of year. So I thought I’d share some of the pumpkins I’ve carved from years gone by with you guys. Above is my Jack Skellington pumpkin I carved.

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I love so many of the baddies from the Super Mario games, so above is my Boo pumpkin and below is my goomba one. One of these days I’d like to take a stab (heh) at a shy guy pumpkin carving, too.

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I’ve got a thing for carving video game characters apparently, because here’s my Super Meat Boy pumpkin carving. It was the first time I shaved the skin out of the pumpkin rather than just carving chunks out, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Even if it did take forever to do. 😛

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And like my other The Nightmare Before Christmas pumpkin pictured at the top of this post, I of course had to do an Oogie Boogie one. 😛

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Last year’s pumpkin carving was an owl. Originally I had wanted to try the pumpkin shaving thing again but then I remembered how insanely time consuming it had been and quickly abandoned the idea. Hence the random shaved off bits on the owl. lol

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Are you planning on carving or painting any pumpkins this year? What are you thinking of making? 🙂

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A Series of Blah Blah Blah’s . . .

I’ve got a teeny bit of free time right now so I’m gonna just share some quick updates! Here they are, in a quick succession of brief blah blah blah’s:

Blah #1: The new job is going great. 😀 I love being a program instructor and my class and team make me enjoy going to work every day. ❤ Plus the schedule is fantastic and I’ll never have to worry about working holidays or weekends.

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Blah #2: Had a great weekend with my boyfriend. 🙂 We went and did a lot of things this Friday and Saturday (like see the new shark movie 47 Meters Down at my insistence). lol Sharks are my jam, what can I say? We also played a bunch of Shovel Knight which was a lot of fun.

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Blah #3: I failed at doing a Father’s Day blog post in honor of my dad like I did for my mom. I got to spend time with him though and we watched Star Wars movies and I gave him prezzies for being such an awesome dad. We had a nice dinner, too, so it was all good. 🙂

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Blah #4: The new job (combined with the one I had) leaves me without as much free time so I’m doing me best to keep up here. If it takes me longer to post or comment and stuff that is why. I still love blogging and chatting with you guys! ❤

Blah #5: I haven’t done a writing update in forever here mostly do to lack of time, but I haven’t given up! I just need to find a happy balance and figure out ways to squeeze more writing time in. Hopefully I can do a proper writing update again soon.

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That’s it for my quick little updates. I hope you’re all having a great week. Feel free to share any recent blah’s of your own! 😀

Posted in Art Appreciation

Review- The Art of Alice: Madness Returns

It’s no secret if you’ve been following my blog that I have a passion for art and books. Because of this, I’ve always enjoyed books featuring art collections that range from rough concept sketches to beautifully detailed prints. My mom shares this interest and so we’ve collected many art books throughout the years. I figured I’d make a new category in my blog specifically for art appreciation where I can do artist spotlights and review some of the amazing art books in our collections. 🙂

To kick things off we’ll start with one of mine, a hardcover video game concept art book for American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns.

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Just look at this creepy, gorgeous cover!

This book takes us down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass so that we can get a good peek at the creative process behind American McGee’s haunting version of Wonderland. With an introduction by McGee himself, we really get to see the long and creative journey that went into making this game. Different chapters cover subjects like pre-production, creating the final look for Alice and her costumes, the separate world building that went into London and Wonderland, cinematics and more!

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Whether you’ve played the game or not, this book is enjoyable for fans of all things Alice (assuming they don’t mind a good measure of horror thrown in the mix), as well as just art lovers in general. The images presented in the book are gorgeous and it’s definitely one of my favorite art books I’ve ever purchased. I’d highly recommend it! If you’re not already acquainted with this game, check out this old trailer for it. As I’m sure you can tell from the concept art seen above, it’s quite the surreal, nightmarish version of Wonderland.

Do you enjoy art books as well? What sorts do you prefer or collect? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂