Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Hi there, my long-time-not-seen blog people!

I honestly didn’t intend to take a slightly-more-than-a-year-long break from this here old blog, but then in the middle of March last year, this happened:


Well hello there!

My life, and that of the family, got considerably more complicated. Worth it, oh yes, but even less easy and simple than it had been before. Here is Mr Baby Dude today, for contrast:


It is now, slowly, gradually, painfully, becoming possible to have a life that involves more than Keep the Tiny Human Alive, and I am dipping my toes back into writing and arting and gardening and all the delightful activities that keep me slightly less insane. The revision of Steel Butterfly is once more stumbling along, and I have art projects that have been back-burnered for way too long being front-burnered once again. So who knows? I may even start updating here once in awhile, too.


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I didn’t mean to be public and open with my miscarriage. Public and open are not things I do very well, or willingly, or at all if I can help it–look, I’m from Kansas. We are experts at bottling things up and Not Talking About The Important Stuff, and a lifetime’s worth of habits are hard to break.

Here’s how it happened:

The Mr and I were delighted to be expecting again. (Shades of delighted: finding myself pregnant brought me all kinds of complicated feelings, worries, concerns. But largely delighted.) The Viking Prince had just turned five, I’m not getting any younger, and it was/is definitely time to start adding to the family, if we were going to do it. So, delighted.

So, the second we had confirmation, we told everybody.

These days of course that means call the family, then put the news on social media. And our friends were also delighted.

The Viking Prince? Also delighted; after all, he’d been talking about the little sister he wanted for nearly a year. (“I’ll dress up as Ant-Man, and my little sister can be Cassie.” “What if she wants to be Ant-Man too?” “…Well, I guess I could let her do that.”) He joined in the name brainstorming with a aplomb, and contributed the nickname Spiderling to the not-even-yet-a-bump in my belly, so that we could dispense with the clunky “your little brother or sister.” (He insisted sister, with typical stubbornness, and I lost track of how many times one of us grown-up types uttered variations on, “We have no way of knowing right now. It could be a boy.”)

So, universal delight. I started on the mental list of Stuff To Do To Get Ready–an extensive list, that any minute I was sure to put on paper and start ploughing through. My mom came for a visit: coincidence, but the timing worked out perfectly. I was perhaps five weeks pregnant. (more…)

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Hello, my faithful and beloved reader(s)! I have not meant to fall off the face of the earth, but … eh … life. The awesome Team Beta has awesomely been beta-ing Steel Butterfly, and giving me loads of good feedback and thinky-thoughts for round two. I have meant to mention some of them here, but … eh … life.

Real Life Wins is the unofficial motto (at least, I think it’s unofficial–if I notice it translated into Latin or made into a crest or something I will assume otherwise) of the equally busy fellow who is teaching a group of busy folk here in the D/FW area how to bash people with swords. (“Woefully Unprepared” is my motto. Or, if I have spent too much time on the Facebook, “For Crying Out Loud!” Any Latin-learned amongst you willing to translate these so that I can turn them into family crests, or at least t-shirts, will have my undying gratitude.) (And yes, I am learning … slowly … to bash people with swords. Actually, right now I am just learning how to hold a sword and how to swing it effectively. So slow, my learning. But anyway.)

The point is, my current Overwhelmedness Level is at about an 11. When I returned to a more regularly whelmed state, I will no doubt have both opinions about things and the wherewithal to go on about them. Meanwhile, I apologize for the radio silence, and here’s a picture I drew of my main characters. I plan to color it, but (you know) … eh … life.

Just imagine a beautiful landscape behind them.

Just imagine a beautiful landscape behind them.

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Naturally, when I sat me down this morning to chip away at the final few thousand words of the Neverending WIP, what should my dear little laptop give me but … a WHITE SCREEN OF DEATH.

Never seen that before. Gave me quite a turn.

She’s up and running again now, after a few restarts, but … I’m going to be extra paranoid for a while, especially as I close in on the finish line.

And remember, kids: redundant backups!

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A (tiny) river runs through it

A (tiny) river runs through it

We’ve had so much rain hereabouts that Broken Glass Park (so nicknamed because the folks who drive through it like to chuck their empties out the window as they pass, so the little tree-lined gulch next to the road is strewn with shattered beer bottles) is green and actually flowing with water. Our house is green and flowing with water likewise; evidently when it was built back in the 70’s nobody bothered their heads about what would happen if it rained continuously for weeks at a time.

So I’ve been a bit distracted.


Howsomever, as they say, I’ve got some tabs open that I need to close, and I thought I’d share their contents with you, my faithful reader(s).


First, this excellent Supernatural parody video, which I cannot stop watching.


Then, Brad Bird talking about Tomorrowland and why he turned down the Star Wars gig.  (I’m glad he did, me, because it leaves him free for making that Incredibles sequel.  Because seriously, animation needs Brad Bird.)


Finally, if you went to an Art Institutes school (like I did), you might be eligible for student loan forgiveness.  Me, I am stuck with Sallie Mae–excuse me, Navient–for the long haul, as all my loans are private.  But it’s worth a look-see.


Now for me it’s back to contractor-calling and ditch-digging … oh, and trying to, you know, maintain a life in the interstices of “homg my house is full of water.”  Stay dry, guys!

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I would show what I've been working on, but, you know, NDAs and whatnot.

I would show what I’ve actually been working on, but, you know, NDAs and whatnot.

Work has been keeping me busy, which means less blogging, of course, but I thought I would interrupted my deadline-imposed blog exile for a couple of advertisements.

First, my nautical fantasy The Voyage to Ruin, chock-full of pirates, airships, swashbuckling, ancient sea gods, dragons, magicians, and countries named after food, is now only $2.99 at Smashwords and on Amazon. I am informed it is available on Google Play as well, but since my dashboard there won’t give me a link nor where to find one, probably easier to go to one of the other places. If I ever do get a Google link, I will share it. [ETA: A helpful and keen-eyed reader discovered the Google Books link for me.  A glass of rum with you, sir!] Two dollars and ninety-nine cents! It is an excellent price for over 100,000 words of intrigue, sorcery, fisticuffs, sea battles, and even a hint of romance. There is no kitchen sink included, only because none of the main characters ever set foot inside a kitchen, and ships lack such amenities anyway.

And second, TeePublic is holding its monthly sitewide sale. Like the gentleman who, when he had a little money, bought books, when I have a little spare time I draw Thor. Some of those Thor-related designs can be purchased on shirts at my TeePublic shop, and I would take it as a kindness if you would go and check them out. There is also a Last Unicorn design, for those who remember that movie with fondness.

Colorful shirts for your torso!

Colorful shirts for your torso!

This concludes our advertisement interruption; we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Oh, and happy Thorsday! 😀

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So this weekend was full of excitement here: on Saturday I drove my truck down into the Texas hill country to pick up an animation desk I had bought from an FB buddy and fellow artist.  (More on that trip later; it provided plenty of fodder for stories, that’s for sure.)

It's messy so you can tell I'm already taking ownership of it

It’s messy so you can tell I’m already taking ownership of it

It’s exciting because this desk was used at the old Fox Animation Studios back in the 90’s, which means that scenes from Anastasia and Titan A.E. were probably drawn on its surface.  I’m a big Don Bluth fan; I probably love his movies even more than Disney’s, so while I am using it for drawing on, a part of me would like to just lie down on top of it and see if I absorb any animation skills that way.  My own are just a trifle rusty.

But! I’ve got most of a ream of animation paper left over from my school days lo these many years ago, I’ve got Col-Erase pencils, and I’m looking forward to sharpening both the pencils and my skills.  (Hand-drawn animation forever, you guys.  For. Ever.)

The other adventure was the next day, when we were installing the desk. It’s a heavy beast, as you can see, and during the putting-together process my usual grace and poise deserted me, and I did some kind of crazed losing-the-balance pirhouette and stepped right on a sharp thing on the floor, resulting in this:

Ouch ouch ouch

Ouch ouch ouch

I’m not super sure what I stepped on. It might have been a shelf bracket, or the sharp bit on the bottom of one of the drawers. But I will definitely have a cool scar that I can show off whenever I’m barefoot, so hey.

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