Does someone want to tell me why it’s 0300 hours and I’ve been trying to sleep for hours? And why is it that just when I finally DO fall asleep, the damn dog has to go potty – and the person who has potty duty won’t roll out of bed? Leaving me, the insomniac, forced to deal with the potty. And thus. I’m not quite wide awake, but I won’t be getting any sleep until dawn.
There have been wars, divorces and murders for less.
It’s rolling onto a month, and I just haven’t been able to get work done the way I want to. I keep trying, and time every day is being put into my commissions. I’ve once again put taking on any new work on hold until I’m done. And yet, despite my best efforts, I can’t seem to make any headway. Maybe it’s my online forensics class, which promised me it would only take up a couple of hours a week but has turned into a bit of a time-eating bear. Maybe it’s the fact that lately I sit at the computer and blink, only to realize I can’t remember how much time has passed. I dunno. Whatever it is, when sitting at your computer at 0300 hours you feel that maybe someone needs to get to the bottom of this.
Man I hate these insomniac spells because I can’t get anything done in the day, when I’m okay with being wide awake. People don’t realize that insomnia can be quite the obstacle in leading what most consider a normal and healthy lifestyle. I dunno. I haven’t even worked out for three days. It’s getting that bad.
I shouldn’t sit here bitching, though. I’m up. In a minute I’ll open my jobs and see what I can finish before 5 in the morning. I’m yawning my fool head off. But if I lay back down, the fat of my fat body will literally keep me awake. So I won’t bother just yet.
I’ve explored here and there the notion of expanding The Writers of the Apocalypse into a full publishing house over the years. I toy with the idea. I’m not serious about it. But lately one of my clients has a conundrum and, in asking for my help, has put me back to looking at the publishing house idea.
There are a lot of small publishers out there. A plethora, in fact. But my client’s work doesn’t quite fit their niches. Erotica? Oh hell no. Romance? Not quite. Just about everything out there is romance, actually. Historical fiction? I found two possibilities for him. One had too many misspellings on their professional website and the other’s covers were… eeeh… let’s just say that when I examine a publisher, I’m going to look at how they do their covers. If their covers suck, I’m going to think twice – because this means they don’t know jack about marketing. Or perhaps they expect you to.
In my daily leaping to solve this problem, I’ve found a lot of resources that other self-publishers aren’t familiar with. And so it is that over time I’ve managed to develop quite the self-publishing distribution plan. It’s pretty far reaching. And part of it involves getting your stuff into the Asian market.
I’m currently in the testing phase of my plan. Depending on how things turn out, I might have some good things to share with the rest of the class.
The Asian market ain’t all that if you’re writing prose – although the German market sort of is. (I also found out how to get into that.) For me, though, it’s all that because of The Heavenly Bride. I’ve always felt that the one place The Heavenly Bride might find more readers was overseas – although not Japan. Definitely not Japan.
Consequently I’ve been pondering tonight what kind of publishing house I’d have: What kind of content would we specialize in? Fiction, yeah. Most likely. Fantasy and Sci-fi would be a must. Old school would be pretty awesome. I hate just about all of the modern day conventions. Har. But also I think an Amer-manga arm, because no one has one. It’s either “match how Japan does it 100% or not at all” – but you know, The Heavenly Bride isn’t how it is because I’m trying to match Japan. It’s how it is because of cultural exchange, which you’ve seen me talk about here before, and how such things influence other people.
Kind of like how manga got started in the first place. Yo, American comics! As a result, I tend to see how The Heavenly Bride is as an influence coming full circle back where it came from. I think to myself, well I guess the Amer-manga section would have some often-stated philosophy: Draw like you mean it, not like you copied it. Or, I dunno: We here at the Writers of the Apocalypse feel that manga-influenced comics are a natural evolution of the sequential art world and look forward to giving a home to each and every well-written book that never felt like it fit in anywhere else. Something like that.
Another thing that’s been eating my time of late is that I’ve found myself involved in a very special project for my tribe. I’m one of a few that’s working towards bringing back the use of our mother tongue, Mohegan. So I think to myself, well then The Writers of the Apocalypse has to have an ethnic imprint. Pestilence and I talked about it a while tonight and decided we’d call it Wôks Prints – Wôks meaning Fox. Fox prints, see. For the Native American literature branch, something that really makes going full on publisher appealing to me.
But I hesitate with this idea. First off, I’d want to offer the traditional advance – and uh… the most I can think to offer of that would be a whopping $200. And that would be a financial hurt of stretch for us. Secondly, although leaving the commission world would make me sad what would make me sadder would be not having any time to do my own thing ever again. I worry this sort of venture would do that to me.
Hell I dunno. I’m so fucking tired and sleepy. Someone come hit me on the head with a tire iron until my body obeys and lets me sleep. Okay, don’t do that. Just appreciate the sentiment.
I have this other blog. Okay, I have lots of blogs, but I have this other very important blog: www.ebookcover4u.com. If you can’t tell by the title, it’s one of those official-sounding work blogs that deals with work. Very official.
I put up an update to it today and saw, to my surprise, it has 733 followers.
Subsequently, my thoughts for this blog were momentarily derailed. 733 followers! Who’d have thunk people liked it when I get serious.
But I’m not here to talk about 733 followers – all of which may or may not actually read the blog they’re following. No, my lone reader on these particular pages in the internet sphere, I’m here to tell you briefly about the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
It seems to me I’ve seen this contest before, but perhaps I didn’t pay attention. Fate is a funny old lady most days, and she’s patient to boot. Circumstances brought me back to this contest again, only this time I was in the right frame of mind to receive the information.
I can sum it up using their premise sum up: “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
I can also tell you what it is. It’s a contest in which you write monstrous lines like the one above. The theme of your monstrosity line is based on literary prose genre. The point to it: That it be the first line to probably the worst book ever to be picked up by your unworthy hands. The opening sentences people enter into the contest tend to be pretty punny, and clever. If you don’t have half a brain, I don’t recommend you give it a try.
I have decided I do not have enough brain to try.
Well maybe I will in the future.
Check it out, if you dare: http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/index.html
The person I’d hired to help program the visual novel has been busy. Tonight I got to see the opening scene in the works, and I’m so stoked I can’t concentrate on commissions. I should, I really should. There are some flats I’ve got to work more on, which means I can’t go to bed just yet, but before I bog back down in the world of work I thought I’d post a couple of early screenshots.
The character artwork and overall look will probably be polished a bit. I’m thinking of adding a certain “sketchy” flair to it. But for now… Enjoy!!!
Y’all know I’m not prone to doing a lot of fan art. It’s just not my way. But I sat at my desk yesterday thinking, Gosh. I really want to design a new charm. It’s been a while. I couldn’t think of anything so I decided to do Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail.
Do I have plans to make the entire cast? Uh… no. Not really. While drawing Erza Scarlet I ended up partially designing another charm idea that was original, so I’ll probably go to that next.
So here it is, the latest charm design. If etsy will allow it, I’ll be putting up a preorder form on it. But I’m also going to post this to the much-ignored and lonely patreon page so who knows what will happen.
And yes, it’s also going to be a sticker. In fact I’m making the stickers today.
I keep getting rejected for a table at conventions. I’m not used to this.
I’ve been rejected by Tsubasacon, Daycon Clarksville (I really wanted to go to that one, too), and just now Bonzaicon. I haven’t even heard from the many others I’ve sent emails to. At this stage I’m wondering if I’m expected to do more than show that I have original artwork, be a published author and webcomic artist, and promote every convention I go to on youtube. If this were Hollywood, I’d say that perhaps I’m expected to sleep with someone as well… But although it’s obvious the money-making hounds have taken over a large part of the anime convention industry, I should like to say that it’s not gone that far. Yet.
When Tsubasacon rejected me they sent out a form letter that had one little part that made me lift my eyebrows in a way Leonard Nimoy would have been proud of. They said that the most likely reason why I (and so many others) were rejected for a table was because our artwork wasn’t original enough, and the committee needed to make sure there was a variety of items for the happy con-goers.
I looked at my charms. I pondered how they create them, my art style that people spot a mile away, and the content of my various other items. And I wasn’t original enough?? I cry bullshit.
When I was rejected by Daycon Clarksville, that was insulting. Their website said nothing about being judged. Not a thing. It said to email them and they’d send the needed documents forthwith. So I emailed them once with “I’d like a table” and didn’t give much information. I didn’t have to, right? I told them who I was, what I did, and what I expected to have out of respect – not a desperate need to audition for the blockbuster hit of the year. I got no reply. I checked their website and noticed they’d made space for yet another person, so SOMEONE had gotten the paperwork. I wanted paperwork too! So I emailed them again. I got no reply… until a couple of weeks later when they sent out this mass email explaining that we, the recipients, had been rejected by the judging process and they were so so sorry that we had to wait so long for a response.
I just went to their website again. This long list of people that got rejected? They… don’t really have anyone in their vendor and artist list for all they’re going to have a big room (so they said). At least, yet. They’ve updated their website, I notice. And with at least one vendor, well… I’m glad they’re giving a little kid a chance (or at least it looks like it’s drawn by a little kid). I hope this kid has fun, cuz they deserve a positive experience. But seriously? Again, I cry bullshit.
With this last one, well… it’s probably legit as far as judging processes go. I’ve seen how those processes work from behind the scenes with the Shrimp Boat Festival in Fernandina Beach, Florida. First you give tables to the regulars. Then, IF there are any spots left, you judge the many contenders and pick who you like. Sometimes you’re picking who you like based on the Good Old Boy system, which has nothing to do with art. I’ve known this for years. I’ve read articles talking about it. You can tell me,”No, it isn’t so!” But honey, been there. Done that.
Maybe it’s The Heavenly Bride that’s doing me in. I’m careful to mention that yes I go to these cons to promote my work, but HB only gets a side mention due to it’s rare adult nature. You’d think this wouldn’t be a problem as the conventions I choose all say that if you have adult material to handle it in a specific manner. But, people automatically assume HB is porn because I’m forthright and say it’s got no-no bits once in a while. (Like, all of three times.) Maybe I should be a bit more dishonest and stop saying something.
I’ve already caught on that the conventions I applied to (as if I’m trying to get a job at the UN or something) were run by the same company. You can tell. Same opening artwork style. Same layout. Exact same wording on certain pages. So unless two different people are psychlinking with the Borg I’d say it’s a safe bet it’s all run by the same people.
So I’m not holding my breath or anything.
With Bonzaicon, they said I was #18 on their waiting list. (Very nice of them to tell me that part.) The problem is I can’t do a waiting list. My husband and I need time to get hotels, save money, make sure of stock, and most importantly make arrangements with the job. So I had to email back and ask to be taken off the list.
Seriously, I feel this is a load of bullshit so far. I’m so glad the nice people who ran Archanime weren’t into this kind of stupidity. I can’t wait for next year.
As always happens, the new project has taken over my body and soul. I tell myself I’m only going to alot so much time to The Brat for the day and it ends up taking a lot more.
Which means progress has been had, of course, at the expense of my sleeping hours vs my commission progress. I choose getting commissions done over sleep most times. I like to pay bills.
Today’s Brat activities were supposed to be animating the opening logo for the game itself, but the computer fubarred and I ended up switching tracks. My opening post in the visual novel forum I’m a member of needed to be made more professional looking, as did the page to the game I am housing here. That is what I have ended up doing.
I encourage folks to take a look, give me feedback. Yes, I know I should consider a Kickstarter but it’s too soon. Way too soon. I want to be a lot farther along before I investigate an avenue that always has been a failure for me.
Well. Back to work.
The Heavenly Bride took another knock back today as the ad system that’s been on it for years, Project Wonderful, delisted one of the ad boxes. They do that automatically when a website hasn’t had enough activity – which I think is effing stupid personally. They shouldn’t care if a website has a lot of activity or not. Seems to me there was this other ad system that had that requirement and, uh, they don’t exist anymore.
So what are ya gonna do except carry on, really. I had already been carrying on before this happened. So I’ll try to figure something out for that spot. M’kay.
So here’s what I’ve been up to lately and why my clients are a little peeved at me.
1. The brandnew computer I almost held a fundraiser for but didn’t have to? It died mysteriously. I set it to render something you guys would love, took a walk, and came back to a dead computer. It happened that unexpectedly. We know the power supply is dead. We don’t know what else because we can’t afford a new power supply. We have no idea why it happened. So I’m still using the old Charlie body (my gremlin of course stays with me no matter what I use), and it likes to give me blue screens of death from time to time. My work has been slowed down (again) as a result and I’m a little frustrated.
2. Despite that I’ve been doing my thing with The Heavenly Bride and fun things like that. If you’re a paid member of Bride you’ll notice that the last page was animated. Shock! Gasp! But did you also know that Akashik was always meant for animation? It was even to the point that a certain studio had contacted me to see if they could be the ones to produce it. You might remember that. So here I am working on it as I can. Even if a certain 3D generated show seems to have borrowed Taus – and Ganji besides – so now I’m wondering why bother because even though I was here first people aren’t going to see it that way. (grumble)
3. I really miss Akashik. A lot. And I have all these little side stories and things that go with it. One of them, which I have named The Brat, is currently under serious production because.. .I got inspired. And when inspiration strikes a real artist, you’ll not get a single thing out of them otherwise. Doesn’t matter the art medium. It’s just how our brains are wired.
So The Brat is going to be a visual novel. I’ve played a few of them, and I like the gaming medium. So it seemed natural to go for it. It’ll be easy, right? It looked like a means to get something attached to Akashik out there quickly but in a fun way.
It has become a larger thing than I had planned when it was only going to be a comic. I’ve went from la ti da I have some pages planned to OMG I HAVE TO ANIMATE THIS PART!
My inspiration spells are really demons of possession that feed from client ire.
Let me explain.
I wake up in the morning. I say to myself, “Okay, Spearcarrier. Today you’re not going to spend all day sucked into DAZ 3D preparing models for the Brat. You’re going to be a good little freelance slave and get that nice man’s cover done.” After I’ve had a few sips of my morning tea I’m thinking, “Well, okay. Maybe you can give yourself an hour. But then you really have to get those flats done! People are counting on you!” And then several hours later I’m telling myself, “Well… you’ve lost the day but you can still get on track. Fifteen more minutes working on the models and then you have to go!” Finally at 2 in the morning I’m going to bed without having done anything at all.
This is where the demon gets stronger. I start getting emails from clients that read things along the lines of, “Where the fuck are you, you lazy ass bum! I wouldn’t leave you alone on your honeymoon, and I’m certainly not going to leave you alone now! RAR!”
All that ire flung at innocent little me through the internet is soaked up by the demon. The demon in turns feeds me feelings of recalcitrance. Suddenly I’m reluctant to work for other people because, well, they’re mean. And I stay working on my own stuff. It’s not my fault, really. I’m powerless in the demon’s grasp!
Today is going to be different, though. I already have my work loaded up. If I can just find some holy artistic garlic to keep the demon at bay I’ll be fine. *breathes*
I would hold a fundraiser to help fund the visual novel, but we all know my fundraisers are usually flops. But I’m going to need things like voice actors and music. I already have contacted someone to help me program it. Pestilence will be using this as a tool to learn a little programming, but for now neither of us are up to doing some of the things that I have in my head to happen. So it goes.
And I think my hand is tired, so … back to work. Makes a lot of sense, huh.
Yesterday I went out with someone that I think is pretty cool, and she brought along her friend, her friend’s teenage son, and her friend’s toddler.
Her friend’s very bratty toddler.
Now, we’d invited the woman (not the friend and family, although later we extended the invitation out of politeness) to dinner because there were important matters we needed to discuss. Also, we’d been trying to talk to the woman while suffering the vibe of ‘I hate to share my friend’ from the friend and watching the brat run around, knocking things over. We also watched as the friend constantly called over the woman to discipline her child. By the time the invitation was extended, I was already wondering why in the hell the friend needed to have someone else put her toddler in time out for her. I mean, I’m okay with the concept of servants… but dayum.
On the friend’s behalf, I don’t know if she’d already made an appointment – as it were, I mean some of these Western customs confuse me – to hang with her friend. My husband and I just kind of dropped by because my husband was going to help out with something.
It quickly became apparent to me – someone who not only raised two toddlers but also took care of a young stepchild, nannied three, and was a very successful babysitter – that the toddler was tired and cranky. He needed correcting. He needed a diaper change. Probably needs potty training. And most definitely needed a nap. But he came to dinner anyway, and was seated in a booster seat, and we commenced at an attempt to having a nice time.
Toddlers can be little terrors, this is true. They want to touch when they’re not supposed to touch. They wiggle. They loudly express frustrations. They kick. They tell authority figures, “No.”
Do you know why they get away with that? Because of all the shitty ass adults that let them. Toddlers will be toddlers. When will adults be adults? While sitting at the table, with this very out of control small one, is when the child’s mother should have stepped up and made a real attempt… instead of staring at her phone. Or the table top. Or anywhere but where my husband and I were sitting. This situation wasn’t like mine when my son was small and any attempt to control him on my part was met with little old women literally coming out of nowhere to tell me how to raise my child. All this child needed was to be met eyes to eyes and told to sit down. No more, no less.
When the child started to stand in his booster seat, I said as nicely as I could something along the lines of, “Hey. You do that, you’re going to fall. You’re going to bust your head wide open. It’s going to hurt. You’re going to cry.” The child actually started to sit down.
That is, until his mother told him to sit down.
This is when the toddler, showing a clear disrespect to his mother, stood back up and told her no. He crossed his arms. He stuck out his upper lip in traditional defiant toddler fashion.
I had had enough.
Even though the mother’s face was angry as I raised my voice – not by much, I mean we were in a restaurant after all – I told the child that he would look at his momma, he would not tell her no, and he would sit his little ass down. Even though he was only about 2, I told him that he respected his mother. That I would at least not put up with that shit at the table. I did say I was sorry, but it wasn’t a real apology. I broke the apology rule. I followed it with, “but” and added that enough was enough.
And you know what?
The little terror sat down.
You know what else? He didn’t get back up again.
As we left dinner, I knew the woman – the one we’d originally invited to dinner – was going to hear all about it. Sure enough, I was told delicately today that it wasn’t my place to say something to the child.
In THEIR tribe, perhaps. When you’re in public with your child, sitting at a shared table, respect to your right as a parent is a two-way street in some circumstances. I had held my piece as long as I could, truly, but there I was at a table, trapped against a phone-addicted neglectful child and her unruly small child.
Let’s talk someone’s place to do something. Do you know what happens when a place isn’t filled by the right people? It creates a gap. Do you know what happens then? Either someone has the brass knuckles to fill it or you get ISIS.
You want to talk respect? Let’s talk respect to the people you’re with. Let’s talk respect to society at large. Most importantly, let’s talk about teaching respect to your little ones so they can get a little respect in return.
Toddlers may be toddlers. But they can’t grow into something better until parents are allowed and willing to actually be parents. It’s a pretty simple equation. The trash should be able to figure that one out.
I can’t begin to count for you the young parents that won’t come near me because they were letting their toddler run all over them and I said something. There was a little girl I used to babysit once. She cussed at her mother. You may remember that post. I said something. The child cried going out my front door.
No, think about that. Someone told that little girl she couldn’t abuse her mother. They didn’t raise a hand to her. They didn’t call her names. They told her no, you don’t act like that. But. She was so used to being the ruler of the house, so used to being the one in charge, it made her cry when she was put in her place. It made her cry. Not because I was mean, or firm. Or got my old-fashioned Indian on. Whatever. It was because she was spoiled.
The family never came back again. Which is great, actually, because they were pretty stupid and it was painful to talk to them. No. Seriously.
Do you know why I have the courage to speak up in these situations? Because I seriously needed someone to do so for me. No one did. Instead, I was browbeaten and pushed around as a young, single parent. I was told I wasn’t allowed to discipline by some and then told my child was spoiled by others. I couldn’t do anything right for anyone, and the people around me stripped me of any power to do anything about it. I couldn’t even go grocery shopping without meeting with trouble. I had child welfare called on me constantly, usually for made up charges because child welfare refused to come unless the charges were serious. I had my life ruined by people who couldn’t stand with me and stand up to my right to have respect from my children. And now, I have empty bedrooms.
I admit I was pretty angry when first told it wasn’t my place, because there the situation was demanding respect from me after having terribly disrespected me first. I said, Hmm. Maybe I should call child welfare next time and let the neglect sort itself out then. But you know, I wouldn’t. I know how that feels.
The proper way to handle this situation is to simply have nothing to do with the so-called mother and her ugly child. The child could be a beautiful young man, but brattiness is ugliness. And neglect is filth. I don’t need those energies in my life. No one who wants a healthy environment should tolerate that in their life.
There’s a line we must all draw as souls finding our path to wisdom. There will come times when people try to cross that line. The hardest lesson I had to learn was when to cut negative people from my life, to make sure they had not corded to my spirit, and to walk on my own two feet.
Id est: No drama llamas.
Besides, dramah llamas, the full blown ones, have this unique talent of making it look like YOU are the drama beast. You could only be standing up for yourself, but those llamas know how to come out of the wash looking clean. Best not to let them handle the laundry to begin with.
I kind of feel sorry for that child. But it’s also not my circus and not my monkeys. It’s more my duty to keep my own three rings clear of the clutter these type of people carry in. No ticker tape necessary. I hate to sweep.
That being said, I’ll just be avoiding that situation from now on. I already don’t make a real attempt to connect to people at large, but it appears for the sake of the environment here at the Temple to Nothing I gotta double down. I wonder what food drama llamas hate. I’ll make sure to serve it at mealtime.
TLDR summary: If you want goodness, success and positivity in your life you have to cultivate. Dress to impress, even if it’s only for yourself or some dead White guy. SHAVE. Wash your stinking hair. Keep fertilizer for the dirt. And pour cayenne pepper on the aphids. Sneeze for honest to god 10 minutes. Repeat.
I was tickled yesterday when a long-time reader asked me straight up if I was willing to do stick figures, because I use them for comics on occasion as filler art. To be specific, they wanted to know if I could bring Akashik back using stick figures. Please, pretty please.
Yes, I do intend to get back to Akashik before I die of old age – providing Nibiru doesn’t make it completely to the planet and kill us all. I am often frustrated that I can’t start on it now. Well, in a way I am working on it. I develop characters, I poke at the script, and I’m writing side stories here and there because they simply will not leave me alone.
The latest side story that blossomed out from my pen into comic book script form was about Taus’s first teacher and sponsor into Cerberus. To be precise, it’s how they met. But I can’t start on it right now… there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Not with me having to work on commissions for everyone else, too.
Still, the day is coming. The husband and I have been working hard for the time I can say, “I quit!” to the working world at large and strike out on my own. I’m impatient because I’d set these days off for my children, for stability, for this and for that. All I have to show for it are empty bedrooms and an entire life that was set aside.
A client recently told me that I should put my life even further on hold while my husband goes to college. I should support him and be there for him as much as a wife can.
I told him politely that my husband was a grown man.
Sometimes I get real sick and tired of the double standard, the societal expectation that as a female I shouldn’t try to be successful and do things in my own right. When I did them I was put down and called names. And today, now that I’m nearing middle-age, I’m not even appreciated for my sacrifice. And someone expects me to set my life back even further?
I think not.
But this wasn’t meant to be a rant about inequality. This was supposed to be a simple comment about fans, and how much I love them, and how much it means to me when one reaches out to beg me for stick figures at the very least.
Please, pretty please.