Art is my illicit drug of choice. The more I create, the more I need to make to get off.

Okay, so I put it that way to be a touch provocative, but it's also kinda true. I've been doing more illustration work pretty much every chance I get and I'm still getting further behind. What's more, I want to do more. That's kinda crazy.

ETA: Okay, I think I was going to go deeper into this and then change the post to public, but I've lost the train of thought and figure I should just let folks see it as is for now. I can always comment more later if I get that thought back.

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Dood, your coloring skills are really getting great!
Thanks beb. All I can see is how very far they have to go, but I'm glad someone is seeing the improvement. ;)
 

Sadly, I don't remember much of my dream last night, but I do recall a single scene. I was in someone's house, and there were at least two other people there. I don't think any of us were the owners / renters of the place.

One of the people had to leave but they were terrified of the massive bulldog that lived in the house. So, I approached the animal and coaxed it onto its back for belly rubs. The person who had to leave did so slowly and cautiously, and the dog occassionally gave them the side eye, but overall was happy to have me rubbing its belly.

A fairly unimportant moment of a fairly unimportant dream, but I found it interesting because [warning - potential GoT spoilers for Season 6 ahead] I just watched the episode where one character unshackles two dragons. They did the scene well, and the body language for the dragons is really fantastic. The creators of GoT have done a fantastic job of getting across "wild but very intelligent creature". So much so that I found myself watching for 'tells' in the body language of the creatures as they were being unshackled.

Clearly, the scene had an impact on me because my dream was all about understanding the body language of the bulldog since I only knew them peripherally. 

ETA: Also, this is fantastic.

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I think you've probably been spending your entire life unconsciously looking for tells from dogs. I mean that in a good way. Maybe the dream was a "yes you were right"confirmation that your sense that GoT got it right was right.

Right?
Sounds about right.

Funny thing is that dog tells are much like dragon tells which are much like human tells. :)
I seem to recall an X-Files episode about human tells and Luke Skywalker, but I might have got that wrong somewhere.
Never watched the X-Files. At least not in any real way. Maybe an episode way back in the past or something.

But you can bet I would watch the hell out of that episode.
OH. OH. OH. I know exactly what you mean. It was an alien who disguised himself as different humans, and once it disguised itself as Luke Skywalker.
#SecretTargaryen
 

I have SO many questions. I'll start at the top:

  • As Seen on TV - Really? Someone paid good money to put this on television? Ever? This was clearly a rack toy - just hanging from a pegboard somewhere. For $0.79. Even when this was in stores, that couldn't have been a big profit margin.
  • Who is the Woman? - I don't recognize the character at all. Now, I know that there are many out there who have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel universe, but I've got a little geek cred. I don't think I've ever seen her before. Is she a villain? Is she working with Cap? Is she at least wearing a bikini bottom that is conveniently covered by the bill of that plastic duck?
  • Pink / Blue Ducks - The only reason to have your targets colored pink and blue that I can come up with is to make them masculine / feminine. That's pretty sexist of me, but "it was a different time" and I can't seem to come up with anything else. Which begs the question: Why in all the holy REDACTED would you care what sex your plastic duck targets are?!
  • 3 4 3 - Why would you 'weight' the targets like this? 1, 2, 3 I could understand. 10, 15, 20 - sure. But 3, 4, 3? Pretty sure these folks were on something, or they're sending a message from the past to a sleeper cell that...
  • Larami Corp of Hong Kong - Larami Corp is familiar. Didn't know they were right here in PHL. Of course, the toy itself was made in... Hong Kong? I'm trying to envision how much they would have to save on the manufacturing to still make a profit after shipping it to the other side of the planet and only charge an end price of $0.79.
  • Oh So Cap or at Least American - Anyone else find it amusing that there is absolutely nothing Captain America about the gun, or the darts, or the targets. Just the cardboard backing which promptly gets thrown out when the kid opens the toy to play with it.
  • 2 Darts / 3 Targets - Just noticed this. Editted the post to add it in. This seems... inefficient. It also makes me think: there are two pink targets, but only one blue. Is there a correlation? But why is the blue more valuable? Is that another sexist thing?

It really was a 'different era'...

Oh, and I originally found this here.

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One of the tumblr notes says that is Whiteshade. Also, I hate trying to decipher tumblr's format. I'm never on there, though, so...
Karen 8/31
Wow. I'm just impressed that someone actually commented on Tumblr.
That seemed like a strange name, so I did some research and discovered that it was apparently a comment on the packaging's unusual pigmentation for "Nightshade", an evil scientist in Captain America's world.
Yeah - I did a (very brief) Google search and found nothing on Whiteshade, but also found Nightshade and wondered if that was just a... typo? Well, not exactly, but in that direction.
Beaten to the punch on the identification of the villain. Yeah, the '70's. It was a strange decade.

http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Nightshade
 

So I had a random idea in the wee hours this morning and thought I would jot it down. These are the notes I wrote down to remember the concept. I just thought you guys might enjoy seeing what pops into my brain before I imbibe enough coffee to kill a mortal man.

I'm not sure what I will do with it (if anything) - this probably falls under that heading of 'too many ideas, too little time'. That said, I could see doing this as:

  • Just a collection of sketches / drawings / digital paintings that I expound on in the blog posts I make about them.
  • An illustrated short story. (Note: this seems like a concept I should do. A lot.)
  • If all my other stuff suddenly, magically gets done, a book. When people talk about writing to market, this seems like exactly what they mean - the nexus of the author's interests and what seems to be 'currently hot' in the market. (My understanding is that Post Apoc is hugely popular right now. Kinda the 'zombies' of 2018.)

The genre of 'post apocalyptic fantasy' is probably already a thing (how could it not be?!) but I hadn't ever heard of it. That was a big part of why this concept came spewing out of me so fast - figuring out how to connect the dots was exciting.

*****

  • Our hero is a half orc who lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. (See drawing above.)
  • Mother (human) taught him to avoid humans - explained that they would never leave him alone if they learned of his existence.
  • Hiroshima nukes opened a rift to the Fae Realms. Humans didn't know it. The fae took many years to reveal themselves and when they did, it didn't go well. War ensued.
  • World note: Tech doesn't work (think EMP) - something done by the Fae to counter the nukes. Thus, you know, post apoc.
  • Humans move into our hero's territory - why? (Zombies?)
  • Fae are returning to the world after having fled the war back to their realms of origin - why? Migration because something is happening in their world? (Holy Hell, has this been done to death, but also, it works.) Does this cause them to create zombies to 'clean house' before moving to our world?
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Or they opened a rift to Mordor at the exact moment the Ring was destroyed...
 

Okay, I have a canine problem.

You all know that I love dogs way more than most humans probably should. It's kinda a thing. And it's fun or even cute most of the time, but...

Well, we've all had that experience where we're traveling and we see someone that we're just sure is Soandso from Suchandsuch. Only it's not. It's just someone who resembles that person. And they look enough like that person that you immediately felt a kind of bond with them (or animosity depending on how you feel about Miss or Mr. Soandso).

Well, I recently saw a tweet by Cherie Priest about an opinion her dog was displaying with their face.

I felt an immediate bond with the dog.

From a tweet.

Because (I eventually realized) it's features are a bit of an amalgam of several dogs I've known and been fond of over the years.

Yeah. I have a problem.

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I am convinced that I have seen every Delaware license plate before. This is funny but it's not a joke. I really do think this. I know it's irrational because I can't have seen all 50.
What about the black ones?
There are some good images.google.com results available to round out the collection. (I had no idea that there were 50!)
Dogs are never the problem. Unless you are a hot dog or a cookie.
True statement(s)!
omg. Watching his eyes dart back and forth from side to side while his head remained 'motionless'. Such a good derg!
Wow, I remember Cherie and Aric from... 15(?) years ago. I've missed so much, apparently.
Karen 7/31
In truth, I haven't seen / read anything from her since the LJ days. I think Lindsay and someone else liked the tweet, which apparently was enough to bring it to my feed.

...which is a long way to say "me too".
Yeah, I retweeted the tweet because I follow instructions.

They moved from Chattanooga, TN to Seattle, her books became popular, she was Seattle's reigning Queen of Steampunk (she didn't like that title), then they wanted to buy a house so they moved back to Chattanooga, then things changed with Aric's job again, so now they're back in Seattle.
Heh. Shame. I should have looked them up while I was out there. Not that she would have any idea who _I_ am, but still.
Same. Too far removed, but LJ gave us all that sense of knowing each other, so I miss them but don't really know them. It's such an odd feeling.
Karen 8/2
Right? I feel that a little here on OPW, but it's a significantly smaller crowd. I do have folks who I haven't met IRL here, but LJ seemed to distort things for me. I'm betting some of it had to do with the age I was when I was using it...

Which is to say "Probably wouldn't be as big a deal now since I'm an old bastard."
For what it's worth:
her books became popular enough that she has to protect herself from stalkers. so she is hard to get in touch with. BUT, someone with a name very similar to hers is a Jarnsaxa Rising supporter.
I did see what I thought was her name on the supporter page. (Oh yes, I really did stalk your website when you put it up. It was a fun night.)

I figured she got notoriety and thus less approachable, and I was not close enough to keep up a regular chat relationship with her, so it's nice to hear about them!
Karen 8/2
Here is a story you may appreciate.
When we did the Indiegogo campaign, our original budget was $3K. We needed $70 to hit $1K before the campaign ended, with something like 48 hours to go. Cherie has over 20K Twitter followers. Jill got Rodney Anonymous to tweet about it. I sent Cherie an email asking her to tweet about it. I said it was because we were so close to $1K, I wouldn’t ask her otherwise, etc. I begged in as dignified a manner as I could. By then, I didn’t care about making $3K, but if we made $1K, I could pay each actor $50 (instead of the $200 each that’s the going rate for this kind of work). She said, in a very nice way, “I get asked to tweet about this kind of thing literally all the time, and I have a general policy of saying no, because if you say yes once, you have to say it for everyone, BUT, in your case, it’s a horse of a different color.”
She tweeted in support of the podcast and the campaign
AND
donated the last $70.
BOOM.
I had no reason to dislike her previously, but she just made beaucoup points in my book.
You are correct, I really appreciated that story. :)
Karen 8/10
Well, once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away (so, like, high school), I had a boyfriend who had a mom who had a cat who looked EXACTLY like Ernest Borgnine, I mean, it's like they were TWINS, and now I can't see Ernest Borgnine (not that I see him all that often, hardly ever, actually) without seeing that cat.
Rachael 8/23
Re: “once upon a time... so, like high school” = you just made big points, for the record.

Re: cat like Ernest Borgnine - I could absolutely see that. :)
:-)
Rachael 8/27
 

Assuming for a minute that you believe it exists, what is your definition of Good?

There are plenty of schools of philosophy that cover this, but that's not really what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a simplified "this is how I see it in daily life" definition. Specifically, how it applies to people. IOW - what does a good person do/think and what does an evil person do/think?

Or if it's easier for you to pin down, perhaps describe your definition of its sibling.

Also, I think two of my goals for this year will be:

1. Be less verbose.

2. Lose 100 lbs.

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Good question. C.S. Lewis describes good-and-evil as something that we all (or at least all but a few) know innately. Even people who do evil things don't generally argue that there's no such thing as evil. They instead make excuses for how their actions aren't evil. The "golden rule" is a pretty good summary. Are you treating other people as you would want to be treated, or are you treating them as means to your own ends without regard for their feelings about it?
A good standard indeed. (No pun intended.)

It's strange though as so many people's opinion on how they would expect to be treated (which is different than 'want', I grant) would vary widely.
I don’t believe in good people and evil people. That locks out complexity. I believe in good and evil actions and motives.

That said, I think good is seeking to avoid harm, and better, repair damage. Evil, I think, is seeking to cause harm, or ignore that which is hurting people/will decline into harm.
Rabbit 1/6
Yeah, that sounds akin to where my head is at. Helping others - being uplifting - that seems key.
A good person thinks of others; thinks of how their own actions fit in the world and seeks to make the world a better place by reducing suffering.

A bad person thinks of themself without regard for the world, seeking only to gain personal advantage.

Have you investigated the writings of Buddhism? Moving past the unprovable bits of spirituality there are some solid bits of philosophy about taking personal responsibility in a world where one is never truly alone, and ones actions always have consequences.
Sean M Puckett 1/6edited
excuse the lack of caps, i can't use my pinkie right now! i am with rabbit, i don't believe that there are good and bad people per se... or that even actions inform as so much of our ideas of good and evil are cultural. example, in some cultures the idea of stealing is not the same as it is here, as 'black and white' as that seems... or the concepts of assisted suicide, or certain kinds of sexual interaction, consent was null, a man owned his wife's body.

but i think that a person trying to do good does what they think is good even when there is no recognition for it. when no one will know and they don't walk around patting themselves on the head for doing what they believe is right.

i think that a person trying to do evil does so knowing the consequences and/or price the other person will pay but having no regard for it. feeling they deserve it, 'fuck that guy, if he can drive a bmw he has it coming,' or 'so what she can deal'

Katie 1/10
 

The company car's transmission blew up. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but "it stopped working" isn't very sexy.

The shop says it should be fixed by late Wednesday / early Thursday.

Sucks that I'll be out of work most of the week, but it could be much, much worse.

That brings us to today. I'm actually kinda happy to be vehicle-less. When I'm done with work for the day, or on my days off, I try to leave the car parked and walk everywhere anyway, so this isn't terribly new territory. I try to pick hotels that are within walkable distance of 'stuff' thanks to my 'leave it parked' policy.

Today's walk via Google Maps:

After the park, and before returning to the hotel, I was walking through a residential area. About a block away from me (I was on 76th - a very busy road) I saw a dog running loose through the neighborhood. I stopped and watched him for a few minutes. He seemed very healthy, and I was pretty sure I could see a collar on him. When I saw him trying to (I assumed) re-enter a fenced in yard, I made my decision to try to help him out.

Clearly, he hated me.

He was absolutely charming. Still clearly a pup (though not a baby) he was youthful, but not wild/crazy. Once he'd decided that I wasn't going to hurt him, he cozied up to me and didn't leave my side more than for a second when he got excited.

I made some calls and someone came out to pick him up. Thankfully (?) they explained some bureaucratic bullshit about how I was technically over the county line and he had no jurisdiction and... yadda yadda.

He did do something mildly useful by giving me a leash for the pup which was little more than a rope lasso. He then went back to his truck to get the phone number of the folks I would have to call. They would have been my third shelter (SPCA, the local shelter, and then his recommendation.)

But while he was digging up the number, the owners of the house (that the pup was trying to re-enter) came out and claimed the dog.

I'd only spent between 1/2 hour and an hour with the dog, and I sincerely had a hard time giving him up. Maybe my idea of volunteering at a shelter isn't such a great idea.

Lastly - a quick video. (Sorry for the vertical video - in my defense, I was playing with a derrrrrrrrg.)

ETA: in the video I say “Owasso Texas”  which is something I kept doing over and over again, and I have no idea why. I was actually in Owasso Oklahoma. 

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11/27 '17 11 Comments
Because you're the DERG WHISPERER. What a cute derrrrg!
He was SO GUD!
Dying of The Cute.
Anne Mollo 11/28 '17
Right? He was really adorable.
WHOOZA DOG? WHOOZA GUD DAWGI? WHO IZ? WHOOZA GUD DAWG?
HE SO WUZ ALL CAPS!
Did you ever find out what his name was?
Sweet adventure!
Thomas Boutell 11/28 '17
It was indeed. Need more of those.
DEEEERRRRRGGGGGG!!!! *explodey heart*
Jenn A 11/29 '17
Exactly right. :)
 

Of course, it's also probable that my being super crazy UNproductive makes the contrast that much clearer.

That wasn't meant as a put down. At least not one aimed at all of you.

On the plus side, your posts about writing and productivity are very motivating. I need to be making more. I need to be completing more.

At the end of the day, I think that's the biggest problem for me. I finish so very few of my projects. I pick nits endlessly, lose my motivation somewhere along the way because I've grown bored with the project in question (and because I have ideas for three new projects), and then I drop it in favor of the project du jour.

It's a bad cycle, and I do it ALL the time.

The only reason that I'm still clinging to my book idea with bloody fingertips is because I've got so much invested in the character over so many years.

Frustration point: I know what the solution is. I've heard it countless times on countless podcasts about writing: Just make slow and steady progress to spit out that first version of the book. If that's one sentence a day, that's fine. It's progress, and it's measurable. And you need to know, in advance, that it's going to suck. Writing is REwriting and all that.

What's more, I've learned that I actually enjoy revising old writing. I never finished my one attempt at NaNoWriMo, but I find myself dropping into the book and editing a chapter here and there occasionally. For no real reason - it's not like I'm planning to ever let it see the light of day.

And Inktober? Yeah, I'm way behind there too.

I have no excuse. All of you have WAY more going on in your lives and you're making progress while I do the equivalent of clicking through cable channels.

Okay, that's enough self flagellation. It doesn't accomplish much. I have to get to work while there's still daylight, but tonight, I need to get some work done.

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10/16 '17 4 Comments
I have been on a project of finishing things this year. Not just creative things, but just practical, around the house things. But the neat part has been the creative. I just pulled everything out and started saying, "This one is almost done!" and having a go.

I don't know if it's any more productive, but it has been fun. :)
Katie 10/16 '17
It sounds it. It also sounds like it IS productive. Or at least more productive. If you finish one project that would have otherwise languished in a drawer somewhere (digitally or physically) then it's more productive.

Perhaps I should start a list that I can prioritize...
I dare you to draw a bunch of fat naked middle aged ladies frolicking on a beach.

Starting with lots of circles.

#inktober
Heh. I could do that. In fact, I just might. I think that I just decided (just prior to opening my browser and reading your response) that I'm going to do a bunch of 1/2 hour or 15 minute limited images. That should help me catch up since I'm so far behind.
 

Probably my favorite one so far this year. It started when I was thinking about the cliche' image of the masculine hero carrying the Damsel in Distress. I was thinking specifically about how over done it is. Then I thought about reversing the roles.

I started roughing in the forms, and the idea that the male would be Patch (who, if I'm honest, is about as cliche as that original image idea) struck me as a good idea.

So who would the heroine be? Perhaps a valkyrie or angel? I dunno. I was focussed on the forms, and when I realized I was smudging the pencil a lot, I decided to erase the wings. I thought it might be neat to create something by its absence.

In case you're interested, I'm posting all of my Inktober sketches over on my Instagram - even the ones that I'm not a fan of...

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10/5 '17
 

I'm doing Inktober again this year. Planning to do NaNoWriMo too. I've never finished either. Let's hope this is the year for both.

Here's the tl;dr rules for Inktober:

1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
2) Post it online
3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2017
4) Repeat

Honestly, I'm not off to a great start for Inktober. I bought a new Moleskine 'sketchbook' (Cahiers series 'Plain Journals'). I selected this one because it has 45 pages. I wanted a stand alone book for just Inktober 2017.

The pages are pretty thin to the point of near transparency. The pen I grabbed to do initial sketchwork with on this one is a standard ballpoint pen I garnered from one of my hotel stays. While I want that - to keep things simple and not worry about 'fancy equipment' - the ink really bled into other areas when I used my Prismacolor markers to throw in some tones.

Anyway. Not awesome, but Day 1 is in the can. Yay?

Subject matter is one that's been on my mind quite a bit for a while. Young Patch from the (theoretically) forthcoming book.

I'll also likely give myself a time limit every day like I did today. ~30 minutes from soup to nuts. It makes me dislike the results a bit, but it forces me to put things down and move on. In the bigger picture, that's better. Like writing the first draft and revising later. If I don't get that first draft done because I'm picking nits...

In unrelated news (and primarilly for my tech folks), I'm using Synergy to bounce between three separate work computers with a single keyboard and mouse. Have any of you used recent versions? I'm getting some lag pretty regularly and it's quite frustrating. I've tried stopping/restarting services and I've checked and rechecked settings. I have yet to uninstall / reinstall, but I just figured I would be lazy and ask if any of you have tried it and run into the same thing or not.

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10/1 '17