Very happy-ish with how this one came out. I loved Doctor Strange and was really taken by the imagery in the movie, especially with the magical powers.
As Robin is in England for the week, I am making the best of it by spending time with my stand-in Valentines, our lovely dogs Jasper and Rascal. If only I was really nice enough to make them a huge plate of bacon! Poor dogs.
There's a lot of snow outside, I've spent most of the day being varying degrees of soggy, and a lot of people on my personal Facebook appear to be really sad. So it felt like a good day to listen to some Janis Ian and practice my calligraphy and random Photoshop skills. I'm sure you understand or have had similar days.
I woke up to a notification from Buzzfeed on this story about Senator Elizabeth Warren being silenced while reading Coretta Scott King's letter of opposition to Jeff Sessions in 1986. Mitch McConnell's statement just resonated pretty strongly with me. It's such a great phrase.
Obviously the best way to commemorate it was to draw Senator Warren. It doesn't really do her justice, but...here you go.
Praia da Galé, Portugal
Lydia’s days were busy – always too much work and not enough time – but she always took a moment each day to get away from it all and visit the ocean. More correctly, she always too a moment each day to get as close as she could to the ocean. It was a considerable way off, but her vantage point still allowed her a clear view.
The way from point A where she stood to point B where she wished she could was impassable, especially in the simple flats she wore. They wouldn’t hold up over rocky, unsteady terrain, to say nothing of the time it would take to get there. Lydia was happy enough to feel the breeze off the ocean and taste the salt on the air. Sometimes, if she was lucky and timed her lunch breaks correctly, she would see dolphins jumping in and out of the water. Lydia imagined they were playing, having no cares in the world.
Her coworkers teased her about her daily trip. Her coworkers teased her about many things, come to think of it, and none of them made Lydia feel more welcome in their midst. She did her job well but she felt like an outsider because none of them seemed to know what to do with her.
Lydia wondered at times if she should try harder, make more small talk, pretend to like the things they talked about. They didn’t pretend with her, though, so it felt empty and pointless. Would it make a difference anyway? It was a question she asked herself all the time. All the time except when she was standing on that point, that is, standing there eating a sandwich while watching waves roll in and out until it was time to go back to her desk in her awfully lit office and get teased by her coworkers who didn’t know any better.
At least she had the ocean.
Just a drawing of everyone's favorite Italian plumber dressed as everyone's favorite blue robot boy, specifically for Dino, who likes this sort of stuff.
I've been out of the workforce for basically two weeks now, and for the most part, things are actually going really well. The problem is, I just received my last paycheck from my previous job and that brings a certain amount of nervousness that is not fun to deal with.
I've spent the morning looking around for potential ways to bring in money that don't require working for someone else right now, and decided to put up my services as a photo-illustrator-person on Fiverr. It's kind of a long shot, but I'm giving it a chance for no other reason than "why the hell not?" with a side of "what do I have to lose?"
Meanwhile, I know I haven't produced anything in the last few days, mostly due to some unforeseen body pain. I had been using our dining room table as a desk, which exacerbated some shoulder/arm issues I acquired after a decade spent typing at a poorly-planned desk. Robin and I found a desk better suited to my needs and I then tweaked my lower back trying to move things around our house to make room in our den. Good job, me!
On the upside, Robin and I have now set up our den to better accommodate our office needs and I am slowly on the mend. So, starting next week, expect to see some new work and writing!
Seriously. Being not-creative is kind of awful, especially when you technically have the time for it!
(Image source unknown)
It was beyond cold, and Lyla was happy that she and Gregor had managed to complete their temporary home before the sun went down. The fire was picking up in their tiny hut and both travelers were beginning to feel their extremities again.
Lyla knelt in front of the fire, warming her now-gloveless hands in the glow of the fire. “I’ve never been this far north before,” she said as best she could without her teeth chattering. “I’m beginning to think I underestimated the journey entirely.” Gregor nodded for a moment, not looking at his younger companion while placing the body of a rabbit they had caught earlier across the flames.
“It’s hard to prepare when you don’t understand what you are up against,” Gregor stated as the smell of cooked meat filled their temporary enclosure. “Have you ever spent a night outdoors?” he inquired, giving her the benefit of the doubt.
She shook her red head, the strands finally thawing and separating after a long day of hiking in the wet and cold. “Aside from this trip, I’ve rarely left my family’s estate. This is entirely new to me.” Lyla focused her eyes on the fire as Gregor got to his feet.
“Let me grab more wood. This fire won’t last long if I do not.” He left the enclosure swiftly, but Lyla heard the crunch of footfalls in dense snow stop not far from the unsecured flap to their housing. “Lyla,” Gregor called. “Lyla, come quick. You must see this!”
She scrambled gracelessly to her feet, stopping only to return her warmed toes to her boots before stumbling out into the cold night. Above their heads danced whites and greens in ways Lyla could never have imagined. “My grandmother told me tales of fairy lights when I was a child,” Gregor whispered, as if he was afraid to blow the lights off course if his voice was too loud. “Magnificent."
He turned to Lyla and was warmed by the shock and awe clearly laid out on her pale face. He took a moment to put an arm around her shoulder, sharing his cloak with the clearly shivering girl. It felt nice, this intimate gesture, but when his thoughts turned to his own children, Gregor forced his mind to lose itself again in the dancing lights instead of focusing on the loss and pain of his long life. There would be time enough for that in the future, and there was simply too much beauty around him to appreciate in the meantime.
Robin and I quickly ran through the most recent season of Ink Masters, which left me realizing I had little-to-no knowledge of art styles in the tattoo world. I tend to lean toward considering myself a cartoonist more than anything, so it got me thinking that I need to maybe learn more about different types of art and illustration.
Also, I am in need of work on my coloring, but that will come as I work on it more. At least, that's the hope.
I just wanted an excuse to try to draw President Trump's flowing locks.
Also, I need to find a better font. Or I need to write it by hand. We'll see how it goes.
Seriously, though, what is going on with these people being appointed to run the government? I'll admit not knowing much about how these things work...but...like...don't these jobs have requirements? If I have to have a certain amount of experience to be a receptionist somewhere, why wouldn't I need to have related experience to be the secretary of education?
This is really giving me an overblown sense of entitlement. I think I could do half of these jobs. At least, I'd probably do a hell of a lot better than anyone Trump would hire.
(But seriously, though, does anyone else get a creepy-uncle vibe from Steve Bannon? Aside from all the racist stuff, I mean.)
There was a part of me that was nervous to talk about the current state of my life, not wanting to come across as bragging or anything. So getting a positive response has been really appreciated given I am both excited and terrified at finally getting this opportunity. I am lucky to have people in my life (even if I don't see you all the time) that have faith in me, and it's a little overwhelming -- but in the best of ways.
There's another part of me that keeps forgetting why I am here in the first place, and it's actually making things a little difficult. This change largely came about because I kept getting sick, and the last time a doctor told me very seriously that if I didn't get better I was to take myself to the emergency room immediately. Not great.
On the upside, a week later, I can breathe better than I could then: I can walk up and down stairs without wheezing, I can inhale deeply and not cough hard enough to bring up a lung or two. But I'm still tired and nauseous at every turn, which is not an enjoyable way to spend a day, to say nothing of several in a row.
There is a part of me that wants to jump on myself anytime I am not taking every free moment to Create A Thing(TM). It's a part of myself that also is bad at relaxing now that my "job" is to be creative, so I can't bring myself to take time to putter around and be idle, even if I've "done stuff" during the day. If I'm not careful, this is going to cause problems, so I want to take the time to call it out now so I can't say I wasn't aware of it.
The fact of the matter is, I'm still sick. It's entirely possible I will be for a while, given how hard my ass has been kicked in recent weeks between strep and tonsillitis and THEN super pneumonia. Add to that several months and years of chronic depression and exhaustion and I'm basically being silly to expect so much of myself all at once.
I want to achieve things now, and I'm having trouble remembering that achievement takes time -- ESPECIALLY when you need to rebuild after a rough patch. To quote one of my favorite drag queens in the whole world, Latrice Royale, "Good god, get a grip girl!"
Those 5 Gs are very important and I really should take them to heart as I am working this out and trying to get myself to a better place physically and mentally. I won't be able to keep this up if I burn myself out through overexertion. So this is me getting a grip while also attempting to kick much ass in the coming days.
Hell yeah and whatnot.
Most Popular Photo Last Year - michaelswitzza
It had been too long, she realized, since she had traveled far enough away from civilization to be unable to hear the hum and rattle and buzz of society. Her car was parked several miles away, safe in its parking spot down at the bottom of the mountain; there were no noticeable power lines anywhere, and no sign of vehicles or buildings or people. As she tilted her head backwards into the water, she could let herself forget what year it was for a little while.Read More
This is kind of a weird post, one I'm both excited about and nervous about -- but it needs to be written, so here goes.
Let me start by saying that it's been a hell of a few months -- I don't just mean about the election and the currently terrifying state of American politics -- I've basically been varying degrees of seriously ill since just after Thanksgiving: I went from having strep throat to tonsilitis to bilateral multifocal pneumonia (basically a bad case of "double pneumonia," which is a bad case of regular ol' pneumonia) and am now picking my immune system off the floor and trying to dust it off so it can work again.
On top of that, my mental health decided to take a nosedive because it apparently wasn't getting enough attention. So while my body was trying to stop working, my mind was egging it on like a really misguided cheerleader.
After some conversations with Robin, we decided it was worth trying to see how it goes if I leave the workforce for a while. I am very lucky (and this is where the "privilege" part of the title comes in, which I suspect I'll get into more at a later date) that my husband has a great job that not only makes him happy and fulfilled, but also pays him well enough to more than make up for my current lack of income -- though part of that is the fact that I make significantly less than he does, so there is less to have to make up.
Robin's one suggestion was that I make sure I use the time I'm taking wisely and create a portfolio I can point to in case we need me to go back into the workforce. That way there isn't a huge unexplained gap in my employment history if I can say, "I took time to work on these projects" and have something to show for it.
And that's where the accountability comes in. I have spent most of the past decade or more wanting "a break" so I can focus myself on my creative endeavors without worrying about keeping tabs on a job. Robin is giving me the ability and freedom to do that, so it is up to me to take full advantage of it so I can make myself and those around me proud.
So what does this all mean? What can people expect?
My current plan is:
- to restart a tumblr I used to keep back in the day (which has since been deleted due to disuse, whoops) where I wrote short fiction inspired by photography found on random posts,
- to draw more and post it on deviantart,
- and then cross-post both here and then link this on Facebook/etc so anyone who cares has easy access to it.
This page will also be a checking-in place, not just for creative endeavors, but also for my mental/physical health and general things that come up in the meantime. If I start my freelancing back up, I'll discuss that in detail, for instance.
Basically, I need to do what I can to make this worth it so I can actually be proud of myself and what I've been able to accomplish. I haven't felt anything like that in years since I did my "drawing a day" thing, which only lasted six-eight months before I gave up on it. But that was good for me, and I could really use something along those lines again.
So. Here goes nothing!