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Today started wretchedly. I wrote an interview back in April that I sent off to the publisher. They opened it yesterday and said, um, Ellen? Because it was blank. I figured I'd sent the wrong file, but I opened mine, and lo. BLANK. And of course, they needed files TODAY to send to the editor, and I've got appointments and early summer camp and I'm still reeling after a Very Bad Back weekend.

Leaving Guppy at camp was the usual amount of agonizing. MOM! MOM! MOOOOMMMMMY! One more HUG! MOMMMMMYYYYYY!

Oh, and the cat missed the catbox.

Then I got a massage that fixed the Very Bad Back, and found an un-formatted draft of the interview in... my wholesale accounts folder? What? So I got that fixed up, grabbed lunch (and veggies!) at the farmer's market, and Guppy had a grand time at camp, of course. Now I need a gallon of ice water and an ice cream sandwich in the sun.

No words today (yet), but I did get some reading research done, and started working on an exciting plot bunny with a partner in crime.


Here are #19 (claimed) and #13 (available!). I did finish #20 but haven't scanned it, so if I get one done today I'll be caught up again. The landing page for my #junicorn project is here: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html
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I haven't scanned the latest #junicorn pieces yet, but did go back and finish #13 and forge forward with #19 and #20. I got six done in total with Sketch Fest prompts.

This was just released at Torn World:



It was prompted at the March Muse Fusion and finished in April as part of a collection that I'll give you more information about in a few weeks. ;P

Speaking of Muse Fusions! Our next one is in August. I am eyeing the second week, does anyone have any thoughts on what would work for them?

Got about 700 words of not-a-book written at the library the morning after peeling Guppy off at summer camp. This is a new camp, in a new place, so all the anxiety was new, too. She was TIRED and nearly fell asleep on the way home, so I'm hoping she uses quiet time for a nice nap. (So far, no dice.)

I'm going to get some more words in now! More art later!
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I got five more #Junicorn pieces finished for Sketch Fest (so far!) and updated the landing page: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html

I also scanned last week's cards. I'm still not done with #13, but that will get finished eventually.



I've also added the option for magnets and bookmarks! These are also ACEO-sized, 2.5 x 3.5 inches. The magnets are flexible magnets, laminated and durable. The bookmarks are laminated, with a silky tassel in a random color. Both are $4 each or 5/$15.

(I've signed Guppy up for another week of summer camp, which is not cheap. Buy #junicorns!)

Portrait,

Jun. 16th, 2017 10:13 am
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I still haven't scanned the latest #Junicorn (and I'm still behind and working on lucky number 13), so have a Portrait Adoption piece I posted a week or so ago:


Adopt her here: https://portraitadoption.com/portrait.php?id=2947

Summer camp remains the greatest thing in my life right now. It's still hard to peel her off in the morning, and she doesn't want to leave in the afternoon. My writing count isn't quite as awesome as the first glorious day, but I have gotten to the gym every single morning (which feels amazing) and I've gotten a ton of stuff done. I'm 4/6 into sekrit art project #789 and finished up a private commission yesterday. I submitted a short story to an anthology, and the EMG newsletter finally went out, and I HAVE gotten 500 words minimum every day, with spurts of much, much better, so that I'm nearly at 6k for the week. (I know my powerhouse writing friends are sniggering up their sleeves, but that's a LOT for me.)

Having ME time is huge. It's different than nap/quiet time, too. I spend that time with half an ear at least out for her. This is time I spend with sound-cancelling earphones absolutely focused on what I'm doing. I've tried four different places, and they've all worked beautifully. I feel productive and free and fulfilled. And then I can pick Guppy up and not feel like she's pushed my buttons all morning and I'm happy to see her and spend time playing. (Or working outside in the guise of playing!)

It helps that she is clearly having a great time.

Yesterday, Jake took the afternoon off and we finished the decking on the woodshed. YES. I used our new impact driver and WOW. I'm sold. It's supposed to rain today and tomorrow, so we wanted to get that finished while the weather was nice.

Okay, back to the not-a-book.

This afternoon is SKETCH FEST! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/index.php
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I've gymed every morning this week, and it feels great! Day 2 was not quite as productive as Day 1, but I still got 1800 words written and a bunch of admin-type things, and I felt refreshed when I picked reluctant monster up from camp. (She tried to run away instead of getting ready to go, because she wanted to staaaaayyyyyyy!) Day 3 saw about 1300 words, but I also finished inking two more pieces for a project I've slipped to my Patreon patrons, and then squeezed in 2 junicorns when I realized I'd written and deleted the same paragraph twice and my brain was just not wrapping around story anymore.

These are three junicorns from the weekend:



The greenman unicorn was an experiment on birchbark, which was only semi-successful - the bark flaked as I worked, and is still really fragile. A sneeze would peel off the colored part. I will have to apply some fixative to it, now that it's sunnier.

The garden is exploding. The potatoes are just peeking up, but the lettuce baskets are gorgeously frilly and full, and the delphiniums are eager to take over the world. I planted some garlic cloves I had that had sprouted, and they merrily shot up several inches over the last few days.

The voles seems to have given way... to ants. It appears that they have moved into the rocks around my garden, and while they don't appear to be damaging anything, I have had to squish more ants in my house recently than I am happy to.

Speaking of happy, Guppy yesterday came cheerfully to the door while we were outside working on the woodshed. "I have a terrible emergency!"

Then she hands me a warm, stinky pair of underwear and flees back into the house. "I have to finish pooping."

Yes, my daughter had handed me a pair of poopy underwear. BECAUSE PARENTING IS AWESOME.

We're going to go have ice cream sandwiches on the porch now and I'm going to just pretend that never happened.

Mondaily

Jun. 12th, 2017 02:57 pm
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Me this morning: Probably children don't get kidnapped and sold into slavery on their first day of summercamp and she's going to be fine, shut up brain. But she might be sad that I'm gone and spend the whole time waiting at the door for me. And maybe she will be stubborn with the teacher. And maybe she'll get tired or hungry or whiny...

Me this afternoon after picking her up: THIS WAS THE BEST THING EVER.

She had a GREAT time and didn't want to leave, and made a new friend, and thought everything was fabulous. I went to the gym after dropping her off and got a workout and a steam and a shower, and then sat in the gym cafe and wrote 2000 words and then went to the art store and got to use two coupons and got a bacon-avacado-turkey sandwich that was great even though they forgot the bacon, and picked up the most awesome commission ever, and I got a check in the mail for coloring books, and it was all just FABULOUS. *gasp for breath*

I feel refreshed. It was really, really nice having productive hours of work, and the not-a-book is going strong, nearly 19000 words and I'll probably be able to crack 20k tomorrow. My plan is to do the same again, but find a place with better chairs, because two hours of the cafe chairs was the worst part of the day.

This bodes very well for Kindergarten productivity.

Now I've got some arty things to tackle, and a pie to make.

Here's some art that went up at Torn World last week:


This is an illustration for a brief article on the Queen Flower: http://www.tornworld.net/settingpageview.php?id=206

PS: Got to see Wonder Woman on Friday and it was WONDERFUL and Guppy had a good playdate while I was enjoying myself. Also, I'm still behind on #junicorn, but have finished three more that I still need to post!
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The morning was cloudy and gray, but it turned out very hot (in the 80s, so you hot-climate people can mock me!). We met some kids-of-relatives-of-friends who were visiting at Alaskaland, and were very happy to get cheap ice cream at UAF shortly afterwards. There wasn't a lot of the kids actually playing together (Guppy was a little older than one and much older than the other), but Guppy still declared that "This day is fun!"

Quiet time was brief, and I spent some of it napping myself (because playing at the park is hard work). Then Guppy 'helped me' finish #junicorn 7:


I've kind of gotten stuck in a gray and white rut with my snow-unicorns, as that is their most common color scheme, but they actually do come in other colors, too. About time I showed that.

No writing today, but I did get some last night, and I tore the outline apart and repaired it, because it rarely survives the first 10k completely intact. In the meantime, I had completely changed the bad guy, and I wanted the resolution of one of the complications to be a little neater. I'm closing in on 17k, and feel like there's a nice little story here. Yay. I may get a little more writing time tonight to make up for the fact that I gutted out nearly 500 words yesterday.

(And next week is summer camp! I am hopeful for several hours of dedicated writing time every day, and can't wait to see what I do with it!)

Tomorrow I get to go see Wonder Woman and I'm SO EXCITED.
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Four more #junicorns finished!



#5 is claimed, others are still available.

The landing page has been updated! http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html

If I finish another today, I'll be all caught up. :)

Yesterday, we did a playdate with a friend of mine. Guppy had Attack of the Shy, and spent the first major chunk of the visit clinging to my arm and when someone addressed a question at her, she would grab a handful of my hair and yank my head down so she could whisper the answer in my ear instead of speaking out loud.

This got very old, very fast.

Then she thawed out, and the rest of the visit was utterly delightful. The other mom did needlefelting (EEEE, I can't wait to share what she's working on!) and I did the fire and water #junicorns, above.

And of course, when it was time to go, she had to be dragged away not quiiiiite actually kicking and screaming.

We did another playdate in the park today. We got there early and she reluctantly warmed up to a few strange kids who were very forward and wanted to know who she was and loved her name. ("Like Frozen! Why did you name her after Frozen?" ...)

By the time our playdate got there, she was swinging and yodeling, and it was the other child we were meeting who didn't want to interact, because being five is hard. By the end, again, they were laughing and chasing and playing hide-and-seek and it was all good. I got a little sketching done for a new not-so-secret project (Patreon patrons will get a first look at it!), and then I hit the farmer's market for cucumbers and hot peppers and brought the nearly-melting-down child home for quiet time. I got a little over 500 words written (today, but not yesterday), and consider the day basically a success.
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Aging pets are hard. Just, hard.

A few nights ago, Norway tried to get up the front steps and failed. There are only two, and they aren't that steep, but he was having a bad back legs day. We put out the truck ramps for him, but they are metal, and although strong, sort of rattly. He looked at them, he looked at me, and said nope. I did finally get him up them with a firm hand on his collar, but it wasn't much fun. The next day, he ignored them and hopped down the steps. That night he got up the steps with effort. The following night, he walked right up them. It's so variable!

He's not the only one having issues with steps. Velcro's catbox and bed are on the main floor of our house, and her food and second waterdish are upstairs, where Norway can't help himself. I've pondered moving her food down because she clearly doesn't enjoy the stairs anymore, but figured it was the only exercise she was getting at this point. Yesterday, however, I watched her fall down them twice, and that's the end of that. The first time was just a few steps as she was going up. She picked herself up and powered up them, so I figured it was just one of those ungraceful cat moments they pretend you don't witness. But shortly after, she came down them and sort of got away from herself and ended up upside down at the bottom rocking in shock with her little extra toes in the air. She mewed at me in a very disappointed way when I came to help her up and spent the rest of the day sulking in her bed.

She's been missing the catbox more regularly lately, too. Oh, she tries! There are no accidents around the house, but sometimes she just barely gets into the catbox and the important parts aren't there yet. I've got puppy pads down, so cleanup isn't bad.

Poor old lady cat. Poor old man dog.

It seems like a lot of friends lately are losing beloved fur family members; Facebook seems to show me a few each week lately. I suspect it's just that I'm hyper-aware of them right now, because I know that my time with my own fur friends is not going to be a lot longer.

Have some art!

I recently did this for Portrait Adoption:


This one started life as a Sketch Fest sketch, in very rough form, and got refined at a gaming session.

A little over 800 words yesterday, slogging onward. The not-a-book is about 16k. I do not anticipate getting writing time today, as we have a playdate over quiet time. I've also got two more #junicorn pieces done (but not scanned), and am 1 behind (not counting today).

In less thrilling news, I finished the laundry, cleaned out the toaster with the air compresser, vacuumed upstairs (downstairs, too, but that's daily), and Guppy helped me measure and cut wood blocks for the woodshed.



And when I say helped, I don't even mean that with air-quotes! She fetched the blocks and drew the lines while I held the square. (She's wearing gloves because it's splintery treated lumber, not because it's cold.)

We made GREAT progress on the shed over the weekend, and we had our neighbors over for dinner, which was simply delightful, and we got a date night to go watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and have sushi. There have definitely been good times.

I'm growing on my bangs, and the irritation level is about a 6 right now. I've promised to try it until September.
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Have you missed some of my creative updates over the last month? I'm doing monthly roundups to try to keep some sense in the chaos!

April started late - I spent the first several weeks doing a whirlwind grandparent tour of three different states. I attempted #faepril, but burned out after 7 or eight of them, and wasn't particularly happy with any of them. I was also working ridiculous hard on exclusive work that I won't be able to show off until July (except to Patreon patrons!), so it was a brief month from the outside...

Artwork:

My big release was this painting, for 78Tarot:


I also did three rough sketches for Sketch Fest #86: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestartist.php?id=9&date=86
All of them were for my failed #faepril attempt, none of them were very polished!

Posted at Torn World:


And at Portrait Adoption:



Writing:

A poem for subscribers at Torn World: http://www.tornworld.net/storypageview.php?id=614

Almost no not-a-book writing.


Other:

Livejournal's insistence on adding advertising for visitors (despite my paid account!) was the final nail in that coffin, and I imported my journal to Dreamwidth, which is where my primary blogging now is.

I had a cold for a few weeks of the month. When I went to the doctor, they said 'walking pnemonia?' I said PLBT! and refused to get xrays, and was better then next week.

Favorite photo, Me and Guppy with a GIANT plastic cow: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/baby/IMG_8554-withagiantcow.JPG
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It was a very early morning, but I was able to get this done during errands that involved waiting. The Junicorn landing page is here: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html

I got my 500 goal today, but none yesterday, so I'm still at a deficit for the month. I did also go through and polish up a few bits and catch some changes I made to my heroine, though. This not-a-book is up past 15k, and feeling like a real story. I don't think I'm close to halfway yet - this will probably be a 45k thing, which is the longest yet. I have two weeks of summer camp coming up, and am hoping to get a BIG CHUNK of it written those two weeks. Trying to work around a needy small monster who doesn't regularly nap anymore has proved challenging with no daycare/preschool/respite.

This weekend, we're planning to tackle the woodshed. And finally see Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
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I LOVE #Junicorn. I had so much fun with it last year, that I'm reprising the project. I will be doing 30 art cards in 30 days. (Not necessarily one every day, because my life doesn't work like that.)

You can see last year's roundup here: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1538566.html

Like last year, you can purchase the original cards, and/or prints. Any single original is $15, 2 for $20, 3 for $25, or 4 for $30. I have updated the list of originals from last year that I still have, and you can get prints of any of them. All shipping, even international, is included in the price. Just place a claim when you see one you can't live without, and pay at the end of the month. (Please avoid making claims you aren't sure about - it's confusing when people change their minds!)

Signed prints are $5 each, any 8 for $20, or 30 for $40. You may include pieces completed last year in your mix!

NEW: Get #junicorns of your choice as magnets or bookmarks. $4 each or 5/$15.

This time, I'd also like to extend an offer to my artist friends! If you draw a snow-unicorn as part of your #junicorn endeavors, I will send you an original #junicorn card of your choice! You do not have to send me your original if you don't want to, but I do want to be able to add your artwork to the Torn World art gallery at the site.

And here's the artwork! I'll replace phone photos with scans as I get them finished.

Claimed #junicorns: 1, 2, 5, 15, 17, 19

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Sea Monster Month drew to a close yesterday, and this was my last contribution to it:


Original available. Download available in my Etsy shop. It's also available to any Torn World subscriber!

Guppy and I had an insanely busy day. I went to the gym, trepidatiously, and it worked out PERFECTLY. I feared the worst when she clung to me as I was leaving, but I peeked in a few times, as she discovered that the play microwave went BEEP and was beeping it, and then she made a friend and when I checked in again, they were playing happily in the house. So I did a pretty long workout, took a long steam and shower, and then had 30 minutes of earphones-in art time in the cafe. HEAVENLY. I got my first #junicorn piece finished, and will have a landing post about that shortly!

(Because it's June already, what?! My garden, now that I've removed the tasty bits out of reach, flourishes. We had chicken tarragon salad with tarragon that grew back in our garden, and the delphiniums have declared this their year and have sent out scouts. The columbine came back, and has a few buds just starting, and the chives are monstrous already. No potato shoots yet.)

After the gym, the plan was to go food shopping, but we were about halfway through lunch at the grocery when Jake called and said 'come for a walk!' It was the perfect day for a hike at Creamer's Field, so we did that. THEN the shopping, and some other shopping, and a little extra shopping, then we got water, and there was no quiet time today. (So no writing. Alas.) After grilling the chicked for the salad, we made another trip into town to get lightbulbs and water a friend's garden and get another load of water.

We saw baby ducks, and a chickadee nest, and we got strawberries and dinner was amazing, so the day as a whole was a success.

/rambly ramble.
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I have new sea monster artwork up at Torn World!



You can find this - and several other sea monster coloring pages - available for download at my Etsy shop!

Young monster has been especially monstery this morning, but we went to the park for a short visit anyway. It was very cold, and we didn't stay long. Now she's being quiet in her room, and I'm going to try to get some words written. I fell off my 500 words/day wagon very severely last week, and only have two days left in the month, so I probably won't get caught up! But words are still words, so I'm going to do what I can.

I am also thinking ahead to next month, and in particular, #junicorn. I would really like to do that again.

But first, words! And a cup of hot tea, because it's COLD and I'm crabby about it.
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Have you missed some of my creative updates over the last month? I'm doing monthly roundups to try to keep some sense in the chaos! -

Artwork

At Portrait Adoption:

At Sketch Fest, I did 6 (!) pieces, 3 coloring page sketches, 2 little paintings (for Torn World, below), and a toned paper portrait sketch (finished as a portrait, above).

For Torn World:

(several more were posted at the site, but they're part of April's update because that's when I released them in my blog.)


I did sketches at the Morris Thompson complex, including this one:


(Patreon patrons got more sketches.)



Writing

STILL NONE. (Okay, I did a little outlining.)


Other

A bear photo of Guppy on her birthday:

I re-coded Torn World to use the database of the rest of EMG. It was a MASSIVE upgrade, and I also added Muse Fusion functionality at the site itself.

I also worked on several projects that wouldn't be released until much later!
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Have you missed some of my creative updates over the last month? I'm doing monthly roundups to try to keep some sense in the chaos! - More catch-up! February looked unremarkable, too, because I was working on a MAJOR secret project. Patreon patrons got a lot of sneak previews of the project, but publicly, I was pretty quiet.

Artwork:


One of the sketches I did on vacation the month prior.

At Portrait Adoption:


Just one sketch (a little painting) for Sketch Fest: https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=20409

Writing:

A little brainstorming. No actual words, I think.

Other:

My favorite photo, from January's vacation:


I did taxes. Woot.

And I published a book. It spent a few days in the top 500 books of Amazon, which was lovely!
ellenmillion: (Default)
Have you missed some of my creative updates over the last month? I'm doing monthly roundups to try to keep some sense in the chaos! - I'm still catching up on these. January was pretty slim - I spent most of the month on vacation!


Artwork

For Portrait Adoption:


One piece for the January Sketch Fest:


Some pieces and photos were also shared with my Patreon Patrons, but a few of them would be shared publicly the following month!


Writing

Nada.

Other

This is my favorite photo:


And I traveled!
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It's been a very lovely birthday weekend, even if it didn't end up going the way we had planned. We started building on our woodshed! I am looking forward to having a nice shelter for my warmth-making. No more wrestling of blue tarps and shoveling of snow off of wood! This is going to be our summer improvement project, and we've done all the design and bought the foundation pieces. Half of the concrete blocks are laid - which involved a lot of digging and leveling. Then it started gusting and drizzling, which spelled the end of the work for the day.

We will celebrate the holiday with a little solemn memory and delicious grilled meat.

Speaking of holidays, Sea Monster Month is quickly coming to a close, but I have art to release every day for the next few days:


Original available. Even barnacles are bigger in Torn World!

Now I think I will try to catch up on my monthly roundups, because that's about how much I have left in the way of brains...
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So, we were planning to go camping this weekend. That was before the forecast called for 4 INCHES OF SNOW and winds of up to 60 MPH at our campground. SO that ended up being a big NO THANK YOU, and instead we're working on home improvement. Think warm thoughts for all my poor flowers. The lettuce baskets and potatoes were in the garage last night, and this morning I woke up to buckets of snow coming down... but not sticking for very long at all. It was just wet, and warmed up quickly. Nothing looks frosted. (Though we did lose power for an interesting 20 minutes or so...)

For my birthday, I got hacked. Okay, that's not entirely true - it's still the day before my birthday. But I'm cranky about it! I think it's all cleaned up, and nothing was compromised (just some crap that got added to an old forum and a defunct folder at EMG-Zine). Passwords updated and all the folders in question were summarily deleted (or are still processing through deletion).

In other news, I did finish some client artwork! This is part of a filed trademark application:



And I'm well into inking another sea monster piece that I'm really hoping to have finished up to post this month. :) I have another commission to do in color, and then everything is off my plate. Until the next big secret project, which supposedly I have until next March to complete. (The last secret project hit some delays, but should be out of the gate... by March, I suppose.)

Now, it's time to get birthday dinner ready for the best husband in the world.
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I've done So. Much. Today.

I couldn't point a finger at anything individually grueling, and my to-do list wasn't really that impressive, but I feel like I haven't stopped all day, rushing from thing to thing. It is, at least, a nicer day than yesterday, with spots of sun, and batches of chocolate chip cookies.

I wrote no words today, but I did finish a commission and deliver it, and tweak it, and get it approved! Horrah!

It's pretty hilarious that Jake and I got each other early birthday presents of thermoses without collaborating on it. I got him a tiny 9 oz thermos for his coffee (he was lamenting not being able to find anything smaller than 12 oz), and he got me a thermos for nighttime ice water because I was jealous of the one he had. (I am excited to give him his second present, but his birthday isn't for another few days and he reads my blog, so I can't gush about what I found yet.)

Have a photo from last week when it was ridiculously sunny and hot:


We stopped for lunch at the Pita Place, which has AMAZING falafel, as a treat after the gym. Guppy enjoyed her hummus pita. I'm not sure what the L signifies, except that she was doing her best to be completely loony.

ETA: Woops, didn't post this last night. A great night of sleep later, and ready to tackle the to-do list that is no shorter than yesterday! *cracks knuckles*

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