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Wow! If I sell one more #Junicorn original, I will have sold half of them. This pleases me enormously: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html

Writing continues, slowly but steadily. 579 words today, 538 yesterday. Not-a-book is approaching 35k and I'm still pretty happy with it. My main characters are adrift on the ocean, but rescue is in sight. Then there will be a climactic show-down, a sweet epilogue, and I've got a brilliant idea for a scene (that may become two scenes) that I need to go back and find a good spot for. This is already longer than any of my published books, and I have at least 10k left to add. (I thought it would be done at 40k, but that's not likely now.)

This morning I got my car perma-registered, which entailed a painless trip to the DMV, and then I got the oil in the truck changed and fixed a turn signal. Then Guppy and I went and played at the Children's Museum for a while, then went to the Farmer's Market, and she was happy to take an actual nap when we got home.

I have fabulous writing and arting plans for the weekend, and will be non-communicado starting tomorrow afternoon until Monday. I shall hopefully be back with many grand tales and updates.

I have to go wake Guppy or tonight will be unpleasant, so have another of the Color On! Magazine pieces:


Original available!
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It was a weekend of beds! We bought Guppy a bed frame, finally. She outgrew her toddler bed a while ago, and we had a mattress on the floor for her, but this is much, much better.

Not stopping there, we dismantled my weird-sized bed and turned it into a twin XL, which frees up the bedroom space ENORMOUSLY, and makes the room so much more gorgeous. Hopefully it will mean fewer barked shins, as well.

There was gaming and art on Sunday, which I haven't scanned yet.

It's a sulky, rainy day today, and we're watching movies while I do some Facebook promo and jot notes on my not-a-book. (Earlier, we had a balloon party and drew in Guppy's workbooks together).

Don't forget about the Amazon clearance: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1609672.html

And the next Sketch Fest is the 21st! Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/144259459467548

And I promised artwork this week! I am the featured artist at Color On! Magazine. I did five exclusive pieces for them (back in April!), and you can buy print or digital issues. One of them is Butterflies at Solstice, posted a few weeks ago. One of them is this piece:


Under the Rose Bush - Fairy Wedding. The original is available, inquire!

You can read the interview they did here: https://coloronmag.com/issue/july-2017/

(And then there was food poisoning. Better now, but not up to bellydancing tonight.)
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Last week I was a featured artist for a Facebook event, and instead of doing a coloring contest, I did a crowd-sourced coloring page. I asked for ideas, and tried to incorporate all of them into one piece, then showed progress shots and even livestreamed some of the process. It was a lot of fun, if a lot to cram into one piece and one week, but I'm very happy with the results:


Prompts included: A forest scene, fairies in the forest, a baby dragon on a toadstool, baby creatures, fae, wands and crystals, and angels. The original is available for $400 and available as a digital download at Etsy.

And because it had a unicorn in it, it counts as my #junicorn 30! Yay!

Got a little over 1k written yesterday, more of the sloggy in-between stuff, but I like how it's all coming together. I think the end will be really fun to write now, because I know how it all ties together!

Today is the last day of summer camp, and I don't have any others lined up. However, my parents are in town, and they are talking about taking Guppy to the library some mornings next week, so hopefully I can continue to plug away at this and get it finished in the next few weeks. I'm doing camp NaNo, and my goal is 15k for the month. That seems reasonable! I'm pretty close to hitting that this month - I actually think I can get there today. (I actually woke up about 5:20 this morning and debated getting up to write... but the bed was sooo comfortable. It didn't happen.)

This morning was exciting in all the wrong ways. Velcro expressed her displeasure at seeing the bottom of her food dish by throwing up on the rug, and down the backside of her bed (which then required laundering), and for extra credit, the one spot on a colored throw rug where it blended in, so I stepped in it and then had to spend time tracking down all my footprints. We were a few minutes late to camp. On the plus side, the other kids were really happy to see Guppy, and our hand-off was basically painless.

Now to try to get that workcount up! Not-a-book is at almost 29k!
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Here are the last four cards!



But waaaaiiiiittttt, you're saying. Wasn't #junicorn supposed to have 30 pieces of artwork? Like last year, one of my #junicorns this year is a little different. I will be officially releasing it tomorrow! (Patreon patrons got a sneak preview!)

See all of them together here: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html
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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

I only did two sketches for the May Sketch Fest, but both of them spanned into full coloring pages that I released at Torn World for Sea Monster Month. Arguing Over Dinner also became my Patreon perk:



I also did this one: http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=554

At Muse Fusion, I did this painting:



I also did two sketches that didn't go anywhere, and two sketches I finished into coloring pages! http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=553 and http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=552

And, miraculously, finished this painting that I started last year:



I also did this for a client:



In total, 4 complex coloring pages from sketch to finish, another inked piece, a teeny painting, and I finished a giant painting. Go, me!


Writing

A poem up at Torn World for subscribers from our previous Muse Fusion, "Tokens, Time, and Fire": http://www.tornworld.net/storypageview.php?id=614

I set a goal of 500 words/day, which I didn't quite meet, but I did get a little over 10,000 words written, which is a LOT for me!


Other

Guppy graduated preschool!

Whittled one and one half spoons! So fun! http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/IMG_8901-spoon.JPG
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I've been slogging at the writing, about 2k over the last few days, but it's hard stuff, filling in gaps and working on scenes I skipped for a reason. Some writing is like uncapping a firehose. This is more like trying to get those last few iotas of toothpaste out of a tube. But I've soldiered on, and the not-a-book is up to 27,700 words. Unfortunately, my stupid muse is telling me all these awesome ideas for book 8 or 10 (this is book 3). NO BRAIN, STOP.

I have WON #JUNICORN! 30 pieces, finished yesterday. I haven't, however, gotten to scan them all yet, so I'll share this one, now up at Torn World:



This is one of last year's #junicorns, but I wasn't happy with it, so early this month I went back and revised it extensively.

Have been suffering more than usual back pain this week, because I am an idiot. Today is better, but I'm being super diligent about taking breaks and stretching, and I'm going to go do that before my next writing window. Just two more days of summer camp!
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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.

Signed prints are $5 each, any 8 for $20, or 30 for $40.

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

You may include pieces completed last year in your mixes, including originals!

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, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25




The Gathering is a 9x12 ink coloring page. The original is available and digital copies to print and color are at my Etsy shop.
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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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