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Enjoy this bedtime story that I just told my daughter.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Guppy who drew on the walls, even though she knew she shouldn't.

Her parents got very tired of cleaning the walls and finally one day they put Guppy in a box and mailed it to Antarctica, where Guppy lived the rest of her days with the penguins.


Guppy frowned at me from bed. "Mom, stories are supposed to have happy endings."

"You want a happy ending? Then don't draw on the walls.

My stories make up in morals what they lack in subtlety. 


Shown here before deportation to Antarctica.  


ellenmillion: (Default)
I feel so behind! The last six weeks or so have felt like one setback after another, and lots of little things have gotten shoved aside. Time for a list!

Today I'd like to:

~Write 500 words. (1000 would be better)
~Get through 100 emails. (My inbox was up over 700 this weekend. I beat it back to 560.)
~Post next article at Torn World
~Shopping
~Catbox/dishes/vacuum
~Work on color logo for client
~Sketch for possible anthology illustration
~Next Patreon reward out (Sketch Tarot)
~Fold laundry (2 loads)
~Bellydance


This week:

~Get email down to 100.
~Start poking on potential project
~Post rest of the articles at Torn World
~Finish color logo for client
~Finish anthology illustration
~Write a total of 2500 words.
~Mail physical Patreon rewards.
~Finish and deliver Patreon reward story.



Guppy and I went cranberry picking on Saturday, and took a long walk in the autumn woods on Sunday. My purpose on the walk was to get her some exercise, and it wasn't very far before it hit me that this was my first time walking these paths without Norway, which was very hard. Guppy was effervescent and energetic, which really took the edge off, and the forest is gorgeous, going all gold and rust. In all, it was a lovely walk.



Nose to the grindstone now.
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Kindergarten is the most splendid invention in the history of child-kind. I was worried that drop-offs would be like they were in pre-school, but it has been like whipped cream. I have to ask for a hug before she goes running off to find her friends in the morning. They have outdoor 'precess' that we drop them off at, and she's either merrily playing with other children, or hunting for them across the playground by the time I leave, all without so much as a backwards glance.

Not-a-book has been doing just fine: it was in the top 500 for a while, and has 20 five-star reviews already (and 1 4 star). If it goes as the others did historically, it will slip a bit, then may rock back up nicely in a few days as people who've downloaded it start reading it. The other books in the series are doing smashing as new readers catch up. I've got some advertising coming out next week to hopefully boost it, too.

I got the story for the anthology revised, and out to the anthology editor and also the Torn World board for a last continuity check. I added about 1500 words to it, and it's a much stronger story now. I hope all the editors like the changes I made. :)

In health, Guppy has been a little snuffy and coughing, and I have a tickle in the back of my throat this morning that I am hitting hard with Emergen-C and tea.

In grief, I continue to be sideswiped by unexpected pockets of painfully missing Norway, often while vacuuming. I still haven't been able to go through all the nice comments.



My mom knitted us matching scarves, aren't they fabulous? Winter is coming...

Off to do work!
ellenmillion: (Default)
Guppy is the sweetest kid imaginable. She has been giving me pictures and stories 'to cheer me up for Norway being gone.'

I've been pretty spotty - I'll feel like I'm back to normal and getting things done and feeling productive, then I'll find myself staring at the spot the water dish used to be, or making stupid errors in math and programming or writing really moronic things. Sleep has been wretched.

I'm letting myself grieve this week. Next week is bootstraps time, because end of the month means deadlines. Kindergarten is working out beautifully, and though I haven't taken real advantage of it yet, I am really looking forward to the hours of freedom.

I have been doing artwork. I haven't felt like drawing, but I have felt like playing with color, so I tackled some Christmas lineart with Copics. Yesterday, Layla came over for art time, and she painted and I finished some botanical pieces in color. I plan to have all of the above printed as cards. In the afternoon, Guppy and I painted! I did some mini-totes, and ACEO canvases.


I'm not sure about the painted background. I LIKE the roses with the background, but I think I like them BETTER without it. (I scanned before adding that...)
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I won't say that I'm 'all better,' but I am crawling back to some new normal. I haven't responded to all the sweet comments and messages yet, but I will when I feel able to go through them.

Yesterday was all self-care and shopping, because we were out of everything. Crying for a few days in a row is unflattering, and even now that my eyes aren't blazing red, they are very puffy and I look like a poster-child for Botox gone terribly wrong. Thankfully, my glasses minimize the effect.

Guppy and I did some art yesterday:


Serious artist is serious.

She asked me to draw a camel, pretty much out of the blue. I thought I finished it, but then she handed me a pink pencil. "It needs a tongue."


(Original available, if anyone is need of an ACEO of a camel...)

Fun fact, a lot of the physiology of the snow-unicorn is based on a camel, though structurally they are more horse/mammoth/goat.

Today I'm going to go to the Farmer's Market for lunch, and the afternoon will be spent doing something fun with Guppy, tbd.

Now I'm going to catch up on Torn World and send Sketch Fest payouts.
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Guppy bounced out of her first day of Kindergarten declaring that she had fun, and that she had done everything the teacher asked. Except sing. But everything else. And she liked the teacher. And she didn't make friends, but she did talk to other kids, and some of them might become friends (she didn't remember any names), and she was hungry and could she have a snack?




Look out, Kindergarten... here comes Guppy.

I got to have brunch with my husband after dropping her off and then went shopping ALL BY MYSELF, and bought tubs of ice cream and hot tamales to help me cope.

Kindergarten stress was the tip of my emotional iceberg today, as Norway is failing very fast, and I'm deeply frustrated by what I'm not able to do, but I also know someone who got stung by 20 hornets today, so it could all be very much worse and I will be grateful for what I have and call the day an overall win.
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Continuing to improve steadily. Went to the Farmer's Market today and got tasty green things as well as lunch with Guppy and a friend. It had rained, so the picnic tables were wet, and it drizzled on my truck on the way home, but it held off while we were there. And mmmm... green things. We're having beans with dinner tonight. (Grilled chicken adobo)

Kindergarten starts tomorrow, and I (like Guppy) am a mix of excited and scared. This is a big step, and it confuses me that she could be this old already. Wasn't she just learning to talk and sitting in a high chair developing all these strong opinions?

She's looking forward to making friends, and has already made artwork for her new teacher. She won't have any difficulty making her desires clear, and will never be railroaded by peer pressure, at least.

I'm looking forward to having a few hours to work every day. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to arrange my schedule. Maybe three days of not-a-book writing and two days that are 'other projects.' I'd love to go back to my Upheaval novel and finish that. I've got spicy stories to write for Patreon. I'm just a page or two from a new coloring book, and have several half-sketched. I need to do some birds for the next Coloring Alaska book, and I desperately need to give that website some attention. I see a list in my future.

My not-a-book is formatted and my revisions have been cleared. It will get a comb for typos, and is on the calendar for release in two weekends. Yay!

Toast and a Series of Unfortunate Events before bed. (The TV show, no actual events, I hope...)


Look out, kindergarten.

Mondaily

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:04 pm
ellenmillion: (Default)
I have a new portrait up at Portrait Adoption!


Muse Fusion was last week, and you can see what I did at this post: http://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1612295.html

I continue to take it easy, and it's getting harder and harder as I feel better and better. I'm dutifully doing my home PT, and letting Jake carry things like laundry and vacuum cleaners.

Guppy has been eating ALL THE FOOD. (And questioning all the authority.) I expect we're in a growth spurt. She's looking forward to Kindergarten, and I am also. I'm hoping that she's leveled out by then...

I confess, I'm feeling pretty discouraged right now, about a handful of things. Working hard to stay positive and creative anyway. *makes hot cocoa*

(Ah whoops, looks like this never got posted on Monday.)
ellenmillion: (Default)
More Muse Fusion fun!


Playing with a brush ink pen and Prismacolor colored pencils on Legion Kraft paper. (Original available, $15 or 15 credits)

I have FINISHED my not-a-book (again) and done another round of copy-edits on it. All that remains is formatting and backmatter, and I'm waiting on an answer to a chapter numbering question.

Kindergarten starts in a week.

A WEEK. WHAT?

*breaths into a paper bag*
ellenmillion: (Default)
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!
ellenmillion: (Default)
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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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!

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.
ellenmillion: (Default)
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.
ellenmillion: (Default)
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.
ellenmillion: (Default)
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*
ellenmillion: (Default)
The last day of preschool was yesterday! *SOBS*

I got my 500 words (and a little bit) written, and I did a bunch of Torn World admin, and I did some errands, and I made some phonecalls and now I'm looking at my to-do list and remembering the things I forgot I needed to do while I was in town. BRILLIANT. It helps if you use the darned list, self.

I forgot them again today, along with a half dozen other minor things, like my earphones for the gym. We went to get the tires inspected on the truck today, but it's first come, first served, and by the time I'd dragged Guppy out of the house, there was a 3.5 hour wait, which didn't exactly fit the schedule. So we went to the gym, and when I picked her up from an hour of gym daycare Guppy burst into tears and said she waited for me the whole! time! and GUILT SOB GUILT.

We met a dad friend of mine at the park for a surprise (to the kids) playdate and picnic lunch, and I got to carve my first wooden spoon, which was great fun and I didn't lose any fingertips, though I do have a blister now. My first spoon is a bit wobbly and I haven't whittled since I was about eight (and it shows) but I love it!



Waiting for it to dry a bit more before I sand it.

No words yet today, but maybe after someone's bedtime.

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