ellenmillion: (Default)
I owe a weekend report! On Thursday night, I drove out to Chena Hot Springs, all by myself in the van. I camped there overnight, soaked in the morning, and met Layla for a plein air watercolor painting class. Yes, I was torturing myself again with Things I Am Not Good At. Patreon patrons will get a look at what I painted! Friday night I camped out with Layla, Saturday was another day of painting outdoors, and then Saturday night Layla drove back in and Jake left Guppy with the grandparents and drove out in his fancy car. We stayed until Sunday afternoon, soaking and enjoying a leisurely breakfast.

It was a gorgeous time. Sunny weather the first day, threatening clouds the second - but no actual rain until we were tucked into bed, long after a lovely fire and marshmallows.



I brought my iPad and keyboard with me, and actually managed to write a few thousand words, as well! Not-a-book is up to 40k, and I've got just another scene (maaaaybe two) and a fluffy epilogue still to write on it. I've mocked up the cover and drafted the blurb. It feels like it's stampeding to the finish line now! It's eating my brain, big time.

Tomorrow: a massage, the farmer's market, a new artwork release, and maybe a thousand new words, if I'm lucky. All the paid #junicorns are mailed except a few I'll take into town with me tomorrow. (And one more original sale would make me over the moon! I made a special folder at my artist Facebook page to show which originals were still available.)
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!
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!

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
ellenmillion: (Default)
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'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
ellenmillion: (Default)
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)
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
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! - 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)
Yesterday was very Monday. We spent most of the morning at the tire shop, where we got the incredibly surprising good news (after three hours of waiting) that our 14 year old summer truck tires still had plenty of life left in them, and we did NOT actually need to buy new ones. (To be fair, these tires have been in storage most of those 14 years, but storage in Alaska can be hard on things!) Then we went grocery shopping, and finally came home. I got about 800 words written, and went to bellydance.

Today was super productive. My second load of laundry is in, I've changed the bedding, we went to the farm and got a mower and buckets of dirt and compost for bucket potatoes, I sorted through several boxes of my stuff in the connex box and threw out one box and generated about three boxes of things to sell at a garage sale next weekend. (Shoes I've never worn, old sweaters, candles, knick knacks... I've also been collecting stuff from around the house for about two months now, just trying to find one thing every day and rarely stopping at that. I've got boxes and boxes of things stashed under the stairs ready to go.) I also got my 500 words in, +82, and worked on a commission and got a coloring page juuuuuust about ready to ink. I also got great news from a client! (But I can't share more than that...)

It's been so gorgeous and sunny lately, we've been eating snacks on the porch in the sun, and my garden is going great guns - the violets are riotous, and come back as fast as I pull them up (because they would cheerfully take over the whole thing). I have one strawberry leaf, my delphiniums have spread from one spindly stalk to SIX healthy plants, the tarragon came back, along with TWO of some mystery herb that I planted last year. The chives truck along as always, and I've planted marigolds and dill... which the voles have already eaten half of. Guppy brought home seeds they planted in preschool, so she has her own pot, with marigolds, a scrawny sunflower, and a mystery squash. (We killed her bean, I think.)

Someone small but shrill is demanding my attention now...
ellenmillion: (Default)
Today was errands day. We went shopping, to the post office, another kind of shopping, finished Kindergarten registration, more shopping, and finally home. It was a feat of great restraint not to get more plants than I did at the garden store; I got the ladybugs and potting soil I was after and just one dill start and one flat of marigolds that Guppy picked out. I did not buy the giant pots I was tempted by, or the gorgeous butterfly and dragonfly sculptures, or the gazebo.

Wrote about 1100 words on my not-a-book and caught up to my 500 words/day goal for May. YES. I'm actually liking it right now, and figured out a great little twist to add. *soldiers on*

Continuing to slowly improve health-wise. Still a little tickly cough, some stuffiness. Will definitely take my cough medicine tonight. Last day of preschool tomorrow. Very mixed feelings.
ellenmillion: (Default)
Kicking back to health. Slowly. I'm at the coughing and grouchy stage of things, but no longer crawling from dose to dose of decongestant.

Muse Fusion is going! I've done two sketches and an itty bitty painting so far:


Available for $15 (includes US shipping, international add $2). It is about a half inch longer than an ACEO, and I can trim to ACEO size if requested.

Leave more prompts here: https://www.tornworld.net/musefusion.php (Use your Sketch Fest login!)

I got a few hundred words on Not-a-Book 4 yesterday - I've made a May goal of 500 words a day, which seems doable, even though I missed the 1st two days and it looks like my summer babysitter is unavailable. (That sound you hear is me weeping, yes.)

Back to it!
ellenmillion: (Default)
Ugh. A bit of a relapse today - terrible night of sleep and my sinuses are very unhappy. Taking an easy day in and watching Strawberry Shortcake with Guppy, who has a bit of a cough today, too. Poked at some programming things and two of my mysteries continue to defeat me. I don't think it's a good programming day.

I have a poem up at Torn World for subscribers from our last Muse Fusion, "Tokens, Time, and Fire": http://www.tornworld.net/storypageview.php?id=614
Sponsor it to the public for $5 (or subscribe and get access to all the supporters-only material).

Probably be napping during quiet time today.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Over the weekend, I spent a few hours doing triage on my studio space. I broke down some old boxes that had been lying around, put together a load of things for cold storage, sorted the various paperwork that had accumulated in drifts around the desk, and basically made it usable space again. It is so shiny and happy down there now. I look FORWARD to working there, instead of dreading it.

Today, I decided to do the same with Guppy. I declared no TV until she cleaned her room, then went up with her and turned 'cleaning' into 'massively purging.' I threw away a trashbag of stuff, and put together several boxes and two very full trashbags of things to sell at a garage sale this spring. We emptied out her entire dresser into the closet drawers. The dresser was in pretty bad shape (I kept having to fix the drawers), and I can envision the room without it, very cheerfully. (I couldn't move it out myself, and she's not that kind of help yet.) It went from disaster zone to a bright, happy, clean space in just a few hours, and I let her watch Octonauts until quiet time.

I'm half a poem, a sketch, and a colored pencil piece into Muse Fusion. I've been re-reading some of the Torn World stuff on the site, and it's been FUN. I had forgotten a lot of it, and reading it again 'like new' has not been as painful as I feared. Some of this is actually good, and I should put Rails into ebook format posthaste. I also want to put the Itadesh Fire into a single download, too. Hmm!

I've got the outline for my next not-a-book down, too. About 2000 words of outline - is that normal? Some scenes are just: "Adorable montages of shopping... awww!" but some of them have notes about several different interactions I want to work in. Stepping back and looking at the outline, I like it. There's lots of places for fun humor, and good realistic (within the boundaries of the ridiculous premise) relationship tension, and it hits the structural beats I want it to very nicely. The end is a bit hand-wavy right now, but that worked out okay with the last two books. Let's hope I can work out the detailed solutions as I get closer.

Have some artwork!

This guy was inked for #inktober, and recently released on Portrait Adoption

ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I'm DONE DONE DONE with the inking of my Big Secret Project. I've erased the pencil and touched things up, and now I'm scanning like a mad thing.

Not-a-book spent most of the weekend (wait, how is it Thursday already??) in the top 500 books, and has since slipped and has been wiggling around 700 since then. Not as good as the first book, but much better than the second. I'm pleased. And sales of the second book got a nice bump, too. I am itching to start on the next one, and got a few words of outline done today while scanning.

It's snowed about 5 inches over the last day, and Guppy and I have been out playing in it whenever possible.

ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
I have six pages left to ink on the Big Sekrit Project, and I'm feeling well in control of it. Dangerous words to say 'out loud,' I know. I'm really stinking proud of it, too. I've leveled up. I can't WAIT to share it with you.

Not-a-Book skidded in the direction of falling out of the top thousand at Amazon, then hiccuped and now it's starting to trend up (down? In the GOOD direction!) towards the top 500 again, which is lovely. (The last book didn't do that, just continued to slide gracefully out of favor after its initial mailing list bump wore off.)

Friends came over yesterday for lunch and during Guppy's naptime, I introduced them to Ascension, which is the awesome miniseries on Netflix. Very vintage-feeling Sci Fi, with flavors of the new Battlestar Galactica (possibly because of one of the leading ladies). I watched it a few years ago with Jake, and it's been fun watching new people discover it.

I had a bad migraine last night, complete with nausea and flashers, but took All The Steps, and it's blissfully gone now.

Now, it's lunchtime, and an episode of Supergirl (or part of one), and then more Sekrit Project. And maybe one sketch, because it's Sketch Fest today!! https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestprompters.php

Wheeee...
ellenmillion: (bzzz...)
I made good progress on my Big Project during preschool time today and in the time I carved out yesterday - just one more sketch to finish before I start a flurry of inking. Patreon patrons are getting WIP images, but I can't share them wider yet. I'm feeling weirdly unbalanced, creatively, as I'm doing SO MUCH art and not getting any writing done. Naturally, this is when I'm having ALL the story ideas and inspiration.

Not-A-Book is not tanking. (It's doing about the same as the previous one, but I was pretty spoiled by my first one...) It is getting EXCELLENT reviews, which are making my day.

The weather turned weirdly warm yesterday, and the snow sunk in everywhere and it looks sort of sullen and dirty now. It felt briefly like spring, but that's just because Mother Nature is a big tease.

I'm making a cherry pie.

Those are the highlights of the last day or two!

Now I must wake Guppy from her too-brief slumber and go dig out the grill for cooking pork chops.
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)


A problem with our chimney cap means our woodstove has been burping smoke into the house with increasing regularity, and yesterday did so severely enough that, after setting up two air purifiers, Jake fled to the garage and Guppy and I bundled up and went for a walk and played in the yard. It was actually grand to have an excuse to go outside and play - it was cold, but really fun, and we were well-dressed. Here are our snow angels. Guppy thought it was very tragic that we could not make a snowman, but there were no snowballs to be made at 20 below.

The ashtray smell is fortunately gone from the house this morning, and I survived another round of parent aide, this time with a topping of Valentine's Party.

I also published a book on Sunday, and am not obsessively reloading the page to check for stats and comments. Well, not too obsessively. I mean, obsessively is comparative, right? *refreshesrefreshesrefreshes*

Going back further, poor Guppy was terribly sick on Friday. I could tell because she was very cooperative about wearing pants. (And also because she kept draping herself over things saying she hurt, and also the throwing up was a pretty solid sign.) She bounced back admirably on Saturday, though we did skip dance class, just in case.

Did I blog on Thursday? I can't remember. Deadlines eating my brain. *runs away to refresh the book page work on the art in NDA.*
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
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:

3 ornaments painted for Sketch Fest: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestartist.php?id=9&date=81

At Portrait Adoption:

Also: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/melyssine.jpg

Leftovers from #inktober: raven, cubicle dragons, Christmas Tree Dragon.

I released 2 pages from the Wild Teas of Alaska coloring: Cranberry, and Chaga Tea.

Skycat Chaos at Torn World: http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=531

In the Beginning illustration, Raven Creates Woman: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/ravenmakeswoman6x9.jpg

Hidden Youth illustration: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/ellenmillion-notawitch-ink2.jpg

I also finished a bunch more, lots for Portrait Adoption, that I won't share until later.


Writing:

A few thousand words and finished the not-a-book, then edited it! I wrote one book in 2015, and two in 2016, which is better than I've EVER done in my entire life!

I wrote a whole bunch of ridiculous poetry for a big site-wide scavenger hunt.


Other:

UWA show, Pop-Con, Scavenger Hunt, and ACEO print sale.

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