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I finished a book yesterday. Well, revisions on a book. But I cut more than 10,000 words out of the old book and wrote 12,000 more, so it's BASICALLY a new book.

I also have a (different) book coming out on Wednesday, Shifting Sands book 8. (What?! Eight already?! How crazy is that. And I'm already a quarter of the way through book 9...)

I am also on the final stretch of an art project I've been working on for THREE years. SOON! Soon it will be out of non-disclosure! I am SO excited! I may cry when I have a copy in my hands.

There's a Muse Fusion this week: https://www.tornworld.net/musefusion.php

Come leave Torn World prompts, questions, and inspiration. I'm looking forward to doing some little things for it, since I finished my book and I because I know that launch week generally leaves me too scattered to focus on bigger things.

For now, Monsters, Inc. with the daughter, and hot tamales while I lie on the couch avoiding doing taxes.
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Last year was a roller-coaster. Definitely a roller-coaster.

It was the year I finally realized I could call myself a writer. I published six books, and I wrote five books, plus four short stories. And some of them made me money, astonishingly.

I printed a new solo coloring book. It also made me a little money.

I lost my beloved cat, Velcro. That did not make me money.

We had septic problems that make me appreciate my flush toilet greatly. That cost a lot of money.

I actually did a fair amount of artwork, too! I finished 9 sexy shifter coloring pages, plus Gizelle, two full color pieces: The Gathering and Seven of Cups for 78 Tarot Mythical. I did 30 unicorns for #junicorn. I painted a whole lot of ornaments for #inktober. (Plus an illustration that I still need to scan and submit to an anthology and two complete pages and two sketches for an NDA project.)

So what are my goals for 2019?

I have NDA artwork to finish, and I am hopeful that the project will be completed and released in March. I want to do some artwork in color. I want to do #junicorn again, and #inktober, and #NaNoWriMo. I want to write 5 books. I want to publish 5 books and a collection of short stories. I want to put Shifting Sands out in hardcopy. I have amorphous ideas about a unicorn oracle deck collected from my #junicorns.

I want to blog more.

I want to be healthier and more fit.

I want to be brave and honest and kind and creative.

Look out, world.
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With the 25th anniversary of my business galloping down on me, it may be time for a round of projects on the chopping block: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/tag/chopping+block

Can you believe it's been 8 years since I last did one?!

In other related things, I'm looking at my #junicorn progress (25 done!) and it is REMARKABLE how much they have improved since the first year I did them. This, and a bit of a recent ego shakeup, is making me ask hard questions about what I want to improve on, skills wise, and how, exactly, I'm actively working to do that. I am not anywhere CLOSE to where I want to be in several areas, and there are a lot of places I feel like I'm completely stagnating.

If you know me at all, you know how satisfied I am with that state of affairs. (Spoilers: NOT VERY.)

I will probably finish the hunky shifter series as part of my self-education, because I've historically slacked off on drawing men, and I feel like it is really good practice to make myself finish 20 of these. I feel like I've already expanded my repertoire nicely with just seven of them, but I've got more to learn. (Also, use the discount code BEEFCAKE33 for 33% off at Etsy.)

And next month, instead of doing #Zooly (rhymes with July), I think I will do a 30 portraits/30 days challenge, and request photos and references from my audience. Anything I don't sell can go up on PA because I'm Not Happy with my current offerings. (I'm seeing a theme.)

Girl Nest Door has topped 17500 and I'm having a heap of 'this sucks and the plot doesn't work and I am so laaaaame' feelings but I am still plugging away at just over 1000 words/day and if I get that and a LITTLE extra writing time in the next few days, it is possible (POSSIBLE) that I will finish this sucker this month. (Which is not bad, considering I STARTED it this month.)


Here, have some new artwork behind this cut:
Hunky shifters this way... )
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Junicorn is one of my very favorite parts of summer. For the past two years, I have joined this challenge to produce 30 pieces of unicorn art, and like the last few years, I am making my focus colored pencil pieces on tinted paperstock.

Original cards, prints, bookmarks, and magnets are available!
Any single original is $15, 2 for $20, 3 for $25, or 4 for $30.
Signed prints are $5 each, 8 for $20, or 30 for $40.
Get #junicorns of your choice as magnets. $5 each or 5/$15.
Shipping is included (Even International!)

You can mix-and-match from prior years designs as well:

2017: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1604777.html
2016: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1538566.html

You can wait for the end of the month to make choices - but claims are first come first served, so if there's an original you have your eye on, comment, email, or message me (on any platform) to snag it.

Claimed originals: 09, 14, 18, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27



You are welcome to make prompt suggestions in the comments, ask questions, or claim originals!
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New publication!

I am delighted to have my illustration "The Folded City" and also my story "Senseless" included in a new anthology, IN THE END. You can buy it on Amazon in print here: https://www.amazon.com/End-Charity-Anthology-Cliches-Cause/dp/1983796565 or in ebook here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CXKGBYS - note that it is in matchbook program, so you get the ebook free if you buy the hardcopy!



Senseless is a Torn World story, about the finding of Lichenwold; it takes place about 50 years prior to our current timeline. Have an excerpt:

“You used to be able to see where the barrier reached the ground from here,” Lenar told them, as they came at last to the ridge and looked out. He pointed, and the place was obvious. The forest had thinned to scrubby brush, and then gave way to ground that looked completely barren creeping up the foothills on the opposite side of the valley. By contrast, alpine foothills to the east were showing mottled red and deep green ground cover.

They camped that night at the edge of the forest, the big, shaggy snowies browsing eagerly at the brush after their long, steady day. Reqem barely slept, and rose eagerly with all of the others well before the sun had broken the ragged horizon.

“There won't be any everberries,” Tivikai observed, when they broke past the last brush to the open land beyond.

It wasn't as barren as it had appeared from further away. Tiny new life was struggling to take hold in the silty soil, and there were several swaths of grass, already turned to dull fall colors. But nothing grew that hadn't blown there and taken root that summer – the only berries they identified were fruitless sprouts.

When it grew too steep for the heavy snowies, they stopped. Before anyone could suggest otherwise, Reqem scrambled down his saddle ladder and continued to explore on foot. Imain joined him, and after only a moment more, Tivikai came after them, nearly plowing into Reqem's back when he abruptly came to a halt around an outcropping of rock.

“Here, now, give a woman a warning when you're going to stop like that,” she scolded them, then looked up and saw the same sight.

Her shrill whistled call to the others broke Reqem from his slack-mouthed gaze.

Before them, past a pile of rock and mountain granite, was a road. It sheared into fractured plates and finally to rubble to their left, and to their right, it plunged into the mountain.

Knowing that the ancients had been capable of building miraculous things was quite different than witnessing one of those things. The opening yawned like a mouth, but perfectly square, and the surface of the road, though aged and cracked, was unnaturally flat and smooth.

The three rangers scrambled over the rock and stood in wonder, staring into the darkness that stretched impossibly away.

“Where does it go?” Imain asked in awe.

“It could go anywhere,” Tivikai said, sounding equally impressed.

“Let's find out,” Reqem said at once.

(The Great Northern Gate illustration is only attached for fun - the anthology edition is illustrated by Samuel Hazen!)

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I've missed doing these - the last one I did was for October. I'll go in and fill in the gaps if I have a chance, but I like doing them when they're fresh in my memory. They are especially nice to do when I'm feeling like I'm spinning my wheels or not getting much done. Because it usually turns out that, yeah, I have gotten a few things accomplished!

Artwork

I started a sketch for a hunky shifters coloring page during Sketch Fest

I released five new pages that were included in Splendrix and the color cover, The Gathering. The Kickstarter, paired with Mitzi's Gardens and Goddesses Volume 3, was very exciting, and we closed it up at 3x the goal, with lots of great stretch goals. 

Unicorn and fairies in forest



A gazelle shapeshifter in the jungle

See the rest here: http://ellenmillion.com/

I also got a lot of progress made on some other coloring pages, and finished inking Chase. (Not inked or scanned yet.) 



Writing

I released Tropical Panther's Penance on the 15th.

I wrote 16,300 words, mostly on Tropical Christmas Stag. 


Other Things

Frozen septic field. Yay.

Six year old growing pains. 

Ridiculously late snow. 



 
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The Kickstarter is done and went well - we ended up over 3x the goal and got all of our stretch goals, including this piece of artwork as a Kickstarter-only bonus page:



This was MEANT to be a random, generic lion shifter for my next coloring book when I first started on it, but it was totally Graham. (Of Shifting Sands)

I've also released this piece, that I've been just dying to share, but I didn't want to confuse the Kickstarter, because this is NOT in Splendrix.



This tragically handsome guy is Justin, star of Spy Snow Leopard: mybook.to/SpySnowLeopard - it is a Zoe book, but not MY Zoe book. I didn't write this one, but it's a fantastic book - lots of hurt/comfort and healing and people overcoming guilt and doubt. There are also food scenes that will make you honest-to-god drool. It is temporarily priced at $0.99, but only for another day!

In other things, Kindergarten comes to a close WAY too soon, I've approved the coloring books for printing, these are the VERY LAST coloring books I will be printing myself, and it has snowed three times in the last week and I am so very over winter.

April was amazing. And weird. And I feel like there were a lot of things I could have done better, but overall, it was good. If busy.

May looks no less busy.

Also: SEA MONSTER MONTH! I haven't decided what I'll do this year! Should I do sketch cards? I want to do a field guide to the sea monsters of Torn World, in print, but I fear that's too much to bite off as a whole, so I'm thinking I'll start working on this with the aim of releasing it NEXT sea monster month. Muse Fusion is next week!

Wheeee...

So much!

Mar. 8th, 2018 11:02 am
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Guuuuuys, I have so much to blog about I'm just flailing helplessly.

Let's start with this:



My fifth card with 78Tarot, the seven of cups for the Mythical deck is so far my favorite. :) This deck is Kickstarting now! http://kck.st/2CYauY1

(And it's already almost funded!!)

In the tarot deck, sevens are about choices and the seven of cups adds a layer of illusions and wishes. Be cautious when making choices, because sometimes you don't see the whole story at a glance!

In Greek legend, the pleiades were seven nymph sisters, daughters of Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione. When Orion chose to pursue them, unwanted, Zeus turned the girls first into doves and then into stars, where as a constellation, they still flee Orion.

Here, I chose to illustrate each of the sisters, giving them each a cup of wonders to offer to the viewer. While you may be tempted by the riches that appear to be in each vessel, don't be blindly seduced down a path that could hold danger. A great wave threatens to break over the path they are beckoning you down, and they may only offer dreams and fantasies.

Prints and original at my webpage.
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Artwork

3 ACEOs for Sketch Fest: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestartist.php?id=9&date=90

It was skycat month at Torn World, and I did four ACEOs (plus a sketch) for the Muse Fusion:


Plus http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=562
http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=565
AND http://www.tornworld.net/artpageview.php?id=563

And a new portrait: http://portraitadoption.com/portrait.php?id=2999


Writing

I edited my forth Not-a-Book, having finished it the month before. I also released it this month, which meant a certain amount of promotional and administrative work.

I also edited a short story for an anthology, which involved adding quite a lot of words.

I started a short story during the Muse Fusion, to the tune of 1200 words, but it isn't finished yet.


Other


August... was hard. Really hard. I started the month entirely crippled from overdoing it, which comes with a pile of baggage. Kindergarten was an exciting new addition to the schedule. And I was laid low when I lost my beloved dog just a few days after that. It wasn't a surprise - his health had been failing for some time, but that didn't make it less of a blow.
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So, that happened. I wrote a book in a month! I was using NaNoWriMo as a vague excuse to make this my goal, but I was aiming towards 'finished book' much more than '50k words.' And I did it! The book is 33k, but it's remarkably polished for a first draft - there are no gaps, no placeholders, no dangling bits I made notes to go back and fix. It's DONE. And I sort of love it. It has lots of my favorite tropes, and it's ridiculous and romantic and fun and funny. It's the sixth book I've written, and the second in three months.

YAY KINDERGARTEN.

I also finished this artwork, now available at my Etsy shop as a coloring page download.



Now I have to monitor homework, and there's a playdate pending, and I still have to post at Torn World and send an email...
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Playdates and books and #inktober, oh my!

I finished my latest not-a-book on Monday. FINISHED IT DONE! I'm still reeling a little, because I wrote this book in 6 weeks. It's not a long or complicated book, but it's still A BOOK, and it's done and off for first round edits and I'm really proud of myself. I don't even feel like I pushed that hard - I started September ten days late and still got my 500 words/day goal for the month, and in October I aimed at 1000 words/day but didn't beat myself up if I fell short and then I was blinking at the screen and somehow done with the story. I'm sitting down with the outline for the next and hoping to make that my NaNoWriMo goal. This one I'm super excited about. Exiled dragon and mermaid thief! Woo! It may clock in shorter than 50k... but on the other hand, it may not. I am not going to snivel if I don't have it finished in November, because that's a lot of words and a busy month. (Two shows! Thanksgiving!)

Today I'm cleaning the house because we're getting double playdate after Kindergarten today. And I think I have to rsvp for a birthday party this weekend. (Hold me.) And I've got a dentist appointment this morning and tomorrow I have to take stock of my skeleton army and see where I am for the show next weekend. I ordered Christmas and flower cards last night because it suddenly occurred to me that I was running out of October in a very rapid fashion. OH! And I've uploaded a new coloring book to my printer and should be approving prints today or tomorrow.

And I'm still doing #inktober! I livestreamed #19 and #20 yesterday at my Facebook Artist Page - you can still see the recording there: https://www.facebook.com/EllenMillionArtistrix/

Prompted by Geekdame, this is probably my favorite #inktober so far:


(Original available, $30. Patreon patrons get half price.)

Off to do the things now.
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There are s-word things in the near weather forecast, so Jake and I did all the little leftover things to get the yard and driveway ready for winter. Unfortunately, I also woke up on Saturday with a terrible cold, so getting those things done is about all I've had the energy for. I am still noodling along on #inktober (6 done, 7th started).

This is the sixth - no sketching before-hand, just sort of doodling in pen. I will probably move the word Unplug over when I scan it; I don't do calligraphy much, and I thought the word would end up much larger than it did. :P




I wrote like the WIND last week: about 5600 words since Sunday. I'm over 20k now, and thinking that it's quite likely that I'll get it finished this month (health willing). I am very yay about that.

Guppy is now draping herself over my arms asking me to art with her. I'm off to do that now!
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Today's art:



Today's list:

Livestream
Laundry
Catbox/Vacuum/Dishes
Pack and mail up big order
Mail Patreon rewards
Muffins
Print behavior chart
Call hospital giftshop
Pay bills (Norway's final rites bill came today. OW. In so many ways.)
Write 500 words. 411  600
Amazon removal order
Artist payments/accounts
Bellydance


It was a good weekend, we got some pre-winter things done, and played outside while we could. My next not-a-book is crawling forward, and crossed over 10k words. I want to finish it by the end of October, so I can do the NEXT book (which I am SUPER enthused about) as a NaNoWriMo. I REALLY wanted to get three books written this year. (My last one is still doing okay, too - not actually as well as the last one, but the other two books in the series are doing AMAZING, so my bottom line is really good.)

Guppy alternates between little terror and little angel, still loves Kindergarten, and got all her art supplies put downstairs because she keeps drawing on things she knows she shouldn't. (WHY?!)

Now, a snack and down to words.

ellenmillion: (Default)
I have a new toy! I mean tool. I have a new tool!



Yesterday, I took it out on the town with me and I managed to go to the gym*, write 1200 words on my not-a-book, colorize a portrait, answer emails, go shopping*, and cook a roast.*

(*These items may or may not have been facilitated by the new toy tool.)

I flamed out badly on digital painting once before, but this is a whole new level of comfort and portability (my biggest prior complaint was that the separate tablet took a lot of setup and a big work surface, plus I was tethered to my computer...).

I am on a mission! I want to make my Apple Pencil viable, and I need some practice with it. I also want to whittle down my Portrait Adoption gallery a bit. SO! I am offering the DEAL OF A LIFETIME. I will color anything in my gallery - at NO EXTRA COST. That means, you could get a portrait colored to be your character for as little as $5. I'll even make minor tweaks at that time. (Very minor!) Use the site to 'request customization.'

 
$0 / $99.00 0% done!

In other news, we had a windy night, and now it looks like impending winter. Eep.

I will leave you with a list.

~Add a Torn World character
~Answer 10 emails
~Post something at Torn World
~Pizza dough.
~vacuum
~Clean off livingroom table
~2 loads of water - 1 down
~cook sausage
~500 words - 400. 
~Finish Patreon physical rewards (oh man, they are awesome! And there's still barely time to get them!)
~Coloring book bulk order
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I hab a code. My on-and-off-again sore throat (which started this weekend) has gone away, to be replaced by a full head-stuffing snotfest, helpfully accompanied by a cough and a whole body nope.

My goals today are very minor: get Patreon digital rewards out for September. Finish a cover commission. (Just need to get the high-res images and do some minor cleanup.) Mail an order. Breathe.

This has been my fun project lately:



More later!
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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.

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)
Still taking it easy. When I think too hard about my back right now, I get really, really crabby, so I'm trying not to dwell.

This week is Muse Fusion at Torn World! I am taking prompts and doing artwork and writing flash fiction. I've painted an ACEO so far, and am about 500 words into a story. Jump on in! You can use your Sketch Fest/PA/Lilypad login at the Torn World site now. :) https://www.tornworld.net/musefusion.php

Muse Fusion Work:

Finished:

From Afke's prompt "Hidden between the leaves". ACEO, acrylic ink and pens. Original claimed.
I used this as my August artsnacks challenge, too.


From Jenny's prompt "Skycat glides off with yarn end". Sketch ACEO. $5 as-is.
From Julie's prompt "Steampunk Skycat". ACEO, ink, watercolor pencil, gell pen, metallic pen. Original $15 or 15 credits.


From Deborah's prompt "Calico Skykitten!" ACEO, pencil and brush pen on Legion Kraft paper. Original $15 or 15 credits.


From Deirdre's prompt "A plant Skycat (or a skycat) loves". Original, $10 or 10 credits.


In Progress:
The Beginning of the End, fiction, from Deirdre's prompt: "A mysterious medical problem"
The Empire explorers in Itrelir are looking over the snow-unicorn riders' archives and investigating their genealogy.
Excerpt: “Biology isn’t my strong point,” Diren admitted, looking over Margaa’s tidy notes. “But that doesn’t look good.”
So far, 1200 words, probably end up about 2000. Sponsor for $15 or 15 credits.


From my Prompts: Deirdre has started an acrylic painting!

I'll update this post as I add more - the Muse Fusion runs through Sunday afternoon. :)
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 released the remaining four pieces I did exclusively for Color On! Magazine:


I'm super happy with these.

I also released the tattoo I did for my nephew:


I was at the Tarot Expo for Sketch Fest weekend, and I used the combination to jump start my long-dormant Sketch Tarot project. I did five pieces for Sketch Fest, all tarot-themed, and 4 of them will become cards in my deck. (One is even inked and finished!) http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestartist.php?id=9&date=89


Writing:

I finished the not-a-book! I wrote about 13k, which wasn't quite my 15k goal. But, BOOK! I also laid out the cover and wrote the blurb.



Other:

We finished the woodshed! (It may have been a little much for me.)

Guppy and I got new beds!

I did a watercolor class at the Hot Springs. http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/photos/ellencamping.jpg
(Only Patreon patrons get to see the paintings I did!)

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