Animal Adventures at Work – Deer!

These two are from June 13, 2014.


These are from June 20, 2014:




This picture is blurrier than I thought when taking it. Using the display on the back of the camera instead of an eye-hole is problematic. :/


Some Horsetail! Genus Equisetum, a living fossil. There was lots of it around in the forest.





And these are from July 17, 2014



Deer hanging out by one of the studio trucks in the parking lot.



Had to zoom to get a “closer” shot for reference. They’re wild and leave if you approach.


It stretched like this a couple times as I got closer. Looked really weird.


WIFYR 2015

I’m trying to get back in the swing of things now that WIFYR is over.  However, I got called back in to that freelance gig for a couple more weeks.  I agreed since I know it’s very close to done, but it does postpone my ability to be a full-time comic artist and author.  I will be there soon, though!  Sooooooon!

So, WIFYR.  It was great.  I saw my wonderful teachers and friends Carol Lynch Williams and Jake Parker.  I got hugs from both of them.  I like hugs.  In fact, Carol demanded I give her 80 hugs over the course of the week, so I made sure to hug her every time I saw her.  I think I only managed around 21 hugs.  I’ll do better next time!

I took a boot camp novel workshop with David Farland as the instructor.  There were ten other people in the class as well, and we critiqued the first 55 pages of all of our novels.  It was a humbling and enlightening experience.  They critiqued my stuff on the first day, and I totally thought I could handle it, and I did.  It was great.  All the verbal comments made sense and I could see the trend of what I needed to fix in my story.  However, then I got home and read the written comments.  It destroyed me.  I never thought I’d cry from being critiqued, but I did.  After reading comments from half the class I felt like I’d failed as an author.  My story seemed so very, very broken.  The next day I attended a panel on revisions and then it dawned on me that my story isn’t broken, it’s just a work in progress.  Then the day after that I read another written critique from a classmate and they understood every part of my story.  I didn’t fail.  That helped me feel a lot better.  As long as someone who knew nothing before reading it understood it, I succeeded.  Now to make it accessible to more people, after I finish this draft.


Here’s me and David Farland! He’s holding my sword. I brought it to show off the last day of class.

I also had the opportunity to practice pitching to an editor, and then to get a practice query letter critiqued by the same editor and an agent.  I received a lot of helpful input, and the editor asked me to send her my manuscript when I’m done!  EEEEEEEE!  I think that made my week.

Overall I had a great time.  I’m definitely going again next year.

Summary of the Last Two Months

Hi everyone!  The last two months have been busy.  The next two weeks will also be busy.  I’m attending Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers (WIFYR) in two weeks and I have a bunch of stuff to do in order to prep for that.

So, the last two months.  I worked at a slow but steady pace on my novel, succeeded at NaNoWriMo camp, rearranged my studio (still in the process of that), and visited Texas for a cousin’s high school graduation.  The freelance job I took up lasted two and a half months instead of two weeks, so I’m a bit behind on everything and where I wanted to be at this point in the year, but it was good.  It gave me enough money to buy some protective equipment for my new HEMA hobby AND a shiny new professional artist level printer.

This month I plan on trying to catch up as much as possible around preparing for and attending WIFYR.  It will be a challenge, but I am so ready to get back to arting and writing as a career.

Partial Solar Eclipse – Oct. 23, 2014

Oh!  Dudes!  I totally forgot about making a solar eclipse post!  Well, I took pictures, so I gotta post about it.

October 23rd was an ordinary day until one of my coworkers mentioned there would be a partial solar eclipse that afternoon.  I got all excited.  I’ve had the chance to witness a couple partial solar eclipses in my life, but never had the proper equipment to do it with.  Sure, when I was younger we did the box with a paper and pinhole, but in my opinion it didn’t work.  I didn’t know how we would manage to see this one, until that same coworker mentioned going to the prop shop and borrowing the dark glass out of the welder’s helmets.  It protects their eyes from white hot flame, so it should work for the sun, right?

We ran over to the shop and grabbed two pieces of the glass.  Other people had the same idea and had almost wiped the guy out of his stock of them, but there was enough left for us.  We checked the sun at that point to make sure we weren’t missing anything since the timing was ambiguous on the internet sites we checked earlier.  Nothing had happened yet, so we were good.

When the time arrived, about 3:30, we gathered the guys in the main VFX room and all went out to get a look at the solar eclipse.


Here’s a bunch of us at work gathered around looking through the welder’s glass.  My hubby’s the one in front holding the glass.


Selfie of me looking at the sun.

We could see the eclipse fantastically with those welder’s shields.  In fact, we could see it so well some of the guys started trying to take pictures of it with their phones through the glass and their cameras.  Most of them weren’t terribly successful, but they inspired me to run grab my camera and do the same.



Here’s what it looked like with the auto settings. Doesn’t look like much.


Here it is at the manual settings with speed 1/200. Much better!

Well, eclipses aren’t speedy things, so we wandered back inside for a while.  I came back out later when the eclipse was at its peak and took more pictures.


This is what it looked like at about 4:24.


I didn’t like the glow and realized I could up my speed even further on my camera, so I tried again. This is speed 1/1,250. And hey, what’s that dark thing we see? I zoomed in all the way for another picture.


Hey look! Sunspots! How cool is that? I love my camera.

I have now decided that no eclipse should go unseen in my life, and I need some of that welder’s glass for myself.  My children and friends will get to see eclipses in style!


Kitty-cat Heartstrings

Last night I picked up my kitty as I got ready for bed and started talking to him.  Saying silly little things while I cuddled him like, “I love you too!  My kitty loves me.  He loves me as much as a kitty can.”  At which my husband was like, “uh-huh.” And then failed to hear me ask him if he loved me since he thought I was still talking to the cat.  Once I got his attention he of course answered yes.  Then answered yes again when I asked him if he loved me as much as a person can.  He at least loves me more than the kitty does, right?  Or does he loves me as much as the kitty loves me because they both love me as much as they possibly can?  Can you compare kitty and human love?

Of course, by that point I’d lost him and my husband was just nodding looking confused.

But I do think I brought up an interesting philosophical point, though.  How does a person measure love?  How can we say that someone or somecreature does or doesn’t love?  Love is such a strange, complicated bundle of emotions that you can’t put your finger on.

Love is complicated for people, but not so much for animals, I think.  They don’t have the same level of cognition and worries, so they don’t have as much to complicate their emotions.  They either enjoy your presence, or they don’t.  They fear you, or love you, or are neutral about you, or some gradation in between.  We people tie knots in everything and wrap up so much of our identity in what we perceive from others.  Wouldn’t it be nice to simplify our emotions down and enjoy them without thinking too hard about them?  Like my kitty.  It might be nice to have a kitty-cat heart.

a public service announcement

There’s a bunch of things I want to share with you that I haven’t managed to over the past year, so I’m going to start posting a bunch of stuff that happened in the past year.  I will do my best to remember to put a date on them so you can know when it happened.  (Good things my pictures remember when they were taken.)  To give you an idea of some of the stuff I’ll be showing you, it will include Salt Lake Comic Con 2013, hikes, projects, and other random stuff from my life.

Once this spammage of the past has finished, I will do my best to stay on top of what’s going on in the present for you.  How’s that sound?  Good?  Good.

This has been a public service announcement.

If you haven’t noticed…

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been going through and posting old class work.  Part of this is because of the way I’m rearranging my blogs, but another part is because I want to keep a record of how I’ve improved over the years.  I decided to post works from each class all in one post in order to keep things organized and to reduce the number of posts I have to transfer.  I also decided most of my sketch posts aren’t worth transferring over, so we’re just mostly going to move on from here.  I want to post some concept development for my webcomic to show how that developed, a character I recently developed, then the development of the characters I draw for the campaign I’m playing in right now.  After that we’ll be all caught up!

Oh yeah, and I need to repost the process post I did about how I approach my journal comic.

Let’s see… other news…  I moved.  My parents built a new house and are letting my husband and me live in the basement rent free.  Now we have to commute to school, but it’s saving us a bunch of money.  I graduate in April and need to start looking for a job.  Earning money would be nice.  I’ve been playing some video games, and I’d like to review them for you sometime soonish.  I started writing another novel for my writing class and have been improving by steps in my drawing for animation class with Jake Parker.  (He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had.  Seriously.)

And I got behind again on homework.  I should really go work on it now.