Archive for the ‘Other Creative Things’ Category

New SkillShare Class Up!

Oof, squiders. I always forget how long the video portion of a class takes.

In my head, every class–and this is my fifth class–the hard part is putting together the PowerPoint part of the class, and the recording part is the easy part.

Well, I guess the recording isn’t too bad.

But the editing of those recordings? Oy.

I think I’ve spent about eight hours on the editing part. My video editor was starting to get REALLY grumpy.

(It is my longest class, at 40 minutes, but 8 hours for 40 minutes? Oof.)

Though, I will admit, it’s generally easier for me to focus on the recording/editing parts. Maybe they’re just more interesting because it’s not something I do very often.

Seriously, though, why do the PowerPoint portions always take me so long? I wanted this class up in March, maybe April. And here we are, in late May. Excellent job, self.

That being said, I’m considering doing a workshop for my next class, one where students follow along with me as I work on something. It’d be less formal, and it would involve no PowerPoint.

Maybe an outlining workshop, to follow up this class (oh, yeah, this class is about types of outlines). I do need to get a novella or two going, so it would be killing two birds with one stone.

(I had an idea for a novella yesterday while I was walking the dog, but I’ve already forgotten it. This is why we write everything down. WAIT NO I REMEMBER)

But it’s done! It’s up!

Work has been accomplished!

Anyway, if you’re interested, the new class is here! And I shall see you guys next week, no matter what.


Well, squiders, I’m still not done with Uglies. I thought this would be fairly easy since it’s YA and not terribly long, but sometimes with YA I just don’t connect to the main character very well and then it slows everything down.

Or it could just be a sign of my general state of mind. Who knows! Making progress now, though, so soon.

I’ve also finally made some progress on working on World’s Edge as well. Not much, not what I was hoping for, but sometimes, taking that first step, especially after you haven’t worked on a draft in a while, is the hardest.

I’ve set a goal of 25,000 words on it for Camp starting tomorrow.

Camp Nanowrimo has always been very hit or miss for me. It doesn’t carry the same creative energy that sweeps through a normal Nano. There’s not the in-person stuff, and it’s not as many people. Plus the cabin set-up makes it so you really only have a few people that it’s easy to regularly interact with.

So my Camp history is very spotty. Generally I manage about 10,000 words, no matter what my goal is or what I’m working on. Sometimes I don’t do anything at all, and sometimes I manage 25,000 or more.

I think I can manage 25,000, but I do need to put some sort of schedule into place. I know from experience that if I try to just get to it eventually sometime in the day, it doesn’t happen.

In other news, I’m still playing podcast catch-up. I got a little burnt out on Myths and Legends–turns out 100 episodes of something, when you’re listening to several episodes a week, gets old–so I’m working on some of the other ones that weren’t quite as far behind.

I’m going to talk about two here–Start With This and Inn Between.

Start With This is by the Night Vale creators, talking about creativity and writing. It’s geared toward making your own podcast, but a lot of their tips are general to story telling in general. And it’s nice, just going back over things, as well as learning things that are not necessarily useful for prose but are interesting nevertheless. Knowledge! It is beautiful. And it helps to know that they, too, have issues with anxiety and periods where creating is hard.

Inn Between is a fantasy podcast that takes place at the inn in between adventures. So you don’t hear the adventures so much (unless they follow the characters into the inn) but it’s a really interesting look at character dynamics and a neat twist on the genre. I’m a little behind (at the end of what came out in 2020) and apparently we’re getting new characters for season 3, which makes me a bit sad because I’m very attached to the original characters now.

Well, that’s me! Off to make plans for success, and I shall see you all on Friday. Maybe with a book for discussion! We shall see.


Hey, squiders, sorry I’ve been AWOL for the last week. Things have been…stressful.

I keep hoping that my productivity will make a return, but the fact of the matter is that my anxiety is high and I’m finding it really hard to create right now.

Uglies for next Tuesday, hopefully.

Landsquid for today.

I remembered to shade this time.

I hope you guys are doing okay.

March ArtSnacks

Here we are, again! But I did actually cancel my subscription this time, so this is the last one. For now.

All in all, I feel like the ArtSnacks was a decent subscription for the price. I got a lot of things I wouldn’t have picked up or tried otherwise. And it’s been fun each month to try and incorporate the different colors and mediums into a cohesive picture.

Maybe in a few months I’ll resubscribe and get some more stuff. We’ll see!

Anyway, here’s this month’s picture:

A bit more stylistic than normal, but I like it, at least.

Let’s go through the thing.

Plumchester Paint Marker
Mine’s kinda an aqua green, which is one of my favorite colors, hooray! I got another one of these in an earlier box. This one felt a little hard to get good color coverage, but I may just need to pump it more. (It’s acrylic paint.) I guess they got new colors so they sent them out again.

Chameleon Color Tones Colored Pencil
This is a double-ended colored pencil–mine is peach and darker peach–and I guess they’re designed to blend together perfectly. It’s a nice color pencil, and the colors do go together nicely. I already have a nice peach-colored pencil, though.

KUM CUB3 Pencil Sharpener
This is a really nice pencil sharpener, and I did need one. Super excited for this, as silly as that sounds. It fits multiple sizes and can work on both pencils and crayons. Also, it’s made of eco-friendly plastic.

Kuretake-ZIG ai Liner Brush Pen
This is a black brush pen, apparently fashioned after eyeliner. Probably not the best idea, since they had to include a warning not to actually use it AS eyeliner. The ink didn’t flow quite as fast as I wanted it to, meaning I had to go over my lines a few times. I definitely prefer the Sakura brush pens, but one can really never have too many, amirite?

ArtSnacks x Blackwing Pencil
It’s ArtSnacks’ 8th birthday! Happy birthday to them. They made these custom pencils for everyone. I sharpened mine with my new pencil sharpener, and they have a cool flat eraser that I can see being useful for more careful erasing situations.

As I said, I’ve had fun with the ArtSnacks! I’d definitely do it again sometime. But for now I’m happy to play with what I have, though I will miss the anticipation. Maybe now I need to find a different sort of challenge, one where you’re tasked to use the materials you have in new ways.

How are you, squider?

Snow Day Interlude

We got a foot and a half of snow overnight, squiders, which means that the schools just gave up and everyone was home all day. Which means my focus was completely off, not like I’ve been getting anything done recently anyway.

I’m strongly considering picking up something else for a bit, at least so I have something to do while I wait on beta feedback. I’m starting to think I should have gathered beta commentary while working on something else this whole time, but, of course, hindsight is 20/20. Besides, reading through the story is what me search out betas in the first place.

Got to strongly think about my productivity in general and try out something new to make sure things are getting done–or moving at all.

I’ve been reading The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, which has several stories within stories going. I’ve found myself wondering how she put the story together–did she do the mythology first, and then build the stories around that? Maybe it would be fun to try something like that, writing interlocking stories where it’s not quite clear how they’re collected.

Not like I need a new project. But you know how it goes.

ANYWAY, not much happening in these parts. But I did draw you a landsquid to celebrate the first real snow we’ve had all winter.

Snow Landsquid

In retrospect, I should have added in some shading. Oh well! Next time.

I’ll see you next week–and next month! And hopefully I’ll have found some mojo in the meantime.

February ArtSnacks

I still haven’t cancelled. I have no excuses.

Good variety this month, though–stuff I haven’t gotten a bunch of, for the most part. Actually, only two colored things, hooray!

Let’s get into the haul, shall we?

Higgins Acrylic Ink
This is the bottle of ink. I thought it was black, initially, but having done the image and actually, you know, looked closer, it’s actually Payne’s Gray. I have Payne’s Gray in my watercolor set too, wooooo. At least with the watercolors, it’s good for a wide variety of gray tones. Obviously the ink here is pretty dark, but I’m sure that can be played with.

I like acrylic paint/ink in general–it covers well and easy to clean up. I still am a little nervous about having bottles of ink floating around, however. Disaster in the making.

Princeton Velvetouch Series 3950 Synthetic Brush, Round Size 4
This is a nice paintbrush! It worked well with the ink, and I don’t have a round size 4 otherwise. Not much to say beyond that, really.

Kuretake-ZIG Metallic Clean Color Dot Double-Ended Marker
Silver, of course. I have another Kuretake-ZIG something or other from a previous box. It’s a yellow brush pen that I got my first month. This one is also nice–a nice metallic silver, which is a lovely color. Double-ended, with a large round side and a much-narrower side. I used most the thin side, though I used the wider side for the moon. Dries a bit slow, so something to be aware of.

Koh-I-Noor Thermoplastic Eraser
Mine’s yellow, obviously. To be honest? Not my favorite. I felt like it didn’t do a great job of erasing the pencil sketch. It is nice to hold, however.

Caran d’Ache Grafstone Pencil
This is a solid piece of graphite, as opposed to being a piece of graphite encased in wood, like a normal pencil. There’s an element to be played with here, if you were more creative than I am. Maybe I should try more straight pencil art instead of working with ink and colors all the time. Things to ponder.

So, I appreciate getting some gear instead of just paint pens and markers in weird colors. Erasers are always good, especially if they don’t smear the ink, and the paintbrush will be useful for a number of different mediums. And I really like the silver marker. It’s got a great metallic sheen, and seems thick enough that it could go on top of just about anything.

I might cancel this month. Or I might not. It is nice to try out new things every month, and it does make it so I do some experimentation that I might not otherwise.

I’m mostly experimenting with color lately otherwise–I bought myself a set of water-based markers, and received a nice set of colored pencils and some alcohol-based markers for Christmas. I REALLY like the alcohol-based markers, but they do give me a headache after awhile, and it’s too cold to work outside, so oh well.

How are you, squiders? Art thoughts?

January ArtSnacks

Sorry this is a little late, squiders! I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the last few days. Nothing serious, but I did take it pretty easy and now am feeling much better.

(Yesterday I basically watched Ghost Adventures: Artifacts or whatever it’s called.)

I know I keep saying I’m done with ArtSnacks, but then I get excited and keep getting it. So here we are. Possibly for the last time, but at this point I’d better stop saying anything before I look too ridiculous.


I remembered to put the materials in the picture this month, unlike last month.

(The snack this month is a dumdum, which continues to not actually be a snack.)

Okay, let’s get into it.

ShinHan Art Touch Liners, Cool Grey Set of 5
So these are ink pens in a variety of sizes/types: .1 mm, .3 mm, .5mm, a chiseled tip, and a brush tip. It’s kind of a silvery gray, as you can see. I outlined the circle in the .1 mm and filled it in with the brush tip, then used the .5mm and the chiseled tip for the words. The color is nice, and I can see using them instead of black ink for effect. The chiseled tip ink erased a bit when I used my eraser, though, so that’s something to remember. No smudging, though. Overall, very nice.

Karin DecoBrush Metallic Marker
Mine is gold, obviously. The paint comes out thick and fast, so it needs a careful hand, but it dries relatively quick. However, I got two gold things last month, so I don’t know that I needed yet more gold. It would be good to paint over things for effect, however. And it didn’t drip paint anywhere I didn’t want, which is also a plus.

Zebra M-350 Mechanical Pencil
I think this is the third mechanical pencil I’ve gotten. Maybe the second. It’s a mechanical pencil. I continue to not see any major differences between these, and at this point I probably do not need any more.

Marvy Uchida Pastel LePen Flex
That’s a mouthful for what it essentially a fine tip marker. Mine is yellow-gold, because if there’s one color family I don’t need any more of, it’s yellow/golds. Seriously, ArtSnacks, send me some purple! Green! Blue! Even orange. No more yellows, no more golds. That being said, this is a really nice marker. I would buy more of these (in more useful colors).

Also, the calligraphy looks decent, if I do say so myself, especially since I haven’t done any in about 10 years or so.

How are you doing, squiders? Any thoughts on art supplies or drawing in general?

December ArtSnacks

It’s that time of month! Well, a little late, honestly, because the box always comes the first week. I blame the holidays.

You guys get both my actual drawing and my practice scribbles, because I did them on the same page.

An ornament

What’s nice this month is that the colors all kind of go together. They’re all kind of vintage-y. Don’t know that I needed two different reds, but maybe! I drew an ornament for festive reasons.

Let’s go through the pickings, shall we?

Graph’It Alcohol-Based Twin Tip Marker
This is the kind of turquoise-y blue one. It is double-sided, with a fine tip side and a brush side (as you can see in the scribbles, and I used both in the ornament, though less obviously). Like the purple marker last month, this one bled through my paper. Other than that, though, it’s nice. Flows well, nice colors.

Kuretake-ZIG Clean Color f Double-Ended Marker
This is the red (not the one next to the “ahh”). As you can see from the scribbles, both ends are relatively fine. (The marker says .5mm on one end and 1.2mm on the other.) I used it for the bottom of the ornament. It’s nice, does not bleed through. Not great for coloring large areas for obvious reasons, but could be good for outlining or adding pops of color.

Derwent Paint Pens
I have two, red and a vaguely-green yellow. These are the paint splotches in the scribbles, because the instructions on the side of the paint pens say to shake and then depress for 10 seconds, and I must have misunderstood the depress-ing part, cuz I got gobs of paint. Once primed, however, the inks spreads really nicely and are good to fine details. I used them for the top and bottom of the ornament, and the red decorations on the ornament itself. Take a little bit to dry.

Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
I love brush pens almost as much as I love Sakura Micron pens, honestly. I got two, the pink and the gold in the picture above. The description of them that came in the box say they’re liquid watercolors, which I’d believe, since the color is a little bit transparent (more obvious on the pink than the gold). They spread really nice, though they do change color on multiple coats, as you would expect from a marker or watercolors. Makes shading easier, but do need to be aware of it.

I’m actually really happy with this month’s box. When I first opened it I was kind of meh, especially with the overlaps in color (two reds, two kind of golds), but now that I’ve worked with them a bit I’m feeling pretty good.

I used my gift certificate that I won last month to buy a set of 24 markers. They’re double-sided, fine and brush tips, so I’m interested to see how that goes. As you guys know, I’m a little unconfident in my coloring, which is why I tend to stick to colored pencils, but it’s good to try out new things, and using markers should be faster. They’re not here yet, but hopefully they’ll get here soon.

Anyway! How are you, squider? Any thoughts on markers? Favorite type? Read any good books? I’m on my usual Christmas mystery kick. Currently reading one called Twelve Slays of Christmas which is an excellent pun.

November ArtSnacks

Ahahaha super late in the month, but it’s been one of those months. Next month’s box ships tomorrow, I think. I actually won a contest in October so I’m getting it for free, woot.

Here’s my pic for this month–just a quick sketch I put together because I was having issues coming up with ideas to go with the colors I got. Seriously, that’s my biggest complaint about the ArtSnacks. The colors are just plain weird.

drawing of girl

Let’s go through the stuff, shall we?

Marabu Graphix Sketch Marker
This is a double-sided marker, with a thin side and a super thick side. Mine’s a dark purple color, which I used as the outline in the picture above. It’s actually quite nice to use for outlining, and outlining with color gives the picture some interesting pop. That being said, it bleeds through my paper, and this is not thin paper.

Tombow Pastel MONO Graph Mechanical Pencil
It’s a mechanical pencil. It’s a nice mechanical pencil, I guess. It works well for sketching. Don’t have a lot to say about it.

Tombow Fudenosuke Neon Brush Pen
Mine’s yellow. Like, highlighter yellow. Good for pop too, I suppose. I found it hard to color with, like the color didn’t want to come. Maybe it’ll get better over time. But aside from pop, not sure what I’ll use it for.

Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 Colored Pencils
There’s two; mine are blue and peach. They’re very soft colored pencils and I feel like I’m going through them quickly. I got a blue colored pencil in an earlier box, so I wish I was getting different colors. But, I mean, can you ever really have too many colored pencils?

The purple marker is probably my favorite thing this month, and mechanical pencils are always good.

I think I may be near the end of my ArtSnacks subscription, however. I feel like the box is a good value, and it’s nice to have new things, but I’m starting to accumulate things I may not necessarily use, and without better color variety, especially in things like markers, they have limited functionality.

I did use some of the previous ArtSnacks supplies in another picture I drew today (the green paint pen from September continues to be the bane of my existence) but I couldn’t get very far, which was somewhat telling.

Along with getting a free box, I also won $25 worth of supplies. I should go through their shop and see if I can supplement my marker supply with other colors.

As far as Nano, I’m still a little behind, but I’ve been catching up, and I should be on track tomorrow or the day after. Next time you hear from me, it’ll be December, and we’ll know how the month played out in the end. Wish me luck!

I Wonder if I am Still the Scourge of Seventh Grade Science

Story time today, squiders!

When I was in seventh grade, my science teacher gave us a maze to do for extra credit. It had been drawn by a previous student of his, and went along with some system of the body (I don’t recall which).

Now, I love a good maze and also extra credit, so I did it. But it occurred to me, as I did so, that if my science teacher was using a maze someone had drawn for him, that I, too, could draw a maze and perhaps my teacher would use that one too.

So I set to work creating the hardest maze I could. Making mazes is actually very calming–I have a method I use to make sure I have a path from start to finish that is not obvious–and I should probably do it more often. But anyway! This maze. It, too, was of some body system (digestive, maybe? I honestly don’t remember) and I filled up an entire 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper with that baby.

It was glorious.

I gave it to my science teacher, who agreed it was glorious and, I think, gave me even more extra credit, though I may be imagining that part.

Fast forward two years. I have moved into high school, and my sister is in my old hall at middle school, so unfortunately has all my teachers.

(I feel a bit of sympathy for her having to be my little sister throughout middle and high school, but not especially. Such is the way of siblings. It’s her own fault for not being born first.)

(That was a joke.)

She comes home, all grumpy, and forces a photocopy of my maze at me. Apparently my old science teacher had given the maze out to everyone (and of course noted that I had made it, to the embarrassment of my sister) and no one could solve the thing.

It is extremely satisfying, being the bane of an entire seventh grade science class.

Every now and then I think about that maze and that teacher. I’m sure he’s retired by now, so current and future science classes are probably safe from my maze. But I wonder how many years he brought it out? Was it just for a few before someone else drew a new maze and he switched it out? Did he terrorize children with it for many years? Was it really that hard, or was it just intimidating?

I also occasionally wonder if I should take up maze making again. Maybe make a maze book with an accompanying story. Could be fun (though definitely something for another time).

What about you, squider? Ever done something for fun that brought unexpected dividends?