aw love and stars and stuff

Julian and Shey at the end of “Through Darkness to the Stars” (or, Per Aspera ad Astra, as I had to list it on My Mental Breakdown because it was too long for one line), aww cute aww. I’m still trying to work on a picture of Shey and the Panic Wolf mid-burn, but the pose is being difficult.

You know I think it’s crazy and a little daunting that like, I finished another writing project and I’m already like SHIT I want something new to work on! … It’s so weird how cyclical my creative life is. But big, slow cycles.

something just like this


I’m finally done! I did this before we went on our honeymoon and then when I got back I was swept up in the Panic Wolves story (Shey and the Panic Eaters. Tentatively.) So I’m excited to finally have finished it up. “Ryan” basically looks like Beast Boy from Teen Titans. And “my” eyes still look weird. Soooaooaoaoaoa that’s about all I got on this. Sparkle sparkle floof.

vacation inspiration

Well, well, well! I may not have done a lot of drawing on vacation, but I had an itch to work on a new story and…I DID.

So it all started because of how amazing the frontman of Rise Against is.
Okay but also look how punk adorable me and my cute husband are when we go punk out to punk bands in Canada.
Okay anyway, so basically I was into Rise Against a little bit when Satellite came out, and then when The Black Market came out three years ago I tumbled back down the Rise Against rabbit hole. They happened to be having a show in Canada when we were going to be there on our honeymoon, so while it was Ryan’s third Rise Against concert, I was eagerly going to my first concert of theirs.
Rise Against’s lyrics have gotten deep into me many times, appearing in many of my paintings and popping up on many of my tweets. On Friday, two days before the concert, one of Ryan’s friends suddenly told us on Twitter that their new album came out.
It was all the political commentary I was ever waiting for and all the gritty realism about relationships I’ve always loved, and then I saw him singing in concert, and I was like, omfg, he’s just wanting to be written, and like, I fangirled a lot, and then he played my favorite song alone onstage with an acoustic guitar. And then I was like, I want him to be one of my characters.

The next day at our hotel I was like I’M GONNA STORY PLOT, and I literally wrote like three lines of brainstorming, one of which was, “themes? mental illness, commitment” and then I branched off mental illness and I was like PANIC ATTACKS, BUT THEY RELEASE LIKE, CHAOS

And then on the plane this morning I started writing about FUCKING JULIAN and suddenly I was like omg I totally know his voice, it’s amazing, and then I was like, jesus, he helps save this girl whose panic attacks cause elemental anomalies, and he totally falls for her, and then MICAH IS ONE OF HIS FORMER CLIENTS, WHO’S LIKE, TAKE ME IN ON YOUR BUSINESS and then aaaah

I don’t know yet if it’ll live outside the airport but I wrote 8 pages single spaced of it while at various very, very, very delayed flights.

So, I’m liking it. Soon, this will call for Julian/Micah/Shian/Paris fanart HEHEHEHE


As it often happens, I have been doing art, but not very easily postable art. All these watercolors are big 18×24 canvases that neither photograph easily or scan really at all. I pinned a cropped part of the canvases onto my scanner to get them in and there’s still a huage scan line on each of them.

But alas, such is the traditional artist’s life.

Painting 1: Creepy Glowy Eyed Fire Girl

I have very mixed feelings about how this one turned out. On the actual canvas she takes up the bottom quarter and that’s it. But this crop makes it look all her and I don’t really like how the pastels ended up looking on canvas – very grainy. I only did her because the watercolors alone on this one were pretty weak. And I wanted to experiment. But you know, some if not a lot of experiments fail, so this one kind of sits there as a testament to sometimes failing.

Painting 2: Gyroscape

I totally love this one, and it is a testament to a successful experiment. Did a lovely spacetastic wash, and then I was like, WHITE LINES, so I made a spiraly overlay and I was like oookay. This is all neat and tidy. Noice.

Painting 3: the Skylight

This one feels the paintiest. Cause I was in the car with the husband and we were driving into the sunset after a baseball game and I was all oh wow, look at those deep dark clouds over the peachy sunset sky. And I was like hey Honey I have to make a painting when we get home. Then I did.

danny’s a poo poo head

So for some indiscernible reason, I have had like four dreams with Danyil in them in the past three weeks. Like, of all my characters, wtf does he think he’s doing getting stuck up in my head? Anyway, last night he was trying on all this different finery, purportedly for the Redefining Evil ball, and so I figured I’d better draw this poop. It’s like a really bad drawing but oh well.


Once in a blue moon (approx. once every year and a half), I make fanart. And who better to dedicate this seldom occasion than KAMALA KHAAAAAAAN! I love her so much. I can never kick the sensation/wish that she’s actually out there in Jersey City being quirky and fearless, with pensive narration popping up over her head in pale yellow boxes.

This one actually hung me up and stopped me from doing art for about the last two weeks. I couldn’t get past the shapes before I added back in lineart. I really, really love how it turned out though!


things i’ve loved lately

Your Name (kimi no na wa)

Talk about life-changing anime. Me and my husband are both still reeling from this movie. I will never forget that moment at the end of the film when I was clinging to Ryan’s arm and suppressing my squeals of delight as the lights rose in the theater, and I looked down the row of chairs to see another girl having exactly the same freak out as me on the arm of the guy she was with, and Ryan and I laughed so hard we cried.

Your Name is delightful because it encompasses all the good things about anime into one artfully created and beautifully spun tale. It’s deeply satisfying in a way that Miyazaki love usually isn’t. And even the nuanced way the characters move matters to the film. 10/10 will see again and again.


This has to be the season of sequels. In the last week I’ve picked up two sequels to dearly held novels. And I’ve known they would have sequels, and the writers have made them worth it, so I’ve indulged them without hesitation.

Roshani Chokshi’s work

I devoured “The Star-Touched Queen” last year with reckless abandon. I remember reading it the week that I was teaching across the street from Ryan’s work. So every day I would get done an hour before him, and I would sit in the back garden at the school and I would read “The Star-Touched Queen.” Forty, a hundred chunks of pages would go by without my noticing. The writing was so robust and immersive. So when a Barnes and Noble bookseller told me there would be a sequel, I really wanted to believe in it – especially when she said it would focus on the main character’s sister, rather than continued tales of the main character. I loved her sister, and already I’ve been pulled into this delightful, playful, mystical narrative.

Charlie Fletcher’s work (The oversight)

As I was reading this while I got my last tattoo, I described this book to my artist as one where the heroes repeatedly get their asses kicked. I’ve never read something that focuses so much on the narrative of the antagonists. The heartless, ruthless, cruel antagonists. They’re scheming and scheming against the exhausted, noble Oversight and you’re like oh shit, their plans are totally gonna work. And sometimes in the middle of the trilogy, the Oversight’s home gets burned to the ground BY A SUGAR FACTORY ERUPTION, FUCKING MOLTEN SUGAR OKAY, HOW CRUEL. And then like, you want Sarah and Sharpe to get together but they’re both like, half dead and pale and sad. And you’re like ugh.

This has been a weird one because I’ve been reading the second two on my phone. I picked up The Oversight at the Maplewood Mall in one of me and Ryan’s first trips to Barnes and Noble together. I don’t know what compelled me to get digital copies of the subsequent installments. I hate when I do shit like that. Here I’ve got The Oversight chilling on ┬ámy shelf with all these other complete series, and it’s like, but you’ve read the other ones. And I’m like I know. I’m sorry.


There are two other sequels I’d actually gotten over the holidays that I have yet to fully get into. My delightful experience with “A Thousand Nights” by EK Johnston was somewhat disappointed by her next novel, “Spindle,” but that was partly because the narrative confused me, and I was mostly trying to read it in the jacuzzi in Stillwater on my honeymoon, and I wasn’t giving it a whole lot of attention.

In similar fashion to my woes with The Oversight, Garth Nix dropped a surprise sequel to the Abhorsen series that I obviously immediately picked up…but I only had that series on my Nook, so when it was steeped in “this happened in the trilogy and hopefully you remember reading it in 2012” facts, I stopped it in hopes I would eventually pick up the trilogy so I could refresh myself on it.


myoku: master of the shadows

Earlier this week I was looking at some spotlight on “then and now” drawings that a blog posted. It made a super big deal about how cool those transformations were for these innovative artists who wanted to showcase their progress. And, being in a bit of a dry spell lately, I thought that would be such a cool way to get back into creating! So last night I pulled out my old gross portfolio…and then remembered that I’ve literally been doing transformation drawings for as long as I’ve kept a portfolio. It was more difficult in fact to find a drawing I HADN’T transformed a dozen times.

Pushing past my normal embarrassment to draw Myoku around my husband, I redesigned the layout of an old, old, OLD Myoku drawing and I dove into this neat composition. It turned out really, really, cool. And my husband (I almost wrote Myoku instead, teheh) thought it was pretty neat – we’ve shared a mutual love for staff fighting.

So tralala here it is!

I fricking LOVE that powerful focal point – that bottom hand. And when I smudged everything shading the cape, it only came more into focus!


virgin killer sweaters

Yesterday I got obsessed with the Virgin Killer sweater and I would have bought one had my husband not reminded me that I had to borrow money from my mother in order to make it to my next paycheck. Frownie face. Trying really hard to get delicate and light with watercolors, as I always see paintings with watercolor like that and I’m like GET MORE SATURATED DAMN IT when I use them.