About Me

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J is an unpublished author, represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. J's first novel is a YA fantasy horror, regarding a siren who must choose between the haunting life and humanity. J draws on occasion, reads quite often, and is a founding member of the critique group 'Thoughtical Verbosity.'

Monday, February 28, 2011

My First Consultation Commission!!

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my older (hur hur) sister!! Sandi, you've long been an inspiration to me, and only get more awesome the longer I know you :) Keep on rockin', girl!

So guess what? I've been compensated!!

For those of you with a confused grasp on the word, that means that I've received some sort of payment for services rendered.

For those of you who are in no way enlightened by that, here's the story:

Last night, my older bro calls and says he wants to talk shop with me. Zach is the owner of the voice you'll hear in about 75% of the male characters (and 2% of the female characters) in the upcoming podcast, 'The Phil Innis Adventures.' He's also one of my two primary sources for idea-bouncing and camaraderie. Part of what I've always appreciated about Zach is that he always gives it to me straight. Fishing for compliments will result in a straight-laced "Don't be an idiot." If something I've written is bad, he will tell me that it is bad. Somehow without being a jerk about it, and usually making me bust out laughing at myself.

So, Zach says he wants to talk shop with me, and I readily agree. He came over to ask me some questions about my writing process, which I will more than likely go off on regardless of whether or not anyone wants me to.

Zach is working on a project of his own. Simply because I don't know whether he'd want me to or not, but I won't get into the details. Suffice to say it's in the world of video gameagae, and if anyone is capable of making an instant hit in that realm, it is my brother. I'm excited to see if anything comes of this!

And for my time last night, he gave me a Pokemon Gold, for the DS. I'm counting it as my first consultation commission. Huzzah!!

Also, behold my first painting in many moons:

This is, fate allowing, more or less what the first cover art for 'The Phil Innis Adventures' will look like. Once I have a more comfortable setup, I will likely scan and re-edit it. But I don't think it's too bad, for my first painting in years!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Does Anybody Else Ever Feel Like This?

Well, here am I, true to my word and blogging remarkably soon after my last blurb.

Part of the reason I don't blog as often as others may is...well, I don't want to just get on and ramble about what the green grocer was wearing, or whatever other useless tidbit offended me. Not everyone who has the time and inclination to blog will have the brains or ability to write something interesting every time. So I savor up my brain juice and try to pour it all out at once. I'm not entirely sure what that says in correlation to my very limited posting up to this point, but...let's move on.

Every once in a while, I start to feel down on myself. Now, before you hurry to click away to a less emo blog, don't worry! There will be no likening my life to raucous music or tips on properly applying eye-makeup with a spoon. For those of you who prefer such mental wanderings...um, go somewhere else.

Anyway, every once in a while, I start to feel down on myself. I'm not entirely sure why. I have my theories, but I've also heard that it's a natural thing. Everyone's mental processes act somewhat like emotional tides. Or rollercoasters, as the case may be. I imagine mine is somewhat like a water coaster.

Moving on.

During these down times, which generally last just a couple of days or so, all of my personal faults rear up in my face. What I see is ugly and embittering. I get frustrated by how little I've accomplished, and feel like even on a good day I barely make a dent in the work I have ahead of me if I'm to reach my goals. One day goes by when I can't write, draw, paint, or even plot anything. And I start to worry that all of these things I've got planned are just going to be unfinished bits that go out with the years, leaving nothing but a bad taste in my mouth.

I rarely discuss these feelings with anyone because, quite frankly, I don't want to sound like that spoon-makeup person a few paragraphs back. And deep down, I know how ridiculous these thoughts are. Any one person can accomplish any one thing if they truly put in their all, and haven't done anything to agitate karma. And even if the progress is slow, at least I know what I want to do. Some people don't realize their dreams, much less start chipping away at them, until they're much further along in life.

So what to do with all of the negativity? I'm not a very social person by nature; never have been. So I don't have a herd of groupies to call over to sit around telling me how AWEsome I am. Nor do I think I would particularly enjoy that. I also hate spending the time I do have with the people that matter to me by whining about how off-put I've made myself.

So usually, I take matters into my own hands. I get some exercise. I watch films or tv shows I like a lot. I day-dream. I hang out with people who make me laugh. I don't dig any deeper into the insecurity pool than I absolutely must just to find the plug, pull it, and make the dark sludgy stuff sink away.

And then, at the first opportunity, I get back to work.

Does anybody else go through this?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shoebox Valentines

Hey everyone :) Sorry this is a few days late, but I've been a wee bit busy. Bakeries do that around holidays where it's traditional but time-consuming to send loved ones edible gifts.

I hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day. Do you know, I heard someone complaining about how it was a ridiculous holiday. They protested that it only got started because of something called the Valentine's Day Massacre, and the holiday card companies leaped on some random event and turned it into a celebration of lovey-dovey goo-goo money making schemes.

I chuckled not-so-quietly to myself. The misinformation that travels around this watery planet makes for a most amusing evening with nothing better to do than trawl around on the internet.

In fact, there has been more than one 'Saint Valentine' throughout recorded history. The first one popped up a long, long time ago, before the calendar had even reached quadruple digits. None of the originals had anything to do with romance outright, that much is true. But the heart-throb aspect of the holiday was adopted long before Hallmark started making cheap, sappy movies. When Courtly Love was popular (that means professions of deep emotion, hand kisses, noble deeds, and an honor-bound lack of hanky-panky) some king decided to write fanfiction accounts about one of the original Saint Valentine's.

You see, the original story, as best we have it, is that Saint Valentine (the one in question) was captured by a Pagan dude. The Pagan dude thought Saint Valentine was the bomb. So he tried to convert the Saint out of Christianity, in order to save Valentine from being sentenced to death for...well, being a Christian. But Valentine was all, 'No, how about YOU convert to Christianity, yo?'*

So Valentine was sentenced to death. But before he died, he performed a miracle by curing the blindness of his jailer's daughter.

Years later, Ye Olde Kinge of the Courtly Love era decided to make a subtle change. Now, the story reads that in his last moments Saint Valentine sent out a love letter. Often the letter is sent to the jailer's daughter (remember the blind one?).

And so, with a slight twist, history acquired a new love-based holiday. It wasn't until centuries later that a bunch of gangsters committed a small but still technically mass-murder against a bunch of other gangsters in what would come to be known as the Valentine's Day Massacre. The Hallmark cards were once handmade, and the sentiments weren't always so mechanically manufactures, but the idea of spreading love on V-Day is older than anyone's great-great-great-grandparents can remember.

So, again, forgive me for the late update. But I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day anyhow, and continue to do so in the coming years!

Also, as a side-note, I'm now going to try and post AT LEAST once a week. I'll also be starting up a vlog, probably on the same basis. See you then!

*The exchange may not have used these words exactly