The Gift of Art

The following art has all been either gifted to me as a commissioned piece or gifted by the artist themselves. Also there are pieces I requested when an artist offered me the chance to request a sketch or whatnot.

Thank you to Lynn, Maddie, Rachel and Rodney for gifted art, and finally to Marlena and artsdemon for gifting requests.

Also thanks to Jax for the art gifts, though in the end I’m not sure what the point was.

 

“♫Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!♫”

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I love December.

The dark nights are awesome, I’ve always loved midwinter even as a young child. The cold suits me perfectly and I very rarely complain about it (unless I hurt because of it). Specifically the cold helps with my long term condition, I run hot, especially in my head, and the cold weather keeps me cool and less sick. The events are heart warming – such as lantern parades, Christmas choirs, markets set up just for December and shops and the city centre decorated. It’s not all Christian/Christmas iconography either – it’s winter, it’s December.

Finally I adore the snow. It’s my favourite weather of all! I wish I could sleigh again!

It’s Not Me, It’s You

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“When study becomes labor, we had better change the subject-matter as quickly as possible” – Henry S Haskins

Whether it’s a project that doesn’t feel right or a relationship that’s gone sour I think sometimes we have to ask ourselves, “Am I doing something wrong?”

In the context of a project I think it can be an easy trap to fall into, to be overly harsh in judging your work. Yet sometimes the material genuinely needs to be rewritten/reworked or abandoned in favour of a project that makes more sense. I recently scrapped two novels because neither synced well with me. They were a part of a past that I was trying to leave behind and were becoming a labour. So, I changed them.

When it comes to people it’s not so easy to make changes either in yourself or in the relationship. Over the years I’ve had various friends and parting of ways, it is inevitable really, but recently I did ask myself whether I was doing something wrong. It didn’t take me very long to answer, mostly because I had tried – harder than I knew I should have. When a relationship is that hard to keep going then you are an idiot if you keep trying so hard. It became a labour and it was not worth the work. Like the project/s I dumped the cost/benefit analysis weighed heavily in the “cost” column.

Bye-bye, Drains. Bye-bye worthless projects. Bye-bye wastes of my precious time.

Hello stress-free leisure time and equal relationships.

Halfway Point

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It’s actually a couple of days past the halfway point for NaNo and I am feeling it! Between this and the WoD novel I am doing about 4,000 words a day. I’ve got to about 40K for both my NaNo and WoD so am well on the way to finishing on time. The problem is I keep editing out entire chapters, so dropping my word count. 😛

Alongside this I’m working on my PhD proposal and the academic article for psychology journals, so it’s been very crazy and hard but worth it.

I am missing some stuff about running my RPG sites, but I then think about all the pain I was in and the pressure I put on myself and the fact that I didn’t get nearly half as much back as I put in. That kinda sobers me up…

I have a couple of tips for keeping on writing and climbing over writer’s block:

  • Skip ahead to the smut! 😛
  • Skip over chapters that you aren’t “feeling” in the moment. Can always come back to them later when you are in a different frame of mind.

It’s NaNo time again!

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NaNo poster

I don’t think there has been a NaNo I’ve participated in where I have been more organised! Not only am I writing for NaNo, but I’m also writing another novel and editing a journal article as well! It’s a crazy but fun time this November and I am really psyched about NaNo this year.

Not only am I motivated by the challenge that this event presents I am also motivated by what I plan to do with the chapters I write. This year I am launching my Patreon and I am using what I produce during NaNo as rewards!

Basically, my Patreon gives people early access to my shit writing. 😛 They get to comment on and even make suggestions, though that is not all, of course. I won’t be submitting first drafts of the chapters, they’d have been proof read and beta read first. I’ll also be offering “free” commissions” to the higher tiers as well as the other rewards (which will basically be chapters of various stories I am writing.

So yay for NaNo! And yay for Dragon which will be saving my wrists a lot of pain!

I don’t have MS but…

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I do have treatment in the MS clinic at Walton and I am one relapse and one brain lesion away from the diagnosis, so anything to do with MS affects me greatly.

In March 2017 there was a report about Social Care and the MS community

To quote the MS Society website:

There are 89,000 people living with MS in England and many of them, at some point, will need care and support to live their daily lives. That might be support from family and friends, voluntary organisations, private care agencies or social care.

This report looks at what social care is and who provides it. It uses information from a survey of 11,024 people across the UK with MS between February and April 2016, making this the largest collection of patient-reported data from the UK MS community to date.

According to the report:

85% of people with MS rely on unpaid care. Family and friends are having to stand in for a failing system.

Since the Conservative government have taken a scythe to the welfare system the number of people with MS not getting the care they need has risen dramatically.

From personal experience with this system I know how hard the road is for someone with a similar illness. The amount of phone calls and assessments before you even get the first decision takes months, sometimes more than a year! And then the people assessing you have no idea about the effects of the condition on your mobility or daily living.

So, please email your MP now. Help us to get the support that people with MS need!

Finally Tying The Knot?

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After getting engaged in 2006 we started talking about actually doing the deed next year. 😛 Well, there is a room called the Rose Room at City Hall where 4 people can watch a judge marry us, so that leaves the wedding license and rings.

I always intended on slimming down and getting a Vera Wang dress eventually, but since my weight is not shifting I’ve come up with two options – either any nice dress any colour, or a plus size wedding gown. These are the options thus far:

I like the last one, but part of me thinks a white gown is still too traditional for a quickie ceremony, right?

All a little hush-hush

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(Art in banner courtesy of Z-GrimV)

This is me not talking about it. Trying very hard not to talk about it. It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do tbh, but I can at least reflect upon how I got to this point.

About ten years ago I closed a site based on my personal work, my own high fantasy world. I closed it to focus on university and family and to try and work with an agent to get published. That never happened, university and my health came first. The irony this time around is it’s when I am forced to step back from a 6 year forum project I get made an offer! It’s crazy. I’ve only known this fandom for a few months but I’ve fallen in love with it and I think that not being a lore expert might work in my favour.

Plot is King, this is something I’ve always believed and it was what drew people to my sites. Characters are key of course, but too much selfishness and focus on a few can be to the detriment of the story. I am and I always have been a storyteller and my characters are there to dance (or die!) at my command. It’s why in the end collaborative forum RPing (as an admin) had to go (one of the reasons anyway). Too many selfish needs and no one wanting to tell the grand story and link things together. That’s all well and good and makes for a good RP forum perhaps, but it’s not how I want to write anymore. It’s not the kind of story I want to tell…

So here I am, riddled with pain and on the precipice of so many things, the promise of dreams coming true (in small ways perhaps but I expected no less in such a competitive area).

Watch this space for news on this project in the coming months. I can promise it’ll involve lots of violence, great characters, lots of sexy times and my own brand of immersion and storytelling!