That’s right! Me! My husband’s work contract expired and they didn’t extend, so we moved back to Utah in April to get our feet back under us.

Let’s look at pictures of adorable kitties moving across country! Waltz has always had issues with traveling in the car. He’d cry and cry and cry the whole way back and forth to the vet or any other surprise short trip we’d do to try and get him used to the crate. When we moved out to Canada I bought a small dog-sized carrier for him since he’s a big 14 pound cat and his little box was too small to stretch out in on a long drive. He ended up riding out with my dad and brother since I had to fly to Canada earlier than expected and I heard he pretty much hid most of the time, but started to get a little brave the last day. It’s a 4 day trip.

When we moved in to our Canadian apartment we got Hazel. She makes Waltz happy and comfortable, even in the carrier! With her in the crate with him there’s not a single peep from either kitty while driving to and from the vet. Hazel has never had an issue with riding in the car, that is until the big move. My dad and brother flew out to help us with the move back to Utah and brought a regular-sized cat carrier for Hazel. She was NOT happy to be in a separate box from Waltz. Waltz was fine knowing she was in the same car, although not happy to be in a box, but Hazel was all cry cry cry! She put up enough of a fit that we let them both out after we’d made it onto the highway.

Hazel wore herself out in the first 30 minutes on day 1 of complaining about the box, which irritated her eye, so she spent most of that day asleep in her box.


On day 2 Waltz was so excited/anxious about the whole deal he spent some time panting in my hubby’s lap. Hazel felt lots better so she ran around the car hollering. It took me a while to figure out she was calling for Waltz. She’d get in the trunk and cry cry cry until he’d get up from wherever he was sitting, usually in hubby’s lap (he’s apparently best human and always the chosen seat for Waltz), and go over to watch her over the top of the back seat. She settled down once he decided to sit in front of her box for a bit.


Day three came and I decided we didn’t need both cat carriers in the car since Waltz was spending all his time outside of them. We put the smaller carrier in the moving truck and rearranged the back seat.  Turns out that Waltz did want to hang out in the carrier, he just hadn’t been able to before. He and Hazel managed to share! They almost never cuddled before this. At one point I took a turn driving and Waltz sat in my lap for almost five minutes. Hubby took pictures of that to prove that sometime I can be best human too.

The last day both kitties spent most of their time in the carrier. Hazel did decide to come hang out in the driver’s seat when we stopped to get gas. Waltz was all excited to be back home and Hazel adjusted to the new environment almost immediately.


And that’s how traveling across country went with the kitties.

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Let’s see, I didn’t manage to post lots last year, so I’ll do my best to sum most of it up in one post.

The year started and moved along smooth enough. Not much exciting happened until May 3rd, which is when I started updating my webcomic Fur & Fangs! I managed a steady two pages for a couple months, and then I auditioned to Hiveworks¬†in June. They rejected my audition, but hey, I did it! I didn’t manage my time well in the process, though, and got myself messed up on my update schedule. It didn’t help that I had two consecutive visits from the in-laws and then my parents coming about a month after the audition, so looming stress and my lack of time-management skills had me falling off the productivity wagon and I developed some situational depression. I focused on writing instead of my comics and am only now getting myself back into the swing of things with Fur & Fangs. Updates will be resuming shortly! They may be irregular for a while, but they’ll happen!

Mother’s day isn’t a super big deal to me yet since I don’t have kids, but my church always does something for it. Often they give all the women in the ward a gift of some kind, sometimes music or chocolate, but usually it’s a flower. This year they handed out carnations. Waltz LOVES green plant stuff, and gave me a hard time wanting to chew on the flower. I looked it up to see if it was safe for him, but it turns out that carnations are toxic for cats. However, instead of throwing it away, my hubby figured out a way to keep my flower safe from my “bee.” Since Waltz had already broken the stem down to its shortest length, the flower fit perfectly in a jar. I was able to keep it on my desk for weeks. ūüôā I like flowers, so that brought a little extra happiness into my life.

Another thing that happened in 2016 was Pok√©mon Go! I downloaded it as soon as I possibly could, which turned out to be with everyone else in the USA even though I was in Canada since I have an American phone and an American phone plan. It got me out exercising and I love it! It’s my first ever Pok√©mon game. I picked Bulbasaur as my starter and named it Tulip. I’ve decided on a plant-theme for my names. After several exchanges of named pok√©mon for new ones with higher CPs, I stopped naming them right away. My hubby has snuck in and named some while I wasn’t looking, so for a while my Nidorans were Rick Rolling me. Just yesterday I caught my first Vulpix and hit 100 pok√©mon registered in my pok√©dex! Since winter hit I majorly slowed down in my leveling, so I’m barely¬†level 23 now. I don’t like walking in the cold. Oh, and I picked team Red.

Late July and early August was taken up by visits from family. With the in-laws we explored Montréal and a nearby ski resort. With my parents we went to Thousand Islands, Sacred Grove and other nearby Church history sites, Niagara Falls, and also wandered Montréal. I took lots of pictures, so those will each get their own posts.

It took me about a month after that to surface from the situational depression, and from then until the end of the year I didn’t manage much more than writing. I did poke at my comic, but didn’t make much progress. I found myself despairing. Somehow I’d managed earlier in the year to write and comic, but I couldn’t figure out how. How had ¬†done it? Should I still try? Should I give up? Was it worth it? What did I want from my life? I made decisions a couple times, but after each decision I found myself falling back into the same unproductive pattern. About half-way into December a friend told me something about themselves that hit a lightbulb for me. I learned something about myself that made it so I could move forward and be productive again. It gave me ambition! I was going to accomplish things! And then it was Christmas break and I did nothing but play games and watch TV. ūüėõ

So now that I have that information I’m making great strides in becoming a professional from-home worker. I still have a long way to go, but I’m finally moving forward again!

That’s about it for 2016. It was a rough year in more ways that one. I learned things about myself and made about as much backwards progress as I did forwards, but I think I still managed to come out a little bit ahead. Onwards I now head to 2017 with a positive attitude and determination!

New year, new resolutions, new goals!

Although, before I let you know about my new goals, maybe I should review my progress in 2016. I had goals and did make some progress. Here’s how I listed them in my deviantArt journal at the start of the year:

The important resolutions in 2016:

1. Art every day.
2. Draw every day.
3. Social media/blog every day.
Then there are some others to help me accomplish those and all around be more productive, like limiting how much I spend watching TV (*cough* anime *cough*) and gaming (Yay Guildwars 2!).

The Goals for 2016:

1. Start posting pages for my web comic Fur & Fangs!
2. Finish the outline for F&F.
3. Finish the script for F&F.
4. Audition for Hiveworks with F&F!
5. Start the next drafts on Mythics & Chook’s story.
6. Make stuff to sell.

Writing every day was also part the the resolutions, so I don’t know why that didn’t make it onto the list there, but I guess this was the deviantArt journal, so it was geared towards art.

How did I do on these goals? For the start of the year, great! Up until I had two consecutive family visits I was writing and working on my comic (arting) almost every day. About 85-90% of the time? I still watched too much TV and played too many games, though. My time-management left much to be desired. I did start posting comic pages! I did audition for Hiveworks (and was rejected, but hey, I applied)! I almost finished the outline for F&F (still have the last act to fill out).

I did NOT social media/blog every day. Major fail there. I got nowhere near close to finishing the script for F&F. I only made 2 necklaces to sell and never posted them anywhere. I strained myself in the Hiveworks audition process and put a hiccup in my updating schedule for my comic, and once those family visits happened I completely fell off the wagon due to situational depression and then even after I recovered from the depression I failed to get back on the wagon art-wise. I did get back to writing, though, and finished the year pretty strong in that.

You want to know how strong I finished the year writing-wise? I managed to write 158,682 words! Most of that was comic script, some of it was fun fluff, and some was on my novel.

Overall, I’d say I succeeded and failed enough to neutralize out 2016. I plan on learning from all that and doing much better in 2017!

Here’s my resolutions and goals for the year ahead!

2017 Resolutions

  • Become a professional from-home worker by establishing and maintaining professional practices and self-management.
  • Write every day.
  • Art every day.
  • Journal every day.
  • Be kind and helpful. Make friends and uplift others. Be a light.

2017 Goals

  • Finish a draft of Mythics.
  • Finish the F&F Outline.
  • Make merchandise.
  • Resume posting F&F and maintain steady update schedule.
  • Create a couple short-form comics.
  • Establish myself as a streaming artist.
  • Build my audience.

I’m already slipping a little on my resolutions, but this week I plan on taking them by the horns and showing them who’s boss!

How did you do on your goals/resolutions for last year? Do you have any new ones for 2017? Tell me about it! ūüėÄ

Animal Adventures at Work – Deer!

Posted: January 4, 2017 in misc.

These two are from June 13, 2014.

 

These are from June 20, 2014:

 

 

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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. :/

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

 

 

 

 

And these are from July 17, 2014

 

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

 

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

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

 

Hiiiiiiii.

It’s been six months since my last post. I had hopes and dreams! They did not work out.

Where have I been? Well, I’ve been trying to produce a webcomic all on my own while writing novels and trying to have a social life/any kind of life in general. I’ve learned that I need to focus on one instead of two big things at a time. Writing novels is a big project. Solo producing a comic is a big project. I can’t do them both and stay mentally healthy,¬†so something has to go on the shelf.

Stories are my passion, especially writing them, so the thing I’ve chosen to shelve for now is my webcomic. Fur & Fangs is a story I love dearly and want to give the best treatment I possibly can, and I’m a much better writer than I am an artist, so for the moment I’ll focus on writing it and maybe find a way to make it a comic later. It might end up being a novel instead, or a novel and a comic. Either way, the comic itself is going on indefinite hiatus until I have a solid story and funds to hire someone to help make it happen.

This does not mean I’ll stop drawing the characters or making art! Art will be more of a hobby now, instead of a job, which means I can go back to drawing the things I love to draw and growing as an artist. I was unable to do anything except comic pages while trying to comic, so my critter designs and experimentations got dropped. My artistic skill-growth stagnated. Now I can grow and play with my art again like I used to love to do!

This means I can blog again! Somehow I couldn’t fit it in with two big projects, but I should be able to do it with just one. Like I said in my last post, I have a lot to catch up on here on the blog.

Now the big question is, how do I now want to structure my artistic career? I need to earn money somehow, and right now I’m not really making anything. I have a Patreon that was structured around Fur & Fangs. Now it needs new rewards and goals. I have some budgeting to do to see if I can afford to become a streaming artist. The internet in Canada is metered, and I can only afford to maybe stream once a week with the plan I have. I also have games I want to play and stream. Streaming takes a LOT of internet. Internet isn’t cheap. ūüėõ

So, yeah. Big changes happening for me over the next couple weeks! New goals! New website should happen! Yay! Fun times!

Anyways, this post is getting long. Hopefully things will become more clear to me in the next few days and I can give you a more concise plan next time!

Laters!
-A Ro

 

So, I live in Canada now.

Posted: June 20, 2016 in life
Tags: , , , , , ,

Wow. It’s been a while, and things have changed! I went from living in my parents basement with my husband, a cat, and a snail, to living in a 3rd floor apartment in Montreal, Canada, with my husband, 2 cats, and no snail.

Sadly, I had to leave Gandalf behind. It’s illegal for snails to cross state borders without an education permit, let alone international borders. They’re considered agricultural pests. I released him out into the nearby wilderness between neighborhoods.

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I put him under a sunflower. Those are his favorite.

As we were moving in we met a nice lady on the floor above us who had rescue kittens in need of a home. We fostered them for a couple days to see if either would get along with Waltz, and one did! Hazel and Waltz hit it off immediately, no adjustment period, and they hang out and play happily.

Hazel also likes to chase things on the computer screen, especially when I’m playing Guildwars 2, but the mouse is her favorite. Gotta catch the little pointer thing!

Behold my new kitten. Such majesty, such grace. She’s a dork. Hazel¬†chirps and squeaks and begs for pets on a regular basis. She¬†also comes running whenever I start to sing, even if she’s napping.

Waltz remains as adorable and handsome as ever, and is very happy to have a friend. He was getting lonely before.

I also started updating my web comic! I’m plugging along writing the script and drawing pages. It’s exciting! I’ll tell you all about it soon, probably in my next post. I’ve got lots to tell you! Life, moving, Canada, comic, my cosplay & Salt Lake Comic Con 2015. So much! It’s exciting times. I promise I’ll post more now. I won’t promise how often, but expect things to become more regular. ūüôā

 

A Moment of Freedom

Posted: September 3, 2015 in life

So, remember my WIFR post? Remember the post I did just before it where I mentioned being so excited to be done with a job and focus on writing and arting? Well, just before WIFYR I got called back in again to that job. I returned to it right after WIFYR. NOW it is finally done. I am free. And with that freedom I spent the last two and a half weeks helping a friend re-roof a little shed-barn-thing, played Guild Wars 2 like a maniac, and overall avoided being productive. Yay? I felt like my brain needed a break. That, and staring into the future of no required work and a boundless list of potential projects left me feeling a little lost.

Okay, maybe a lot lost.

But hey, I want to get back on track and working. I’m doing projects now! I have the script for the first three chapters of my webcomic figured out and waiting for review from an esteemed beta reader, my story timeline for the series I’m working on is now falling into place, and I have the starts of a Journey cosplay. I also got all my Brilliance in Action comics all queued up on the new comic website and it will be updating on it’s own through December! Go check out the new site: here. It still needs a header image, but it’s so much better than the site I had before.

Stay tuned for more posts from me! Hopefully I’ll have more time? No promises, though. I did apply today for a seasonal position at a local farm, so I might be working again soon. ūüėõ There’s stuff I still need money to pay for.

WIFYR 2015

Posted: June 28, 2015 in life, misc.
Tags:

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.

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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

Posted: June 5, 2015 in life, misc.

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.

A Laundry Mystery

Posted: May 10, 2015 in life
Tags: ,

Soooo, I was trying to figure out why my sheets weren’t getting dry in my parent’s dryer. ¬†This morning I ran my new sheets through my washer and then remembered Dad wants me¬†to use their dryer because he realized my¬†dryer vent is venting to someplace inside the house instead of outside like it’s supposed to. ¬†So I ran up and stuck them in their dryer as I left for¬†church. ¬†Upon arriving back home¬†I discovered¬†the sheets still wet. ¬†I figured they’d just gotten too tangled up, so I pulled them apart and stuck the fitted sheet back in. ¬†Once the machine finished the sheet remained¬†wet. ¬†This confused me. ¬†It was evenly damp. ¬†No part had dried at all. ¬†Was the machine broken? ¬†I asked my parents and they gave suggestions, so I stuck it back in and changed the settings. ¬†Then, as I watched my cat watch the machine start up with anxious curiosity (he’s not allowed upstairs without an escort), it dawned on me. ¬†That was the washing machine, not the dryer.

Oops.

So now my new top sheet and pillowcases have been washed twice, and the fitted sheet thrice.

They’re all in the dryer now.