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* YES: I still have even a speck of optimism left in my soul and when I open my mouth to speak, rose-scented butterflies flutter out to fill the room.
* NO: I'm a miserable stupid-head poopy-pants pessimist and I don't know why I'm even on this frivolous site.

... real subtle, deviantART.
I've commented on this before, but ... it sorta feels like posting here doesn't have much of a point anymore. At least in terms of ... I dunno, engaging the audience? Is that the right way to put it? I have to go back something like four years into my gallery before I can find five pictures with ten comments apiece.

Am I failing to interest anyone anymore? Have my ideas gone stale and my jokes are falling flat? Did all the old watchers just leave DA and not give a forwarding address?

Or is there some niche I should be aiming to fill?

I dunno. I'm just ... feeling even more exhausted and mediocre lately, and I want to put my limited energy into something people will actually enjoy.

Suggestions are welcome.
Seems deviantART now loads much, much more slowly if you use AdBlock, compared to if you disable it.

I'm sure that can't possibly be on purpose.
I have to admit, it's depressing to post a picture on dA and have it get no response at all.

It's way worse, though, to get a single fave on a pic, only to realize the person who faved it? Only did so to bring attention to their own page. Didn't even actually like it.

It gets tempting to just stop sharing my crappy art sometimes.
I had a lot of fun with the last stream, and it helped ease a financial strain or two ... so I'd like to stream some more, if people are willing. It would start on Thursday around 9 PM Mountain Time (8 Pacific, 11 Eastern). Would people be willing to throw money at me to draw at such a time? Let me know!
Stuff I currently want/need/have/am obligated/expected to draw:
1. Character sprites for Once Upon a Game. It's a silly little attempt at making a loving parody of JRPGs, especially Final Fantasy stuff. A friend was willing to do the code work if I could draw the art stuffs and explain some of the story.
2. Comics for Pokemon Blood Red Version. Because I did that whole hard-mode "Nuzlocke" run two years ago and have drawn exactly three (3) pages out of all the epic ideas in my head for that.
3. So many freaking character sheets, because when I finally do work up the courage to ask people to draw my characters, all I usually have for reference is terrible sketches from five years ago and then I feel stupid.
4. Group pictures of every tabletop role playing plotline I have taken part in over the past five months. Hint: there's a lot of them.
5. The end result of every scene I have role-played with various friends over IMs, chat, etc.
6. Anything from the never-ending fountain of ideas that assault my brain on a given day and make it impossible to focus on anything.
7. Leftovers from all the abandoned projects of the past two decades that I wish I could have done justice before being assaulted by everything else that demands to be drawn, e.g. NeTrek, Torio, Class Act, Bantemya, Kenneville, MyStalker, Fields of Valor, Swan Dive, Himmelgarten, and on and on forever.
8. Little multi-page comic essays to describe my opinions on various topics, e.g. introversion, fat shaming, grammar and spelling, emotional abuse, religious topics, fursona choice, cooking.

Stuff I was able to draw in the past week:
1. A small handful of half-finished drawings that look like shit and make me question my worth as a human being.

My accomplishments for today:
1. Dragging myself out of bed after eight consecutive nightmares.
2. Scheduling a doctor's appointment to renew various prescriptions. I might even be able to afford it.
3. Finally blocking an ex on Facebook so I don't have to keep being reminded that in spite of how dishonest and emotionally manipulative and occasionally physically threatening she was to me, everyone from college still thinks she's a sweetheart and a good friend and my parents make fun of me for still being single and miserable while she's happily married.

Maybe later I'll even do some laundry so I can keep not smelling like failure.
I've had a couple of people start asking when I'll do my next set of scribbles ... so how about tomorrow/today? Once church and laundry are out of the way, I'll get started with drawing the stuffs that people want to see.

The rules:
1. The price is $10 for a scribble, which will buy you an hour of me drawing. I'll PM you my Paypal information when the hour starts.
2. No explicit nudity or otherwise NSFW stuff.
3. Be polite to the others in the stream. Conversation is fine (I just might wind up caught up in it).
4. Uh, I dunno. Just be good and stuff, since my roommates like to look over my shoulder sometimes.

Anyway, I hope to see you there!
I giggle a bit about green eyes sometimes, admittedly.

I used to work for a publishing company, as an intern with the editing department.
During that time, I helped proofread something like 40 books, of which half were supernatural romance novels trying to cash in on the Twilight craze.

Without fail, the male romantic lead always had green eyes. Always.

Alas, with my blue eyes, I shall never be a romantic lead. *sigh*
The relationship between witches and striped stockings is a peculiar one. The general mental image of a witch involves a crooked woman with green skin, a hunched back, and an enormous skin growth on her long, crooked nose, wearing a black dress, a broad-brimmed conical hat, and hob-nailed heel boots over striped stockings. Sometimes she even has a long black cape or cloak. While the complexion issues and tendency toward kyphosis are a debatable stereotype, most of the clothing came about for practical reasons.

A broad-brimmed hat is just the thing to keep the sun off of a witch's face and neck while she's weeding her herb garden or tending to the various animals under her care, while the conical shape means that air can circulate and keep her head cool. Black clothing is perhaps a throwback to when most initiates to witchcraft were recent widows, but it also coordinates well, flatters the figure, and hides a wide variety of potion crafting stains. And while the heel may be an exaggeration, hob-nailed boots are durable and protect a witch's feet from any number of unpleasant surprises that she might step on or in.

Stockings, however, are something of a status symbol among witches. Knitting is a common way for them to pass the time between visitors when they have no other chores to take care of; it's easy to learn, and it allows them to think about other things once they have a good rhythm going. Stockings are not the easiest thing to knit, but they wear out rather quickly, so it's a good idea to have a few extra pairs lying around. The pattern is a personal choice, but stripes are a simple way to add a personal touch; it is not uncommon to see a witch wearing stockings with snowflakes or kittens on them.


If you want to follow me on NaNoWriMo.com, search for the username LoopTheLup.
Well. I turn 27 on Thursday.

Yikes.
Then click here: www.cakewrecks.com/home/2012/9…

That is all.
There comes a time in every young man's life when he thinks the following dangerous thought:

"You know what? I'm an adult. I'm a freaking adult, man. I work, I drive, I live somewhere and all sorts of things like that.

"And this means that I can decide what I want to eat for lunch. I can make just about anything I want.

"Even a sandwich of almond butter, banana slices, and honey.

"ESPECIALLY a sandwich of almond butter, banana slices, and honey.

"Y'know what, I'm gonna make that right now."

*wipes a solitary tear from his cheek*  I'm living the dream, baby.
Rules:
1) Pick one of your FCs/OCs.
2) Fill in the questions/statements as if you were your FC/OC.
3) Tag 3 people at the end of the quiz.

1. What's your name?
Sarinda Lautesanger.

2. Do you know why you were named that?
The Lautesanger Family (literally, "lute-singer") is a long line of royally-appointed bards, scops, and entertainers to the Himmelgartens of Barovia. Somewhere a few generations back, one of them got tired of court life, snuck out the back way, went wandering and playing for suppers. I got born a long while later and was promptly named after a musical instrument.

3. Are you single or taken?
I'd rather not form any more attachments than I have to.

4. Have any abilities or powers?
I was raised in taverns and bar-rooms. I know how to fight dirty if I have to. Pretty good aim with throwing things. There's the whole inherited ancestral recall from playing various tunes, but . . . that's only recent. And annoying.

5. Stop being a Mary Sue.
Stop being a judgmental prat who spouts the same tired conclusions.

6. If you were to get in a fight with a strong wrestler, do you think you'd win?
If there are rules to the fight, the wrestler might have the edge.
If it's a barroom brawl, then five seconds in he's got booze sloshed in his eyes and a boot in his groin.
It it's a fight to the death, then he's got booze in his eyes, a boot in his groin, and I'm looking at which tendon gets severed first.

7. Have any family members?
Entirely too many, most of whom aren't letting a little thing like their decease get in the way of offering me unwanted advice.

8. How about pets?
No pets, but I've got a hanger-on named Ben who's inordinately fluffy.

9. Tell me something that you don't like?
Your average priest is little more than a mercenary for a deity who may or may not actually pay them. Or even want their services. Scoundrels almost to a man.

10. Something that you do like?
Singing familiar songs and telling old threadbare stories that you've worn down long enough to get comfortable with. Traveling between towns can be a bit of a thrill, too.

11. Do you have any activities/hobbies that you like to do?
I like to practice throwing coins. Or small knives. The ability to hit a small or moving target comes in useful, savvy?

12. Have you ever hurt anyone in any way before?
People fight. It's not something to be proud of, just something to get out of the way so they'll settle down and listen to a song or two.

13. Ever ... killed anyone before?
That was a needlessly dramatic pause, don't you think? I've not seen a need to kill anyone; far more effective to let them sulk over a serious injury until they've learned something.

14. What kind of race are you?
Human.

15. Name your worst habits.
Cracking my knuckles, playing with knives when I'm bored . . . you wouldn't happen to be in the mood for a game of mumble-the-peg, would you?

16. Do you look up to anyone at all?
Tall people, by necessity.

17. Gay, straight, or bi?
I'm a minstrel. Gaiety is part of the job description. But I prefer the company of men.

18. Do you go to school?
That of Hard Knocks. The diploma is printed across my knuckles, if you'd care for a swift viewing.

19. Ever want to marry and have kids one day?
Yes. With you? No.

20. Do you have any fangirls/fanboys?
Every entertainer has a few addle-pated soft-hearts who sigh after them.

21. What are you most afraid of?
An utterly unresponsive crowd. You starve when you hit one of those.

22. *snicker* Ok, ok. What colour is your hair?
Blue-black. I keep it braided when I can.

23. Eyes?
Brown. One man said they resembled cups of fresh Tourali coffee, but I think he was drunk at the time.

24. What do you usually wear?
When I'm traveling, I prefer durable, comfortable clothing suited to the elements. When I perform, something flattering that won't restrict me if a fight breaks out.
Always a sash around the waist; never a skirt.

25. Ok. What's your religion?
If there's anything the old stories have taught me, it's that messing with the gods in any fashion only gets you deeper in the mire. I pay 'em lip service as is their due, but I won't be currying favors.

26. Do you wish this quiz is over?
Sounds like someone needs a bit of practice with their subjunctives. "Do you wish this quiz were over?"

27. Well, it's still not over.
And that's not a question. Were you dropped on your head as a child?

28. Anyway, where do you live?
My ancestors come from Barovia, but I live wherever I happen to be performing.

29. What class are you?
First class.

30. How many friends do you have?
Sing well enough and everyone will buy you a drink. ... but never a meal. Pity, that.

31. Wow. If you could change anything about you, what would you change?
I'd put someone else in line to inherit the Lautesanger Memories.

32. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? And I don't want no cheap answer, ya hear?
I'd buy a green houpelande. But not a real green houpelande; that's cruel.

33. What are your thoughts on pie?
With a non sequitur like that, I'm starting to think it's less a matter of whether you were dropped as a child, but how frequently and with what force.

34. Alright. What's your favourite food?
There's a certain chicken and squash curry dish over rice that I'm rather fond of, but sometimes you just want a meat pie.

35. Favourite drink?
A cup of ocha hits the spot.

36. What is your favourite place?
Somewhere quiet and secluded, with a place to sit and practice for a while. Preferably warm.

37. Least favourite?
Somewhere cold and lonely. Or most royal courts.

38. Do you still want the quiz to end?
Are you that eager to be rid of me, then?

39. Yeah. Well, it's over. D:
I'd say you were dropped about once a week, deliberately, with great force.

40. Now, tag 3 people.
Hmmm ... you there in the audience ... and you ... hnnh, not you ... oh, and you.
I just came to the conclusion that bread pudding is essentially a French toast casserole.

Welp. I know what I'm bringing to the next potluck!
Against my better judgment, I will be participating.

If you are, too, then add LoopTheLup as a writing buddy.

That is all.
Today at church, I found out that, according to the stake president, I am spiritually wicked. It's nothing that I didn't already know, but it feels so much more official now that it's been printed on a flier.

I have to say, it's nice to see my kitten-massacring, orphan-taunting ways get the recognition they deserve.
Please stop getting your ugly goth-juice all over my collection of in-jokes. That is all.

Sincerely,

That annoying kid with the annotated version of the whole two-volume work.
I recently read something that opened my eyes rather a bit - and realized that I'm not really cut out to do art by commission. So ... for the foreseeable future, I will not be taking commissions. Requests or trades ... it'll depend.

Any pending commissions will be completed for free.
Just wanted to take a moment to express gratitude for a mother who put a tremendous amount of effort into raising four wonderful children (and also me). That is all.
A fortune cookie. "You should be able to undertake and complete anything."

A few hours later, an e-mail. Turned down for the job.