- Reading: Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth
Keep in mind, this is a direct sequel to Merry Chrissy. I strongly suggest reading the first book as it refers to events from that installment.
In personal news, I recently returned back from California for vacation. It was exciting and exhausting. I visited two cities; San Francisco and Los Angeles. In LA, I mostly hanged out at Disneyland and D23 Expo. As a huge Disney fan, there is nothing like visiting Walts original kingdom. I'm an east coaster who is a former Disney Cast Member at Disney World years ago and the magic of Disney truly is a big part of me (and my art!)
As I said before, I'm not going to table at any cons this year. Next year...maybe. I'm attending NYCC just for funsies this year...and probably years after that. Hate to be pessimistic, but I have no chance of getting a table there...YET.
In the coming days, you may notice some changes to my account. No, I'm not leaving DA, but some older deviations that do not conform to my standards will eventually be removed, including some fanart.
I'm on Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr and ronaldhennessy.com as always.
- Reading: Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth
That doesn't mean I'm going to take a huge time off from my interests. This era of creativity has profoundly changed me. I look to aiming higher and higher than ever before. My art has and will always be a work of progression. I'm my worst critic. I'm never satisfied sometimes. There are many sketches and even fully colored artwork that may never see the light of day because I feel it's simply too awful or rough. I'll just keep at it. Drawing is now a habit for me, but still managing to learn as much as I can. I don't want to be mediocre. I don't want to be just good. I want to be legendary. When will that day arrive when I become pro at this, I may never know. Who knows, I might fold up shop like I did with photography a few years back, but this time is different. I'm more patient and tolerant of failure as I'm older now. Greatness and success does not come overnight.
In order to get me finances in order for the future, I will not be making any appearances art wise at any conventions. I really wanted to get into MoCCA Fest for example, but I missed the registration deadline (again!) So, it's best for me to take the year "off".
Anyways, with the first Merry Chrissy title in the books, it's time to focus on book number two. Yes, a sequel to "Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth" is currently in the early stages of production. Right now, I can't say when it's going to come out, but "soon" is the the most concrete release date I can say right now. The outlining is done and the first few chapters were already written. Come follow me on Twitter or Tumblr to find out future developments. Don't forget, there is always my mailing list!
- Reading: Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth
It took 8 months to get to this stage. What was once a NaNoWriMo project turned into something bigger and badder. I still have a long way to go until it's finished, but it's getting closer to realization.
The project is no longer known as #naughtyornice.
From here on, it will be referred to this name:
Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth.
9-year old Chrissy Deigh is obsessed with all things Christmas. She love Christmas so much, she spreads her Christmas cheer year round. While her Mother and grownups tolerate it, her classmates tease her endlessly. On one fateful day, a mysterious woman appears out of nowhere in her bedroom with an offer she can't refuse - an opportunity to work for the North Pole finding out if kids are Naughty or Nice. While the job has the perks of using magic and getting to meet Santa, there are many...shall we say "Naughty or Nice" situations she faces...all while trying to survive 4th grade.
The production of "Merry Chrissy" from the cover, to the illustrations are done entirely by me. As with my previous titles, it will be published both in eBook and paperback format. As of right now, the paperback will likely be done through Createspace. As for the digital formats, it is likely to be available at least on Amazon (Kindle) and iBooks, with more stores to follow (Google Play, BN, Kobo, etc). Because it is a title heavily associated with Christmas, it will be released later this year. I'm keeping this release date vague in case there are any snags along the way, but I have an ideal of a specific time frame for much of the work to be done. The artwork in the book is about a 3rd of the way done and the story itself currently going through it's 4th revision. This revision is much more structural, removing typos and changing words and phrases here and there. (Protip: DON'T turn "Smart Quotes" on your Mac or you'll spend many hours fixing quotation marks!)
This is my heart and soul written here. This title is a total reflection of my feelings towards the holiday season, bullying and how one deals with being labeled as different, something that a lot of people can relate to. In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to reveal more about the project. Be sure to bookmark merrychrissy.com and sign up for updates on the site.
You can also follow Merry Chrissy on Twitter. Other social networks are coming soon!
Bye for now and have a merry day!
- Reading: My Book
This is what I would describe what I'm doing art wise. The novel that I'm writing, code named "Naughty or Nice" is coming together quite nicely. It's in it's 3rd revision. Compared to the first revision, it has been a much easier time fixing things. Of course, you still have your spelling errors here and there that get corrected, but you can't find everything wrong at one go for a novel that is currently at 62,000 words. To give you a comparison, the first "Harry Potter" novel is 76,944 words long, so I don't expect to reach that amount. I expect to finish up the writing sometime in June and may look for beta readers and possibly editing if the price is right.
In addition to writing, I also begun drawing the illustrations that accompany each chapter. The book is currently at 35 chapters, so expect roughly 70 or so illustrations drawn. I don't have much time to finish them, so it's going to be awhile until I do fan art, or anything else. I may have some time to do a sketch every now and then and my occasional "Copic Experiments", but most of my time is focused on getting my art done for the book. This is definitely a children's book, but calling it such is kind of limiting. I prefer calling it "all ages", but the target audience is really for ages 9 and up.
For those that aren't in the know about what I'm writing and drawing about (and I tend to keep a lot of things under wraps these days), this is a story about a girl who love Christmas year around. Kids in school tease her for it and make her life miserable. Things change when a mysterious person comes into her bedroom and tells her she is capable of helping out in the North Pole in preparation for the holidays. I can't say that much right now, but a lot more details will be unveiled SOON. I just registered the domain that features the FINAL name of the "brand" that it will represent. I'm expecting a Fall 2014 release, just in time for the holiday season. After all, it IS related to Christmas.
My plans for the summer is like this. In June, I will attend Big Apple Ponycon, Connecticon in "Artists Colony" (my ONLY AA appearance this year!) and BronyCon. Also, I certainly will be at the Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn as always as it's a summer tradition for me to attend. Once I'm completed with this project, I will focus on what's next in 2015. I certainly want to table more events closer to home in the NYC area.
Remember to keep on drawing stuff!
Of course, if you need a reason to attend, people like the founder of Boing Boing, a former Disney Animator/Podcaster and GeekDad will be there. Of course, the REAL reason why you would attend is because of Maddie!
Finally the day has come! The second title in the Maddie Mckenszie book series "Maddie Mckenszie and the BAD Birthday Party Manners" is NOW available for your reading pleasure! It's my honor to introduce to the world the continuing adventures of 5-year old Maddie, 12-year old big sister Margaret and her parents and friends.
To borrow from a previous blog post the synopsis:
Maddie is celebrating her 5th birthday. However, last year's Birthday party was…a little rough. She had a nasty Temper Tantrum and a BIG mess was made. Maddie this year wants a fancy Tea Party for her birthday. Obviously Maddie's parents and big sister Margaret are a bit hesitant in making those wishes come true, but they all approve it on ONE condition - her manners MUST IMPROVE. Maddie's friends and family assist in teaching her good manners which may or may not involve disastrous results. Is outside help needed? Will they make Maddie turn from a little brat into a distinguished young lady in a short amount of time? Let's find out!
This is was a process in total that took nearly 7 months to produce from the preliminary manuscripts down to the covers. The book is 34 pages long, designed for young readers around Maddie's age. Of course, if you're out of the targeted demographic (other wise known as a "big kid") I wouldn't mind.
Right now, you can obtain "Maddie Mckenszie and the BAD Birthday Party Manners" in two ways. This time, Amazon.com is the exclusive "launch partner" and you can purchase a paperback version online for only $7.60. That's less than some of those children's books made by some of those big, monolithic publishing houses. The eBook version is currently available ONLY on the Kindle store right now for $2.99 (Due to the size of the book, I'm forced to charge that price, the lowest I can.) If you have a Amazon Prime account, you can download this book for FREE for a limited time only. You can use the Kindle version with the Kindle Fire, iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch), Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Mac, Windows and toasters. (I was kidding about the toasters.)
This book and the original title "Maddie Mckenszie: The Most ANNOYING Little Sister Ever!" will be featured at "Intervention - The Premier Showcase of Online Creativity." in Rockville MD (That's near Washington D.C. for those not familiar with the area.) Friday August 23-Sunday August 25 in their Artist Alley.
I might have said something about this, I really don't do DA Journals that much these days. I really don't find much purpose in them, but I guess I'll give it another go. Consider this as kind of a "road map" of what I'm going to do in the next 12 months or so.
Updates on Maddie Mckenszsie
Book sales are not going as well as planned. I am offering a free download only on iBooks to drum up interest. I'm not deterred by the fact that the book is doing poorly. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I will never give up. I'm looking to have a cheaper paperback version in the not too distant future for sale. I'm looking into getting the cover re-designed. Not annoying enough. There are THREE books planned. A sequel is currently in the sketching/manuscript stages. I'm hoping it comes out this summer if artblock doesn't set in.
Princess has a backstory and such, some ideas about characters written down. I don't expect this to come out 'til 2014 the earliest. Need to figure out a game plan to make my work flow efficient and not make it suck at the same time.
I have a HUGE master list that I want to tackle. I WILL EVENTUALLY MAKE A RETURN to doing pony art. Focus is on Mane 6 and CMC, possibly other favorites. It gets boring just drawing Pinkie Pie and Twist.
Big Apple Ponycon, Connecticon and Bronycon are a go. Attende only (could not get a table in time for Connecticon, anyone willing to share?) Possibly thinking about attending Otakon Fri or Sat ONLY. I was thinking about getting a table for BAP, but I don't have a lot of pony art done. (That's why I'm focusing on Mane 6 and CMC). There is 1 con that I will have more info about in the future, just not ready to announce it yet. (HINT: It involves a table.)
Maddie Mckenszie: The Most ANNOYING Little Sister EVER!
I'm certainly not against the idea of commissions, but that is something I may do one day.
So before you ask, I don't do ANY requests.
HINT: It does NOT involve My Little Pony at all. Sorry Bronies, I draw more than just pony.
I don't have any artist alley presence this year since I'm not ready for that, but I am working on little personal project for Bronycon.
It's a secret!
This summer, I currently plan to attend the following conventions:
Bronycon (Secaucus, NJ) June 30-July 1.
Otakon July 27-29.
No, I'm not doing artist alley. Not ready for that, maybe in the future.
I'm not sure about Connecticon. I'll have to see what my finances are like. The Marriott in Hartford is a nice hotel but would make my budget soar as it already is.
Let's get some things out of the way. I like Derpy Hooves. She is the symbol of the brony movement. A beautiful mistake that made our ways into the hearts and minds of all in the fandom.
If you haven't heard, iTunes a few weeks ago removed Season 2 episode 14 "The Last Roundup". Apparently, there were complaints that the character Derpy, who spoke for the first time, was offensive to developmentally-abled people. Shortly after the release of this episode on iTunes, it was removed. At the time of this writing, the episode has yet to re-air on The Hub. Speculation says that Apple may have bowed down to pressure from complaints of the Derpy character or Hasbro itself got complaints as well. Welovefine, a pop-culture apparel retailer changed the descriptions of all merchandise featuring Derpy's name (but did not stop selling the actual shirts that have Derpy's name on it). Rumor has it that all merchandise featuring her were about to be removed, but for now that does not seem to be the case.
As a result of these changes, the "Save Derpy" movement was born. A hash tag on twitter, many fanart and worthless petitions were created to save this character from the axe of Political Correctness. Eventually the episode returned to iTunes with some changes.
Originally, the character Rainbow Dash said "Careful Derpy" pleading her to avoid damaging city hall, she now says "Uggh Careful". Derpy, originally voiced by Tabitha St. Germain in a boy-like voice now sounds high-pitched and more "girl" like. The animation of her eyes which looked wall eyed, are now "corrected", much like a standard pony would look like on the show.
Then this is where the shit hits the fan.
Equestria Daily reported on this issue and confirmed that both the Standard and High Definition versions of "The Last Roundup" have returned and have been altered in this way.
Naturally, discussion about this has spread through other avenues such as reddit, deviantart, ponychan, 4chan's /mlp, etc. While it's ok to be disappointed with changes, it's not cool to give death threats, make absolutely pointless petitions (Because we all know online petitions work right?) and make baseless claims that Apple is somehow edited the episode all on their own.
CHILL. THE. FUCK. OUT.
Derpy ain't going anywhere. She's still in the series and won't be going anywhere if you follow the word of Animator Kreoss www.equestriadaily.com/2012/02…
Keep it civil and sane and good things will come out in the end. I should finger wag towards Hasbro for NOT fully explaining WHY they are doing this and not have random animators, storyboard artists or anonymous persons speak on their behalf. So far, they are LUCKY this hasn't hit the mainstream news or they would have quite a handful to deal with.
Fan art is cool and all, but all original artwork needs exposure.
My first exposure to Apple products were back in grade school. In the computer lab, I used educational software on the Apple IIe and eventually the Mac. I loved using the mac so much, I convinced my family to purchase a Mac for use in the home. We got a Performa 550. Pretty clunky performance with a 33 MEGAHERTZ 68k processor and a VERY pokey 2400 baud modem. In modern standards, it wouldn't even hold a candle to even the 1st gen iPhone, but it was a very influential product for me. This was the Mac that I used during the rise of the information age in the 1990's. I learned to use Photoshop and learned HTML on the Mac as well.
The 1990's were dark times for Apple and Mac fans. I was often ridiculed for using a Mac when my other peers in school were using PCs. "You're using a dinosaur", they said, "No one makes software for Macs", they said. The price of Apple stock was less than two large pizzas back then. Sadly, demands of the world and my family forced me into the world of Windows. I became the other side of the "rest of us" for a few years. I won't say it was THAT of a bad experience, but it involved a lot of Blue Screens of Death. I really learned the ins and outs of PCs, eventually learning to install Windows and eventually built my own computer in my college years.
During my darkest time when I had a life-threatening illness, the iPod that was given to me as a gift gave me songs that got me through the recovery. Eventually, I fully recovered and resumed my studies at school.
I started working at a computer store during the final years of college and was exposed to Mac OS X for the first time. Many of my co-workers were Mac users and gushed with glee over the experience. I was already an iPod fan, so going back to the Mac was a no-brainer. My first modern Mac and my first ever laptop was the first MacBook Pro in 2006. Damn, it was an incredible experience turning it on for the first time with the welcome video.
The iPhone release was one of the most memorable geeky moments of recent memory for me. I waited 12 hours on line with MacBookPro in hand of course to get mine, paying the $600 + tax for it. I still have the special bag they gave me somewhere stored. I would wait for it again in 2008, 2009 and 2010, even paying FULL PRICE for the iPhone 4 since shitty AT&T wouldn't give me a discount. I would wait it for the iPad 1 as well, but I just got the iPad 2 recently months after it came out.
Today, every computer that I own is Mac. My iPad and me are one when I go out. My iPhone is my "3rd arm" or "2nd Brain". My Apple TV entertains me. My MacBook Pro is the hub of my life. My Mac Mini brings my artwork to life. I owe a lot of what I do in my life to Steve Jobs vision and his team. Could I do it with a Windows machine? Can I do it with an Android? Yeah. I can, but the user experience, integration, cohesiveness pales in comparison to Mac OS and iOS. You may not use or own a Mac or iPhone or iPad, but Steve Jobs pushed the envelope that others followed, progressing technology further. We would still be using RAZRs and Treos if it weren't for Apple.
You may never see another person like Steve Jobs do so much to an industry in your life ever again. You may never see a person talked in the same vein as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Walt Disney. You may never experience a person like Steve change the way we listen to music and watch TV, movies and games.
I will mostly do livestreaming on the weekends during the afternoon or night. I mostly draw late weekday nights (I work late), so I don't expect to stream during that time since most of the country is asleep.