I have a weird tradition of giving my computers names, and they always start with M. Meet Merrick, my new shiny MacBook Pro! You never really notice how much you need a new computer until you get one and it becomes painfully obvious how slow and hiccupy the previous machine had become. After the maintenance I’ve been doing this year, I think my desktop will last a while longer, and maybe even a few more years if I’m lucky, but it’s definitely a solid relief to have something fast to work on where I don’t have to worry about running into errors.

As for this one, it’s got all my files copied to it and all of my apps, and it’s basically set up the way I want it to be finally. I can play games that would never run before, like Obduction (finally!), and it’s so fast and smooth for all of my art and writing work. Worth it. 😀

My last laptop got pretty scratched up when I didn’t get a case for it right away, so I aimed to remedy that this time. Between the hard shell case and the keyboard cover, it’s a lot more protected against scratches, scuffs, and crumbs. The small sticker on the case is by Coey and Shy and the large sticker is by Kellie Lamphere. I have kind of a thing for foxes. Always have and I’ve been embracing it lately (with the help of my friends who just keep getting me fox-themed stuff).

I picked the current desktop randomly off the internet just to get the standard Mac OS X mountains off of there, but I’ll admit, I’m annoyed that I can’t find the original artist. Help there would be welcome. I grabbed it off of here and tried a reverse image search, but no luck. If anyone’s got a clue, I’d love to be following their other work, gotta say. This one’s lovely.

First, things have gotten a bit better since the last post, I think? This weekend was the first weekend in months that I actually managed to get everything I needed to done on time and still had time to chill. Honestly, my brain didn’t know what to do when I ran into a time where I didn’t have to work, so it kind of just went into shut-down mode and the next thing I knew, I’d woken up from a rather abrupt nap – whoops! 
On that note, everything is still largely chaos, I must be honest. Nothing much has improved or changed (actually it all got abruptly worse after that last blog post but now it’s kind of plateaued). I think I’ve just done that human thing we do where we adapt to the change and suddenly well… To visually-quote a far too timely meme, this is me right now:
… and that’s okay! The fire’ll get put out. I’m sure it will. Eventually. Someday. And I’m doing better at getting back on the wagon of productivity in the meanwhile.
And speaking of which, I’ve finally solved a problem from back in November that’s been causing me more grief than I like to admit.  Remember when my laptop suddenly decided it was going into the long sleep?  It really turns out that I’m a serious laptop-writer kind of gal. I kind of cobbled together an awkward setup of my 2012 iPad and a keyboard and limped along with that when I needed to, but just the hassle of it – prop up the iPad, put batteries in the keyboard, fight with them until they sync, prop the iPad up several more times when it topples over and messes with my qi… That’s a serious uphill battle when I’m already swamped. Ugh.
Last Tuesday was my birthday. Whoo! I turned thirty-three and, with three being my favourite number and what this being the most number of threes I’ll ever see in my age unless I discover longevity/immortality somewhere along the road, I decided that it was a special day and I finally bought the new laptop I’d wanted. I’m an Apple user, so I splurged on a MacBook Pro that should do everything I’ll ever throw at it and not even hiccup. I got it on a bit of a payment plan of sorts, so it’ll be a little while before I fully pay it off and you bet that any commissions I do in the future will be geared towards bringing that tally down to zero all the faster.
Last I checked, it was on its way to me from Shanghai, and should arrive on Friday. I’ve got a lot I want to do with that machine, but for right now I’ll be happy to just be able to slip into my writing habit with some ease again.
To make sure that happens, I’ve actually set up a Dropbox that links both to my boyfriend and my mom and they’ve been instructed to give me the stink eye if I don’t update that folder regularly. I’m being policed! That should help.
But it should be fine, honestly. When I did have a laptop I never had trouble writing at least once a week. We’ll get back on that horse.
So for those of you watching the $10 tier over at Patreon, you should be getting actual content once again. Thanks again for your faith in me during these rough times. Slowly but surely it’s getting better!
Now, I also want to start getting some more stuff into the $5 tier again. It’s about time that I started planning out Chapter Four of Prophecy of the Circle. It’s got rough structure, but I really want to hammer the kinks out of this one. It’s one of the more important chapters in the story, involving events I wrote about ages ago in the unfinished novel that started this whole adventure. I’m keen to get that chapter right.
I’ll keep you guys posted, as always.

I was asked earlier this week to make a mention of a fellow webcomic – Derideal – in a good ole’ fashioned link exchange. As I kind of miss the old days when everyone had a little Recommended Reading List like I do and link exchanges were far more common, heck to the yeah I agreed. I haven’t read all the way through this one myself, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. The artist has also been commissioned in the past to draw art from Prophecy of the Circle here, and you might remember the pieces he did. They’re some gorgeous work, and that’s from a few years back already. That would be these two from the Fanworks page:

Derideal is definitely worth a look!

And for the future, if any other comic creators are interested in doing a link swap like this, I’m more than happy to check things out.

The final piece in my batch of commissions again went to WDG as a companion piece to his first character design. She’ll be popping up in the story somewhere alongside her mate, likely on one the docks of Tieke City.

Thanks again, WDG!

On that note, due to some chaos in my workplace that’s taxing me much more than usual (and the usual state of my being is already pretty taxed so that says something…), I think I’ll put off the next batch of commissions for a bit. I’ve stopped the monthly suggest-a-sketch posts for the same reason. When things calm down again, though, I’ll get the suggest-a-sketches going again on Patreon and for commissions I have two or three folks who expressed an interest but couldn’t get a slot last time for one reason or another, so I’ll be asking them first when I open up again – batch two will be another patrons-only one, but after that I’ll branch out to the public as well. That said, if all three take me up on the offer at Patreon, then there’ll still be one slot free on the next round. If you’re interested and you’re pledging, let me know and I’ll pop you on the waitlist!

This was an interesting one! The prompt Erich gave me was to draw a character based off of the designs of Hotline Miami. Talk about intense! I actually really enjoyed it, though! I spend so much time in an old-world setting in Prophecy of the Circle that getting to hop forward to something that looks present day was very enjoyable. As you can imagine, this fellow’s not getting a cameo (although if I’d been asked to do one, I’d have totally found a way to fit him in and my characters would have been so perplexed).

Here’s the second piece for him: 

 

Heck yeah, that was fun to draw. I had Tim pose for me so I could get the arms right and if anyone had looked in the window then, I’m sure it would have looked every so slightly mad…

Thanks Erich! That was awesome. 😀

Life’s been rather chaotic lately… but I have been completing those commissions! The last one was finished up this past weekend, and this one, for the amazingly supportive Rubje (seriously, man, thanks for everything) is already in his hands. Again, sorry for not getting this up here sooner, but I’m doing it now. It’s time. It’s definitely time.

I love this character. He gave me a little bit of personality run-down for him and a bit of backstory and he’s going to be so enjoyable to work into the story. I can’t wait to map out those cameo appearances.

Here’s his part two. I stuck to my guns and made two for everybody:

 

I’ll get the next two up here shortly. I just want to not bombard you guys with posts at the moment.

Here’s the first of my Custom Character Commissions over on Patreon. (There’s still one slot left for this round, btw!) This one is for WDG, of a diver/fisherman Tieke. He’s slated to make an appearance in the comic sometime in the near-ish future. I hope to work these cameos in relatively quickly after commission completion, but sometimes it’ll take a while for just the right scene to present itself. 🙂

Bonus! He suggested an alternate outfit, so I drew up a second angle:

I discovered that it was easier to do two paintings, so that’s likely how I’ll handle future commissions of this type as well. I’m going to try to give everybody two different angles, like the example image of Sarestra in the original post.

Thanks again to those who’ve commissioned me so far! You guys have been so great and so patient and encouraging.