Good news to report: I’ve been getting somewhere with getting the comic up and running again. In the last few weeks I’ve figured out a new way to write scripts and outlines, started using thumbnail sketches to guide my artwork to completion, which has resulted in much faster and much less frustrating pencil-work, I’ve finished those pencils and I’ve started inking. All ten weeks’ worth of buffered comics are well on their way to being done. I’m evaluating my timeline, however, and I don’t think I can entirely complete them all by February 5th without rushing things, which I really want to avoid. The point of all this was always to start out again on the right foot and get myself completely ready before I start again, so with that in mind, I’m pushing the end of the hiatus back to March 5th instead. I can’t imagine needing more time than that, at least. I can 100% guarantee that Prophecy of the Circle will return to its regularly scheduled action sequences by then, and it should be much easier to manage this time around.

I also have some more guest art for you guys, and it’s courtesy, this time, of long-time reader and awesome artist Wolfcry! (with links for her DeviantArt and Tumblr for you folks) There’s at least one piece by her that I’m posting today.

As always, if you have anything you’d like to contribute, I’ll be overjoyed to post it here. Send your fanart in via the form over here or send me a link to it and I’ll make sure it shows up on the homepage. You guys are the best. 🙂

Apologies for the silence over the last week or so. I’ve been devoting all of my creative time to building the buffer for Prophecy of the Circle’s return and to try to do the best work I can while I’m at it. The thumbnail sketches I created before have been super helpful, and it really sped up the pencilling process so that I could work more detail in, which will also result in better inks and better pages overall. I’ll get going on inking these over the course of the next week, and also posting some doodles and sketches again now that I have the largest and most complex parts of comic-making out of the way.As an update to overall progress of bringing the comic back, I keep looking at the calendar and thinking that I probably can’t get everything done by the February deadline without rushing things. I’m considering pushing the date back to March 5th so that I make sure that I do a good job and get things sorted out just right. I can’t imagine needing more time than that, at least. I’ll make a news post on the homepage to that effect soon. I got an email a couple of days ago and there’s a bit more guest art for me to post there this week, too, so I’ll have some good news to mix in with the less-good news. Hurrah!

(Photo courtesy of Tim, the only one of us who could get tall enough by standing on my desk chair to photograph all of the pages in one go. Thanks, guy!)

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I’m still here! Back briefly with a report. The hiatus is going well so far. I’ve been taking time to get back to other artistic endeavours and trying to figure out how to balance everything out. It’s not easy to get right, but I think I’m on the right track. As far as Prophecy of the Circle goes, I’ve been trying to lay down more groundwork ahead of time in order to take some of the guesswork out of the week-to-week. There’s a public post over here at Patreon that’s a bit about that, but essentially my previous circumstances led me to a habit of flying through fiction by the seat of my pants rather than actually making a detailed plan to work from, and it worked when I had more day-to-day time. It doesn’t in the current situation, I find that I need to do that legwork ahead of time. My current plan is to write out scripts for the entirely of Chapter Three and then build a bank of thumbnails so that when I do draw a new page, I don’t have to think too hard about it. Instead I just have to fill in the details and put it together. It should speed up the process. I’m also still working hard to create a buffer of ten weeks’ worth of comic pages to post into the queue here on the homepage, and that’s what might end up taking a bit of time. I’m hoping to be ready in time for the February 5th deadline I’ve set, but to be honest, I’d rather do this right and not have to stop again than jump the gun and wind up in potentially the same trouble as before. If things winds up taking longer, I’ll keep you posted. Periodic updates will keep happening here, and I’ll keep Patreon up to speed as it happens.

I’ve also had a generous offer from at least one fan, PezWolf, of some guest art. He’d gone ahead and made a three page comic for me a while back, centering on a character from one of my Inktober sketches from last year featuring a tikedi with a passion for flying machines and a willingness to go headfirst off a cliff without a net. He’s generously suggested that I could post it as filler, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for that! I’ll be posting the first page of that this coming week. If any of you out there have other works you’d like me to post in the meanwhile, let me know! I’ll happily put them up to fill space and time.

With the holidays impending, I hope you’re all doing well. Thank you again for sticking with me through tough times. I’m eager to get back to being comfortably on my feet and getting this story told once more.

All right, all right, I’ll admit defeat and post this already. See? See? Here I go, I’m posting it! Fine! Fine!

All right. So I’ve been actually kind of informed that I need to take a break from the comic. I feel like a captain relieved of duty by the medical officer. My medical officer this time around is Tim, who has to put up with me on a daily basis, and I suppose he’s right (he’s got both my parents, my best friend, and even my French translator in agreement, after all…). I have to admit, very reluctantly, that keeping Prophecy of the Circle running smoothly hasn’t been super easy since I moved, and especially this last year with a new home and a new job, trying to keep up is starting to really hurt me. A lot’s changed over the years, but the biggest problem is that in an attempt to make this an actual successful venture of some sort, I keep trying to cram more effort into what’s become a shrinking amount of time.

When I started this comic, things were a lot different. Those of you who’ve been following know this story already, but I want to review just to put it all in perspective. At the beginning, way back in 2010, I was only doing the comic itself, nothing extra, and I was living with family and only working casual hours in retail to make ends meet, so I had plenty of time. My minimum standard of living shifted again when I had to move out on my own and so I stepped up into a part time job, 24 hours per week that paid ridiculously well; it cut my creative time a bit but it was still workable, and that was a perfect balance. Then… chaos. I was laid off, the economy in my home province took a severe nose-dive and threatened a lack of any work at all for the foreseeable future, and my life took an abrupt right turn because an exit to that awful situation presented itself, if I was willing to take the leap, but it would be scary and rough before it got better. I was in a distance relationship with Tim then, Tim who lived in an entirely different province, but one that offered employment opportunities and an actual genuine arts community that my current home didn’t have, and so I ended up looking at dropping five digits of my savings (read: ALL of my savings, MORE than my savings; I had to squirrel funds away like crazy for that) into picking up my life and shuffling it over mountains and flatlands and coast and ocean and out to an island where I would have no family or friends of my own within immediate reach. Scary, but it was the plan. I did it. I threw out about 50% of my possessions, packed up the rest and my cat, paid an awful lot of money to transport and then store it and transport it again and then store it again AND THEN TRANSPORT IT AGAIN, cried a lot, doubted a lot, spent a lot of nights wide awake staring at the ceiling listening to my brain scream in terror… you know. Like you do. It did work out eventually and yes, there’re a lot of employment opportunities here for sure, but there aren’t so many places to live, so we ended up also having to commit to buying a small condo (well, getting a ton of help to buy said condo; neither one of us could have done it alone or together, even) and locking ourselves in with that because the rental market was a big no. There was the occasional appliance explosion over the last year, maintenance and repair costs, I had to replace the things that I couldn’t move in the first place, and I ended up starting my new job like… the day after we moved in to our new home (STRESSFUL) so I’ve spent this whole year rebuilding and learning and adapting and doing a lot of lying on the floor repeating “Why did I do this?!” and reminding myself that staying where I’d been would have actually been much worse…

At any rate, I did land. I did move. I did acquire a home. I did acquire a job. But life also changed shape dramatically from what I was working with when I began this story, and even from how life was pre-lay-off. Now things are more difficult for the comic, even if they’re better for my life. I’m over the moon to be living with the one I love finally. I can’t lie, this place I live in is beautiful. I’m doing pretty good in my normal human life. But life in general out here is also more expensive than it is in the snowy prairies. I’ve had no real choice but to be working 40 hours per week like a normal adult in order to keep the roof over my head and food in the fridge, and that 40 hours takes a significant chunk of time out of what I used to have to work with. Losing 16 hours a week from comic-making and putting it into the day job is… a big loss of time. Very big. Especially considering all I try to do.

And as I said, when I started this I was just doing the comic. Not anymore. In the past couple of years I’ve also been trying to make something of myself as an artist and a writer, partly (mostly?) in the hopes that I can increase how much money I make as an artist, and therefore decrease the number of hours I need to spend at a desk in an office, and instead put that time back into things like the comic and my writing and my art so that they aren’t rushed anymore and I’m not stressed out and this doesn’t keep happening. This is what they warned me about when I was young: being an artist is goddamn hard. I’m trying, though. In the past year, I’ve been trying really hard to juggle the comic and making Patreon better so that it maybe doesn’t stay stagnant like it has been, and attempting marketing (I’m not good at that bit but effort needs to be put in) and finding tricks to balance it all and keep my head above water and… Ultimately, I’m finding that I just can’t do it. Not with that 16 hours per week missing. I can’t get ahead while running the race. I can’t find any spare time while i’m constantly having to spend and buy time instead. I’m running on empty, going paycheque to paycheque time and energy-wise, and every time something goes wrong or something needs updating or I just want to spend my time in a new way and do something different for once, it costs me so much that I almost can’t recover. I’ll admit that it hasn’t been good for me. I’m depressed, I’m stressed to an unhealthy level, and I never keep up.

The problem is that I can’t ditch any of it. Prophecy of the Circle is what all of you care about. On its own, it doesn’t make me a dime but it costs me 20 to 30 hours a week just to make, say nothing of maintenance and community engagement and efforts to make the experience better. It is what all of you care about, though, and that keeps me pouring those hours into it… Patreon is what pays for Prophecy of the Circle to exist. Besides the amount of time it costs to make this work, there are financial costs to it, and I am super stoked to say that so far Patreon can cover those, which is so helpful. I’m so ridiculously grateful for everyone who contributes, but it’s not a stopping point. Realistically the total I earn there wouldn’t even cover my groceries for the month, it’s been plateaued for a long while, and with no extra time or energy to put into my weeks I’m rather struggling with ways to make either it or Prophecy of the Circle more interesting in order to make them both worth the time I put into them. I’ve been trying some new things over at Patreon, but it’s still a game of cut one thing out to make room for another instead of building on a sum total of awesome. In order to do better, I’d need more resources and those are not easy to acquire. Still, Patreon has potential. Patreon proves that I have potential. I just need time to explore it.

Prophecy of the Circle, as much as it’s beloved and as much as it’s important to me, is the biggest thief of my time in a given week with the smallest immediate payback. I don’t want to ever have to bail on it and I’ll try everything I can to keep it rolling short of completely wrecking my health and sanity, but for now it makes the most sense to temporarily stop the ride so that I can focus on getting ahead and getting better. I’m going to try putting it on pause while I build that buffer I keep talking about needing. I had it once, a whole bunch of weeks’ worth of comics, and then I had to rebuild the site and that ate nearly the whole thing again. I don’t know for sure if building it back up again and then just maintaining it will actually work to balance the scales overall or not, but it’s the only thing I’ve got left to try, and my hope that if I don’t have to keep constantly creating two weeks’ worth of content every week just to stay a little bit ahead of the game, that if I can instead just worry about one weeks’ worth of story at a time, then maybe, just maybe, I’ll get the tiny bit of the clock back that I need to get me back to where I’m happy and not squished. Maybe that’ll be enough.

So I’ve been told to take a break. A decent one. I have a couple more comics in the queue, until November 23rd, and I’ll let those few run down, but after that, Prophecy of the Circle is going to go dark until February 5th. I need to the time to catch up, to really figure out my time management, and to get back to a position of strength. If it works, great. If not… well, we’ll figure that out when we get there. Maybe I have to update at an even slower pace. I really don’t want to because this story is better without big gaps in between the pages – I already know that some of my readers prefer to do an annual binge-read instead of following week-to-week, which is cool but telling – and slowing it down means it’ll take even longer to tell but, well, I’m missing 16 hours a week out of necessity. Gotta eat, gotta live. I can’t pull those lost hours out of thin air and I needed them to keep going as before.

So we’ll see what happens.

And if you miss my stuff, as always, the Patreon is where I talk and post art and writing when I have enough brain to do so. I post publically as well as for patrons only, so if you even only want to come watch for the freebies and drop comments now and again, I’d welcome hearing from you guys. If you want to leave a tip, well, the monthly rates are pretty cheap and you know by now that it’s more than appreciated.

I’m sorry that I’m not a more resilient critter. My kingdom for a 48 hour day? :/

OCT 23: An Update to Last Night’s Post: I’m home from work again finally, and I’ve applied a temporary fix by removing all of the sub-chapters from Jahrd’s and Jamet’s stories. Not ideal, but until I have the time to come up with a better solution, it’ll have to do. I’m really not sure how to get the functionality that I wanted before, but if I figure it out – and I’ll be pondering it whenever I get a chance – I’ll put the sub-chapters back. Until then, this is at least functional, if not elegant. Also, as it turns out, the navigation system was broken from the get-go, it’s just that none of my bug testers (including myself) went back far enough to run into one of the sub-chapter divisions where the bug was occurring. Apologies to anyone going back through the archives who might have encountered the wall. I didn’t hear a word about it until I saw it for myself so hopefully it just didn’t actually affect anyone. Again, if you see anything weird, please do let me know as soon as you see it (but it’s also good to check the news posts first to see if I already know…*nudgenudge*). Thanks, guys, and sorry again for the hiccup. This stands as a humble reminder that I’m definitely no programmer.

OCT 22: I think it must have been when I updated the Comic Easel plugin that runs this thing, but navigation within Chapter Three has developed a glitch. Basically it just suddenly refuses to navigate between sub-chapters within Chapter Three and I’m not sure why because they’re set up exactly the same way as sub-chapters in previous chapters and those navigate through just fine…
Was it broken before and I didn’t notice it? I could have sworn it was working… I’m not sure now, but if you saw anything at any point before, let me know. If you happen to be wiser in the ways of Comic Easel than I am and know what my problem is, again, totally let me know. I’d love to fix this and I know I don’t have time for a bug hunt at the moment.

I’ll have to look more into this, but at 10:30PM on a Sunday night where I have to get up at 6:30AM for work… If I can’t find a solution within 24 hours I’ll just have to remove all of the sub-chapters on a temporary basis until I have time again to figure out the reason.

Hey guys! Apparently my comic updated a day late. I looked into it and the culprit seems to have been a scheduling hiccup. It happens occasionally and used to plague the site in ages past. While I have a fix installed and have ever since those dark days of constant scheduling errors, a compatibility error caused it to fail out of the blue yesterday. The patch has been patched again now and things should be working once again.

That said, I have a small request. It’s cool that you guys let me know about stuff like that, first of all. I schedule the majority of my content ahead of time to facilitate my busy, busy life and I don’t really watch the site like a hawk. More like a duck, really. Paddle in, paddle out. If you do see a hiccup happen, rather than booping in an annoyed comment after the fact, it’s super helpful if you comment as soon as you notice it on any post, anywhere,(they’re all moderated these days, so don’t worry if it’s not an appropriate post; I’ll appreciate the heads up regardless) or, if you prefer, I’ve got a handy dandy contact form right over here ! It’s also in the sidebar. Just make sure you include a valid address for me to reply to. That way I can get it fixed right off the bat. Thanks much!

Because everyone loves eye candy. Irbeus has been watching Prophecy of the Circle for a good long time now, and I’ve been watching him draw over on DeviantArt for a similar length of time. His style has always amazed me. He’s a real painter, and so many of his works have elicited little “Holy shiiiiiit” utterances from me. Like this one! And this! And this one just makes me happy. So imagine my excitement when last week he sent me this little beauty. 😀

I really enjoyed drawing young Jacind’s design, and it’s so amazing to see someone else’s take on it. 😀 Beautiful, yeah?

And Irbeus, man! You draw hands better than I do!

I’ve put this one up in Fanworks recently, along with the rest of the collection. <3

All right! After much trial and error and many, many hiccups, Prophecy of the Circle is finally up and running on brand new hosting. I goofed way more times than I thought I would, but I think everything should be set up and installed correctly this time, I can see my file system when I log in through my web host, and the only casualty of my stupidity was that I accidentally deleted access to my blog that I haven’t updated in a year anyway. I’m debating on whether I want to rescue the old (the files still exist, it’s only the bridge that’s gone) or just start a new one in 2018 or somesuch…

At any rate, welcome to the new site! It’s on much faster and more stable servers, the domain is backed by Cloudflare for speedy loading (apologies if that still causes a few bumps; I’ve noticed that Cloudflare takes a while to sort itself out), and it’s got a few improvements and the return of some old features. It’s also a lot less messy with much less clutter.

First, comments are back! I installed Replyable by Postmatic, so if you subscribe to an email conversation you can post a reply comment straight from your email. All comments are currently moderated before they get posted, fyi, so they might take a few minutes for me to push the “approve” button. Don’t panic if it’s not instantaneous, is all.

The navigation for comics has also been changed, hopefully for the better. Renn’tekk’s Story has been removed from the comic archives themselves and is instead available as a downloadable PDF and as an image gallery in the Archives page. Check under Bonus Stories. 🙂 The filler art has also been removed as most of it is available on my DeviantArt page and the rest wasn’t worth keeping up. You should be able to navigate through the story without interruption now. I’ve also built in some conditional navigation bars at the bottom of the comics. The old one you’re used to with just Next and Previous, First and Last is what appears on most pages, but in Chapter Three the Next and Previous button will only move you forward or back through whichever story you’re currently on, Jahrd’s or Jamet’s. If you click the new Switch Story button in either direction, it will do just that: jump sideways and either back or forward into the other tale. Try it out and see!

The Cast and Archives pages have been completely remodelled. Archives has thumbnails once again and accordion menus to keep everything compact as this story grows. The Cast page is similar, organized by which chapter the character first appeared in, and it now contains every major to semi-major character in the story.

Fanworks is much the same, although the contact form there has been much improved.

I’ll also note that the shop is open and commission info has been posted (although commissions are currently closed; when they open I’ll post about it).

I’ve only been able to investigate on my and my families iPhones, iPads, and my boyfriend’s Android phone, but the site seems functional in mobile format this time, too.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on the design. A lot of things are fairly easy to tweak, unlike on the previous iteration of the site. 🙂

Or at least it probably will very soon for the website here. You guys remember that I’ve been working on a rebuild? I basically got it finished on the test site, and I’ve had a few people who I trust to be critical to bug test it for me. The thing is, I’m actually also moving Prophecy of the Circle to new web hosting, which is something I’ve been procrastinating on just because of the sheer hassle of it. But it’s become necessary. The hosting that the site is on now is not cutting it, and after a few really rotten experiences just trying to get started on building the test site here I realized that I can do much better, and that I probably should.

The new site is much faster, much sleeker, and hopefully has enough new features (and old ones that have been repaired) to satisfy nearly everyone. Apologies that it took so long for me to put that new site together. I’m the queen of under-estimation, as always. I thought it would be quick, but there was more to fix than I thought there would be and in the end I just really wanted to do a good job of it.

I do want you guys to know that because of the move that’s about to happen, there are going to be a few hiccups. The site actually might vanish off of the face of the internet for brief periods, especially on Friday while I’m working on it directly. It might act a bit strangely afterwards. There might be server errors. There might be navigation and loading bugs caused by confused wires. If you notice any of that: don’t panic. It’ll fade after the first day. I’ve decided that I’m going to start the whole process Friday evening, and that way I can spend the next day or two watching for any major glitches and correcting them. I’ve already tested by transferring and temporarily using an old domain of mine that’s usually kept parked, so I have an idea of how it’ll all go when I get started. The first 24 hours after pointing the DNS at the new server location is when things are the weirdest and when the most things are prone to being a little messed up. Transferring the domain name itself can take up to ten days to complete but that process behaved the first time. Once both the content and the domain are moved over I can complete setup on the last few details and then everything should run smoothly and we’ll all be better for it.

That’s the other reason I wanted to aim for doing this on a weekend: there’s less chance that it’ll mess with the regular posting of the comic. If, however, something does still go wrong on Monday, always remember that the comic does appear in other places: it’s posted slightly later on Mondays and Thursdays at DeviantArt, Twitter, and Tumblr, and, if you want them early instead, they’re always posted during the weekend on Patreon for the nominal fee of $1 per month (hey, can’t blame a girl for trying; I honestly mean it that if I got a buck for every one of my readers I could quit my job and do this full time, and damn would that ever be good for my sanity…).

Twitter is also, as always, a good place to look for information on how things are going. When I’m not actively working, I babble on there.

Apologies in advance for turbulence.