There’s a public post on my Patreon that may be of interest. I’m considering making some changes in the future to include more of my work on that platform than just Prophecy of the Circle related material, but I’m looking for feedback before I make a decision. If you’re not interested in donating, that’s totally cool. I’m also looking to increase the number and worth of my public posts, so it still might be worth checking out.

Possible Changes: What Do You Think?
by Meghan at Patreon

Thanks!

By way of site updates, I’m starting work on the repairs. I’ve got a test site started and over the next few days I’m going to try and make this place make more sense. Some changes might take longer, but I’ll keep you posted. Again, I update my Twitter a lot more with little details of my days and efforts. Journal posts are more for sweeping explanations after the fact.

So here’s the plan.

My upcoming week is only about three work days long. I’ve got a vacation booked for after that, hurrah! The first few days of it is going to be taken up by a trip to Seattle to go to PAX West for my first time ever. I’ll be wandering among the crowds of thousands on the Sunday and the Monday and cosplaying both days. I’m not sure of the order yet, but on one day I’ll be Aerith from Final Fantasy VII because I’m an old bum, and at the same time Tim’ll be cosplaying a genderbent version of Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII because he’s a young punk. Together, they fight crime. We’ll be cosplaying the other day as Sybil and Royce from Transistor. Photos of bits and pieces of most of those costumes are on Tim’s Facebook page and, more recently, his Patreon. If you’re going and you somehow spot the two of us in all of that chaos, feel free to say hi! That would be so amazing. ๐Ÿ˜€

After I return from that crazy party, I’m going to buckle down and give this site the overhaul its needed for a while. I spent a bit of time a weekend or two ago diagnosing what the issues probably are and unfortunately, I think it’s a tear-the-site-apart-and-rebuild-it kind of problem. You probably won’t notice much downtime if I do things right – I tend to do all of my messing around on a non-live version of the site and then implement the changes when I’m sure they work – but if the site does disappear off the face of the internet for a day or so, don’t panic! I’ll be working diligently in the background to bring it back online. You can always check my Twitter for updates if that happens. I’m notoriously terrible at being chatty, but I’m going to make a concerted effort to provide ETA’s if anything goes awry.

There’s just so much that needs fixing or upgrading and so many things that have fallen into disrepair and caused issues with other things. When it comes back, I want a much better Cast page, a very much improved archive page (that maybe, you know, actually works at all on mobile?), and a new and improved commenting system at the absolute minimum. The layout in general is also going to get a much needed clean-up, even if I don’t change the graphical elements of it too much. I can’t really get into specifics because I find that working with this site is a bit like wrestling a bear. I intend to win, but the damn thing surprises me sometimes and then I have to go pick my head up from across the room and reattach it before I can continue.

Either way, that’s going to get done. Might take a few rounds with said bear, but it’ll get done. About time.

After my holiday I’m crossing my fingers that things will be better. There are a few changes on the horizon that should make my life more manageable. I’ve mentioned it before but this year has been hard. I constantly underestimated how long it would take for me to get back into a routine after the big move. There were complications like a day job that turned into a moving target instead of something I could settle into. It was fine at first, but over time trying to keep up with such a constantly shifting set of priorities (that actually spanned across the job descriptions of at least three different individual positions within the company at one point) gradually bred a variety of exhaustion in me that pretty much destroyed my creative energy and also took up a lot more time than I’d banked for.

There have been new dynamics surrounding family and home, what with my family and everything I’ve ever called home being, well, not here. Everything I ever knew is on the other side of the mountains and, to boot, I’m afraid of flying. It’s also just very different here. I came from a place that was a little like Cheers: everybody knew my name, everybody knew what I was like, and we had harmony. That comparison just dated me horribly. Anyway, here I’m no longer Norm. I had to teach people about myself and there’ve been a lot of misunderstandings and assumptions and stomped on toes. It just hasn’t been smooth. It’s getting smoother. That should be stealing my productivity a lot less, I think. There’s also just been a lot of stress that comes from moving into a new home in a new province. I’ve mentioned it before, but provinces in Canada might as well be their own countries for how much the rules change between each of them. I needed whole new ID cards and to wrap my head around a totally different medical system and even things as generally stable as labor laws and recycling etiquette are actually different. On top of that, it wasn’t a cheap move and it hasn’t been a cheap settling in. A lot of that paperwork had fees attached. There’ve been lots of general-real-life unexpected financial and time-crunch surprises that cropped up to derail my plans (as does happen in a new home where you don’t really know which appliances are secretly on their last legs until they stop turning on; I’ve always lived in rentals before this so…. learning curve!). There’s been a lot to do and learn and adapt to and, at the end of the day, not much spare time to be me.

But, as I said, that’s finally changing! After many starts and stops, I do (for real this time!) have a buffer of comics completed. As I type this I’m still working on getting the Patreon content buffer to full strength to match the pile of pre-made comics, but I anticipate that that’ll be done pretty soon. That gives me a lot more freedom once I actually get it done and get myself back to a position of discipline to stay on top of it. Gonna get that licked in the next couple of weeks. My day job is also taking a bit of an adjustment for the better: I’m moving into a slightly easier to manage position within the same company once I get back from vacation, and this time it should be one that doesn’t sit in my mind on the way home, keep me up at night, and turn me into a ball of constant stress and tired. Being able to separate work and home should finally let me establish a proper routine and, as Tim has said to me since hearing the news: maybe it’ll give me the energy to live.

I think I’ve played a video game for a total of twenty minutes this year? I read one book. God, it’s sad.

Looking forward to the fix. I’ve got more things I want to do. If my life does sort out the way I’m hoping it will, I’m considering making my Patreon a broader-reaching thing, making it a sort of hub for all of my creative endeavours instead of just Prophecy of the Circle, with a lot more public posts for those who only want to follow instead of chip in financially. Following on that trail of thought, I really want to do more than just this comic. It’s great, but I crave variety. I have so many more stories in me and my art skills are stagnating from lack of challenge. I really miss writing books instead of just endless scripts. I wanna make fanart of things. I wanna be a fan again! I gotta make some changes there too. Whether it’ll happen sooner or later is a bit more of a fuzzy proposition than the repair of the site in the next few weeks. It all depends on how things go in the next while and how my stress levels/free time compare between future and past.

Again, I’m sorry for the previous year. Its been awkward. I kind of turtled when I should have been talking. It all got out of hand and sometimes it doesn’t matter how much one yells “I got this! I got this!”. Sometimes I don’t got this. But now I’ll say a bit more conservatively and a bit more realistically: I think I got this.

Let’s try it again.

As most of you might have gleaned from my babbling on various social media, my boyfriend Tim is a pretty creative fellow himself. I lean towards writing and art, but he’s a wizard in the three-dimensional realm with his sewing machine, power tools, and camera. Rightfully so, his particular passion is cosplay and photography/videography.

He’s finally taken the plunge and put together his own Patreon page. If you like cosplay and truly epic videos and photos, his work is worth a look. I heartily encourage it! He astounds me daily.

Bonus: now that we share a roof, he likes making costumes for me, too. The first post in the $3 tier features my ridiculous face. ๐Ÿ˜›

So if you’re interested in the further adventures of we the crafty duo, take a peek! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

I am so sorry about this one, guys…. I had a bit of a minor wake-up call today and realized that an update I’d meant to post here never made it to the front page of the site. I’ve made noise about it a few times, but this year’s definitely proven to be one where I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. A comic buffer was built, a comic buffer disappeared under weeks of spontaneous stress, a comic buffer was builtย again and that comic buffer is kinda barely being maintained now. I keep on thinking I’ve got it, I’ve got it, but it’s still pretty hard to keep one step ahead. Some of that’s because of time, some of its because of stress. When I started this comic I was working 24 hours a week, max, at a fairly easy low-paying job and taking care of pretty much just myself. I’m currently in a job that takes up more than 40 hours a week, involves a longer commute, and stresses me out enough that I take it home with me, which affects my productivity in nasty ways, plus I have a proper home and family in the mix now and that adds a lot of new factors.

What this comes down to is that contrary to my optimism in the earlier part of the year, I haven’t actually been able to fix the problems with the site. In truth, I’ve discovered over the months that there’s more subtly wrong with this website than I’d previously anticipated. I did spend a while after the last post trying to fix things that were broken and that I thought would be easy to fix or change so that they’d work well instead of badly, failed on all counts, kept trying, and then my job-related life did that thing where it spontaneously spun into chaos, I lost track of time in a ridiculous way, and here we are still on a slow site where a lot of basic functions are kind of not-worky or partly not-worky and not as simple to repair as I’d originally thought they were. But I should have said something sooner.

I can’t make any promises because ultimately I have a feeling this might be a rebuild-from-scratch kind of issue. I mean, part of my dashboard is broken back here and I don’t even know how that could have gotten borked. And there’s a lot more, and it’s honestly been happening over a course of years in little bits of bad code accumulation. I’ve got a bit of time coming up next month and I can give fixing it a shot then. Hopefully it won’t involve a complete rebuild, and instead just a partial one, and I can get it done and back on track.

Again, I apologize profusely for how long in coming this explanation of my silence and the numerous site hiccups has been. This was the most tardy post I’ve ever made on an issue that’s probably driving more of you mad than just the one who finally brought it to my attention. I’ll try my best to make it better.

First off,ย I have some goodies for you again from the Fanworks page! Yet another batch of fanart from Alexander Shakalov, who is becoming a staple of these news posts, first of all. I got some darker work this time and man, I wish I was as brave in my stories as this particular fan is in fanart. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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And there’s a new piece by Pezwolf from DeviantArt, who’s been a great guy to talk to there and on Tumblr over the last few months. ๐Ÿ™‚ He has a few more, but I’m saving those for a special occasion. You’ll see! ๐Ÿ˜€

Second, a little bit of news and a little bit of talk about how I’ve been doing. I just celebrated a small personal victory today. After some tough times trying to keep up, I finally have the beginnings of a buffer of comic pages, so I can relax and fit a bit more into my days now. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also got some help in the future, and that saves me a lot.

I often find there’s a bit of mystery behind the creation of webcomics. They take a long time and a lot of effort to put together, if my experience is in any way universal. The story (if it’s like mine) needs to be planned in advance and mapped out so that there’s good pacing page by page and chapter by chapter, it all has to be drawn, inked, painted, scanned and formatted somewhere in there, there’s text and effects to put on to finish it off, and then there’s getting each page set up to post on (sometimes) several sources. I post mine here, on Patreon, on DeviantArt, Tumblr, and Tapastic to get as much exposure as I can. Some of those sources update earlier or later than others with Patreon always being first and the main site always being second. There’s reasoning for all of it, all depending on how the different audiences respond and and when and what will drive traffic where. There’s also advertising. I need to make sure I make regular noise about postings both here and on Patreon, and I have to make that noise on several different social media channels (hooray for Hootsuite) because not everyone likes Twitter, or not everyone likes Facebook, and again, it’s all about broadcasting widely. Each one of those social media networks has a different format for their content, so it all takes a while to put together. Ultimately having a webcomic is a little like having a full time job on top of my real full time job. And I still need to make dinner, keep the home clean, make sure my cat is fed, make sure the bills are being paid on time, and all the other bits of minutiae that we all have to deal with. Somewhere in there I also need sleep. Y’know.

And that is why I really, really, really need to always have a few weeks’ worth of comics and Patreon content finished ahead of time (the aforementioned buffer). It’s just necessary so that if I get sick or if I get sick and tired I can just take a day to chill and it doesn’t hurt the progression of the story. Because I moved twice in the last couple of months and I’ve been very recently doing so much work to put my life back in the order it was a little over a year ago, I didn’t have much time to build that buffer. I’ve been working deadline to deadline since November. It’s tiring. It takes the fun out of things. It’s not a good way to go about this business. Having even just the one week ahead that I do now is a huge relief. I can stop for a few minutes here and there andย recharge.

And it’s at this point that I want to say a great big thanks to my boyfriend, Tim!ย He’s been watching me slam my head into the wall for a few weeks now, the poor guy, and trying to figure out how he can ease my burden. No one’s ever been able to before, but he finally came up with an idea that’s going to save me a lot of time and headache. He’s busy himself, being the kickass cosplayer that he is, but he does love playing in Photoshop, so when he does have time he’s offered to help me with the most boring part of the job: formatting the comic. That’s scanning my finished artwork, piecing it all together when the pages are too big for the scanner’s glass (the Jahrd pages always have that problem), and then putting panels together, cleaning up the lines, color correcting, resizing it for different platforms, etc. Oh my god. Oh my god does that ever take a load off of my back. He even offered to build the speech balloons for me, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have a solid enough script ready for him to work off of for that bit. ๐Ÿ˜› I do everything in sketches and point form notes. Alas. But man does his effort ever help.

What does this mean for you guys?ย I know there’s often been a problem with me not responding very quickly to emails and the like. There are people out there who want to have extended conversations with me and that especially causes me guilt because I just haven’t physically had the time to keep up with it all. I still don’t think I’ll be able to manage anything extremely large in the near future – I need a several week long buffer built for that and that’ll take me several more weeks to complete – but in about one week’s time I’m hoping to be back on track enough to be able to improve my turnaround time on communication, at least. Keep an eye on that.

Things also on the To Do list for the next week: get the Hiatus Tale and filler art compiled and out of the archives. I said I’d do it and I will. Very, very soon. Promise. ๐Ÿ™‚

Less soon, but also on my To Do list: redo the archives if I can figure out how. There are a few ways in which they offend me, currently, but I need to do further research to fix the problem. It’s always something.

I just need a nap first. ๐Ÿ˜›

Just before I went on hiatus, I received another batch of awesome interpretations of the world of The Prophecy of the Circle from Alexander Shakalov. ๐Ÿ˜€ I always adore the style of these. They remind me of fantasy movies from my childhood like The Dark Crystal and The Neverending Story and that just makes me so happy! There are more pieces from him and others over on the Fanworks page. ๐Ÿ™‚

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….and I mean it this time! Back to regularly scheduled and dependable comic updates. To celebrate, starting at midnight PST tonight, there’ll be a new comic page every single day this week! I promised that I’d finish Renn’tekk’s story and post the whole thing in one batch, and so it shall be done. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can also get the whole thing in one post for a $2 contribution over at Patreon if you absolutely need to see these last five pages right now. Which… I, of course, have no problems with… ๐Ÿ˜›

Regardless, it’s good to be back! Next Monday Jahrd’s story will continue and then Jamet’s will as well on next Thursday. Patreon goodies will also start appearing at regular intervals again tomorrow and will continue as per usual. I don’t anticipate needing to take another break for a long, long time. I’m eager to get back to this story!

Keep an eye on the news posts here, too. In a few days there’ll be another fan art update! I got a third batch just before my life got extremely hectic. I need to do a bit more catch-up behind the scenes and then I’ll have those ready to post and show off as well.

Let the week of art and story begin! ๐Ÿ˜€

First, thank you guys so much for being so awesome. ๐Ÿ˜€ I know I’ve been very quiet lately and I apologize for that. It’s been almost a month so I figure it’s time I let you know the state of my being.

I’m finally getting into a regular feeling routine again, for one thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was pretty tough for a while there while I was unpacking and organizing into our new home and simultaneously starting a new full-time job in an office here in Victoria, but as of this week things are starting to feel normal again. For the first time in weeks I had both the time and the energy to sit down and draw and I got all four of the remaining pages of Renn’tekk’s story drawn in an hour and a half.

As I write this, they’re all inked, scanned, and laid out as black and white files waiting for color.

The one bit of bad news is that I was hoping to get the coloring finished this weekend, but my Intuos5 tablet’s pen decided that it had suffered enough years of abuse and it finally just up and died on me. Some bit inside that I’m not technologically saavy enough to identify broke off and took some teeny wires with it. Snap! I need a new pen.

Those things aren’t cheap, but I’ll bite the bullet and get one. I need it in order to keep working, and frankly, I really want to get the comic back on track in early February if at all possible. I’m so very, very ready to be back to making comics.

In the meanwhile, I have new content for Patreon that I can still make with either a pencil, a mouse, or a keyboard, and I think I know a tablet that I can borrow until mine is functional again.

The tentative date for my triumphant return to Prophecy of the Circle, even despite all of this adversity, is February 6th! I’ll let you guys know if that changes.

Thanks again for sticking with me through all of this chaos! Its been a hell of a trip, and you guys always had my back. I’m grateful. <3

First! If you couldn’t get the holiday wallpaper when it was first posted, try it again. There was a posting glitch and the link I had input didn’t take, so I had to code a quick workaround. All should be functioning as intended now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway! As many of you know already, I’ve been somewhat in limbo since September. I moved from Alberta to British Columbia and its been a long haul. For many months, my stuff’s been in storage while I’ve been home-hunting and job-hunting.

The good news is that both a home and a job have been found!

The bad news is that in all of the chaos, I’ve fallen woefully behind on comic work, and it doesn’t look like I’ll have time for a bit to do anything new. Starting a new job (my first day is in the beginning of January) is going to take a lot out of me at first and I’m still unpacking and trying to reassemble my home. We’re also currently without an internet connection while we wait for the telecomm company to come hook us up.

I think, all told, that I’m going to be kind to myself and take a proper hiatus both from Patreon and from the comic itself until the beginning of February. By then, I should have my new studio assembled and be settled into my new routine. When I do come back, there shouldn’t be anything else in my way for the forseeable future. I’m looking forward to it. I miss bringing this story to you guys on a regular basis. ๐Ÿ™‚

There isn’t much left to Renn’tekk’s story, so I’ll try to finish those up and post them all in one shot once I return, and then we can get back to seeing what’s going on with Jahrd and friends in Gessick.

In the meanwhile, Happy New Year to everyone! Here’s hoping that 2017 is a much kinder year than 2016 has been to so many of us. I love all of you and I can’t wait for more adventures. ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh hey, lookit that, there’s another batch. X3 Gosh I love seeing others’ interpretations of my little universe. These are also by Alexander Shakalov, but this time I’ve also gotten confirmation that he had a co-artist for these works, so I’m going to properly creditย Inessa Ephremova as well this time! Thanks a bunch for these terrific pieces. ๐Ÿ˜€

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