The Writer's Block

Fanfiction Time? Actually don’t have a title yet.

There’s grass at my back.  Huh.

I open my eyes.

I appear to be lying in a meadow on a beautiful summer day.  Birds chirping, butterflies flitting from flower to flower, poofy clouds lazily drifting across the sky, the works.  Which is weird, because I remember it being winter.  And sleeping in a bed, come to think of it.

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Day 4 - Draw an animal you’ve never drawn before
Accidentally skipped day 3.  I’ll do that tomorrow.  Tried mixing charcoal and pencil to… mixed results.  The fur felt like I was doing an exercise in pointillism, so I’m pretty sure there’s a better way to do that.
Day 2 - Draw a figure in perspective
Yeah, I kind of cheated.  It’s not really in any particular perspective, but I reaaally wanted to draw Roy.  It’s a figure at least?  And I’m doing this challenge to get myself to draw every day, so why not?
Day 1 - Draw a landscape
Welp, this is a bit of a crappy landscape.  I kinda like the way that the mountains turned out, but I can’t draw water or grass apparently.  Doesn’t help that I was trying charcoal for the first time in ever. 

30 day improve your draws

e1n:

Ah oops, I forgot that I reblogged the 30-day challenge prompt to my inspiration blog but not here.  If anyone’s curious about the prompts, here they are. I’m doing these with liberty, meaning I’m skipping some that don’t interest me at all.

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lexiluda:

DAY 1. paint a BG

DAY 2. draw a figure in perspective

DAY 3. STILL-LIFE DAY don’t go crazy but you know, challenge yourself maybe do something a bit more complicated then a rubber ball in direct sunlight

DAY 4. draw a animal you’ve never drawn before

DAY 5. paint a picture using a limited palette, you can get those anywhere but here are some sites

DAY 6. draw a figure in: 1 hour, 30 min, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds

DAY 7. put your ipod on shuffle and play the first song it gives you. illustrate that song. if you have a zune get the fuck off my blog you heretic

DAY 8. 2 POINT PERSPECTIVE DAY

DAY 9. draw the same picture 3 times with 3 different compositions

DAY 10. STYLE DAY 1 - pick a artist with a unique style and emulate it!

DAY 11. STYLE DAY 2 - pick a artist with a unique style and emulate it!

DAY 12. STYLE DAY 3 - pick a artist with a unique style and emulate it!

DAY 13. watch a movie or episode of a show that you find visually appealing. while watching draw thumbnails of shots that catch your eye and try to articulate why it’s visually appealing/why it works

DAY 14. paint another BG but it has to be different than the one you did  DAY 1 SO if you painted a outdoors scene, do a interior if you painted a tree try some water w/e

DAY 15. do a lineart, then swap with a friend who also did a lineart and color each other’s pictures. if you don’t have friends then make some ok

DAY 16. paint a portrait of your favorite celebrity (mine is adrian brody!!)

DAY 17. do another limited palette picture b/cuz they’re easy and fun but this time after you’re done INVERT THE PALETTE (CTRL + I in photoshop) AND PAINT A DIFFERENT PICTURE whoa

DAY 18. close your eyes and draw 3 random shapes with your non-dominant hand, then turn those shapes into legit draws

DAY 19. MAGICAL GIRL DAY FUCK ok go to here and draw the first 3 you get. i guess you could use any of the other generators but why would you want to?

DAY 20. pick a body part you have trouble with, find a bunch of photo references (or use yourself/a friend that you should have made by now) and fill up a whole page/canvas with studies

DAY 21. 3 POINT PERSPECTIVE DAY

DAY 22. random.org 1-648 3x. gijinka the corresponding pokemon no cheating yes metapod is 9 kinds of lame but do it anyway this is about growth i’m already trying to make it fun quit bitching. if you don’t like pokemon go to wikipedia and hit “random page” until you get 3 animals and gijinka them.

DAY 23. draw the keyframes of a walk cycle

DAY 24. this is a project i did in my intro to drawing for non-majors class (aka confused business majors who need a fine arts gen ed and couldn’t get into ceramics). pick a ancient culture that you’re interested in (aka not contemporary japan you giant child) and find a sculpture or piece of art (3D works best) that really speaks to your heart or some shit. render it as realistically as possible. this may seem odd but it was a weirdly engaging project for me except you have it easy b/cuz i had to recreate it on a 4ft x 8ft canvas in ink and, while engaged, i also wanted to fucking die the entire time (almost 2 weeks) so that’s the feeling you should be aiming for here

DAY 25. YOU’RE GETTING BETTER EVERY DAY DAY! find the oldest picture you have and redraw it for a quick and dirty self-esteem boost

DAY 26. have a friend draw you 3 very rough gestures and then you finish them. if you still don’t have friends you have bigger problems than needing to work on your art i gave you 10 days to find a buddy which is pretty generous i think

DAY 27. pick 3 basic geometric shapes, design 3 characters utilizing those shapes

DAY 28. find a book, open to a random page and draw the 2nd sentence

DAY 29. pick a character (whatever) and draw them happy, sad and angry. be consistent and push the expressions/pose

DAY 30. real talk nobody ever makes it to day 30 i could pretty much say anything here and it wouldn’t matter at all. i’m making this day about me, this is my day, national johre day. draw yourself god tierwhile listening to really cool music. pretend you are really a god wearing cool pajamas and have amazing powers and are not actually a disenchanted alcoholic woman lost in the financial abyss of post-university life christ almighty help me 

Guess who’s doing a challenge for once?  Drawing first, then I’m doing a writing prompt challenge. :)

sinvraal:

I’ve always felt somewhat removed from the Anora/Aemon debate, in no small part because I feel like I had a different initial experience of the first game than many players. Since I was deep into ME at the time, my first DA:O playthrough was one made largely in ignorance, with only a passing connection to the wider DA fandom.

Opinions ahead.

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I think I had a pretty similar experience as you.  I ran a city elf warden as my first and currently only playthrough, also still more a Mass Effect fan than anything.  I don’t think I really got sucked into DA:O the way that I got sucked into Mass Effect.  I still don’t know why because it’s also the sort of game that theoretically I should really really like.  Maybe I have to give myself some distance, and try not to compare it to ME too much.

Anyways, as a city elf, my warden is technically from Ferelden, but that country’s really done nothing for her, and she has personally awful experience with the ruling elite.  So when I accidentally started romancing Alistair, first I was kinda miffed, because I had heard that if he becomes king, he won’t be able to continue a relationship with a non noble.  And I couldn’t dump him, that would be like kicking a puppy…  So I went through the game, and then when I met Anora, I realized that I was being dumb.  There was no reason why Alistair would be a better ruler than her, since she at least seems interested and is indeed a smart woman who knows how to play the political game.  And why would my Warden want to give him up to put him in a place where he’d be miserable?  I did kind of feel guilty about Eamon, because he was one of the first one of the noble class who didn’t treat her as a servant from the start, and it kind of felt like betrayal, not helping him with his goal.  But, I couldn’t agree with his argument.  Like you said, bloodline isn’t exactly a guarantee of a good king, and I can’t exactly see my elf thinking that it would be. 

paratactician:

I’ve become slightly sidetracked in Fallen London by trying to figure out the mysteries of Hunter’s Keep. I’m not sure if any followers are interested in FL, but I thought I’d post my notes as much to get them out of my head as anything. Heavy spoilers under the cut for all the Hunter’s Keep content, though nothing else.

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Damn, now I need to get back into that.  I have the bad habit of playing it in spurts of a few weeks then dropping it for a few months, so I’ve never gotten that far.

Macklemore

When I first found Dir en grey, I came to the realization that the technique of art really doesn’t matter as long as it’s done well.  As much as people deride rap and hip-hop for not being music, I realized that I just probably hadn’t heard any particularly -good- hip-hop or rap.  Well, now I can say that I have, because Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is seriously amazing.

Yes, Macklemore of Thrift Shop fame.  I’m lucky that Cole linked me to some of his other songs, because otherwise I would have just past him over as merely a -admittedly amusing- joke song writer. 

Listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAg3uMlNyHA

Seriously, chills up my spine.

An interesting revelation

So, throughout almost the entire break, I’ve been struggling to put down my thoughts on Mass Effect 3 (yeah, this blog is kinda getting flooded with Mass Effect, isn’t it).  I’d rocketed past the 1,700 word mark and I still didn’t feel like I had written anything that was worth reading.  I kept going back, finding more that I wanted to say, adding in more little moments that I loved and never actually finishing a thought.  Reading it over again, after letting it sit for a week, made me realize something that would have helped so much when I was in high school. 

I’m an essayist, not a reviewer.

Ever since I was in middle school, I thought I would be great at writing reviews.  I tend to analyze and pick apart everything that I come into contact with, especially if I like it.  I enjoy trying to take things apart, imagining how each element works together, figuring out why this part didn’t work at all, why this part made me cry etc. So, in just about every single newspaper club I’ve been in, I’d try to write reviews, but I’d fail horribly.  I’d put down words, look at it, delete and start again, since nothing ever came out the way I wanted it to.  Then, too frustrated to continue working on it, I’d end up submitting nothing, much to the chagrin of the people waiting for my articles.

However, revisiting this massive mess of incoherent ramblings made me realize that when I write, I’m never trying to give an overview in broad strokes; I’m actually trying to define what each moment meant to me and show everyone else exactly how it made me feel.  So I never get anywhere trying to review a complete work because there’s too much that I want to talk about and I get frustrated when I casually mention a moment that I really liked and realize that I didn’t actually define it properly.  Then I try to fix this problem, and my article blows up in my face, since detailing 50 hours of gameplay doesn’t exactly make for a reasonably sized review nor can it be accomplished in a reasonable span of time.

So, I should give up on trying the broad strokes approach when I actually have an emotional attachment to something, since seriously, that’s not what I actually want to do.  I want to distill all the feels one moment at a time and make the reader understand why I loved it so much.

Now, it would have been nice if I had realized this sooner, when I actually could write for a school newspaper. :P

Oh geez, this is kinda making me regret not romancing Garrus last time.  Ah well, I was already planning to on my next playthrough.

Current thoughts:  I’m about 30 hours in.  Yes, it’s probably a little unhealthy considering how many days ago I started.  But I’m enjoying myself, and I still have managed to avoid ending spoilers.  I do admit, the story sometimes does get a bit muddled, because apparently they’ve been putting in stuff referencing the books?  So a few characters that are obviously big, I have no idea who they are when they’re introduced.  Not the best way to do it in my opinion.  So many side quests @_@  I got locked out of a few because I completed the main mission ones in a bad order and now the completionist in me is crying »  What I really like is the really nice character-character interactions, like the one above :D  It really makes me happy to see them just as friends and whatnot.  I think that was missing a bit in the other ones.