Join me in congratulating Earth for making another successful orbit around the sun. Good job, Earth!
I made up my own challenge and decided to do 24 days of art last month. The goal: draw/paint something or work on an unfinished piece for the first 24 days of December, and I am happy to report that I DID IT! If you remember my post in May when I lamented over the fact that I wasn’t as prolific as I used to be, 24 days of art helped me overcome that difficulty.
With out further adieu, here is the result of December’s challenge.
The Aurora Mountains
Inspired by the one and only Bob Ross! I learned so much from him.
This is based on a photo I took during my July trip to my home state of California. It's not finished yet, but it was so much fun to finally get this one started.
Alice of two worlds
My character Alice from my unfinished story set in the world of Sisters. What would you be like on other worlds?
Mars & Starfury
A tribute to two of my favorite things: Mars and Babylon 5's Psi Corps. The Black Omega squadron soars through Mars' atmosphere into the great beyond.
MCRN: Self portrait
Because I can, ha ha!
A Winter Escape
A fun painting that I had a great time working on and completing. A family of bears marches through the snow as the frozen lake glimmers in the moonlight.
Admiral Smith of the MCRN
A tribute to The Expanse, Mars, the MCRN, and of course Smith from The Man in the High Castle
One of my first attempts at oil painting. This was a learning experience for sure!
Elf with blue hair
Something fun and different, an ode to the many elves I drew in the early 2000s.
We are five months into 2021 (nearly six!), so it is time for a midyear check in. Have I kept the resolutions I made in January? Have I created new goals?
Writing and Sketching
I’m lumping every resolution involving writing and drawing into one category because I’d end up repeating myself otherwise. Here’s a quick summary of the lofty goals I had coming into 2021.
Drawing – get back to pre-pandemic levels of content (this includes High Castle projects).
Writing – finish writing Alice or Metropolis
I counted the number of drawings I posted on Instagram since January, and it is a tiny 24. Am I surprised by this? Nope. There is something to be said about the pandemic phenomenon popularly dubbed languishing. In my case, it was born out of the sameness of every day. It feels like a blur stretched across the vast expanse of space and time. Creativity thrives off of invigoration and the small, random happenstances that made pre-pandemic days stand out from each other.
Am I fighting this? Of course, but I’m not going to lie and put on a fake smile and say it’s an easy battle. It’s not. But I’ll be damned if I don’t at least try, even if it means just writing a single sentence at a time or sketching a wobbly line. Tiny steps toward progress are much better than doing nothing at all.
A Much Needed Morale Boost
Written two weeks ago – I feel that this is worth sharing
I went downtown today. It felt like venturing out into the wilderness. The adventure, even the mundane bits as I flashed my day pass to the driver and stepped onto the bus, boosted my mood and made me forget about everything for a while. I don’t know if it was enough to wake my creative senses, but it helped my overall state of being. I sincerely hope we have a swift return back to normalcy soon.
Oddly enough, this is the one goal that I’ve kept. How did that happen!? Is this some sort of parallel universe? I kid, I kid!
I didn’t think it was possible or that I’d have the motivation, but here I am working out on the elliptical machine three days a week and wanting to up the ante.
The single most important tip I have for those thinking about picking up a workout routine is to daydream. You won’t feel the pain. Trust me. Live that extra life where you’re flying Starfuries, battling Thanos, or visiting the stars!
Seriously Geeky Sundays
Heather announced last week that this month marks the end of Seriously Geeky Sundays. It had a great run, and I am happy to have taken part in it. I met some wonderful people, so I just want to thank Heather for creating it and coming up with new prompts every week.
Let’s dive right in, shall we? My one goal for 2020 was to start writing again, and considering I could barely force a sentence out between 2018 and 2019, mission accomplished. It took me a few months to write more than just a few words, but I did it! Next step is to actually finish a novel.
Drawing – 2020 put a damper on my art. Ask me one year ago today how I thought 2020 would go, and COVID-19 was not it. I made 90 posts on Instagram (which means roughly 90 pieces of art) compared to over 200 in 2019. It’s time to change that.
I have some awesome ideas for this year! Grasshoppers, keep your eyes peeled because I have AN EPIC HIGH CASTLE project in the works.
Work Out – Hear me out! Don’t roll your eyes just yet! I’ll have you know that this is the first time I’ve ever listed this as a goal. I’m not going to kid myself with this one because there is a slim chance I’ll do it, but I want to at least try. Little did I realize that I got 90% of my physical activity done at work …and I type this as I feel like I’m coming down with a cold (physical activity is the last thing I want to do right now).
WWII French Resistance – I’ve wanted to get into reenacting for some time, and a friend on Instagram suggested I do the French resistance. This idea is PERFECT for me. It leaves a lot of room for creativity and ingenuity, and besides, I might do a few in a certain, alt world 😉
Finish Alice (or Metropolis) – Now that I’ve finally been able to crack open my creative mind again, I want to finish something. However, writing a story in recent years has become a trip through a proverbial minefield, lest someone rake you through the coals for an excerpt taken out of context (that was part of my problem in 2018 and 2019). You can write all the disclaimers in the world, but it can still happen (and why do we even have to write them now? It used to be a given: Bad things happen in fiction, and we know the author obviously doesn’t support them.). As long as I put that out of my mind, the creativity will flow.
I decided to do something fun to celebrate the end of the year. Despite the train wreck that has been 2020, there were a few good things to come out of it, and so I wanted to host my own award show–blog post!
I will add more categories in 2021. If there is a category you’d like to see, let me know! This is the first of hopefully many.
Welcome to the Inaugural Grasshopper Awards!
Best Discovery – Awarded to a show, blog, podcast, or other media that I came upon and enjoyed.
Best Book – Awarded to my favorite read of the year.
Best Vintage Find – Because of High Castle, I am a huge fan of things from the 40s and 50s. This award goes out to my favorite vintage find of the year.
Best Wardrobe Find – Awarded to a company or person that exceeded expectations, including being budget friendly.
I am forever grateful to @Mr_Picard on Twitter for spreading the word about this one. The moment I saw that these two gents were dedicated to talking about WWII through film (they just wrapped up 1939!), I was hooked.
Thank you for hours of entertainment! Here’s to 20201!
There are a lot of angles to consider for this category. Books are highly subjective, and I didn’t read as much as I do in normal years. I am an avid fan of picking up books at airports. You find some gems hidden among the key chains, snacks, and toiletries. I picked up one airport book days before this started, yes, days. I have yet to crack that one open. Shame on me, I know. Here’s to reading it in 2021!
I decided to give this award to the book I’ve read multiple times this year (I mean, that in itself tells you how much I liked it!). It is not an airport gem, but one I pre-ordered two days before its release in the spur of the moment. I am glad I gave in to my rashness, for the winner of Best Book is The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Thank you, Suzanne Collins! This book got me through this insane year.
Best Vintage Find
I have a tiny collection of antiques I’ve acquired since being captivated by the best show ever made. I’ll give you one guess as to which show that is ;).
I discovered a new way to acquire beautiful things. I am decades late to the Ebay party, but here I am. Through it, I’ve snagged some amazing props from High Castle that I will forever cherish. If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, you know all about Club High Castle.
The winner of Best Vintage Find technically isn’t vintage, but I’m counting it regardless. Props count. And choosing a winner was difficult, but in the end, I chose The Man In the High Castle: SDCC promo Premiere Ticket.
I got it for a great price (I could not pass it up), and I continue to be captivated by it. It really makes one feel like they are about to enter another world. I love the creative lengths the promo team went to make it look vintage.
Best Wardrobe Find
This goes out to a talented shop on Esty. They make custom vintage style dresses in a multitude of colors and styles. I ordered one this year, and they found the exact color I wanted, not to mention that their pricing is great for the quality, custom fitted dress you get in return!
Tuesday I had the awesome pleasure of joining the Axis of Good (Joel de la Fuente, Rufus Sewell, Chelah Horsdal, Stephen Root, Jason O’Mara, Frances Turner, Michael Gaston, Sebastian Roché, and Isa Hacket) with Field Team 6 for an evening of textbanking.
Let me tell you about the absolute blast I had! I didn’t know what to expect–was I nervous going in? You bet I was! I am probably the shyest person you’ll ever meet…until you get to know me, that is!
The week started off with absolute chaos, as 2020 weeks often do. I spent that day doing a bunch of house projects which involved a lot of nit and grit. I scrambled to get my laptop ready in time without bothering to fix my hair and without any attempt at looking presentable. Normally fans are muted and shuffled to the back of these things.
Well….I clicked the link and HELLO WORLD! Hello Joel in particular because I know you saw me fumbling around and flustered! 😉
After a minute or so, I managed to turn my camera off (like I said, I am SHY, plus I was also grimy from house projects).
The event officially started when the rest of the High Castle participants logged on. I cannot express what a joy it was seeing them happy, relaxed, and catching up with each other as we all stumbled our way through the textbanking system those first few moments.
As we began the textbank, I felt at ease because we were all just hanging out and enjoying the company as we did our task. We chatted with them via Zoom’s chat feature, and they responded, read our chats, and laughed away.