wyld_dandelyon: (Magical Moth Artist by Djinni)
My porch. Well, part of it. You see, earlier in the season I scraped off an area of the porch that's more exposed to the weather than the rest and took the tail end of some oil primer and painted it. That, of course, left an unsightly white stain on the purple porch.

But life has been busy, with unpredicted time sinks and distractions. So early this week, we had a bit of snow with my unsightly porch paint job still in evidence. So, while watching Bones (now unaccountably a Friday night show) I looked at the weekend weather -- rain. Oh, goodie. So I went out to paint the porch purple in the dark, with just one electric light (if you don't count distant street lights) to guide me. Then I came in and started this post, but was too tired to finish.

I slept a looooong time,

Now it's raining, and I'm hoping the paint dried before the rain started!!!

But somehow I'm not convinced that returning my purple porch to its proper purple counts as a "sketch".
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
When we moved in, we realized that the plumbing in the downstairs bathroom had a bad leak -- the sink and bathtub drains leaked right onto one of the beams that holds up the house. When we got into the basement and reached up, I found I could put all four fingers into that pipe. A couple years back, after opening up the wall on the other side, we fixed that. I still have a six-inch segment of pipe we removed, that basically lacks an inch-wide segment completely along its whole length.

Not long after that, the allergies informed me that there was some mold behind the plastic tile. Now, mind you, this is inevitable, that's why they don't let you use plastic tile on bathroom walls any more. But that meant tearing it out, which (since it had been glued to the plaster) left me with four walls that needed extensive plastering. I am very excited that the walls are now almost done. I've even put some paint on parts; I'll buy a waterproofing paint for the top layer, so we can use the shower down there if we want to.

So we've been discussing bathroom decor.

A long time ago, I picked up one of those sun-moon-and-stars shower curtains at rummage. More recently, friends gifted us with a whole set of bathroom things on that theme, including an identical shower curtain (read here "window drape" since the window is above the tub).

So I went online to find some suitable towel racks. Instead, I found shower curtain hooks. Bonus! But the towel rods were all unsuitable or boring.

Then I found two of these:

IMG_20130831_024320_166

Now, the color isn't great, but I figured I could fix that. So, last night we watched Babylon 5 while I painted. This one is probably almost done:

IMG_20130831_024209_339

And here she is with her sister, who still has some resin showing through:

IMG_20130831_035313_975

Slowly, we're getting to the point where the first floor bathroom will finally not be an ongoing project!
wyld_dandelyon: (Frazzled Moth Artist)

I'm pretty sure my friends will all have heard about the recent project Kickstarter should not have funded. If not, this guy wanted to publish a "seduction guide" based on "research and development done on Reddit". His words on Reddit, carefully erased prior to sending in his Kickstarter proposal, essentially advocated sexual assault. Kickstarter admits they were informed about this shortly prior to the end of the funding period, but they did not pull the project and they did not even hold the funds until they had time to determine if the project violated their terms of service.

Kickstarter's apology is here: http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/we-were-wrong

Kickstarter admits they were wrong and makes a large $25,000 donation to fight sexual abuse. However, people are still upset, and right now I am seeing more talk about what Kickstarter did wrong than about the creator of the project. Which brings me to this question:

Why does Kickstarter's actions in this matter matter so much to artists, writers and patrons of the arts?

One of the reasons Kickstarter has succeeded so well for so many artists is that they vet projects so people feel confident that they are supporting worthy art.

This was not worthy art. Kickstarter failed in its vetting process (I don't really blame them for that--nobody is perfect and these kinds of abusers are usually very good at hiding what they're up to). But--and this is a big but in terms of Kickstarter's credibility as a supporter of worthy art--Kickstarter sent the money before they took the time to investigate whether there had been a violation of their terms of service.

It's not about whether Joe Rape-Promoter can publish his book, it's about whether buyers of art will continue to trust Kickstarter enough to feel good about donating to Kickstarter projects. If you're thinking "I might be supporting rapists and teachers-of-rapists" when you see a Kickstarter page, even if the artist for this project is your grandmother, you will probably not feel good about sending her your money through Kickstarter.

What it comes down to is that Kickstarter's reputation matters.

Because Kickstarter has made it clear that they have standards for a Kickstarter project and they vet the projects prior to approving them, their reputation matters in a different way than a traditional publisher or book store's reputation. This unique reputation is inherently part of any Kickstarter project--because of this reputation, buyers could feel good about spending money there.  Essentialy, every time they sent money off through Kickstarter, they believed they were supporting good art and keeping worthy artists from starving in garrets. For once, buyers believed, their money wasn't supporting some greedy corporation, but was instead (except for handling fees) going directly to an artist with a dream worth supporting.

Is that a bit like saying Kickstarter gives people a nice daydream of doing good in the world? Absolutely. But it's really not so far from the truth. Artists get paid for their work, books get published, movies, clocks, jewelry and fine garments get made, and the world contains some wonderful things it wouldn't have otherwise. The supporters of these projects deserve to feel good about making some wonderful dreams come true.

Every artist who uses Kickstarter relies on that idealistic daydream, as does every buyer who sends their money off to someone they've never heard of, hoping to get a product in the mail or e-mail some months in the future. It's not just a daydream--Kickstarter has helped thousands of dreams become reality.

So, someone decided to use that dream for evil. Sadly, that's not really surprising. As we know from our best fiction--even our kids' comic books--one must always be vigilant in the fight against evil.

Kickstarter was our artist's superhero, if you think about it. No one wants to see Wonder Woman fail to catch the villain, and we especially don't want to see the villain hoodwink Superman and get away with the money. But in this case, so far, it looks like the villain is laughing all the way to the bank.

No wonder we're upset.  We want Kickstarter to hold that villain accountable!

Here's hoping Kickstarter can do that, or can at least set in place policies that will prevent any other villain from doing the same.  I want that nice daydream of a place where I can safely send money to artists, even ones I've never heard of before, and feel confident that I'm supporting good art and worthy artists--and I want that dream to once again be a part of my everyday reality.

wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
A couple of days ago, I was going to post one of my monster sketches from last weekend, but Live Journal wouldn't let me post. Hopefully that won't be a problem tonight, be cause Elizabeth wrote a poem about the creature in one of my sketches!

So, here is the current sketch of the Unicorn Jelly:
unicornjelly

And here is the link to the poem:  http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/2836864.html

Finally, we would welcome some new prompts, whether related to Sea Monsters or not.  Of course, you're welcome to come peek in on us as we create or even join us.  http://torn-world.livejournal.com/151363.html
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
I even got Mother's Day flowers!

my mothers day roses with painting supplies

You can see my sister's paints around the edges of the picture. I found myself in Chicago before I realized Sketchfest was happening.

I'm left with the question: Why are sea monsters easier to paint than people???

Now I'd better pay some bills and then maybe I'll have time to scan some paintings.
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
Life is still overbooked and frustrating, but there are words.

Just not very many on Live Journal right now. But I have a new poem up over at Torn World: http://www.tornworld.net/storypageview.php?id=512

It goes with this painting:

shades of blue bird

So far, May is starting better than April did, creatively speaking.  Here's keeping my fingers...well, crossed isn't the right metaphor, is it?
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
I was hoping F would fall on Friday, since, well, Friday.

But instead I'll celebrate having so many artists in my life.


amethyst dragon's unhappy surprise cat is ready juggling a rainbow NaNoDreaMer

Icons by [livejournal.com profile] djinni (who will probably launch a new Free Icon day shortly)


eggs by family

Eggs by family!

And of course there's all the artists who've contributed to Torn World or joined in at Sketchfest or who post their works  in progress on LiveJournal or DreamWidth.

Nimble minds and hands
Every artist brings me joy
Each of them unique


Thanks, all of you, for bringing beauty and whimsy to my days.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
[Poll #1894820]

Oh, hey, I bet [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith's poetry fishbowl is open.  Let's go see!

Yes,  here it is:  http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/2702408.html
wyld_dandelyon: (Allegedly Sleepy)
But first, I have to show you the wonderful matching holiday card one of my friends sent me!

whole door and card

I'm considering what to put on my door in its place.  When I took it down last year, I put a butterfly-theme wind chime up, and that is still available, but I think I'd like something different for a while...

But what?
wyld_dandelyon: (Magical Moth Artist by Djinni)
[Poll #1893270]
wyld_dandelyon: (Guitar Angel)
But I failed to do so.

I did manage some edits to Torn World stories yesterday, however. This evening was taken up in running unplanned errands, culminating in reducing a thing that threatened it might be a serious medical problem to a mere matter of getting to a professional to adjust some bits of metal and plastic properly.

Dinner was unfortunately very late (though fortunately there were leftovers, or it would have either been even later or very boring and not balanced).

I am now relieved and full but tired.

Here's one of my sketches from Sketchfest this weekend.  It's not done yet (this stage is titled Crooked Cat because I ran out of time).  I am, however, pleased with a number of aspects of this one-hour acrylic sketch

crooked cat
wyld_dandelyon: (Sketchfest)
No matter what your skill level or budget, you can join in. Anyone can leave prompts, and anyone can sketch! You can sketch in any media you want: paint, Sculpy, sidewalk chalk, needle and thread, markers, pixels, frosting, fancy-cut vegetables, pottery, jewelry bits, even pencil. Anything you can take a picture of.  Some of the sketches (or finished art based on the sketches) are for sale.  There is one rule:  you can only spend one hour on each sketch, maximum.

Sketch Fest is over here: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestprompters.php

People have already started uploading their art. Click on Show Thumbnails to see miniature versions of the art. Click on a thumbnail to see the full-size version, to leave comments, and to see information about buying art that's for sale.

Now I'm going to head over and leave some prompts, tag some prompts, and do some sketching.

Maybe I'll see you there?

2012-12-16_03-06-46_819 (2)
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I did some writing and some submitting this year, though not as much as I hoped.

Like last year, I had some months where I exceeded my goal of 10 submissions per month; some months where I made some submissions, but not 10; and a few months where life got away from me and the stories that needed submitting sat on my computer, waiting for me to have some time and energy to send them out.

I have a vision for the future, some time when I no longer need a day job, that each working day will include some office hours — time to answer emails, make submissions, proofread completed work, even things like learning to convert files to mobi and other epub formats. But it's clear I need that now, maybe not every day, but every week.

I did not get as much writing done in 2012 as I had hoped — nowhere near as much as I had dreamed, certainly, but also not as much as I thought was a realistic goal. Admittedly, I did have some unplanned health crises that took up quite a bit of my time and energy, starting with My Angel falling in February, and nearly bleeding to death.

But back to office hours, the question is "When?"  I need some de-stressing and refocusing time after work, even when work and health issues don't leave me really too tired for anything else. And weekends, well, weekends are all different. Catching up on sleep, catching up on errands, catching up on laundry, sometimes going to parties or conventions or housefilks — scheduling office hours for weekends seems doomed. But I've got to figure out something.

I suppose that's got to be the first goal for 2013: Figure out some non-doomed time for office hours.

I'm going to renew my 2012 goal of at least 10 submissions per month. I think if I can set up office hours that will be doable. At least I hope so.

And writing. I want to do more writing. I wrote some short stories and poems, and started even more.  I both started and finished the Wild Snowy Chase prequel this year, and added many words to Wild Snowy Chase itself, and the end of that story is in sight. If I hadn't got sick this month, I think I'd have finished it already. Next, of course, is getting Dini and Lalya married off properly. This weekend's Muse Fusion got me too short stories, and one poem closer to that goal already. I also have several things I'm working on that aren't set in Torn World.  I'd like to finish Clockwork Dragon and my shifter mystery.

I think Camp NaNoWriMo is scheduled to happen in March this year, which, if I don't get sick, is a much more likely month for me to make 50,000 words than November. I've always said November is terrible, though even so I managed to win one year. I have solid hopes for March.  I'd like to think of myself as totally self-sufficient, but I do find having companions of this writing journey, and truth be told, having people to compete with (no matter how nominal the competition) has helped keep me focused and writing.

I have other goals too, of course. I'd like to do a few sketches for every Sketch Fest. That's really making a difference in my drawing skill. And I want to do more music. (I won't be doing the coffeehouse talent contest this year, as once again the finals conflict with Capricon.) I'd also like to get the house in better shape. Sadly, all of these things take time, and I don't have any way to squeeze more hours into the day. I guess in the new year, I just have to keep on doing as much as I can, keep dreaming big, and living up to as many of my dreams as possible.

I also started exercising more days than not in 2012, which has made my knees stronger and happier, and even started my weight creeping downward very slowly.  That's something I need to continue. 

Overall, 2012 wasn't bad.  I kept the day job, paid bills, started exercising, dealt with disasters big and small, and didn't stop writing, drawing, singing, and living.  If I didn't do everything I'd hoped to do, well, I always dream big and plan optimistically.  I figure I may never meet all my goals that way, but I'm sure I get more done than if I planned small.  So, here's to 2012 and to 2013.

I hope we all have a safe, wonderful, creative, and happy New Year.

2012-11-27_11-54-13_874
wyld_dandelyon: (Scientist Geek Magician)
I'm home, I went back to work (to a mountain of mail, e-mail, and messages), yet Worldcon is still filling my thoughts.

Once Worldcon really started, I didn't get my computer open much, except for taking notes during the lyric writing workshop, and now I have bills to pay, errands to run, spam comments in my LJ to delete, and stories to finish, so if I missed something important on LJ in the last week, you're welcome to call my attention to it here.

It's way too long since I was at a Worldcon. As much as I love being in filk song circles, I kept finding myself talking to people in the corridors instead of going in and singing. Gail Bailey gave me a beautiful length of lavender tatting, too short for much besides a bookmark, though I'd rather attach it to a garment and show it off than bury it in a book.

I met people who only know me as Wyld_Dandelyon, people who had heard my voice for years on filk tapes but didn't know what I look like, and people I haven't seen in way too long. I met Stina Leicht, who was autographing next to me, watched the Hugos (and even committed haiku there). The Hugo base design this year is STUNNING--you can see it here: http://litstack.com/?tag=hugo-award, but in person the glass has a steely blue tone and simply gleams, even in the predictably boring light of a basement convention hall.  Deb Kosiba, the artist, outdid herself.

I was on some fantastic panels, especially the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading (17 authors read from their work in ng an hour and a half) and Storytelling the Old Fashioned Way, featuring four writers who also have performed live in various venues.  There were dozens of panels I wanted to see, too many of which conflicted with things I was on.  (I actually drew lines through entire time slots because each slot took up more than two pages there were so many different programming items at the same time, and I didn't want to miss my own programming items). 

I also participated in a fishbowl event, where various writers sat in the fan lounge writing.  The signed original text was auctioned during the Art Auction with the proceeds going to charity.  I don't know how much it went for--I was napping at the time, after the unexpected cardio-hour on two hours of sleep wherein I rushed back and forth trying to find the person running the fishbowl event, so I could sign the printout, learned about and found a lost phone, found a stranger working the art show who had another stranger's badge, and quite thoroughly used up all the energy I'd gotten from my morning's nap.

I listened to some great live music, sat in some standing-room-only panels, read some of my work aloud, sang some songs (mine and other people's), smiled at fannish babies, handed out dozens of Torn World ribbons and postcard/flyers, sold a very few books (Subversion was popular at this event), bought a few books and CDs, got a new patch for my gig bag, resisted gorgeous jewelry of all designs (including stunning jeweled space ships) and chatted with friends new and old.  It was a good con, even if it would have been better with a time-travel device to let me do more things and get more sleep. 

If I have enough money and time off from work, in two years, I could go to Worldcon in London and then, a week later, to Eurocon in Ireland.  That would be a cool trip!  Now if I could just avoid the need to pay for stuff like car repairs and root canals...
wyld_dandelyon: (sleeping dragon by Djinni)
I was much younger when I did two cons two weekends in a row. Wiscon was great, all intellectual and thought provoking and when it wasn't, I tried writing in the Google doc where I'm collaborating on a story (that worked pretty well, actually). Duckon was appropriately nicknamed "cardio-con" and there were people I wanted to see that I heard were there, somewhere.

This last weekend I finally got to the Bead and Button show. I'm not sure if I got the right beads to make a couple of necklaces I've been working on work right yet, however, I did get some cool things and I now just need a quick trip to Planet Bead for cord and either red or gold seed beads to have one that I hadn't planned, but will be Really Cool, I think, when it's done. Here's the beads - the little ones are butterflies, not sure if that will be clear in the picture:

new beads
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
I opened the Muse Fusion last night, did some writing, slept a Loooooong Time (which felt wonderful) and did some more writing.

Here's the snippets I've posted so far:


Ripples

The tall, handsome man in the dress smiled at Othan and then walked on, talking with the small Asataarla woman.

The boy turned to watch him walk. The silk was beautiful, and rippled with the man’s long stride. Othan watched as the two turned into an expensive restaurant. After an obvious double-take, the greeter led them to a table with obvious respect.

Othan dug into his pocket to count his cash. Three basic tokens and one precious coin. Not enough for a dress, even in the second-hand store. But he couldn’t stop thinking about it, the pale dress against the man’s very dark skin. He couldn’t help imagining what it would be like to have silk legs swishing around his legs like that—though his skin color, with its olive tones, would go better with a different color.

He put his tokens back in his pocket and headed in to the store, not really sure what he would do there, but the lure of the dresses had caught him, and he couldn’t resist.
...



Young Love

The young couple got off of the train, two tall, thin forms with carrot-bright hair, slender fingers twined together. The contrast of the Mayaloi-dark skin of the woman and the Irfai-pale skin of the other was striking. They looked around with wide eyes, and Jakei couldn’t tell if they were pulling together out of nervousness or love. She smiled, and thought, probably both.

“I didn’t think Mayaloi came with red hair.” Murruni murmured.

“They don’t. She must have other blood, unless that’s a dye job.”

“Can they get that color with dye?

Jakei shrugged, and tossed her long, golden hair, letting the metallic painted highlights flash in the moonlight. “Beats me. My hairdresser might know.” The Mayaloi woman’s eyes were drawn to the bright peacock-feather patterns painted in Jakei’s hair, and she leaned to her companion, whispering into her companion’s ear.

Beside Jakei, Murruni ran his hand over his bald, tattooed head, stretching to let his gently-sculpted muscles ripple. Like Jakei, he was painted, but his metallic paints were applied to his body, accenting the tattoos that scrolled around his body. “Care for a wager?”

“You really think they’ll have eyes for anyone but each other?”

“They’ll be disappointed if we don’t at least try.”

Smiling, they stepped forward to greet the young lovers. “Welcome to Affanumuur.”
...



Bead by Trelgon

They returned to the summer gather late; the sun was low over the hills and everyone was asleep. Dulsa and Trelgon quickly unloaded the baskets of fish from Fidget, then started draping them over the waiting poles in the smokehouse. Dulsa yawned hugely and repeatedly until Trelgon laughed. “You’re really tired,” he said. “Go on to bed. I’ll see you later.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, and Dulsa’s hand went to the carved fish in the center of her necklace. She felt very self-conscious about it—they’d been adults only a few months, and she hadn’t had very many beads there yet, but also she knew her younger sister, Freijali, had a crush on Trelgon. How would Freijali take seeing a bead carved in Trelgon’s distinctive style on her sister’s neck?

It was only a month—there was no serious romance between her and Telgon—but a month could seem like forever when you were almost adult and couldn’t court the object of your attraction yourself. Dulsa reached the large tent she shared with her age-set and her sister’s, still yawning. What was wrong with her? The day hadn’t been that strenuous!

She looked around and, to her relief, didn’t see Freijali. The house looked different too. It took Dulsa a minute to realize why—most of the people in the house were sleeping tandem. As she walked over to where her own furs were rolled, one of the few singletons rolled over, looked up, and hastily stood. It was Reivani. “Dulsa—you missed it!” His eyes were shining, though his voice was low.

“Missed what?”

“Our final test—and we passed!” Reivani stepped closer in the dimness of the tent, and he raised one hand toward her, cupped upward. “Would you—” his eyes dropped to her neck, and he stopped. “Oh. Um.”
...


I've got 1100 words into Bead By Trelgon so far. It's at a point where I could call it good or I could call it the end of the first act.  So sponsoring it will get the unapproved draft posted immediately.  The others aren't as close to finished, but I'll give priority to working on whatever gets sponsored first!

Want to read more? I'll work on whichever fragment(s) you tip me to work on, at a rate of at least 90 words per dollar or 1000 per $10 (by which I mean I reserve the right to write more than you pay for). You can tip me in Torn World Credits or use my tip hat at www.wyld-dandelyon.com. Just be sure to let me know which piece you're paying for.ring

I'll be posting more snippets this weekend, over at [livejournal.com profile] torn_world in the Muse Fusion post.  Sometime tomorrow or next week I'll also be sending private copies of each entire work in progress (as far as I've gotten, anyway) to the people who prompted them.  More prompts would be very welcome, and would get you a peek at the rough draft of anything your prompt inspires! 

I hope to see you there!

Now I'm off to write some more.
wyld_dandelyon: An exuberant dandelion I painted (dandelion art)
I hope to see you all at www.torn_world.livejournal.com!

I'll hurry home after work and open things up, hopefully by 6:00 central time.

Readers: If you're not sure what to prompt about, remember we have Sea Monster Month coming up, we're in the middle of the Fantastic Critters of Torn World Contest, some of us love challenges, and questions, words, moods, settings, characters, photographs, and even music can be offered as prompts.

Writers and Artists: Sharpen your pencils, dust off your computers, or ready whatever strange tools and materials you might want to use! Knitting needles? Clay? Paint and canvass? Or "just" pixels appearing on a blank screen? I can't wait to see!
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
I posted more details over in [livejournal.com profile] crowdfunding

The next Torn World Muse Fusion is next weekend.  The one after that will be the weekend of April 20th. 

Since most of my readers here have stopped by at least one Muse Fusion, I won't repeat the details here.  However, I'm planning to do something a little different:  I'm planning to post at least one Work In Progress snippet or excerpt for each prompter (though I don't promise to write to any of my own prompts).  If you're new here, feel free to hop over there and badger me with questions!

I'm inviting other Torn World creators to post snippets, rough sketches, or other excerpts too. 

I hope to see you there!
wyld_dandelyon: (Magical Moth Artist by Djinni)
It's got some of the fakey drama that all reality shows have, of course, but it also has something priceless.

These artists are given all the supplies they need, a tight time budget, and a challenge, and they create dreams from scratch. You get to watch as they're given the challenge, as they come up with a concept, and as they do the work to make stuff.

Then you see the results, and see the judges discussing what they like, what they don't, and why.

It's pretty cool.

I can tell the part of me that does art is learning from just watching, though exactly what I'm learning is not (so far) manifesting in words. It'll be interesting to see, next time I have time to bring out the paints or the sculpy, how these new thoughts affect my work.

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