Ambitious Morning

I woke up this morning, made my bed, did my skin care routine, brushed my teeth, and headed downstairs where Bear worked on his summer academics workbook while I made us omelets, whereupon we ate breakfast, and I cleared the table, loaded the dishwasher, and wiped down the counters.

Mornings like this are incredibly dangerous, because they allow be to labor under the delusion that not only do I maybe actually have my shit together, but that maybe I can 1.) heap more helpings of crap on my Plate O’ Tasks, since I’m handling everything so gosh darn well, and 2.) tell other people how to get their shit together, too!

I am painfully sure I am not technically qualified to do either of those things, but damn it, I’m gonna do them both anyway. I mean, you knew that, right? You knew that’s where this was going?

I started a project ages ago that kept having false starts. It was a YouTube project, a one-person podcast of a sort, and I continue to really like the idea behind it, even if I could never master the execution in that particular medium. The obvious solution — obvious to Present Day Me, who has now had a little bit of distance — is to simply change mediums. I have a blog, and a small but extant blogging audience. Just do the project as a series of blog entries, obviously.

The gist of the project was ways to inspire creativity and to keep creative in the midst of chaos — chaos here being high-levels of everyday brand stress, particularly for those who have low thresholds for that sort of thing. As someone who feels burned out on the reg by the basic expectations of adult existence (wait, I’m supposed to shower every day? Hang on, coffee isn’t a substitute for water? But it’s literally bean water!), I do feel at least somewhat capable of speaking from that perspective, and there have definitely been strategies I’ve used that have benefitted me (ahem, when I could actually motivate myself to use them. But you know, that’s on the individual, right? You can lead a horse to water, and all).

So yes, in the very near, perhaps nigh immediate future, expect a regularly occurring series about keeping creative in the midst of chaos. I will likely be adding links to the entries on my Writing archive page as well, if anyone finds them especially useful and wants to return to them.


As is likely suggested by my chipper ambition, I got all my routine chores done and the house in back to baseline, which means I feel a little more free to be a little more creative again. I spent yesterday taking reference photos and started on that sweet, sweet self-indulgent fanart,* and today I’m hoping to wrap it up, and start to wrap the other two active art projects I still have going, one of which is months old at this point (and which I legitimately forgot about until I had to open my digital art folder on Sunday). After that I have three more pieces conceived of as digital, and then I’m going to take a break from digital art and try doing more sketching and watercolor.

Speaking of watercolor, you all should go check out Emily Artful over on YouTube; I’ve been watching her for about a year now, and she’s always interesting and engaging to listen to, and her art is beautiful. She’s always worth a watch, but in light of the events of the last few weeks (if you are curious and don’t know, it’s easy enough to look up), I thought she was deserving of a little extra love.

Stay safe and sane. I’m back on the wagon with language learning, so I’m off to re-start (it has apparently been five months??!?! So I should probabaly totally restart) my Finnish lessons.

Take care.


*Fanart of Zoga from Worthikid’s animated short CAPTIAN YAJIMA. Kira and I have recently been watching and rewatching all his stuff pretty much non-stop, so they’ve been fresh on my mind again. I’m glad to not have entirely abandoned Tumblr, since there is some great Worthikids art and stuff over there, and I pretty much have a ready audience.

Tangentially, someone (who I can’t find now, because of course) tagged their art of Zoga “a gnc (gender-nonconforming) icon. I don’t even know what gender they’re not conforming to, but they sure as hell aren’t,” and I was like, yes! Yes! Gender goals!

A-to-Z Challenge: Queer/Queen/Quaint; Rider/Rise/Reward; Spine/Sign/Study

Come on, how much do you love my conceptualization of the mom? It’s great, right? Art at it’s finest.

“These are the best we could do?” Arianna murmured doubtfully as yet another potential suitor — smug and dark-haired, just like all the others — left the dining hall. “These are our best and brightest? This parade of arrogance and swagger?”

“They have every right to be proud,” her mother chastised sharply. “Pride is not the same as arrogance if it’s earned, Arianna. These you men are high born and highly skilled.”

“So their parents have money and they’re good with a sword,” Arianna said dismissively. “I don’t see how that sets them apart from me in anyway, and yet I’m constantly being told to be humble.” She side-eyed her mother, boredly.

“I can only assume that humility is to be the ‘lady-like’ counterpoint to my husband-to-be’s arrogance. Oh, apologies — pride. What a quaint arrangement.”

Her mother let out a long suffering sigh as Kiara, one of the servant girls, entered the room with an elaborate tray piled high with pastries and a gilded teapot. She waved the young woman in, rubbing at her temples.

“What would you have me say, Arianna?” she asked. “We have traditions, we have expectations and social mores. You are expected to find a husband, to be taken care of, to have children. Do you not want a secure life?”

“I don’t want that life,” Arianna sniffed. Her mother shook her head in frustration as Kiara poured her tea in a delicate china cup. Her mother took a long sip.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” her mother huffed, placing the cup back in it’s saucer with a little more force than strictly necessary. “You’ve not lived long enough to know. Your life will be long, God-willing, and what a horrid thing it would be if you were to live it alone.”

“I never said I wished to be alone,” Arianna aid airly. Kiara set a pile of sweet cakes on a plate before her. Arianna winked at her surreptitiously. Kiara’s face turned bright pink as she turned away, grinning.

“I only said I don’t wish to have a husband.”


Five a.m., and they pulled off the highway to eat, not a leisurely breakfast but a desperate devouring of the last remnants of the meal from the previous night; ham and cheese sandwiches kept cold in the front pocket of Erin’s Jansport with a sweaty dollar store ice pack. They rinsed their mouths with flat coke, tore into packets of Little Debbie swiss rolls with their teeth, and leaned themselves and their old bike against the guardrails on the highway as the turned their faces east.

How much further to go?” Kelly asked, her voice hoarse from disuse and the road. Erin took the last swig of Coke and shrugged.

“Miles or time,” she said, tossing the bottle over the guard rail. Kelly clucked her tongue disapprovingly. “Which is more helpful?”

Kelly shrugged. “Time, I guess.”

“Probably another five or six hours.”

Kelly chewed her lip thoughtfully, scuffing the road with her well-worn leather boats. Dry puffs of dust rose from the pavement in diaphonous clouds.

“That’s not so bad,” she muttered.

“No,” Erin agreed. “Not after everything else.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

The sat in silence for a moment, Kelly picking absently at the blood stains crusted on her jeans, the flesh still tender under the bulk of the bandages. She forced herself to stop worrying the injury, sat on her hands to keep her promise. The cold pavement against her hands, and the pressure of her weight was comforting, in a way. She turned to Erin and chanced a smile.

“At least we get sun today,” she said. Erin glanced over at her, her face unreadable. The corner of her mouth quirked, and she dipped her head in agreement.

“Yeah,” she said. “Yup. At least there’s that.”


She felt the gentle swish of her shirt in the path of approaching footfalls, but was still startled when she felt a hand on her back

“Naomi!” she signed. “Don’t sneak up!”

“Sorr-” Naomi started before catching herself.

“Sorry,” she signed. She pushed a stack of books out of the way with her foot and sat facing Zara. “I thought you had your hearing aids.”

Zara pushed her hair back to show her the buds in her ears.

“Turned them off,” she signed. “People never respect the silence of a library and I am beside myself trying to get shit together for my thesis.


Not going to lie; this might be my last year doing A-to-Z. I might take on some other monthly challenges, or seriously rethink how I handle this challenge, but I feel more and more — and I felt it a little bit last year, but hooo boy, is it full force this year — I feel more and more that it’s actually hindering my creativity more than helping me.

Actually, no; let me rephrase. I’m actually happy with what it’s doing for my creativity, because I was running out of ideas and also because I tend to stick with very similarly themed and similarly composed drawings, so this has been good in helping my generate scenes I normally wouldn’t consider drawing/painting. It’s hindering my productivity, because despite how rough the sketches are — and yeah, I know, they are rapidly degenerating before our eyes — it takes time and effort to conceptualize what I want to do for the sketch and what the story behind it is.

I already have a few front runners for what I might want to work on next month — and that’s exciting! — but I’m not getting much else done right now, and while I was a-ok with that at the start of the month, I’m regretting it a little now.

Because I hadn’t banked on the fact that, hey — ideas generate naturally, as well. They develop organically.

I have non-A-to-Z art ideas now, but I really can’t devote the time and energy to them that I’d like to, because I have to shift gears and conceptualize something new every day.

Next month when I’m not on a timeline, I can work on multiple projects at once and can easily do some of my own ideas alongside those generated by A-to-Z, but right now, my fingers are just itchy, man, ya know?

Hope all is going well for all other participants. Stay safe and sane.

A-to-Z Challenge: Nun/Name/Needle; Outside/Offensive/Oven

I will be honest; I’ve not got the energy to write out the vignette for the first of these, but the second of these has no vignette attached to it at all. There was no story or scenario in my head for the second one; the words generated, and automatically I thought about a couple of days last week, where the temperature far exceeded what we were expecting and we were sorely unprepared for it.

The first one was a little bit drawn from vague memories of my own Catholic schooling, but also somewhat inspired by a scene in The House on Mango Street. I imagine a young girl — disheveled, embarrassed — wearing shoddy, falling-apart clothing to school and being made fun of my her peers. One of the sisters sits with her in the classroom while the other kids are at recess, offering comfort and mending some of the more egregious rips and tears in her clothing. I like the idea of the scene quite a bit. I feel like I’ve said that about a fair few — which is not a bad thing! I would rather an excess of project ideas rather than a dearth — so I’m not going to say this is in the running just yet, but don’t be surprised if you see it again next month is all I’m saying.


I am on Spring Break! I spent yesterday and today getting my house in order so that I could throw myself into projects, both personal and creative, over the next seven days. I have activities to do with my son, I have four library books checked out on digital loan, I have three new podcasts I’m ready to check out, and I have two shiny art projects — not including the A-to-Z — that I’m working on. All in all, I’m incredibly glad for break.

In another bit of news that reminds me me both that I want to start writing new poetry again, but also that I need to bring over and archive my collection of sestinas (some of which are over a decade old at this point) — I was a finalist for the 2021 Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Prize with a sestina a wrote bordering on ten years ago (holy shit) called “Noise.” I miss writing poetry, particularly sestinas (they’re like a little puzzle to me; it’s such a thrill and a joy, figuring out how to piece it all together), and that is definitely something I should make room in my life for this summer.

I am breathing a deep sigh of relief and am eager to have a productive and relaxing break. Hope you all, whether you are working or not, have a lovely week.

Stay safe and sane.


This month, I’m using a random word generator to generate three words around which I will then craft a sketch and a literary vignette. I will chose my five favorites to fully flesh out (as full digital paintings and short-short stories) in May and beyond.

A-to-Z Challenge: Mother/Misery/Mass

I don’t have a vignette written for this one; I just wanted a young mother-to-be coming in off the streets, out of a bad situation. It’s been raining, and her hair and clothing is plastered to her skin; she sits in the final row of pews to be less obtrusive, but the church isn’t currently holding mass. There are a few people scattered here and there, kneeling in prayer and rising only to light a devotional candle before they leave.

Can people even do that anymore? The churches in my city used to be perpetually unlocked, open to anyone who wanted to come in at any time. I’m pretty sure they lock the doors now, when not in active use. It’s still an image I love, though, and one — now that I think about it — I’ve used before, ages ago, in a NaNoWriMo novel that I lost after the laptop I’d saved it on was stolen (note: back up your work, kids!) I’m not a religious person by any stretch or by any means, but I grew up immersed in a lot of Catholic “stuff” and for every religious “trauma,” I also have a good or pleasant nostalgic memory — I spent a lot of spring feast days and special occassions in grammar school in church for the morning session, and celebrating in the afternoon. As much as I don’t miss the religion, I miss some of the rituals, and some of the memories of my youth.


I’m exhausted. I’ve been exhausted for days, and maybe the reason it’s coming to a head today is because I finally got my period, or maybe because this is the first day I feel like I can really breathe a little bit — my parents and brother got the first dose of the vaccine today, and it was the last day of work before April break. I feel like a lot of pent up tension is released today, but the result of that is this weird emotional let down — like I’ve been holding myself together with duct tape and safety pins and now that everything is done, that whole scaffolding is just crumbling.

So I will have to catch up on A-to-Z tomorrow and Sunday. That’s fine. I also have chores tomorrow, but I got a hell of a lot down yesterday and today and I am trying extremely hard to give myself the due credit for my progress instead of berating myself for not having completely finished.

And I think I’m going to kick off the first night of Spring Break with some mindless YouTubing, a chat with my mom, some Annie’s Organic Peanut Butter Snack Bars, and our new Rosé All Day candle.

Cheers to you all. Stay safe and sane.


This month, I’m using a random word generator to generate three words around which I will then craft a sketch and a literary vignette. I will chose my five favorites to fully flesh out (as full digital paintings and short-short stories) in May and beyond.

A-to-Z Challenge: Kissable/Kilowatt/Knots, Letter/Lineage/Lines

The latch clicked, the sound of drunken giggles moving away from the closet until they were in silence. Julie dared a glance at Peter, whose eyes were locked incredulously on the doorknob. He reached out half-heartedly.

“There’s no way they didn’t lock the door, is there?” he murmured. He turned the knob slowly.

“Yeah,” he said. He wiped his hand on his shorts. “Ok.”

He chanced a look at Julie. His lips quirked in a nervous smile.

“Guess the next question is,” he said slowly. “Do you think they’re sober enough to remember to let us out?”

“I don’t think sobriety has much to do with it,” Julie sighed, biting her lip. “This kind of thing is pretty on brand for Amber.”

“What, forcing people to play high school make-out games?”

“No, like, literally locking people in closets and leaving them.”

His eyes widened. She smirked.

He smiled.

“Oh,” he sighed. “Ok, you were joking.”

“No, there is every chance that Amber’s just gonna leave us here,” she said. She shifted her back against the wall, dislodging the handle of a broom from the tender space between her shoulder blades. “Ask Chrissie about the Halloween party in 2018. She’s got stories.”

He shook his head, quiet for a moment.

“At least we’re not alone.”

She laughed. “Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

He was watching her, his eyes a dark honey color in the slats of golden light filtering through the closet door. She felt her face grow warm.

“So,” he said quietly. “Do we break down the door?”

“Maybe,” she said thoughtfully. She felt his hand brush her waist, and her stomach twisted in anticipation. “But maybe… maybe not right away.”

“Yeah,” he whispered. “Let’s keep that on in our back pocket.”


It had never been expressly forbidden from her, the attic; she’d caught glimpses beyond her mother’s shoulder as she’d come down with ancestral china for the holidays, the dusty rafts and golden slant of light catching her eyes just before Mother would pull the heavy door shut behind her.

As a child, whenever she’d asked any question about her family, inevitably it would lead to lavish stories of family who could do amazing things; world-class fencers, dancers, famous accordion players. If her father were in a good mood, or had had a particularly robust wine with dinner those stories would lead to some treasure or another being hauled down from the attic as proof; gleaming rapiers, wooden clogs engraved with tulips and windmills, scuffed up concertinas with thin-worn bellows.

So when Kira asked about her aunt, a vivacious and striking woman who she only remember in hazy memories of childhood summers, she had expected a grand story, and her mother touting an armful of memorobilia down the narrow stairs.

Instead, her mother went silent. She glanced over at Kira’s father, worrying her lip. Her father stared into the fire and said nothing.

“Aunt Marigold,” she had said again, slightly louder, thinking perhaps they hadn’t heard. “You remember? She used to bring me cherry cordials–“

“She disappeared,” her father said, and startled, obviously louder than even her had intended. Kira braced herself against the wall. Her father took a deep breath and picked up his paper, an unquestionably dismissive gesture.

“Went gallivanting off in search of her fortune years ago. You were still a child.” He stared at his paper, his eyes unmoving.

“We haven’t heard from her since,” he finished. Kira looked to her mother, who was idly clacking her knitting needles together. She chose to say no more.

That night, when she was certain her parents were asleep, she opened the attic door herself for the first time.


Day….Twelve?? I’m not fond of either vignette, but I’m kind of in love with the sketch idea I had for the second of the two. Another opportunity to play with transparency and glow effects.

I am exhausted tonight, so I’m going to go take a shower and head to bed to read.

Stay safe and sane, all.


This month, I’m using a random word generator to generate three words around which I will then craft a sketch and a literary vignette. I will chose my five favorites to fully flesh out (as full digital paintings and short-short stories) in May and beyond.

A-to-Z Challenge: Jemidar/Jamboree/Jive

I have no accompanying vignette for this one, at least not at the moment; this one stumped me, honestly. I had generated a couple of sets for J that just yielded nothing. Like, I generated most of these prompt clusters a few weeks ago and most of them weren’t a ton of work. J just tripped me up, though.

When this list generated, I had to look up jemidar, which apparently is “The chief or leader of a band or body of persons; esp., in the native army of India, an officer of a rank corresponding to that of lieutenant in the English army.” That definition was a little too niche for me (and military culture of any strip really ain’t my bag). so I sort of took it to just mean a leader. From there, I sort of conceptualized a group of girls — dancers, maybe — who are sort of the top tier at a local burlesque club. I just started very generally contemplating a particularly wild weekend — after hours at a burlesque expo, or after a show at a particularly raucius festival — and thinking of all manner of trouble they could get up to.

I’m not in love with the idea, but it did get me thinking about how much I miss burlesque — both attending performances and taking classes — and was a nice little reminiscence, which was nice.


Day Ten! My wife is off tomorrow to go get her Covid vax, woo hoo! She’s getting the Janssen vax, which I’ve heard can pack a punch, so I imagine she will be utterly unbearable, ha ha. But she was patient with me post-vaxx, so I will endeavor to be patient with her.

In other nearly as exciting news, I got an art gig offer today! Details still to be worked out, because she’s still doing logistics and budgeting, but a photographer friends wants me to paint a graffiti-style backdrop mural for her photography studio. I am beyond excited. See, these are the moments where I’m like, yes, taking just one more summer off was the right call. Now I have time to do things like this.

Four days until Spring Break.

Stay safe and sane everyone.


This month, I’m using a random word generator to generate three words around which I will then craft a sketch and a literary vignette. I will chose my five favorites to fully flesh out (as full digital paintings and short-short stories) in May and beyond.

A-to-Z Challenge: Hostage/Heaven/Harvest, and Insect/Idea/Imagination

“You’re familiar with the arrangement, I assume?” The voice was all-encompassing, enveloping every sense; she could some how feel it reverberate in her teeth, could feel it rattling her eyes, yet she felt no pain. It simply was. Everywhere.

“Obviously,” she said, keeping her voice low. A young couple passed, leaning into each other, hands deep in their pockets against the cold. She kept herself tight against the cold brick of the building, still unsure if people could see her or not. Somewho, she sensed Death smiling, not unkindly, but not without a sense of wry irony, either.

“It’s like the quintessential ‘strike a deal with Death’ trope,” she continued. “Right? I’m assuming I’m going to be expected to–“

“Reap,” he said. The voice was no less omnipresent, but there was a softness to it, now. “Yes. There may be some fine details I need to fill you in on, but you’ve clearly got the gist. Good. That will save time.”

She followed the young couple down the alley with her eyes, watched as they stopped at the far end for the young man to take out his phone as they huddled together to check something on the screen; a roster of movies playing at the local cinema. She thought about James, then; James, who had driven that road a thousand times, James who always knew his limits, James who had reassured her he was the more sober of the two of them. He probably had been, too; that was the sad thing.

She swallowed.

“How will I know when–“

A heavy hand came down on her shoulder. She gasped, instinctively reaching for it, and touched only her own flesh.

“You have eyes, don’t you?”

She blinked.

“Counters,” she sighed, watching the numbers above the young couple ticking down, but still a long ways off, thankfully. “God, how abhorrently cliched.”

Death shrugged. “It’s not on us to be creative. We only need to be efficient.”


“Fifteen years of studying genetics, chemistry, engineering,” Tennyson rattled off, pinching the bridge of his nose, “and this is how you choose to spend your talents.”

Avriel raked his fingers fondly through the setae along the creature’s unnatural large thorax, like an equestrian stroking a favored steed. The creatures wing flitted, stirring the air and whipping the long coats against the young mens’ legs.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said airily. Tennyson glared at him.

Dragon-powered,” he hissed. “Dragon. Which, granted, I thought was utterly insane, but this, against all odds, is somehow even worse. This is not what they are going to be expecting. Were you intending this as a joke? Because I know my father, and he is not going to think it’s funny.”

“Your father,” Avriel said calmly, bundling together thick cables and anchoring them to a set of carabiners, :is interested in novelty. ‘A whole new way to fly,’ he said. Balloons, dirigibles, gliders; done, dull, dreary. So I made a suggestion.”

“It may have been… impertinent,” he admited. Tennyson huffed an exasperated laugh. Avriel held up an admonishing finger.

“I spoke arrogantly,” he said. “I admit that. Got swept up in the challenge, and really, who could blame me? What would be more novel, more exciting, than dragon-lead flight?”

“It turns out,” Avriel sighed, giving the carabiners a final tug as he attatched them firmly to the gondola and gingerly tugging off his gloves, “dragons are not the easiest creatures to tame.”

The leather gloves came off agonizingly slow, Avriel mouth set in a stoic line as he slowly flexed his hands. The skin red and raw, unnatural shiny. Tennyson lurched forward instinctively, one hand jumping to his mouth.

“For the love of God, Avriel,” Tennyson breathed. His voice was soft. “What were you thinking?”

“I wasn’t,” he admitted. “I just…so wanted to impress your father.”

Tennyson smiled, though there was little humor in it.

“But dragonflies,” Avriel continued, eyes glinting. “I could work with.”

“But this,” Tennyson gestured to the monstrous creature, tethered to the rafters of the workshop. “This is…”

“A whole new way to fly,” Avriel said simply. He smiled, gesturing to the gondola, and the lush cushions lining the spacious basket.

“Care to test it out?”


Day… Nine? Oh my God, Jess, it’s just counting. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I…. yeah, nine, okay. Ugh.

I am actually very happy with both of these concepts and both vignettes — the sketches themselves (as the Insta caption says) is edging more and more towards the “sketchy” side as the month goes on, and my instinct is both to rebel against it (“Come on, you can draw better than that!”) and to lean into it (“Why waste time with unnecessary details when you are going to do a whole-ass redraw of everything next month?”)

I wrote some notes to myself on the drawings, rather than try to visually convey some details that wouldn’t really be possible to convey in a pencil sketch, i.e., partial transperency, luminescence, etc. — things that will only really come to life once I start digitally painting it, so again, why waste time? Conceptualize it, make note or it, move on.

In other news, I have now generated words up through “S,” so now all I have to do is try to keep up with the sketches.

Hope your challenges are all going well! I went around and visited a couple of other A-to-Zers during downtime at work, and hope to do the same thing thing this week, between consults.

Stay safe and sane, everyone.


Nine days in, and I’ve only now thought of adding the explanation for what, exactly, I’m doing as a footnote instead of shoehorning it into the entry. Sigh.

This month, I’m using a random word generator to generate three words around which I will then crafta sketch and a literary vignette. I will chose my five favorites to fully flesh out (as full digital paintings and short-short stories) in May and beyond.

A-to-Z Challenge: Generate/Grenade/Gun

I didn’t write a vignette for this one yet, nor is my brain cooperating to write one now (I’m halfway through my second glass of wine, and it was a day that warranted a two-glass-of-wine night, so there you go), but some of the inspiration that words lent was something along the lines of: someone being shot, and the ramifications thereof. Each bullet generates a series of distinct possibilities even before the bullet emerges from the victim’s body — there’s a world where they die, a world where they suffer permanent injury, a world where the bullet narrowly misses a major organ, a world where it barely grazes their arm — and it generates paths and possibilities for their assailant, as well. Will they be haunted for the rest of their life, will they be vindicated, will they repent and seek forgiveness, will they walk away scott free, will they spend the rest of their life behind bars, etc.

I liked that I conceived of this is a slightly more abstract way; I made a few short notes to myself, but I would like to see the moment from two perspectives, the silhouette of the victim getting hit with the bullet, and the bullet itself, barreling through, generating a galaxy of possibility in it’s wake.

Again, to refresh: This month I am generating three words a day using a random word generator, and creating a rough sketch and short prose vignette based off of the words. My five favorite will be turned into fully-fleshed out digital paintings and short stories in May (and likely beyond).


Anyway, Day Seven, woo! One whole week of A-to-Z. In the interim, I’ve been slowly working — off and on — on a digital piece, and I’ve been applying to some zines as interesting ones are popping up via Twitter. Most of my energy has been going towards work– as in, my day job — trying to keep my head above water with regards to chores (failing that pretty hard-core right now) and making some tentative plans with people now that my sister, brother, mom, dad, and wife are all or will all be vaxxed by next Friday! I am beside myself ecstatic. We still have to be careful, because we all have young kids who can’t get vaxxed yet, but as long as no one is taking the kids gallavanting all over town and all the adults are vaxxed and continue to observe safety measures (masks, distance) in crowds, it will be nice to get Bear some socialization again. He is sorely lacking for it, and his behaviors have been skyrocketing again.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Tomorrow is Friday, and I am thrilled. One more week until Spring Break (which will be spent mostly at home with my newly vaxxed wife (ahhh!!), but I may take a day to induleg myself at my parents house so my mom, brother and I can catch up on the frankly embarrassing backlog of Hunt-a-Killer boxes).

Cheers. Stay safe and sane, all.

A-to-Z Challenge: Fox/Fire/Fashionable

No one seemed to know who she was, if the furrowed brows, and the ill-hidden whispers were any indication. Certainly, in theory, that was part of the point of a masquerade, in theory; mystery, anonymity. But in plain reality, a birthmark, a throaty laugh, the twist of a lip in a familiar smile, the cadence of speech — there was littler mystery as to who anyone behind the paper and silk masks were. David had greeted many of the guests by name, wrapped his arms around them in a familiar embrace.

But she… she was different.

“So, how do you know the host?” he asked, sipping his wine when he turned to the table they were sharing. She tipped her head to the side, observed him from below the frames of her red and golf-foil mask.

“Intimately,” she said, a smile twisting the corner of her lips.

He choked. She laughed.

“Sorry,” she said. “I couldn’t resist. But honestly, it’s a long story, and not nearly as interesting as you’d like.”

“Oh? How would you know what I like?”

Her eyes flashed, gold and luminescent in the dim light.

“I have some idea,” she said. The curl of her lip revealed a glint of teeth, ivory white and unnaturally sharp.

He swallowed. She held out a hand, slender-fingered and elegant. Her nails shone crimson and gold like her mask, sharpened to a fine point.

“Come with me and we can see if I’m right,” she said.


Day Six, and one day behind — again. I know, I know, this is a repeat of every year. My brain isn’t working so good right now, guys. I’m in a slump — partly hormone-fueled, I’d wager — and having a hard time getting out. Still, every little step forward is a win. And however unsatisfied I am with any given entry (see the Insta caption for that), I have to keep in mind that it’s all supposed to be conceptual this month. I’m only putting together blueprints in April. Final products will be assembled in May.

That being said, the prose piece here was fully stream of consciousness, and written directly in the text editor as I was assembling this entry, and I’ll be honest — I’m pretty proud of this little bit of writing. It’s been ages since I’ve written anything — let alone prose — but I have been uncharacteristically happy with how the writing for this month has gone so far.

Anyway, in an attempt to get myself out of my mental slump, I think moving around and perhaps some chores are in order, so I will be doing that soon after I hit publish.

Stay safe and sane, everyone.

A-to-Z Challenge: Early/Encouraging/Earthy

It had started with a solitary air plant, the wispy, spidery fronds reaching out towards her like lazy fingers to run along her cheeks unexpectedly as she glanced past to retrieve her keys or her backpack. An unobtrusive little bromeliad, hanging in a homespun macramé pot holder, just above her desk. She thought little of it, though she would find herself idly paging through her notebooks on rainy mornings, before sunrise, her fingers carding through the overgrown leaves as they would through a lover’s hair.

After that it was small clipping left over from store bought herbs; sprigs of rosemary carelessly potted just to see what would spring up, small pewter pots of mint and basil perched on the windowsill overlooking the campus quad. Then, slowly, succulents, robust little creatures that could withstand the days of neglect when exams were in full swing, or the stretches of scatter-brained insomnia when she was assembling the final pieces for her portfolio.

She had barely noticed how far gone she was until Jackie came by one night near the end of term. She looked around, mouth slightly agape, pushing through the wayward striped fronds of a spider plant to enter the living room proper. Callie busied herself with pouring coffee as Jackie slid a collection of old ceramic mugs packed with sprigs of chamomile and sage to make room for herself on the kitchen bench. She sat gingerly, eyes roving around the greenery encroaching on far more of the apartment than Callie seemed aware of.

“So…” she started slowly. “Is this some… like… hedge witchery thing?”

“Some… wait, what?” Callie said, placing a mug of coffee before both of them. She pushed a succulent, it’s fleshy leaves purple tinged, tot he edge of the table to make room. “What do you mean? Hedge witchery??”

“Well,” Jackie said meaningfully, gesturing. “I mean… come on.”

“I literally have no idea what you’re talking about,” Callie said honestly. She took a long sip of her coffee, tucking her feet up under her.

“But… I’m intrigued,” she said, reaching out to run her fingertips over the soft edges of a plush plant. “Tell me more.”


Day Five! That write up with literally stream-of-conciousness, though I had the idea for the sketch — or at the very least, wanting to do something with a lot of plants and greenery — since I generated the words, about two weeks ago. I’m not one hundred percent sold on this exact sketch — I think I’d like something with her more “among” the plants, with more a sense of her surroundings and how encroaching the greenery is on the totality of her space — but I like the idea.

Also, it’s really hard not to over-think the sketches and be like, “no, that’s not nearly good enough! I’m not a top-tier artist but I have standards1” I have to be like, “Bitch, chill, it’s literally a sketch, if you even pick this one it’s going to be redrawn completely in May! It does not have to be perfect!”

That being said, onward and upwards. I was definitely in a better place mentally today than I was yesterday, though I am still not at 100%, but I have high hopes for tomorrow and beyond.

As always, stay safe and sane.