Update Schedule

This blog updates irregularly.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #21

Another self-portrait, very work-in-progress (as in, barely got started), but the holidays have a tendency to derail so whatevs.

 

Righty-o, then.  See you over the weekend for a chapter update!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Eve

Christmas was stolen from the pagans:  the winter solstice; the changing of seasons; the darkest day of the year.

Today has been a long day for me.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 12: Sailing to Salinas

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #20

Yeah, so it just kinda hit me now that this self-portraiture doesn't really have much to do with the story of P:S, but it's something low-stakes that I can pick away at over the high-activity of the holidays, so I'm fine with it.  I got this one done at last!

Click for huge!

I like the grayscale one better than the full-color, and part of that is probably because my color-sampling method isn't the best - I literally pick an area of skin which I think "looks normal," use the smudge tool a whole bunch, then use the eyedropper tool and start over if I don't like it.  This is, of course, in keeping with my only real art technique of "fuck with it until it looks right."  But I'm sure I'll improve with practice.

Anyway, that's all for today.  Cheers!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Transgender Tuesday: Arguing on the Internet, Tumblr Edition!

So I try to keep up on the various social media platforms, but I inevitably stick around on a few of them and don't... really... do much.  That's what Tumblr has been for me, except then I gradually started getting more involved.  Over the past couple of weeks, I got into it with a couple of transphobes.  We touched on a variety of topics that I have been wanting to write posts on, so I was unusually well-prepared for this internet debate (or at least this iNtErNeT dEbAtE), but this will serve as a sort of bookmark for now.

It's a bit long, though, so I'll mainly stick to screenies & transcripts, and keep the commentary to a minimum.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 11: Leaving Noob Isle

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #19

Sliding this one in under the door!  Look, between the tutoring gig I took on (which just recently ended), holiday activities, arguing with fascists and proto-fascists on the internet, and mental health stuff, I actually haven't been able to do more than 20 hours of work on P:S in the last two months.  This is me getting back on track.  I had a bunch of written material ready to go, but it has all run out, and now it's friggin' Christmas.  ANYWAY.  I'm just writing off the last three weeks of missed updates, because I love myself and sometimes I just fall off the map like most authors and artists do from time to time.  Here's some work on my self-portrait, trying to just bang out the solid color fields:

Click for huge.  I haven't blacked in the lace on the dress,but that's a whole fkn thing and it's my bedtime, so whatevs.

That is all for now.  I'll see you on Saturday for a chapter update.  I've been struggling with this one, because Chapter 11 (Journey to Salinas) is forked in three different directions for most of it, and there are plot points from each of them that I want to include, which makes it way too long.  But if Chapter 11 is split into two, then Chapter 12 (Over the Sands and Along the Coast) becomes Chapter 13 (Hope's End), and Chapter 13 is supposed to be when Pannych dies.  So... uhh... I mean, that was just a happy numerological coincidence, and I'm willing to let it go.  But I spent way too long staring at the screen and trying to decide.  I'm decided now, though, and Pannych dies in Chapter 14 now.  Oh, well.  Maybe I'll smash together a couple chapters earlier on when it's committed to paper.  We'll see.  Cheers!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

101 Interesting Things, part fifty-nine: YouTube Cover Bands

We thought the internet would enable people to educate themselves, put an end to disinformation by making fact-checking easily available to all, bring the world closer together through open communication, and radically open up artistic collaboration.

Uhh... instead, we enabled people to look at cats (and porn), gave superpowers to disinformers, balkanized the world with micro-communities that enable all kinds of awfulness from pedos to Nazis, and... wait.  We actually radically opened up artistic collaboration.  One outta four... is an F minus minus.  But at least it's not an F minus minus minus!

Today, I want to talk about some of my favorite cover bands that I only found out about because of YouTube.  There are cover bands older than YouTube, of course, such as Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.  But YouTube makes it possible to check out their sound and then... do whatever?  I guess you could participate in the crowdfunding, but even if you don't, there's still the ad revenue they get.

Ew, that means I like something a corporation did.  Le sigh.  I can't be all-commie all the time, I guess.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 10: The Influences

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #18

I have missed a couple of art updates while everything else has been on autopilot during this busy time.  Rather than backdate a make-up post, I'm just gonna leave 'em like that to rub my nose in it.  And here's a self-portrait I'm working on, because I don't feel like doing Tom's cabin right now.


I realized at some point that this is the first time I've ever tried to draw myself, unless you count a thing I did when I was fifteen:


I still like that drawing, kinda.  Hey, it's just a couple weeks away from being twenty years old!

Anyway, here's the sketch overlaid on the photo, because I always think that looks neat:


OK.  Time to get back on these art updates!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

"Stories About My Life," part 9: Six Scars with Stories

While P:S is in editing mode, I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.

If you've been reading these stories since the beginning, then I feel like we're friends.  Not really.  But close enough.  And today, I want to talk about something personal:  the stories behind my scars.  This post was inspired by this video that Lady M shared with me:


I just love her foul-mouthed positivity!  (Seriously, how could that not be up my alley?)  Anyway, we'll get right to it.  Content Warning for child abuse, self-harm, NSFW stories, and (SFW) photos of scars.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 9: Offender of the Gods

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

"Stories About My Life," part 8: Tamment and Norissiel

While P:S is in editing mode, I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.

Today's story is about my friend's Extremely Homebrew d20 RPG we just played today (I'm writing this in early September) with some of my old college buddies.  As P:S is loosely set in a d20 fantasy world, I thought it might be cool to get an idea of how my friends and I actually play.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 1, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 8: The Next Morning

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"Stories About My Life," Part 7: My Dumb Ass

While P:S is in editing mode, I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.

Today's story is 100% in service to the idea of character balance, because the picture I've painted of myself so far is that of a Chaotic Good Legendary Polymath Ninja, and I don't want to leave the impression that I either have no flaws or are unaware of them.  So here are several quick stories of me, being a complete and utter dumbass, just to paint a more complete picture.  The last one's even Halloween themed!  Enjoy!  Also, BEWARE NSFW CONTENT.


Friday, October 25, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 7: The Loaded Die

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Careful What You Wish For

Right.  So.  I get these ads from the Wish app whenever I'm browsing Faceborg, and lately, they've been getting... weirder.


Like... what even is this?  A homemade grenade press?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

"Stories About My Life," part 6: Happily Ever Until Now

While P:S is in editing mode, I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.

Today's story is about how I met my current and now longest-running girlfriend, the Lady M.






Above is the Faceborg exchange in which she established her fledgling crush on me.  The rest of the story is below the cut.  This story gets a bit NSFW (and is published with the knowledge and consent of Lady M).  That said, enjoy!


Friday, October 18, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 6: The Catacombs

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #17

Today's art update is more from the archive; this time, characters I cut entirely.

Back in the day, I had intended Project:  Spiral to branch out into different layers of consciousness.  Each part of the story would be progressively more removed from my past and more concerned with my executive functioning.  It was very psychological, and it got way too crazy (probably because I got most of my ideas during manic phases).  The end of it was basically I'm Transgender And I'm Free To Do What I Want - which is a fantastic moral for any eggs out there, but not much of a payoff for that long of a story.  So I made the titular Spiral about time instead of layers, and accordingly, the character of Dharmakaya Amber Hart no longer made sense.


The rest of her story is below the cut... and to be honest, I'm only sharing this because I'm too busy to create new art right now, and so I'm digging deep into the archive.  I'm not proud of what this content says about my past.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

"Stories About My Life," part 5: Senior Prank

While P:S is in editing mode, I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.

Today's story is from another inspirational post (ins-post-ration?  Ew, no), this one from reddit:



The story of my own senior prank is below the cut.  Enjoy!


Friday, October 11, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 5: Fort Roguelike

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #16

Hi!  This has been a crazy busy week, and today was a rough day, so I've got more art from the archive (art-chive?  Maybe.) behind the cut.  This time, it's sundries and miscellanies.  Enjoy!  (And don't forget to click for huge!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

"Stories About My Life," part 4: Adventures in Locksmithing

While P:S is in editing mode, I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.

Today's story was also prompted by some rando post:



I have a similar tale from my own stint as a locksmith.  Enjoy!


Friday, October 4, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 4: Grayl

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #15

This was supposed to go up last Thursday (and that's where I'm putting it, by the stars), but I got way busier than I expected.  It's a good thing:  I'm booking more jobs, and more kinds of jobs, which means more financial stability but also less time to do this blogging stuff.  Fortunately, I have the P:S chapters and stories about my life on autopilot for the next month and a half - I just have to figure out what to do about the art updates.  I'm thinking a "retrospective" theme.  This week's retrospective is on Alice.

Everyone's favorite snarky zombie elf!

Back in the days of Project:  Suck the comic, Alice was a palette-swapped Roll sprite:

 

Project:  Suck strips featuring Alice.  Click for huge!


Her illustrations were also fairly by-the-numbers, unlike Pannych and Phyr who had their sprites changed to match their jaunty garb (though Alice did get costume changes that the others did not, outside of their power forms).


Over the following years, I redesigned her a bit to make her less like Roll - but I still kept her super-skinny, so meh.


When it came time for the reboot, I decided she needed a new build.  As Alice had previously been a love interest for Vulcan (now Rayla) and Pannych, and I had since axed that angle, I thought it would be thematically symmetrical to model her after Lady M's physique.  If that doesn't make sense to you, then it at least makes sense in my head.


OK, that's all for now!  Stay tuned for... Jegus, it's only three days until I have to come up with an actual plan for this shit!  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

"Stories About My Life," part 3: My Story Spirals Back

While P:S is in editing mode, I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.

Today's story is inspired by a Tumblr post:


As it happens, I also have a concrete example of a story about me that got way out of hand.  Enjoy!


Saturday, September 28, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 3: Noob Valley

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #14

Made some good progress on Tom the Prophet's cabin!


OK, that's all for now.  Just happy to get this in on the actual day it's supposed to be.  Cheers!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

"Stories About My Life," part 2: My College Arrest

While P:S is in editing mode, I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.

Today's story is from a time in my life when I behaved very differently to the police than I do now.  In short:  my mother would call the cops frivolously and frequently while our lives were unraveling; accordingly, my five-to-twelve-year-old experience was that cops came running at her beck and call, wouldn't point out her Obvious Bullshit, did nothing to fix the problem, and left after telling my parents to sort out their own issues (which they clearly could not do).  Point being:  I no longer treat the police like I do in this story, though I had well-established (if personal and improbable) reasons for doing so.



Saturday, September 21, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 2: Fite Nite

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Friday, September 20, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #13.5

I completely forgot that yesterday was Thursday!  Nothing bad happened, just a busy week.  Here's the sketch of HellPhyr, finally complete with ENERGY LEGS!  (Any Picnicface fans here?  Anyone?  Bueller?)


I'm actually not too happy with how the energy stuff came out, but I need to A. be done with this, and B. do other arts; and this has been kinda holding me back.  Hopefully, I'll figure out what I did to make other magicalnesses look so good decent, and do that again.  My modus operandi is mostly "fuck with it until it looks right," and that time-honored technique is suddenly failing me... sad face.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"Stories About My Life," part 1: Ninja Training

While P:S is in editing mode (I wanna make a cocoon/chrysalis pun, but nothing's coming to mind right now), I thought I'd write up a few stories about my life.  These are things that I have wanted to talk about, but haven't really been able to because P:S is written mostly from the perspective of my seventeen-year-old self.  On top of that, I was very mindful of getting doxxed-and-outed before I came out, so I was pretty tight-lipped about my personal life; but I don't need to do that any more, so hooray!

Today's story is one I need to tell as background for some other stories.  I workshopped this one in a storytelling course I took in grad school with a professional storyteller.  He is also an iaido instructor, so with my own martial arts background, we had a lot of fun chats after class.  I keep this story in my back pocket for any time I need to fill ten minutes or want to dangle an incentive in front of some students/patrons.  I'll just say up front that these are all true stories, and obviously certain parts work better when I can demonstrate in person, use tone of voice, and make illustrative gestures.  Anyway:  Enjoy!


Sunday, September 15, 2019

"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Chapter 1: Destined Heroes

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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"A Tale of Fire and Panic": Prologue

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the teaser, or click here to read from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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"A Tale of Fire and Panic" - Teaser

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.
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"Project: Spiral" - Housekeeping

Hey, y'all!  I did a Twitter poll, and the short version is that I'm taking out the forks, mainlining (or cutting) the tangents, and making Project:  Spiral into a single coherent narrative.  In keeping with said Twitter feedback (tweetback?), I'll be posting entire chapters once a week, on the following schedule:
  • Weekends are for full-chapter updates.  I'm now editing chapter 4, and I plan on keeping ahead so that I can be reliable on this.
  • Tuesdays are for "regular blog" posts.  I have a half-dozen stories about my life written up as of this writing, and they're scheduled and everything!  I will also use Tuesdays for occasional timely commentary, 101 Interesting Things, Transgender Tuesdays, and such-like.
  • Thursdays are for Art Updates.  I am, still and always, a chronically-delayed illustrator.  The problem is that I "ramp up" with consecutive drawing time, instead of "ramping down" from fatigue:  I can make about twice as much art progress in one 8-hour session as I can in four 2-hour sessions, because the longer I do it, the deeper I get into a "flow state."  And I simply don't have giant chunks of free time like I did when I was a teenager, so the frustration of that dynamic makes it hard for me to do any daily illustration work.  But I promise I'm doing my honest best.
I'll be starting the Project:  Spiral updates today, with the first chapter, plus the jacket copy and the prologue as a bonus, because they're short.  After I post this, I'll be getting back to editing chapter 5, which is where I'm at for reference (I have had reliability issues in the past, so I'm working hard - and doing well - at keeping ahead of the game this time).

Also, I was keeping this close to my vest in case I ran out of steam during the past year of writing, but I feel good and sustainable about revealing it now:  P:S is a series, not a single book.  I am very near the To Be Continued milestone at the end of Book 1, so with some rough math, I should have the 20 edited chapters up by mid-February, and the book itself finished by end-of-April (plus or minus illustrations; see above).

Finally, I'm excited to announce that I have a working title for the first book:  A Tale of Fire and Panic.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 21, part 3b

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 21, part 3a

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #13

Right, so... still working on this one, haven't made any progress this past week.  There's been illness, doctor appointments, and we have a dead mouse in our oven and are taking increasingly-involved steps to try and get it out - just tonight, we determined that this is beyond us and we need a professional 'cuz we can't even find the fucker, only smell him.  Also, Lady M looked up hantavirus because of course she did, so now every cough has me wondering if it was wetter than the last, since Mickey or Jerry or whatever his stupid name was had been in the house for several weeks, eating and pooping, before he decided to probably die in a fire.  Grumble, grumble.  So I'm putting this out just to have something up on time, and some previous sketches from years past are below the cut.


Land's sake, why couldn't that mouse die somewhere convenient for us?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 21, part 2b

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 1 (2nd Draft)

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here if you wish to start from the Prologue.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Chapter 1:  Genesis II - God Takes a Mulligan


Outside.  August, 2019.

Em frowns in consternation.  Choosing her words carefully, she says, “The thing is, if I wasn’t your girlfriend, I’d be getting really frustrated.  It’s all so confusing, and I’d be wondering when it’s gonna just get to the point, already.”
Dee takes a deep breath and nods, saying, “Yeah, but going on cool adventures with my best friend kind of is the point.”
“And that’s fine, Babe.  But you have to work that in somewhere.”
Dee twists up her mouth in thought, then says, “I can do that.  I’ll have to re-tool the beginning, though. But that’s not a big deal - I had an alternate beginning in mind, anyway.  It’s more streamlined, and it sets up some good bookends.”
Em sighs and pulls up the covers.  “All right. I still don’t know how you’re gonna get there, though.  I’m just worried that too many people are going to say, ‘Fuck it,’ and give up.”
Dee nods again as she idly runs her tongue over her teeth.  “I think it’s like the Edric thing,” she says at last, leaning against the doorjamb.  “Y’know, where it was too subtle at first, and I just had to be a little more explicit and direct.  I can do that without giving too much away.”
“OK,” Em says with a yawn.  “Good luck. I’m going to sleep now.”
“Get some good rest, Love.”

After exchanging some kissy noises back and forth, Dee walks downstairs and sighs heavily.  “OK,” she says with a nod to herself. “This is doable. You just have to do it. You got this.”  She pours some vodka into what’s left of her cola and settles in on the couch with her tablet. After staring at a blank document for several seconds, she thinks to herself, It’s fine.  Every author’s technically the god of their own world - nothing happens without their say-so, everything works the way they say it does.  I just have to keep that in mind, and stay on the right side of it. Easy-peasy.  She starts typing.
The words come quickly, at first.  It slows down as the world shifts and rearranges itself in her head.  Timelines blink in and out of existence as she considers this and that possibility.  Step by step, potentialities coalesce into a singular actuality. The most difficult part, as always, is how much to trust the reader and how much to spell out explicitly:  it is very easy to say that an author should not assume the reader knows anything, but one simply must assume a basic grasp of language, like vocabulary and grammar - and between pop culture touchstones, world events, meta-knowledge of storytelling mechanics, and a million other things, it’s all on a sliding scale from there.  She shakes her head and takes the Alexandrian Solution: jump in, and let the internet do the rest. After all, if anyone doesn’t know what a “d20 tabletop game” is, they can just look it up on simple.wikipedia.org or something.  Her mind races, the effort causing a dull ache behind her brow. After taking a deep breath, she does a brief meditation exercise to bring the ebbing mania back under control - not to completely tamp it down, just enough to make it coherent.  A sudden realization causes her to frown as she stares off into the middle distance.
Dammit - without that ‘jungle babes’ line, I’m gonna have to cut the bikini leopards.


[Next]

Monday, September 2, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #12.5

Labor Day is part of Labor Day Weekend, so there.

This is a half-assed one because I got a winning inspiration for how to fix the first chapter and get where I want the story to go but then I had to go and scrub any references to Chapter 1 shenanigans from the rest of the book and I didn't really mean to edit the whole fkn thing this weekend but yup that's how it goes sometimes.

Anyway, here are some sketches I'm working on of HellPhyr:


I don't seem to be able to draw him with a consistent volume of hair, but they're sketches anyway, so I didn't bother with erasing.  The main thing is the outfit design, anyway.  I'll be working on getting the edits all posted up, because it turns out I call back to the first chapter a lot, and maybe I need to stop.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 21, part 2a

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 21, part 1

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #12

Today I've got some costume design for Pandaemonium.  It was a bit of a process, so I wanted to share it.


This is the final design, the process is below the cut.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 20, part X

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 20, part 3

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #11

OK, the tavern scene for Chapter 8 (and the prologue) is donesies!


It took longer than I wanted it to, but I'm proud of it, so whatever.  Cheers!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 20, part 2

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 20, part 1

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #10

This one is not as good as I want it to be.  However, I have made some progress!  And also, I have been busy:  Lady M is out of town attending to her own matters, while I've been doing house-sitting, dog-sitting, and care-giving for my folks, and I've got the annual family poker tournament coming up tomorrow.  So this is as far as I've gotten.


Phyr and Vector have their shading done, but no highlights.  Pannych and Alice are yet forthcoming.  I temporarily removed most of the lighting effects, so you can see the illusory planet and the lamp, which I think  look pretty good.

Anyway, it's an art update, if not an art completed.  But that's the point of these art updates, so yeah!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 19, part 3

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 19, part 2

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Sunday, August 4, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #9

The scene at the Loaded Die is coming along, all that's left is the shadings on the peoples.  I'm actually really happy with how Alice's Illusion spell looks - the hurricane lamp ain't half-bad, either.  I like how the lighting is already giving texture to things, even though they're still just blobs of color beneath.


Anyway, I'm looking forward to finishing this, but also to having it done.  There were so many finicky little things that I had to tweak over and over until they looked acceptable.  I think it's paying off, though.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 19, part 1

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 18, part 3

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #8

Got some colors laid down, but no shading or background yet.  That's when the magic happens, so stay tuned!


And here it is without the sketch overlaid.  Clearly the hands all still need work, but I'll be doing those things after I get the characters all blocked out.


Ta-ta for now!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 18, part 2

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 18, part 1

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #7

Wa-hoo!  Finally got this sucker done:


And it's been put where it goes in Chapter 5.  In case there are any compression issues, here is a detail of the actual cool part of the picture:


OK, that's all for today!  Cheers!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 17, part 3

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 17, part 2

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #6

Got the main characters colored in for the Noob Cave Grayl fight.


Lots of stupid fine details on the background characters, and even more to go.  But I'm getting faster at arriving somewhere I'm happy with, and not needing to spend as much time futzing with every little edge and corner.  Here's what it looks like without the lines:


Cheers for now!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 17, part 1

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Chapter 16, part 3

If you are new to Project:  Spiral, then click here to read the Prologue, or click here to read from the start of Chapter 1.  Otherwise, welcome back!

Content Warning!
This story contains instances, descriptions, and frank discussions of:  depression, personality disorders, and other mental health issues; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; child abuse and neglect; graphic violence, war crimes, and institutional/systemic violence; gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, and transphobia.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

"Project: Spiral" - Art Update #5

IT... IS FINISHED!  No, but seriously, I am so effing glad to finally have this one done.  Or at least "done enough."  I finally feel like I'm back in my drawing groove - the shading on the noob went loads faster than the rest before it - so hopefully I can keep up this momentum!


I've got it inserted into Chapter 4.  Next is... well, I should've done Tom's Cabin Meeting before this one, but I kinda don't care about that right now.  I think I wanna do the Noob Cave Fight first, then maybe the Goblin Fort Ambush, then Tom's Cabin Meeting... ooh, but after the Goblin Fort Ambush is the Loaded Die Roundtable... ugh, we'll see!  I'm just happy this is done.