the_gneech: (Default)
Surprise Party Cannon! By NC Mares

I'm not sure exactly when I picked up the catchphrase "Where Gneeches go, parties follow!" but it has to have been at least the late '90s. I love it because not only is it a statement of intent (to wit, that I will make life a party wherever I go), but also because it's a D&D pun. In any game where I am a player, I am generally in the "party leader" role.

But I have been putting more thought into just what it means lately, and for all its simplicity how really deep it goes into both who I am, and who I want to be, and my deepest values. It's why I create comics, and specifically why I create the KIND of comics I do. It's why I love the furry fandom so much. It's why I like cheesy bubblegum pop music, even knowing that so much of it is intellectual popcorn. It's why the crapsack-worldness of current events has got me so much more riled up than I usually am.

But going into my training as a success coach, one of the things we've already worked on is identifying what our core really is– "If you lived in a perfect world, where everyone was healthy, lived in abundance, and so on... what would you want to bring into it?" Some people come up with answers like "love," "serenity," and so on. My word was "delight."

And on a side-discussion with my counselor today, I mentioned that trying to figure out what it was about California that I wanted in my life that isn't there. "How would California Gneech be different? What's there that isn't here?" And that the answer I had come up with, based on the prevalence of sunshine, and the ability to get out and do stuff year round, was that in my head at least, California was just more fun than the east coast.

And the moment I said this, once again, something in my mind went "click." Why is Suburban Jungle full of blue skies and beaches? Because that's fun. Why do I say "Where Gneeches go, parties follow"? Because parties are fun! (At least if you're doing them right.) What is "Bringing the Awesome!" all about, when you get right down to it?

It's about making life fun. It's about making life a party.

Like so many things, it's obvious in hindsight. But now, I think possibly for the first time in my life, I really understand it. Forty-eight friggin' years old, and I finally got my cutiemark. ;D

Thanks for the revelation, Universe! Sorry I was just too dense to see it before. XD

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Default)

I kinda don't live in Equestria any more the way I did, say, three years ago, even if I still love the ponies like whoa. My attention span is just stretched way too thin to keep up with it all.

the_gneech: (Default)
Man, the internet was in a pissy mood at me this morning. >.> You people need to chill the heck out. Here, have some ponies, and other stuff.

Man, if that don't cheer the world up, it needs to re-evaluate its life.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Default)

Someone tossed this at me in last night's art stream. XD

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Twilight Sparkle applauds)
It was half memory, half episode, and half hidden object game. The fact that there were three halves is reconciled by the fact that dreams do what they want.

Trixie, Twilight Sparkle, and a third character (who was either Cranky Doodle or Fluttershy or possibly both, because, y'know, dreaming) were traveling together, for reasons which were either not made clear or which I've forgotten. They were only in one "scene" together, in which they were in a shared hotel room, bickering about who would get which bed and similar trivialities. Trixie said to Twilight, "For being the Princess of Friendship, you aren't very friendly to me," to which Twilight replied, "Well maybe I would be if you weren't so snide to me all the time! How am I supposed to make friends with someone who constantly wants to stick it to me?"

If Trixie had an answer for that, the scene didn't show it, transitioning instead to the hidden object sequence. The premise here was that wherever they had traveled to was "cursed," which basically meant there were cartoony halloween spiders, jack o-lanterns, ghosts, and things floating around, it was constantly night, and everything was glowy green and purple. The hidden object sequences consisted of finding and removing the "cursed items" from each scene, which would then make it go "POOF!" and become an idyllic sunny daylight version of the same scene. Honestly, I think this was just my brain remembering a game I actually played that had basically this setup, except when things got "found" they'd disappear with the graphics of one of Trixie's smoke bombs and she'd say something like "Gotcha!" "Zap!" "Ta-daaa!" "The Great and Powerful TRIXIE!"

Gotta say, I wish the Gameloft MLP game had a mode like this. XD

From here the dream wandered to the real world (or at least, a dream instance of the real world, as opposed to being Equestria), but it still featured Trixie wandering around doing stuff. She was attempting to get to a spa as far as I can tell (because, y'know, pony), and trying to catch a bus. For reasons which I missed, she actually ended up on top of the bus, clinging to the destination sign for dear life. The last thing I remember, as the bus reached her stop and she was trying to gingerly climb down onto the bus's rear-view mirror to get down, was Trixie saying "What a great and powerfully embarrassing moment!" and rolling her eyes.

Then I woke up.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Kero Power Tie)
Well, only two weeks later, I can finally write up my thoughts on AnthroCon this year. Although it's tempting to blame age for the increased time it takes me to recover from cons these days, I am prone to put it in the words of Dr. Jones, who said, "It ain't the years, honey, it's the mileage."

Given that I have been operating on poor sleep, trying to bang out content as quickly as I can while coping with moving (again) and a broken toe, AnthroCon went quite well. ^.^' It was great as always to see Sirfie, Andrew, Kamau, Inkblitzer, T'Chall, Tieran, Zia, Spiritwolf (briefly), and all my other usual con besties, plus meeting new folks. Sales were strong on Friday, dead on Saturday (probably a symptom of the out-of-control parade), and decent on Sunday. The Play of the Game badges were a hit, which is a good thing, because a fair amount of the sales I made were for post-con commissions of them, rather than stuff at the table. If I'd stuck to my usual policy of "no post-con commissions," it would have been another year of lackluster numbers.

I'm not sure where that puts me in terms of future cons. I'm making mid-2000's money with mid-2010's expenses, which means I'm still slightly ahead of the game but travel takes more of a toll than it used to and as fewer of my old pals go to cons, the less of a party from start to finish it all becomes. Plus, there is a definite generational shift: the time of the internet being a haven for techy people and ham radio nerds from the Radio Shack era is over, and a more mainstream audience is moving in. When Gilbert and Sullivan references and jokes about object permanence go over the audience's head, it's a lot harder for me to relate. It's not "You kids get off my lawn!" so much as "Wow, I need to figure out how to get with it."

Look at me, adulting all over the place.

Anyway, here are a few more random notes from the con for my own future reference:

  • Needed more business cards. Usually people don't want 'em. This time I ran out. Go fig. I also need cards WITH THE COMIC ON THEM.

  • The more "general geekdom" buttons moved better than the furry ones. Again, go fig. Gaming jokes and the snarky buttons were the order of the day.

  • As issues and button designs build up, table real estate is becoming a real issue. I was seriously encroaching on Sirfie's space this time, even tho he was very gracious about it. Is there some kind of vertical display option for the buttons? And I need to take that magazine rack.

  • The "beachy decor" effect of the crates is lost when they're just covered up with signs and displays anyway. Some kind of lighter and easier-to-tote display is required.

  • Standing poster! Instead of the full-size Tiffany banner, free-standing poster displays are more effective and probably easier to schlep around, while still creating a high-impact look. Smaller banners that could hang on the display (a la LizardBeth's banner) are also a good option. The chalkboards/whiteboards are still good options as well but will need some way to be mountable. (The velcro works on the crates, but will it work on wire displays?)

  • How do I improve my at-the-table art so I can charge more? I'm almost never happy with my real media work and feel cheesy charging rates that make the time invested worth it. Short of taking laptop, tablet, and inkjet printer to the con to do digital art at the table, how do I address this?

  • AnthroCon's dealer room has become so immense and diffused. I get lost in the crowd! Would I do better at smaller cons?

BronyCon and... Blugh!
Usually after a con I tend to have a period I refer to as "con bounce," where I'm all excited and energized and I want to Do All the Things! This time, alas, not so much, or at least, what there is, has been delayed. The week immediately following the con was largely spent recuperating, which I blame mostly on the heat, bad sleep, and gimping around Pittsburgh on a broken toe. I was mostly better by Friday, but [ profile] lythandra came down with a nasty stomach bug and was incommunicado while a very kind fan came over and dropped a crazy gaming rig on my head.

On Saturday, Laurie was feeling better so we headed over to Baltimore to do a bit of ghosting at BronyCon. I have somewhat mixed feelings about "brony" fandom generally, but I gotta say I was much more impressed by this one than by the last one I attended. Nevertheless, the trip was draining for both of us– Laurie because she was recovering from her stomach bug, and me because... well, I was coming down with her stomach bug. -.-

Sunday's activities are best left without elaboration. Suffice to say it was not a good day, and now I need to eat some yogurt. ¬.¬

Do All the Things!
So yesterday and today are all about recovery, and reclaiming my con bounce. And just in time, too, 'cos I have to do All the Things. Look at all the things I have to do!

  1. Play of the Game Badges: RJ, Salen, Snowdrift, Jell-O Blue, Gryphon_2.

  2. Other Post-Con Commissions: Lia, Redliox

  3. Write issue five

  4. Continue marketing Sky Pirates (six rejections down, ____ to go)

  5. Come up with and start writing another book

  6. Get my medical insurance sorted (again)

  7. Get followup x-rays on my toe

  8. Find some way to get D&D happening again

  9. Mail Kamau's power strip back to him

...And that's just Tuesday. ¬.¬

Okay, I exaggerate, some of that can go to Wednesday if it has to. ¬.¬

Point is, I've got a lot to do, and I can't do it if I'm a) lying around listening to my insides gurgle, or b) moping. So that con bounce is badly needed!

Where My Ponies At?
A vaguely-related thread to some of the points made above is a seismic shift taking place in the TwitterPonies and pony fandom generally. Every fandom has a life cycle, and as the show "finishes" more and more threads, a certain sense of "winding down" becomes inevitable. I have many thoughts and feelings about this, which I am going to have to let brew for another post, I think. But I will say that one of the reasons I have been cultivating other interests (e.g., Overwatch) is that I think we are nearing the point where MLP is going to return to its pre-FIM status as one of the many quiescent-but-everpresent "background fandoms" like Lion King or Sailor Moon, except a little more prominently than its previous standing... at least until the 2021 reboot.

C'est la vie!

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Exterminate)

Play of the Game Badge: RJ by the-gneech on DeviantArt

Every once in a while the universe goes, "Oh by the way, HERE." And while I'm always very grateful for these episodes, I am also very baffled and left feeling vaguely like something is out of order somewhere. In this particular case, a very kind TwitterPonies fan, upon hearing of my constant battles with the rapidly-failing MACH5, made a new and way better computer appear as if by magic today. Dubbed KITT, as it is all black and mysterious except for a single red light on the front, it is actually the second computer of mine by that name. And, not gonna lie, it's very nice. ^.^'

So, true to my word, I jumped into PVP in Overwatch tonight, after a few AI matches to get a feel for the new machine.

Sooooo smooooth. O.o I dunno what the framerate was, but it was like watching a very peculiar Pixar movie. I only won one match... but the defeats were gorgeous to watch. XD

I didn't spend the whole day on that, tho. As you can see, I completed the first of my "Play of the Game" badge commissions today. Tomorrow I'll try to bang out another if I can, but I'm also thinking of heading over to Baltimore tomorrow to catch lunch with some folks at BronyCon. I was considering a Saturday pass to poke around the con itself, but $50 is kinda steep for what I would get out of it. Lunch with friends is more than sufficient instead. :)

Tomorrow night, I hope to do some online gaming, in the form of Cards Against Humanity and possibly Quiplash if I can rustle up enough players. And if not... well... I can run Overwatch now. Whenever I want. No crashing.



-The Gneech, now idea how he got so lucky
the_gneech: (Kero asleep)

Three Good Things For Today

  1. Got prints and price signs ready for AC

  2. Watched Captain Blood and Pirates of the Caribbean w/ [ profile] lythandra

  3. Cart time with AJ

Three Goals For Tomorrow

  1. Find/pitch agents, which didn't get done today

  2. Organize desk

  3. Pack AC merch

Gnite world, have an awesome tomorrow. :)

the_gneech: (Kero Bluestreak)
Yeah, turns out it was. Specifically, fractured toe. There's not a lot that can be done but to tape it to the other toe, wear a stiff sandal-thingie for six weeks, and do as little walking as possible. Bleah! But at least it should be healed by AnthroCon.

Let's temper this unhappy news with a pony vid, shall we? Apologies for the DailyMotion link, but YouTube had embedding disabled. :P

beat it pony edition pmv by f100001857973948

the_gneech: (Twilight Sparkle applauds)

You're welcome.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Kero Power Tie)
It's been a while since I posted one of these things; that's generally a good sign, because when I'm busy enjoying all the things I'm thankful for, I don't have to remind myself that I'm thankful for them.

Nevertheless, I'm posting one tonight, by way of thanking the universe and the wonderful people in it for all the things that make my life so good. ^.^

Three Good Things About Today

  1. Did my Christmas shopping for [ profile] lythandra done.

  2. Got the Flim-Flam Brothers and a Super Speedy Cider Squeezy toy set from Fluttershy for Christmas.

  3. Picked up an awesome and gorgeous scarf.

  4. Bonus Good Thing: Had fun watching Psych.

Three Goals for Tomorrow

  1. See the new Star Wars movie with [ profile] lythandra and [ profile] sirfox

  2. Work a shift at SBX

  3. Get some art done, either solo or as an art jam

Good night world, and have an awesome tomorrow. I love ya. ♥

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Kero asleep)
After getting up entirely too early for an echocardiogram, I spent the day mostly just goofing off, on the grounds that I need to do that every now and again. Not wasted, but resting, so to speak. But I never stop completely working, so I spent some time sorta free-form daydreaming about both Rough Housing and the Sky Pirates book.

But mostly I goofed off. ;) I'll try to get some work done tomorrow before my job shift.

Three Good Things For Today

  1. Some fun with AJ and Soarin on the #TwitterPonies

  2. Dinner at Olive Garden :d

  3. A relaxing mental health day

Three Goals for Tomorrow

  1. Continue catching up on posting Issue Three to secondary sites

  2. Work on script for Issue Four

  3. Clean up around my desk a little

Gnite world, and have an awesome tomorrow. :)

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Mysterious Beard)

Three Good Things for Today

  1. I had the day off! Got some lotion for my drying-out knuckles and had some yummy pizza for lunch. :d

  2. Finished the "Soarin ColtSpice Ad" pic and posted for my Patreon supporters. I'll post it to the world at large tomorrow.

  3. Finally started posting SJ to my FurAffinity page again. (Was that today or yesterday? I think it was today. But just in case it wasn't...)

  4. BONUS GOOD THING! The cats were adorable today, particularly Buddha.

Three Goals for Tomorrow

  1. Post said Soarin pic to FA/DA. :)

  2. Do a past life meditation in the morning before my counselor appointment.

  3. Go to my counselor appointment.

And now... sleep!

the_gneech: (Mysterious Beard)

Yesterday, I finished the second draft of my Sky Pirates novel and sent it off to the beta readers, which gave me a nice feeling of achievement. At ~80,900 words, it’s almost exactly the length I intended when outlining, even if that may end up being too short for some publishers.

Today, the first comic by me to see the air in a while went up, a guest comic for Matt Youngmark’s Conspiracy Friends! which is a fun romp through life as presented by the tabloids, I highly recommend it!

Meanwhile, In Hasbro's Hidden Lair...
Meanwhile, In Hasbro’s Hidden Lair…

Speaking of comics, I think I figured out what was going wrong with issue four of Rough Housing– to wit, the part of me that wanted to be writing the Sky Pirates book was starting to shoehorn stuff from it into Rough Housing instead because that’s what I was working on.

So, having written the Sky Pirates book, maybe now I can relax a bit and let Rough Housing be its own thing. There’s a longer, more detailed explanation of what’s been going on with that, with my art generally, and with furry art in particular, which I still intend to write up at some point, but not just yet. Too many topics spoil the post!

-The Gneech

the_gneech: (Mysterious Beard)

Three Good Things For Today

  1. Finished that scene and another whole chapter besides. Now twelve chapters in to the second draft and up by ~5,000 words.

  2. Survived the 8-hour shift. Those things weren't easy when I was 30. They're even more not easy now. :P

  3. Enjoyed the new pony ep. Looks like they're trying to make some bold moves!

Three Goals For Tomorrow

  1. Write a bit more.

  2. Meditate.

  3. Find out when pay day is (since I didn't get that done today).

This has been your evening Gneech news. Good night, world, and have an awesome tomorrow. :)

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Mysterious Beard)

Three Good Things

  1. AppleJack's birthday on the TwitterPonies. [1]

  2. Today's episode of MLPFIM was amazingly awesome. [2]

  3. Got a haircut and used Lyft for the first time.

  4. Bonus: Spoke to the manager who's going to interview me on Wednesday. She was like, "Oh, it's YOU!"

  5. Bonus: Had lots of deep thinky thoughts on the whole reincarnation thing in particular, and my mental health/development generally. Feels like something has shifted in my psyche and a blockage is starting to clear. [3]

Three Goals For Tomorrow

  1. Workout and Nutrition Tracking.

  2. Update finances and pay bills.

  3. Finish script for Issue Four.

But now I must sleep. Gnite world, and have an awesome tomorrow. :) I love ya.

-The Gneech

[1] Technically a day early. It's supposed to be September 20, in honor of my Aunt Iris. Oops. But that's okay. :)
[2] Rarity as Carmen Sandiego, Soarin, and all the whodunnit references you can eat? Short of making AppleDash canon, I don't know how they could have pushed any more of my buttons.
[3] Finally, right? Believe me, I know.
the_gneech: (Default)

Okay, okay, it’s not a monster writeup. But it has a monster in it, and it’s Monday. So deal with it!

My Little Monster Studies: Displacer Beast by the-gneech on DeviantArt

Commission for Miertam, possibly the start of a new series, of Twilight learning all about monsters… the hard way. This episode’s entry is that adorable little six-legged tentacular light-warping critter, the displacer beast. Fluttershy, of course, thinks it’s adorable… and clearly Twilight is speechless with admiration!

Such a weird-honkin’ monster and one of my favorites, even if I rarely actually use them. 😀 Inspired originally by “Voyage of the Space Beagle” by A. E. van Vogt if my memory serves correctly, modified slightly and now immortalized by Dungeons and Dragons. Aside from its devious nature, the displacer beast has a permanent illusion of being some distance from its actual body. I never really thought that would actually be that confusing until I started drawing this, but now I can totally see it.

On an artistic note, for this pic I decided to do a piece that used the pony character models but drawn in my own style rather than trying to simply mimic the MLPFIM style. Whattya think?

-The Gneech

the_gneech: (Kero asleep)

Three Good Things For Today

  • Roti lunch w/ [ profile] lythandra

  • This video:

  • Enjoyed working on SJ this evening, even if I didn't get as much done as I would have liked.

Three Goals For Tomorrow

  • Take more boxes to the recycling drop-off center

  • Lion up and make those phone calls I've been avoiding for a month because I really, really, really don't want to talk to any of those people.

  • Make another appointment with my counselor.

Good night.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Twilight Sparkle applauds)
Up to and including Appleoosa's Most Wanted. The future is yet to be seen!

The Best

  1. AppleJack asleep, upside down, suspended from her wagon. I've been that exhausted, I know how it feels!

  2. The chandelier. Just because Hasbro says blow up the Golden Oaks Library, doesn't mean we can't save at least a part of it. "Remember your roots" indeed.

  3. Twilight Sparkle putting the Ursa Minor back to bed and being quietly, humbly, and earnestly... epic.

  4. "Rarity Takes Manehattan." Too many good things to say about it, so just the whole episode.

  5. Princess Luna being adorkable in "Luna Eclipsed."

  6. "Apples To the Core"

  7. "Winter Wrap-Up"

  8. AppleJack wins the entire series with her letter to Celestia. "I didn't learn anything! I was right all along!"

  9. An introverted bookworm is the main character.

  10. Rarity stomps on the glass slipper.

The Worst

  1. "Power Ponies." Not really bad, just pointless and fanservicey.

  2. "Magic Duel." How did a fanfic get into the season's script pile? Trixie deserves better.

  3. The season three two-part finale was a one-part rushed mess because the animators were being wasting on Equestria Girls instead. See also...

  4. Making Twilight a princess a) by accident and b) as the second part of a 22-minute episode. NOTE: Not making Twilight a princess generally. That was always there from day one, but should have been the series finale.

  5. Spitfire goes from awesome to unlikeable to just plain awful. By "Rainbow Falls" she's a bad leader, a bad teammate, and unworthy of being any kind of role model for Rainbow Dash.

  6. "The Mysterious Mare Do Well." Worst. Friendship. Lesson. Ever.

  7. Equestria Girls. 'nuff said.

  8. Making "Daring Do" an actual pony.

  9. Making Daring Do actually the writer describing her real life. Bad idea, bad lesson, bad episode.

  10. "Lesson Zero." All of it. Flanderization is bad, m'kay?

I'm pleased that I actually had a much easier time filling the first list than the second. ^.^ Dunno why I felt like making these lists, it's just something that popped into my head today.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Default)

MLPFIM: Dreamer, It's Late by the-gneech on DeviantArt

Commission for @mlp_Dreamer of the #TwitterPonies, a fun little scene between himself and @mlp_AppleJack. As fond as she is of Dreamer, she doesn’t look real happy to be answering the door at this time of night.

April 2019

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