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Groovy, baby.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

–Carl W. Buehner

Ever since writing my 2018 report the other day and putting thought into 2019, I’ve become increasingly aware of a theme woven into the music of my life and now coming to the forefront: I must develop my ability to create connection, both on a personal and professional basis, and within my writing.

Because when I look at what isn’t working in my life right now, I see two sides of the same coin: needing to learn how to network in order to build my coaching practice on the one side, and being told repeatedly, “Your writing is crisp, clean, and professional, but the book just didn’t grab me…” on the other. Both of these things are about creating an emotional connection with people, whether directly or indirectly.

I’ve always been vaguely aware of this in terms of watching the audience for Suburban Jungle (and my place within the furry fandom generally)– it’s just like my friendships have been over the course of my life. SJ has a smallish knot of devoted fans, some of whom are intensely devoted to it. (NeverNever was like this too, only moreso.) As long as I can remember, I’ve had a few very close friends, and often been very challenged around getting outside of that group.

Those tight friendships (and very devoted fans) mean the world to me and I don’t want to downplay them. But it is increasingly clear to me as time goes on that I need to widen my circle. A small number of tight friends can make a handful of referrals in my client hunt, but their potential is quickly tapped out on that front. A very devoted fan might buy all of my books and support the highest tiers of my Patreon, but they are only one fan and cannot subsidize my life (nor would I want them to).

And besides the straightforward inability of the math to get me what I need, these small circles also don’t give me what I want. I want to help people with my coaching. I want people’s days to be better because I was in them. I want to have crowds at my table, and people writing fanfics or doing in-depth analysis of my work on Tumblr. As nice as it might be to be recognized as a genius posthumously? I want my work to be loved now.

When my Aunt Iris died, half of Fairfax and Loudoun counties came to her funeral, and everyone– everyone– had something to say about the way she’d connected to them. By comparison, when my father died a year later, his funeral was attended by maybe twenty people, including his three children, their spouses and children, and some of my friends.

That stuck with me.

I loved my dad. Everyone there did. But there is no denying that his life was, in its way, small and limited. I don’t want mine to be.

So what am I going to do about it? I think I was starting to come to awareness of this gap when I came up with my writing goals for 2019, because I listed my goal as “Create self-satisfaction, expression, and meaningful impact in others’ lives by means of becoming a successful and widely-read author/artist.” I added as one of my goals to change my relationship to, say, my Patreon, by focusing not on the dollar amount it brings in, but by the number of subscribers who sign up and the amount of comments that are left.

Similarly, I tweeted last night, “I’ve got ~1500 followers on Twitter and ~450 on Tumblr, and I would like to double those numbers by the end of January. But I’m looking for, y’know, real people who will like my work, not bots. Any suggestions on what I should do, real people?” And that’s an important distinction! I don’t want fluffed up “metrics” that don’t mean anything, I’m not some dot-com-era middle manager looking for clicks.

How will I do this? By finding ways to make my writing grab people. By making more genuine connections with the people I meet. By being with people, instead of either up on a stage or hiding at the back of the room.

If this past year was finally learning how to be friends with myself? This coming year is going to be learning how to be friends with the world.

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My best self.

As I write this, I’m sitting at the drawing table pictured, wearing the headphones and necklace pictured. The rest is a bit harder to pull off. >.>

So! How was 2018? On the grand social scale, of course, it was a dumpster fire. This is hardly news. All the worst people, frantically trying to destroy not just the USA but the whole world, before it all comes crashing down and they end up shooting themselves in the bunker. It’s as inevitable as it is sad. But those of us who are working to build something better will keep working.

On my own personal front, by comparison, it’s been what you might call a challenging year– not in a drama and angsty way, but in the form of taking on difficult obstacles and working to overcome them. This came mostly through the coach training, which was a deep dive into 49 years of mud and gunk that needed cleaning out, but was also singularly more effective than decades of counseling had been on that front. (Which is not to bag on my counselors over the years, but they just didn’t have the intensive focus of the coach training.)

So, looking back on my plans for the year, how did I do?

  1. Gneech, Life Coach. This is up and running! I have passed my exams with Accomplishment Coaching and I’m about 2/3 of the way to my first ICF certification. Right now I’m working on fluffing up my client base a bit more, and I expect to go on to become a Mentor Coach for next year’s program. I’ve got a coaching blog up and running, and I’m looking forward to big things on this front in 2019.

  2. Help Laurie Get Her Business Running. Well, I did help! She’s still working on it. >.> The business exists, we’re getting our insurance through it, so that’s good! The rest of it is up to her. 🙂

  3. Stable and Reliable Income. This piece is still under construction. As the coaching business grows, it will naturally come to pass.

  4. Figure Out What’s Up With My Writing. Honestly, I just didn’t have time to work on this with the coach training going on. I have a project in place to take this on again in 2019.

  5. Sell. A. Book. Didn’t happen, ‘cos above.

  6. Issues Seven, Eight, and Nine. Seven done. Eight 1/2 way done. Nine will have to come next year.

  7. Continue Fixing the Country. I’ve marched, I’ve voted, I’ve campaigned, I’ve called my reps a million times. It’s an ongoing process.

  8. Take a Vacation. Alas, did not happen.

It essentially boils down to “the coach training was huge and intense and took most of my mental energy.” So a lot of other things didn’t get done while that was happening. I have no regrets, though– this was something I badly needed.

What did happen was that for the first time since I can remember, I really and truly became friends with myself– like, all of myself, even the parts I had not been willing to talk to since I was four. There was a specific moment that I had never forgiven myself or let go of the pain and shame from, which I confronted and processed… finally. Only forty-five years later! But better late than never.

Confronting this moment led to the birth of Nii-chan, about whom I’ve written at length elsewhere. In a lot of ways, she is the best version of me, and whenever I find myself wondering what I want to do about something, or who I should be in a moment, I ask myself “What would Nii-chan do?” She’s like the integrated version of the Three Lions and an Otter, but even her version of Business Guy is a lot happier. (Nii-chan is also practice for my next incarnation, so I can hit the planet running when that comes to pass. I don’t want to waste forty years of my next life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.)

So, yeah. It’s been a big year on that score. But where do I want to go in 2019?

  1. Bring Rough Housing to Its Conclusion. 2019 will be the 20th anniversary of Suburban Jungle, and it seems a fitting place to bring that chapter to a close. My current plan is to finish the story at the end of issue ten. As my hand tremors get worse, it is becoming harder to keep up with what was already an ambitious production schedule, and honestly, I think that story-wise, RH will be done at that point. So I’d rather finish something and feel good about it, than to drag it out to stay within the familiar.

  2. Writing Goals. My goalposts on this front are two short stories sold, an agent secured for Sky Pirates of Calypsitania, a furry novel written for NaNoWriMo, and an anthology project created with FurPlanet.

  3. She-Ra Writing Gig. Seeing Seanan McGuire geek out about landing the writing job on Spider-Gwen made me realize that I wanted that experience in my life. Spider-Gwen is a character that Seanan was pretty much born to write, and honestly, I feel the same about Catra and myself. I have no idea how I’m going to convince the She-Ra writing team to let me on board, but I’ll find a way.

  4. Full Coaching Client Roster. My goal is 14+ clients by this time next year, including five Creativity Klatch clients and three Mentor Coaching clients.

  5. California Trip. I miss Big Sur like whoa.

  6. 222 Pounds. Something that wasn’t on my 2018 list was losing weight– so naturally I made big strides on that! XD Specifically I lost 30 pounds since May, bringing me to my lowest adult weight yet. I have another 50 pounds to go to be at my goal weight of 222, but I am confident that I will hit it this year.

  7. Continue Continuing to Fix the Country. Keep going ’til it doesn’t suck.

So, yeah. That’s where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going. I think 2019 is gonna be a great year. 🙂

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One of these is a sweet and loving feline, forced by circumstances to seem mean. The other is GrumpyCat.

First item of news! I passed my coach training finals! 😀 This means I will graduate from the Accomplishment Coaching training program, and I’m about 2/3 of the way to an Associate Certified Coach certification with the International Coach Federation.

Now… just to earn a living with it. >.>

Second item of news! Yesterday I was so inspired by Seanan McGuire geeking out over her Spider-Gwen gig that I decided– with no plan how or even idea of the feasibility– that I wanted to get involved in working on She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, on the grounds that as Seanan was basically born to write Spider-Gwen, I was basically born to write Catra. >.>

So I have spent all day canvassing anyone and everyone I know even marginally related to the animation industry looking for referrals or leads, as well as just flat-out e-mailing Noelle Stevenson via the address on her web page and saying “I want in! What do I do?”

In all of my years of creating comics, I never wanted to connect directly to a larger franchise before. As much fun as I’ve had banging around in the My Little Pony fandom, it never occurred to me to try to actually get involved in the show. Heck, LevelHead once offered to finance the creation of a NeverNever pilot to shop around back in the day, and I just didn’t think I was ready for it.

Why She-Ra, and why now?

Well, like I say, Catra is a big reason. She’s basically the Leona/Langley/Tanya/Brigid archetype I’ve been writing for 20 years. Another reason is something I described on Twitter a few days back, of having spent 20 years thinking I was being Tiffany Tiger in my career, when I was actually being Leona instead. For various reasons I’ve been going through my life with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake, sabotaging myself without realizing it and feeling defined by the wins other people were achieving that I felt like “should be” mine.

The transformative process I’ve been going through in my coaching career has really opened my eyes to this, and it’s time for me to change it. Part of that includes putting down the ego-driven “Must create it all from scratch!” mindset and connecting to other creators (and other projects) outside my own little corner of the universe.

Wish me luck! This is a scary, ambitious undertaking for me. Not the actual work of the writing, that part is easy! But changing who I am, moving into a much larger world… that’s hard. O.o


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Sorry about that! Patreon doesn't like raffles! I'll figure out something else to do!

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Me and some of my best imaginary friends.

Me and some of my best imaginary friends.

So yeah, my foray into the world of adult art has in fact doubled my Patreon income, which is awesome! Bringing it all the way up to… $176 a month? O.o

Mind you, I’m grateful to all of my supporters, especially those at the top who have gone above and beyond all of the reward tiers and stuck with me for nearly half a decade. You folks are amazing!

But I look at “comparables” doing similar work to mine, and I see…

Clearly, my Patreon is underperforming, and I need to figure out why, and how to change that. Suburban Jungle Boogie was the first step, and it certainly had an impact! The next few months will be building on that success. My Patreon growth goals for 2018 are:

  • June 30: $200

  • July 31: $300

  • August 31: $500

  • October 31: $600

  • November 30: $750

  • December 31: $1,500

How am I gonna do this? I have no idea! So I’d love to hear any input or suggestions from anyone, ranging from creators who have succeeded and how they did it, to supporters who would be willing to tell me why they chose which artists to support and at what level. And once I have it figured out, you can bet I’ll be back here to report how I did it, because I love you. 😉

Meanwhile, please enjoy a word from Leona Lioness…

Leona is not safe for work.


Feb. 10th, 2018 11:44 am
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I may draw the first-ever NSFW Suburban Jungle art today and tomorrow.

I am weirdly antsy about it.

-The Gneech
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Like the video, this month is going to be epic.

Why? Because in February I have to do ALL THE THINGS. O.o

What things specifically? Oh, just...

  • Finding and taking on at least four new coaching clients

  • Completing my monthly practice areas for next month's training weekend

  • A page of Suburban Jungle every week

  • A big commission for Joey Gatorman

  • A smaller-but-still-important commission for Fzygal

  • Art for the AC conbook

  • Oh yeah, I have a job at Barnes & Noble, don't I?

These are the things that I need to do this month. In terms of what I want to do this month, I have a piece of Valentine's Day art that I want to do for a) fun and b) as the start of this mysterious NSFW art project I have been hinting around about in certain circles, and at some point Jamie and Inkblitz are going start giving me the side-eye if I don't, y'know, run some more D&D myself. >.> ^.^'

The keys to getting all this done are going to be timing, focus, and perseverance, with a healthy dose of scheduling breaks in to make sure I don't burn out. I can't take on coaching clients until Accomplishment Coaching finishes setting up my billing information, so while I'm waiting on that anyway, it's time to crank on art. Joey Gatorman commission has been in the queue for the longest, but as long as I send him WIPs, I should be able to get the Valentine's Day piece done on Thursday, and so forth.

However! That does mean that a lot of my go-to time wasters are going to have to go to the curb, including (but not limited to) Twitter and Tumblr, places where I am prone to just shutting off my brain and absorbing the way previous generations would just lie in bed in front of the TV all night (but all the more insidious because you can take it wherever you go).

So if I seem quiet or remote in the next few weeks, that's what's up. Feel free to toss me an e-mail or DM if you need anything or just want to chat! ♥ I'm not becoming a hermit, just crunching against multiple deadlines.

-The Gneech
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Comfort getting... dressed? to swim.

Comfort getting… dressed? to swim.

This post is a test of the WordPress/Patreon connection! If you are a Patreon subscriper and can’t see this post, I want to know! And if you aren’t a Patreon subscriber but you can see this post, I want to know that, too!


-The Gneech

This content is for Patrons pledging $ or more on Patreon
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New Year's Resolutions by Grant Snider for Evernote

What to say about 2017? I mean, yeah, lots of the perfectly-predictable awful shit that we were yelling about in 2016 came to pass right on schedule. But most of the adults in the room, once it was clear that it was all going to happen, turned their efforts to slowing, fighting, or just mitigating it as best they could. If 2016 was the year of yelling "Look out, there's a train wreck coming!" then 2017 was the year of hitting the brakes and getting as many people off the train as we could, and 2018 will be the year of cleaning up the mess– and sending as many of those engineers and switch operators to jail (or at least to exile in disgrace) as possible.

And for all the usual suspects wailing and gnashing their teeth on social media that 2017 was the Worst Year Ever, it had its good points. Bee populations have increased by 27%. The snow leopard has been taken off the endangered species list. Scientists have successfully re-bred sections of the Great Barrier Reef.

But on my own personal front? 2017 for me was largely about getting back my mojo (thanks, Austin) and, just as Kimmie predicted, a year for new beginnings.

Austin Powers wishes you a happy new year, you sexy bastard.

So, reviewing my goals for 2017...

  1. Issues Five and Six, Plus the First Collection. Nailed it. Very pleased. :)

  2. Publish That Book! Nope. -.- Revised it, kept sending it out, still nope. Somebody else published my book. I nearly hulked out and tore the place down. It was not pretty. I don't know what's going on here, the energy around it has turned all weird. This needs addressing.

  3. Finish Another Book! Also didn't happen, despite starting two and putting more work into the the not-Tolkien book from last year as well. As with publishing the Sky Pirates novel, I feel like there's something weird going on with me and my writing, and I need to devote some time to diagnosing and fixing the problem in order to move forward next year.

  4. Start a Company. Progress... but not in the direction we were going at the time. XD The project [personal profile] laurie_robey and I were working on at the time was going to be a sort of "lifestyle magazine/blog/podcast" kind of thing where we highlighted local features, organizations, points of interest, hidden treasures and the like, a more mainstream "Here's cool stuff about [city]!" kinda like was intended to be for the furry fandom. That particular project ended up not having any legs, as evidenced by how easily we got distracted onto other things... but it was replaced by the serious pursuit of commercial drone photography on her part, and life coaching on mine. Go fig! More about those below.

  5. Move to California. Well... no. We moved back to Virginia instead. XD But honestly, I'm fine with that, and I'll tell you why: there was too much baggage. I was fixated on going to California like Thorin fixated on the Arkenstone, and it was completely messing with my head. That fixation drove my willingness to sell the Hobbit Hole (which was a mistake it took me three years to realize how much I regretted), caused a lot of stress to our relationship, and was leading me down paths that would have led to me being just as miserable in California as I ever was in Virginia or Maryland. And if nothing else, being in Maryland highlighted a lot of the good things about Virginia that I knew I would miss, but didn't truly realize how much. Now, we may still go out there someday. I love Big Sur like crazy and will probably continue to nurse daydreams of Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo. But if/when that happens, I want it to be for the fun and joy of it, not the kind of desperation that was making me stupid about it before.

  6. Stronger faster slimmer better. Didn't happen this time around. I have lost some weight at the B&N job by virtue of salads for lunch and being on my feet all day, but I spent a lot of time in Maryland sitting like a lump eating comfort food.

  7. Bring the Awesome! This has been working! And paying dividends. My mood is up, we are in a new place we like better, we're making progress on careers. The "Unsuck Our Lives" project is paying off!

  8. Edit Myself Less. This is kind of a hard one to report on, because it hasn't come up as much as I expected. I mean, I have been pretty much speaking my mind when I felt like it needed to be spoken, so mission accomplished? But I also haven't been in as many situations where the inclination to keep things to myself was a problem, so it hasn't been that much of a challenge. Honestly? I'm fine with that.

  9. Reverse course and mitigate/repair damage to the country. Been doing this. Lots of marching, calling various reps, supporting grassroots organizations and spreading the word. And it is helping, in ways both big and small. We've still got a lot of work ahead of us, but there are more good people in this country than there are assholes, and we're going to win.

So, a mixed year, but definitely more positive than negative for me.

Where to in 2018?

  1. Gneech, Life Coach. Next weekend is a "trial session" of professional training from Accomplishment Coaching, and assuming that goes well, I will be enrolled for a year's course leading towards my first level of certification by the ICF. Life coaching is a bit like the I.T. world, where there's no legal requirements and anyone can hang out a shingle and get freelance work, but accreditation by professional organizations definitely helps you build both your skills and your reputation. The Accomplishment Coaching program is also designed to get you up and running with a practice quickly– which means having income again. This is a good thing. ;) I have some ideas about where I'd like to go with the career, but they're all fairly vague right now and I have a lot to learn first. But I'm excited to get into it!

  2. Help Laurie Get Her Business Running. I'm probably too close to Laurie to be an effective life coach for her– but I can support her, help provide resources, and so on.

  3. Stable and Reliable Income. Items one and two, combined, become this. ;) Followed up with clearing debts, building savings, and getting back to investment.

  4. Figure Out What's Up With My Writing. Seriously. My hard drive is littered with perfectly-sellable books that for whatever reason I'm not getting anywhere on. Sky Pirates of Calypsitania is now something like four years old without selling, while other authors are succeeding with it. It's a lot like the whole thing of people looking at Suburban Jungle, saying the art is great, and then not buying the book. Do I have something weird going on psychologically with making money from creative pursuits?

  5. Sell. A. Book. Pursuant to above.

  6. Issues Seven, Eight, and Nine. Because that would be awesome.

  7. Continue Fixing the Country. 2018 elections are going to be huge and important and I'm going to work with Flippable, Indivisible, and others to kick serious ass in this department.

  8. Take a Vacation. Laurie wants to see New England, and I'd enjoy that too. Maybe in the fall? We'll see how finances and schedule can be arranged.

In a lot of ways, these feel a lot less "dramatic" than previous years' goals, but also less melodramatic, too. Instead of going into 2018 with dread, terror, or even guns blazing, I've got a feeling of calm purposefulness, and I think that will serve me well. This year's post isn't a manifesto, it's a game plan, and I kinda like it that way.

It's a little early for bedtime, so I'll just say "Good afternoon, world, and have an awesome new year." ;)

-The Gneech
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Suburban Jungle (Starring Tiffany Tiger) for July 22, 2005

Not the R63 version of Rarity, although I'd be happy with that, too.

So, the past several weeks have been bonkers. Got a new job (Barnes & Noble), moved back to Virginia from Maryland, spent four days in Chicago for Midwest Furfest, and then had an unexpected (but welcome) visitor come spend the night at our place over the weekend. I haven't looked at my hours, but I do know that of the 12 days I've had off since mid-November, six of them were either moving, convention, or Thanksgiving. So I've been pretty harried.

The good side of that, is I've been insulated from all the noise and drama around world events and social media. The bad side of that, is I've been isolated from all my online friends and barely able to work on my writing and art.

Fortunately, now that the moving is done and we begin the long process of unpacking and assembling the house, that particular problem is much reduced. The last single large bit (car paperwork) will probably be dealt with tomorrow, and from then it'll be slow but incremental improvement until the new house is truly a home. It's already got a Christmas tree, the first one we've had in two years, and that is a bigger deal than it sounds.

I'm not to the point where I can get some work done in the morning and then go off to my job in the afternoon/evening yet, but I expect that will start being a thing later this week or early next. Of course, once the holidays come barreling through, the B&N job will either scale back or possibly disappear entirely. But I've got some big things in the works for 2018 that will make everything happening for me job-wise right now seem like the smallest potatoes, and that's going to be pretty awesome. I'll have more updates on that as I get them worked out, or probably by my annual New Year's post.

In the meantime, hey! I'm still here! I'm still creating stuff! And this time I'm not even dodging 16 ton weights! More like spinning 16 hundred plates.

It's an upgrade, man. It's an upgrade.

-The Gneech
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Midwest Furfest 2017 was awesome!

Hello, all you awesome readers, and thanks for your November support! It’s been kind of a nutso month for me… I started a part-time job, moved (AGAIN) for what I hope will be the last time for a while, got about halfway through NaNoWriMo before I had to punt, and of course got Issue Six and the first trade collection done in time for Midwest Furfest. So, yeah, just a little busy there. ^.^’

December is hopefully going to be less frantic, but there will still be some big stuff going on. I’ll be starting work on issue seven, hopefully to begin posting late in the month or in January. I will also keep working on Child of the Tower (and posting it to the writing WIP tier for my Patreon subscribers). Finally, I am looking at creating another Patreon tier for art going in a completely new direction than I have done before, but I don’t want to say too much about that until I’ve got all the kinks worked out.

So tl;dr version, thanks for a great November, and watch for more great stuff coming in December! Thanks, everyone. You rock!

-The Gneech

PS: Commission Queue as of December 7, 2017!

  • LKCMSL NaNo cover. Paid: Yes; Due: ASAP

  • Redliox/Blue Shenanigans, again! Paid: No; Due: Dec/Jan

  • Joey Gatorman SJ AU. Paid: No; Due: TBD



    Dec. 3rd, 2017 07:13 am
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    So when Nyxsern said "You're all set!" on Friday night, she meant that I was in the Artist Alley lottery for Saturday, not actually IN the Artist Alley. Thus, yesterday morning, I dutifully packed up all my stuff and schlepped it over there only to discover that Oops! I was on the wait list. *sad trombone*

    I lurked around and moped [1] about that for a bit, but in the intervening time my one commissioner popped up and I delivered his book, and I decided that, as I had been planning to bug out of the Alley at 2:30 for [personal profile] inkblitz's panel anyway, I might as well just punt on the Alley all together and actually GO to the convention. So stuff was schlepped back to room and off I went.

    In the Dealer Room, I did some Christmas shopping, and also connected with FurPlanet. When asked how the con was going, Teiran informed me it had been full of snafus, to which my response was, "YOU TOO?" On the good front, they sold out of Rough Housing Volume One, so I guess I'm gonna have to get my author's copy later. ;) Blitzy and I then checked out the Fursuit Menagerie [2], where Blitzy actually knew more people than me for a change. I got to see Babs in her fursuit, and of course she was just as adorable as you might expect.

    Blitzy's "Becoming a Better Roleplayer" went off well, only slightly hindered by the noisy hallway outside and uncooperative Google Docs notes. From there, I caught up with Vince and Dev outside the dealer den and bounced back and forth between them, the FurPlanet guys, or both. We had the obligatory Chicago deep dish (a curious entity halfway between quiche and lasagna which the locals stubbornly insist on referring to as pizza) and had much geeky discussion of movies, superheroes, and superheroes in movies.

    Rounded off the evening with some people-watching with Vince and Exatron in the Hyatt lobby, and then back to the hotel where I gave Seifer a crash course in Furry History 101 and we talked about God, alternate universes, and other mind-blowing topics until 1:00 a.m.

    It was a good day. :)

    Today, I am officially confirmed to be in the Artist Alley (double-checked!), so I'll be back there, hopefully drawin' my little arm off. Sadly, never could connect to AxiomAxiom and CargoWeasel. Despite all our DMs back and forth, I only have their word for it that they were ever even here! ;P [3]

    Back to Virginia tomorrow!

    -The Gneech

    [1] You ever notice that moped (past tense of "mope") and moped (motorized bicycle) look exactly the same in text?

    [2] As the cons get larger and larger (MFF and AC keep leapfrogging each other as "largest furcon ever"), fursuit parades have just become unmanageable. So MFF cordons off the main ballroom and hall outside of it and shoves all the fursuiters there for photo shoots and everyone who wants to see all the suits can go there and watch.

    [3] That would be a very effective, if weird, way to troll someone. Pretend to be at a con and constantly text people, "I'm in the main lobby by the elevators! Where the heck are you???"
    the_gneech: (Jeeves satisfaction)
    The deprivations of Thursday night paid off in getting an Artist Alley space yesterday; I plunked down next to Brian Reynolds, picked up my books from FurPlanet, and set up. I immediately had one person ask if they could take a picture of my table setup ("Uh, sure?") and another tell me how much he respected the work anyone put into making comics, no matter how simple the art style. ("Uh, thanks?")

    Unfortunately, a miscommunication between me and FurPlanet ended up with only five copies of each book. As a result, issues five and six, the items new to this con, sold out quickly on the first day, kind of a mixed blessing. XD It was great to be able to say something sold out– but as those two items were what I expected to be the big money-makers for this con, I might be screwed as far as sales go.

    Commissions were dry. I had one come in late, so I gave it my all. There's some kind of weird energy going on about my art, because once again I had lots of people tell me how cool and appealing it was... but then walk away sketchless. But I also made sure that everyone I could get to take one had a card for the Suburban Jungle site and hopefully will pick up some new readers if nothing else.

    Wound down the evening by having dinner with Blitzy, Trixie, and Seif, then checking out the art show, which seemed to be missing about 1/3 of its intended content. I heard rumors of problems with setup, or something, and that there was quite a kerfluffle about the whole thing, but I don't know any details.

    Sleep without the CPAP is, as predicted, a challenge. :P By strategically propping myself onto my side or stomach with pillows making it difficult for me to roll over, I did manage to catch a few hours of uninterrupted sleep between spurts of waking up without air. I remember having an interesting dream that featured Hugh Grant playing Bertie Wooster in a strangely-smooth interpretation of the character, and that my review of said performance was that while Four Weddings and a Funeral was probably the most legitimate modern descendant of Jeeves & Wooster, Hugh Grant just did not make a good Bertie.

    Anyway! Today will be a shorter stint in the Alley, leaving early to help [personal profile] inkblitz with his roleplaying panel; dinner plans for tonight are going out with Vince, Dev, and various members of the FurPlanet crew, so that should be cool.

    It's been a wonky MFF! But I'm glad to be here and to see my friends. :)

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Default)
    I have started to notice a strange phenomenon, which is that I have a bunch of things I want and/or intend to do with my day, and yet somehow, sitting down to work on them becomes a direct route to not getting anything done.

    Case in point: today. My bullet journal for today has the following entries:

    • Don commission

    • B&N website/time tracking app

    • New! Improved! Plan for 2018/visualization journal
      • House
      • Work
      • Money
      • Exercise
      • Books
      • (Badass Book for ref?)

    • NNWM

    • Writing blocks/limiting beliefs

    • Fanservice art ;P

    • Groceries

    • Laundry

    Granted, this is a lot of stuff, and I certainly didn't expect to finish it all today. But I also didn't get anywhere near as far into it as I expected. Here's what I've actually accomplished from this list:​

    • Messed w/ B&N site/tracking stuff, only to have it fail. Maybe my employment stuff isn't in the system yet?

    • A very pokey and uninspired Plan for 2018, because every time I tried to write on it my brain just went all fuzzy and I couldn't focus.

    • Groceries.

    • This post is kinda/sorta the writing blocks/limiting beliefs item. At least I'm starting to look at the issue.

    Why did this happen? I don't know. I was all gung-ho and high energy all morning and for large chunks of the afternoon, and that energy was spent mostly working on edits/tweaks of the SJ Volume One Trade (which, you'll notice, was not on this list, because it came in from FurPlanet overnight). Still, that's a major project and needed to get done so that FurPlanet could have the books in production in time to be on hand for MFF. So I don't resent working on that.

    I got the Volume One stuff done, and was eagerly working on ideas for what I would draw as soon as I got home from dinner.

    After dinner... blugh. Everything resembling productivity just stopped. My B&N administrivia attempts ran into walls. My Plan for 2018, which I was super-stoked to write after re-listening to You Are a Badass, just turned into a vague cloud of mush and wore me out. As for art... no way. All energy was gone.

    Maybe it was the burger? I love flame-broiled burgers but only let myself have them once or twice a month at most because they're huge health-bombs (not to mention all the environmental problems associated with beef); but it could be that such a heavy dinner sent me into a food coma.

    But there's also the problem that I sometimes seem to associate this desk with, well, not getting anywhere on stuff. All of the times I've wrangled in creative frustration with Rough Housing, or stared at the outlines for By Elves Abandoned or Child of the Tower and completely failed to have a story spring forth, have happened at this desk. Many of my most successful writing sessions, by contrast, have happened at Starbucks or similar places.

    But at the same time, every page of Rough Housing ever drawn, was drawn at this desk, including the issue six cover I love so much. And I have in the past managed some pretty damn impressive writing spurts here, so I know it can be done. That doesn't alter the fact, however, that headspace is a major thing for creative work, and once a place takes on a certain meaning in your mind, that meaning can come to define your interactions there.

    The last thing in the world that I want, is for my desk to become the place where it is hardest for me to work. -.-

    Part of the problem, I suspect, is that I spend the vast majority of my time here. Writing? At my desk. Drawing? At my desk. Doofing around in the internet? At my desk. Watching anime? At my desk.

    Since we're moving in JUST NINE DAYS (*flail!*) I need to address this in my new workspace. I want my drawing table to be for DRAWING. I want my writing space to be for WRITING. I want the "everything else" place to be... SOMEWHERE ELSE.

    Downside of that, of course, is that I do everything on the same computer. >.> To do different work in different places, I must have a) different places, and b) either a different computer in each place, or easy portability.

    My writing has to be done on a laptop, so that I can easily bugger off to Starbucks or wherever when I need to get away from the cats or whatever else might be distracting me at home. Currently, my art is also done on the same laptop, and it's not real easy to just unplug it and go, because I have so many peripherals plugged in (including a backup drive that gives me nastygrams if I just unplug it without "ejecting" first).

    However, I also have this really nice, beefy PC that a certain TwitterPonies fan gifted me with, now living without a purpose since I gave Overwatch the heave-ho. So one possibility would be to migrate my art (and backup drives and printers etc.) to that machine, leaving my lappy free to come and go at will.

    The other option would be to pick up something else dedicated to doing my writing on. I originally bought a Macbook Air for that purpose, but when I decided I needed a new art computer, chose the Macbook Pro to do double duty. Laurie has the Air now as her computer.

    I dunno! I'll figure it out. The whole issue of desk layout might be a red herring, considering how eager my brain seems to be to send me off in the wrong direction all the time. I am trying to carefully observe my habits and behavior to find patterns, however. Every aptitude test or career-search program in the world tells me the same thing over and over again: GO WRITE YOUNG MAN, so why does being at home with a flexible schedule and leave me so often staring into space instead of, you know, DOING WHAT I'M MEANT TO BE DOING WITH MY LIFE, and frustrated with it to boot?

    I've already talked some about my tendency to go into denial whenever anything becomes the slightest bit painful. This issue of having difficulty writing, when it's clearly what I was made for, is related somehow I think. My ego and my deeper self, whatever that may be, have extended relationship problems that I both need and want to overcome.

    Anyway, that's enough rambling about this tonight, I think. I need to get some sleep now, so that tomorrow I can get up in the morning, slap on headphones, and get as much stuff done as possible before schlepping myself off to the job. But that's also part of the reason why I wanted a day job: to give myself deadlines. If it doesn't happen before 2:00, it's not going to happen tomorrow.

    (It's nuts. Having an external schedule to adhere to stresses me like crazy and makes me frustrated that I'm not getting my art/writing/etc. done. So theoretically NOT having an external schedule should be awesome because I can do that stuff instead! So why, why, why, oh neurotic brain, do you decide that it just means I can fluff off forever instead? Bonkers.)


    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Default)

    Wrote 2,194 words yesterday, bringing my wpd to 1,112. Still below par, but gaining ground quickly. I also had a couple of big "Aha!" moments about the plot and added more to the outline, which will make the next stretches go a lot faster.

    Also need to prep for this weekend's D&D game and do an "Ask the Cast" or something for next week's SJ.

    I... am busy. >.>

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Default)

    Milestone the First

    After much wrangling and introspecting and generalized fretting, [personal profile] laurie_robey and I are moving back to Virginia! Specifically, to Reston. SirFox is a fine landlord, and if anyone is looking for a very reasonably-priced place in Germantown, drop me a line and we'll set you up. :) But for various reasons Maryland just isn't working for us.

    This move also signals an indefinite pause on our California plans, for a variety of reasons I might get into in some other post. But for now, it's back to NoVA for us for the foreseeable future.

    Milestone the Second

    The files for the first Rough Housing collection are off to FurPlanet! It's gonna be pretty beefy at ~120 pages, and I'm not gonna lie, I love that cover.

    Milestone the Third

    NaNoWriMo starts on Wednesday! This will be my fourth whack at it (currently standing at 2/1) and will be an experiment: my first attempt at a furry novel. It's a fantasy featuring my little catfolk monk Kihai, my big catfolk barbarian Arshan, and a story something like Iron Monkey meets The Hidden Fortress. So, that should be fun. ;) But as of today, I have no outline, no supporting cast, and only a vague idea, so that's what I expect to be working on for the next couple of days. If the end result is good, I'll float it by FurPlanet as well! In the meantime, I'll be posting daily(-ish) progress reports to my Patreon for subscribers. :)

    So! Life is good. And busy. I'll take it. :)

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Default)

    I’ve added a new tier to my Patreon page, specifically for people interested in checking out my writing projects, including the Sky Pirates of Calypsitania and By Elves Abandoned series, plus whatever else I get rolling in the future.

    Besides serializing the novel draft (posting a scene every week or so), I’ll also be posting items for feedback, looking for suggestions or ideas, and so on. If/when the novel is finally published I’ll make some kind of arrangements to reward Patreon subscribers who helped with it as well, but that’s something I’ll have to figure out when the time comes. XD

    This tier is for supporters at the $3/month level. I believe that $3/month subscribers should start seeing the posts immediately (the first one will come later today or tomorrow), but you might want to edit your subscription to select the Writing WIP tier just in case.

    Thanks as always, awesome subscribers! <3

    REMINDER! All Patreon subscribers are eligible for commission discounts and early access to Suburban Jungle comics!

    the_gneech: (Default)
    Did a lot of fretting today and agonizing over the status of the Sky Pirates book. No conclusions. The answer I want is "one of the agents I sent it to wanted it," but that didn't happen, so I have to figure out what the next step really should be.

    Three Good Things for Today

    • Got the basic poses finished for Blacktigr's commission

    • Finished the "Windswept Sandbox Full of Giants" recap posts

    • Had some Ben & Jerry's

    • Bonus Good Thing: Had some nice kitty cuddles.

    Three Goals for Tomorrow

    • Finish Blacktigr commish

    • Pencils for SJ page 12

    • Work on "By Elves Abandoned"/"Fortress of Tears" setting

    Gnite world, and have an awesome tomorrow.

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Default)

    "Roughness in da House" by Vince Suzukawa

    “Roughness in da House” by Vince Suzukawa

    Longtime Suburban Jungle fans know that Vince and I are ol’ pals and mutual fanboys. We don’t get to collaborate (or even chat) nearly as often as I would like or as we used to, but we do still keep in touch when we can, and he recently sent me this, which I have been geeking out about for weeks now.

    He finally posted it to his FA page, and so it’s time to share it with the world! Enjoy. 😉

    -The Gneech

    the_gneech: (Default)
    Major Matt Mason commissioned this piece by NixieSeal. Fun! :D Reposting here because it's got a content rating at the FA site.

    SJ Fanart by NixieSeal

    Thanks, MMM and Nixie!

    -The Gneech

    April 2019

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