I played yet again, in spite of having a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning.
It's a really lousy workaround, and doesn't do the original image justice, but it's better than nothing.
I used my phone to snap a picture of it, which I then through a convoluted process managed to transfer to my desktop (a process involving sending it to my girlfriend even though my girlfriend is literally my only years-long consistent blog reader in that every other blog reader I know of comes and goes with the times, making it kinda pointless long-term but OH WELL).
You can tell what I mean by the camera pic not being the best, but it's at least adequate at showing the basics behind the picture and what I mean.
As a refresher, take a look at yesterday's blog both for a reference point of the prior versions of the panel and for my description of this one. You can instantly see what I mean with the face, right? Something just feels...wrong about it.
Yesterday I thought it was the mouth. Maybe the mouth is slightly too large, but otherwise I took a quick look at the art trying a tactic: look at the image with the head obscured above the mouth (so that the mouth is the only part of the face visible); look at the image with everything below the mouth obscured (so that the mouth is the only part of the face not visible); look at the image with everything.
With the first, the image didn't quite look wrong--it looked okay, it looked passable.
With the second, instantly? "OH GOD THE EYES".
For the life of me, I could not get the eyes to match.
I really, really, really tried to get the eyes to match.
But I botched it every single time no matter what I did. I think it's her left eye (appearing on the right) being slightly out of proportion, with the edge near the outside being larger than it should?
Butyeah--you can tell that I got really lazy from pretty much just below the shoulders. Still, the head tilt--while subtle--is hopefully there, visibly. And that was one of my main goals with this.
Overall, quite pleased with this.
So let's show them all off, side-by-side-by-side, once more for a final comparison.
Aside from how the first is colored, the second is scanned, and the third is a junk photo.
In actual terms of quality of the art itself.
I feel like this is just a logical progression--a well and true, proper, art evolution.
It's on that note that I'd like to continue on a ramble that I originally was going to start in December, near the anniversary of The Descended, back when I first found and started archive binging Grrr Power. (Which I now read as it comes out.)
A ramble which earlier this week I began to revisit, but cowarded out of following through on it--I told myself I would write the ramble while I was at work. Even figured out how to preface it. Even told myself not to get distracted. Even told myself that I'd be a coward to not do the ramble. Even told myself I'd do it if I didn't feel like doing it.
And then at home...I didn't feel like doing it, called myself a coward for not feeling like it, told myself I would do it...and in spite of all of that. In spite of saying that, in spite of knowing I wanted to blog about it, that I should blog about it, I didn't actually blog about it.
Something I kinda sorta hinted at a little bit yesterday, but didn't get into as much as I'd like.
I'm not going to start the ramble the same way I planned in December (and heck, won't even cover a fraction of the material planned then, I'm only going to cover some of it).
I'm not going to start the ramble the same way I planned it earlier this week.
I'm going to preface it by saying that the art-me was for a longest time, "missing, presumed dead".
I thought my inner artist was just...gone.
Not gone in theory. I still thought of artistic things. I still thought of artistic stuff. I visualized artistic stuff. I was an artist in mind, still--but my drive to actually draw stuff in practice? My drive to draw things out in the real world rather than my head? It was gone.
Completely gone, for the longest time, as far as I knew.
Lingering there in the back was a desire to make my ideas real...but no drive to do it--until yesterday.
So what I say might be subject to change.
The artist within me was rekindled, so it's possible other stuff will be, too.
Also this was a ramble typed before I got passing interest in League of Legends, too, so that's another aspect of me which may come back as well.
But to go into things a little bit...
...Well. Basically...I don't know what to do.
Or more accurately...I do, I compiled a list even, I just don't know what I want to focus on doing.
The full list also included don't-wants, too.
-I want to continue with my life on the mafia site I frequent.
-I want to finish my civ 3 mod, Across the Ages - Mediterranean.
-I want to continue The Descended with all of my accrued skills/knowledge/talent/ideas since my last work on it.
-I want to continue Red Hood Rider with all my accrued skills/knowledge/talent/ideas since my last work on it.
-I want to make Phyrra and Cyrus a reality...I really want to make Phyrra and Cyrus a reality.
-I want to be a teacher.
-I want to be a housewife, raise a family. (Of course, this is optional, but it is still a want all the same since there's multiple ways it could be done.)
-I want to live with my girlfriend.
-I want to fully transition.
-I want to live a happy, rich, fulfilling life.
-I don't want a job, beyond the one I've already got.
-I don't want to live independently.
-I don't want to write (yes, surprisingly enough, I don't want to, but like I said, the artist within me was revived so you never know) pure writing. Obviously, I'd write webcomics for The Descended and/or Red Hood Rider. Obviously, I'd write for Phyrra and Cyrus. Obviously, I'd still write down ideas whenever I had them. Obviously, I'd continue writing blog entries. But I don't want to write literature.
-I don't want to read. (Well, I've done reading recently, but reached the end of everything I was reading.)
-I don't want to game, not much anyway.
-I don't want to watch things, not really, anyway.
-I do want to do those things if they involve someone else (namely/chiefly my girlfriend; absolutely I want to watch things with my girlfriend and watching, sayyyyy, One Piece episodes is the highlight of my week but what I mean by "I don't want to watch things" is that without watching them with someone else e.g. my girlfriend...I don't want to spend alone-time, me-time, time with just myself and nobody else, watching them--and this also applies to games; absolutely I'll play any game for/with my girlfriend but on my own my desire is rapidly fading).
But on my own.
Just by me, with nobody else.
No encouragement, no help, just as my own thing?
I just...don't want them.
A job is a means to an end--it provides income. To achieve most of the things on the list, I recognize that pragmatically-speaking, I need a job. Transitioning is expensive. Living with my girlfriend won't be possible most likely unless I can pull my weight and not be deadweight monetarily speaking. Phyrra and Cyrus is a project I don't want to make money yet which will be absurdly expensive to make. Red Hood Rider and The Descended both won't make money (they could off of ads, but I am against making money off of them in the same way I am against making money off of Phyrra and Cyrus).
I simply need money. Our world runs on money. And while I get a fair amount from my job--it's not nearly enough. It's minimum wage. Minimum wage in a state with one of the highest minimum wages in the US, but minimum wage all the same. It's also part-time, too, making things even worse. The only reason I have more money flowing in than flowing out is because I'm not pulling my weight in terms of paying for expenses. Food, gas, house mortgage (or whatever), car maintenance, etc.; I do none of that aside from the rare instances I put a quarter of a tank in out of emergency, or stop by a fast food place because I desperately need a fix.
I know I need the money--but I don't want a job, because simply put...well, there's more than just one reason.
One, I just don't want it. Not wanting it is itself a reason, it doesn't need a justification in of itself. I am happy with my current job (well, mostly happy, anyway, about as happy as any job would be because there ain't a job in existence which I wouldn't have troubles at least equaling my own if not exceeding the ones I deal with so I know my issues are comparatively minor). I simply don't want another.
Least of all as a replacement, but even if it weren't a replacement. Even if I worked two jobs instead of one. I just...don't want to.
Two, even if I did want another job.
I don't think I can handle it.
One day of 8 hours is literally murder on me.
How on earth people manage to do 8 hours a day, five days in a row, every single week almost without fail barring extenuating circumstances and recognized-by-the-company holidays, heck if I know. But I know that I am basically catatonic doing it once a week, where even doing it once a week is too much and I am barely functioning from it, where I would be better off not working in the final home stretch of the shift.
Even if the shift is limited to 5 hours a day.
Even if between both jobs my shift is limited to 5 hours a day.
I can't handle more than 20 hours a week. Heck, even 20 is breaking me. My hard limit, by my calculations, is 18--any more than that, and I am suffering badly. I am badly, badly suffering when I work more than that amount. I simply cannot function.
Working two jobs a week, there's simply no way I'd be able to keep it under 20 hours a week.
Even if I quit lifeguarding (and again, to reiterate, I don't want to quit my current job), at the new job there's no guarantee I'd have the job security I do here while staying under 20 hours a week.
Say what you will about my work as a lifeguard having a job where what I'm asked to do is borderline-illegal and typically unethical and often counterintuitive and even contradictory, but the simple fact is...I've worked there for five and a half years and never once been at risk of being fired, in spite of me being able to ask for work of maximum-15 and receiving it. (Mind you, I do have to specify FIFTEEN in order to get 15; specify 18 and I end up with 25, but when I specify 15 I do in fact receive fifteen-or-less, as I requested.)
I've no such guarantee at any other job--in fact, quite likely my refusal to break myself by working more than the limit of my body can handle would end up with me fired, with me having no job. I physically. cannot. work. the amounts. that most jobs ask me to. It is literally impossible.
And yet legally speaking, we talked this over with my counselor, getting disability benefits for me would also be impossible because I can't legally prove that it's impossible for me to work that much. More complicated than that, I know that's something which people will try to pick apart, can't really explain it properly but trust me when I say that there's nuances involved where basically, if I was incredibly lucky and waited literally years I might be able to possibly receive help in some areas (e.g. housing I think?), but that what I actually need, extra money more than what I get now...
...I can't get from the government.
And yet I can't get it from a job.
A job is a means to an end, an end I desperately need, yes, but I just...can't do it physically, and don't want to do it either.
Even if I did want it and even if I physically could do it.
There's a total paralysis in what jobs to actually do; I wouldn't know what to pick and choose even knowing these criteria. And even if someone literally spoonfed me a job--it'd require me to follow through on it and that's something I just...am not really...well. Invested in doing.
This is one of the things holding me back from pursuing an actually potentially viable teaching job in spite of wanting to teach (but more on that below)--I just know that in spite of having a passion to teach and wanting to teach, that there's just an utter freeze, an utter lack of will, to push forward and take the plunge in because for some reason that idea of having a job I just don't want.
And I can't make myself want it.
Especially since that job?
That job, which is a means to an end?
As far as my family is concerned, that job is so that I can take the steps to live independently.
...But what they fail to consider is...
...Me living independently? It's what they want. It's what they are pushing for. When they frame the question the wrong way, they get the illusion that it is something I want. Because living independently is a means to an end, it is more or less something I'd need to do to not be deadweight if I got to live with my girlfriend, to not kill my girlfriend from stress overload, to not have my girlfriend have a panic attack when I'm out of site, and so on and so forth.
It is also a safeguard in case I am suddenly kicked out of the house by my dad; if I know how to live independently, then I can survive on my own with difficulty.
But while it is a nice safeguard. And while it is something that would teach me how to be able to support in my own way my girlfriend rather than just be deadweight. I don't want it.
It's not something I desire.
Nothing in my life is inherently better with me independent.
Me being independent enables me to transition, sure--by proxy of not being dependent on my dad.
But that's not something which is a given.
It's not "independence = can transition, dependence = can't transition".
I can be independent and lack the means to transition, and I can be dependent on someone other than my dad and still have the means to transition.
The two aren't linked in that way.
So I just...I don't see the point?
Why am I supposed to be independent?
Because it's something that people "should" do?
Because it's something normal people do, especially by the age of 25?
Because it's something that would convenience others?
It's just...none of that is about me, now, is it?
Like I said--the only reason I see to be independent is to teach me the skills so that I'm not deadweight to my girlfriend, so that I can actually help out and manage some things on my own...but those skills don't require me to be independent, do they? Independence is the quickest, easiest way to teach them, sure, I guess...but it isn't the only way to teach them.
So if I can get those skills in other ways more suited to me...and I lack reasons of my own to seek independence...
...Why would I want it?
I just don't.
There's then my lack of desire to write.
You may recall that my flashdrive containing my writing broke years ago.
It's still broken, still hasn't been fixed, frankly I think my brother forgot it even existed, wrote it off as a lost project then didn't return it or something like that.
That's no excuse to not write.
I can, and have, remade stories from scratch.
Heck, because I am overly fond of rewrites, it's actually a specialty of sorts.
I can, and have, come up with dozens of story ideas. (Most compelling of all, the Worm-inspired Quadraverse story I owe you rambles--plural--about due to having expanded it multiple times since you last heard about it. And it'd be in exactly that format, a book, not a webcomic, not a game, not a show, a book.)
I can't stop my brain from coming up with dozens, hundreds, of ideas, nor would I ever want to. I enjoy those story ideas, I love fleshing them out, I enjoy talking about them, I enjoy making their plot twists, enjoy creating chronology, characters, and so on and so forth...
...But I just...
...Have an utter lack of desire to actually write.
I once came close.
I came close to creating a forum thread, recently, where I would tell people, basically, "I am looking to write, and want some writing prompts to give me a direction to write. I write as much as I can, before then requesting another prompt, and will keep going on this for as long as I can", more or less.
Figured out the rules and everything.
What my starting point would be.
What sorts of things I was looking for.
And so on and so forth.
Almost did it.
Not because I forgot.
Because I lost interest.
I just lost interest in doing it.
And I have no interest in writing any new stories.
And for that matter, no existing stories.
The loss of my flashdrive, then, I realized was nothing but an excuse.
I was pissed at the time. Royally ticked off. Bummed out, in despair, at the loss.
But I could have recovered from it.
It was a choice not to.
Because right now?
The writer within me is dead.
Like I said, that's the status my artist within me was until just yesterday, so that could change.
But as of right now.
I don't want to write.
Because the writing me is dead right now.
At least the novelwriting, story-writing me.
Similarly--I don't really want to read things on my own.
I read, browse, TVTropes.
I keep up to date on webcomics--more out of obligation than anything.
Yes, I've binge-read a few webcomics recently.
But all of that? It's mostly enrichment. Mostly inspiration. It's mostly things which give me ideas, which make me feel better, which are part of another aspect: they are part of me living a full, happy, enriched life because they give me a degree of cheap pleasure, but it's not something I have any particular investment in. They're just time-wasters. Wasting time, rather than something I truly did because of a deep desire to delve into the world I was presented with.
The magic exists--and then it doesn't.
Worm is a great example of this.
I mentioned in my blog recently, either yesterday or on Friday, that I finished reading Worm.
And more significantly.
I did something like 28 chapters in only a couple months or so...
...And then stopped.
I just...didn't read.
I had plenty of times I could have read.
But for months. (Well, slight exaggeration.)
It just sat there, unfinished.
And then the magic was briefly back, just long enough for me to finish it in less than 48 hours. (Maybe less than 24, I forget if it was Wednesday or Thursday that I started but I'm pretty sure I finished before Friday?)
But it's gone again.
It comes and it goes, but it's not consistently here.
It was here consistently long enough to drive me forward to read something like 28 chapters in a remarkably short time. (I got some internet-stares when I said how much I had read in the short duration I had, akin to "...HOW", with them flabbergasted that I could read so much in so little time especially given that I read many comments too.)
But then it wasn't.
And it isn't, again.
So overall, reading's just not something I strongly have right now.
It is useful for enrichment, for entertainment, for boredom-suppressing, for lack-of-better-ideas activities.
But that's about it.
Ditto, gaming. It is equally a time waster, and due to a small selection pool of games...far less enriching of my life, other than providing entertainment and relaxation and a distraction from doing things that are more important to do.
I still game.
But when I game, it's not so much that I want to do it, as much as I defaulted to doing it.
I ran out of ideas, so I did it because I couldn't think of anything better to do and it was the thing that was most appealing or rather more accurately, least-unappealing.
Again, I'd like to reiterate.
These change when it comes to having a partner, having it not be just me.
I would read just about anything if I had someone to trade comments with about it, facepalming, screaming, making snarky commentary, the like, about it. And I don't mean in the sense of a forum where you just look at comments, place your own, respond to existing comments, e.g. on a webcomic with whatever posting method the webcomic uses (for instance disqus). I mean more in real time, where we can have a real conversation and bring attention to things the other might have missed.
That is fun. That is something that I would always be down for, that I would always enjoy. That I'd always find immense pleasure in.
I would play just about anything if I had companionship in it. Someone watching the stream of a game I play, preferably in real time, again to make comments about how much of an idiot I am being, how stupid that move I made was, how much I deserved what was coming to me, etc.
Someone to play an online game with me, where we could both fail together, repeatedly, because of my incompetence getting us massacred over and over again. Or, alternatively, if we stack things in our favor to make it nigh-impossible to lose...managing to win a victory albeit one where I didn't pull my weight. Or, alternatively, where we play against each other and I totally let them win, honestly, couldn't just be because I am absolutely utterly incompetent and they are just better than me, nope, not my inexperience, totally me letting them win.
Any of that? Yeah, that's fun. Never tire of that. Never gets old. Never would stop with it.
But on my own. With no feedback. With no network...I'm getting tired of it. I'm not creative, I'm not inventive, I fall back to the same habits and do not explore much. I play the same things I have played...and I basically just. Don't really have much motivation to play them anymore.
And similarly, watching falls under that same umbrella. Sure, watching things with others is amazing, is great, is something I want to do always and enjoy doing. A real highlight of my week, uplifting, amazing, basically something that gives me great, immense, immeasurable, pure, sheer, joy at having done, leaving me happy and fulfilled.
But on its own...well. Watching some things can be useful to gain inspiration. It can motivate me to do my own things, to make my own work, to get ideas from what I watched on things that I can improve on in my life and in my creativity...but that's about it.
I don't really want those to be central parts of my own, personal, me by myself, life.
They can exist in the peripherals, sure, I guess.
But they shouldn't be what my life revolves around.
What should my life revolve around?
Well, probably not half the things I want, but whatever it should revolve around should be something I want.
I want to continue being a part of the mafia forum I play on--because it is, like it or not, a fundamental part of my identity. It is a piece of me, a rather large part. When I gave up, progressively more and more, on every other site...at the end. Even after having given up on ComicFury...I stayed there. I stayed there when I stayed nowhere else.
It keeps me grounded, it keeps me sane, it gives me my one iota of social interaction and is the only source of resources/support network I have readily, easily, available access to. Pathetic, sure, sad, yeah, but that's simply the truth. They are all I have built up.
Doesn't help that they serve as a very nice source of enlightenment, so to speak--they have a far, far, far, far, FAR more open-minded view of the world than I'd otherwise get. I mean, liberal as liberal gets is a fairly dominant majority there, sure, yeah...but I need that to help counterbalance the fact that my family is as conservative as conservative gets.
I need reminders that my family is racist, that my family is bigoted, that my family's religious intolerance is not okay, that my family's politics are not to be blindly sheeped, that I should take their words with heavy grains of salt. And the site's one of the better places to give it to me.
Not the best, admittedly, because they have a bit of a problem with the "if you don't agree with this, you're part of the problem" mentality, and they're not aiming to educate people nor am I directly looking for them to educate me and other issues and the like, but it's still exposure to an opposite view to what my family (and by 'my family', I mostly mean "my dad's toxic, backwards views"), but I fully credit the site for being one of the largest influences in me not being an echo of my father.
Without them, I'd be the worst trash of the worst trash, most likely. A despicable human being that honestly the world would be better off without having around as a whole, one spouting hatred at all times at everything not appearing to be part of it. I was headed down that road, and while I'm not fully on the road opposite of it (to the point where some probably would still argue I am those things, a despicable human being that would be better off not around, an opinion I can't entirely dispute because yeah, I am kinda trash), that I am at least trying to stay further and further off of it is something I credit to the site.
Sure, yes. The internet is a toxic cesspool of vitriol, and this site is no different. That exists, in abundance, and perhaps moreso than on most sites. Certainly seems it is filled to the brim with those hostile, divisive emotions. And yet...in spite of that. It is not all negative. It is not all bad. I know that my place on there is largely a negative one where I cause more problems than I help...
...But in spite of that...I still want to be a part of it, because it is part of my identity.
It was one of the two places I came out on as being a girl. (The other being ComicFury.)
It is one of the main places that helped me build my confidence in my femininity, that helped me build my identity as a woman. That helped me find who I am as a person.
And it's something that I crave.
Even if I wasn't part of that site.
I don't think I'd be able to give up mafia altogether.
It's just ingrained in me. Second nature to me. As both a player and as a game host/moderator/insertterminologyhere.
If I was on any site that had mafia, I would play it--I wouldn't go out of my way to sign up for a site with it just to play it, but if I were already a member of a site I visited that had it, heck yes I would. (Which would be a liiiiiittle bit problematic since I know sites that I frequent such as Kongregate have sections for it.)
If I was on any site that had a section dedicated to playing games...and they didn't already have mafia?
...I would start it for them.
I would figure out what I'd need to adjust, what I'd need to make it work, and then I'd make it work.
Only way it'd be possible for a complete detox from mafia would be to cut me off from any site that has any source of games on it. And I mean, any source. Doesn't need to be forum-based; if they have a chat client that has chat game support? I'd find a way to make a chat-based mafia game.
Because I think in mafia games.
I have it that ingrained in me, that I convert experiences into mafia games and mechanics. I turn ideas I see into mafia-centered things. Many of my ideas which started as a mafia game can be converted to something not a mafia game...but it also works vice-versa just as frequently, where something I thought of as a different idea becomes a mafia game because the mafia game suits the idea more naturally.
I've been doing mafia for over ten years--not half my life, but 40% of it. 2/5ths of my life, spent on the forum game. That experience sticks with you your whole life. It's ingrained in my brain. It doesn't go away. It's instinctive on every level. The good (what little there is), the bad, the ugly, it's all there, as part of me.
And because in spite of its flaws, in spite of all the things there which are sour, which there is bitterness about, I genuinely believe in the community, I genuinely feel like it is a special place, I genuinely feel like it is a place which is more good than it is bad. It's got lots of bad. Lots and lots and LOTS of bad. But the good is just...stronger, more empowering, more rewarding.
I want to make more of that good, there. I want to do what I can to make there a better place, one piece at a time. The site is, in many ways, a bit of a reflection on humanity. It is deeply flawed, it is deeply troubled, there is lots of hatred, there is lots of divides, but there is also lots of...everything positive about humanity. Bonding, creativity, socializing, humor, love, friendship, unity, you name it.
I could drop it. (There are two situations which would cause me to; if my girlfriend asked me to, in spite of my attachment to it, I'd leave in a heartbeat, wrap everything up as hastily as is possible and then simply depart and never return again, OR, if I on a fundamental level felt the site itself had betrayed my trust. I've felt betrayed before, but that's not something that I consider the site betraying me so much as something else having done so.)
But given the choice, I don't want to. It's helped build me as a person. You can leave sites like that behind you...but it's not something you ever want to do, and this is no different. My investment, my attachment, is such that barring either condition coming true...I just...want to keep it as a part of my life.
I don't want it to consume my life.
I don't want it to be all of my life.
I don't want it to be the most important aspect of my life.
Heck, when I wrote these down, it was almost practically in the order of least important to most important. (Almost. Not quite. Not really, but you can kinda see how the later ones are more important to me than the earlier ones. It's not an exact list, being a teacher is a lower priority than my creative projects, but the reason it's lower on the list is that it has a direct lead-in to talking about the others, which you'll see if you keep reading, BUT I DIGRESS.)
So it's not an important aspect of my life.
But I want to continue keeping it AS an aspect of my life.
On that note--I want to finish my Civ 3 Mod, Across the Ages - Mediterranean.
This one's not really that important...but it's a bit of a pet project. There'd be a sense of accomplishment, of, "I did it!", and it's a bit of an education, a personal pursuit of mine, a bit of a healthy hobby of building something tangible, that you can look at as concrete, and which could lead somewhere.
Would be unlikely to lead anywhere, but could lead somewhere, in that even though it doesn't teach me coding or anything it still teaches me basic structure of how to make a game idea more or less real. It gives me the layout of the sorts of things, the details, I'd need to work out. Structure of the game, of map layout/creation, of units, of balance, of tech trees, of resources, the like.
The knowledge generated from this is poor due to me being lousy at it, sure, but it's still some sort of grasped knowledge, which I'd get better at with time and practice. And it is knowledge which does have a way of transferring over to other projects, especially if I begin messing around with things I thought I wouldn't be messing around with (such as pcx files).
The intricacies, the nuances, of making my scenario what I want it to be, would teach me how I could go about making ideas that are my own game proper, into reality, because honestly this mod basically is a game of its own at least in scope, in scale, in ambition, in ideas poured into it.
I wouldn't even probably play it, beyond playtesting it. See the game section above for why. If I wanted to make something of my life...I just wouldn't have the time to keep playing it over and over again, even though if I succeeded at making it the way I dreamed of it, I'd have the ability to.
The ability to play it over and over again and enjoy it, that? That if I could actually achieve it with the full scope and scale of my ideas, would make it all worth it in the end. So it's something I want to do, but it's not something that is at all critical. I still have desire to do it even though I work on it less often than I used to (used to be just about every day), but that's more from increased passions elsewhere I didn't know I still had.
I want to go back to The Descended, from my revival of interest there.
This is something I was going to touch on in my December blog, which was near the anniversary of The Descended. (Remember, The Descended was spawned as an idea around Christmas Break, on vacation; we were in Oregon when on my grandfather's antique computer I drew the first sprite iterations of The Outcasts, The Elementals, and The Latens. I forget the exact date, but it was somewhere in that range.)
The exact blog was spawned during the time I said I had an "epic year-end blog", promised it was coming soon, procrastinated, said I'd do it, but never actually did, with it never having materialized. There was so much more to it when I wrote it, but one of the core aspects of it was a scary thought to have.
The Descended, with my thematic nature of liking 12, had about 12 "Arcs" of content.
Each "Arc" is, by my approximation of modern standards (not original standards), ~30-40 pages long.
The Descended was, from the very beginning, at its original iteration and with each reboot, each revision, always at every single point, envisioned as releasing once a week.
One comic a week.
The Descended was the first webcomic I had which had clear start and end points and material strewn in-between.
I had other story-based webcomics--some I even knew the direction of!
But I didn't have clear ends to them. Only generic ideas of where I was heading with things.
The Descended was the first, and in some senses, still the best, at getting me a story-based webcomic that didn't just have a simple direction. It had a clear, definitive, unambiguous, ending planned to it. (Mind you, not at the get-go. Took time for that to materialize, until July if I recall correctly which is why I consider July 23rd to be an "anniversary" for The Descended, and consider the original December launch date an anniversary.)
My original plot, I lost on my old old laptop. You know, back when my old laptop was called my laptop, I referred to an old laptop? Well now it's not the old laptop because my previous laptop now is the old laptop, so it's the old old laptop. Or maybe it goes back even further? Actually, it does.
My original plot was on my old old old laptop, a laptop so old I pretty much forget it even existed in the first place. That, or it was on a desktop. It involved many more gags than the current plot, many more out-of-universe mentions, far more self-awareness, and even toyed with the idea of there being a on-the-other-side-of-screen (i.e. YOU the READER...except, GAMER) character, a gamer, controlling the actions and being dissatisfied with the outcome, "loading" to redo them...and at least at one point the characters in-universe refusing to revert.
I don't remember the details, never wrote it all and frankly I'm glad I didn't because while that was a valid direction I could have taken things in, The Descended would have been far, far, far worse off for it. I'm much, much happier with the direction I decided to take things in when I got my next plot.
Which I still didn't finish.
And which was on my old old laptop.
But which, critically?
I mostly have memorized.
The finer details, fine points, exact specifics, I don't remember--but I remember far more than I don't. It's ingrained in me as second nature. Mind you, there's not total recall. I have to focus on a moment to remember that moment, but I can generally remember more or less the structure of all the ideas I wove, the intricate narrative between the four protagonist groups of four and their pasts from before the start of the comic.
And I can tell you that works out to be about 12 arcs, with each arch being about 30-40 pages long.
The first arc to introduce you to three of the main groups and a little about them, the second arc to get more into the details, third arc to have the outcasts have their first encounter as a team while the background of the elementals and latens is explored, fourth arc the three groups meeting, and then further arcs for exploring the villains and such. Davos with an arc, Aria with an arc (so that's six), an arc detailing the rise of the fourth group (so that's seven), at least two arcs detailing miscellaneous plotlines where each character gets some growth, and then at least two arcs for the climax (that'd put it at eleven meaning I'm either merging two separate arcs or forgetting an arc, but I'm in the approximate right range, here).
What makes this all be scary?
Well do the math, here.
I took down the original page, but the original date has been preserved.
The Descended's first comic was released on December 28, 2009.
Over 9 years ago; near the end of this year, we'll be seeing The Descended's tenth birthday, and at the time I wrote the blog, I knew we were looking at its ninth.
There are 52 weeks in a year.
Do the math I've presented.
12 arcs, each ~30-40 pages long?
One page a week?
If I kept to one page a week, in nine years, I'd be able to do 468 pages.
Now assuming every arc together ended up being less than 480, then I'd be finished with The Descended.
The Descended would be done.
Finished, completed, start to finish, a comic that was actually wrapped up and concluded, rather than on an indefinite, indeterminable hiatus.
One page a week, the original schedule, is an unrealistically high goal given my innate abilities and how busy I was.
I improved the comic in 2012, 2013, and 2014; those dates represent more accurately the places you can call launches for the comic proper compared to the original.
The scary thought?
The Descended is an unfinished comic I put so much effort into, only to end up wasting it, because of stupid reasons.
Originally, writer's block, leading to a rewrite and generating a script.
Then writer's block in how to make the script real, culminating in the death of the computer.
Then in artist's indecisiveness.
Then for the stupidest of stupid reasons, because I didn't have the worldbuilding finished.
The World of Soano, The Descended's setting, is an RPG Mechanics 'Verse--one which using RPG Mechanics Terminology, but which is not self-aware of being in a comic and do not consider themselves in a game (because they aren't).
This is a rare combo, but it's exactly what I chose to use. To them, they use terms like mana, charisma, wisdom, dump stats, the same way we might talk about computers, food, health, cars, whatever. It's just part of their world, of Soano.
I didn't finish making the mechanics--I wanted it so that the World of Soano was one where anyone could run a functional whatever-they-want using it. A tabletop RPG, a video game, a webcomic, a story, I wanted the World of Soano to be accessible and usable by all, not just me. So I wanted to build the system for it...and I never finished it, and I put the comic on hold while I tried.
Stupid, stupid reasons to stop the comic.
The hiatuses were never for that officially, because I was busy, because I couldn't keep up with my life, but it still contributed to killing the comic.
I would be done with it if I hadn't quit.
Or if not done...close to.
I would be nearing the end of it.
I would be getting ready to wrap things up.
Instead of that.
I get a comic that never started.
In spite of how there is now a revival of interest.
And new ideas.
Yes, those ideas are a bit "draw and discard".
Some knowledge of The Descended is irrepairably lost forever. I'll never get the finer details back, I'm sure some plot threads I devised are entirely Lost Forever, in spite of how good they were. The plot I had for The Descended was a magnificent one, one which was funny and yet told rich stories with great character depth and which went into the backgrounds of them and showed their personalities, all of them, on full, the entire way.
You got a bunch of compelling villains, too, who were largely sympathetic in spite of being antagonists to the four groups. I've forgotten all but a handful (literally, can count them on a single hand; the big bad, two who have personal ties to characters, a third who has a tie to another character, and a fourth whose final battle I remember vaguely but I remember literally nothing else).
But I've also gained things like the Aria chronicle. Her basic background was in the plot from the get-go. I knew that the revelation about her lineage would be there, but the story was all in the present/future; it didn't delve into the past at all. That whole story would've never existed, and yet now it does in full, because I toy with getting into Aria's mindset quite often (she's fun to think as and fun to interact with).
And frankly...losing ideas? The ultimate excuse I put forward for stopping The Descended?
Was just an excuse.
It wasn't a justified reason to halt things. I remembered it, how hard would it have been to just type it up again and make a better backup? I stopped because I wanted to stop...
...But I've regretted it ever since then.
Always wanting to unstop it. To revive it. To come back to it. To do it again.
One of the things I gained was a basic map OF The World of Soano. Soano's shape was originally incredibly vague, but now I know what it looks like. (Well not by memory, but I have the paper in my room and can locate it fairly quickly to reference.)
And using that basic map.
I was able to map out the exact geography of where our protagonists begin their journey.
And even drew up a few pages for a hypothetical reboot of the update that vastly improved the reboot of the reboot of the original. (I think that's how many I did? Might be one more reboot in there?)
I could make it be amazing.
I know how to draw all the characters better than I ever did, in spite of having not drawn most of them in like five years minimum in some cases.
I could fix the gaps in the mechanics, patch them up.
I could make it coherent.
I could finish what I started.
I could do everything I failed to do then, now, with my current skill sets.
I know I could do it, because independently I've done those sorts of things on my own.
It'd take time, it'd take planning, but I know I could make it work, and dangit.
I want to.
Even though I know it'd take time.
And ten years to see fruition.
I know that the longer I wait now.
The longer it'll be for those ten years to come to fruition.
So I want to do it sooner rather than later.
And you know what else this applies to?
The thing inspiring me to make this ramble?
Red Hood Rider is all of the above, and more.
When we had easter, a result of that was me organizing a lot of stuff.
Part of that was recovering my old never-made December blog entry, but another part of it was uncovering the Episode 1 artwork (which was all drawn on paper) that I'd brought out ages ago to use as a reference and never returned to my room.
It had degraded to some extent and had been shuffled, but I did what I could during this time to preserve it and put things in the proper order.
And this is what got me set off towards the current path.
Because while there was plenty of things about the old art that I hated (the original "Hello" face panel among them), there were other things that to this day I think are drop dead gorgeous.
I managed to make amazing art back then. Circa September 2016--two and a half years ago, it'd appear.
I did intricate details that to this day I'm not sure I'd be able to do.
There are some things that are horrific and I'm honestly wondering if it's just that I rushed them because I struggle to understand how I could be so good in some areas and so bad in others. Or maybe I made them from memory without reference images and the amazing ones are ones where I cheated by using some, butstill. Doesn't matter. The point is. There's some gorgeous artwork in there.
So everything I just said about The Descended?
Applies to Red Hood Rider, even moreso in some instances.
My original plot is sort of lost. There might be a copy of it stored online (which I know where it is), but I'm not sure if that's a copy of the plot itself or if it's just most of the characters. (I know it's not fully up-to-date because the character of Brigand I'm pretty sure wasn't included among other stuff.)
The original plot I've mostly got memorized, but vast large swathes of it I have forgotten. Mostly stuff that gave characters other than Ruby...well, their characterization. Each of the ten fighting members of The Ruby Gang had immense characterization to them, and even the two non-fighting members of The Ruby Gang had plenty, and so too did support members like the Darkblood Coven's higher-up vampires, other Coven's vampire leaders, and such.
Every single Rogue got a lot of exposure, and even a wannabe Rogue got a repeat appearance. (That I remember, but stuff like that, I know I didn't.) Fighting styles, I had mapped out. Basic abilities, I knew. Details of the Rubyverse, largely mapped out and explored.
Lots of that stuff, I forgot.
The majority of it, I remember.
And just like The Descended?
There's a "draw and discard"...
...Where I added key aspects I didn't have. Though to some extent I've re-forgotten them, when I was playing around with inventing my martial art, it was the vampiric martial art that I was inventing, for use in the Rubyverse for some of the choreographed fight scenes that were far lamer and more rigid prior to this invention.
And near the climax of the series, there was a whole Episode that I've invented...one which is one of the most important in the whole series, as it is the episode which explains why Ruby has been the protagonist the whole time, which explains Ruby's role in the Rubyverse, why she was selected to be The Chosen One. Before I had an episode covering a What If where she didn't exist, where Sally was The Chosen One, and it's still in the series at a much earlier point, but this new episode?
This new episode builds off of that rather than just leaving it, and ties things together that originally weren't.
Ruby is actually given a very strong reasoning for being the protagonist, and in it, the episode explores both why Ruby is me...and why Ruby isn't me. And how both halves of that are important to why she's the protagonist. And how everyone is a little bit me, and how they could get by without someone who is heavily me, but why in my story they had someone who is half me.
Because that's another thing which has changed about the story.
When I first envisioned Ruby.
She was born as a series of "what if"s rapidly chained together.
What If I were a magical girl.
What If I were a vampire.
What If I were both a magical girl and a vampire.
And from that, she became me in all but name, just with abilities I don't have. Me if I were a vampire magical girl.
She isn't me anymore.
She's still partially me. She's still got large aspects of me in her life, because she was based on me, she came from me.
But she became something else.
I became something else.
I diverged from Ruby, just as Ruby diverged from me.
Over the last couple of years, I have continued to have my world outlook expand and grow--and Ruby's outlook has also expanded and grown...but not identically to mine.
We've taken similar paths, but not identical ones...and this new episode just before the climax? It heavily explored this concept, this aspect, of her and why she earned her identity, her spot, as the protagonist, rather than having it just be given to her. A meta commentary on her role in the entire series, even.
So much about the series I've lost.
But in spite of her being largely out of focus.
Crucial details like that?
I didn't originally have...yet I have since been given.
A draw and discard.
Mostly memorized, some lost, but lots gained.
I wouldn't have it finished.
72 episodes were planned--each episode a little bit shorter, in the 20-40 page range rather than 30-40 page range, but with far more episodes you more than make up for that. Divided up into 12-episode seasons. Conservatively, that'd be 1440 pages; liberally, that'd be 2880 pages.
Red Hood Rider also updated at a rate of one page a week.
And was much, much newer.
When was the launch date, again?
October 1st, 2016 it looks like.
Two and a half years ago.
At 52 pages per year, that's ballpark figure of ~130 pages.
Less than a tenth done with the series.
Less than half way to conservatively being at the end of the first season.
But the other part I said about The Descended?
That part still applies.
I would have ~130 pages done for Red Hood Rider.
Instead of four.
Because I quit.
Because of real life stresses.
Because of stupidity.
Because of excuse after excuse.
Because I gave up.
Because I just...didn't do it.
I want to.
I know how to do it, and do it better than I was doing it. I wouldn't need to redraw anything, all I'd do is suddenly have a years-long sudden improvement in the art. (Might come at the cost of it being in a different font tho as I don't remember what fonts I originally was using.)
I can make it amazing, make it stunning, I can fix my mistakes (for instance, fixing the godawful aesthetic of the ComicFury site), finish what I started, do everything I failed to do then and do it now. With my current skills, it's viable, it's doable, and it wasn't back then. It'd take time, it'd take planning, but I could make it work.
And I want to do it.
Even though I know it'll take time...and would take an amazing 28-56 years for me to finish if doing only one page a week. (Which is an outright impossible thing so I'd need to somehow manage to do more than one page a week. Like, two or three pages a week.)
Yet if I don't start it now.
It'll take that same amount of time whenever I do start it--and I'll be just as behind then, in the future, as I am now, because I didn't do it now, because I didn't close the gap any when I had the time, the chance, the method, the opportunity, to do so.
But in spite of that.
It's not the only thing I want to work on.
It plus The Descended are not the only thing I want to work on.
I really want to make Phyrra and Cyrus a reality.
I think of them almost every single day.
Again, there's a draw and discard effect going on.
Some worldbuilding details get lost; exact details of how episodes are meant to go get lost.
But the overarching chronology, what things happen when? I know by heart, and I keep on repeating them over and over again.
I really, really want to make them come to life.
They are my passion. There is an ambition there. It is a love project. A project of pure love, a creation filled to the brim with all my heart and soul, that I want to pour my everything into. I know it won't be easy. I've had a bit of an insider look into what constitutes a sound editor's job, and contrary to my original hopelessly naive belief that I might be able to do that myself realistically speaking having seen exactly what that entails I know that in theory I might be able to technically speaking do it...
...But that when doing so it's a butchered job that is a hot mess. In order for Phyrra and Cyrus to come to life as I envision it, I'd need someone else to do the sound editing for it. Because if it were me, I'd never be able to do it justice. I could do justice to The Descended. I could do justice to Red Hood Rider. (Although to get multiple pages out per week I may need to bite the bullet and get help because frankly I don't know how I'd manage so much as one a week yet alone multiple a week with no aid.)
I can't do justice to Phyrra and Cyrus. I can't do justice to Phyrra and Cyrus as a voice actor and even if I could do one voice I certainly couldn't do them all. I can't do justice to Phyrra and Cyrus as an animator least of all because I'd have to teach myself how to do it and then do the hot mess of a job at it which is shared for being what a sound editor would be.
I'd have to go back to my blog where I detailed everything about what I need for Phyrra and Cyrus to confirm this is everything, but off the top of my head, what I need?
-Animator for the four openings
-Animator for the four closings
-Animator for the show itself (the three need not be the same, though they can be)
-1-4 composers for the openings' music (one composer could do all four, four composers could do one, or anywhere in-between those extremes)
-1-4 composers for the closings' music (ditto)
-I'll handle the songwriting for the openings and closings
-1-4+ singers for the openings (probably at least one will use multiple voices and thus need multiple people)
-1-4+ singers for the closings (ditto)
-A sound editor
-Voice actors for each member of the Thaukama, each villain, recurring characters (rare as they may be), and one-off characters (this probably is 2-4 dozen people altogether depending on how much overlap there is)
-I'll handle the scriptwriting
I can do justice to the things I say I'll handle.
I can, and plan to, give direction to the animators for openings, for closings, for the show itself. (The latter is an extension of the script; of course the script, or what I call the script, covers the basic plan of what's to be animated.) But I can't do animation and have it do Phyrra and Cyrus justice.
I can songwrite and do Phyrra and Cyrus justice.
I can't sing and have it do Phyrra and Cyrus due justice.
I can give direction to the composers for what I'm looking for from them, but my skills in musical composition are lackluster enough that I wouldn't be able to properly do Phyrra and Cyrus justice if I handled this.
Having seen what sound editing entails, how involved the process is, how so much of a single second of video animation can have like thirty individual sounds (not an exaggeration, if anything that's understating it rather than overstating it) attached to it? I can't do that and do Phyrra and Cyrus justice. I'd miss too much, I'd leave too much out, it'd be too basic, too sloppy, to chaotic, to filled with things it shouldn't be and missing things it should have.
I can't voice act and even if I could I can't voice act for the number of people I need.
I can't get these things for free, I know this, too. Even an animator working cheaply for the exposure it'd give, even an animator who I could get on board for recognizing it as a love project, even an animator who could get as passionate about it as I am...well...even if I could get someone with one, two, or even all three of those traits?
It still wouldn't be free to do. Because anyone who learns animation to the level of skill I would be looking for is doing this sort of thing professionally--as in. They need to pay their bills. And animation takes time. Ain't an animator in the world who'd be able to provide that animesque high quality animation I am looking for, who'd do it in what amounts to their spare free time, because that's what them doing it for free would be.
If they do it for a cost, then because it's a job they are going to be making it a project they put some fairly decent investment into. Maybe it's not their top priority project, but they're not going to put it on the backburner, they're not going to put it off. They're getting paid, so they are going to make it and make it well because they want to live off of their animations.
If they did it for free, then they'd still need to pay their bills. They need money for food, for gas, for electricity, for supplies, for internet, for all the stuff professional artists and animators need. They need money to survive--so they need to get it from somewhere.
If I wasn't that somewhere, then they'd need to be doing something else to get the money...meaning that Phyrra and Cyrus? Not their focus. Honestly...if Phyrra and Cyrus took longer to make because the animator was working cheaply and had it as a lower-tier project while working on a higher-tier project that was more expensive and can sustain them, that'd be fine.
My concern though is with the quality; when I do finally find an animator...if it doesn't live up to my vision...if it isn't what I envisioned or even better (because the thing about good artists to a writer is that sometimes, they exceed the writer's expectations and throw in details that are even better than what the writer told them to do, and I imagine animation is similar in that it can be better than what the script called for), if it looks like junk because as far as the animator was concerned something not helping them pay the bills was junk to make at a lower quality...what was the point in making it at all?
I imagine that with the proper research, I could probably find someone who would work for free. Would be incredibly hard to find, but I could find it out there somewhere. But would they make it quality? That's what I'm looking for. And 48 episodes of quality? That's not cheap. That's not free. That's expensive.
It takes money that I don't have.
But I want to make it.
I know I can do it.
Realistically speaking I'd be funding it by season, I'd be needing to do a fundraiser, I'd need to find a way to make ad revenue to go towards the future seasons and maybe fundraise them if the ad revenue isn't enough, and even after doing that I'm going to have to find people who have a combination of those traits.
Who are willing to do it cheaper than the usual rate for the sake of exposure.
And/or who are willing to do it cheaper than the usual rate because they recognize that it is a labor of love, a project with heart and soul behind it that they genuinely believe in.
And/or who are passionate about the vision that they are able to see I have for it.
Because that's the only way I'll be able to get the money raised and have the money raised cover everything.
I know a lot of research needs to be done on my end.
I know that a lot of work needs to be done on my end.
Finishing the scripts.
Doing the storyboarding of sorts.
Filling in filler details.
That sort of stuff.
I know that all.
But I want to do it.
And I also want to be a teacher. Not as much as I want to make Phyrra and Cyrus, and, heck, not as much as I want to create my webcomics. But.
I love teaching. I love imparting my insights, my wisdom, my thoughts, my teachings, onto others. I like to be able to say that a person was left in a better position, because of a contribution I gave to their growth.
I just have a love of teaching.
I don't even care if my lessons are listened to, if the people I am teaching to actually learn, though obviously I take pride and joy when they do, especially if they are able to take my teaching and improve on it to make it better than what I was teaching them to do.
I just...really like passing my knowledge and skills on to a "younger" generation.
This need not be a teaching job proper, though.
I don't need to be a Teacher to be a teacher.
For instance, I am prominently known for being an expert/"expert" at the theory behind mafia. (Depends on who you ask. Bit of both camps are accurate; I have been playing for ten years so it figures that yes there are somethings I really can teach people about and being autistic with my brain wired in nonstandard ways gives me unique insights others over those ten years have missed...but because I am autistic I am prone to poor explanations of concepts, and just because I've done it for so long doesn't mean I'm perfect or know everything or am right all the time because I'm human prone to error and also poor judgments. Could ramble on this subject all day, but here's not the place for it.)
Nothing gives me greater joy than just getting a chance to tell people about my philosophies and have my ideas be passed on to them--not necessary verbatim. Taking elements of my ideas is actually a way to turn a basic idea which was on the right track but never nailed it (which is what I often am) to be refined to the point of actually getting it.
I encourage healthy skepticism in my teachings, will tell things as I see them and have a bit of a "that's the way it is" attitude towards some stuff, but I like just...seeing people actually read what I say, and taking even some of it to heart. Like, pondering what I said, considering it, and even just going, "ehh I disagree, for these reasons".
Someone who reads my ideas, and develops their own, someone who listens to my teachings, but develops their own. Someone who paid attention and took the best of what I had to say and eliminated the worst of what I had to offer. I love having stuff like that happen.
And another form teaching can take?
The main form which I dream about it taking, in fact?
The ultimate form--parenting.
I know that I'll probably be a lousy mom.
Doesn't change that I want to BE a mom.
Doesn't have to be biological children, though it could be. I'm not picky. Doesn't have to be from birth babies, though it could be; again I'm not picky. I'd consider myself no less the mother of a 4 year old than I would an infant, no less the mother of a child with my blood in them and/or my girlfriend's blood in them than I would someone who has none.
Aside from being a housewife being my dream job (again, even though I know I'd be terrible at it and it is pragmatically speaking, economically nonviable in this day and age), frankly, the main reason I think I've always dreamed of raising children?
Was so that I could teach those children.
Every time I think about it.
Every time I think about all the times I've pondered wanting kids.
Every time I think about having envisioned raised kids.
Every time I think about all the different ways it could have happened.
The thing that I remember most from all of those times.
Was that I was teaching them the lessons that a mother teaches their children, more or less the type of lessons my mom taught me only being my own unique take on them, stuff like actions versus consequences, the price of pursuing what you want, the like. Giving them a drive, giving them an encouragement (because encouragement is one of the most important aspects of teaching).
Supporting them, loving them.
It's mostly that I wanted to teach them to be the human beings they end up being--and with luck, to have some pride in knowing that their lives turned out the way they did in part because of what I helped them with. (We'd certainly hope so, because the alternative to that is despair/shame/horror that their lives turned out the way they did and the constant doubt of where I went wrong. Stuff like, 'they became a serial killer', noooooooot something I'd exactly be able to find pride/joy in, is what I mean.)
Ultimately, though...everything I just said?
Literally everything--mafia, the civ 3 mod, the descended, red hood rider, being a teacher, raising a family? I'd give it all up for my girlfriend. I'd give it all up to just live my life with my girlfriend. It is perhaps one of my greatest wants. It is one of the holy trifecta, the other two being the other two I listed.
I want to transition.
I want to have a full, happy, rich life.
I happen to also legitimately think that these three things are the only three on the entire list which augment each other rather than get in the way of each other. I have a finite amount of time in a day.
I can't, fundamentally can't, every day.
Do the civ 3 mod.
Do The Descended.
Do Red Hood Rider.
Do Phyrra and Cyrus.
And everything else.
I can't do them all at once.
I have to pick and choose. (More on that in a bit.)
But I legitimately, genuinely, think that the holy trifecta are together things that not only I can do all at once, but which are borderline impossible to do without having done all at once.
I am a girl.
Without having fully transitioned, I will never truly be able to be at peace--which will diminish my happiness.
I derive the greatest happiness and joy out of the love I have for my girlfriend. They are the most important thing in the world to me--more important than anything else and I would do anything for them.
Transitioning is something that I legitimately don't think I can build a support network for on my own--it's a little bit of a self-feeding loop. To build a support network, I need a support network. And to get a support network, I need a support network. I honestly don't think that I'll be able to manage it on my own. And while I can theoretically have access to a support network here...realistically speaking, I don't see how it ever works smoothly.
It'd be bumpy, shaky, at best. It's something that I'd barely manage to do, if I managed to do it at all. There's a very real chance that left to my own devices, I never transition in spite of always wanting to, for like...ten, twenty years. However long it takes my dad to die. And even then, only transitioning if I am not then reliant on my brother, and can find a way to manage it in the hectic situation.
It's something that in theory I can do, but pragmatically speaking, transitioning is something that I'd likely have the easiest time with if it was with my girlfriend.
And of course--my girlfriend probably wouldn't have become my girlfriend if I hadn't known I was a transwoman, and presumably is happier when knowing that I am happy (especially if they are the cause of said happiness).
When I wrote this blog, originally on the 23rd, I titled it "I don't know what I want to do".
But it's more like...
...I don't know what to focus on doing.
I know what I want to do.
I just spend five and a half hours typing it out. (Okay that's a slight exaggeration. Started at just past 12:45, and it's 6:03 now, so it's more like 5.75 hours.)
Everything I wrote? That's what I want to do. (Mind you I didn't cover large swathes of some subjects, e.g. the massive chunks of the December blog I left out.)
It's just that they are all so...so...conflicting, and I just.
Have a paralysis on what to focus on, more or less.
Today I did something which while not productive per se was something I had an urge to do.
Remember how I once upon a time drew Ruby's "Hello" panel?
It was a while back. Some of my "regulars" probably weren't even blog readers back then; after all, this was almost two years ago.
That picture? That was a redo of the original.
Here they are, side-by-side, for comparison.
I promised myself that I would color the redone version, but I never got around to it--with the death of my old laptop, that project even died altogether as I was working on it on said computer.
...I decided, on a whim.
"I want to try this again."
And this time.
I managed to outdo my outdone self.
On paper, I drew her once more--I don't consider it a complete success. Something about the face in the original redone version up there above on the right is just natural, whereas I got something horrifically wrong with her face in this redone redone version. It's either the mouth or the eyes; my suspicion is that I positioned them wrong in some fashion but I'm absolutely clueless as to how to fix the problem. (I do have that lean towards it being the mouth I messed up, but heck if I know how to fix it.)
I'm a little concerned about the neck being too long, in spite of me having used no less than three reference images to get it right.
I got really lazy with the connections between arm and breast (and for that matter, the breasts in general), so through sloppiness and rustiness, those could be better.
Heck, the arms are pretty much throwaway things that I didn't really bother to try and get right.
And the torso is something that I'm not positive I nailed.
...But literally everything else?
Literally everything else looks better.
I mean, I mayyyyyy have gotten things not quite symmetrical on the body, and there's an obvious lack of direct symmetry for the head--but in this case, that's intentional as being one of the improvements...because for the first time ever in my art (pretty sure, anyway), I managed to pull off a head tilt. Usually even if my reference image has a head tilt and I intend for there to be a tilt to the head, it isn't drawn or if it is drawn is drawn incredibly poorly.
This time, I got it. It's not overt; it is incredibly subtle...but it is notably, visibly, there, and not something which looks off, it is something you can tell the effect is there and what it is meant to be. (At least I hope.) And the anatomy in the areas I was paying attention to anatomy? I got it.
I haven't done art in not months but literally years. Years, plural.
I haven't done art since that image, pretty sure. At least I don't remember any real art. Not even sketches, mostly. By and large, pretty much nothing done aside from maybe a weapon at one point vaguely? But really, not people, not for a very very very long time.
...Yet through the magic of "I get better the longer I take a break"...
...I got better. The head in particular is shaped more realistically than basically a round melon. She's all-around "thinner", leaner, more feminine. Even without the pigtails and even without the breasts I feel like she would still look like a girl.
It's absolutely the best work I've done. Maybe less suited for the ultimate goal of making an avatar (though I'm probably not going to go for a new avatar anyway as I'm happy enough with my own right now on the site it'd have been for), but still stunningly beautiful.
I want to show you it.
I want to get it onto the computer.
And then maybe bite the bullet, download an art program, and finish the art on here.
...The. bloody. scanner.
STILL DOESN'T WORK FOR MY COMPUTER.
In spite of RECOGNIZING MY COMPUTER.
And in spite of MY COMPUTER RECOGNIZING THE SCANNER.
In spite of them mutually seeing each other and attempting to communicate with each other.
...I get a bloody error. No matter what. I. try.
Because I can describe this stunning art all I want.
I can't show you it.
Treading on four days now.
I guess I could mention other stuff?
Like how I recently finished Worm.
You might think that was a steady pace from when I began.
I got to the Simurgh/Doctor Mother/etc. interlude in like 1-2 months after starting reading Worm...
...And then didn't read anything for the remaining 1-2 months, until like 2-3 days, where I powered through it in the course of less than 48 hours.
The gap was because I was too busy doing other things, the civ mod among them, and the few times I was in the mood to read rather than do other things (mafia, watch videos, play video games, etc.), I didn't have the time.
I still didn't have the time to do it a couple days ago, but in spite of that the mood was there and I had the illusion I had the time to do it a couple days ago.
So I did it in spite of really not having the time to do it.
Meaning I'm behind on everything else.
Was most definitively worth it.
Have now begun minor TVTropes browsing.
Nothing too addicting, though overnight I did an entire archive binge of a webcomic, Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki. (There's lots of aspects of the comic that are kinda cringe and I'm not too fond of a lot of it, but there are some elements in the comic that I am actually really invested in. Not the fanservice, believe it or not, that's one of the annoying things because occasional fanservice that feels like it has a plot purpose is excellent to me but constant overt fanservice which feels like it's fanservice for the sake of fanservice is just kinda annoying, and while the comic has elements of the former the latter is definitively more prominent. The elements I'm more interested in are more the world, the lineage of Yuuki, the characters, etc. Those're solid enough to make it worth at least a skimread.)
And I do mean "overnight", because my night went as so:
Then midway through the moment I could, playing League of Legends with my girlfriend.
Then browsing TVTropes on Worm because I finished Worm not today but on a prior day (Thursday? Probably, was up late enough that it's certainly something I had time for).
Then as a result of that browsing, finding a trope--ability absorbsion--linking to the comic, and having previously attempted a binge but failed because of some stupid reason wanted to try again. (Said original binge was in fact inspired by the very pages I was linked to in fact.)
So with it being past 6:30.
In spite of me not really being that tired.
I know that I need to go to bed now.
It's not addicting but two days in a row is an awfully fine way to start...
My girlfriend got me playing League of Legends.
I don't think it'll become addicting, I'm generally not that fond of PvP games and while there's a vs ai option I get the impression the game's mostly meant for the PvP and built around it.
But it's still a dangerous road to walk because it could become addictive.
OH WELL TOTALLY WORTH IT.
A lot happened today, but I'm just tired enough where I am unable to really think in any coherent, logical manner. Apologies for giving nothing. Maybe tomorrow I'll have better?
The hunt proceeded about the way I'd expect it to--every year, we say we need to make it easier (especially on me and my brother). Every year, in spite of insisting that has been done, it proves to not be the case. This year, my older sister swore she made it easy, yet almost every single hiding spot was of a difficulty rating I'd associate with being a hiding spot for my younger sister--the one who she's allowed to be mean to with hiding.
At least three of my eggs were duck taped to surfaces.
At least twice, I ran into the problem of having correctly identified where the egg was, searched for it, and not having found it, and thus making the obvious conclusion; I searched it, it wasn't there, so it wasn't hidden there--except it was.
Suffice to say.
I finished last.
I didn't find a single egg on my own.
Not a single egg, I could locate without a hint.
Normally, people can find 2-4 eggs on their own.
Not. one. Could I find without basically being told the answer.
Because the answers were absolute bs hiding spots--hard enough that my younger sister would have trouble with a fair number of them.
My younger sister, the one who my older sister will pull evil stunts like hiding an egg inside of the refrigerator light (okay so that was my younger sister hiding my older sister's egg, butstill), who hid an egg inside of an empty orange juice container, who's hidden eggs inside of salt shakers, from light fixtures, inside the garbage can (with protection), the list goes on and on.
Evil spots like that.
She gave to me.
Suffice to say.
I was not amused.
I have specifically told her.
Time and time again.
Make it easier.
So I don't always finish dead last.
Yet each year.
Instead of easier.
It's getting harder.
In spite of her saying she made it easier.
She's not telling a deliberate lie, but she's absolutely lying to herself if she thinks that the spots she gave me this year were in any way easy.
The easiest thing to find was my basket, and that's mostly because baskets come in only two hiding varieties: nigh-impossible, or ridiculously easy; last year (or was it two years ago?), she learned that the nigh-impossible way simply wasn't something I'd handle well.
Yes, I am incredibly bitter, why do you ask?
It's not the dead last bit, honestly. It's that there's the sheer level of dissonance between what she said and what she gave me. She said it was easier; what she gave me was something which, egg after egg. I kept saying. "This isn't an egg for my difficulty level!" It was hard enough last year, but this year was ten times harder.
If you keep on.
Time and time again.
And time and time again.
"It needs to be easier."
And you are told.
Only to find it harder.
You'd be pretty miffed, too!
That I have, so consistently, finished last is a testament to how unskilled I am--yet she consistently is treating me like I should be getting better, rather than worse, and I am getting exactly that. This egg hunt, I wasn't functioning brain-wise for the first half of it. That wasn't what made it hard, though. I knew that even functioning at 100%, I'd never have found those eggs on my own, because they are simply not eggs that are my level; they are things way too hard for me to find in the best of conditions.
Me NOT in the best of conditions, though, made the impossible task just...laughable. Like. Pathetic. I am just entirely frustrated by the whole thing, because the hunt is meant to be equal parts fun and challenging--yet with each. and every. single. passing. failure. There's no fun. There's no thrill. There's no reward.
There's no exhilaration in being hand-fed the answers--which was what every single egg was.
There's no exhilaration from finishing last every single year.
There's no reward in. consistently. failing. Because in spite of saying it needs to be easier. It never actually getting easier.
My younger sister, hiding for my brother? She knows how to succeed at making it easier. My brother found some eggs on his own, without help, and none of the eggs he had were at sister-level difficulty. I saw all of them and went, "yep. For us two, that's an appropriate level difficulty for an egg".
She nailed it.
She did what needed to be done for him.
My sisters hiding each others' eggs are deliberately as evil as humanly possible--that's fine for them, because knowing each other as they do, they can usually find most of their eggs without hints because they simply are that good.
But when my sister hides my eggs at that difficulty level.
Instead of the difficulty level appropriate for me.
Instead of the difficulty level which my brother's eggs were at.
It's not fun.
It's a joke.
A bad one.
...How could she just.
Be that blind.
To what I am actually able to do?
I literally can't do it at that level.
How could she think what she gave me was at the level my brother's eggs were at.
When the level my brother's eggs were at--the level which my eggs should have been at--was leagues easier than what I actually got?
It turns what should be a fun even into just a pile of pure frustration.
Losing when I feel I legitimately deserved to lose is one thing. If my eggs were hidden in places akin to the places my brother's eggs were hidden, I'd deserve to have lost and there'd be no bitter feelings. Disappointment, sure, yeah, but not bitterness because I'd know that I lost because of stupidity.
Losing because I could never have ever possibly won?
Because the difficulty level was not something appropriate for me?
It's just...why. It's not like I didn't stress it enough. Easier; I said to make it easier. I emphasized that I had lost last time, I emphasized that it took me longest to find mine last time, I said that I needed it to be particularly easy in comparison. Quite explicitly. Clear as could be. E a s i e r.
...Instead? I got eggs that were hidden in fairly creative spots, most never-before-used, never-before-checked; the times they had been used/checked, it wasn't meant for me and I wasn't acutely aware of most of them. And the two eggs which I believe were repeats of mine in previous years? As mentioned, I searched the spots, and when I didn't find an egg after searching them wrote them off because of course when you search thoroughly a spot and find nothing you're going to assume the spot wasn't used.
It's one thing to just casually search through an area and not find it--we miss eggs doing that all the time, par for the course. It's another thing to literally be running your fingers through where the egg is and not feel it and not see it and with the texture feeling like there's no egg there and the visualization feeling like there's no egg there, concluding that there is no egg there...except there was.
I am just...not impressed. There's a difference between making it challenging, and making it impossible-without-handholding-help. Challenging for me is still simple stuff. Challenging for me is still cliched stuff which has been done before. In casual searches I am prone to missing things. It doesn't take much to fool me, but I can usually realize, "oh I didn't look here well", go back, and if there's an egg there, find it. Because I knew I hadn't searched it as well as I should, and going back, give it the proper attention it needs to find it.
Simple stuff--but still enough to give it a hunt.
When I miss an egg because I did look there well, when I did look thoroughly, or when I miss an egg because I've just given up on it on the sheer inability of me to have so much as a clue as to where it could possibly be because there's just nowhere left I could so much as fathom.
That's not difficult.
That's not challenging.
That's just sheer cruelty. And as I said--my sisters can be evil to each other as much as they want to be, but they're not supposed to be that way to the other two, me and my brother, when hiding ours.
...Yet that is exactly what I got put through.
After having had a thoroughly miserable time last year, for much the same reason.
And maybe the year before that, too.
She's not learning the lesson, and the only lesson I'm learning is that I'm a worthless piece of junk.
This is just.
The polar opposite of what our egg hunt is supposed to instill.
It's supposed to be entertainment.
It's supposed to be uplifting.
But every year.
I am just...increasingly more and more dejected.
Because all I am getting.
Is how trash I am.
Guess that means I'll have stories to tell tomorrow, but for today, I've got nothing.