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Dec. 20th, 2016 05:05 pm
kriadydragon: (cartoon peril)
December is being interesting this year, it seems. For one, we're actually - finally -getting some real winter weather: cold tempreatures and even snow. But Kansas being Kansas the weather is still trying to be all over the place. It's supposed to be in the upper fifties on Sundy, but I'll believe it when I see it. Last time the weather said it was going to be in the fifties it also said it was going to be sunny. It was neither, it was freezing and cloudy and that was the day my mom had us help put tarp over the storage trailer.

But, surprisingly, I'm not complaining even though I hate the cold. We've been needing a real winter, mostly to cut down on a lot of the bugs that have been driving us nuts the past two summers. Plus it helps you appreciate warm weather more.

I also sold my first doll! But being my first sale I keep fretting over the package. Did I write the address clear enough? Should I have put more bubble wrap on the doll? That kind of thing.

Also for the first time we've have to put up a barricade around the tree to keep it safe from the dogs. Usually it's the cats that are a problem, but we have a lot of stubborn boy dogs who have been having a peeing contest with eachother. We've also resorted to putting diapers on them, that's how bad the peeing thing has gotten.

I've also opened up my Etsy store to making custom dolls, so we'll see how that goes.
kriadydragon: (black dragon)
I swear writing is, like, 10% actual writing, 10% getting it ready to be published and 80% doing what you can to advertise. The new book - previously titled All the Devils are Here, now titled Magic's Perdition - is about a week away from going live but can currently be pre-ordered on Kindle. You can read excerpts of it on my author journal, and there's even pictures. Journal is updated, websites are updated, Facebook is actually being utilized, passwords had to be changed because I forgot half of them...

Meanwhile all the art stuff I'd had planned today probably isn't going to happen. Except, maybe, some drawing if I don't get distracted by other things.

In other news, thanks to Windows updates the sound on my laptop doesn't wrok as well as it used to and I have no idea why. I hate updates so much. We also have a hawk that's been harrassing out chickens and doves, the little punk. We've also been getting an influx of squirrels due to all the bird seed and chicken feed. They're funny little guys.

Our weather has also been absolutely gorgeous, but instead of anjoying it I'm worried it's going to be another mild winter. As someone who hates the cold, a mild winter wouldn't be a big deal except it's mean a major increase in bugs, most especially flies, mosquitoes, and the kind of bugs that like to destroy garden vegetables, so we need a nice cold snap to do some population control on the insects. Still, I have been enjoying the ability to open my window.

(And I do think we're at least starting to head toward cooler weather, since it seems we're going more and more into the sixties. So I'm hoping that we will have a real winter, it'll just be a little later than usual).

B-Day!

Oct. 3rd, 2016 01:56 pm
kriadydragon: (black dragon)
Thank you everyone so muchf or the birthday greetings and well wishes :D My big plans for today include going to see Magnificent 7, which I'm really looking forward to. After which there will be dinner at Red Lobster and, hopefully, for my present I'll be getting a drawing tablet, which I'm really, really looking forward to. I'm going to go nuts designing book covers.

Finally, there is now the bonus of being able to go around and quote the following...

"I'm 37."

"What?"

"I'm 37, I'm not old."

(Help, help, I'm being repressed!)
kriadydragon: (black dragon)
Okay so I really have to question my search skills. Ever since I started making dolls I couldn't find squat in tutorials about making even stuffed animals, only to one day stumble onto a tutorial even though I wasn't actively looking for one.

The eople who make these kind of dolls are incredibly tight lipped about it. The reason being... well, I'm not sure about the reason. They say it's because of trade secrets and in order to keep themselves in business. Which, to me, doesn't make sense. For one, it isn't exactly going to cause in influx of doll makers and competition, since with these dolls it's more about sculpting and painting/decorating skills than it is about sewing, and people with poor sculpting and painting/decorating skills aren't going to sell much. For another, People in other mediums have no problem sharing their secrets on how to do things, even if those things are their livelihood. I mean, it's art, and art is always going to be diverse. Some make their dolls styalized, others realistic, others cartoony, and there's a market for each. The only real difference between these dolls is how people sculpt them, paint them, and decorate them. Other than that it all involves wire or stuffing, fake fur, and a lot of sewing.

To me it would be like someone who paints or draws saying "Sorry, no tutorials, trade secret."

Unless people are afraid someone is going to copy their doll style for style? I don't know, I just find it odd how hard it is to find anything on making stuffed animals and poseable dolls.

(Which had been a massive frustration for me where sewing was concerned. My sculpting has been improving but how I sewed the fur on hadn't improved, and I swear it was only getting worse. I finally found a video that offered a few tips on sewing and I'm going to try them out for my next doll. I don't know why giving people sewing tips is so dang hush hush ).
kriadydragon: (Dolphin)
Dang it, this is the second show that's almost made me cry. I know a show is doing something incredibly right when it hits me in the feels like that. Come on, Netflix, I need season two like right now!

The Flash

Jul. 14th, 2016 09:52 pm
kriadydragon: (Dolphin)
So this is yet another show I got into after the fact, mostly because I didn't know what day and time it came on, and but mostly because I'm really not into watching TV as I used to be. Actually I hardly watch any TV at all these days save for a small handful of shows (which I mostly record and binge on when in the mood). But I'd been wanting to watch the Flash for some time, so I turned to Netflix.

The show is cheesy, a tad cliche, and I'm a week in and already half-way through the season and thus far I adore it to bits. It pretty much has everything I love in a show - action, adventure of the week, underdog hero, sci-fi/fantasy elements, teaminess, family, and just good-old fashion fun without tyring to be all serious and grim dark. Every single character in this show is likeable, even the ones you're not meant to like.

I also love that so far this isn't a show to brush things under the rug or prolong drama for the sake of drama. The things that don't need to remain a secret don't remain a secret for fippin' ever but neither are they tossed out there quick as possible. It's a show that acknowledges that death and the terrible things that happen to people are actually terrible things. It follows through on its consequences, and even the death of a minor character - heck, even a villain - is acknowledged as it should be acknowledged.

And the whump. My gosh, the whump! It is a thing of absolute beauty and I love the fact that they have it pretty much every episode because they can! I have never had a show that was this satisfying where the whump is concerned. I love how this show takes so much into account where The Flash's powers are concerned, how they effect him and how his physical well-being is still extremely important even though he can heal fast.

(Now watch as I finish the season and end up hating the rest of it :P Except the more I watch the better it gets so, naaah!)

(Also, what is it with guys who have the power of superspeed? The Flash, Quicksilver, them being awesome, them being whumped. They have been doing nothing but right by me :D).
kriadydragon: (black dragon)
My gosh it's finally done. After days of research and dithering and more research, my Etsy shop is open: The Critter Emporium.

Right now I just have the two dragons for sale although I plan on doing more than just dolls. The store is also up and running - http://storytellermelissa.wix.com/dreamscape - although I kind of feel like I made this store more to help sell my books than the dolls. But either way... I've got a business!

Now, will this business actually pan out, especially since I swear I have the worst luck when it comes to trying to have any kind of an income. Even now I'm kind of wondering if I should lower the price from $200 to $150. But the dolls are rather large, and looking at other dolls I've come across, even slightly smaller ones are priced similar or slightly more. What do you guys think? Is 200 hundred reasonable, should I go slightly lower, or should I just wait and see and lower if needed?

Also can I just say again how much I love Wix? Putting the site together may have been a pain with the way it slowed my computer down, but the end product has made me so dang happy.
kriadydragon: (Monty Python)
Okay, last post deleted because I actually went and did research beyond merely looking at Etsy and Ebay's selling policy. I don't know why I didn't do that sooner. I blame being distracted by putting a new website together. But it looks like I'll be going with Etsy.

Now I''m dithering over whether or not to get rid of my author website on Weebly and do a whole new one on Wix. Because holy cow does WIX have some nice designs. Plus it was a lot easier to use... even if it did slow my laptop down. The only thing I don't like is how the ste handles pages and page transitions, because at least with Weebly you could make each page a little more unique than you can with Wix. Or maybe the issue with Wix is the template I'm using, I don't know. I think I'll just go ahead and design and author website there just to see what it'll be like.

Okay, so, changed my website. Here it is if anyone wants to look at it - http://storytellermelissa.wix.com/melissaajensen. I am so much happier with it. It actually feels like a fantasy author's website. And while editing it creates a maddening amount of lag it's still easier to work with than Weebly. Now if only a certain story of mine was ready to get published instead of languishing in pathetically slow edits, then I could have another book to add and another page. Why is this book taking so long to edit! Why!
kriadydragon: (Obi-Wan)
And I know this because it keeps giving me the weirdest ailments that leave even doctors scratching their heads.

For the past couple of months, starting in November, I'd been putting up with a sore tongue. The soreness stayed specifically on the tip of my tongue though it would sometimes spread a little. At first, I thought it was because of dry mouth, then I thought it was an infected taste bud, then I thought it was food allergies. I tried salt water rinses, honey rinses, and, finally, peroxide. Sometimes all these treatments did was lessen the discomfort. Sometimes the discomfort would go away for a while only to come back.

I'm the kind of person who will try to treat something myself, and if no treatment works or if things just keep getting worse then I'll go see a doctor. Mostly because, at the time, I didn't have insurance or a doctor. Now I do and was finally able to go see one. And... they were left scratching their heads. They believe I have something called burning mouth syndrome, an ailment that can come out of nowhere and, unfortunately, go nowhere. I'd been able to keep it under control with a nightly peroxide rinse, but they're going to put me on a treatment that's supposed to help with the burning. I'm also being referred to a throat, nose, ear specialist for more opinions.

My body is always doing this to me, I swear. Before the tongue thing there was the infection in which the antibiotics for it left me dependent on probiotics. Before that was a rhythmic pain in the back of my skull that had to rhyme or reason to it, then one day just went away and never came back.

Here's an idea, body - how about a year where you don't stick me with something odd. Think that's too much to ask?
kriadydragon: (Monty Python)
So not only has my goal of doing more art gone incredibly well - actually I've never had a goal that was so thoroughly met - I think I may now be addicted to doing digital art, as can be attested to by my DeviantArt page, which was mostly silent up until the last couple of months.

As I mentioned in a previous post, what I've really been digging about digital art is the control it gives you. As much as I love being creative and doing artistic things, art sometimes has this way of sort of, kind of... making me really angry. I love sculpting, but once I'm done with a piece I usually have to take a long break because sculpting can get incredibly frustrating, especially when certain aspects of it refuse to cooperate. I love drawing, but there are certain details, poses, shapes, and shadings that my brain can't seem to wrap itself around, so that, too, often leaves me frustrated (although not as bad as sculpting) and my efforts are often more miss than hit. Watercolor has been awesome because I find it easier to fix mistakes, but the way it sometimes seems to try and do it's own thing drives me up the wall. And I think I may have given up on colored pencils all together.

But digital art has not only been the least frustrating, I also find it rather relaxing. More than that, though, the end product always leaves me so flipping happy, because not only do I accomplish what I set out to do, the end product actually turns out better than I had imagined. The only setback, and it is a minor one, is that my style is mostly cartoony, so using it as a means to create book cover images is going to be limited. But as a means for creating concept art for my stories, it's awesome.

(WEll, okay, there is another setback that bugs me. I have to hand-draw the images first and scan them in, which would be fine, but it usually means having to draw images of a certain size in order for the scanner to get the whole image, and that means having to draw things smaller than I would like, which makes them hard to see when I zoom in).

I'd still like to get into the figurine-making business with my sculpting, but I need to find a style that's both nice looking but easy enough to make so that sculpting it doesn't make me want to ball it up and throw it against the wall.
kriadydragon: (Obi-Wan)
This has not been a good year for our dogs thus far. First there was Ginger's back, now our Chihuahua, Gibbs, had a little accident and injured his eye. He has to spend three weeks with his injured eye sewn shut while wearing the cone of shame and remain cooped up in the bedroom because he can't be active. And there's a chance that his eye may be removed if it doesn't heal right. And here I'd thought Ginger had it hard :P
kriadydragon: (black dragon)
Feels like ages since I posted anything.

First off, poor Ginger hurt her back and is on bed rest. Unfortunately bed rest does not compute to her little doggy mind and because she's on pain medication, all she wants to do is run around. But she can't for two to three weeks, so I have to keep her penned up in my room. Except she's quite the escape artist when she wants to be. We also have foster kittens, who she wants to play with constantly, and whines when she can't because they hopped out of the blockade I set up to keep Ginger in my room, which she escapes whenever I leave. Two to three weeks of this. Fun times! :P

I've also decided that I'm going to make a goal to draw more. I've been trying to figure out ways to bring more attention to my author blog, and from what I've observed, it's my really, really short stories and artwork I post that get the most views and even likes. So I want to start doing more concept art for upcoming novels, which means I need to hone my art skills.

Plus I've heard it said time and again that when it comes to advertising yourself you need to do whatever will draw in your target audience. My main target audience are fantasy readers, but other than the obvious writing fantasy novels and getting them published - which takes time - and writing short stories - which also takes time, probably even more so than writing a novel since I'm not a fan of writing short stories - I could never figure out what else to do to help draw in fantasy readers. Talk about fantasy stuff, I suppose, but I've yet to come up with a specific topic that isn't gear more toward writers than readers.

But lately I've been feeling like art is the way to go, and not just because of the veiws on my art posts. I don't know if this is the same for most people who read fantasy, but every time I come across a peice of fantasy art based on or made for a particular fantasy book, it's made me curious about that book. Not that it made me rush out and buy the book, but I did add it to my mental "book to look into" list. My art won't be anything spectacular, but if it draws in the curious looking for something to read, all the better.
kriadydragon: (Danny 2)
So we finally had to put down Poof today - the feral cat who was having breathing problems. She was having difficulty breathing this morning, but no amount of allergy medication would help and she just kept getting worse. She was a fighter about it, hanging on the entire day until the vet was able to arrive. The vet thinks the problem was a tumor pressing on everything so, yeah, this was for the best. Even though it sucks because stuff like this always sucks. We'll be burying her on my mom's land where we bury all our pets who passed. At least she died warm and as comfortable as we could make her.

ETA: Actually we decided to bury her in the backyard. I mean, I know it probably shouldn't matter, but it feels right since this is where she was born and her mom and grandma are here.
kriadydragon: (Reaper thinking)
So my BIL andI were talking about TV shows and movies, and it lead into an interesting discussion on how media uses the label of "mature" these days. So, apparently, there's giong to be another Star Trek series. I don't know the details since I didn't read the article. But my BIL was talking about how the person who wrote the article - which was an interview, I believe - asked if this new series was going to be "more mature." And by mature, the write meant dark, gritty, more violent and with more sex. In other words, Game of Thrones in Space.

Read more... )
kriadydragon: (Dolphin)
We had our vet over while she was hanging out so we were able to get her checked. Turns out it was allergies leading to Asthma attacks. The vet told us to give her some daily allergy medicine, and since then she'd been doing great. Even her breathing's returned to normal.

And here I thought my allergies sometimes got bad :P

On a less than happy note, turns out one of our dogs get siezures and has to take medication for it. Dang it, I was kidding when I said we collect broken animals.
kriadydragon: (Shep 2)
So as I was heading out to go somewhere I needed to be, I spot one of my feral cats I feed lying on th proch struggling to breathe. Her tongue is blue, her mouth is open, but there's barely any breath sounds. She's just gasping and looking ready to die. My mom and I bring her into the garage, panicked, trying to figure out what to do. We give her some allergy medicine since that's helped her breathing in the past, but we're certain there's not much we can do. I have to leave, and the whole time I'm certain I'm going to come home to the news that Poof is gone.

Instead I come home and she's on her feet, meowing, hungry and perfectly fine. My relief is indescribable as I was all ready to bawl my eyes out.

So what I'm wondering is if she was having a severe allergic reaction to something. Would allergy medicine work that fast? Especially if it's been dissolved with water? My mom's theory is that something was caught in Poof's throat, and perhaps shooting the dissolved medicine into her mouth helped push the obstruction down. I'd also kind of man-handled her a bit, giving her pats on the back and sides hoping that would help.

So which sounds more likely? Allergies or throat obstruction pressing against her airway?

Just to play it safe, we're going to be giving her allergy medicine daily until we're able to get her checked out by a vet. She's always had breathing issues - just never on this level - and allergy medicine has always helped.
kriadydragon: (cartoon peril)
I think it may be official - no more partaking in ficathons for me. I think I may have signed up for one, totally forgot about it and now it's too late to contrubute O.o I'm a little miffed at myself about that. But life has been surprisingly busy for me. Fostering cats, Ginger and her therapy, doing things with the family, teaching myself how to paint in watercolor in order to do my own book covers, sculpting, and editing. Lots and lots of editing. Normally the months seem to fly by but this month feels as though it's drifting slowly along, taking its time. Which isn't a bad thing since I adore October.

Also it seems that, for some reason, posts and messages from LJ aren't showing up on my email. So to all those who sent me birthday wishes, thank you so much! :D From now on I'll make sure to check my messages on LJ rather than relying on my useless email.
kriadydragon: (Dominic shire)
So in order to help Ginger walk she needs to do aquatic exercises in the tub.

After eating her dinner, she always needs to go number 2.

I made the mistake of feeding her before her exercises.

Never again.
kriadydragon: (Cheshire cat)
So last week we got a call from the Humane Society asking if we'd be willing to take this crippled dog whose back legs don't work. Being the suckers for handicapped animals that we are, we - well, I - said yes. And even though I'm not a dog person, although I do have a soft spot fo Dachsunds.

Read more... )
kriadydragon: (Cheshire cat)
The kittens are finally back at the shelter ready to be adopted! My word that took forever. I never had foster kittens give me so much trouble, but I suppose it was only been a matter of time. Now I'm in that state of miss them/don't miss them, in which I both miss and don't miss how underfoot they were and how they kept trying to kill one of our plants. I also swear that one of them had a foot fetish. She was forever going after my feet. It drove me crazy, and yet I kind of miss it.

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