Posts tagged ‘webcomic’


Yeah strike what I just said…

A couple of days ago I said that I hoped to have the next page of my webcomic up today…not happening. Yesterday was too busy and tiring to do any work on it. And I’ve spent most of today locked in a panic attack, crying, and vomiting. Gotta love how those three go together for me.

Anyway I do have a really nice page shaping up, but it’ll go up when I’m able to work on it again.

Sorry about that.


Happy Birthday to me!

So the past week I’ve gone from one migraine to another, end result being that my concentration was simply not good enough to get much of anything done. This ended with my having to do a very quickly drawn filler art for my webcomic.

Filler Art – Migraine Ninja

But combined with my birthday being on Monday, and my shared birthday party being today means not really any blog for today either. So…yeah. Have a nice weekend and I’ll be back on Tuesday with Part 2 of the…

Poor Girls Guide to Staying Warm.

Oh and I’ll leave you with my idea of a birthday song. Enjoy.


The newish Random Ruminations line-up.

As some of you will have noticed I just took a three-week break from blogging. Actually not quite. I actually took a three-week break from all writing of any kind, not counting several ludicrously long Facebook updates. Well anyway, I’m back. Technically I was back on Tuesday, but today I’m really, really back. And I’ve had some time to think about what I want my blog to be in the long-term.

Up until now there has been a regular pattern to my posts. Yeah, I know it’s kind of hard to believe. But if you were to go back through my archived articles you’d find that generally Tuesdays were news type posts, Thursdays were reviews of some kind, and Saturdays were completely random though usually about something vaguely personal. I’ve enjoyed writing to that line-up, and I’ve learned an awful lot about writing doing so. But lately I haven’t been enjoying writing as much as I used to.

Writing has always been a joyful thing to me. Something I do almost on automatic, like a waking dream that sort of flows from my fingertips and winds up on my computer screen. And almost the whole time I have this sense of euphoria, like nothing can possibly go wrong because while I write, while I create the universe belongs to me. Yes I know, I’m nuts.

But before I took my break from writing it had started to become a chore. Not a good thing when you truly consider writing to be your career (Even if you have only sold a couple of articles to random websites. But I’ll work my lil ass off, and some day, some glorious day I’ll make enough to pay for an extra-large pizza with double pepperoni, damn it!) the joy was leaking away. Then one morning I woke up with the thought ringing in my mind.

“Amanda, you need to rewrite everything you’ve written in the past five  years, because it’s all wrong.”

Right. Time for a holiday. Yes Ma’am, three weeks of reading military sci-fi, The Big Bang Theory, and playing PC games. Because there is no frikkin’ way in hell I am going to rewrite somewhere in the region of seven hundred and fifty thousand words.

The question now must be asked. Did the break do me good?

And the answer is quite simply, yes. Far more good than I ever expected it to.

It had time to spend sketching, learning again just how much I love to draw, and admittedly how little talent I have at it. That said I did find enough confidence to start drawing my long promised, and delayed webcomic. I also found myself thinking automatically about storylines, and characters.

I gained enough space, and perspective from the novel I’m currently working on to suddenly, and quite unexpectedly realise that I had screwed up the beginning rather badly. Nothing in it was unusable, I had simply put the cart before the horse. I also realised that I had accidentally written a third core theme to the story, and that actually that theme is far more powerful than the two I had intended.

And to top all this off while I was sketching out the ideas for a sci-fi table-top role-playing game, some Muse came by, and hit me between the eyes with a great big mallet. A great big mallet that gave me a vast almost instantaneous  insight in to what I think will be my favourite piece of writing ever. Characters, setting, basic plotlines, themes, morality, everything I needed to get kicking appearing in my mind in one glorious moment.

So, as you can see I was taking a break from writing. After all, a writer can take a break from the physical act of writing, but if you really are a writer there’s absolutely no way, short of a 9mm bullet to the brain stem to stop your mind from writing.

So that was my break, and now we get back to my blog. I have no intentions of stopping writing this blog. I truly enjoy owning, and writing for it. I enjoy putting my thoughts down on the screen, posting them, and letting them flutter out in to the world. But for it to stay enjoyable I need to change things a little.

So from next week onwards I will be posting Tuesdays, Saturdays, and on the last Thursday of each month. Tuesday will be reviews or news depending on what’s caught my eye in the previous week. Saturdays will still be the random intensely personal stuff. The last Thursday of each month will be something completely new, a video blog.As I gain experience in producing them, and thus speed up this may become a fortnitely, or even weekly thing. But for the time being it will definitely only be monthly.

While I do have a lot of ideas for topics, I still honestly don’t fully know what that video blog will turn out to be. Though terrifying is what mostly comes to mind right now seeing as I haven’t even once posted up a picture of myself here, much less video. But I’m sure we’re all going to have fun, and for my readers/viewers a lot of amusement at my expense in the early days, finding out it will become.

So for me it’s back to work. And I hope you’ll continue to read, be entertained, and who knows even occasionally informed by my blog.





Things that will be happening in the next several weeks.

Well, with the long weekend I’m not really in much of a writing mood. But since I’m a good puppy, (yes I am!) I decided perhaps a round-up of  the various bits I hope to get out there into the world in the next while might be in order. You see at long last, after months of work in some cases, a few different projects are finally coming to fruition.

To start with after weeks of studying up a few different bits, and pieces I’m almost ready to launch a video aspect to this blog. Yes, that’s right! You get to see what I look like, and hear my voice, as I spout more randomness. Right this minute I’m just waiting on delivery of a new webcam to get cracking.

Shortly after that I intend to launch upon the world my long-delayed webcomic. Named “Acidgurl”, it follows the adventures of Lucretia Acidgurl, as she searches for a safe haven for her Empress, and Her subjects from the heat death of her universe.  No seriously, that’s what it’s about. Many of the characters are going to be based on close friends, and everything is set in a parallel reality, so I’m there too! I bet you can’t guess which character’s based on me…

Well anyway my comic host is organised, and I’ve got a good handle on the preliminary art, so very soon I’ll be inviting you all to her world.

Finally, for now at least I soon hope to be launching my own page, stocking hand painted, modded, and affordable (so sick of seeing people gouged price wise by modders with an overblown opinion of what their work is worth!) steam and diesel punk Nerf guns and other handmade accessories. This one is sort of dependant on my schedule becoming more stable after weeks of chaos, but it is something I’m very excited about, and I have tonnes of sketches, and ideas ready to go.

And for now that’s about it. There are one or two other things which I hope will be getting off of the ground before Christmas, but more about them as they get closer to launching. So Thursday back to normal, with a quick review of a series of books I recently stumbled upon. you’re probably going to love it.


Back Tuesday.

So after four migraine’s in four days I am one very tired puppygirl. Seriously tired. So tired I managed to fall asleep sitting on the toilet this morning, after a full nights sleep. So I decided to treat myself by taking a short break from writing for my blog, or novel, and instead working over the weekend on my upcoming webcomic (Yes Virginia, it really is happening this time.).

So that being the case I leave you all to have a wonderful weekend in the company of The Muppets.

(Don’t pretend you didn’t go “Mamma!!!!!” with Animal.”


Websites you should read.

Okay well seeing as I’ve spent the whole week ’til now working on my post for Saturday, (seriously tune in Saturday, you probably won’t be disappointed) and I have a hospital appointment on Thursday (writing this Wednesday afternoon, and have SO much to do before the day ends), I decided on a small reviewish linkstorm for this post. This is a list of the blogs, and sites that I think you really should view, assuming you don’t already.

The Consumation – It’s a food blog, it’s hilariously written, it’s what Nigella would be doing if she had a better sense of humour, and far superior writing skills.

The Musings of a Lesbian Writer – A wonderful blog that is filled with delightful insights into the mind of an amazing lesbian.

Hot Nerd Girl – Well there isn’t a lot to say about this site, apart from saying that I always come away…inspired.

Ukulele Hunt – If you#re a uker, you need to read this blog. With great uke related videos, weekly tabulations, and reviews it really is the superior ukulele blog.

Anyway there are probably a couple of hundred more incredible blogs that I regularly read so I’ll save some for whenever I’m next completely, and utterly screwed for time. But I’ll leave you with a link to one of the best webcomics I’ve ever read, enjoy, and sorry for stealing the rest of the day from you. 😉

The Last Warring Angel.


Relearning a Lost Skill

Last year I wrote about wanting to launch a webcomic. In the end I held off because I’d come to realise that my drawing skills were nowhere near where they had been in my late teens. More accurately, I could still sketch out anything that sits still for long enough in front of me trees, ornaments, corpses, but anything mobile…people, and their faces, hell no.

Anyway I’ve worked hard since then to regain those lost skills, and I’ve discovered that taking back control of some skills really is not like riding a bike.

In my late teens I wrote constantly. I made both Airfix, and radio control models. And I drew reams ,and reams of pictures. In fact I became pretty good at all three (though I was not, and never will be very much of a grammarian). The first two skill sets never really went away, simply because I’ve never stopped writing, and 50% of my modelling skills are directly transferable to household DIY. But drawing it turns out is a very different story.

I can remember how to do most of the things involved. But my body is different these days. My limbs respond to my imaginations requests in unexpected ways, the smooth easily controlled movements I had as a youth now lost to the arrival of stiffening  joints, ligament and tendon damage, not to mention the levels of physical pain I cope with in day-to-day life. I have also realised that even my sight has changed in significant ways in those 16 years. I simply don’t see colours the same way that I used to, and while my eye sight was never good, it has degraded even more over the years. And let’s face it, not even the most perfectly produced spectacles ever completely, perfectly return our vision to what it should be.

But there’s more to it than that. I no longer look at objects, animals, or people in the way an artist needs to be able to see them. I’ve lost the ability to figure out the composition of a subject, the skill needed to break it down into simpler shapes, and objects. This in particular I am still struggling to relearn.

In essence teaching myself something again, which I used to do instinctively is turning into a huge pain in my butt. I’m not about to give up. I still have things I want to show the world. But It does mean I have had to accept that I may never be able to express those concepts the way I truly want to.

I’ve also realised that stopping drawing was a huge mistake. I stopped because what was coming out of my imagination had begun to scare me. I was in a terrifyingly dark place, and that darkness had started to pour out of my pencils, and pens on to the paper. But now I truly wish I had persevered, that I had simply faced that fear down, and not walked away from it, and in doing so lost so much of  what had once been an instinctive gift.

Just adding a small note reminding people again about the appeal for funds to help the talented, and gorgeous Dr. Carmilla get her EP recorded. Please click the link and help her if you can. Thank you.


Saying “I can’t do it.” and deferring a dream.

It’s probably pretty clear from one of my past posts that I have a serious ambition to write/draw my own webcomic. And over the last few months I’ve worked hard to reach a point where I can launch it on an unsuspecting world. But recently I’ve had to admit that I can’t do it, at least not right now.

The simple facts are that I am at the moment writing three articles for this blog per week. I am in the middle of writing my second novel, and I’m trying to learn to play ukulele. But in addition to all those there’s one other thing standing in the way of my artistic ambitions. The simple fact is that despite a lot of practice, I’m just not that good at drawing yet. But I know that someday, if I keep working on it, I will be.

From this I have learned that saying “I can’t do it.” is no sin. There’s many things I can’t do, at this point in my life. But in the future I will be able to. Right now I can’t play “Cavatina” on my uke, but if I practice hard someday I will. Becoming proficient at most things ultimately come down to practice, hard work, and determination.

So for now a dream of mine is deferred for a while. Until a time when I have a little more time, have practiced enough to be happy with my artistic talent, and until after I’ve done a few courses.

And that’s no bad thing. After all it gives me more time to develop the storylines, the characters, the locations, and everything else that goes into good storytelling. That’s the thing I learned over the last few years about putting things off. If you keep what you’ve delayed somewhere in your mind, that time won’t have been lost, or wasted. And after all thinking about things can be one of the most important parts of being creative.


The oddest experience.

As my regular readers will probably know, I am currently in the build up to launching my first webcomic.  I’m really enjoying it, it’s so much fun learning new skills and relearning old ones.  For example, on Wednesday of this week I spent an hour learning how to use GIMP to layout the panels on each page.  After about an hour of struggling with the controls it all suddenly clicked together, and the satisfaction of teaching myself a new skill is impossible to overstate.   So like I said it’s been a really enjoyable experience.

But earlier this week it also became a very odd experience.

This webcomic is intended to be a sort of autobiographical one. Where I use a mixture of my own life experience and some, I hope, funny or at least interesting visual metaphors to answer some of the questions people have about transsexual women, lesbians, same sex relationships, being a gothgirl…well basically anything that’s part of my life, but outside of the experiences of most people.  So being this sort of semi-autobiographical medium it almost by definition has to include images of myself.  Hence the odd experience.  I sketched my first self-portrait, ever.

There isn’t much about being a transwoman that can be described as easy.  But for me at least, the hardest part is usually to look at myself in photographs, or even in the mirror.  The reason is simple, I’m extremely over critical.  Just like any woman who looks at herself in the mirror, I tend to pick at self perceived faults.  My chin is too strong, my eyebrows too bushy, my skin is too blemished.  But in addition to those I tend to add in a constant self assessment of how “male” I look at any given moment.  This is all quite pointlessly irrational.  Because rationally I know that actually my skin is usually very good, I love the fact that I have very strong eyebrows and my chin is actually quite nice as well.  And more importantly, I know with certainty that I don’t look in any way “male” anymore.

But because of my experiences growing up as a pre-transition transsexual woman.  Because my experiences while I transitioned from pretending to be one gender (male), to living as what I actually am (female), these thoughts, as irrational as they are, are always here with me.

Then I drew a self-portrait.

Whenever I start a creative project I always set myself one solid, immovable rule.  One condition about the project, which is absolute.  For my webcomic that rule, condition, is that I refuse to be anything but absolutely honest in it.  That rule meant that rather than drawing an idealised version of myself, I would have to draw representations of myself which are actually true to what I see in the mirror.  No matter how much that act of honesty may end up hurting me.

So that being the case, on Sunday evening, while my partner and puppy slept on the couch, I took a mirror, my sketch pad and my favourite 3H pencil and set about creating an honest self-portrait.  The result of which has really surprised me.  As self-created image, it is not in any way idealised.  It is a simple sketch of exactly what I saw in the mirror during the 20 minutes it took to draw.  Yet it has changed my perception of how I look almost completely.  In fact it has improved my perception of myself immeasurably.  Because while what I saw in the mirror failed to make me happy, the sketch, which shows my strongest features as I saw them in that same mirror, showed me a face I’m happy to live my life behind.

The mirror showed a sickly, woman with handsome features, but that’s all.  The honest sketch showed me a handsome woman, with three features which make her, not pretty, but at least beautiful in a very strong, rather than delicately feminine way.  Think of it as the difference between Eva Green and Helena Bonham Carter.  Eva Green has delicate features which lend her looks an ethereal quality, Helena Bonham Carter has much stronger, almost harsher features, which don’t make her any less beautiful, just beautiful in a different way.

That’s the sea-change my self perception has been undergoing for the past week.  The change from my reality not matching up to an impossible dream of delicate features, to the reality of strong, more handsome, yet still beautiful features which I am happy to have and happy to live with.

Essentially drawing a self-portrait has taught me to find myself beautiful.  For the reality of me.  Instead of looking in the mirror and being unhappy, for almost a week now I have looked in the mirror and liked what I’ve seen.  I may be no Eva Green, and never will be, but I no longer want to be.  I’m happy to be strong featured, with a jaw line to crack granite with.  After all along with Miss Bonham Carter, I am most definitely in good company.

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