pentacles, magic

A nice cup of rabies

Rantings with occasional art.

the dream of sigils and transport
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I dreamed I was showing off the Rita omnibus to someone. There were pages with adaptations of entirely unrelated books running in tiny parallel panels, to fill space and add texture. And a moment of crazily swirling along the tool-assisted sigil at the end of the book, twisting and turning it to keep the line being followed going across the center of my field of view.

There was also something about a drive to get to the airport. It's gone missing from my head.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


FC2017
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

 

I hadn’t intended to go to FC. I hadn’t gotten a table. Hadn’t negotiated for a room with anyone. But there I was, going down to the airport, with a con ticket and room share I’d set up maybe a month before on impulse. “What the hell am I gonna do without a table to give my con structure?”, I wondered.

The day before I’d been doodling some Parallax stuff, and had found a loose, storyboard-like look that I was considering doing it in as a comic while spending most of my energy on Absinthe and Drowning City. And somewhere on the way to the airport it hit me: one of my younger comics friends had been muttering about how she really missed working on her own comic, but did not have certain mental prerequisites for that at all right now, what with the political situation and her own situation. What if? What if I did quick Parallax page layouts and scripts with Nick, and had her finish them? What if I paid a few different people to do this, put them online for free, then set up a Patreon for the project?

I fired off a message to her, and started pondering who else I’d make this offer to.

On the plane, the Magic Sketchbook passed the “can I do comics in an airplane seat” test with flying colors. I’ve got one more panel of Absinthe drawn than I did last week, and I’m pretty happy about that.

Got to the con, hooked up with my roommates, dumped my stuff, had food, hit the Thursday evening dance, went to sleep. Somewhere in there I looked through the schedule and picked a few panels I’d maybe want to hit up. That’s what people do when they’re not at a table, right? Panels? Sounds okay, I guess?

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Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Meet The Witchsona
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes



In its infinite wisdom, the Internet has decided that one week early in January is to be “Witchsona Week”, wherein one draws oneself as a crazy fantasy witch with magic centered around one theme or another – mushroom witch, bird witch, cheese witch, whatever. I always feel a bit weird about that one; participating in group things is fun, but I don’t need to make up an imaginary witch to be – I am one. I’ve done an intensely-researched Tarot deck, I have cast some spells and (possibly) had them work. (Or have succumbed to massive confirmation bias while stoned. Magic is like that sometimes.)


This year, that coincided with a “Meet The Artist” thing going around, where you combine a self-portrait with a few bits of data, and maybe some things you likes/dislikes, and the contents of your usual bag.


I decided to combine the two.


Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Launch.
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

The Parallax Working has begun.

The emergent complex thanks you in advance for your love, your time, your attention, and your funds.

Sic itur, ad astra.
EU
FC
2017

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


The Magic Sketchbook is a success.
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Years ago, my animation school roomie Gabe went to a con and chatted with master cartoonist Sergio Aragones. Aragones often draws incredibly complicated, goofy comics, and has a pretty impressive rate of output.

Gabe asked his secret. And passed it on to me: instead of working at a larger size than the printed page and shrinking it down, as most comics artists do, he uses typing paper on an ordinary clipboard. The compactness of this setup means he can draw anywhere – even on an airplane. Any spare moment can become drawing time.

This stuck with me. I fell in love with Adobe Illustrator and got used to being tethered to a huge desktop machine. The highly portable sketchbook was just for roughs and practice, not finished work. Finished work happened at home. Eventually I shifted to a laptop and things got better; I could easily go out to a cafe and work. But I still needed a lot of room. I could barely do it on a plane or bus if I had two seats to spread out on, and it was a big hassle to set up and tear down – enough to make me miss my stop if I wasn’t careful.

But it still stuck with me. Reduce your process to something you can do in a single airplane seat. It started to feel like an tantalizing goal that was always just out of reach for me, even as more and more of my process lived in Illustrator.

Today, I got on an airplane.

This is what page 12 of Absinthe chapter 2 looked like when I got on in Seattle.

This is what it looked like when I stopped after an hour or so and read until I landed in San Jose.

At long last, I have achieved the holy grail. I can draw comics on the plane. The Mobile Studio is still a little too heavy to be as casual as a clipboard or sketchbook, it’s a little bigger and pricier than I’d like, and I really wish it had a kickstand. But sitting there with the Twiddler strapped to one hand and the stylus in the other, I finally felt that freedom. Any journey of twenty minutes or more can be converted into time doing what I love: drawing. And that’s well worth the ~$2k I sunk into this setup for me.

Hopefully in a year or three I’ll have something as light as a Surface that works this way. It will be bliss.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Sands, Lone And Level
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes



I’m off to Further Confusion and I needed a badge to suit the theme.


Evidently my dragonsona can store water in her tail. Pretty useful for wandering around a desert.


Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


bathroom bills
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

This morning, I woke up to a call for action on yet ANOTHER ‘bathroom bill’ in Washington state. Once again I told my representatives that hey, all us trans people wanna do is piss in peace, and why do we even have separate-but-equal facilities anyway?

I’m sure that HB1011 will get defeated just as soundly as I-1515 was. But you know what? I think it’s time to move the goalposts on this one. Let’s start talking about making all Washington state bathrooms ungendered, so that every man, woman, enby, and child can get their pooping and peeing out of the way with the least hassle possible.

 

For now it’s just an electronic petition – go here and sign it if you’re sick of people trying to police gender presentation in bathrooms. Maybe later it’ll be more.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Tealform Made Manifest
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes



Now that I’ve decided to keep the Mobile Studio, it needs to be properly turned into a Thing I Draw On. There is a ritual that has evolved over the years, and it mostly involves drawing the watery genie that hangs out in my computers and helps me draw, all dressed up in the device at hand.

(Actually this is the second time I’ve done this for the Mobile Studio; I didn’t like the first one so I did it again. I’m using this as both the desktop and lockscreen, so that I have a cute friend looking at me and offering me my tools to get drawin’ when I turn it on.)

Her name is not actually Tealform; that’s a variant of the nickname I use for her when she’s in a computer; the full name is a lengthy piece of wordsalad I fond during a complicated, stoned process when I originally summoned her to hang out in my first Mac Air.

Drawn entirely on the Mobile Studio, using the Twiddler for pretty much all keyboard shortcuts and layer naming, in about 2.5h.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


music does things sometimes
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I’ve been intermittently trying to make myself exercise every morning. I haven’t been beating myself up or viewing it as a ***failure*** if I don’t; I just get a little annoyed and move on. And this weekend I didn’t do it for a few days in a row.

But this morning I got up and told iTunes to start playing something. It chose Deavid Soul’s “Sparkling Music”, which I have because there were a few tracks from it on the soundtrack to Jet Set Radio.

Holy fucking shit I don’t know what came over me, I was doing burpees to it for a bit before jumping into the shower. Which are like one of the most miserable full-body exercises in the whole world.

And now to figure out what today’s to-dos are. Probably “deal with some final eccc and rita printing decisions”, “pick up a prescription from the drugstore”, and “build a template for Parallax”. Maybe “try to get RadialMenu working on the Mobile Studio” and/or “find a usbc adaptor so I can use the Twiddler with the Mobile Studio on the plane”.

But first “breakfast”…

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


The Wand Of Illustrator Control
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

If you’re like me, then you’ve got multiple years behind you of drawing with one hand on the stylus and the other on the keyboard, hitting hotkeys. You might have even gone so far as to customize those keys – I’m all at sea on a stock installation of Illustrator, since half the keys I hit constantly default to longer shortcuts, or aren’t assigned to anything at all out of the box.

And if you’re like me, then poking at all the tool icons and browsing through the menu feels like trudging through mud compared to the fast flow of using both hands to draw. When I first started playing with the Surface, I set up a huge panel of buttons with RadialMenu; this helped but there was still a lot of visual and positional processing I had to do that felt totally unnecessary. And my left hand still felt woefully unused. All these fingers and brain circuits completely idling.

Carrying around a spare Apple wireless keyboard worked pretty well, once I made Windows swap the “windows” and control keys. But that’s way too big to take out and use on a bus seat.

So first I got a cheap Bluetooth numpad and started remapping it. Which was a deep rabbit hole of multiple keyboard remapping programs and editing text files. Which I failed to keep when I returned the Surface, and really wasn’t looking forwards to redoing when I got the Mobile Studio.

Instead, I spent $200 on a Twiddler 3 chording keyboard.

After a few days of configuring and fiddling and swearing, I think it’s been worth it. I completely ditched the default configuration and built a customized one that puts about sixty key commands at my fingertips, split up into nine pages of different categories of functions. And also has the alphabet and numbers on it. I’m still learning how to use it, but it’s coming pretty quickly – I can do the most frequently used commands with only a tiny bit of thought now, and I can feel my brain learning these new hand positions as alternative ways to do what hitting one key or another would do. Give it a week or two and I’ll probably be able to do a lot of stuff without referring to the little cheat sheet I printed out, and keep in my bag next to the Twiddler.

Things I learnt about the Twiddler during this process:

  • You build your layouts with an online tool. Which has this terrible habit of wanting to reload itself every time you create a new chord. There is a beta version of a new version, which is merely “kind of sluggish”, but at least mostly works without constantly hitting the Internet. Go straight to this version. Don’t waste any time with the old one.
  • You have to plug the Twiddler into your computer to upload a new layout to it – it shows up as a small USB drive, and you just replace ‘twiddler.cfg’. But when you test this layout, chords involving modifier keys can come out weird. For instance, mapping a keypress to command-z would result in just typing ‘z’ about twenty times out of twenty-one. Updating to the beta version of the latest firmware fixed this, though it didn’t fix some other problems involving not being able to make chords that involve the shift/ctrl/alt buttons on the Twiddler that do not actually hold down the respective modifier keys in their output. Unplug it and go to a Bluetooth connection when you want to test it.
  • It is small and easy to misplace. I got a black one to match the Mobile Studio, and thought I’d left it behind when I took it out at a restaurant to show it to a friend. Turned out it was just sitting on the edge of my computer desk, in shadow. Consider putting your contact info on its outside.
  • The layout that it ships with is pretty worthless, even if your main use case isn’t mostly emitting a bunch of hotkeys that involve holding down the command keys. There’s about 3-4 alternate layouts the small, intensely nerdy Twiddler community has created; I’m using the letters from one called “Mirrorwalk”, which makes every letter key available as a chord in the upper three rows of the keyboard.
  • If you have a hotkey that requires you to hold it for a long time, you can’t put it in a normal chord. Instead, bind that key to one of the three round buttons at the top of the keyboard, which default to the mouse button. I have ` and space mapped to two of these, which I hold down to (respectively) move/rotate/scale an object’s fill pattern without changing the object, and to summon the Canvas-Dragging Hand. (And if I hold that down along with the Twiddler’s shift, and one of the Wacom stylus’ buttons, I can drag out a zoom rectangle, which is something wired deep into my brain for moving around Illustrator.)

I hope they fix the “holding shift keys while on a wired connection can conflict with chords that involve shift keys” problem soon; once they do I’ll be able to plug it into the Mobile Studio while it’s in airplane mode! Right now I’ll be stuck using the Mobile Studio’s six keys and the array of buttons I created with Radial Menu.

My current layout, as of Jan 6. Drawn as if you’re holding the Twiddler with the keys facing away from you, and you have X-ray vision to see them anyway. Still needs work, mostly to see how much punctuation I can add to it for the general ‘typing’ use, as well as to figure out why a few keys aren’t generating what they’re supposed to. A  • means ‘hold this key down’; ‘dda’ is a macro that presses d, d, command-shift-a, n – which is a thing I type a lot to cycle the draw mode to ‘draw inside’, deselect the shape I selected to draw inside, and switch back to the pencil tool so I can, well, draw stuff inside it. I grin every time I make this happen with one quick chord now.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


The Magic Sketchbook Chronicles
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I just unified all my blog posts from the past half year about the Surface and the Mobile Studio under a new tag: “Magic Sketchbook”.

For me, a Magic Sketchbook is a device that does pretty much one thing: run Adobe Illustrator in a package not much bigger or heavier than a hardbound 9×12″ sketchbook, with the ease and fluidity of being at the computer with one hand on the stylus and the other on the keyboard hitting the forty or fifty hotkeys I’ve grown used to. It can do other things, it’s a general-purpose computer, but the only software I want to run on it is Illustrator, so as to eliminate the myriad distractions of the net, Twitter, IM, email, and whatever else.

I have not assembled a system that fills all of these criteria, but I think I can live with my current compromise of a (heavy, slightly-too-large, kickstand-lacking) 13″ Mobile Studio plus a Twiddler3 chording keyboard and a wire stand taped to the back. Looking at my braindumps along the way to this may help you make some decisions about what your magic sketchbook will be, if you have about $2k to spare.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Wacom Mobile Studio vs Surface 4 Pro
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I spent some time with both of these devices this year. They’re both pretty similar in a lot of respects: a nearly-300dpi screen, an i5 or i7 processor, and Windows 10. Which means they can run Adobe Illustrator – which is the entire reason I am interested in a Windows device.

The dream is to have a 13″ tablet that runs Illustrator so I can work in AI as easily as I used to work in my sketchbooks. Sitting on the bus, waiting for the bus, lounging on a park bench, sitting in an airplane, lounging around a cafe, slouching around home… wherever. Right now I carry around a 13″ Mac Air and an Intuos tablet, and that works okay, but I have to have room to spread out, and time to set up and tear down – I can sit in a cafe easily, but I can’t cram the computer and tablet onto my lap in a single seat on the bus, nor can I easily stuff it into my bag when I realize I’m at my bus stop and I’ve only got a few seconds to pick up my stuff and get off.

So let’s compare these two devices and assign points based on their relative merits to me. Both start with zero…

Price and computing power. This summer, I paid $1600 plus tax for a 2.2ghz i7 Surface 4 Pro with a 256g SSD and 8g of RAM. I am now using a $2000 Wacom Mobile Studio: i7 of unknown speed, 256g SSD, 8G RAM. The Surface is $400 less for much the same power; 1 point to the Surface.

Size. The Surface has about the same footprint as my Air, and fits in my favorite bag – a soft-sided one that has room for it, my wallet, keys, a few other small essentials, and really not much more. The Mobile Studio is a good inch and a half wider than the Air, and doesn’t fit in that bag. It’s not going to fit into any bag sized for a 13″ device. -1 point to the Mobile Studio.

Stylus. The Surface comes with a hard plastic NTrig stylus, with two hard-to-press buttons on the side, and an eraser that doubles as a button. The Mobile Studio comes with a typical Wacom stylus: soft plastic grip, two easy-to-click buttons on the side, an eraser, and a gentle flare just above the tip for an overall shape reminiscent of a brush. -1 point to the Surface. 30 points to Wacom, for scores of -1 vs 29.

Stylus attachment. The Surface’s stylus has magnets inside it that match magnets on the side of the Surface. They snap together pretty positively. You wouldn’t want to carry the whole thing in your bare hand, but I didn’t have any problems with it ever coming off in my bag. The Mobile Studio, meanwhile, comes with a little plastic dingus that you’re supposed to cram into the security slot, which will hold the stylus against the side of it, obscuring the charge port. 5 points to the Surface, -1 to Wacom, for scores of 4 vs 28.

Drawing surface. The Surface is hard, hard glass and its pen skids around like, well, plastic on glass. And it’s ultra-reflective, to boot. You will want a matte screen protector – once I got one of those off of Amazon for a few bucks, both of those were fixed. The Mobile Studio has a tiny bit of tooth to it, and is not terribly reflective; it doesn’t feel as nice to draw on as pencil on paper, but it’s a lot better out of the box than the Surface. -1 to the Surface, 3 to Wacom. 3 to 31.

Weight. The Surface is .78kg. A black hardcover sketchbook .87 kg. The Mobile Studio is 1.38 kg. And the Air is 1.35 kg, though if I add in the Intuos it’s about 2.16 kg total. The Surface weighs less than a sketchbook. And while the Mobile Studio is less to haul around than the Air plus a drawing tablet, in practice I’m discovering that 1.38kg is way too heavy for a thing I tend to want to support in one hand. It has to be supported by whatever it’s sitting on; trying to lift it up for a better angle makes my hand start to complain very quickly. 1 point to the Surface; -30 points to the Mobile Studio. And that makes the Surface start looking better: 4 points vs 1.

Support. Half of the Surface’s back folds out on a hinge, to make a very stable kickstand. It’s easy to adjust, stays where you put it, and lets you have it at a wide range of angles. It is a wonderful thing, and nearly every Windows 10 tablet computer on the market has stolen it with Microsoft’s blessing. Except for the Mobile Studio. Which has… nothing. You can buy a big awkward plastic stand for it, or you can carry around a little one. Or you can do what I’ve done, which is to take one of the lightweight wire stands I use for books at conventions and tape it to the back of the Mobile Studio, because with a thing this heavy there is really no point where you’re ever going to want to use it without a stand. If I keep it I will probably try to find something slightly more elegant, as it’s constantly catching on my bag when I try to stick the Mobile Studio back into it while getting off the bus. 20 points to the Surface. -7 to Wacom. 24 vs -6.

Cool Widgets. The Surface has a camera that does “Windows Hello”. It seems silly at first but it is really pretty damn cool to turn it on and give it a good angle on my face to log in. And then it smiles and winks at me, which is just really charming. It also happens in like two seconds with no interaction on my part. I think the 16″ Mobile Studios might have this but my 13″ does not; I have to use a password or PIN to log in every damn time I take it out. And the keyboard doesn’t automatically pop up when the password/pin fields appear; I have to hit the ‘summon keyboard’ button at the top of the screen no matter how I play with Windows’ screen keyboard settings. Very annnoying. On the other hand, the Mobile Studio has a row of six buttons and a little wheel running down one side of the front. They’re configurable to a lot of things; I’ve traditionally ignored these on my drawing tablets, preferring to keep one hand on a keyboard, but I can see them working pretty well to hit a few very basic keys and summon a customizable radial menu when you’re using it without a keyboard. They are also why it is too wide to fit in a bag. And honestly once I get the hand-held keyboard I bought along with the Mobile Studio configured, I’ll probably never use them*. 7 points to the Surface for making logging in not just painless, but fun; 5 to the Wacom for having some extra buttons at the price of being too huge for my bag. 31 vs -1.

Operating system. Both of them run Windows 10. Both of them come with terrible defaults: “pen flicks”** are on, the Surface wants to wake halfway up in your bag and check for new email on a regular basis and tends to end up waking all the way up and wasting half its battery warming up your bag, the Wacom isn’t very thrifty with its power out of the box either, hitting the command key on the Apple keyboard I’m connecting to them brings up the desktop instead of acting as a meta key, why the hell is Apple not making a device in this space damnit. All of these things can be fixed but it’s annoying to someone who’s spent the past sixteen years on Macs, and I’m not pretending to be rating the appeal of these things to anyone but myself here. -5 to both; the score’s now 26 to -6.

Adobe Illustrator compatibility. Here’s the big one. This is the art tool I’ve been using for the past sixteen years, the one I know how to use without any conscious thought, the one I have drawn an entire graphic novel in. The one program I am buying these things to run. The Mobile Studio works just fine with it, as I expected. The Surface? Drops the first half-second of my stylus motions every time I draw a shape with Illustrator’s pencil or brush tools. And… my workflow is based almost entirely around drawing shapes with Illustrator’s pencil tool. The Surface is therefore basically useless to me. The Internet has told me to both install a driver and to delete one; installing the driver made things even worse, and the one I’m supposed to delete doesn’t exist. There is one last suggestion I haven’t tried, and will probably visit a Microsoft store to check out soon, but I have no hopes of it working. -600 points to the Surface.

Final score: -574 to -6. Nobody wins.

From what I have heard, nearly every art program out there works fine with the Surface, except for Illustrator. Clip Studio Paint had issues, but got updated; Flash supposedly doesn’t see the stylus at all. I didn’t try either of those programs, or indeed anything else but Adobe Illustrator – the whole point of getting these tablets for me is “a Magic Sketchbook that lets me use Illustrator on the bus”. If I was willing to change applications I’d just switch to something that runs on an iPad Pro and spend about $900 for that and the Apple stylus, which is a damn nice stylus aside from the terrible recharging setup.

If the Surface worked with Illustrator, I wouldn’t have bothered with the Mobile Studio. And if you use a program that works with the NTrig stylus – which apparently is just about every other art program in the world – I really can’t recommend that you bother with it either, unless the Wacom hotkeys and popup menu are worth paying about $500 more for a device that’s really too heavy to comfortably use on your lap. And maybe for stylus rotation/tilt, I never use those. The Surface’s stylus is less comfortable than the Wacom, but if I’d kept it I would have gotten one of those little soft plastic pencil cushions that cost like maybe 35¢ and lived with the shitty side buttons. Take the $500 you’d spend on a MS, use $200 of it to buy a Twiddler and spend a few days configuring that.

When I initially wrote this, I had about a week and a half left to return it. I’m down to about a half a week left and I think I’m getting used to the workarounds I’ve done; using my second-favorite bag until I find a new bag that fits the Mobile Studio and not much else feels like less work than packaging it up, returning it, and visiting the Microsoft Store to try that one last little tweak to make it work with AI, and possibly do without a Magic Sketchbook until I find a Surface clone with Wacom drivers, or the “universal stylus initiative” I’m hearing about starts showing up in new tablets, and I can get pretty much any tablet and buy a Wacom stylus for it. Or until Apple pulls their thumb out, gets OSX running on mobile chips, and makes an Ipad Ultra-Pro. I am not holding my breath waiting for that last one.

The next post in the Magic Sketchbook series will probably be a love letter to the Twiddler, with some notes on technical woes I encountered while setting it up. It’s the last piece in the Magic Sketchbook puzzle for me.


* Later: I still use them a tiny bit, mostly either when I don’t want to take the Twiddler out, or for one keystroke I can’t generate with it for technical reasons – and I just thought of a way to get around those if I’m willing to change how the stylus buttons are mapped.

** “why is my screen scrolling sometimes when I draw fast?” Pen flicks. Type ‘flicks’ in the system search to find the relevant control panel and turn that shit off.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Fox Plans
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes


Fan art of Spearhead Games’ fabulous “Stories: Path of Destinies”.

“Stories” is cynical, world-weary, charming, and intimately aware of How Stories Work. It’s a very grown-up game. And as a game for grown-ups should be, it’s very respectful of your time – I finished it in about eight hours, and felt very satisfied. It’s also the first game whose characters I’ve cared about enough to do fan art of in years. Highly recommended.

It’s got two major gameplay loops: fast, simple combat that politely suggests maybe you want to learn some finesse by ranking every encounter on style, and a really neat spin on “Choose Your Own Adventure” storytelling – you’ll make about four story choices during the course of a 20-30min playthough, and probably get a Bad Ending. But you (and the player character, he’s explicitly being reset back to the beginning with new knowledge) will learn a Truth about the way an important character or item behaves, and take that (along with whatever combat skills you unlocked) into the next playthrough. So you begin paying attention to the story, and trying to guess which choice will result in a happy ending for that old scoundrel Reynardo, or at least one that’s a really entertaining fiasco.

There’s a lot of ways to fail in this game, and only one good end. Unless you make a deliberate choice to avoid the Good End, you’ll probably get it in 6-10 runs. It makes a lot of coy references to other stories and other games that come off as witty cracks rather than “hey look I made a reference you should laugh”, because it’s very much its own coherent vision.

I got it when it came up as one of December’s free games on PSN. I wish I’d gotten it sooner so I could give the folks who made it more money, because it is delightful.




This drawing was done almost entirely with the Mobile Studio – pretty much everything except for adding the text (I haven’t copied over all my fonts yet) and doing some final tweaks happened there. About halfway through it I got the Twiddler keyboard set up, which rapidly went from “slower than poking at icons and my big page of RadialMenu buttons” to “about 75% as fast as working with a full keyboard under my left hand”. So that’s pretty cool.


Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

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looking good
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Between accidentally discovering that iOS categorizes me as six different people, and looking at the eight year old photos of me trying to be SEXXXY on my dusty FetLife account, I am realizing that I have changed a lot in the past decade. I can’t remember when I went on hormones offhand; I think it was around twelve years ago? They’ve been good to me. I can barely recognize that gangly barely-not-a-boy with the tiniest beginnings of titties.

A few years of burlesque and pole dance class haven’t hurt that either. There are some amazingly dubious fashion choices on display in some of these old photos I’m looking at. Short hair? Really, 2005 me? And that coat? But, well, you gotta make mistakes before you can learn from them. I’ve learnt how to present myself a lot better, both in clothing and in carriage.

I’m someone else now. Will I still look like this person, but a little older, another decade from now? Who knows. Hopefully I’ll at least not look like a corpse just yet. Time to have some fun before this hot body rots off my bones.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


the dream of the constantly moving library
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I was in a giant library, mostly full of pulp novels and comic books. Some parts of the floors were covered in boxes of books, and constantly moving as if there were conveyor belts underneath, moving the books around under the shelves.

There was also something about being locked in there by a couple people who wanted to kill the two protagonists of this dream for some arcane reasons I cannot remember. We snuck up on one and killed them and took their flamethrower.

Morning came, I and four other people left the library to certain death unless our plan succeeded, and then I woke up with the title track from BÖC's “Fire Of Unknown Origin” in my head.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

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Selvs
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Today I discovered that iOS Photos thinks I am six people.

 

Mostly it thinks I’m this lady.

 

But sometimes it thinks I’m this woman. And damn I like being her a lot more. She’s hot.

2017 goals: Make Photos think I’m that lady more than a mere 1/7 of the time.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


adulting is weird
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

For a long time I’ve been theoretically polygamous, but not actively – ever since I broke up with Rik and Nick, I’ve really just been sleeping with Nick. But recently I’ve started having naked funtime with another friend. I now have both an ex-with-benefits and a friend-with-benefits, and which is a lot of benefits for someone who used to think she would never have any kind of relationship!

Not too long after realizing this, I asked two questions: when’s the last time you got tested for STDs, and what’s the state of your marriage.

The first one is pretty obvious basic courtesy, really. If you’re gonna sleep around, keep yourself clean, you know? One of us should have probably asked it before we’d had our heads crammed between each others’ legs, but, well, these things happen.

The other one… I felt super adult for asking that. Because I’ve been in a position where I was flirting with someone who turned out to be in the middle of their main relationship getting wobbly. And the last thing I want is for “having fun in bed with a friend” to turn into “arguably being a component in a friend’s relationship failing” – I haven’t actually been that, but I’ve backed off from things that looked that way. That’s just totally the opposite of having a good time.

(For what it’s worth: their answers to both questions were fine by me. And so were theirs.)

Anyway. Happy New Year.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


the dream of horrible printing fuckups
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

I dreamed that I got the advance copy of the omnibus while preparing for a con. It looked great up until the middle, when it started having pages of other comics, and falling out of the binding, and then was just pages of solid color to the end of the book.

Then I looked at it again and it looked fine. And then I woke up. Guh.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

Tags:

foodhole thoughts
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes

Thinking about my shape. Thinking about my weight. Thinking about how my eating habits have dropped back to their pretty horrible defaults, which involve a ton of cheap fast carbs.

Made some bacon for breakfast for the first time in ages instead of going out to Morsel for bacon and eggs and honey butter and a biscuit that it’s all on. It was tasty and I am fed but not overfull.

Thinking about moving on from pole dance but I’m not sure what to. Still gotta keep myself in shape somehow, and having an external structure helps a lot. Gotta at least go back to a simple exercise routine or something while I ponder that. I should also drop by the pole studio and say “thanks, it’s been fun, but I think it’s time to either get super serious about this or move on” if I’m gonna stop.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


Happy Saturnalia, y’all!
pentacles, magic
shatterstripes



Heres a slightly late Solstice/new years/etc card for all you lovely people with the discerning taste to follow my work. <3


Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.


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