Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What the Hell I'm Doing

School has started again (my last semester, provided I don't screw up) and so everything is overwhelming and scary. 

To relax, I've smashed myself head first into a huge project, because that will totally help. 

Really, I'm just still working on an ongoing thing... 

Oh Hell, Donna!

I thought I'd take a moment to show you the general steps of how this works.  

1.)  I write a script.  This means I loosely say what I want to happen, then break that up into scenes, then break THAT up into dialogue and panels. 

2.)  Crappy, sketchy thumbnails that only make any sense to me, like this: 
Pages upon pages of that crap. 

3.)  I take a break to drink some tea. 

4.)  Pencils!  I usually get way ahead of myself and start doing the inking of the text in this phase, just to be sure there is room. 

...Don't do it this way.  I make terrible choices in my art. 

5.)  I draw all the borders, finish up the pencils...

6.)  Then I ink the pencils, erase EVERYTHING (meaning, Rob erases it) and scan it all in. 

7.)  Occasionally, I'll do a drawing separately to then use as a panel. 

8.)  Likewise, the backgrounds (usually watercolor) are done separately, and then placed in where they need to be. 

9.)  We have flat color (usually digital)... Though I have no examples to show you right now...

10.)  We have shades and highlights and backgrounds, oh my!

The end.

I also have a font/typeface of my handwriting, but I've only ever used it on one part of the comic, or places where I've screwed up while inking.  Hmm. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oh Deer

First off, I'd like to say that I had this issue with giraffe-creatures and cows... horses... Pretty much any mammal with legs.

I go in thinking, "YEAH!  I know how to draw that thing!"  
And then I learn how wrong I am. 

Today was a deer.  

You see, I was trying to illustrate a moment my Knight and I shared that was magical and hilarious.  

But first, this is what came out of my pen: 
I mean... You can tell what it is, I think?  But... It's wrong.  

I took some time to work in a gestural way, to see if I could figure out the basic, underlying shapes involved... 

I give you:  Shitting Deer-Cow.

I tried again.

Why does it look old??  Old lady cow-deer-dog-horse. 

I gave up and decided it just needed a label. 

Magestic...  Read this as "Majestic" okay?  
Apparently I can't freaking spell today either.  

Spelling and deer.  

Screw you both with your legs and letters that sound the same.

In any case, we saw this pretty little deer prancing around being MAJESTIC, and then it- 
Tripped over a railing face first. 

The deer was fine, but we are cruel people, and so we continued to laugh at its spindly-legged deer plight.  



Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Stress Snowball

I am very familiar with the Stress Snowball. 

You see, it starts off small. 
It's so small, that I ignore how cold it is. 

I even ignore the rock in the middle of it, which makes it dangerous, but I'll get to that later.

I ignore the snowball, thinking that I can handle it. 

I'm wrong. 

Eventually, I drop the snowball and it starts to roll around. 

It picks up other stress inducing things.

This happens because I didn't take care of the small things, and now I'm too stressed to deal with the bigger things…

It picks up pretty much everything, from school stuff, to work stuff, to even other people who were just there to help.

This can get overwhelming to the point where I just don't want to do ANYTHING and so the ball continues to grow. 


When it gets this bad, we are tempted to dive in and get to the source immediately, but sometimes that gets us stuck in the ball. 

Instead, take a moment to take a closer look.

In general, if you can peel off some easy tasks and stresses first, just little ones from the top, you can start to get some layers of snow off of your stress snowball.

Keep at it, and before long, your stress snowball will start to shrink to a more manageable size.

More layers removed, and you'll get to the rocky middle. 

The stress which started it all.

The stress I thought I could handle, whatever it may be. 

The stress I didn't realize was so heavy. 

For me, it looks like this:

This center of stress is generally just a failure to keep up with the tasks of taking care of myself, along with everything else.

I have learned to keep this center of stress happy with tea and comic-books.  

It is often tough to find time for this though, so to-do lists come in handy. 

I treat taking care of myself just like any other task.  

This is the key to avoiding the stress snowball. 

Do I still fail to do this on occasion?  
Of course.  

I'm actually a little worried about this coming semester, since it's my last.  

Here's hoping I remember this post! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year Post! And How To Keep Your Resolutions.

I moved a bazillion times, applied to internships, took my five hour and actively started practicing driving, took huge steps in getting back to eating right, got back up to 100 pounds, started dating my Knight, finished the first chapter of Oh Hell, Donna!, participated in the Shuffle comic, almost finished my MA, met a chunk of Rob's family, went to a bunch of museums and movies, Rob got my portfolio site up (www.rowyngolde.com), made a lot of stuff, remade some old connections, attempted to assist friends with wedding plans, wrote stuff, drew stuff, attended conventions, sold stuff...  started re-learning guitar...  I feel like other things happened.  ...That's all I can think of. 

For 2014, I wrote up a giant to-do list by month.  
The things anyone reading this might care about mostly involve getting my driver's license, finishing my MA (with starting my internship), getting Deddrie back online, and posting Oh Hell, Donna! one page at a time.  
Eventually, Donna will be available for purchase as a book.  
Moth will also be published hopefully within 2014.  
*crosses fingers*  
I also plan on working out a bit more, practicing guitar a bit more and possibly learning a little more Japanese.  

You might be wondering how I intend to do the things I'm saying.  
Well, I have a plan. 

How to Keep Your New Years Resolutions

Make a list: 
Write down everything you want to change or accomplish this year.  
Then cut that down to reasonable things.  
For example, “eat healthy” might be a bit better than, “marry that movie star.”  

Detail that list:
Having things like “Go to the gym more often” wind up meaningless really fast because they are vague and therefore make it easy to come up with excuses to avoid.  

Instead, write things like, “Go to the gym X amount of hours, X amount of days a week…” and write exactly what you plan to work on while there.  

You can even go to someone who works at the gym the first day and ask what kinds of exercises and machines you should do to achieve your goal. 

This process works for pretty much any goal, not just working out! 

Mini goals:
Having mini goals along the way can help you remember that you are making progress, which will help your desire to continue.  
Mini goals also give you something to build on in order to get to another level or step of your ultimate goal. 

Do you wanna?

Make sure you actually WANT to do the things on this list, or that they will make you healthier, or better your life in some way.  

Sometimes, we say we’ll do things just because other people want us to do them.  
This makes it less likely to actually stick to it, for obvious reasons.  

That being said, if something is on your list because a friend is doing it also and wants a buddy, you should probably stick to it.    

All else fails?  
If you can find an excuse to quit, you can find an excuse to continue.  
Make up a reason why it would benefit you to stick with the resolution, even if it is just a sense of pride and bragging rights.
Along those lines, if you don't really want to eat more healthy or keep track of something else medical but your doctor tells you to do so...  You might want to just suck it up and try it anyway.  
Who knows?  
Your doctor might be right and you might start to feel awesome. 

Have a buddy:  

It isn’t necessary, but having someone else hold you accountable and having the drive to stick to it too will benefit you both.  
(This can be in person or online.) 


If you find that it isn’t working out, you can change something about your routine.

Ask around and see how other people achieved similar goals. 

Form a habit!

Like brushing your teeth, if you do something every day, eventually you’ll do it without even thinking about it.  

Do research: 
This works for above examples, as well pretty much everything else in life.  

Want to learn a new skill?  Find a teacher or online tutorials.  

What does it take?  What supplies will you need?  

Start small though.  
Getting too involved too fast may cost you a lot of money for something you might wind up not actually enjoying.
You can always build up on supplies once you know that you want to continue. 

Help is good!
In some cases, you may want to go to your doctor to see what the healthiest way is to achieve your goals.  

Do this especially if your goal involves ANY kind of diet or exercise plan.  

In other cases, you may want to find and go to a counselor or a psychologist if your goal involves facing a long standing fear or even attending to social problems.  

It doesn’t have to be something huge in order to seek professional help.  

In fact, asking for some kind of help is always recommended, no matter what your goals may be.  

Write down your progress:
On a calendar, or even sticky notes, write down every single time you accomplish a part of your goal.  
Even a tiny accomplishment. 

Say how many hours you did it, or what mini goal you met.  

If you organize your main goal, mini goals, and steps to get there by date on the calendar to begin with, this will be easy to see.  

You can always add goals throughout the year.  

Every day is a new day, so we don’t have to wait for the next year to make goals.


Friday, January 3, 2014


People find themselves drawn to different professions for a lot of reasons.  

Personally, if I had my way and all the money required, I'd be a cartoonist.  

Still, gotta make a living somehow, and being a Psychologist not only makes sense for me, but allows me the opportunity to help someone...
...Or accidentally screw someone up pretty badly. 


Okay, so I'm actually pretty terrified.  

That being said, I learned what to do from my classes, and what NOT to do from most of my therapists.  

I've had a lot of therapists.

I take this as a strength.  
I've been where the client is.  
Also, as a therapist, I'll know that not all cases will be the same.

I even had a therapist direct me to a hypnotist who got SUPER excited over the idea of me puking in her office.

Let me explain that one.

See, I told her that I was having nightmares.  
She asked what happens when I wake up.
I told her that if they are really bad, I get sick.
Her response was: 

And so my response was: 
And my mother promptly removed me from the woman's office.

Mind you, I've had nice, sane therapists too.  
My current one, in fact.  

She's been very helpful, which means she's been supportive in a way that allows me to come up with what I need to do for myself. 

She guides without telling, and gives hope when needed.  

The one before her also wasn't awful.  

She was an art therapist and helped me learn that I like art therapy techniques but would like to do other things with clients.

The one before that one was mostly...  Good?  
She went out of her way to say that once I was diagnosed with PTSD, that would be my life forever.  

Don't tell your client, who is in your office to get better, that there is no such thing as healing or a future without intense psychological pain.  

Not cool.

Also, she was wrong. 

So, let's get to the utter shit of it, shall we? 

When I was of Bat Mitzvah age, I went to a woman about my crippling anxiety and dealing with some physical pain.  

After hearing that I was not going through this traditional Jewish ceremony (which was a very minor part of my story), she explained to me that: 

She decided to let me know that I'd be "letting my congregation down" and that the rabbi and my own PARENTS would hate me for not doing it. 

This was utter crap. 

I responded with a: 
And my parents reassured me that they weren't going to disown me AND that I didn't have to see that woman ever again.  

It turned out that my family actually knew her, but didn't realize that she had a different last name than her child.  

My father was training her child for his/her Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  

Projection!  Don't do it!  

Next up was a woman I actually had twice.  

What I mean by that is that I saw her for many months, then switched to someone else, and then tried her again.

I had left the first time because she was very open about also being the therapist for a frienemy of mine.  

She'd talk openly about said friend/enemy and I felt uncomfortable, realizing she was probably doing the same about me.  

Breach of confidentiality, for one thing.  

The second time was somehow worse.

I was talking about something... I don't remember what.  

It triggered her. 
She started crying.
A lot. 

I was not crying. 

Pretty much everything this lady did went on my "Don't do this to people" list.

Still, not as bad as a woman who forced me to take drugs. 

Look, if you have a chemical imbalance and want to be on medication, more power to you.  
It can be helpful. 

I didn't want it. 

Beyond that, I had ZERO signs of clinical ANYTHING that wasn't direct cause and effect.  

I had anxiety and some depression because my legs didn't work right and my sister was scary.  

I wanted to talk about it. 

I wanted to find ways to work with it and build my life into something better.

She decided that would be too difficult, and handed me a pill. 
Since I had said from day one that I did not want to take any medications, and she had agreed...

I figured I must be REALLY screwed up for her to demand I try them.  

...So I took the pill.

It didn't take long before I started feeling like I wanted to kill myself.

I had never felt like that before.  

Thankfully, I was able to see that it was the medication having a strange effect on me.

In retrospect, the fact that she didn't mention that as a possible side effect, the fact that she talked me into taking something at all, and the fact that she didn't mention just STOPPING instead of weening off of it could be dangerous... 

Bitch could have killed me. 


And you know what her response was when I said I wasn't going to take it anymore?

Thankfully, I had brought Dad in that day. 
I don't even know why I had dragged him in.  

Maybe I was afraid of what else she'd ask me to do. 

He told me I never had to see her again.
...She had always silently repeated everything I said with her own lips anyway.
That was really creepy.  

Like I said before, there have been good therapists in my life.  

They don't need to be on this list in pictures because every day that I talk about the progress I've made shows how not-shitty they are. 

Those are the people I hope to emulate. 
I hope to be a not-shitty therapist.