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This dragon shall paint you a picture Hi there! I know what you've been wondering... where've we been? Why have we updated only once a month for the past 3? As I think I've mentioned, I've been doing a 30-Day Drawing Challenge, which spilled over a couple months. I used some topics as things for a couple of comics, but more or less, the whole thing burnt me out, and I haven't wanted to draw much. At that, I didn't want to draw even to finish the challenge, but knew that I should. After all, everyone else gave up by Day 5 or so... I could show more dedication, right? So I outpaced CrzyDemona and Eden and a couple others almost immediately. But when it came down to the last week's worth of challenges, I ran out of steam.

We started Dec 2, and Ace, who set up a group for the contest, gave us an extra 15 days of leeway, since December is busy enough on its own. Add two funerals as well as holidays, and it really cut into my time.

I'm not sure what made me run out of motivation exactly, but it more or less stopped being something I wanted to do and started being something I HAD to do... and then it's no longer fun. I like to draw, but when I do it a lot, and not of my own free will, it becomes a little tedious. Some of the topics weighed on me a little more than others... I didn't want to do them. Others I wanted to do, but they didn't turn out the way I would have wanted them to... I could maybe do better, but didn't have the time to improve them right then, and then they're just cast by the wayside. And then there's the occasional extra thing like the comic for Valentine's Day that took my attention away from the tedium of the challenge entirely. I did this one just because the idea hit me the night before Valentine's, and it would be a cute gift for Arno.

What, you want to see what I drew? You can see them all HERE.

Did you know that Arno has been working on a story? He has! I'll let him tell you about it. Now that I'm done with the drawing challenge thing, I may be able to get back to helping him edit!

This dragon shall write you a thousand words.

Sorry it took so long; a thousands words is a large amount to type. ;)

There is a lot to like about this comic. Note Kayenta lying under my desk, showing her love by preventing my comfort in leg room. The old style writing desk, the easel, the quill... Yes, things always look like that at Arno and Beedoo!'s. I'm writing these posts on parchment and send them to the website by mailman, in fact. Sadly, the calligraphy always gets lost.

One of the things I always liked about Beedoo! is her creative streak. She just does things, starts projects, where I get bogged down into the preparations of making sure absolutely nobody is going to be mad at me for doing something wrong. It's a bit sad that she can burn out on these things, but I guess we all get a little bit older... :)

Of Beedoo!'s art challenge, I'll highlight some, though you should look at them all:

Day 5 - I both love the way she draws Countess and knowing their friendship exists. Perhaps she should move over to The Netherlands as well. ;)

Day 6 - It has Watership Down in it. A very strong memory from my childhood.

Day 9 - We both like watching The Voice (of Holland). It had only just started here and was still in the first rounds when Beedoo! moved in here. Since then the program has been exported to, it seems, the whole world, from United States to Afghanistan. (Note the end credits, and you'll likely see one John de Mol, the Dutch producer). I think the current season on the BBC is the best by far. A fantastic(-ally funny) set of coaches. Who knew Kylie Minogue was so bubbly and funny? And you Americans should never have let go.

Day 11 - The day we decided to go for it and try to move her over here. A big day - bigger than a proposition to marry!

Day 27 - A hilarious portrait of 'me'. She says the facial expression is for humour, but I'm sure some of it is true. Hey hey, baby, chips and gravy!

Day 28 - Flattery. This relates to a story I am intermittently working on. A banner for a dragon ruler - we sat down and tried several variations. It came close to the way I had pictured it, but something was missing, and then she added the tail, and brilliance was achieved. I'm very happy with it.

So now for my part...

When I grew up, creativity was not a big part of my world. In hindsight, it was a big part of me, but just not of my surroundings. My parents and grandparents are/were very practically minded people, and though I was never taught so, I always believed that creativity was something for little children and strange people. However, it is no coincidence, I think, that I was all over my Space Lego (SPACESHIP!!!), making up stories, watching cartoons on English channels and imagining what the story was because I did not speak English. I have always, always had a very big and outlandish imagination.

Yet, I stopped doodling as soon as I was old enough. I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation in secret. Because I thought it was embarrassing. I watched Gargoyles in secret for the same reason. I made up stories in my head and told no one about them.

Then I found the internet, and particularly Station 8, where creativity was celebrated, even expected. Where there existed people with fantastic art skills who were actually using them. People wrote little stories, fanfics, and while I did not much like reading them (I am a terrible reader - I think having a bad eye helps as little as an overactive imagination distracting you every two sentences), it did shift my view a bit. What I would have really liked to have been was an artist, to give form to the images in my head. But I lacked both the motor skills (another big barrier in the past to be honest; I wasn't good at anything) and the years of practice. So at some point I bit the bullet and took to writing.

The things I wrote got a reaction from my close online friends. I think they were surprised by the quality. Of course, by then I'd been composing stories for years in the privacy of my own head, and I can tell you, I'm a critical audience. It turns out that, in a way, making stories is something I have practiced for years, only without realising.

Then bad things happened to compound bad things that had already happened, and I slipped away from that world. Too distracted by personal problems. And now I'm married and I'm trying again. The story is called RAR!. It's a story I had been pondering for a while, but only with the (unusual) name came the focus it needed.

For those interested, the first chapter is here. Beware! The formatting is horrible, and only resizing your browser window may help. I am reluctant to shove all I have so far in your faces, but mighty hackers can surely look at the URL and figure out how to access other chapters.

The story takes a standard trope, "Guy turns into dragon", and hopefully takes it into a less standard direction (though frankly, everything has been done by now). Beedoo! had a fantastic drawing to go with it, that inspired me greatly. I glanced at it for months, then put it somewhere safe, and now we can't find it. Otherwise I would have scanned and showed it.

I am happy with where it's going so far, except for the speed of things. Thing is, work has been sapping my mental energies. This should not be a problem for much longer, though; the big emergency is over. Now, here is a pro-tip: if you put in extra hours and energy voluntarily for a long period time to counteract the damage of other people's mistakes, these people will then make the same mistakes all over again and expect the same outcome. That is not what's going to happen this time, though. So I hope to have more time and energy to actually be with Beedoo! more and work on my story. Er, once I slay the beast that is called Skyrim, that is. ;)

In addition to that, I got an ergonomic keyboard. My plan was that this would help me type for longer periods, but now I really have to learn ten finger typing, or it lookd kingf of lik ethis.,.. Fortunately, I found the perfect help for anyone who needs typing lessons: Icarus Proudbottom's World of Typing Weekly! Who murdered the typing lesson tutor? Only perfect typing can break this case! I'll learn how to use this contraption yet!

So... Who else has been creative?

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