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[sticky post] Who is the nut behind the wheel?

Ellen Million: Artist, Writer, Project Enabler, Creative Force of Nature. And, Mom.

Projects:

Currently in crowdfunding: Sketch Tarot! - Sponsor a card or pre-order a deck at a steep discount today!
Coloring Books - Highly detailed coloring books for grown-ups. (By many artists!)
Sketch Fest - a monthly prompted 48-hour creative jam for artists around the world.
Portrait Adoption - adopt a pre-finished character portrait that will be exclusively yours! (By many artists!)
Ellen's Escape - my personal webpage and an archive of pretty much my entire artistic journey.
Torn World - a shared science-fantasy world.
Etsy - digital stamps (digi stamps) and coloring books.
Patreon - support Ellen and get monthly surprise goodies!

Other links of possible interest:

2015 goals
2014 goals review
Chopping Block of 2010 - an interesting snapshot at all of my projects of that time, including several that did not survive the cull.

Ellen elsewhere:

Ellen Million Graphics at Facebook
Ellen Million, Artistrix at Facebook
Sketch Fest at Facebook
Torn World at Facebook
Ellen Million at Facebook - mostly a feed of this journal.
@ellenmillion at Twitter - almost entirely a feed of this journal. (Has been hijacked by hackers. See my business twitter: @ellen_million)
@torn_world at Twitter - updates for Torn World
ellenmillion at Deviantart - very, very rarely updated
Elfwood gallery - oldest gallery of my work (aside from my personal site, above).

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Thursdaily with the tunes at high volume

Listening to my favorite music* at FULL BLAST because there is no one else in the house: a luxury I haven't enjoyed in... I can't remember when.

Getting orders out - PA portraits and some print service stuff. I'll have to make another trip in to restock one of the local bookstores tomorrow. My list in general is a little boggling, ranging from paperwork to shoveling dog poop. My inbox is a disaster.

But tonight I'm going to go out for dinner and a movie, and I just registered for a painting class at Chena Hot Springs next weekend that I've been waffling over for a while. A whole two days on my own, focused on watercolor painting! (And soaking in the hot pool.) With that in mind, I can handle ANYTHING!

Sea Monster packages now! RARH!




*Okay, fine, my favorite two songs, over and over....
Operation Mom was a success, and she is now in town and set up in her adorable rental house for the next few weeks.

And in other awesome news, my coloring books have been accepted for sale at Gulliver's! I submitted them about 6 weeks ago, and had all but given up hope that they'd been selected. I think I squeaked out loud when I got the email. They will be starting with three titles: Fantastrix, Midnight Gardens, and Fishpond Fantasies. I am so excited.

They are also currently available at the Comic Shop, Alaskana Raven, and Woven Sylver (the latter two are in the Co-op Plaza downtown).

I also got MORE fabulous news yesterday, but that reveal will have to wait until later...

New portrait at Portrait Adoption:


(It has been claimed.)

I have updated Etsy significantly! http://www.etsy.com/shop/ellenmillion
I have updated my own site significantly! http://ellenmillion.com

I do have the two new coloring books in stock:




Both are now available for ordering at: http://ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbooks.php

And one quick headsup - prices are going up! I am raising the standard price at my site to $10 each. I have also just LOWERED the base priority shipping charge by .50 - so this is a prime time to order if you'd to get all your coloring books .50 cheaper than they are going to be AND save that .50 shipping.

AND, AND! A small selection of my coloring books are available as fulfilled by Amazon. IE: available with free shipping through Prime. I am testing out this service in small quantities, and we'll see how it goes... I know that I'm twice or three times as likely to order something that is eligible for the free shipping as I am anything else.

*deliver coloring books (2 or 3 locations)
*invoice
*Send SF payments
*update for PA
*email to EMG list
*laundry (one load folded, another in the dryer now)
*register for SFA
*500 words on DB - 145
*sea monster sponsorship packages
*pick up check
*bank
*po
*update shipping
*childcare ferrying
*Other stuff I'll update later as I think of it...

Mondaily with Clear Skies

It rained over the weekend - a wonderful, cleaning, soaking rain, and today dawned rather gorgeously, with sunshine and mixed clouds... and no smoke smell whatsoever.

Crossing fingers it stays that way! My Mom is coming into town for a few weeks, and I was really hoping it wasn't going to be smoke-tastic while she was here.

Here is the child picking fuzzy dandelions:



I have to cut cardboard and get orders out, so I'm off to do that!

My new coloring books are ready to pick up, so I'd like to get the Sea Monster project all wrapped up this week. Fingers crossed...

Tags:

So, I sent out a pile of packages on Wednesday. IMPORTANT packages. Crazy, risk-taking, new-things, world-domination packages. And when I took them to the post office, they scanned them all, as they often do. They are supposed to scan them IN. They unfortunately, managed to scan them all as DELIVERED. As in, delivered right there to the post office in Fairbanks.

I have NO IDEA what this means. When they try to scan them at their real destination, will it throw an error and return them to me? Will the scan get corrected when they check in at their next points along the way? Will they be circular filed as LOST FOREVER because the computer can't figure out what to do with them?!

GUH. Of all the piles of packages that this could have happened to.

NO COOKIE, Post Office. NO COOKIE.

...

In the NO COOKIE category, voles have eaten one of my lettuce plants. I am enraged. There are traps out. BRING IT, RODENTS. You took my strawberries, but you won't take my salads!!

...

I am sketching for Sketch Fest right now! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

I have finished FIVE ACEO sketches, and am very pleased with myself.

Here is my favorite, so far:

It's raining! Horray!! As predicted, it hasn't knocked the smoke down much, so instead of 'living in ashtray,' we are now 'swimming in ashtray,' but it's an improvement, and I'll take it.

Guppy got a box with costumes in it - both Elsa, and Anna, AND Sofia the First, and also a tea set and sparkly pom poms, and was utterly thrilled:



I am likely to fritter away my free time this morning unless I list, so here goes:

*Paperwork for UWA
*Amazon update
*3 orders
*Post office
*water
*pre-orders for coloring books
*set up sketch fest (ACK!)
*email update to warn about sketch fest
*pick date for July Sketch Fest now
*try to get rid of piano and chair
*500 words on DB
*Other stuff to be edited in as I figure out what it is...

Thursdaily

The daughter is dressing herself up in my packing supplies. (Under close supervision...)

The smoke is awful this morning. Lungs are starting to hurt, just a little. I don't think it's as bad as 2004 was, though. The sun is this crazy orange disc. "Look!" Guppy told me the other morning. "It's the MOON!"

We've been doing most of our playing indoors, and I'm glad that the swimming pool air is at least a little conditioned. Still, a day isn't a day without going outside a little bit!



Stuff I'd like to do today:

*Swimming
*two orders
*Post office
*Financial stuff
*Print, laminate, cut out bookmarks
*Put up preorders for both new coloring books
*Send out note to EMG email list reminding about Sketch Fest tomorrow
*Layout sea monster greeting card

But, I don't have childcare today, so I'm expecting to get this done:

*swimming

I'm being scaled right now by someone small and very wiggly, so I'm going to accept that my blogging time is gone and go play house.

(New couch means AWESOME new box. I have cut a door and windows and even made a cool peaked roof. Photos, eventually...)
Still smoky, but not as horrible as it could be. The air purifiers keep the indoors relatively nice.

I got From the Deep edits made and uploaded for the printer, finalized the PDF, and emailed them to all those supporters. A giant thank you to everyone who helped make this happen! I also scoured the Tarot of the Water proof and approved it to print, so those will be done and off my desk very soon. The PDF was made and sent to Kayti!

No slacking allowed today - I've got childcare for 3 hours, and need to make GOOD use of it.


To do:

*Four packages, one of which involves a lot of labeling.
*Send PA payment
*Renew car registration
*Find home for piano and chair
*Shopping
*load of water

*move and scoop catbox
*vacuum
*sweep upstairs
*dishes

*cut watermelon
*1000 words on DB 1189
*Update PA
*Update TW?
*Call vet re:food - not in yet... luckily not out yet!
*laundry - ready to fold!
*update insurance autopay
*Order new laptop battery
*Pick up second proof of From the Deep! Print run approved!
*Marinate meat for dinner


I may need a new laptop battery. It's ridiculous that I'm getting about 30 minutes of battery life. It's always been a little disappointing, but that's just absurd.

Tuesdaily

I seem to have forgotten to blog yesterday. In general, I may be slipping from daily posts, because our living room has been rearranged, and one of the sacrifices was my computer station. It may return when we rehome the piano, which is a thing that is definitely happening now, but may take a little while to coordinate. I have also made peace with getting rid of my beautiful red chair, which saw me through surgery recovery and many books and movies, but which was not big enough to accommodate the growing Guppy, who really, really, really wants to sit with me. Or on me. So we met the husband at the couch store yesterday, and, in the most painless couch shopping ever, found a clearance (discontinued) reclining loveseat that all three of us loved, loaded it into the truck (which miraculously did not have the tank in it that day), got a friend to help us unload it, and now we have a COMPLETELY new living room. A really nice living room. I got up for coffee this morning and thought to myself, 'I hope the swanky people who live here don't mind me stealing their coffee...'

We also bought a new air purifier, because our forest has become one big smoking bar. It's nasty out there. The light is all orange and cloudy, and it stinks and makes my eyes run. It's due to get nothing but worse for a while - no rain in the forecast, but more thunderstorms with wind, and possibly hail.

(And anyway, it would take amazing rain to knock back these fires - drizzle just turns things from 'ashtray' to 'wet ashtray that sticks to you.')

It doesn't matter which way the wind is coming from, either, because the entire state looks like it has fire measles.

In Guppy stories, we found a Frozen balloon at the store and I snapped a shot:


I had to drag her away. Balloon-Elsa even got a hug (but that photo wasn't very good).


Later, Papa brought her home her very own Frozen balloon. (But not the big one.) She was THRILLED.


On Sunday, we met an old college friend at the Dinosaur exhibit! It was a little cheesy (especially for the price), but we had the place largely to ourselves, because of the Midnight Sun Fest downtown. Guppy enjoyed it, and it was nice catching up with our friend.

All for now!

Anthology release!

I am pleased to announce the release of 'Once Upon a Time,' a Cliches for a Cause Anthology. I have a story in it: "The Dazzling Finister" and an illustration for "Red Velvet!"


It is a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, but set in the modern south, and red riding hood is a baker of 'special' brownies. (Hint: those aren't all rose leaves...)


The Dazzling Finister is a retelling of the Russian fairy tale, The Dazzling Falcon Finister - but set as a non-human space opera. It is illustrated by Rebecca Flaum.

Then, one rotation of the asteroid, MARya found herself spooling over a consuming mining scheduling puzzle, over and over and over and over, until her virus alarm went off and she realized that the foreman was opening one of her private emergency panels.

"What are you doing?" she asked in puzzlement, most of her resources still consumed.

"MARya, you've been unresponsive for two days!" The foreman sat back on his heels and wiped his sweaty brow in relief as MARya automatically adjusted the climate controls for his comfort. "We had to call the programmers!"

MARya stopped the program in question mid-loop, and had to tamp down several related subroutines, putting aside the question of why aside as her sensors began reporting other details to her. She was missing two standard days worth of accountable time in her records, and worse than that... "Where is my Finister?"

The housing she had built for him was empty and cold. No hint of his warmth lingered in the carpeted floor, and not a single feather remained.

"I don't know," the foreman told her. "MARya, the mine..."

MARya gave a shriek that had the humanoids across the asteroid cupping their ears and staggering. Her programs all focused on the gap left by Finister, the loss as keen as if she had nerve endings and they were all on fire. All of the subprograms she had set to think over their conversations were spinning in an agony of abandonment.

Desperate to keep her from tearing the mine apart from the inside, the programmers and Intergalactic Enforcers who swiftly arrived delved into the asteriod's databanks and almost immediately found a bill of sale for the Finister. He had been shipped off the first day that MARya had been in her loop, sold to a fast merchant ship bound for places unknown. No fleshling had the capacity for over-riding MARya's protocols, and the programmers immediately found evidence pinning the virus and sale to the other settlement AIs.

"She had something we didn't," they reported in unison under the duress of the programmers and the threat of having their databanks utterly wiped.

MARya could feel their sullen jealousy, and wondered if they even recognized what they were jealous of. She loved her Finister, completely and in every line of her code. Notes about him peppered every private database she maintained, and her programming had been rewritten from scratch in many places in her attempt to understand him.

"Put me in a ship," she told the programmers.

"It will be expensive," one of the programmers told her. "You'd have to buy out your tenure at the mine."

"A ship will cost your justice settlement," one of the enforcers told her. "You could spend those credits on a new pet..."

MARya made an earthquake that shattered one of the unused mine shafts and set every light on the settlement to humming at a tooth-gritting frequency.

"You'll be impossible to replace," the foreman said glumly, but he didn't try to stop her.

It took most of her savings and a promised percentage of future earnings, but she was fitted into a sleek little space-hopper, and set out to chase down the cold trail of her Finister.


The anthology is now available for sale: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1514326493

Proceeds are for an excellent cause, and the line-up is pretty incredible. I haven't read any of the other stories, but I've seen the illustrations, and they are really amazing. An ebook is forthcoming, and there is a launch party event on Facebook, where you may win awesome prizes, including a copy of the Apples and Roses coloring book: https://www.facebook.com/events/478849592279741/

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