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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).

(Comments to this post are disabled. Say hello at a current entry, if you wish!)
Among other things, I am a red-head again. SO flaming. I am cutting off the last six inches when Jake comes home and then I will take photos. (There's a quick selfy up at Facebook.)

* * *

I have a new book up: Tropical Lion's Legacy. I am a little in love with this cover. And the fan reactions are delighting me. This is book NINE in the Shifting Sands Resort series. NINE. The next book will be the last in the series and that sort of destroys me a little. I both can't wait... and don't wanna.

If you'd told me three years ago that I would have thirteen books published today and that people actually read them I would have hurt myself laughing at you.

If you'd told me that I was going to pay for my own LASIK surgery with my dirty not-a-book money? I would have told you that wasn't funny.

And here we are.

* * *

And in other major 'here we are' sorts of things, Portrait Adoption is closing at the end of the year!

I loved this project and treasure above all else the beautiful friendships that it brought me. But I made less than $15 running it last year, and it's due for a big overhaul. The numbers just don't add up. It was an amazing idea (she says humbly), and its golden years were very impressive, but the Internet landscape has changed so much. It's hard to compete with Pinterest and I clearly have better ways to spend my time and energy.

* * *

Like I said... pretty momentous.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1639064.html

March Review, April Plans

MARCH REVIEW

I swear this month went faster than Februrary.

My biggest release was the Alaska Animals Translations (eeeee!), which was the accumulation of three years of work. There was much squeeing. I am contracted for a second book!

I also wrote 31k, mostly on Tropical Lion's Legacy (and associated untitled short story I hope to finish today), but also on Run and on Bearly Tolerable, which has a good start and is outlined to the end.

I survived Spring Break (barely).

I noodled some artwork for Sketch Fest and mocked up one cover and am 80% done with the pencil work for a portrait of Mal that is full of spoilers.

I released a 10-page hunky shifters coloring book download on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/676772560/hunky-male-shifter-coloring-pages-for

I did not get anything done for Fatemakers, which was the only other thing on my to-do list for the month, but it was a rollercoaster month in a lot of ways, so I'm really happy with what I did do.

PLANS FOR APRIL

* 3 pages for the 2nd Alaska Animals book
* Publish Lion's Legacy
* Revise Tropical Tiger Spy and launch changes
* 30k (1k a day) in writing total, spread out over whatever projects, with 20k earmarked for Bearly Tolerable so it's finished in May.
* Some other art progress of any kind.

Sketch Fest is scheduled for Friday!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1637535.html


I probably won't share ALL of them over here. I'll get them up on my webpage shortly, but I'm releasing them over on Facebook first: https://www.facebook.com/EllenMillionArtistrix/

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1637320.html

Animal Names in 10 Interior Languages

I am so, so, so excited to finally be able to share this!

I've been working on this project (not non-stop, but periodically in great bursts) for two and a half years, and it's been in non-disclosure, so I've only been able to share tiny sneak previews and natter about it in a general, non-specific sort of way.



Tanana Chiefs Conference commissioned me to illustrate a coloring book of Alaskan animals as part of a language preservation project! Each animal has a facing page with illustration matching the page and translations of the animal name in 10 Interior Alaskan native languages. I did 18 animals, one two-page spread (with about 12 animals), and 23 border pages, plus a landscape for the opening page. I'll be sharing them in bits and putting them in my portfolio over the next few weeks!



This coloring book is an educational outreach and is going to be distributed throughout the Interior villages and at culture camps. It is not currently for sale, but TCC is looking into making them available -- I will update you when I know anything.

This project was a big challenge for me, and I learned SO much, and I'm really proud and honored to be a part of it.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1636338.html

Not my finest moment...

I'm a fairly mechanically savvy person. I replaced the alternator in my last Subaru, by myself, at twenty below. I have a degree in mechanical engineering. So not, you know, the average helpless driver.

Last week, I took my car in for A Noise. A crunchy, mechanical, grinding sort of Noise. I was expecting bad news regarding something in the suspension, but it ended up being a very basic fix of swaybar links, which was swiftly done.

This week, however, I noticed More Noises. It was especially bad when I went over bumps.

Hating to be That Customer, I took it back to the shop. "It's making The Noises again," I told them.

I sat down and wrote a few hundred words while they checked it out.

Diagnoses?

MY LICENSE PLATE WAS LOOSE.

...

They tightened down the bolts for me and sent me on my way with no charge but to my ego.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1635766.html

February took me three tries to spell...

So, that was a month!

Let's see:

I published two books: Tropical Leopard's Longing and DandeLION Season.
I also deleted massive amounts of DandeLION Season and wrote about 9,000 new words before publication.
I did edits and formatting for both books.
I wrote approximately 10,000 on Tropical Lion's Legacy
I did NINE pieces of artwork for the NDA project that will not die. (SOON IT WILL BE REVEALED!)
I hosted a birthday party for a seven-year-old-to-be. And survived.
I finished another hunky shifter coloring page (Bastian, not yet posted)
I did sketches for Sketch Fest and Muse Fusion, and a few random other sketches. I am rusty.
I started outlining Fatemaker stuff.
I pretty much knocked my goals out of the park.

For March:

Finish Tropical Lion's Legacy. It's at 20k, so probably another 20k of writing. I'm aiming at 1000 a day and we'll see where we get.

Release Bastian's page on Etsy. Or maybe a 10 page collection, now that I have enough!

FINALLY gush about the NDA project.

Outline Bearly Tolerable so I'm ready to hit it hard in April.

Do some art

Outline first Fatemaker book and create character sheets.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1635412.html

So many things!

I finished a book yesterday. Well, revisions on a book. But I cut more than 10,000 words out of the old book and wrote 12,000 more, so it's BASICALLY a new book.

I also have a (different) book coming out on Wednesday, Shifting Sands book 8. (What?! Eight already?! How crazy is that. And I'm already a quarter of the way through book 9...)

I am also on the final stretch of an art project I've been working on for THREE years. SOON! Soon it will be out of non-disclosure! I am SO excited! I may cry when I have a copy in my hands.

There's a Muse Fusion this week: https://www.tornworld.net/musefusion.php

Come leave Torn World prompts, questions, and inspiration. I'm looking forward to doing some little things for it, since I finished my book and I because I know that launch week generally leaves me too scattered to focus on bigger things.

For now, Monsters, Inc. with the daughter, and hot tamales while I lie on the couch avoiding doing taxes.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1634757.html

Book review: How to Be a Normal Person

I picked up this book as a matter of research while I was writing Tropical Leopard's Longing, because a major secondary was asexual, and I was curious to see how other people handled that topic.

Reader, I loved this book.

I did not expect to, and it's more than I usually pay for an ebook. (I am cheap.) But the sample hooked me, and once I started, I absolutely adored the characters, from the damaged gay POV character, to the Vespa-biker possibly-lesbian senior gang. I teared up in a few places, and I laughed out loud in more. It made my three-hour fog delay in Mexico City entirely bearable. (And that is saying something, with an exhausted six-year-old cry-sleeping in my lap, and my husband passed out on our luggage following a dreadful red-eye flight.)

If you're looking for something different, utterly human, wonderfully frank, pick up a copy. There are plenty of swears, casual pot use, and lots of honest discussion of sex, but nothing on-screen.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Normal-Person-Klune-ebook/dp/B015VOHR0K/

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1634283.html

Looking back at 2018 and forward to 2019

Last year was a roller-coaster. Definitely a roller-coaster.

It was the year I finally realized I could call myself a writer. I published six books, and I wrote five books, plus four short stories. And some of them made me money, astonishingly.

I printed a new solo coloring book. It also made me a little money.

I lost my beloved cat, Velcro. That did not make me money.

We had septic problems that make me appreciate my flush toilet greatly. That cost a lot of money.

I actually did a fair amount of artwork, too! I finished 9 sexy shifter coloring pages, plus Gizelle, two full color pieces: The Gathering and Seven of Cups for 78 Tarot Mythical. I did 30 unicorns for #junicorn. I painted a whole lot of ornaments for #inktober. (Plus an illustration that I still need to scan and submit to an anthology and two complete pages and two sketches for an NDA project.)

So what are my goals for 2019?

I have NDA artwork to finish, and I am hopeful that the project will be completed and released in March. I want to do some artwork in color. I want to do #junicorn again, and #inktober, and #NaNoWriMo. I want to write 5 books. I want to publish 5 books and a collection of short stories. I want to put Shifting Sands out in hardcopy. I have amorphous ideas about a unicorn oracle deck collected from my #junicorns.

I want to blog more.

I want to be healthier and more fit.

I want to be brave and honest and kind and creative.

Look out, world.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1634022.html

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