ellen with wrench

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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Looking back at March, ahead to April

March...was a month, certainly. It started with my laptop in the shop.

Most notably, I finished, revised, and published The Dragon Prince's Bride.

I released Better Half (a reprint).

I wrote about 13k on Abruptly a Bear, finishing it. I started a new project, but just barely, with about 1500 words. I finished revising Fire Control.

And at the eleventh hour, I did ridiculous April Fools' covers and wrote blurbs and I'm not going to write the Flamingo book.

In April: I will publish Prompted 2 and Balance. Both are already uploaded for preorder.

I would like to write 30k. (NOT the flamingo book.) Ideally, I would finish the new project, which I'm just aiming for novella length. I'll revise Abruptly a Bear and get it up for preorder. I also have a short story to write for a charity anthology! And there will be an expansion of All Manner of Hats! But maybe ALL of that won't happen in April.

And I'm not writing the flamingo book.

(probably) Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1827378.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)
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New Releases!



She's got one life to live

Anita takes a chance at a job she's not sure she can handle and she's tickled pink when the gorgeous billionaire picks her little bakery to cater his big charity event. But what was supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime turns into the storm of a century.

He's got one leg to stand on

Frank Wilson has built his reputation and his world-spanning lawn ornament business on one tenant: honesty. There's nothing fake about Frank Wilson -- not his fabulous fortune or his amazing physique.

...or his inner flamingo.

Trapped together with his fated mate in his big empty office building with a thousand gourmet cupcakes and no power, Frank is sure that -- finally -- nothing will stand between him and everything that he'd ever wanted, in the arms of a curvy woman wearing an apron. The only problem is, she's not interested in settling down to join his flock.


And to win her heart, he's going to have to put his foot down.



Larry has the perfect life. He travels from casino to resort using his keen lizard shifter skills to win at cards, with no care in the world...until he meets a virgin seal shifter named Shea at the bar of a little place called Shifting Sands Resort...

Shea has clearly lived a sheltered, coddled life of luxury, always protected from life's rougher elements and things like card sharks and cheats.

Now Larry has a week to clean up his act, woo his mate, and concoct a life that won't scare away a sweet innocent thing like her.

But Shea isn't as pure and virtuous as she appears. As a mantis shifter, she knows it is her destiny to find her mate...and eat him.

Can a lucky lizard and a vicious man-eater find happiness on the golden beaches of Shifting Sands?


Both of these fabulous titles are coming...never*! Happy April Fools' Day!



*Maybe. Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1826268.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)
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International Transgender Day of Visibility

I just found out that today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility!

When I sat down to write "Balance" for the Once Upon an Enchanted Forest anthology (now out of print), I didn't at all intend it to have a transgender hero. I only knew I wanted to write a story about autumn and earth magic...and Robin* marched in and took over the story from there.

This is a story is all about being seen the way that you want to be seen, about magic, and about love.

Balance is available for pre-order now: books2read.com/birchhearts-balance

But if you'd like a free copy, please just message me and I will send you one! (It is about 8k words)

(*Not Robin from Fae Shifter Knights. I'm terrible with names, which is also why I managed to write books starring Tray and Trey WAY too close to each other!)

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1824226.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)
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The Dragon Prince's Bride

I have a new book out today, and I'm so excited for it! <3

You can find it on Amazon (and in Kindle Unlimited) here: http://books2read.com/dragonprincesbride
(This should take you to the the correct country site)

It's... a little different than the first two books in the series, which were rags to riches stories. This one is almost a riches to rags - Tray and Leinani have to make do a lot in this story. It plays on some of my favorite tropes: stuck together, an engagement to the wrong person, some A-level pining, but most of all, good people making each other better and really genuinely caring for each other. There is actual story (around the sweet, frequently hilarious angst), with plot and intrigue and there are even a few action scenes, plus my second favorite marriage proposal ever. They are beautifully honest with each other, largely because they have to be, and I got to do some of the juicy magical world-building that I love so much.

And the set up for the next book is maybe a tiny bit of a bombshell. (I can't WAIT to write it.)

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1823383.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)
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Swimming in Feelings...

Today is the last day of Sketch Fest: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/finishfestfinale.php

I am not ready for it. And I am so ready for it.

I feel like a complete and utter failure when I look at it, and at the same time, I'm so proud of it.

I did so much artwork for it. Some of it was terrible, some of it was amazing.

It inspired so much incredible work. It got people doing art for the first time, or picking it up again after a long break.

It was so much work. It was so much fun. It was so much frustration.

I programmed every line of the code, and learned so much doing it. There was so much that I wanted to do that will never be done.




Here are links to some of my personal favorites, of my own work for now, though I may go through and do some of others, too. Many of the originals are available, prints of almost all by request:

Fox Fire (new for the Finish Fest, though I can't enter the challenges): https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=24778

New Me (Mom life): https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=6107 - I remember these feels!!

Dryad's Winter: https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=24786

Mother's Gift (dragon and egg): https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=24785

Chickadee: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=24085

Dreidel Dragon: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=21414

Rosehip Tea (THAT LACE): https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=20129

Foxflection: https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=16012

Come Into My Head: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=9806

Maiden, Mother, Crone: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=9277

I Can Fix Everything: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=8006

Tangled Up Christmas Dragon: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=7631v

Mermaid's Pool: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=6600

Drawing on the Moon: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=3434

Trophy Mermaid (hahahahahahaha): https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=2863

Willow Mother: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=1897

Space Vixen: https://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=1082 Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1822631.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)
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February in Review

February in review:

February pretends to be a month, even though it’s short, and I did pretty well, considering. I wrote about 19k on The Dragon Prince’s Bride (finishing it!), then revised it and sent it off for first readers. I revised Fire Control to the tune of about 3k new words (also finished!), wrote eight pieces of flash fiction for Prompted 2 (4500 words in total, it is also done!), and instead of doing the next project that I probably ought to be working on, I dove directly into the next Suddenly Shifters novella, Abruptly a Bear and wrote 3750 on it, for a total word count of just over 30k.

March goals:

I want to continue my slow-and-steady rate of 1000 words/day, because it does (eventually) get the work done. After I’ve finished Abruptly a Bear, I plan to revise and expand a few novellas (Throw Me a Bone and All Manner of Hats in particular), revise The Dragon Prince’s Bride, and maybe start in on Firebird of Glass (this is going to be a helluva book). I also have a few releases penciled into my calendar: specifically Prompted 2 and Better Half... if I ever get my laptop back (day 8). I expect that The Dragon Prince’s Bride will release in late April (I’m braced for big edits).

I am pulling Shape Shifters down in order to put some of the individual stories up in Kindle Unlimited. I love this collection madly, but Amazon refuses to admit that someone may actually search for it and want to find it, and only some of the stories can be offered in KU. So I’ll be doing a polish run and re-release of several of the individual stories, in a new series of shorts and novellas I’m tentatively calling Birch Bits. After I’ve got enough out, I’ll collect them thematically.

I also plan to go for walks, woo the birbs (they will eat from my hand and stand on my head now), belly dance, do the Sketch Fest Blowout, set up Shifting Sands tees, and of course, homeschool. Many things are laptop dependent. Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1815245.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)
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January Wrap-up, February Goals

30k words written, most of it on The Dragon Prince's Bride. (It. Will. Not. End.)

Published "Something in the Water" in New Year, New Boo: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P3X7BW8/

Wrote and published "Safe," a bonus story for Fae Shifter Knights. Redesigned the covers for the series.

Wrote a Shifting Sands short story (no eta on when this one will be available...).

Daughter is back in (home) school so teacher-mom is back on duty.

Made a lot of very hard decisions and went for some loooong, cooooold walks.

February goals:

Finish The Dragon Prince's Bride (52k now and no end in sight...). I'd like to finish it this week and get it into revisions, but I am trying to be reasonable with myself. (I am, however, not good at being reasonable with myself.)

Finish Fire Control revisions.

Get laptop repaired.

Coordinate Sketch Fest final blowout for March. I've ordered some fun prizes, including sets of my favorite pens and million dollar chocolate bars, because why even have this name if I'm not going to have fun with it?

Shifting Sands: Figure out how to launch an audiobook. Start moving on the t-shirts/postcards. Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1809615.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)
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The Future of Sketch Fest.

(x-posted from Patreon/Facebook)

It's been a hard year, for everyone, and Sketch Fest has not escaped unscathed. It's been hard to drum up activity, sales have fallen to nothing, and our support through Patreon has dwindled. No grief to anyone, this has been an amazing project for almost eleven years, and I am so grateful to everyone for their participation and support. But all things have a life cycle.

I am going to skip February's Sketch Fest because I have just an utter ton going on and I need a little break to recharge.

March is Sketch Fest's 11th anniversary, and there WILL be a final March Sketch Fest, and I hope you will all join me (even if you haven't before!). I am still brainstorming special prizes and thank you gifts and will keep you guys posted on our schedule of events as I finalize things. I never like it when things go out with a whimper, and I want to make sure that you get a great last hurrah!

I don't plan on taking the site down - it will remain up indefinitely as long as it doesn't pose a security risk, and I'm not averse to the idea of restarting active Sketch Fests in the future when there is less of ...the world like it is right now. I love the concept so much and I have made so many wonderful friends and watched so many of you take your artwork to the next level. It was inspiring and rewarding...and I hope that it will be again some day in the future. Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1806631.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)
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Happy New Years

I have sent the daughter and husband to watch fireworks at the university (socially distanced, outdoors) by themselves and am watching my very favorite SG-1 episode, eating popcorn, and drinking a rum and root beer. I have the fireworks streaming in a Facebook tab. I might work on the paperback files for Gryphon of Glass, because I love crossing things off my to-do list.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your 2021 is amazing in every way. Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1793625.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)