May 2016 Recap

This was a strange month for me. I spent a solid two weeks very sick with a sinus infection, double ear infection, and bronchitis. Even now, with the month over, I’m suffering from some residual symptoms. Almost feels like I’ll never be quite right again. I still got around to some things this month.

The Projects

The Paragon is still updating on schedule. There have been a few double updates because at this point in the story the narrative is reflecting Finley’s mental process. Since last time, Finley has a breakthrough and her life begins to turn around, and then something unexpected happens.

The Paragon

 [Part 4]  [Part 5]  [Part 6]  [Part 7]  [Part 8]  [Part 9]  [Part 10]  [Part 11]

The news about the new Pokemon starters arrived this month, so I immediately set to work on some sewing projects. I decided to make a couple of Rowlets, and here’s a picture!


And here they are on my Etsy shop!

I’ve worked on a couple sketchbook pages, but was much slower this time around.

I’ve also received a big sewing commission that I’ve started and will be able to work on a bunch this month. I’m very excited to work on something so detailed for someone. I hope he likes it!

The Reading

I’ve had a lot of false starts with books this month. I started listening to The Run of His Life: The People versus O.J. Simpson, but found the book to be a bit too close to the show based on it (American Crime Story), so wanted to take a break from the repetition. Then I started Imajica by Clive Barker. Though I’m about eight hours into Imajica and love it so far, it’s a doozy of an audiobook at 38 hours, so it will take some time for me to get through it.

I started The Jungle Book in the hope I would zoom through it and then see the movie in theaters. Instead, I’ve had some trouble feeling engaged with the book. As sometimes happens, my subconscious took care of this problem for me, and lost my copy of the book somewhere in the chaos that is this apartment. It’ll turn up eventually, and I’ll dutifully continue reading, but that’s on pause for now. In its absence, I’ve started Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and I’m already feeling much more at home back in the hands of a Bronte.

The only two books I actually finished this month were graphic novels.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis #1-2) by Marjane Satrapi [I loved it, but I didn’t write a review for it]

A Girl on the Shore (Ombibus 2-in-1 Edition) by Inio Asano

The Fun Stuff

I mentioned an LP Channel last month, and this month another friend launched an LP Channel! Their Facebook is here and I felt like giving them a shout out. I’m loving their videos so far. =] Good luck, Dust Bunny Division!

The Rest

Eric and I went to THREE amazing concerts this month! The Darkness, Babymetal, and Caravan Palace. They were all great in different ways, and I’m so glad I was able to make it. I had one interview that went well but didn’t come to fruition. I’ve had one story rejection (this one smarted a bit more than usual, but I can’t really put my finger on why). One story is still out. Eric’s birthday was last week and we celebrated with his family, and I got to shower him with a bunch of gifts, as he deserves! We hung out with my nephews for a couple days, played some Rocket League. Eric and I got a PSVita for our collective birthdays, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. Haven’t tried Overwatch either. My rollerblades fell apart so I have to figure that out, but Eric finally got a working bike so hopefully we’ll be able to bike together!

Idk I’m already losing steam on these blogs.

April 2016 Recap

I’ve been meaning to start monthly blogs for a while now, and today I’ll begin following up on that self-promise. I want to use this as a place to summarize what I’ve been up to recently, to solidify in concrete that I do, in fact, utilize my time productively once in a great while. This was a weird, stagnant month for me, in which time whistled around my fingers as evasive as the spring breeze.

The Projects

Mainly, The Paragon. The Paragon is a (decently long) short story that I wrote a while ago. It’s about a girl and her android therapist. I decided to release it in weekly segments online. I will be posting the links here, and once the full story has been released, I’ll post a full text version of it on this site. Three parts went up in April, and you can find them here:

The Paragon – Part 1Part 2Part 3

Beyond that, I’ve been focusing on my sketchbook. I bought my current sketchbook last summer with the thought that I would fill it with work that I was actually proud of, in some way or another. Usually, my sketchbooks are haphazard attempts, full of sketches that I despise and never want to share, eventually torn out or discarded. I move on. The exception is the book from my study abroad trip to France, which is a work I have abundant pride in. I wanted to recreate that quality, but from my everyday experiences, finding inspiration around my present self.

In a good month, I’ll maybe fill 5 pages of this current sketchbook. I don’t think I’ve missed any full months since I began. This month, I was on fire. I completed 17 pages of my sketchbook, which is unprecedented for me. Sketches include two fully painted portraits, some loose pen drawings of friends, and portraits of the characters from my incomplete novel. I have some WIP shots of one of the spreads, a tribute to David Bowie.

IMG_8584 IMG_8585 IMG_8586

The sketchbook is coming close to being complete, and I will have accomplished my goal of filling a sketchbook within a year. When I’m closer to having completed it, I will post a sketchbook tour on my Tumblr.

The Reading

I read/listened to a bunch of books this month! Jane Eyre was my favorite read novel, finished at the beginning of the month. The Lady Trent Memoirs, the third and fourth specifically, were my favorite audiobooks. I also continued reading Bone in the comics world. Here are some reviews up on Goodreads!

The Fun Stuff

Did you know my friends have a Let’s Play channel? Cache Blasters is a fun little channel full of my dearest friends playing games, and sometimes I’m in them! Eric and I released two episodes of us messily playing Tales of the Abyss.

Beyond ours, there will be some funny stuff uploaded soon featuring Eric and Taker. It’s all for laughs. Please don’t take us seriously. We certainly don’t.

The Rest

I’ve submitted two stories and received two rejections this month, but two stories are still out. I’ve applied to one job, and I need to work on that more. Still working on finishing Eric and my longboards. Eric’s is coming close, but mine has a long way to go. Went to one concert this month, Gogol Bordello, made kites with my dad, and brought my mom to and from the airport as she left for a grand cruise adventure. My niece turned six and we celebrated her birthday outside on a beautiful spring day, and the kids all swam in the lake even though the water shivered off them soon afterward. We went on a few nice skates and it has become very obvious that my rollerblades need some TLC.

That’s about it. See you at the end of May.

Welcome to the Site!

This website has been a daunting task looming over me ever since I graduated from UMass Amherst in 2012. Sifting through seven years of content has been difficult, but I’m happy to finally boast a site of my own.

My partner in crime, Eric Fairbanks helped me visualize the design I really wanted, and then went above and beyond and programmed the whole darn thing, even when we were both sick with the plague flu. He’s super mega awesome and he did a pretty darn good job.

There will be some tweaks in the upcoming weeks while we perfect any of those nit-picky problems. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy, and thanks for looking! Maybe I’ll even treat this blog like a blog and actually, well, use it. Maybe.

© Melanie Staten 2015