Seriously. I blinked and it's Saturday already, and I've missed a blog post last week. *sigh*

I'm going to blame Inktober starting. I've decided to use the dare this year as an excuse to level up my graphic design skills, and so far it's been going well. Familiarity with the tools is so important, and while I can now draw straight on my computer screen, it's not as tactile as fabric and thread -- or even drawing traditionally.

There's been progress though, and it's been really good for me to commit to drawing every day. How else is anyone supposed to get better? I'm still not to the level of some of the artists I admire, but maybe by the end of the month ;)

Anyway, there's more to come -- including a dragon-kitty once I get around to finishing him. For now, have a cute digital kitty.

Inktober day 3 -- Bait

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Dr. Adaline Maxwell Darknoll, writing to her sister, Isabel Constance Darknoll, on the eighth day of the month of Rain, in the year of Peace, twenty-four days into the expedition.

We woke this morning to nervous horses and creatures in the food-sacks. Emil had fallen asleep on watch, and in his somnolence, a pack of raptors snuck into and ransacked the camp. Isolde and Winnie are cataloging the damage while Nell calms the horses. Emil has vanished — shadow-walked away I shouldn’t wonder — and I can only hope that he will return soon. As costly as his mistake may have been, I cannot say I blame the boy. It could have happened to any of us.

In the meantime though, I have the rare opportunity to study one of these raptors up close. A young male fell into an empty barrel and got left behind when the rest of the group fled. While I fully intend to set him free to join the rest of his pack, an hour to weigh, measure, and classify him is something I am loathed to lose. I shall include a complete report of my findings, but for you, I will sketch out the highlights.

The raptors seem to share characteristics between reptiles and avians. They are flightless, although not for lack of trying. My captive is currently fluttering around the bottom of his barrel, flapping his feathered arms frantically. The face and tail are more reptilian, however. They have teeth suggestive of a carnivorous diet — scavengers and hunters of small game if I had to guess.

The one I have is about the size of a chicken, covered all over in soft feathers. His head and arms are blue, his back a russet brown flecked with black, and his underside cream — quite a handsome fellow all told. Given the state of the food bags, quite intelligent as well. The pack found seams and ties to open, rather than completely ripping through the enchanted leather.

I shall send you pictures, although they do not do him justice.

Ever yours,


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I think this dragon wanted to be a knot instead...

Edison once said something about knowing a hundred ways how *not* to make a lightbulb. This past week was my crash course in a hundred ways how *not* to make a dragon. At least Edison and I both succeeded in the end.

The sunk-cost fallacy is a hard one to beat. Once you've cut fabric, invested time, smashed a finger or two... it's hard to admit that some things just aren't worth trying to fix. Some things are just too far gone, and that's ok. It was a lightbulb that gets you one step closer to a dragon. (Or something. I think I've drawn that analogy out too far... :/ )

Worse yet is when one misstep follows another -- lack of prototype means flying blind, flying blind means not realizing just how curvy those curves were, too-curvy curves means the whole thing bears more resemblance to a fire-breathing pretzel than the wise dragon you were going for.

And so, after screaming and crying (and frightening my saint of a husband), the whole thing was trashed. And a massive weight lifted off of my shoulders. I had made mistakes, but I had documented them, I knew how to fix them, and I knew that this time it would be better.

And it is. See how serene a fresh start made this guy? He's even got a little monk friend to chill with while he waits to go to his final home.

Zen at last

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