Currently on art: Q2 2022 stats, FFM incoming and a lot to say

Hi everyone!

It’s once again time for a statistic-bringing Currently on art update. This time, however, I also want to discuss a lot of other stuff as this half-quarter has been particularly eventful when it comes to notable things I want to talk about. Hence, this one will be a massive one.

First, I want to discuss the software project course that ended (for me) before the previous Currently on art update. The team got the credits and grades for the project earlier this month – we got top grades, just as I expected – and we ended up hanging out together at a beer-tasting event called “Olutsatama” (“Beer Port” in English). A couple of us were going there and invited everyone else. I initially declined since, as a teetotaller, I definitely wasn’t in the event’s target audience. Everyone else agreed to go and they ended up deciding that we could hang out at a nearby cafe before they’d go to the event so that I could hang out too even though I wasn’t going to the event myself. Between making the plans and the meetup, I ended up convincing myself to go to Olutsatama too if there was a chance that there would be non-alcoholic drinks available since I really wanted to hang out with the others more than just at the cafe. It turned out that the booths with non-alcoholic options were marked on the map, so I didn’t have to think even once whether or not I’d go.

At first, I was certainly feeling super out of place and out of depth since I knew nothing about beer. I think I experienced some miniature existential crises in the beginning whenever I stopped to think about where I was, haha! When we got the team together and got started both with the drinks and the casual conversation, though, the immense “WTF am I doing here I don’t belong here WTF” feeling faded away and I ended up having a lot of fun chatting and drinking. While the new experiences and hanging out were important, what means the most to me about that day is how much I was included in the plans even before I chose to attend the event after all. Over the years, I’ve gotten used to either following others to places that didn’t interest me much (if at all) just to have some company or going my own way and following my own interests alone and unseen, so being considered at all was already a huge deal. The fact that I went way out of my comfort zone because I wanted to hang out because I liked the company rather than just because I didn’t want to be alone was also a big deal, but the being considered is what stands out as the most meaningful thing to me.

Now, I’m not good at expressing my gratitude with words (or spontaneously expressing myself with words in the first place). A lot of the time, there will be someone else who’ll word things far better than I would have, and I tend to fall back on “yeah, what they said” rather than coming up with less eloquent ways of saying the same things. Still, the day at Olutsatama was so meaningful that I felt that I should make the effort to truly express how grateful I was for being included. It was hard – I actually wrote my message in English first because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how I’d word it in Finnish and then fed it to DeepL to get a basis to modify to my liking – and it felt all kinds of awkward and I agonized over “will this make me/my social life sound way too sad?” but in the end I ended up with something passable. It took some more mental kicks, but I managed to send the message to the team’s Discord server and be done with it.

Funnily enough, the daily tarot card on my tarot app on the day I sent that message was 8 of Swords Reversed, which, according to the app, symbolizes self-acceptance, new perspective and freedom. I’d be lying if I said that seeing that card and thinking about its meaning after spending a good chunk of the previous night awake and thinking about the day’s events didn’t provide a needed boost to those mental kicks that I needed to get that message of gratitude sent despite the stupid (and erroneous) “what if it won’t be received well and/or makes me look stupid?” anxiety living rent-free inside my head.

Honestly, I guess I’d wholly forgotten what that was like to be taken into account as more than just a metaphorical piece of the machine, and it showed during the project too; when we were preparing for our second presentation, in a fit of premature performance anxiety I joked about already having stage fright. It was meant to be an offhand joke that would never get discussed or even thought about again, but later the team’s project manager came up to me when I was alone and asked if there was something that could be done to help with my performance anxiety. I didn’t expect that to happen, in part because I knew that since I wouldn’t be alone on stage at any point (which does help with my stage fright a lot) and in part because while I’m used to the generalized advice sessions, I can’t remember any other instance when someone would have come up to me and asked “what can we do to help you with your anxiety?” I never got around to expressing it (and I definitely don’t have the guts to bring it up ever again), but I really appreciated it and I still do.

None of the team probably will read this, but at least I’ve expressed my appreciation for it somehow somewhere that isn’t my phone’s notepad.

Now that I’ve discussed gratitude, I want to discuss environmental stuff for a while. Since I needed an extra credit to qualify for a diploma I took an easy online course named “Johdatus planetaariseen hyvinvointiin” (“Introduction to planetary well-being” in English) which discussed the state of the environment, how we’ve gotten to the situation we are currently in and what affects our environment negatively. It was a very interesting course and gave some food for thought when it comes to my own consumpting habits. While I am dutiful with recycling and do what I can to reduce waste, I admit that considering how the things I buy affect the environment and cause strain to it is something I have a lot to improve on. In addition to cutting on eating meat, I could most certainly buy less stuff I probably won’t need or at the very least put more effort into seeking the stuff out used rather than buying new. Being a collector does not help with limiting consuming stuff, although after putting the items I own into an order of importance my urge to collect everything I can has gone far down and now I’m more focused on collecting only things I really want (and what I happen to find for cheap at flea markets). For example, recently, I came across a Transformers Prime figure at a toy store and considered buying it since it was a TFP toy. However, it was not one of my favorite characters from the show, which in addition to it being rather expensive led me to leaving it there. It may not be much and has a miniscule impact in the grand scheme of things, but it’s most certainly a small win for me.

Moving on from environmental talk, there’s some tech stuff I want to discuss briefly. I finally have a NAS (Network-Attached Storage, basically a storage server within my own network) of my own now, after months of dreaming of making one of old computer parts. A friend of mine happened to replace their computer and sell their old one in parts, which allowed me to get a power supply and some storage space for the husk of a computer that had been sitting in the living room for months on end for cheap. It was a hassle to install TrueNAS on the system, but in the end it worked out and now it works nicely. I don’t have anywhere near as much storage space as I want, but now I’ve got at least most of the important data in at least two places. Once I get a job, I’ll expand the storage and set it up as a proper datahoarding system, and for now I’m just happy to have a server of my own for stashing files that don’t fit on both of my external hard drives.

Oh, as a sidenote, I learned the hard way that mosquitoes that get in your face, glasses and swinging at said mosquitoes is a bad combination. I managed to hurt myself hitting my glasses multiple times and once knocked my glasses half off my face! I’m going to be making a strap for my glasses soon so that next time I smack my glasses instead of a mosquito, they won’t be at risk of falling and breaking. I’ve got the materials picked, but now I need to choose which beads I want to use.

That sidenote aside, let’s talk about DeviantArt for a bit. After weeks of talking with DA’s support, in early June I managed to become the founder (in other words, the top admin) of the literature group I’d been a low-level admin in ever since before Eclipse was forced on everyone and the group’s creator left DA. I was happy to finally get that far, cleaned up the front page like I’d wanted to for a long time and left it there. I was going to do more later on when I’d have more time. However, that was not meant to be. Merely a few days later, on the following Sunday, the group was hacked by trolls who were able to exploit a glitch (or something) on DA that allowed them to request to join the group as co-founders (which also have lots of admin privileges) and since for whatever reason it was a default to automatically accept the join request, they got in and laid waste to the group. Once I’d cleaned up most of the garbage that was spread around the group’s page, I deemed the damage irreparable and requested the group to be closed – a request that was accepted and dealt with some days ago.

Now, in retrospect, I’m glad that I’d just become the founder; the timing meant that I hadn’t gotten to do many changes, which meant that least founder work possible went into that, and I was able to clean the group up and kick the trolls out. Still, I was angry that all the work that had gone into the group over the years was gone – and that I now had one reason less to spend time on DA. Hence, while I’ve made a point to avoid rants, especially angry rants, in my newer posts to keep my profiles looking more professional now that I’m showing my portfolio to potential employers, I decided that this once I’d make a brief vent post on DA. Hopefully it served as a small warning for other group admins to protect their groups from the trolls, and if it didn’t, at least I got it off my chest.

In more positive news, I’ve resumed two projects that have been on hiatus for long: Greenfield‘s editing and Lyokostar 1‘s translation/rework. While it’s been rocky so far and I’ve probably done less than I’d wanted so far, I’ve still made considerable progress with both. That shouldn’t be discounted, no matter how disappointing the results may have been so far.

Next up, we have FFM starting tomorrow. As has become the custom, I’ll be posting my FFM stories here daily. This year, I’ll be working on my story worlds once again, this time with unfilled blanks in mind. What exactly will I write? I don’t know, but hopefully at least Escapism – Levi and Raiyo and Lost in Starlight will receive a bunch of new stories.

Phew! This is probably my longest update in ages – or perhaps ever. At least I don’t think I’ve ever had this much to say and discuss. Thanks for reading so far. Now that I’ve covered everything I wanted to talk about, I’ll show you the Q2 2022 stats.

Q2 2022 stats
Q2 2022
Comparison between Q1 2022 and Q2 2022
Comparison between Q1 2022 and Q2 2022

Now those are some massive drops, aren’t they (although the massive-looking increases with the projects that resumed from hiatus make the whole thing look funny)? Then again, Q1 2022 was absolutely insane especially with The Fate’s Way, so seeing the numbers plummet wouldn’t have been a surprise even if I hadn’t been as busy as I was during Q2.

Now that the statistics have been covered, let’s see how things are going with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 3 of Seeking the Skies is in writing, although it has progressed extremely slowly. All writing is at 2195 days. Jedova’s reference has not seen progress since the previous post. I need to make a comic about Valentine Clanker and lots of other drawings. I’ve been creating data on Scrivener to build a wiki of sorts there so that I can flesh things out for writing, although it hasn’t been progressing at all for a long while since I haven’t had the time and energy to deal with it. Revising is still in a standtill.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 73 is in editing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. I haven’t gotten the chapters waiting for revising revised, but hopefully I’ll be able to work on that in August when I’m done with my urgent coursework and FFM.
  • Off-DA projects: My web coding project is on an indefinite hiatus, but I’ve been working on games for the game courses I need to finish. I should be able to release at least one of them on itch.io next month. I also made a massive multiverse thing for a discontinued project of mine because some AUs of it decided to start plaguing my head so much that they needed to be exorcised by getting written down in one big Twine project. I finished it recently and now it’s sitting in a state that I hopefully won’t have to alter. I don’t expect anyone to be interested in it (frankly, I don’t expect anyone to even read this, so if you’re here, thank you so much for reading), but if you want to hear more, please let me know.
  • Greenfield: I’ve resumed editing and it has progressed… well, not as well as I’d hoped, but fine enough considering the long hiatus. I’m currently working on editing chapter 4. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: Translation has resumed. Altestar 1 is waiting for betareading. The translation/massive reworking of story 7 will commence once my betareader has read Altestar 1 and I’ve released it. References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: I haven’t done anything for this in a good while. Since I haven’t had inspiration or interest for it, I don’t think I’ll be working on it during the summer after all.
  • GamingHabiticaPokémon GO and Pokémon Masters EX keep on going. I’ve also played Persona 5 Royal a lot while Pokémon Legends: Arceus has ended up on a hiatus.
  • Other stuff: The Prose-ject collection, The Journey’s End, was released earlier this month. I didn’t get around to starting my Tribble Month 2020 collection, so that’ll probably be one thing I’ll work on during August. Reading is on a standstill again, although I’m hoping to be able to read some FFM stories during this FFM – I had to remove the remaining backlog of last year from my watch to get some space for this year’s production. I still haven’t gotten started with IDW’s Transformers comics.
  • Personal life: I talked about a big bunch of stuff that’s happened since the last update. I’ve been rather swamped with coursework since I had a slow start with most of it and also sidetracked to the nature course I discussed earlier. I still hope I’ll be able to finish everything I need before July ends.

That’s it for this huge post. Thanks for reading, no matter how much you ended up reading of my walls of text. Take care!

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