A visual novel release and a YouTube video about it – Down the Memory Lane

If you follow me on itch.io, you know that I recently released a visual novel named Down the Memory Lane. Now, I’m super excited to tell you that a YouTuber called BlancoKix has made a video about it. Please check it out!

Currently on art: Post-Tribble Month 2021, Q3 2021 stats

Hi everyone!

It’s been a good while since my last Currently on art update, so it’s once again time for a new one! I was supposed to get this done at the beginning of the month, but my coursework pile decided to collapse on me and I couldn’t find the time before.

So, what’s been up recently? Not so much, aside from Tribble Month and a deepening swamp of coursework. I got my second COVID jab last month – got a fever and a headache, but fortunately they both went away in a day, although they did throw a major wrench into my studies that week – and I’ve got a couple of COVID scares (fortunately, the first scare turned out not to be COVID while the other one I’m still waiting on since I don’t know if I was near the person who tested positive and was at my university’s library at the same time as I was).

It’s been quite a hectic and work-filled month, these last few weeks. I actually wrote a multi-paragraph rant about how my life is currently a chaotic mess where I’m scraping by with the necessary deadlines while neglecting the rest of the things I should get done. I decided to delete that rant, though, since I figured this post is better off without it. In summary, though, the universe has thrown a wrench at most of the plans I’ve made this autumn and partly because of that my schedule, work-life balance and the pile of coursework that shouldn’t be notably bigger than it was last spring are a complete mess. I’ve had a good deal of anxiety about getting stuff done in time and my web coding project is currently standing still and I’m running late on my personal schedules for the independent online courses I’ve taken. And my city’s bad COVID situation and the university turning towards more and more contact teaching despite of multiple exposures on campus during this period aren’t really putting my mind at ease. I’m not worrying about getting sick now that I’ve got my vaccines – although considering how a low fever and a headache put me to the bottom of the bed, it wouldn’t do me any favors right now – but rather what getting quarantined in this situation might do to my mental health. The last time I had to quarantine, I got mild case of cabin fever but this time it could easily be even worse.

So yeah… I can’t say the later half of this quarter has been as kind to me as I’d hoped. Although, if there is one upside to it, it’s the fact that after three years of university studies, I was finally able to pick up Japanese. My vocabulary is very weak currently since most of my efforts have gone to learning grammar and hiraganas, but now that I’ve got an okay-ish grasp on the hiraganas, I can concentrate more on the vocabulary.

I’d say that’s enough about the mess that is my studying life right now. Hopefully by the next Currently on art update or at the very least the next statistic post, I can look back on this and say that things turned out all right and all that jazz. Now, however, onto Tribble Month!

So, Tribble Month. We got the whole month’s prompts aside from most of the challenges on day 1, and I figured I’d try to make it a continuing string of stories, no exceptions, while cycling point of views at each challenge. Well, I definitely did do that. The result, however… at this time, I feel that it fell very flat and is probably quite jumbled at best. I jumped into it without much planning (partly because the unknown challenges dictated a lot about the direction) and ended up running out of steam somewhere in the latter half of the month, which in turn led to a decline in effort spent on the daily stories and thus a decline in quality. I don’t know, maybe it is actually at the very least passable, but in the wake of a flash fiction exhaustion it doesn’t feel that way at all.

I usually don’t put memes on my posts, but this time I’ll make an exception since this one fits how I feel about Tribble Month right now:

Do I regret taking part in TM? Not at all. Do I regret pushing all the way to the end instead of forfeiting? Nah, I would’ve been mad at myself if I had forfeited. Do I want to touch flash fiction (in terms of writing it myself) for another event anytime soon? Hell no. I need a long, long break – especially since who knows when The Gauntlet 2022 comes up! I know I planned to have extempore flash fiction weeks with unused prompts and challenges from FFM 2021, but that’ll have to wait until I’ve recovered from all this flashing and have more time for writing from my studies anyway.

In case you’re interested in statistics, here are the statistics for Tribble Month 2021:

Tribble Month 2021 stats

And because that’s not enough, here are the Q3 2021 stats!

Q3 2021 statistics
Q3 2021 compared to Q2 2021

Well, now what? I won’t be doing much on the creative side aside from a multilingual creative writing course I’m on during this semester since I need to focus on getting my courses done, but I will probably release some of the stuff I’ll do for my courses at some point.

Now, let’s see how things are going with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 1 of Paths is in progress. All writing is at 1939 days. Jedova’s reference has seen quite little progress. 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 good while since I haven’t had much inspiration with EJ. Revising is still in a standtill.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 51 is in writing. This project has seen a good chunk of progress recently. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. I’ve revised chapters 19-23 but for now the revising process in on a standstill. I do hope to revise the Christmas special at the very least before Christmas.
  • Off-DA projects: I started to work on a web coding project but I haven’t gotten far yet due to not having the time and energy.
  • Greenfield: I haven’t edited this much since everything else has taken most of my time and energy. I’m currently working on editing chapter 3. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: On an indefinite hiatus. References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: I haven’t worked on this at all for a long while since I haven’t found the time and enough interest for it.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo, Pokemon GO and Pokémon Masters EX keep on going. I also managed to get my hands on a copy of Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon and I’ve been playing it a lot ever since. I’ve gotten through the story already.
  • Other stuff: I’ve started to work on my FFM 2021 collection, but it’ll be a while before I’ll get it out. Hopefully I’ll get it done before Christmas, though. Reading is mostly still in a standstill on the book side, although I did read a bit of Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to The Force.
  • Personal life: COVID is still going on, as usual, and I’ve got my second COVID jab. My schedules and all are currently a mess, as discussed above, but I’ll have to manage.

That’s all for now Thanks for reading, take care, keep wearing masks and get vaccinated if you haven’t been already!

[Sept21] Tribble Month 30: Found

Theme: Sacrifices.

Optional prompt: It was the rarest of spices due to the fact that harvesters had a 40% fatality rate. by TuesdayNightCompany.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 29: A Trusty Dictionary and ends the storyline.

I was trembling when we docked at Feshural. This trip couldn’t end well.

“So, what’s the big deal about this shipment?” Tymon asked.

“It’s one of the rarest spices because the harvesters have a 40% fatality rate due to plant toxins and local predators,” Myrial explained.

“Yikes,” Kanan remarked.

“Hm… I wonder how I’d do, being immortal.” Tymon scratched his chin.
“Tymon, no,” I whimpered. “Don’t.”

Tymon looked at me. “You alright, Bolotseseg? You’re acting strange.”

“I don’t like this place.”

Myrial hummed. “You can stay on the ship. I’ll handle the interpersonal stuff anyway.”

I feared that it wasn’t going to be enough.

When the last man I wanted to see boarded, my fears were confirmed.

He recognized me instantly. “You.”

Our job was now in jeopardy. They wouldn’t let us handle the spices, not with an escaped spice slave onboard. I could either surrender and suffer or make us lose the job — or something worse.

Myrial looked at me. “Trouble?”

My father spoke up, “She is indeed.”

Myrial turned to him. “Then I must ask you to leave the ship. I’ll handle whatever trouble she brings.”

“No. We will handle it our way. That’s why you’re here.”

“I’m sorry?”

My father grinned. “Did you really think a freelancer ship would be allowed to move Devil’s Tongue? No, you’re here because she is with you.” He turned to me. “No one escapes the spice fields forever.” He lifted a device I knew far too well.

I dashed at him to stop him, but I wasn’t fast enough. Explosions and screams took over the deck. I looked at my dying found family and decided that I would not let my blood family take me alive.

I jumped into the explosions around Tymon and Myrial and everything went black for good.

[Sept21] Tribble Month 29: A Trusty Dictionary

Challenge: Write a 369er and use at least one of these in each section: shoe box, tea cup, goldfish, magic wand, paint, dictionary, treadmill, bouncy house, wrench, peanut.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 28: In the Dark.

I looked at my dictionary to find some words I could use to make myself clearer. I had to get this confession right, and getting it right meant carefully preparing it with my trusty dictionary in hand. Even if it was at night when everyone else was sleeping and the only light I had came from the crescent moon.

I had to get it right, somehow. I had to.

I sighed as I set my dictionary aside. It had served me well during the years of learning the crew’s lingua franca and, perhaps even more importantly, it had served me well as a weapon even after dropping it and throwing it at intruders and other threats had blunted its corners. It was heavier than my heart still.

I had to get the confession right. Tymon had to understand.

I hadn’t expected to need my dictionary after hearing about our next job; I thought that those days were already long-gone and checking words was more about paranoia making me make sure that I did understand correctly — I almost always did — than genuinely not understanding.

When I understood that we were heading near my home, I froze. Suddenly, we were going back there.

Shit. I was going back there.

[Sept21] Tribble Month 28: In the Dark

Theme: In the Dark.

Optional prompt: “Some activities are better done without prying eyes.” by SarcasticCupcake5.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 27: Life Advice.

Shiro grumbled somewhere on the ship when we docked after nightfall and let a hooded stranger in.

“Do you have what I asked for?” the stranger asked Myrial.

As an answer, Myrial opened the coffer. “Here they are.”

The stranger inspected the art supplies for a while. “Excellent. These will make excellent nightly paintings.”

“Why do you want to paint at night? It’s so dark it’s hard to see,” Tymon asked.

The stranger turned to him and grinned, allowing sharp teeth to show from under the hood. “Some activities are better done without prying eyes.”

Tymon nodded and everyone left it at that. We got paid for finishing the haul and left as soon as we could.

I sincerely hope that I will have to never meet that guy again.

[Sept21] Tribble Month 27: Life Advice

Theme: The Tropiest of Tropes.

Optional prompt: The very personification of “hold my beer.” by Mxtress.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 26: Art Supplies.

“And this guy, the very personification of ‘hold my beer’ as he was, handed his beer to me and made the bungee jump like it was nothing.” I rolled my eyes.

“Must’ve been a cool guy to hang out with.” Tymon scratched his chin. “Maybe I should do that too.”

“No!” Bolotseseg said. “Please don’t, Tymon. You could get badly hurt.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it either, even for an immortal,” I remarked as Kuro grumbled next to me. “The guy was absolutely infuriating, latching onto every single challenge he came across. It was fun to dare him to do stupid stuff at first, but it got old. I suggest you don’t annoy your friends with that.”

“Huh. Makes sense.” Tymon nodded. “Thanks, Kanan.”

[Sept21] Tribble Month 26: Art Supplies

Theme: School Stories.

Optional prompt: “I’ve had so many unhinged old women teach me how to oil paint.” by WizardandGalaxy.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 25: Curses.

“What does even make those art supplies so special, aside from being taken from a crypt and some creeps cursing you over getting it?” one of the twins, Hif, asked.

“Are they magic?” the other twin, Umi, added.

“No, they’re normal art supplies. They just happened to belong to a well-known artist… or an artist the person we will deliver them to cared about,” Myrial explained.

“Huh. So anyone can just pick them up and use them?” Tymon asked.

“Yup,” Myrial told.

“Well, as long as it’s not for oil painting, I’m fine with them,” I muttered to my parrots.

“Why’s that?” Tymon asked.

I sighed. “Well, let’s just say that I’ve had so many unhinged old women teach me how to oil paint. And more insanity in the boarding school I went to,” I explained.

“Oomph, boarding schools are the worst,” Hif noted.

“Yup,” Umi seconded. “We’ve seen lots of nutcases there. Wanna swap school stories?”

I shrugged. “Sure, why not?”

[Sept21] Tribble Month 25: Curses

Theme: Curses, Crypts, and Creeps.

Optional prompt: He wiped the ooze from his chin. by SarcasticCupcake5.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 24: Memories of the Lost.

The man who met us at the harbor of the crypt city of Furida wiped ooze from his chin. Shiro chittered; he was probably just as disgusted as I was.

“What’s up with him?” Tymon asked.

“A curse,” the man explained. “Was retrieving this,” he gestured to the coffer he had brought, “from a crypt when some creeps attacked me from behind. Been dripping this sludge since then.”

“How do you get rid of that?” Bolotseseg asked.

“Can you even get rid of that curse?” Myrial asked.

The man shifted. “My employer’s talking with some curse-breakers here. Might have to go to Livergreen if they can’t help.”

“I hope yours can be broken.” Myrial grimaced. “I know a few things about unbreakable curses.”

The man struggled for words for a moment before pointing at Myrial, asking, “Cursed?”

Myrial nodded. “I can’t be referred to with pronouns by anyone else except myself, and even then just with I.” Our captain shrugged. “I’ve come to accept it as a punishment for what happened.”

So that’s why it was so weird to talk about Myrial at the beginning.

“Huh. That explains.” The man scratched his chin and wiped the ooze that stuck to his fingers to a handkerchief. “Hope for the best.” He handed the money to Myrial. “Best of sails to you.”

Myrial nodded, accepting the money. “Thank you. Best of all to you.”

[Sept21] Tribble Month 24: Memories of the Lost

Theme: The Best Laid Plans.

Optional prompt: The other survivors turned to her for leadership, not recognizing her grief. by CassidyPeterson.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 23: A Would-Be Contract.

I walked to Myrial’s quarters to report that the ship was functioning and ready to depart. However, when I got there, I noticed my captain looking at old photos I had seen only once before: photos of the old crew, Heyiadl just like Myrial.

I don’t know what happened to that crew for things to go so bad; Myrial has never talked about it. I’m not even certain if anyone even recognized the grief losing the crew like that brought. I know that there were survivors who turned to Myrial for leadership, but where they went or if they even survived all the way to the end, I’m not sure.

I cleared my throat.

Myrial jumped and, upon seeing me, slammed the album shut. “Kanan. Anything to report?”

“All systems clear. We’re ready to depart,” I reported.

Myrial smiled as if unburdened by the memories brought up by lost fellows. “Excellent. I now know where we’re going next.”

Oh. So that’s why Kuro was grumbling outside earlier. She probably had a feeling that this was not the best-laid plan Myrial had come up with.

[Sept21] Tribble Month 23: A Would-Be Contract

Theme: Massive Internal Dialogue.

Optional prompt: Let me just start by saying, I am a fraud. by SpearHawk.

This is a continuation to [Sept21] Tribble Month 22: Moving Forward.

Kuro, Shiro and I watched as Myrial tore our would-be contractor a new one.

“Well? What is your explanation for this garbage?!” Myrial yelled.

The would-be contractor shriveled and started, “Let me just start by saying, I am a fraud.”

“Tell us what we don’t already know,” Myrial scoffed.

When the yammering started, I zoned out. My parrots would let me know if there was something important to be known.

How’s Ingolf doing?

Why do you even care? He tried to kill your crewmate, and definitely seemed unhinged when it all came undone.

He was nice to me, Shiro and Kuro, y’know.

Well, you weren’t his target, were you?

No, I guess not. Still, Myrial put him through quite the wringer.

As was written in the contract which he knowingly broke.

Yeah… Still, I-

Shiro cawed. I shook myself out of the zone I had ended up into and started paying attention. The would-be contractor was lying on the deck — dead or unconscious, I didn’t know which — and Myrial was giving out orders.

Kuro spoke up, “Ah shit.”

Shiro continued, “Here we go again.”

I affirmed, “Ah shit, here we go again indeed.”