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!

Currently on art: Post-FFM 2021, the upcoming studying year, two released games

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since the previous Currently on art update, so it’s time to write and post another one!

I was actually supposed to write this update (and do a bunch of other things) earlier this week, but I ended up getting sick, which threw a major wrench in all of my plans. Fortunately, it’s not COVID, but my productivity did take a major hit since I didn’t feel up for working on most of the things. Plus, I’m staying indoors basically in quarantine until I’ve gotten better to avoid infecting anyone else and causing unnecessary COVID tests, so I haven’t been able to run the errands I was supposed to.

In other news, FFM 2021 came and went. It was a blast even though there was a challenge or two that brought me a good bunch of headache. The FFM Discord channel also brought its own fun into the mix, as at some point during the month an AI that generates images based on prompts was shared there and mostly cursed mayhem ensued.

This year, the story I want to highlight is my favorite, A Fake News Cake from day 15. I did debate between highlighting it and day 17’s story, A Dark Heart, but since the FFM version of the latter is a majorly cut one, I decided to give the spotlight to A Fake News Cake. The full version of A Dark Heart will be in the upcoming FFM 2021 collection, which will come sometime during the autumn. When exactly, I’m not sure; I’m planning to start working on it in early September, but since my studies are starting around the same time, I may have to postpone that if the initial workload turns out too big.

Speaking of my studies, I have news: a few days into FFM, I managed to finish my last bachelor’s degree course and my degree was approved earlier this month. I’ll be beginning my Master’s degree studies now. Woo! I’ll most likely spend most of my studying time of this semester at home since my city’s COVID situation has once again taken a turn for worse and I suspect that most, if not all, of my courses will be remote ones. Hopefully by the time the spring semester begins, the situation has become so good that we can finally get back to normal, what with more people getting fully vaccinated. At least I want to hold onto the hope that we’ll be able to celebrate May Day like we used to before the pandemic next year and that by the time I get my Master’s degree, things will be fully normal again.

Well, we’ll see how things are closer to the end of the year. I hope the situation will be far better by then. While I wait for that, I’ll try to have a healthier work/life balance and actually allocate time for self-care and personal projects. Maybe this time at least a part of it will stick and I’ll start to lead a more organized life instead of the semi-organized chaos that life has been especially ever since the pandemic hit my country.

In the meantime, instead of working on the web programming project I was supposed to start, I found myself bitten by a Transformers Prime inspiration bug and went on a long-needed revising spree with The Fate’s Way and, at the same time, migrated it to Archive of Our Own from FanFiction.Net since I got frustrated with the appearance of pop-up ads on FFN and decided that TFW, much like Lyokostar 1, can find a better and more organized home on AO3. As a sidenote, before anyone mentions Adblock, I know it’s an option, but I’m of the opinion that if a site gets obnoxious enough with its ads that I’d need it to use Adblock, I’m better off with a competitor (if one exists, which unfortunately isn’t the case with YouTube). Anyways, my TFW revising spree was going on surprisingly well until I got sick, which ground the whole thing to a halt. I’ll be resuming it once I’ve well enough to be certain that my less-than-optimal state won’t affect the quality of the revisions negatively. I’ll probably begin the web programming project once I’ve gotten better AND gotten a functioning Linux installed on my laptop, whether it’s Kubuntu (or some other Ubuntu derivative) or some other distribution.

Oh, and I also made two game jam games during FFM with a friend of mine: Well, Well, Well, a Twine game where you end up into a well and have to get out through underground tunnels, and Campfire Tales, a 1000-word visual novel made with Ren’Py where you can hear a story about ghosts, garlic bread or dragons. I handled writing, audio and a notable part of the coding, while my friend nofuu did suberb art for both games. Please do check them out; they’re both free to play!

Now that what’s happened since the previous post has been discussed, here’s the FFM 2021 statistics!

FFM 2021 statistics

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

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 9 of Aces is in progress. All writing is at 1881 days. Jedova’s reference has seen quite little progress, although I did get to move to back view’s lineart. 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 48 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’ve revised chapters 1-18 and the halloween special and posted the revised versions on Archive of Our Own as the definitive edition, while the FFN version has been abandoned and now directs any prospecting readers to AO3. I’ve got the revised versions of chapters 19 and 20 waiting for alphareading, but that’ll have to wait until I’ve healed and can put out the best versions of the chapter I currently can.
  • Off-DA projects: Nothing has happened here.
  • Greenfield: I haven’t edited this much since FFM and TFW‘s revising have taken higher priority (and interest). I’m currently working on editing chapter 3. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 has been put on a hiatus because I can’t deal with the shitty writing that’s the current original version right now. It’ll definitely be a while before I tackle Altestar 2‘s translation. I’ve got some parts and Megastar 6 still unreleased because I haven’t gotten around to doing it; they’ll appear online at some point. The monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish are on a hiatus because nobody cares. 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’ve also returned to playing Transformers: War for Cybertron, but more than that I’ve been playing Ghost of Thushima.
  • Other stuff: I’ve got a new FFM reading backlog to go through during the following months. I’m taking a break from making collections. 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. I made two games during FFM with a friend (Well, Well, Well and Campfire Tales). I should get back to video editing.
  • Personal life: COVID is still going on, as usual. I’ve gotten my Bachelor’s degree and my first COVID vaccine dose, plus I’ve gotten through FFM and two game jams. The new studying year and my Master’s degree’s studies are starting soon.

I’d say that’s all for this update. Thanks for reading, take care, keep wearing masks and get vaccinated!

Currently on art: Q2 stats, Hunting Inklings is out, FFM 2021 is coming!

Hi everyone!

It’s time for yet another Currently on art update! This time, I have multiple things to discuss: Q2 stats (wait, this year is already 50% done?), my (for now) last FFM collection, the next FFM and what’s coming next.

Let’s start with the collection. My FFM 2020 collection, titled Hunting Inklings, is, after speedrunning the process of making it in a few days, now out just in time for the next FFM. You can get it for free here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1092060

And speaking of FFM, the next iteration is already less than 24 hour away! Just like last year, I will be posting my stories here each day. I will also be taking part in two game jams during July, so my next Currently on art post will discuss them in addition to FFM. I don’t have much planned for August yet, but I believe I will let the dust from FFM settle and focus on web programming. I might also do some planning for some non-FFM collections if I feel like it, but I won’t work on them in full before I’ve got the FFM 2021 collection finished and released. I’ll also have to prepare for beginning my master’s degree studies in September since I’m now very close to getting my bachelor’s degree, so there’s that for August as well. No rest for the wicked!

Next up, we have Q2 stats. It’s a mixed bag; some projects – Exceptional Jedi and The Fate’s Way – got better progress than in Q1, but others suffered even more from the workload from the courses. Hopefully once I have my bachelor’s courses done, I can focus on the other projects better as well.

Q2 2021

Q1 2021 compared to Q2 2021

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

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 7 of Aces is in progress. All writing is at 1830 days. Jedova’s reference has seen quite little progress, but I believe I’ll be able to work on some other view’s lineart soon. 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. It hasn’t been progressing at all recently, though – all the work that went into that was simply making the project (as well as other projects that are still in use) work with Scrivener 3 completely. Revising is still in a standtill.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 45 is in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Revising needs to be done.
  • Off-DA projects: I’ve been working on my FFM collections and gotten their backlog dealt with. That’s all.
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this much. I’m currently working on editing chapter 3. Read more about the project here. Updating Scrivener to version 3 changed the wordcount system (1.9 counted words with a hyphen as multiple words, 3 doesn’t), although its impact to Greenfield was negligible.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 hasn’t progressed: Part 10 of story 6 is still waiting for betareading. I’m planning to betaread (or should I say alpharead?) it today and send the betaread version to my betareader so that I can begin working on Megastar 6 tomorrow. The monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish are on a hiatus because nobody cares. References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: I haven’t worked on this at all since the previous Current on art post.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo, Pokemon GO and Pokémon Masters EX keep on going. I’ve played through Subnautica Below Zero, Indecision, Evoland and Mission in Snowdriftland – Snowlogue. In addition to this, I’ve finished Wildfire,which I’m now playing on New Game+.
  • Other stuff: I’ve dealt with my FFM and Tribble Month reading backlogs, although I still have a few unrelated things to read. I’ve finished working on my backlog of FFM collections and will be taking a break from making collections. Reading is mostly still in a standstill on the book side, although I did read Introduction to Practical Demonology: A Weird Schoolbook by Boat of Bees, which I backed up on Kickstarter earlier this year. I haven’t worked on anything on Unity ever since Bad Feather Day, but I will most likely return to Unity in July during a game jam and make something with Ren’Py for another. I should get back to video editing.
  • Personal life: I’ve been busy with my last two online courses I need for my bachelor’s degree, and right now I’m very close to being done with the last one. COVID is still going on, as usual. I will be getting my first vaccine dose soon, which is a plus. I will take part in FFM during July, of course, and in a couple of game jams as well.

That’s all for this update. Thanks for reading, take care and remember to get vaccinated when you can!

Currently on art: Q1 2021 stats, The One With Delirium and Bananawriter out now, The Gauntlet results

Hi everyone!

It’s hard to believe that a quarter of this year has gone by, yet here we are, having April Fool’s Day 2021. Time has been speeding recently, or maybe I just haven’t surfaced from my drowning-in-coursework periods as often as before. In any case, I’ve got a lot to talk about, so this’ll be a long post.

Let’s start with the shortest topic: My third FFM collection, The One With Delirium, is finally finished and released! I’m already working on the next one – the one that includes the stories included in The Ruminations of a Multiheaded Monster, so that’ll definitely be better than the previous three installments in the series – although with the way I’m drowning in work right now I can’t promise I’ll get it done before summer.

In addition to that, my April Fool’s project (one that I meant to do for April Fool’s 2020 but mostly finished last fall due to a severe lack of time a year ago) is now out. What’s my April Fool’s project, you ask?

It’s Bananawriter, a command line application that, by default, writes 55 bananas on the command prompt/terminal/(whatever the command line tool in on your OS) when told to just write. It can do other things with words, such as write a specified number of specific words in a randomized order, as well! You can get it here: https://github.com/WindySilver/Bananawriter/releases/tag/v1.0

Yes, this is very much inspired by Damon L. Wakes’s Banana Stories (the programmer part of me saw a fun little automization program idea in them) and was meant to be done and released before this AI post. Better late than never, I guess? It’s also released under the GPL 3.0 license, so it may be used both for private and commercial use. I hope at least someone finds some fun in messing with it!

Speaking of the overlord of banana stories, he has already posted his own April Fool’s project, Project Ptocheia. Go check it out as well!

The second topic of the day is The Gauntlet 2021, which I took on as has become the custom. Usually, that competition garners tens of submissions (last year’s total was 73 as far as I’ve heard), but this year the total was only 18, and I was the only one who managed to churn out all 9 stories. Partly due to this fact, I found myself on the first place and with a new title to add to my growing list: Ironside.

It’s been nearly a month since the results came out, and I’m still kind of coming to grips with the fact that I somehow pulled off the nearly impossible and placed in the first place. Honestly, I’d only dared to dream of getting to top 5 someday, because the competition is super tough; I’ve previously placed 8th, 9th and 6th (in that order, between 2017 and 2019). I didn’t really enter to win anything, either. I was just doing it because it’s The Gauntlet and its siren call has proven irresistible each year it has been organized, something that has been a trend with pretty much any and every notable flash fiction event I’ve come across ever since I first took part in Flash Fiction Month in 2015 and got cursed to keep doing it until the end of time. It doesn’t help that the amount of competition was, if I may be brutally honest, underwhelming, and a big part of my victory came from brute-forcing my way through – as far as I can see, it appears that no one else made it past 2 stories.

On the other hand, this, just like my previous improvement in placing in The Gauntlet in 2019, is also a testament to the improvement of my skills during the last two FFMs; during both of them, I reached a level-up that has proven critical to my achievements. On October 13th 2019, I received my first Daily Deviation for The Ultimate Prank, a meticulously honed follow-up to one of my FFM 2019 stories. On March 22nd, I received my second Daily Deviation, this time for my third Gauntlet story, Chosen By The Mirai. Funnily enough, it was the only week in ages (if ever) during which I have visited DA only once in a week; I spent most of that week on a crunch for the game project course I’m taking – we needed to get what we wanted on a prototype for testing done – so a lot of my time and energy went there, which led to me skipping Wednesday’s DA visit. Anyway, I digress. I might be able to write a more comprehensive post on the course once it’s over and I have the whole picture of it.

What I’m getting at is that although the lack of competition was a major part in my unexpected rise to the first place, I also have accumulated skills that allowed me to earn my victory with more than just churning out stories that simply fit the challenge criteria. Those skills are a part of why I can’t help feeling a little disappointed in the competition that I faced; I wanted to test my skills against the best of the competitors and see how far I could get, who I could defeat. Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the situation, and apparently it has been a trend that literature competitions on DA have gotten less participants recently. A part of it is, understandably, most likely the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, but a part of the blame is most likely on Eclipse, which has pushed people to leave the platform either partly or completely.

I dare say that the lack of activity also shows between my two DD stories: The Ultimate Prank, although not directly connected to any event, received a lot of comments on the day it got its DD while The Gauntlet’s Chosen By The Mirai only got one. Honestly, it doesn’t help at all that the Daily Deviations page is hidden behind a sidebar that doesn’t even appear automatically on Deviation and Watch pages – I had to spend some time looking for it when I couldn’t find it directly on the Home page.

In any case, although it is now a far cry from the site-wide showcase that it used to be before Eclipse, I’m grateful that someone deemed my story worthy of Daily Deviation.

I don’t know what will happen to DA and its events in the following months – the progress of Eclipse’s improvement has been minimal as far as I’ve been able to see (whenever I haven’t been too busy getting blinded by screaming-white pop-up windows) – so I will stay on the lookout and hope for the best.

Anyway, I think I’ve written enough about The Gauntlet and the saddening state of the platform that’s made me the artist I am today. It’s time to move on to Q1 2021 stats! Not that they’re anything as exciting as The Gauntlet’s results; it’s mostly a decline in numbers as I have been far too busy with coursework to do much art-wise (especially Greenfield and drawing projects have suffered). Between the game project course, working on my bachelor’s thesis and trying to churn out the rest of the courses I need done in order to get my bachelor’s degree next fall at the latest, I haven’t had much time and energy for art. The trend will most likely be the same during this quarter as well since I’m doing crunches to get my thesis done, and then I’ll have to spend the rest of the spring and summer getting those courses finished.

In any case, have a look at the statistics!

Q1 2021
Q4 2020 compared to Q1 2021

Now, onto how things are going with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: I’m writing a oneshot, New Beginnings: Way of the Force. All writing is at 1740 days. Jedova’s reference has been at a standstill most of the time because more often than not I haven’t found the time to work on it. 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. It hasn’t been progressing at all recently, though. Revising is still in a standtill.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 43 is in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Revising needs to be done.
  • Off-DA projects: Nothing of note happening right now aside from the game project course.
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this much. I’m currently working on editing chapter 3. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 10 of story 6 is both in rebuilding and translation. The monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish are on a hiatus because nobody cares. References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: Nothing has happened for months.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo, Pokemon GO and Pokémon Masters EX keep on going. I also got Wildfire as part of Humble Choice and I’ve played it somewhat. It’s been fun, although recently I haven’t found the time for it. Oh, and I also got into Among Us, although I don’t think I’ll be playing it again for some time. And I spent one evening playing through Life is Strange: Before The Storm‘s third episode since I realized I hadn’t finished it (in fact, the last time I played it was in summer 2018, as in before I moved from home lol), although I still need to play through its bonus episode someday. I’m hoping to be able to play Subnautica: Below Zero during my Easter break since it’s going to be released out of Early Access in May.
  • Other stuff: TommyGK is organizing a Pokémon and Digimon charity collab on DeviantArt again and I made and posted my entry for it this week. I’m still badly behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. I’m working on my fourth FFM collection. Reading is still in a standstill on the book side since I’ve spent my reading time online, and after last month’s failure to change the fact I’ve given up. I think I’ll be able to pick up the remaining Death Note volumes and read them in the summer. I’ve been doing stuff on Unity because of my game project course and I’ve learned a ton of stuff. I should get back to video editing since now I have even more footage to be edited.
  • Personal life: Aside from winning The Gauntlet, I’m drowning in studies as I’m trying to finish my bachelor’s degree during 2021, so there isn’t much to tell. COVID is still going on and I’ll continue waiting for the vaccine; it’s starting to be likely that I’ll get my degree before I have a proper reason to go to the campus again.

That’s all for this post. Thanks for reading and, as always, take care!

Currently on art: Mid-quarter update

Hi everyone!

It’s been half a quarter since the last time I posted an update, so I figured it’s time to write a new one now. There isn’t that much to say, though; aside from powering through The Gauntlet (as is evident from the posts I made during the last weeks), art has been terribly slow. Now that I’m working on finishing my bachelor’s degree, studies have eaten an even bigger amount of my time and energy, so art-wise things are either slower than a snail or at a standstill (the notable standstill ones being my current drawing project and Lyokostar 1, which is stuck waiting for betareading that I don’t have the energy to do).

As for life outside of customary drowning in studies, it’s been mostly fine aside from the fact that my city had a COVID bomb go off last month when a huge group of people gathered together in a restaurant and there happened to be someone who had the virus. The number of people who got quarantined because of the chains that that one person in that one gathering caused was pretty massive compared to the number of people who were there, and there was a huge number of people who got symptoms and tested positive and stuff.

So yeah… Use a mask (properly!), do social distancing, don’t go into big gatherings, all that jazz. Those instructions are there for a reason.

Honestly, this is probably going to be one of my shortest Currently on art updates ever. I just don’t have much to say. I don’t do much else than work on my bachelor’s thesis, the game project I’m working on for a project course and my other courses these days, haha.

Well, I suppose it’s time to look into how things are going with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 20 of The Strength of Mind is in writing. All writing is at 1697 days. Jedova’s reference is mostly at a standstill because more often than not I don’t find the time to work on it. 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. It hasn’t been progressing at all recently, though. Revising is still in a standtill.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 42 is still in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Revising needs to be done.
  • Off-DA projects: Nothing of note happening right now aside from the game project course.
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this at all. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 8 of story 6 is waiting for betareading, but is likely to be on a standstill for a while. The monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish are on a hiatus because nobody cares. References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: Nothing has happened for a good while.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo, Pokemon GO and now Pokémon Masters EX keep on going. I also got Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun recently and so far I’m loving it, although I don’t have much time to play.
  • Other stuff: I took on and successfully finished The Gauntlet! Woo! I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. Because the number of FFM and Tribble Month stories I had on my TBR list turned out to be insurmountable, I cut most of it away. I will read the ones that remain, though, once I’m done with reading the stories of other Gauntlet participants. I’m working on my third FFM collection but its progress has ground to a halt because of my studies. I hope I will be able to finish it during the spring at the latest, though. Reading is still in a standstill on the book side since I’ve spent my reading time on Archive of Our Own, but I hope to change that during this month. I’m back at doing stuff on Unity (and I’ve done a bit with Blender too) because of my game project course. I should get back to video editing since I have so much footage to be edited.
  • Personal life: I’m drowning in studies as I’m trying to finish my bachelor’s degree during 2021, so there isn’t much to tell. COVID is still going on and I’ll continue waiting for the vaccine.

I suppose that’s all for now. Take care everyone and remember to stay safe!

Currently on art: Q4 2020 – onwards to 2021!

Happy New Year everyone!

I wrote this during 31st December, 2020 and decided that it would be fitting to schedule it to one minute before midnight. Hence, chances are that when you do read this, it’s already 2021 in your part of the world – that’s fine, though! Enjoy the new, hopefully better year!

Well then. Buckle up; this is going to be a long, long post.

It’s been quite the year, this first one of the decade of 2020. Had I been told what would would end up happening, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. Yet here we are, three quarters in with the COVID19 pandemic, although since the vaccines are spreading already, I’m feeling hopeful about next year.

Honestly, this year has been too slow yet oddly fast, despite of everything. Things have been going pretty slow but I can’t help asking, “wait, it’s over already?” Funny, right? Anyway, I’m glad that it’s almost over now and we can look towards the new year of 2021, a year of hope.

It’s hard to come up with a proper list of major things that happened this year alongside COVID19 pandemic coming, but such a list does include DeviantArt’s Eclipse becoming permanent, which marked my move to WordPress, ending two projects and starting a new one, finishing Greenfield‘s first book’s first draft and starting to edit it, getting some games done, trying my hand at podcasts and finally starting to work on my FFM collections. A lot has changed and a lot is on hold or in progress for now, but all in all, despite the hardships in both personal life and academic life, I’m fine with how far I got. This is a good stepping stone for continuing onwards.

This year has been a year of unexpected learning and growth. We’ve all had to learn to adapt to a sudden, drastic change in our lives and learn how to do work, studies and other things remotely. We’ve missed out on many things, let it be events, normal gatherings, traveling or something else. It sucks, but you know what? It’s okay. We’ve gotten through tough times and now there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve got hope for returning to normal – a normal where we can once again enjoy the things we’ve missed out on this year – now. How long will it take? I don’t know, but then again I don’t know when in 2021 I’ll get my bachelor’s degree done either, so I think it’s fine. Nevertheless, I feel hopeful that this mess ends during 2021.

What is the biggest lesson I learned this year? I really don’t know. As a writer, one of the FFM challenges made me learn how to improve my skills at “show, don’t tell”; as a student I learned to cope with a failed exam (something I had never encountered before this spring) and figured out how to deal with failed courses; as a person, I learned to deal with the sudden and continuous social distancing; as a game developer, I learned to use Twine and a huge bunch of useful things during my game courses during the autumn semester.

Perhaps there is no single biggest lesson, but a group of major ones: these ones, each of them meaningful to different aspects of me.

It has been a tough year, but if there is one thing I’d like you to get out of my ramblings, it’s this:

Have hope.

Today, on the last day of this year, I faced a daunting challenge: retaking an exam I had failed on my first try, an exam of the very same format that caused me my first fails during the spring. I already had a different course lined up to compensate for the potential failure, so I prepared for the retake and decided to do it on the last day of this year to see if it’d end in a victory or an expected loss.

Against all my expectations, I was able to pass the exam and end this year with a bang I had not seen coming, just dreamed about.

So, even if things look bad, have hope. You can pull through. You just need to keep going.

Keep fighting, brave human! Or if a non-human happens to read this: keep fighting, brave fellow sentient being!

Back on DeviantArt, I had a habit of putting the next year’s to-do in the last Currently on art journal of the year and look through the previous one. It is a tradition I want to continue to see where I was 12 months ago and where those months have led me. Therefore, let’s see how ambition I had a year ago and how much fell flat like a certain Project Moonshot did. The ones struck through are done, while underlined are in progress. Bolded words are comments.

  • Studying
  • Revising all stuff I have yet to revise In progress
  • Working on my projects
  • Doing more references – hopefully including remakes that are direly needed I’ve got several references done this year and the other one of the direly needed remakes is in progress
  • Finishing the comic I’m working on
  • Finishing artwork currently standing by
  • Studying
  • Reading
  • Posting art I haven’t yet posted
  • Ending Behind Armada and putting its trilogy on hiatus until further notice
  • Losing some weight and getting into a better shape would be healthy Eh, I’m not sure how to address this. I did lose weight during the year, but recently I haven’t worked out at all and I’m pretty sure I’ve put up weight during the Christmas holiday… Let’s try this again next year with some proper scheduling, shall we? :’D
  • Publishing my FFM collections Two out of six done and the third one is in progress!
  • Editing and posting speedpaints that are still lying inside my hard drive I posted some but since then it has been on a standstill. I did work on a video essay for a course, though, so I didn’t stay away from editing completely during the autumn semester!
  • Studying
  • Looking into stuff like Patreon I don’t even remember why I was thinking about this last year, although Patreon did come across my mind recently. Odd…
  • Studying
  • Less procrastination, more Habitica I did lessen the amount of procrastination, but I could do better. Hence, I will put this to the 2021 to-do as well.
  • Studying

Okay, that does look pretty good. I’ve got most of the things done.

Then, what next year?

  • Studying
  • Revising stuff
  • Scheduling my life better
  • Getting the rest of my FFM collections done and published
  • Getting my Prose-ject and Tribble Month collections done and published
  • Studying
  • Trying to get a summer job
  • Working on my projects
  • Getting at least a quarter of Greenfield‘s first book’s editing round 1 done
  • Less procrastination, more Habitica
  • Studying
  • Finishing my bachelor’s degree
  • Losing some weight and getting into a better shape
  • Tackling my speedpaint footage pile
  • Tackling my TBR pile even harder
  • Studying
  • Playing some games I’ve got on my TBP pile
  • Studying a lot if I do not get a job for the next studying year
  • Studying a little if I do get a job for the next studying year
  • Honestly? Studying
  • Watching videos, series and movies in my TBW piles
  • Taking part in The Gauntlet (Coming up in January!)
  • Taking part in at least Flash Fiction Month, perhaps Tribble Month and/or Prose-ject

I think that isn’t too ambitious. I’ve got goals that are (hopefully) achievable and I will work towards them during the next year.

I suppose I’ve talked long enough about all this stuff. Let’s focus on art and talk statistics; since this is the second year I’ve been doing them, I whipped up a yearly comparison infograph as well. Therefore, you’ll get the see Q4 2020, the quarterly comparison, the whole of 2020 and the yearly comparison. I must admit that while these take a good bunch of work even now that I’ve gotten a spreadsheet to (mostly) automate the math side, the results are interesting to look at. Definitely worth it.

Now, let’s look into what’s going on right now, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 16 of The Strength of Mind is in editing. All writing is at 1649 days. I’ve finished remaking Arya’s reference, so now I’m working on remaking Jedova’s one. 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. It’s been progressing hardly at all recently, but it’s looking fine; I’ve got a lot of written down. Revising is still in a standtill.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 42 is in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Revising needs to be done.
  • Off-DA projects: Making and releasing a prototype of Project Moonshot, finishing and releasing Ther Person At The Door, now working on the third one!
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this much, but content-wise it keeps getting better whenever I do work on it. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 8 of story 6 is translation. The monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish are on a hiatus because nobody cares. References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: To celebrate N making his first game appearance ever since Black 2/White 2 came out (which was 8 whopping years ago) in Pokémon Masters EX, I got around to posting his debut in A Wandering Aura. I’m already working on more stuff to get to some parts I really want to write, but otherwise not much on the editing and posting side.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo, Pokemon GO and now Pokémon Masters EX (due to the aforementioned N appearance) keep on going but otherwise I haven’t played much due to lack of time. The last one on the list has me hooked with the story, I must admit.
  • Other stuff: I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. Due to being busy and tired, I haven’t even been reading FFM or Tribble Month stories for some time, so things don’t look good in my watch. I’m not sure what I even want to do about it, so for now I’m letting the stories sit there until I figure out what’s the best course of action. I’m working on my third FFM collection. Reading is still in a standstill on the book side since I’ve spent my reading time on Archive of Our Own, but I hope to change that soon. I’ll have a break from Unity for a while, although I’m quite likely to return to it soon because of a course. I should get back to video editing since I have so much footage to be edited.
  • Personal life: Studying, studying and studying in addition to the Christmas “holiday”. I got through the tough online course somehow and now I can focus on the spring semester with a little lighter load. I watched through The Mandalorian and a short anime called Girls und Panzer (it was surprisingly good) and now it’s probably time to look into resuming The Clone Wars.

I think this is the best time to end this long post. Thank you so much for reading all the way here. I wish you a better year! Take care and remember, no matter how bad things look, have hope.

Currently on art: Modern Problem out now and other releases

It’s time for a Currently on art update! This time, I have yet another announcement to make!

As you know if you have followed my posts, I have released two games on itch.io recently, MathQuiz and Against Procrastination. I don’t have much to say about them now that they’ve been out for a while, but they are noteworthy enough to be mentioned here. The bigger thing, however, is my first book release, made under the pen name N. WS. Jokela!

My collection compiled of publishable FFM 2015, Flash Prompt and Flash Fiction Day 2016, 2018 and 2019 stories, Modern Problem, is out now as a free ebook on Smashwords! While the stories are the lowest quality I have to offer out of my FFM stories, I hope you take a look!

In other news, I’m working on a new game as a part of a month-long game jam, Game Off 2020. My game, Project Moonshot, is a story-heavy walking simulator where you have to gather text files and figure out what happened in the abandoned research facility you woke up in. I’ve got the minimum of the text files I want to include in the prototype version I’ll submit for the jam and the map is coming along well, so expect to get something playable by the end of the month! I will work on the project more and flesh it out further especially in terms of the number of text files after the game jam during the course of this studying year as well!

Aside from those, not much has been going on recently. I’m constantly swamped up with coursework, stuck inside all day long since I don’t have many reasons to go outside especially now that it’s getting cold. The only reasons I have gotten out recently (aside from going shopping yesterday to see if I could find Christmas presents for my family) have been grocery shopping, taking the trash out and playing Pokémon GO. My university decided to extend their COVID restrictions to mid-March 2021 (can’t believe it’ll be a year since this mess started here by then), so I’m starting to suspect that I might get my bachelor’s degree out before I’ll have a studying-related reason to go to campus. I’m trying to get some humor out of it, but between combatting cabin fever and plain frustration that I should avoid doing normal (but unnecessary-for-survival) stuff like shopping at flea markets it’s starting to get more tiresome than anything else. Sure, if I put a mask on, I could go pretty much anywhere I wanted to but I don’t want to use them unless necessary; those things were a bit expensive when I bought them, not to mention that it’s better for the environment to use as few of them as possible.

In any case, I must admit that getting out to see other environments than grocery stores and the apartment building’s walls did do me good yesterday, although I also had to note that I’ve gone even more out of shape than before recently – oops. I should probably get hold of myself and start working out with Wii Fit again. Making some amazing finds that I’m still stoked about at a flea market and getting some good pizza (I finally got some recommendations about good pizzerias in my area after two years of procrastination on asking my fellow students) was a huge bonus too!

Oh, and speaking of environmental things, earlier this month I took part in a training session on zero waste which was aimed at students. It was super interesting and informative, so I’ve looked into what my boyfriend and I could do better to decrease the amount of waste we produce. Turns out we’re already doing pretty well since I’m a keen recycler! A very important and inspirational bit that I learned from the training was that you don’t have to be perfect and every little bit helps as long as you’re doing something to decrease the amount of waste you produce.

I can’t think of anything else to say, really. Like I said, it’s been pretty uneventful aside from releasing games and an FFM collection.

Therefore, it’s time to see what’s up with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapters 5 and 6 of The Strength of Mind are in editing. I couldn’t stop writing when I started working on chapter 5, so I wrote the first draft of both it and chapter 6 in one day. All writing is at 1603 days. Remaking Arya’s reference is nearing its end, so I will soon be able to start working on remaking Jedova’s one. 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. It’s been progressing slowly recently, but it’s looking okay. Revising has gone back to standstill due to studies taking up too much time and energy.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 41 is still in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Revising needs to be done.
  • Off-DA projects: Releasing MathQuiz, making and releasing Against Procrastination, finishing and releasing Modern Problem. Now it’s time to work on the next FFM collection! I’m also working on a game jam project, Project Moonshot, which I will have a playable prototype of released by the end of November.
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this much, although I have finished editing the first chapter and I also got it to its wordcount target, which is cool. The story went onto pretty different rails while editing, but definitely on far better rails! Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 7 of story 6 is in rebuilding and translation. I’m writing monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish (except that I haven’t done that for a couple of months because I don’t have the energy and I’m pretty sure that no one cares anyway). References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: Little progress has been made on the posting side, although I have gotten some decent progress on my end. I just haven’t gotten around to posting anything since I’m pretty sure no one cares.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo and Pokemon GO keep on going but otherwise I haven’t played much due to lack of time.
  • Other stuff: I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. Due to being busy and tired, I haven’t even been reading FFM or Tribble Month stories for some time, so things don’t look good in my watch. I’m not sure what I even want to do about it, so for now I’m letting the stories sit there until I figure out what’s the best course of action. Since I got my fist FFM collection out, I’ll start working on the second one now. Reading has halted to a standstill on the book side as well and for now, it’s probably going to continue like that. I got back to Unity after learning to do lots of stuff on Twine before the game jam I’m taking part in as I decided to use that. I should get back to video editing since I have so much footage to be edited.
  • Personal life: Studying, studying and studying. My timetable management experiment, which has taken the form of simulating a normal university day, has given out mixed results because I haven’t fully stuck with it most of the time. However, my most urgent online course is progressing well now since I had to count how many exercises I need to do in one day to get everything done in time, and so far I’ve been well ahead of he schedule. I hope it’ll stay that way as well. Oh, and I’ve also watched The Mandalorian and am now following it as new episodes come out. It’s even better than I expected!

I suppose that’s all for this post. Stay safe and well and take care, as usual!

Currently on art: Q3 2020 stats, something ended and something new

Hello everyone!

Q3 2020 is now over. It’s hard to believe three thirds of this horrible year have already passed and we have only one left to go! The first Tribble Month ever is also over, and while I had fun and got some good stories written, I’m suuuuuuuper glad that it’s over. I started to run out of steam and ideas during the second half, so I’m certainly not into the idea of doing any more months of flash fiction this year. With Prose-ject in June, Flash Fiction Month in July and Tribble Month in September, I spent a quarter of this year writing daily flash fiction!

Is that way too much flashfing? Probably. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

Anyway, I’d say that’s enough about flash ficcing for a while. I need a break from it.

As the second topic of this update, I want to discuss two of my fanfiction projects: Code Lyoko: Foes & Friends Remastered duology and Transformers: Armada-Energon trilogy.

Let’s start with the one I’ve been working on longer: Armada-Energon. Like I discussed in the previous Currently on art update, I had been struggling with its first story for long and thus put the trilogy on indefinite hiatus, with deciding its future postponed until dust had settled. I gave it some thought at the end of the quarter and made the decision I would’ve made back then already: discontinuing the trilogy. I didn’t have much planned for the next stories and whatever I had in plans no longer sparked any kind of interest, so it was the natural choice. I don’t regret taking on the ambitious project that it was but I certainly won’t miss it. It ran its course – the course just turned out to be shorter than I’d planned.

Foes and Friends Remastered, on the other hand, is a more painful thing to let go of. It’s ambitious as well, and also close to my heart as the remastered, greatly improved version of an old fanfic I wrote years ago. I was pretty damn proud of it back when I started translating it. Later on, however, I developed an even more critical eye to it and ended up where it got stuck: to a plot point I cannot get rid of anymore because it’s deeply ingrained in it. A plot point that makes me cringe at my old self when I look at it and think about posting it as my recent work.

As much as it sucks after getting about a third of New War Remastered translated, I decided that it’s for the best to cut my losses and abandon the project, leaving its English iteration into an incomplete state. I will continue working on Lyokostar, though, since it needs active nuking and reworking. There are some deeply-ingrained things I regret but I can work with them, so that project will keep on going.

Two projects out, but something new has also happened: during the quarter, I started to edit Greenfield, although progress has been sporadic at best, not to mention that with the quality of both the dialogue and the narration in the beginning, there’s a lot of work to do before the whole thing is going to be anywhere near presentable.

Another thing is that as FFR and A-E phased out, I began a new project: A Pokémon fanfiction named A Wandering Aura, the rehashed version of my initially planned Pokémon fanfiction project, The Adventurer Girl’s Journey. I ended up scrapping a lot of things I’d thought about, including the name of the protagonist. Since it’s a project I’m working on whenever I feel like working on it, it will not get any statistics unless I start to schedule when I write it. If you’re interested, the story is on Archive of Our Own: https://archiveofourown.org/series/1936330

I’m still quite in the beginning with it, but I’ve got tons of things planned and inspiration for writing it, so hopefully I can keep it going better, maybe even all the way to the finish this time. The future is in motion, however, so it might be that I end up being wrong and discontinuing it as well, but for now things look good.

Aside from projects and Tribble Month, I’ve been terribly swamped-up with studies throughout September, so my artistic productivity has sunk drastically. All my courses are fully online and the transition from the summer holiday to full-time studying hasn’t gone without a hitch; my timetables have been in shamples pretty badly. I think one of the things that cause trouble, alongside the fact that most of my courses don’t have anything at fixed times, is that I’m constantly stuck inside my apartment without being at the campus giving any kind of a rhythm to my life. I considered starting to go there to study at least once a week, but then the COVID19 situation here got worse and now there’s a city-wide recommendation to wear a mask in all public buildings, so I’m stuck inside until further notice. I bought masks back when they were still relatively expensive (and to think that compared to what the prices had been all spring and summer, they were super cheap back then) so I don’t want to waste them. There’s also the matter of the ecological impact of disposable masks, which came up in a discussion about not visiting the campus today, so there’s another reason to stay at home even though I’ve started to get some cabin fever.

The plan of hanging out with people on campus is out of the question for now, so I’m going to go back to utilizing the voice channel on Discord that my subject association has used for hanging out ever since the pandemic started for regulating my days more especially now that one of my two courses with live lectures is ending. I had a rather brief chat there today and it already made me feel better, so I believe that simulating a day at the university will both get me back on track with my neglected online courses and dispel some of the cabin fever when I get to talk to people (and hear their voices!) who are outside my apartment’s walls. It might also help my productivity if I get my headspace to “ok, I’m virtually at uni, so I’m working like I would work if I were physically there” instead of September’s “welp, I’ll just do this thing now and that thing later-oh, I could do some dishes/cleaning/whatever first”. If I remember, I’ll report how the simulation attempts went in the next Currently on art update!

On the subject of studies, I also had another crisis with my minor; this time, I ended up changing it to game research and game design. It caused a bit of a problem because I had to move things around in my plan and find some new courses to fill some gaps and fit them all in to this year, but I ended up succeeding at it. Why all of them this year? It’s because I’m trying to get my bachelor’s degree done this year, although with the frightening amount of coursework I have upcoming in addition to writing a paper, it might be that I won’t be able to finish everything I need for finishing the degree before the next autumn. We’ll see how it goes; the spring is going to be full of work, but I hope I’ll manage.

I think that’s enough about what’s up in my life. I made some statistics about Tribble Month and also put Q3 2020 stats together. Here, have a look!

Now, onto what’s up with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 26 of Crystals of the Past is in editing. All writing is at 1558 days. I’m also working on remaking Arya’s reference, with Jedova’s one standing by untill I’ve got Arya’s own ready. 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. It is coming along well. Revising has gone back to standstill due to studies taking up too much time and energy.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 41 is in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Silverwind’s reference is in progress. Revising needs to be done.
  • Behind Armada: The Armada-Energon trilogy has been discontinued after being on indefinite hiatus for around half a quarter.
  • Off-DA projects: I haven’t done much aside from working on my first FFM collection weekly. It’s coming together slowly but surely.
  • Foes & Friends Remastered: After halting to a standstill because of a cringe-inducing plot element, the project has been abandoned.
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this for a good while. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Parts 5 and 4 of story 6 are waiting for betareading. I’m writing monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish (except that I didn’t do it this month because I didn’t have the energy and I’m pretty sure that no one cares anyway). References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: A new project I started. I’m writing its Chapter 5 because that’s what I want to write right now, with Chapter 1 in early stages alongside it. So far, things are looking good.
  • Gaming: Habitica keeps on going. I played my old Pokémon Black 2 save file’s story to its end and I’ve played some Trine 2 for a game course recently, but otherwise I haven’t played much as far as I can recall.
  • Other stuff: I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. Due to being busy and tired, I haven’t even been reading FFM or Tribble Month stories for some time, so things don’t look good in my watch. I’m not sure what I even want to do about it, so for now I’m letting the stories sit there until I figure out what’s the best course of action. I hope my first FFM collection will come during this year. Reading has halted to a standstill on the book side as well and for now, it’s probably going to continue like that. I got back to Unity but now I’d like to learn by doing stuff with it, but I have no idea what to do. I’ll hopefully figure something out at some point, though. I should get back to video editing since I have so much footage to be edited.
  • Personal life: My smallish work gig is over and my studying year has started with all sorts of messes from COVID19, crises about what I want to do (yes, that’s intentionally plural, but I don’t want to talk about the crisis I have in addition to my already resolved minor crisis) and bad timetable management. Things will hopefully get better soon, though, once I get a hold of everything.

I suppose that’s all for now. Please act responsibly with this pandemic so that we’ll get back to normal at some point (I’d really love to have things back to normal before I finish my bachelor’s degree) and as usual, take care!

Currently on art: After FFM 2020, Behind Armada on hiatus

Hi everyone!

It’s been 1,5 months since my previous Currently on art post, so it’s time for another one.

FFM 2020 is behind us already. Even though my decision to post only on WordPress cut the number of comments I received drastically, I still had a good time and got some fantastic learning experiences, as I focused on writing the best stories I could. In the end, the results weren’t as great as I’d hoped, but I overall created stories I am proud of and which I’ll be happy to publish in a collection. I definitely did better than last year both wordcount- and quality-wise!

One story I want to highlight is Awkward Stranger, in which I was challenged not to use filter words. Out of all the challenges this year, this one taught me the most as I found ways to show more and tell less.

I’ve also compiled the FFM 2020 statistics. Have a look!

If you want to check the stories I’ve written this summer, please check out the page where I’ve collected all the links for easier finding: Flash Fiction Link Compilations

In other news, after years of work, I’ve finally finished my Tranformers Armada fanfiction Behind Armada. The end is sloppy and rushed as hell, but I’m relieved to have gotten it done. Right now, its trilogy (TF: Armada-Energon trilogy) is on indefinite hiatus.

I’ve been struggling with a lack of inspiration and motivation with Behind Armada for longer than I remember, so I’m not eager to continue into the next installment in the trilogy, let alone the third in which I take the bad English version of Transformers Super Link (known as Transformers Energon here in the west) and try to make it better. Therefore, I decided to take a breather from the project, let some dust settle and then look into it with fresher eyes later before making the decision on whether or not I want to discontinue it. Right now, I’m completely in favor of discontinuing and can’t see it changing, but who knows? Maybe a miracle happens and I end up recovering my inspiration.

I’m planning to make the decision by the beginning of 2021, perhaps in December, so expect to see an announcement either in a Currently on art post in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021 or sometime around them!

What next? Well, we’re getting a whole new event called Tribble Month (in which we write a 50-300 word-story each day) in September, and as a permapossessed flashficcer someone who lacks severely in the department of capability to say no to flash fiction challenges, I will participate in it. This means that next month, I will be posting daily stories here again.

I will also start my new studying year properly in September, so my project workflow will slow down as I challenge my courses, the mess caused by the COVID19 pandemic (it appears that the second wave is coming up here in Finland) and anything else that’ll try to get in my way. I do believe that things will go well, though; once I get a routine going, I should be able to deal with my courses well.

Let’s act responsibly with this pandemic, stay as positive as possible and take care of ourselves!

Now, onto what’s up with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 23 of Crystals of the Past is in writing. All writing is at 1513 days. I’m also working on remaking Arya’s reference, with Jedova’s one standing by untill I’ve got Arya’s own ready. 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. It is coming along well. Revising has been more sporadic than I’d hoped, but hopefully I’ll be able to work on it more soon.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 40 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. Silverwind’s reference is in progress. Revising needs to be done.
  • Behind Armada: The story has been finished and the Armada-Energon trilogy has been put on indefinite hiatus. Its future is currently unclear, as discussed above.
  • Off-DA projects: I’ve been working on a small programming project that I wanted to do for the previous April Fool’s day. Right now, the core functions are done, so it’s basically ready for the next April Fool’s, but I’m trying to think of things I could implement. In addition to that, my FFM collections have started to move from their standstill; since I figured I’m only going to keep procrastinating looking into the paperwork publishing physical books might entail, I decided that I will initially publish them as free ebooks. I’ve looked into it a bit, so I should be able to start compling the first one soon. I have no idea what I’ll use as cover art, though.
  • Foes & Friends Remastered: Part 23 of New War Remastered is in finalization. I should work on references at some point.
  • Greenfield: I have started the first round of editing, implementing the things I learned this FFM without a regard for decreases in wordcounts (although, right now, I have written more words than I’ve erased, which is a plus). Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 4 of story 6 is in translation, while part 3 waits for betareading. Unfortunately, I’ve had to nuke probably over half of the story because it’s utter garbage, but at least what will replace it will be far better. I’m writing monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish. References need to be done.
  • Gaming: Habitica keeps on going. I played World of Warcraft to level 20 because you get a cool female Paladin hero in Hearthstone for that. I also bought Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia recently and I’ve spent more time than I should’ve playing it each day. I’ve clocked around 30 hours and almost completed the game now. It’s been a blast playing it, as you can probably imagine.
  • Other stuff: I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. I’m trying to keep my watch from flooding otherwise, though, and so far it’s been looking good. I’m reading FFM stories steadily each day, so I should be able to get them read before the next FFM. I hope my first FFM collection will come during this year. Lots of reading to be done still, but my TBR list has gotten smaller again, so it’s under control. It’s probably going to continue like that. I’m getting back to Unity and video editing slowly in addition to trying to learn some new stuff.
  • Personal life: I’ve been working on a new online course, agonizing over a crappy course enrollment system in preparation for the new studying year and working on the small-ish work gig I got. The last one of those is ending very soon. Not much else, really.

I’d say that’s all for now. Take care!

Currently on art: Q2 2020 stats, Prose-ject 2020 and the end of Suntuubi

This is the first Currently on art update that I’ve written on WordPress. If you have been following me on DeviantArt, you know that I’m migrating away from there due to its new UI, Eclipse, due to reasons including poorly handled literature and heavy eye strain (I think I will never figure out how exactly they managed to pull that off when I have literally never had eye strain at my computer).

With no alternatives available yet, I have had to deal with my summer flash fictions with duct tape and compromises: Flash Fiction Fridays required me to post on DA, while with Prose-ject 2020 and Flash Fiction Month I’m allowed to post here on WordPress – an ineffective alternative because the stories drown among my other blog posts, but the best one currently available. Therefore, I have collected the links to a static page for easier access: Flash Fiction Link Compilations

Yes, I ended up joining Prose-ject this year despite of thinking that I wouldn’t because the moment I saw the journal, I couldn’t say no. I guess I shouldn’t have been following the group and the poster at that point, haha. However, I don’t regret it: my challenge of writing only about my already existing worlds has borne lots of fruit, with multiple previously scarce worlds now having more story and characters than before. I’m especially proud of the world of Unar and Ria – the prompt that led me to discovering the latter has brought a lot of interesting stuff to the story, and I currently love those two precious ones.

I especially love the last story, because it gave me the perfect closure to the month of discovery: I managed to use all four prompts on the last day and make the story about the end of a journey. I must admit that I might have gotten some Okami feels while writing and editing it, which also accounts for how much I love the final story, as I’m currently playing through the aforementioned game’s HD version.

There is something I want to get off my chest better than by tossing a status update, though. If you have read my previous Currently on art updates on DeviantArt, you know that since spring 2019 I have been migrating a Finnish website from its original service provider, Suntuubi, to WordPress because Suntuubi was shutting down 30.6.2020.

At the moment I’m writing this sentence, it is the 26th and it has been about an hour since I finished that long migration project. I had to cut some corners (mainly with archives, which I will keep backed up on my computer), but I ended up making it in time anyway despite of time almost running out.

Now that the migration is over and I’m painfully aware that the site I have grown with, built and nurtured for nine years is going to get wiped off the face of the earth in four days. I can’t help but feel empty and extremely sad to see it go; I was unable to replicate all of the user interface on the free WordPress plan, so the new site, while cleaner than the original, does not look like it too much. The UI that I have looked at, tweaked and used for nine years is about to disappear forever.

It’s hard to believe that after nine years it’s now over. Before the announcement that Suntuubi is shutting down, I had known that someday it would end (I had seen it coming from various things), but now that it’s happening… it feels surreal. The thing has been up for over half of my lifetime (Wikipedia said that it was started in 2006) and my website has been there for almost half of my lifetime, a majority of the time the service has been online (since 2011).

The thing is, if I hadn’t stumbled upon Suntuubi and, most importantly, its Finnish Code Lyoko fandom, it’s likely that I wouldn’t be here. If it wasn’t for that fandom, I might’ve never actually tried my hand at fanfiction, let alone created my first website for it. If those two hadn’t happened, I might have never found my way into the writing community on DeviantArt or created this website. A lot could be different, and I can’t imagine anything that would be better than this.

The Code Lyoko fandom on Suntuubi has grown silent during the previous years, but it was there when I needed it. Now, all traces of it, those years of things learned, stories shared and lessons learned, the network of individual websites all built for our love of the series, will be erased. I will keep going on WordPress, but nothing will be the same especially with so many sites disappearing completely. I don’t even know if any other Code Lyoko sites from Suntuubi ended up migrating to survive.

It is a fact that the fandom would have never become the same it was, but I still miss those days, and I know I will miss the days of Suntuubi. It was, after all, a huge part of my life for nine whole years, some of my most important years of growing and learning. The fandom shaped me in ways no other group could, and it gave me a voice both as a beginning writer and a Code Lyoko fan, something I couldn’t have gotten outside of my laptop.

Those years with that fandom, I treasure them. They taught me a lot, and a community where I belonged to and had a voice was an invaluable treasure to me back then. Communities like that still are – it is only human to want to belong, to be heard.

To the strangers on the other side of the screen who are a part of such a community: thank you for being there.

Everything comes to an end at some point, so it is important that we make the most of the time we have and make the most valuable memories. Someday, we will have to say goodbye.

It is ironic that when I was finishing the migration project, my playlist was playing Audiomachine’s Farewell to Earth. One couldn’t have asked for a better song for it, not even on purpose.

Whatever happens, take care and make sure to check in with people you care about.

As I am writing this sentence, it is already the 30th. I visited my old website and some other old Code Lyoko websites that were in my bookmarks in the morning one last time. During the day, all those websites were replaced with an announcement that Suntuubi has been closed down. I already feel wistful for all the time I spent there, for I was attached to that enormous amount of ones and zeroes that made Suntuubi and everything within its system. I still am, and perhaps will always be for the way it influenced me over all the years.

However, I mustn’t wallow in that attachment or the loss. The only way is forward. I will move on and make sure that those years of learning weren’t in vain.

Today, two things ended: my journey within my worlds for Prose-ject 2020 and Suntuubi’s 14 years on the internet as a platform for people to make their own websites.

This is the end of an era. What comes in the next one? I have no idea, except that it’s probably going to be mostly silent.

Silent or not, it is time to move on.

I think I have written enough about this case. Now, it’s time to look into my stats: Q2 2020, comparison to Q1 2020 and Prose-ject 2020 stats.

Here are the infographs:

While most of my writing projects’ stats are disappointing this quarter and I wrote less for Prose-ject this year, I did well with visual art: more artwork done and far fewer projects standing by.

Now, it is time to see what is up with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 18 of Crystals of the Past is in editing. All writing is at 1466 days. I need to make a comic about Valentine Clanker and lots of other drawings. I’ve been creating data and putting stories into an order on Scrivener to build a wiki of sorts there so that I can flesh things out for writing. It is coming along well. Revising has been on hiatus, but it should resume soon now that I’ve recovered my writing inspiration.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 39 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. Silverwind’s reference is in progress. Revising needs to be done.
  • Behind Armada: Chapter 23 is in editing. I need to draw the references for a few characters (although they are the lowest priority). This trilogy will be put on hiatus indefinitely once I’m done with BA.
  • Off-DA projects: Not much going on atm. FFM collections are still at a standstill; I haven’t had time to look into them yet. I should be able to get to them during the summer.
  • Foes & Friends Remastered: Part 22 of New War Remastered is in translation. I should work on references at some point.
  • Greenfield: Currently on hiatus until summer, at which point I will start editing it. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 2 of story 6 is in translation. I have resumed writing monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish. I have finished Mary’s reference and made a sketch of Sophie’s first Lyoko suit. Other references need to be done.
  • Gaming: Habitica, some random games again, with Okami HD taking most of the gaming time.
  • Other stuff: I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. I’m trying to keep it from flooding otherwise, though, and so far it’s been looking good. I still have no idea when my first FFM collection will come, other than hopefully this year. Lots of reading to be done still, but my TBR list has gotten smaller again, so it’s under control. It’s probably going to continue like that. Gotta get back to Unity and also Blender if I can. And video editing, I need to do lots of that because I have tons of footage to edit if I just found the time to put my laptop to work with them. As explained above, I have finished migrating a Finnish website of my own (the one which hosts the Finnish Lyokostar stories) from its original service provider, Suntuubi, to WordPress.
  • Personal life: I finished my online course that I took to replace the one I flunked, and I ended up getting a small-ish work gig that has me rebuilding a website. I’m also sweating tons in my apartment because it’s constantly around 30 degrees Celsius during the days. Luckily, it’s been a cooler outside the last days, so it’s now closer to 25 than 30, which is nice, although I’m still sweating. LOL.

I’d say that’s all. Thank you for reading this long journal. Take care!