Misc. Creative Projects

A Writer’s Search History

The other day, I realized I had “infinity” tabs open on my phone’s Firefox app. This is a way of showing I have over 99 idling, but I think the number was well into the hundreds. As I was emptying these out, I thought it might be entertaining to share some of the more interesting ones to give you all a glimpse into what goes on behind the screen. This is, in fact, a rather common experience for me and a widely known joke among author circles, the FBI, my friends, and my family alike. No matter how incriminating this following list may be, rest assured that my browser history is nowhere near as disturbing as texting my nurse sister out of the blue, “Hey, could you drink embalming fluid?” and receiving an answer from her supervisor, questioning if I needed to be reported.


If you can relate to this, I’ve even made a sticker! You can pick up your very own “It’s for Research, I Swear…” on my sticker shop!

  • Ethanol safety data sheet (I spilled some on my hands in lab) (I was not wearing gloves) (Its fine)
  • Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow on Groundhog’s Day? (He did.) (Grr.) (I wanted an early spring) (The groundhog hath betrayed me)
  • Mirror stat blocks and magic items in DnD (My players are going to encounter thematically appropriate challenges if it kills me.)
  • Little Old Lady memory magnetic coil (aka LOL memory, used in early space missions, literally knitted together)
  • St. Brigid’s Day prayer (her feast day came up recently!)
  • Pizza menu (Church group does weekly Italian nights after Mass to make sure we’re extra vampire proof.)
  • Translation of the Italian aria I’m learning for voice lessons called Lasciar d’amarti (I’m a soprano?! PLOT TWIST?! I’ve been laboring under the assumption I’m a contralto for years but it turns out I just can’t breathe.)
  • An unfilled google form for the Classics Club on campus (I’m a senior, so I’m not going to go. I just wanted to stalk the GroupMe)
  • Berberis thunbergii fact sheet (An invasive thorn bush called Japanese barberry I was trying to identify. I did not eat it though it’s technically edible.)
  • Organic chemistry functional groups sheet for class (should I have them memorized? yes. Do I. absolutely not.)
  • the HECKIN WIMDY meme (it was HECKIN WIMDY)
  • Ciphers (as in the codes)
  • Cipher (the ttrpg system)
  • Religious teachers Filippini habit pattern (a nearby convent my friend may be joining soon, and she asked me to help her sew the old version of the habit because the current one is bleh)
  • Cognitive Surplus (an online store I found from an Instagram ad that sells neat science themed stuff)
  • Nova Impossible Art Challenge audio (for an Instagram reel) (my characters did not pass the impossible art challenge)
  • Wrench Wench TV Tropes page (I’m doing a 6 fanarts challenge of fictional Women in STEM and wanted to gather data)
  • Daily readings from a month ago (the USCCB site has them all! in podcast form too!)
  • Stretches for shin splints (I spent three days climbing ladders for a cabling job and then suffered for a week)
  • The Four Humors (I got into a heated argument with my roommates about which temperaments we were)
  • Yerba Mate (a type of tea that uses a strainer straw but my roommate uses the straw for not that tea)
  • Deciduous Trees (I cannot spell Deciduous)
  • Pinnate vs Palmate and Single vs Compound leaf identification (helping to homeschool 3rd grade botany class)
  • Adorkastock drawing references (practicing gesture and movement)
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (I cannot spell this correctly on my own and it came up in a relevant conversation)
  • Guitar chords (I am self taught and struggle with barres)
  • Shiraishi name meaning (Did I name my character this intentionally? Yes. Did I forget? Also yes.)
  • Crab cake recipe from December (Christmas dinner of the 3 fishes. traditionally 7, but I live in a landlocked state)
  • Ceolocanth fish (my friend didn’t know about this very important living fossil)
  • Match-girls Strike (looking up the history into the story The Little Matchgirl for some reason, I think my mom brought it up)
  • Sewing instructions for a skirt lining (with secret pockets)
  • Calumny definition (It is related to false claims and trickery)
  • Myths about the moon (story research)
  • Sodium Citrate Safety Data Sheet (I don’t remember)
  • Purdue Graduate program (I am not going to grad school)
  • Seance (no further context. I don’t remember why I was looking this up either because I wasn’t conducting any seances)
  • Did the stock market exist during the Civil War (It opened in 1865 in the same year the civil war ended. This was for a call of Cthulhu game.)
  • (anyhow)
  • How to use a French Press (I was successful in obtaining caffeine after a few tries)
  • Heimdall (his role in actual myth, the MCU, and DnD cosmology)
  • Fusion breakthrough (one step closer to sustainable energy!!!)
  • [Real Name] Apocalypse (No clue guys)
  • Amazon listing for sword earrings (very important! I now own these! Thanks to the same nurse sister who puts up with all of my existing whacky requests.)
  • How did Avatar Kyoshi die? (Unclear! Evidence suggests she just decided not to die until she was done. Badass bitch behavior)
  • Directions to a Catholic store in my area (for a field trip with future-nun-friend)
  • Is it safe to eat a box of edible packing peanuts? (yes, but you will have a stomachache. Source: my roommate. I did not eat packing peanuts.)
  • Hostel listings for Florence Italy (I’m going in August hopefully!)
  • Fanfiction (So much fanfiction)
  • Pigeon feathers (for my grandfather)
  • Apollo Dodgeball Meme (we all know the one)
  • Hammered Dulcimers (demonstrating the better version of the instrument I built in high school)
  • Grey DeLisle-Griffin (voice actor for Azula in ATLA)
  • Wholesale fabric stores (courtesy of my enabler friend who wanted to save me money, arguably, by pointing me towards a cheap bulk store)
  • Molasses cookie recipe (I’m pretty sure this is from October lmao)
  • Sno Cones (for a heated argument with an international friend about local treats)
  • Patron Saint of malfunctioning printers (inconclusive)
  • Instagram bots (I kept having people ask me if I was Indian, which was weird and I thought they might be fake?? Apparently they are not? If I had a nickel for every time a stranger mistook me for a different ethnicity, I’d have like a whole dollar at this point, so it’s especially weird it’s happened so many times.)
  • Acrylic sheet pricing for research (and making knives on the laser cutter at work)
  • Black as Night (an excellent dark modern Catholic fairy tale retelling I read in middle school)
  • Z-Library (piracy babeeee!)
  • Canadian postal abbreviations for provinces and territories (I’ve never sent or bought anything from Canada I am so confused.)
  • History of absinthe (I tried absinthe, it was good)
  • tactical bags (listen, I don’t shop for myself often but when I do…)
  • Autism self diagnoses test (as if this list were not proof enough)
  • Various poems and song lyrics
  • The mechanical turk (I think this came up in a quiz bowl question and also The Magnus Archives)
  • why does ancient copper have arsenic in it? (my boyfriend is a metallurgist and likes info dumping about history and we’re both nerds so I looked up why you can date archeological digs by the amount of poison in their alloys. I do not know why this came up.)
  • keys2cognition (a personality test you have to pay for that I did not take)
  • Chatelaine (illustrating why I want a pretty keychain that you effectively could beat people with)
  • MBTI cognitive functions (ok don’t @ me I’ve been obsessed with personality typing since 10th grade)
  • Armillaria glowing fungus (It looks. So cool. No clue why I was looking this up. I don’t think it’s native anyhow)
  • Moby Dick web comic by one of my friends @pocketsizedquasar which will not be getting deleted as I still need to read it and it got buried in tabs dlkfjdfsljk.
  • Mutter Museum (it’s dedicated to medical history!)
  • Various tabs on the writing industry gossip (outdated)
  • A YouTube channel I don’t actually watch????? A Netflix show I don’t watch???? Add them to the TBR I guess???? Who recommended these??????????????????
  • So much DnD research
  • Beginner’s guide to Bo Stances (so I can be even more dangerous)
  • Flower Fairy books (my childhood <3)
  • Too many piccrews for various ocs
  • Webb Space telescope pictures (I think we’re back to the summer now lol)
  • The Scarlet and the Black (An excellent movie I watched in 8th grade as confirmation prep about the Vatican during WWII)
  • How to make lapel pins at home (I’m saving this one too, I forgot this was a craft I wanted to do)
  • Bergmann’s Rule (about how size correlates to the environment for fictional world-building purposes. Cold = big)
  • Arwen costume references (future project for after my hair grows out again)
  • Seventh Son of a Seventh Son folklore gift (for Runaways Research)
  • Everything we know about the Stormlight Archive Heralds (for debating with my one fandom friend)
  • Do plants get growing pains? (the topic of a future poem)
  • A beginner’s guide to Heraldry (for historical and fantasy purposes. Also, I want a custom coat of arms for Reasons.)

Thanks for reading! Hopefully this was a somewhat entertaining read lol. I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void. If I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip or buying stickers on my Kofi. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

Chatting · Misc. Creative Projects · Writing Advice

Never Stop Making Stuff

I discovered something delightful the other day whilst backing up my files. (Here’s your complementary reminder to save all your old work. Go do it now, and come back to read this.)

(Everything duplicated and safely archived?)

(Welcome back!)

My art archive starts in October 2019 – I’d just recently joined Tumblr and wanted to participate in the Inktober trend I saw trending. Since I was working on Storge at the time, my bright idea was to illustrate various scenes from the story based on the daily prompts. I’d never picked up a pen for the purpose of drawing, not writing, but armed with a healthy amount of enthusiasm and a staggering amount of sheer audacity, I boldly started posting pictures of my new creations. The result was, unsurprisingly, less than spectacular, but despite the childish style, a few lovely people took the initiative to encourage me – @siarven, @abalonetea, and @inkwell-attitude were some of my first friends in the writing and artistic community, and they remain some of my best friends to this day.

An ink drawing done on dotted paper of a teenage boy standing in a fighting pose with red magic flowing from his fingertips. He has long hair cut around his chin, wears no shirt to show his branching scars in the same red, and basic shorts. The drawing looks almost cartoony, drawn by an amateur.

I kept drawing after that, and my 2019 folder clocks in at 54 items, half of which are reference images of myself posing to figure out how to draw hands. Mostly, I used ink, pencil, and colored pencil. They are truly atrocious and so I will not inflict you with any more than this, but the experience was a solid start to learning how to draw!


This year has 217 items! Look at that huge increase in quantity! This is partially because this folder spans a whole year, rather than a few months tacked onto the end of a year. This year also saw the rise of zoom university during the first round of pandemic lockdowns, and I kept drawing as a stim to keep my hands busy during class. I started learning anatomy and character posing. Mostly I used ink, pencil, and colored pencil, and with the spike in quality, the quality and my speed dramatically improved as well.


This year became much more busy with school and work so it has a pretty significant decline in quantity to 140 items. HOWEVER, this year saw probably my largest improvement in developing my personal style. I became much more comfortable with “eyeballing” natural looking poses and conveying the right expressions.

[Image Descriptions: 5 photos in a tiled gallery.

Photo 1: Shows a pencil drawing of a humanioid bird-person mid-flight. He’s angled facing the viewer, and looks at something to his top-right with a mischevious expression. He wears a simple tunic and holds an object in his hands clasped close to the chest. His wings and tail feathers are outstretched.

Photo 2: Shows a woman from the waist up, spinning around to look at the viewer with a shocked expression. She has dark skin covered in small pockmark scars, and hair in braids that swing around her.

Photo 3: Two drawings on one page. The top right drawing shows a young girl with dark skin, freckles, and long curly hair wiping blood off her nose. She wears a simple white tang-top dress. Lower drawing shows a teenaged boy mid-run, one arm in front of him with hand oustretched, the other flung behind him. He has dark skin, freckles, short curly hair, and a determined expression. He wears a simple white tunic, grey pants, and a cloak that billows behidn him. Golden magic is thrown between his hands in an arc.

Photo 4: Shows a picture of a sketchbook page, done in pencil, against a red carpet background. The page shows a figure with a smirking jack-o-lantern head standing on a beanstalk. He wears jester’s clothing, a broken crown, and a cloak with frost curling at the edges. He carries a pail of water that sloshes over the edge and drips into ice crystals, and an axe is belted at his hip. Below him, a bridge is lit with candles, while the moon is bright in the sky above against a dark background.

Photo 5: A pencil drawing of two figures hugging. The shorter one is a woman with long blonde hair and wearing a long dress, burying her face in the chest of the taller man. He wears a tailcoat and has light hair cut around his chin, and he looks at her with a surprised expression, not quite sure what to do with his hands as he moves to hug her back.

End Image Descriptions.]


The year isn’t even finished and we’re at roughly 411 items! I learned markers! I taught myself digital art and experimented a ton with my style and rendering! I drew a whole comic! I designed stickers! My mediums have expanded into laser etching acrylic, 3D Printing, and audio editing! I embroidered a ton of patches, hand sewed a shirt, and machine sewed a cloak! I started playing with my hair and nails and makeup for the first time since I was eight and I am turning myself into the piece of art!!!

[Image Description: 14 images in a tiled gallery.

Image 1: A pencil drawing of a young girl with dark skin and long curly hair wearing a white tang top dress. Her eyes are completely black, and she has a shadowy halo behind her. She appears angry and focused. / Image 2: A photo of me sitting next to a river wearing a white billowy pirate shirt. I’m turned away from the camera so you cannot see my face, but I have dark hair in a french braid and wear a hoop earring. It’s a cloudy day. / Image 3: A blue pen doodle in my school notes on lined paper of a woman in profile. She has curly blonde hair that tumbles around her shoulders and has a sad distressed expression. Her freckles are stars. / Image 4: A photo of my hand holding a large clear knife cut from acrylic against the backdrop of the laser cutter I used to make it.

Image 5: A photo of my hand holding a sticker from my shop, titled “A Well Armed Author.” It depicts a white saber against a dark blue background full of stars. Black ink swirls with a magic golden glow burst from the bottom of the sticker and swirl around the sword to form a fountain tip pen at the point. The shop is blurry in the background, and my thumbnail had chipped black polish. / Image 6: A photo of a red articulated 3D printed velociraptor sitting on my open notebook. It is slumped backwards and resting on its tail as if tired.

Image 7: A marker drawing of a teenage boy with dark skin and dark curly hair cut around his chin. He smiles and holds up his arms, casting a spell. Shreds of white and golden glowing magic swirl around his open hands. / Image 8: A mirror selfie showing off my patch jacket, holding my phone in front of my face. The jacket is a dark grey-green. On there shoulder there is a homemade Bridge Four patch from the Stormlight Archive – a white and blue geometric design. There is also a karate patch showing the US and Japanese flags. Over the heart is a heart-shaped patch with The Amazing Devil band logo – a stylized abbreviation of the band name. Over the other lapel is another karate patch showing a fist in white and red. On my hip is an oval shaped patch that reads “Crafty Bitch” with various art supplies. Over each pocket is embroidered flowers and mushrooms, with added plastic foliage stitched on. / Image 9: A photo of me wearing a white shirt and twirling in my black cloak. I’m standing against a stone wall in the woods, and grinning. I have tan skin, brown hair cut in a bob, and I’m smiling.

Image 10: A digital painting of a man in armour with a billowing red cape, facing left and shown in profile. He holds out an arm towards the viewer, holding a curved sword. The background is dark blue. He has an angry determined expression and blood streaks off his blade. / Image 11: A digital painting of a woman with pale skin and a short curly bob knitting. The fabric hanging from her needles is transluscent and shows stars caught between the threads. The fabric and the needles are bloodstained and she has a wicked smile, being lit from behind by white light. Text reads “The Edge of Infinity” in white letters over the fabric.

Image 13: A digital painting of a girl from behind wearing a dark green coat looking out over a mountain range in the distance. She’s surrounded by trees and the whole painting is done in shades of greens and blues. / Image 14: A digital painting of a teenaged girl looking distraught. She has olive skin and freckles, and muddied brown hair being whipped by the wind. She wears an orange wrap with green borders and a yellow undershirt, and clasps her hands to her chest. Blood and shadow swirl around her head. Black and white lineart overlap the watercolor texture. / Image 15: A digital painting of a young woman sliding down a roof in an acrobatic pose. She’s wearing a sports bra, baggy pants, and wrapped boots, and wears her hair in a high pony tail that’s messy and coming loose. She has black geometric tatoos on her face and wrists. The entire paining is done in shades of red, pink, and purple.

End Image Description]

I hope that watching this progression serves as some small inspiration for any other discouraged artists. Never stop making stuff.

Future you will thank you.

Thanks for reading! I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void. If I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip or buying stickers on my Kofi. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

Misc. Creative Projects

“Who are you?”

Hello dear readers! Today I’m sharing another diversion from the usual writing excerpts to share a webcomic I drew! These characters come from a tabletop roleplaying game I do with some of my closest friends, set in the world of Avatar the Last Airbender. The story takes place about 5 years after the end of the series, in a newly formed Republic City. Our characters all came to the city to attend the new school there, to learn diplomacy and foster positive relationships between the nations. Nice idea in concept. In reality, the bad blood never dried, and a terrorist group tried to sabotage the opening festival. Our characters found the plot and helped intervene to prevent most of the damage, but couldn’t find and diffuse all the bombs before they went off. In the aftermath, Seraphine’s cousin died. His cousin’s twin sister, Asira, went mad with lust for revenge, to the point of hurting anyone who tried to get in her way, including civilians and classmates, which landed her in jail until she could calm down and process her grief.

Unfortunately, Asira had other ideas, learned how to self-combust, and went onto be an arc villain. This scene takes place shortly before she broke out of jail, when we were still trying to help her recover. Seraphine – the girl dressed in grey – is a firebender, and Asira’s cousin. She belongs to my friend Sarina. Asira herself is an npc, and our DM is my friend Theele. My character is the airbender in the back, named Sora. I had a conversation with Asira as well, in the second half of this scene, but I had to stop illustrating here for the sake of time. I originally drew this comic as a birthday gift for Sarina, and wanted to share it here as well, now that it’s done!

Figuring out how to illustrate a comic and handle the workflow of the sketching, panel layout, inking, flat colors, and lighting for each shot was a huge learning curve. I’m sure I could have been far more efficient with this if I had chosen a different method of rendering that didn’t require me to blend every layer individually, or used more copy-paste to transfer details from one panel to another. You can see how the quality drifts between pages as I both learned a better process and lost my patience haha. Rendering the effects of the spectral flames was also a fun challenge, because neither Seraphine nor Asira can really see them. During this scene, Sora used her spirit-seeing ability to watch Seraphine’s aura and monitor her emotions, to make sure she wasn’t growing too volatile, which is what the various wisps of fire and particle effects are meant to represent. I had a lot of fun drawing this comic all the same, and there are so many other moments I’d love to bring to life in the future.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the story, even though it was out of context. Let me know if you’d be interested in hearing any more DnD stories in the future! I’ve been in a half dozen campaigns and there are many more antics to share. Also feel free to leave recommendations for post topics! I’m looking to fill up my queue for the coming months and I want to hear what you want to see me cover. If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing (and other creative endeavors) by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!


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Chatting · Misc. Creative Projects

The Making of a Mistcloak, part 2: Creating and Community

There comes a time in the life of any maker that one has more good encouragement than good sense. These moments, when enthusiastic friends push you to do the wild, half-planned idea, far outside of your comfort zone – these are the projects that one remembers most fondly. If you’ve noticed me taking a bit of a detour from my usual writing fare, I hope these tangents don’t deter you from coming with me on this creative journey. Seldom does fiction occur in a vacuum, unaffected by the author’s other interests, and seldom does Making Stuff occur in a vacuum, devoid of influence from other creative friends. Your life becomes more interesting as you become more well-rounded, and I’m a firm believer that the same goes for your fictional worlds.

Is this a lengthy excuse for inflicting you with my latest fan project? Yes. Yes, it is. But this is my slice of the internet and I’ve spent altogether too much time and money on this project not to show it off literally everywhere. There’s a moral in here somewhere, I swear, but in an age of ~Careful Branding~ and ~Targeted Marketing~ I hope it’s more fun to read this blog when it’s just me. Some nerd. Enthusiastically and unashamedly rambling about my self-indulgent hobbies for whoever cares enough to listen. Somehow, doing just that helped me to find all the lovely people who worked on this project with me ❤

Continue reading “The Making of a Mistcloak, part 2: Creating and Community”