Finding Inspiration

This is just a short little blog post as this week has been hectic and I keep seeming to mess things up right when I think I’ve grown accustomed to everything. Haha, good job me.

So, I wanted to talk about where I find my inspiration, what really inspires me.

Everything. My brain isn’t something I can just sit down and analyze and how it works is still a mystery to me, but literally, anything can be inspiration. Good music, an interesting show or books, gaming, role play. That guy down the street walking his dog. It depends on when my brain starts working.

If I had to say anything it is that I tend to zone out when I’m letting inspiration roll about and music is 90% of the time involved. We listen to music everywhere, doing almost everything. Music is good for your body, I think.

So, in light of my statement – inspiration comes from anything – I’m going to start working on a secret challenge for my patrons next week. Maybe it will dribble over into a contest here on the blog. Time will tell.

 

-Xaneria Ann

Creative Disasters

This is a PSA! (Sort of.) I’m going to keep this post short: Creativity is messy.

I swear, my desk is a clean, safe zone for productivity, for about 2 hours. The moment I become productive is the moment chaos stretches her tattered wings and unleashes a hell-storm of disaster on my once completely functional desk space.

Once in a while, it looks like an actual desk. 

Sometimes, I even create stacks of work… neat-ish stacks.

But it all comes down to a derelict mind-vomit on my desk when I’m done.

And somehow I manage to game still. I even work.

So, what is the point of this post littered with images of my desk? Creativity is messy.

People are unique, and not everyone will experience this. Some people are perfectly capable of being creative and not causing an absolute riot of materials. Then there are the rest of us. And you know what? It is okay to be messy.

I’m trying to learn this.

I’m trying to teach myself to love my messes when they happen and not freak out because my anxiety is a dark mistress with a horrible hobby for telling me how much of a failure I am when I don’t stay as organized as my brain would like me to be. This sucks. It becomes hard to work, hard to create when all you think is that you have failed. So, I decided to write this post as a reminder to myself and my readers: It is okay to make a mess. It is okay to not be perfect. Creativity isn’t perfect. It is imperfection exemplified.

Go on and make a mess and get creative. That’s my plan this week.

-Xaneria Ann

All of February: Art Sale

That’s right, through the entire month of February, my digital art is on sale!

 

February Only!

A new logo!

I just had to take a moment to talk about my new logo!

I’ve posted about it in a few places, but this is just fantastic. I’m so happy with it.

And to go along with it, a new watermark for all my art and such.

 

Thank you to Dust Jacket Designs for being amazing and helping me pull it all together. You rock! Let the creativity begin!

My Daily Challenge, Bi-Monthly Accountability

BMWC - JanFeb
Phase:Writing
Due:2 years ago
46%

 

And there it is. As of today, my word count is well on its way to being something to be proud of.

So what is it? BMWC is a BiMonthly Word Count, a challenge I made to myself where my daily word count goals are around 3,500 words. This isn’t limited to writing. It includes my daily journal, poetry, and other creative ways I write. This also includes blog posts. The point is to get myself writing, not matter how much effort that takes, because like art, I tend to find reasons to not write anything. This has become a serious problem in my dream chasing. So, now I’m keeping track of m writing count. Just write. Write every day.

Likewise, I have challenged myself to sketch every day. I plan to update my wordcount weekly, so I will probably start posting a favorite sketch every once in a while as well. I’m still working on that one.

-Xaneria

Challenges

I swear this is the last week I’ll be giving an itinerary of my year! There will, from time to time, be a new schedule popping up where I talk about conventions I’m attending, webinars I’m joining, and other such nonsense but this is truly the last week that I give a foundational play by play on my year.

Why am I filling my posts with my plans for the future? Because I’m moving and it is just about all I have time for while writing. The move will be over soon.

So, what is it this time? Challenges! This is my promise to participate in certain challenges through the year. And here they are!

365 days of sketches – this is actually a part of my kids’ unschooling. They are also taking on the challenge of drawing every day for the entire year. After my move, I’ll be posting the last 15 days of sketches in conjunction with the next 15 days, so I’ll be double posting on my Sketchbx or Tumblr page.

365 days of morning expression – Another part of my kids’ unschooling projects, this is our morning routine. We wake up, we write, and we reflect. This can be anything at all, just to get the words from our heads to paper and practice written communication.

Nanowrimo – I WILL do this challenge this year. I’ve actually plotted my writing and as long as things hold up, I know what three stories I’ll be picking from and already have outlines ready to pump out 50k+ words for November.

Inktober/Dralloween – I tend to get side-tracked here and forget. Last year I did several which was fun but with my living situation as it was, I faltered. This year will be preplanned and I’ll be getting new inks and paper before starting.

30 days of Pen Pals – This one may seem strange but I’ve decided to dedicate 30 days to making friends. For myself, as busy as I am, friends on-line is the easiest way. Taking this into account, I’ve added it to our unschooling list and I am challenging the household to 30 days of making friends. A few of those people need to be from the language we are studying. For myself and my oldest, that would be German. For my younger two daughters, that is Korean. For my son, if he could just learn his phonics and how to count past 10 I would appreciate that. This includes posting on a forum and making an effort every day for 30 days to make friends.

30 Day fitness challenge – So we have a morning routine and a morning workout, but it is all rather simple. In May or June, I’ll be taking on a harder workout challenge to decrease body fat, increase strength, and shape myself up a bit.

30 Day Love Me Book – Taken from our time in the military, the Love Me book in my version of this challenge is all about expression and a better relationship with yourself. At the start of the year, we already write letters to ourselves which we open at the end of the year. This challenge asks us to change not what we do as people but how we feel about ourselves. (Not really 30 days since it runs from Feb 14-March 14).

I’ve started a board on Pinterest to collect other 30 day challenges I might find. I haven’t added any whole 30, though I love it because I try to practice this daily.

Some other things I’ll be participating in includes the Pen Pal Painting Challenge, A 365 writing club, and prepping for the Sketchbook challenge in 2018 hopefully. I know people are cringing at the cheese, but in this day and age, a 30 Day challenge CAN become a way to grow as a person and I am hoping to just keep on growing. As I participate in each challenge or program I’ll be posting about them here.

2017 Plans

Looking back on the last few years of my life has been strange. I’ve been reviewing my life as it was and all the things I have and haven’t done. All the things I should have done and all the things I want to do.

This year I have big plans that I am going to get done, without excuses.

WRITE EVERY DAY.
I’ve returned to journaling as of the first. It was something I did in my high school years. I would write everyday after school, sometime after I finished dinner before I would read in bed cuddling with my puppy. It was fun and it didn’t have to be perfect or well thought out. That was the thing, it was just raw, imperfect writing. And it kept me sane.
BLOGGING
I got a head start on this one. I started a month before the new year in order to get into the rhythm and I have to say, I am loving it. While I’m not sure I plan to increase my pace, I am sure to keep the pace.
TWITCH AND YOUTUBE
This isn’t something I can start right away, however it is in the works. Look forward to it closer to the spring.
DRAW MORE
I’m not sure I can draw every day, but I’m going to try around the same time I write my journal. But regardless I want to complete more projects. I hit less than 20 last year and I want to surpass that. I’d love to do some commissions as well.
PAPERLESS ORGANIZED
Yah, I have the goal to make my house 60% paperless. As an artist, I just cannot commit to a full 100% paperless lifestyle and based on reliable resources, I don’t want to do it either. However, there is a clutter of unnecessary paper in my house at all times and I’d like to organize my digital filing system and clean up around here.
UPDATE MY LOGO
I’m still on the fence here. I like to draw but I’m not really a logo artist. So, how I will update it is still something in the TBD pile but I do not what I’m going for.
UPDATE MY SHOP
This is important. I am working on a system to bring my shop full circle and turn it into something I want. I have big plans for the things I want to sell in my shop and I am hoping to make it a flowing project.
COMMIT TO MANUSCRIPT
I am awful with committing to any written project. I have some projects that are less than 1000 words to completion and I just can’t do it. I am going to push myself harder and stick to the story until it is done.
SELF-PUBLISH SOMETHING
Okay, this may seem strange from someone hoping to be published traditionally, but I want to spread my wings into a lot of things, so I’m going for the full experience. I want to have something to compare both the ease and my own quality and I want to challenge myself more.
MAGAZINE
I’m not going to give much away here, but I want people to know, there is a magazine in 2017 coming. I have a lot of folks helping out here and we are hoping to make it a big hit.
COLORING BOOK
This is coming. This is definitely coming. If for no one else, this is for my kids and my friends, but it is coming.
KIDS BOOKS
I already have a story being worked on by an artist and editor right now. I’m self-publishing these under a different name simply for the ability to avoid rating debacles. I can’t wait until this book is complete.
ARTIST ALLEY AND CONVENTIONS
My kids are into cosplay and fun, and I love cosplay but I want in on those artist alley spots. I don’t plan to be there this year, but I want to hit up a few places, make some friends, and make plans for 2018.
NETWORKING
I’m socially awkward. Even on-line I struggle to make friends. My anxieties are awful and I understand I’m not everyone’s favorite person, but I am hoping to reach out and make more friends in the coming year.

Hm, I think this is a great start to the year. Next blog post is all about a new series of writing tips! And keep an eye out for announcements. I’m looking to be moving soon so that may get in the way a bit.

Happy Holidays! 2016

Today, I wanted to take the time and tell everyone: Happy Holidays! I hope your end of the year is going to be a great one.

This time of year is, for many, a time to come together and share our love. A time for compassion and a time for kindness. For my family, it is a time to celebrate the changing of seasons and our lives for the past year. It’s also the time of my birthday and so a celebration of life! But it is also a time of reflection. Sometimes it is important to look back on the year and say: What did I do right? What did I do wrong? What could I have done different?

So, as I’m looking back on my life for the past year, full of struggles and huge changes, I’ve taken a hard look at myself, at the things I’ve gained, I held onto, and the things I’ve lost. I’ve found my path.

I want to become more organized.
I want to become more creative.
I want to become more motivated.
I want to become more helpful.
I want to become a healthier person.
I want to become more loving.
I want to become a better educator.
I want to become a better lover.
I want to become a stronger person.
I want to become someone not tied by anxiety.
I want to become closer to my faith.
I want to become myself again.
I want to become someone my kids will look up to.

2017 is a year of change. A year of growth. Happy Holidays, and Happy 2017.

What does this time of the year mean to you?

Introducing Xaneria Ann Web Serials: Devour A God – Jan 2017

As those following me on Twitter may have noticed, there is a sporadic countdown to the release of my first on-line Web Serial: Devour A God. It hits the site in January of 2017.
A Little History

Devour A God was a web serial I attempted back in 2014-2015 as a 500 word a week project. It was my best attempt at trying to get writing done and it was rough, raw, and unedited. While it wasn’t displeasing to write or read, I tried to do too much with it at once.
I even commissioned weekly art for the project. I don’t regret this, but I do regret not being able to stick with it. Financial problems arose in what would have been a smooth sailing ship of commissions and I was unable to continue the project as I wanted. The only project to survive this period is my children’s book under another pen name.

First meeting.

 

Changing.

 

Aching feet.

 

I’m a huge fan of art in combination with written work. Visual art and written art together are amazing. However, the future holds only words from me.

So, starting January 1, 2017, I’ll be posting a serial chapter twice a week. Sunday and Thursday. I’m not putting a word cap on the release, I’ll let the chapters flow as they want to. In the future, if people want to be more involved with my serials, or even start up a choose your own ending sort of adventure, I’ll be adding that to the rewards for my Patreon supporters.

Introducing Devour A God

Designed by Xaneria Ann; Edited by Dust Jacket Covers
Stepping from Ahavalla to follow his ordained path, God of Destruction Runihara travels the lands, spreading chaos, hatred, and sickness. In an effort to appease him, the people present offerings to their wrathful God. When a young male bride is left at the foot of his shrine, the God must choose between leaving the boy to exile or taking him to the next village.

I hope you’ll join me for my new web serial!

Review of Secrets: The Rune Trilogy

So, let’s talk about a book.

Secrets: The Rune Trilogy
By E. H. Demeter
Fantasy-Romance

4/5

 

Let me start this off by saying a few things about this book and author. First off, this review is based on a previous edition released before 2016. I will update this review once I’ve received and read the new version. Also, while I know this author personally, I will do my best to be honest and impartial in my summarized review.

A photo posted by Xaneria (@xaneriaann) on


Plain, average, and heartbroken Juliet Adams is a nurse trying to forget about her cheating ex-fiance and escape the world through the stories of an older patient at her workplace. After living for nearly six months as a shut-in outside of work, she gives into her sister’s whim for a vacation on the coast of Oregon where things get strange. Caught in a storm, she stumbles upon a glowing cave where Juliet meets a very naked, handsome and odd Marsh Darrow. From there, her life spirals into a twisted adventure of Selkies, war, and prophecies.

In case you are curious, a selkie is kind of like the Scottish version of a mermaid. They are seals in the water and can take human form. I highly recommend reading up on these gorgeous creatures, here. You can find information on them all over, and even a few good books on Amazon that talk about these often overlooked creatures. They are also rather pretty in artistic re-imagining.

By StressedJenny on DeviantArt

 

For me, the book started slowly. The first few chapters were a painstaking adventure meeting Juliet and understanding her rather emotional roller coaster of a broken relationship. Her life seemed to hinge on the relationship with her previous man, who was not worth the space he was given in the book, and her own self-worth. I wanted to throttle Juliet a few dozen times in the first three or four chapters telling her that she doesn’t need a man and to kick his memory to the curb so we could get on with the story. It was believable enough, I was having arguments late at night with a book, damn it, but her character was frustrating and the pace was weak.

We slam into a common trope, the destined one. An unsuspecting, low self-esteem but beautiful red-head and a hot, naked mystery man in a cave, thrown together by destiny. I’m not a fan of this trope, but I always find myself sucked in. This book was no different. Once Juliet met Marsh, my face was glued to the book for the next 3 days and I read it twice more in the same week.

One thing I have to admit is that naked Marsh had my eyes rolling. I was ready to jump into a harlequin novel with corny reasons for being together and love-at-first-sight, but we get a decent amount of time to fall for the relationship. It was still a fast track sort of romance, but a whirlpool romance with bumps along the way. So, go team Mariet!

The characters are full of interest and fun quirks. And if there isn’t a fan club for Adaline after all of this, I’ll make one! I would have liked more face-time with the villains, but they are villains after all. I’m still pretty hung up on the whole Selkies thing and I am impatiently waiting for book two. Bring me the selkies and go team Mariet! I definitely recommend the book to anyone who loves destiny, romance, mythological creatures, and a little mystery.

Are you ready to take a breath and swim with Juliet and Marsh in Secrets?