First off, as you've probably noticed, the blog has a new look! I just felt like changing things up a bit and experimenting with a new color scheme. I also wanted the graphic design to better represent what my work is all about.
Also, the About page now has a FAQ section, because those are generally useful, and I realized there are some questions I actually get asked quite frequently.
I wanted to take a quick moment to address the infrequent updates lately. I've had a lot going on IRL and just haven't had much time or energy for drawing or writing. Things have settled down a bit now, so I'm hoping to be able to get back to being a little more creative going forward.
I've also still been trying to sort out some of the career thoughts I discussed in this post. Marketing and overall trying to get my books noticed was just way, way too stressful, like the kind of stress that causes health problems and makes it very obvious that you need to immediately stop what you're doing. I'm still trying to figure out where to go from here without compromising my health again, but I think my passion for storytelling is an important part of who I am, and it's something that I worked very hard to acquire the skillset for, so I want to embrace it and make it my contribution to the world. I appreciate the support of my readers and followers who have the ability to spread their enthusiasm for my work and help me feel like what I'm doing is worthwhile.
Finally, for anyone who's interested, I made some rather extensive revisions to Worth Searching For, specifically most of the scenes involving Terra's and Isengrim's friendship. This is the second time I've revised the story, and while I felt the last revision was a drastic improvement over the original that (rather unfortunately) was the version that got into the Neopian Times, a short while ago I looked at it again and felt that I could do a better job of portraying their evolving interpersonal dynamic, playing up Terra's strengths, and exploring and explaining Isengrim's complicated psychology.
In this version, I wanted to make it clear that Terra gets caught up in a tough situation, but with her wisdom, far-sightedness, and compassion, she's quick to understand that Isengrim is the one who really needs saving. The two are able to connect over the fact that Terra is also a social reject, so she empathizes with Isengrim's Werelupe pack, knowing how it feels to be shunned for being different.
On Isengrim's part, I hopefully made it clear that from the beginning he feels conflicted about his actions and his attitude toward his new owner. His past experiences with other people have made him feel like he cannot trust Terra, but her brave and selfless actions, as well as her unconditional kindness toward him and the other Werelupes, quickly endear her to him despite his best attempts to deny it. When he hurts her feelings during the feast, he decides that he's had enough of his own poor behavior.
I think this version also better shows that after their pivotal conversation, the two become fast friends and truly care for each other not out of force of circumstance, but because they genuinely enjoy each other's personalities and enjoy taking care of each other. As I said, this part of the plot is extremely complicated, but I think these latest revisions handle it much more realistically and satisfactorily. I probably bit off far more than I could chew with wanting to write a story redeeming Isengrim, but I just felt like it needed to happen, even if my first attempts at the details were a little clumsy. He's become a fantastic part of the main cast, though, so I regret nothing.
(Also, if you like my Neopets work, I've got another story coming to the blog soon, so keep an eye out for that!)