Life, Art, and Monkeys
26Apr/16Off

Movin!

Well, given how infrequently I update this ol' personal blog, I think it's about time I moved things over to JKRiki.com permanently. It's updated every Monday, after all! Plus I'm going to be upgrading it in the next few months to include links to other spots I hang out online, such as my new digs at Instagram. If you're looking for me in the meantime, check over here!

Zipping over to JKRiki.com!

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24Jun/15Off

Past Archives Begin Here

Caution sign
Please note: Posts here older than June 24th, 2015 should be considered officially archived. I am not removing them, but in the ten years that I have been writing on this blog I have changed a great deal. Things beyond this point should be considered outdated at best, and may contain many errors or opinions I no longer hold. These things tend to happen as you grow and live life. Or at least, they hopefully happen as you try to become a better person as you age! I just want readers to be aware of that, so that if you decide to go poking through history you will know that it doesn't necessarily reflect my current or future views. :)

 

If you'd like current thoughts and posts, please visit JKRiki.com for regular scheduled updates that provide better insights and information. Thanks!

JKRiki.com

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15May/15Off

Writing and Pain

Firstly, I pulled a muscle while sleeping last night and today it hurts to do anything. Guess I'm going to take the day off. I don't seem to have much of a choice.

The good news is it will give me some time to catch up on reading. I currently have four books started and another waiting patiently in the wings. One of those books is Stephen King's memoir/how-to about writing.

Stephen King memoir

I've not read any of Mr. King's books, minus sneaking a copy of Cujo from my older cousin's shelf when I was nine or ten just because I wasn't allowed to read them. I didn't read the whole thing, just flipped through to see "the good parts." I don't think I was ready for any of the parts of that very adult book at that age. One scene in particular stays with me twenty years later, and I don't think I'll ever forget its haunting prose.

Anyway, his memoir on writing is fascinating, and I highly recommend it to writers and readers alike. There are some great insights in there, and he puts it on the table in a very no-nonsense, take-it-or-leave-it way. He doesn't seem to care much what anyone else thinks of his process, and that allows him to be totally frank about it. I don't agree with all of it, but the vast majority is still very informative.

At one point he includes an exercise for writing (which, of course, is the only actual way to improve at anything - practice) and I sat yesterday and wrote 1,600 words off the given prompt. It was... interesting. I've not written anything in the horror genre before, and that was a new experience. It was rather dark, and definitely adult. I don't curse in real life (just not a fan) but it came naturally to the scene on paper. To not have included it there would have been dishonest. I was simply telling the story as it played out, not engineering anything.

Well, that's not entirely true. I felt bad for the daughter, "Little Nell," and so I had her father survive even though in the true version of the story he should have died, and I knew it. I'm just too soft to go killing main characters, and it makes me mad when writers do that. I invest all this energy into the protagonist and they die at the end? Blah. No thank you, you've just wasted my time. (Side note: This has become a disturbing trend in Young Adult fiction, it seems. Not a fan.)

So I guess my books will never be perfect, or great, as I have that heart keeping me from leaving everything on the table. Oh well, life goes on. If that's the worst thing that can happen, so be it.

I thought about posting the thing here, but it's not very good (first draft only, and there won't be a second because it's just practice) and it's also pretty dark. If you have any interest in reading it, leave a comment and I will email it to you. Just know before you do that it's rough and you'd be much better off reading something else. 😉

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Filed under: Books, Sick, Writings 1 Comment
22Jan/15Off

I… have no words.

I tried to come up with a title for this post, but I'm literally at a loss for words right now.

This past week (or "today," since I write these posts in advance at the moment) I received an email- clearly spam but it doesn't matter- with the subject "Your Affair Will Be Our Little Secret." Normally I don't even bother reading the content of email that is clearly spam, however I was curious what marketing technique they were using and what "affair" might be creatively referring to.

Unfortunately, it was not creative reference.

No, they LITERALLY meant affair. As in, infidelity of marriage. This was not some clever way to advertise an "affair with your new iPad" or "the love you have for chocolate." This was an honest to goodness place to meet other married individuals seeking out, quote, "commitment-free fun, just like you."

Good gracious, human race, what are you DOING.

For several years, I have made one of my top priorities reducing the judgement I have of myself and others. I'm not called to judge, and frankly it makes me a bad person when I do. (Bad person in the sense of I am mean, and self-righteous, and a jerk when I frolic around judging people and things. It is a rush of power to tear down another, and while I enjoyed the power at the time, I saw too much hurt being inflicted, and it was time to change. Thank God.)

It is monstrously difficult for me not to judge this. This is appalling to me.

It's bad enough that I think people have made marriage a sham of what it should be (joining in sacred vows for tax purposes, for example, or the current divorce rate after you promised before God and others that you would stay together until death) but the idea that there is an online community of people lavishing in this horrific act is nearly sickening. I am nearly physically ill thinking about it.

What a terrible, miserable thing. Good gracious.

That's all, I just needed to speak out on this thing I discovered. Sorry for ranting, I'm trying to cut back.

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7Sep/14Off

Appendixes! Appendici?

Well, my wife's appendix ruptured, and that's no fun at all. Lots of time being spent at the hospital at the moment, and it's a day by day thing to see what they'll do about it. Surgery will be necessary, just not sure when right now. They're trying to get it less inflamed with antibiotics. The great news is a rupture is a little different than a "burst" which means her whole system didn't get flooded with really bad bacteria that can be life threatening. Still, rather scary stuff and not something to be taken lightly. I'm very grateful to have a terrific doctor who decided just to be careful we better check it wasn't a stomach flu and do some tests which discovered it was ruptured.

Needless to say, that's going to get the full attention of life right now, so I'll be doing that and when it's taken care of I'll get back to art, house stuff, and all the other things that fill up a day. Hope everyone else is well!

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Filed under: Being Human, Sick 2 Comments
15Apr/14Off

A Roundup of “It All”

Hey folks! What's up? Been a little while since I posted to the ol' blog, so I figured I'd catch up with what's been going on in my little world.

For starters I've been having some weird breathing problem for the past few weeks that only seems to be getting worse, so after trying a few medications I'm headed to the hospital tomorrow for some tests. No idea what that's about but it's been extremely annoying. I can breathe, but it's difficult and sleeping is a nightmare every single night. So hopefully we can figure this out and move on from it.

The new house is coming along, though there's still SO much to do that I feel like it's never going to be done. Eventually, I'm sure. Especially if I can get my energy back from whatever is inflicting my health.

Animator Island continues to be updated, and we're getting closer to the launch of a few new videos over there, so I hope people will stay tuned to that. This article has skyrocketed in popularity for some reason, so if you haven't seen The 25 Fastest Ways to Fail at Animation feel free to check it out. I sure have learned a lot of ways to fail at animation over the years. 😛

Speaking of animation, I'll be hopefully starting another class in May continuing on at Studio Technique, and progress further in my journey to do great traditional animation. Also going to take a Life Drawing class, because it's been a decade since I took one of those and it's about time again.

I haven't done anything Fred the Monkey related in a long while, but I still would like to continue with that at some point. Can't say when, though, because I have zero idea. I did a few voices just playing around with some lines today, but unfortunately whatever is wrecking my lungs seems to be messing up my throat too, so I can't even manage most of the characters at the moment. Gotta get this taken care of...

I think that's about it, then. Seems like not a lot new/going on, though life continues to just roll right down the road and overall I can't complain. I've been trying to stop by animation forums and websites and help folks with critiques whenever possible. I really enjoy doing that sort of thing, makes me feel good about not just wasting all this studying I've done (since I'm not putting it to much use on my own work at the moment).

Hope everyone else is doing well! Anything new going on?

 

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5Feb/14Off

Flu season again!

I made a doctor's appointment earlier in the week because I was having headaches and dizziness, but now it seems I'm enjoying a full-on case of the flu. So I don't know if that was what the headache/dizzy stemmed from or not, but I'm glad I'll be headed to see the doc tomorrow anyway.

Not fun, but hey, I'm still kicking!

In other news, here is some art to look at.

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Filed under: Art, Sick No Comments
23Sep/13Off

New House Get

Well I officially have a new house, and all the work that comes along with such a thing (especially when said house falls concretely into the "fixer upper" category of houses). I also spent the last week and a half sick with the flu, which is never any fun. I tried to actually spend my time in bed getting rest so it would go away faster, but I'm not sure how much that helped. Oh well! I appear to be on the mend now.

Over at Animator Island we're doing another Giveaway, so if you're interested in this book:

I highly recommend you follow this link and answer the giveaway question! A winner might be you.

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27Jun/13Off

No Fantastic Injuries

If you're going to injure yourself, frankly I think you should do it while doing something fantastic. Break your leg while saving a baby penguin from a burning apartment building maybe, or get a concussion piloting a hot air balloon through a tornado. For me, unfortunately, it seems I'm destined to injure myself in the most mundane, boring ways possible.

Today I went to the post office just to drop off a letter. It is pouring rain outside and when I walked quickly to the interior mail slot I slipped and I'm not sure what I did but my arm is in agony now. I feel like someone stabbed a knife right into the side.

My hope is I pulled something in a bad way, and that I didn't tear a muscle or something worse. I have no idea, but it's really, really awful. And I did it mailing a freaking letter. Not even going to get on the front page of the newspaper for parachuting into a speedboat to stop a ring of seal fur smugglers!

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Filed under: Sick No Comments
26Apr/13Off

Life Update!

My apologies for the severe lack of updates to the blog as of late! Here's what's been going on:

-For four or five years I've been "finishing" our house so that we can put it on the market, and it goes ever so slowly and never seems to be done. The past three weeks or so I've been spending all day every day at that house (we live in another location at the moment, "in between houses") to try and get things wrapped up. Sadly as soon as I nearly complete one project, it seems 2 more spring up that I didn't have on my to do list. I guess houses are like that. Anyway, I'm still trying to make the last big push to finish so it can be sold and we can move on with our lives. I'm REALLY ready to move on with our lives...

-Unfortunately the stomach issue that I had for seven months last year has returned, so I have a bunch of doctor appointments lined up with specialists to see what's going on. If they can even tell, because the stomach is a tricky bit of business and sometimes they just never find out what's wrong and you just have to live with it. I can live with it, it isn't too bad, but it IS extremely annoying and I would rather check it out in case it's something serious that I can work towards healing. Guess we'll see.

Not much else, really, those two things have been consuming my every day. I've been working to "live in the moment" and just absorb life one day at a time, which is nice but difficult, and at this point I'm getting antsy for getting back to my normal routine and animating/drawing again. It's been a long time since I've done any of that. It's time to get back to it very soon. (As soon as this blasted house is done! Arg!)

Hope everyone else is well! As an FYI, Animator Island reached 500 followers on Twitter (@AnimatorIsland) and to celebrate we're holding a giveaway on Monday, so check that out if you'd like.

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