Life, Art, and Monkeys

50,000 Words Reached

I managed to hit the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo goal, and a few days early to boot! The story isn't quite over yet, though, so I'll be back to writing after this blog post.

I put together some of the lessons I learned and how they relate to other art endeavors over at Animator Island if you're interested. You can gain a lot of wisdom from tackling a challenge like NaNo, and I highly recommend it. I'm also thinking about compiling a lot of the things I learned into a small eBook for next NaNo season. We'll see! I think it would be fun to write.

Now that I've finally "won," I considered if I would ever do this thing again. I think I might, depending. Also if I never did another one, I think I'd be fine with that too. At least I can always look back and say "Yep, checked that one off my list."

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NaNo Update – Day 10

I am doing NaNoWriMo this year, and today's post will be a little update.

So far I am a 970 words from the halfway point of 25,000. It is the farthest of any attempts I've ever made at NaNo (my last attempt in 2012 was 5,088 words before quitting) so I am very pleased about that! And hey, it's all downhill from here, right?

I gave my novel a working title (not final, if this thing were to ever go past first draft stage, which I'm not sure it ever would, we'll see) and did a mock cover for it. So here's that:

Fake book cover for fun done in 10 minutes

It's not good, but it could be worse. I did it in about 10 minutes with a photo I found in a 30 second image search. But I enjoyed doing it. I like doing book covers, for kicks. It's also good practice. For this one, I need to fix the top, because it's hideous. I'd say this would be a first draft too, ha ha.

Anyway, I am taking the day off today because it's been a while and it's time. So tomorrow it will be back to writing, starting in on Act 2 of the 2 and a half act novel!

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Quoted on Fox News Channel

Ridiculous tweet On Fox News

If you'd like the full details about this ridiculousness, you can find them all right here.

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Inktober #6 – And a Book

Today I did an ink drawing using a photo my friend Mike took.

Inktober bird drawing Riki
Here's the reference.


I think it turned out rather well, considering I haven't done a lot of drawing from life recently. And the REASON I haven't done a lot of life drawing recently, apart from general laziness and lack of art momentum, is I've been working on my first book, and that book is here!

creativity Boot Camp bookmockupIf you'd like a copy, you can find it right here right now. There are both print and E versions available. Best of all it's on a Pay What You Want model, so you get to set your own price. :)


Inktober 2015: Day 2 – Campfire

Today's ink drawing is a little icon of a campfire, because I am headed to a campfire this evening to roast marshmallows. Well, my wife will roast marshmallows. I'm not a big marshmallow fan, so I will just poke at the fire and enjoy watching the glory of burning sticks. So fascinating/beautiful/astounding...

Inktober 2015 Riki

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Inktober has arrived

I talk more about it here, if you want details, but Inktober is upon us and here is my Day 1 attempt:

Riki inktober 01The reason for this particular drawing is that I do the bulletins for my church each week, and try to change up the cover with original art/typography every Sunday. It can be a lot of extra work, so I thought I'd combine this Inktober challenge with my need for bulletin art. I wanted to take this one further, but I was concerned I would overwork it (which I tend to do with ink drawings). In future days I will try to do more detailed pieces, both for bulletins and other types of artwork.


It's interesting: I never liked working with pen, but after a caricature class in college where I was forced to only use a thick Sharpie marker I fell in love with the medium. It's unforgiving, but it makes you work more confidently. Once a line goes down, that's it. There's no backsies.

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Justice for Cecil


Filed under: Art, Being Human 1 Comment

Photos: California 2015

I recently returned from a trip out west, and here are some photos from the journey!


The Coast of San Diego


I like taking pictures of rocks. Not sure why.


Bird, with poop.


See? More rocks. It's weird, right?


Obviously I didn't take this one, since I'm in it. Tidepools!

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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 for regular scheduled updates that provide better insights and information. Thanks!


Quick E3 2015 Thoughts!

I'd like to spend more time on the subject, but it's a busy day followed by a very busy week here, so I only have a few minutes. Still, people like talking E3 so let's do it!

- I heard very good things came out of the MS and Sony conferences, which have a lot of people excited. Really happy for them! At a glance there was nothing that jumped out at me, aside from apparent news that the XB1 is now backwards compatible? Might be time to upgrade that dying 360 of mine if this is the case! (Though I don't need an XB1 so the smart thing is to not even think about making that purchase!) I also heard FF7 is finally getting a remake, which is a bit hilarious considering they waited this long. I'm not a FF guy, so it also falls in the "happy for other people" camp.

- The Nintendo Direct didn't do much for me, honestly. Seems like that's the general consensus across a lot of places I've looked, but usually Nintendo really appeals to me. I think my issue is they seem SUPER resting on their laurels right now. Spin-offs of all their major brands, but nothing really new and interesting. Ho-hum, for me. Which is okay, because I have plenty to take up my time right now, and I still haven't opened a handful of Wii U games I got for Christmas! There's no shortage of entertainment, so a year off from anything that really has me excited is actually probably a very good thing. (I will play the new Fire Emblem, though. Love me some Fire Emblem! And the Xenoblade game will no doubt end up purchased by my wife. So it isn't like there's nothing.)

Overall this is the least interesting E3 that I've experienced in a few years. I am well aware that is NOT the case for many folks, who are have been eager for Last Guardian and Kingdom Heart news for a very, very long time. Hope they're worth the wait!

Alright, back to work. Also in case you missed it, there's a new post up at to read!

What did you think of E3 2015?

Filed under: Gaming 3 Comments