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I knew my condo-buying adventure was going too easily. My realtor called today to say the underwriter is unhappy with the appraisal. :C Apparently this is a very rare thing. (Personally, when it comes to beating the odds, I'd rather win the lottery.) He's going to call tomorrow after he's talked more with the loan officer, but I might end up having to use a different bank or mortgage company. Nrrrrrrrgh. *headdesk* And here I thought I was almost done with this chore. *sigh*
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I cleaned for 6 hours today, and I am STILL not done. I made a list this morning of everything I needed to clean, and marked the most important ones. (Windows, mop, vacuum, empty cabinets under sinks so the apartment guys can check for leaks.) I took 3 times my usual dose of caffeine, and got busy.

In which slr2moons details her cleaning adventure. )

I still have some stuff to do. Gotta finish cleaning the stove top, sweep up the floor in the bathroom, pick up scattered laundry and make sure at least all the underwear is hidden. :P I need to do this all tonight, too, b/c last year the inspection started with MY building, right at 9 AM. Bleh.

Gonna take another painkiller before I go to bed tonight. I'm gonna be sore tomorrow from all this vigorous exercising. And possible with the sniffles, too. I get sick easily these days, my endurance is really down. X|

But at least now my apartment smells pleasantly of Mr. Clean. I wish my walking buddies Sno and Mab were coming over in the next few days, so they could see how nice everything looks. ^^ And I noticed my windows are easier to slide open and closed! Imagine that.

Now, it is 8:30 PM, and I can finally get to work. Wheeeeee!
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Hi, everyone. Yes, I vanished again. *sighs* I certainly didn't WANT to. *headdesk*

The past few weeks have been interesting, in that Chinese curse way. In the past week alone: I'm 3/4ths through the process of buying a condo. (SO MUCH PAPERWORK GAH) Estimated taxes #4 were due on Friday (I am le broke now), the annual apartment inspection for water leaks and potential meth labs is Monday (which means I have to deep clean this weekend UGH), my right-side work monitor finally died and I bought another new one to match the recently replaced left monitor (see le broke note), and this weekend was a local convention I wanted to attend with a friend, but had to cancel because of everything else going on. >< (I had my Agatha from Girl Genius cosplay mostly ready, too. Wig and trilobite pin and all.)

And work is hanging heavy over me, as usual. Annnnd I've been 25-75% sick throughout it all. Fun times.

I want to post this now, so I don't put it off any longer. GAH.

More tomorrow or Monday. If I don't follow through with that, please poke me. Seriously, I miss posting!!!
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Um....hi, guys. *waves sheepishly*

So...I see it's been over three months since my last post. I'm sorry, if anyone has missed me. The past few months have been a non-stop scramble with work. When I'm super-stressed, I withdraw from social interaction--including posting online, and all I really want to do is sleep, eat, sleep, sleep, and sleep some more. And when I'm sleeping ~12 hours a day, including naps, it doesn't help me get any work done. *sigh*

The fun every-other-weekly write-ins I've been doing this year ended before my last post, and I do miss them. Again, if it weren't for the weekly-weekly walks with Mab and Sno, the only actual people I'd have conversations with in these months would be my regular grocery store checkout woman and the Fed-Ex guy. (The same guy has been bringing me my Viz stuff since I moved here. We're on a first-name basis.)

Those of you who Yuletide have probably noticed I stuck to my guns and didn't sign up this year. It would have been my fifth year, but...given my already heavy stress levels, I think I made the right choice. I followed the Yuletide coms and threads on FFA and such for a couple weeks, but I had to stop. It was too painful to see everyone having fun and chatting, while I was just watching and knowing I really shouldn't sign up this year. It was easier to cut it all off. I haven't arranged any write-ins for the Portland area. I hope someone else is taking care of that. *wistful sigh* And I also stop reading my friends list, to avoid all the painful Yuletide cheer.

Yes, today I loaded my friends page for the first time in a month and a half. I don't know if I'll ever manage to read everything I missed, but I'm going to try.

I'm sorry my sadness of forcing myself to skip Yuletide kept me away from all of you. Checking my friends page has been part of my daily routine for years, but I let it fizzle away. And I remember when I had to force myself to post only once a day. ^^; I miss those fun days of LJ, when my traffic stats showed I had 50 different visitors a week!

I want to post more. I hope you'd like to read more. C: I'm going to try.

I've missed everyone. *hugs*
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I stopped posting here and on FB both, when Spicer-kitty was gone. IDK. I just didn't feel like talking much. Life has been okay since then. This summer has yet to be a disaster like the previous three, though the ending is going to be a bit dicey thanks to work.

Temporary kitty, flying back to TX for a wedding this weekend, work update for all my titles, and a developed tweak to my manga method. )

One page at a time. *deep breath in and out* And on that note, back to work for me.
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Guys, my friend Rathany posted about this, and I am spreading the word. A for-profit site called ebooks-tree.com has been harvesting fic off of AO3 and other sites and offering it in pdf and mobi form from their site.

I searched, and they have three of my fics and one of my fanart pics.

So far, the advice from AO3 and others in the know is:

-lock your AO3 fic to be private and viewable by logged-in users only. (I think you have to do this individually for each fic.)

-use the ebooks-tree.com site's "contact" tab and tell them to take down your works. I used a combination of the form letters found on these two tumblrs:

http://flippyspoon.tumblr.com/post/116343415541/did-ebooks-tree-com-steal-your-fanfiction
http://ao3org.tumblr.com/post/116311865913/fyeahcopyright-update-below-weve-been

They're also stealing original fiction from pro writers!!!

We must make a huge stink about this, guys!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!!
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Yesterday I was able to attend winnett's birthday party, and much fun was had. I had my first ever martini (strawberry, b/c I like the sweet fruity drinks), and then we went to box karaoke.

For those who don't know, box karaoke is karaoke in a private room, where only the people in your group can hear you sing. (None of that embarrassment by singing in front of a huge room of drunk strangers!) I haven't been to box karaoke since leaving Texas. My friends back home knew of a place in Korea Town in Dallas, and we went there three or four times. I had no idea box karaoke was in Portland, but I am muchly pleased.

And yes, I am going back! XD

The karaoke place has their song list online, and I made up a list of all the songs I wanted to sing. I was able to do most of them, too! I only ordered one drink there, for I am a lightweight. IDR the name, but it was some form of sake + plum or plum sake. Delicious. :9

I danced and sang without reservations, likely due to my two drinks. *laughs* It was so much fun!!! Winnett and her BF were the only two people there that I already knew. The other five seemed quite nice, though! I think I made a new friend, who sent me a friend request on FB. (Alas, she isn't on LJ, like so many people these days.) We sang for three hours, and they pretty much had to kick us out. XD The final song was one specifically requested by the birthday girl, Weird Al's "Yoda". I practiced it just for last night! ^^V

Getting home was interesting. I rode the train in so I wouldn't have to worry about being sober enough to drive--and wouldn't have to bother with parking. Which was a VERY good idea last night, as Portland was hosting THREE different professional sports games. Hockey, basketball, and soccer. ^^;;; The train we saw pass by at my train stop to go home was already full from the hockey and basketball games, which happened on the other side of the river. The soccer game (right next door to the train station) was winding down, and ended as we were waiting for the train. And waiting for the train. And waiting and waiting, as more and more people piled out of the stadium and were waiting with us. (Winnett and her BF kindly walked me to the train stop and waited with me.)

At this point, with the train not coming and the masses of people who wanted to board said missing train growing and growing, I began to have memories of 4th of July '13, when I watched the fireworks with book club friends in downtown Portland. The masses of people all leaving the fireworks show at the same time, the super-crowded trains, all meant I didn't get home un 4 AM. yes, it took me FIVE HOURS to get home by train. D:

I asked if Winnett would drive me home, b/c GAH. Thankfully she agreed! Whew! So the three of us tromped the mile and a half or so to their place, and after a short food and water break, they kindly drove me home. OMGYAY. They also met Kakashi. :3 (Alas, Spicer was not in the mood to say hi to strangers.)

Today, I am sore from all the dancing, my voice is rough, and I am very very tired. But it was worth it!! Like I said above, I definitely want to go back. YEAH!
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My last post was me venting about everything that's been bearing down on me in the past few months. But some good things have been happening, too!

Spicer is doing better, new URL for my fanfic recs page, manga counting continues, reading, small shigoto update, New Title 12's identity revealed, exercising with friends, Adult Things to Do List )

That's everything positive I can think of to share at the moment. ^^ Back to work for me! The Clay women are calling. C:
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Almost two months since my last update. So much for being the change and posting more, huh? Ugh.

Okay, so...

tl:dr: I have been very busy lately. Lots of stress. Staying in my current apartment for almost another year. Spicer is not doing well. Work is crazy-busy. Haven't been able to do anything creative since Yuletide.

The whole nine yards, for those not yet given in to the influence of the brief-content platforms of FB, twitter, and tumblr. )
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Greetings, my flist! All ~5 or of you or so who, like me, are still on DW and LJ and check it regularly. ^^

I haven't said much here lately, and I admit, it's b/c everyone else is on FB and it's nice to say something and start a dialogue. *sigh* I so miss this platform's glory days. But I should stop contributing to the problem by not posting here, and post more! Ha!

Okay, so...here's an update on what's happening in my life.

Tl;dr: Not much, as usual.

Longer version within! Work, Yuletide, car, health, living arrangements, misc, and entertainment. )

I guess that's it for this long update. It feels good to talk to you guys again! Please leave a comment, if you have anything to say or ask. C:
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These days it's all work-work-work for me, but in this bought of Work Hell, I gave myself two days off. The first was for book club, and the second was for queenie-mab's Halloween party. Which was last night!

Party summary! )

I came home with full intentions to work (I did a pink Voice page before the party, actually!), and I sat in front of my computer monitors, checked my email, blinked, and 45 minutes had vanished. I was SO TIRED. I flopped in bed a good two hours early. ^^;;

This morning I only slept in a little, and made myself exercise for real. I did a loop through my residential neighborhood and walked one minute, jogged the next, walk, jog, etc. Half an hour long, and I didn't cheat! But OMG I am so out of shape. *wince*

I've been pretty much a zombie (and not in the fun costume way) all day. The running on top of exhausting myself yesterday at the party has really put a dent in my productivity. I'll finish my Clay daily quota tonight, but it's gonna be tight. At least the pink page for the day is done. Poor Voice has to wait until tomorrow. Again.

I signed up for Yuletide!!!! XD This is the one fanfic exchange I let myself participate in every year, and those of you who have been around a while know how much I LOVE IT. My letter has been public for about two weeks. You can find it here! I would not object to a treat or three...

I'm requesting the full six fandoms, as usual. Four manga (all which I've lettered!), one movie, and one short story. I've been stalking the sign-up stats so far, and only the movie, the short story, and one of the manga titles has anyone offering to write. It's early days yet, though! (But now I think about it, poor Clay didn't have any offers last year. That will probably be true again this year. I suppose I'm the only English-language Isley fan...T.T)

Last year I went crazy and offered to write for 28 different fandoms. This year, I'm keeping things under control. I've offered only 10 this year (7 anime or manga, 1 live-action, and 2 comics). But TBH I'm reconsidering the live action and one of the anime titles. I'd like to see the letters for those, first.

I've made a promise to write at least one treat in addition to my assignment, and I had a flaily fit of joy today when I read someone's letter and FOUND IT! The request I want to treat!! *flails more* I've been wanting to write a fic about that character for several years, and they were requested by someone whose fanfic wishes seem to mesh well with me!!! Ohhhhhhh!! XD

I am SO excited. I am offering this canon, though, so there's a slight chance I could be matched to this person anyway. Which would mean my treat would become my assignment, and I've have to find a 2nd person to write for. ^^;; But I'll deal with that if it happens, which it probably won't! This fandom is a Yuletide fave, and always has a ton of offers. That means low odds I'll be matched. *clutches her treat's notes file to her breast* I have another episode to take notes on, then find the corresponding manga chapters and read those, too. Heeeee! :3

YULETIDE! I LOVE THEE SO!!!!! But for now, back to work. I need to finish my daily Clay quota. (Alas, Isley I miss you. If only you were still alive...)

ETA: OMG, someone offered to write Clay!! *tears of joy* Thank you, kind writer, should you see this!! I am delighted by the possibility of receiving Isley fic this year! XDDDD
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It's back to the work grind for me, everyone! Script for Clay 26 arrived last Tuesday, and after some emailing, the deadline was set for November 11th. This volume is one big fight scene, so it's gonna be crazy work time again!

Add that Voice 10 is due the day after. Thankfully this vol of Voice is easier than usual. Whew! I'll be able to make up for time lost to all those time-consuming Clay pages this way.

This means my spare time has vanished again. Alas. I had to miss out on a hike this weekend I really wanted to attend, but them's the breaks.

Kids, be smart. BE SALARIED. *laughs*

Back to work! Deadlines wait for no freelancer. Nope.
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As the subject says, I survived.

I've been sleeping a great deal this weekend, no doubt to make up for the continuous stress I've been under for the month before the trip, and the work-week immediately after, when I had three deadlines due on the 26th. Speaking of, Seraph vol 4 is completely finished, Skip vol 34's first draft is done, and so is the first volume of Requiem.

Lots of words and some pics! below the cut )
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Interesting things happening in the manga world that are relevant to me.

First, the bad news. Clay is ending in the October 4th issue of Jump Square. This means 2 more volumes in English. I already have Japanese Clay vol 26, which was published in June. One more Japanese volume is coming, possibly two if the final chapter is super-long.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I started lettering Clay in fall of 2005. 9 years, guys. It won't be my first ongoing series to end--that was Nana, which didn't have a real ending, but cut off abruptly due to mangaka health problems. Honey, Captive, and the various oneshots all had ended before I began. Clay will have a real ending.

*is at a loss*

In lighter news, apparently Seraph will have an anime. This is early, particularly since it's a monthly title. IDT we know the anime studio yet, but I hope it's Madhouse or Bones, and that they don't stiff the budget. I likes me some pretty animation. I also hope they wait until next spring. That'll give us around 8 more chapters of manga, and if they keep the anime to a short 11 or 12 ep season, that should be just enough. Please no half-baked anime-studio-written endings! *cough* Clay *cough*.

And in news that's relevant to me on a personal, apparently there's a new manga adaptation of Arslan. O.o Being done by FMA's mangaka, Arakawa Hiromu. Talk about a complete change in style from the original shoujo manga adaption. *blinks* And here I thought the Arslan manga people had mentioned reading at Crunchyroll was the shoujo version, and I'd been surprised someone would license such a dated-art-style manga. This explains things, huh?

As for me, I'm going crazy trying to finish everything--or as much as I can--before the week I lose in Texas for family visits and my cousin's wedding. (No one can lay a guilt trip on you like family, amirite?)

I have this fear that my being away for so long will trigger Spicer into another bought of health problems. It's entirely possible. Argh.
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I'm lettering Skip vol 34, and it has several flashback pages. And I mean really flashBACK, with with one panel from vol 1 being used.

I've been archiving my manga Photoshop files for years, first to CD, then DVD, and then blu-ray. Skip vol 1 is on actual CD, and the disc loaded and the page I needed unzipped and copied to Shetan's hard drive just fine. Skip volumes didn't end up on DVD, but blu-ray instead. Given the subject line, you can guess where this is going.

My blu-ray for Skip vols 16-25 now refuses to load. It loaded slowly but okay two days ago, when I needed some flashback pages, but last night when I needed some more--nothing. I thought it was my disc drive, but the blu-ray that has Skip vols 7-16 loaded as fine as you please. The disc that isn't working has no scratches, it's been in its jewel case all this time. It just refuses to load. Good disc 7-16 contains pages 5-170 of vol 16. Bad disc 16-25 contains the end of vol 16: 171-188.

A year ago, this disc was working perfectly. No problems whatsover. Now? I've lost 1,750 pages of lettered Skip. How I wish I could send my past self a message to copy the entire disc to hard drive. T.T Or even two days ago, when the disc would partially load! *cries*

This isn't a horrible disaster, as Viz has the final tiffs of the pages saved, and Shoujo Editor 2 has already sent me the two pages from vol 17 that I need. But it still hurts. All those hours and love I poured into lettering Skip are now only visible as flattened tiffs. That really hurts.

I'm currently trying to copy everything I can from the bad disc to my new external hard drive. The end of vol 16 was a bust, but I might be able to save all or most of 17. *knocks on wood* Better than nothing, right? *sigh*

T.T Technology, how can you fail me like this? *cries*
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Hey. ^^ Long time no talk yet again, right? But here I am, finally. Unfortunately, when it's been a while since I've posted, I feel I should write a Post of Substance, and that takes time and effort, and thus I decided to do it tomorrow. Repeat for about a month. :P But today, I had something on my mind, and even though it's frivolous, I want to share it. C:

My IRL and fandom friend knatsymike asked me via text how much of my massive manga collection I've actually read. Those of you who have witnessed my collection in person know it's huge, and it seems half the time when I'm asked if I've read a particular series, I'll answer "No, but I own it! :D"

I'm curious to see exactly what the ratio is to the read and unread manga in my collection. I started yesterday. So far, I've made it through Basara by Tamara Yuki. (Sarasa/Ageha/Asagi OT3 4EVA!!1!! /shipping)

A manga vol is read if I've read the entire thing once, no matter how long ago. This includes reading series in a magazine first, like Shojo Beat (How I miss thee... T.T), and then bought the GN when it was released. Also it includes everything I've lettered, because I've read those IN DETAIL. SO!!

Tally so far:

68 read
42 unread
total volumes: 110

Anyone want to make any predictions?? Here, I'll start: I guesstimate I own 1200 manga volumes, and I've read two thirds of them. :3

(Note: These 110 volumes counted so far are 1/4th of one shelf. Have I mentioned I have a massive collection? Because I do.)

To be clear, I didn't buy all of my manga. A good third of my collection were freebies from Viz. I've also stalked several library sales, b/c I can't resist a $1 manga vol I don't have, even if it's covered with library stamps and stickers. I've also obtained a nice chunk from www.paperbackswap.com. (If you join, list me as the person who referred you!!! Use my hotmail addy. ^^V) My manga buying binge slowed down the past couple years, as my rent increased, and Spicer-kitty ended up so sick. (He's doing good! *knock on wood*)

And yes, in case you haven't noticed, I like physical books. C:
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On Tues evening, I had to move lilies inside b/c of apartment painting. Soon after heard Spicer vomiting, discovered it had a lily leaf in it. I googled "are lilies poisonous to cats". Yes. Yes they are. No cure, they can only try to dilute. Covered lillies with old shower curtain and tablecloth, stuffed Spicer into carrier, and sped to emergency vet. Wed morning picked up Spicer and transferred to regular vet. So far so good, Spicer receiving an IV bag as treatment. Brought home Wed night, Spicer tries his best to chew off catheter for IV. I cover with paper towel and duct tape. It works, ghetto style. Back to vet Thurs morning for more treatment. Pick him up that night, Spicer attacks catheter at home, he succeeds, take him back to vet for catheter check/retaping and bought Cone of Shame. Home again, Spicer freaked about Cone, after 30 min calms down. Can't chew on leg, but still shakes it hard every couple minutes to try to get off bandages. I sleep terribly b/c shaking leg hits Cone and is very loud, afraid to wear ear plugs b/c of alarm this morning. I'm exhausted. In a few min take him back to vet for hopefully final day of IV. Also blood tests to be run to check for any lily effects.

Lesson learned: Make sure any plants inside your house are not poisonous to your pets. Particularly if you know they like to nom on green things. Like Spicer does. *headdesk* T.T
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I've really flaked on the posting more often, huh? Sorry to say I lost an LJ friend recently, but I gained a new one. C: Can't really complain! Thank you to everyone who has kept me on their reading/friends list, even though I don't talk much here these days. :P

Work-wise, things are...interesting. I finished Natsume 17's first draft a few days early. Now I'm waiting on corrections. Voice 7 is almost done, nicely on time. For Seraph, the mad dash of all those chapters in a row is finally over this Monday with chapter 21--OMGYAY--and now I have a week off before it's time to letter the first of the now-monthly chapters, with #22. (Seraph is monthly in Japan, so it's monthly here now that we've caught up on all the previously published-in-Japan chapters.)

Sounds like things are in pretty good shape, right? Welp, now let me tell you about Clay. Clay 25 is running behind. The constant Seraph chapters were a real drain on my time, and now I'm paying for it. This volume of Clay is due on June 2nd, and it's going to be interesting meeting that. Particularly since I'm trying to have a life and see IRL friends more than twice a month. ^^;;

I have made one big change with Clay: in all the previous volumes, hand-drawn "organic" sound effects were original to every page. With all my other titles--all the way back to Nana--I save FX and reuse them where I can. It's a big time-saver. I figured Clay was too varied to try that, but the opposite is true. I've always said Clay is like busywork. When it comes to creating the English FX and retouching the artwork, Clay rarely makes me stop and think. It's straight-forward, and I have it down to a science. (Granted, a slow science, but yeah.) And thus, I've begun saving my organic Clay FX for use on more than one page. It's already saved me some good time, even in the ~20 pages I've done so far.

The vast majority of readers won't notice the reusing. For one thing, I don't reuse an FX within 50 pages of a previous use. In fact, I doubt anyone but me would ever know I started this, if I hadn't said it here! Heh. When 25 is released, feel free to play "spot the duplicate FX" and ask me if you're right. ^^V

But when Clay 25 is done, I have to scramble to finish Seraph volume 3, which is when I add FX for the GN version. Fun times.

I'm still hoping this summer will be good for me, since the previous three sucked.

This weekend, I saw two IRL friends! On Saturday, knastymike and I went to a German restaurant. It was DELICIOUS! I must go back, even though it's a little pricey, and a drive! YUM. Then today, I drove to mab's house and we walked around her neighborhood and talked fandom, and house buying, and all sorts of fun stuff. ^^

A satisfying weekend, all around! And now, back to Clay 25. Wheeee!
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Went on a 6-mile hike on Sunday, in gorgeous 70 degree weather and a crisp wind to keep it from becoming too hot. C: I did better than I thought I did, considering how out of shape I am. Came home, showered, and then slept for 3 hours. Heh.

The next day, I joined [profile] snottygirl for dinner at a new-to-me restaurant in the Pearl. It was delicious! I definitely want to go back. :9 Lots of excellent conversation was had. I haven't seen snottygirl since my Yuletide write-ins, so it was wonderful to catch up IRL.

Work-wise, things are teetering on the edge of being under control. I'm trying not to think too much about deadlines, just focusing on finishing every page I can.

Mostly right now, I'm consumed with irritation. It's time for my lease to be renewed, and I learned my rent is going up $80 to $200, depending on how long I renew for. I did some quick internet searching and discovered the new rate is normal for similar complexes in my area. It took me about an hour, but I realized why:

Inflation plus supply and demand makes for a frustrated s2m )

If I place a bag of money under my pillow, with the House Fairy leave me a lovely deed??
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Oh wow, it's been almost a month since I last posted. ^^;; Argh. When I'm busy with work, posting kinda falls to the wayside.

As I've said before, I've been scrambling to keep up with work since the disaster of last summer and Spicer-kitty's illness. As of this past Wednesday, I finally finally FINALLY caught up. It only took me eight months. X| On Wednesday I turned in Voice vol 6, and sat back to realize I didn't have a deadline looming. Natsume 17 is due mid-May, Voice 7 a couple weeks later, and Seraph chapter 15 on Monday--which is normal for Seraph.

It feels WONDERFUL to be caught up. 4 to 5 pages a day for each volume (plus the 8-10 for a Seraph chapter) and I'll REMAIN caught up. Aye, there's the rub!

To celebrate my reclaimed status, I posted the second chapter of my crossover fic for Summer Wars and Skip: Unlikely Idol. You can read it in the usual places: AO3, FF.net, and Luna. (I can't post a link to Skyehawke because the site is down. :|) Reception has been very quiet, aside from my beta and the one talkative fan so far. Such is the joy of crossing over one small fandom and one obscure one. :P (About 10 people have clicked on chapter one at Luna, but not one of them have progressed to chapter two. Alas!)

On Friday I did my taxes in three hours, a personal new record. Taxes are not a simple 1040 for me, nope. :P But they're done and YAY that chore is over! :DDD

I have three goals: 1. remain caught up (yes please), 2. get back in shape (also yes please), and 3. make art for myself (oh please yes please). Wish me luck! All three will be difficult to manage. Speaking of, back to it for me!

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