DIY: Steve the Kraken

For some time already I had this idea of making an Octopus mascot out of... well, with whatever I had available. But life went on and there never seemed to be any time for it.
The beginning of this year I had the privilege of putting together my own team and that got the name Kraken and while before I was just a team member, now I was a manager. The urge to make something with my own hands for the team remained and a few weeks back I finally picked up the challenge.

After putting some thought to it, I got to work.


1. A few packs of napkins, a balloon, scissors, glue, brushes, cardboard and tape. We are good to go.
There is obviously not enough glue though.



2. First, let us assemble the legs. Cardboard and tape does the trick, Though it is time consuming. Most of legs have 4 parts with random angles.


3. As the kraken will be made of several parts, I have made a small coating of glue and paper on the legs, and putting them to dry, while also covering the balloon (body) with the same thing. 
Cats are curious and Black Clover is playing in the background.



4. After making sure everything is dry enough, the legs must be added to the body. The balloon is not too strong and the legs are heavy, so a lot of different tape is used (all this will be covered with glue and paper later anyway)


5. After several additional layers of coating (napkins and glue) it looks like a pretty neat octopus. So far so good.


6. Put it high to dry for a night.


7. Next day, when the tentacles and body were already dry enough I added additional pieces: eyes, hair, hat. All made of cardboard and tape. Covered with glue and napkins as usual. 
This too had to dry for a long time as paint would have added additional layer of liquid on top of everything.


8. Painting with acrylic paint. Took 6 hours, but was worth it. 
Let it dry.


9. About 2 days of crafting ad Voila! 
Steve the Kraken is ready to rock in the office.


Why Steve you ask? Well, we also considered Bob, but Steve sounded better.

The Big Anime Post

Today I will talk about anime and as I have actually never written about it, this will be a long one with some suggestions from yours truly.
If you love anime or not, I'm glad you are here as I might be able to peak your interest and prove once again that the anime is not just for kids nor is it just boobs and short skirts as my wife thinks (and thank god, it is not boobs and short skirts for kids). Just as some people have binge watched Game of Thrones, Vikings or some other popular series, I have been doing the same with anime (and have never even seen an episode of GoT). That medium just seems to work for me.

Obviously, I have acquired some tastes over the years, that you might agree with or not.
Following is a list of anime series that I would recommend to check out if you have not (it will not include movies as this would make it even longer).

It does not mean that I have not enjoyed other anime, but these ones have somehow found a place in my heart. So the list is essentially what has clicked with me (don't worry, you might also find something you like at the end of the list)

Avatar the last Airbender 

What's it about: Ang, the last airbender, has to learn how to bend all the elements and save the world.

What's it also about:
grief, loss, finding courage, solitude caused by power, getting over your mistakes.

Comments:
Yes, I know, it is not an anime per se, but it still is an animated show and for the untrained eye, there is no difference. It is aimed for kids. So is Le Petit Prince. Who cares. It is a brilliant show and will stay one - filled with humour but also with a lot of character growth. And the growth/change is there for many different characters.
The world concept and magic in it is super clear
Highly recommend!

If you like this one: There is The Legend of Korra that could be seen as spinoff - it is not too bad but will not beat the first one.


Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit




What's it about: a bodyguard is hired to save a life of a royal possessed kid. They take a journey while being chased.

What's it also about: Principles, doing what is right, family and bonds with strangers

Comments:
This is a brilliant anime that not too many know about. Characters are realistic and everyone has a motivation. It is pleasure to watch and balances between fast paced action and slow movement. Highly recommend!

If you like this one: There are plenty that have fantasy, fights etc but to find something where there is kid - guardian (parent) relationship and neither of them is silly, that is rare.

Ghost in the Shell 




What's it about: A team of experts fighting crime in future with high-tech: cybernetics, androids, etc

What's it also about:
What does it mean to be a human, alive or have a personality?

Comments:
There is a lot of that. It was recently turned into a movie. Don't watch that. Watch the first and second anime series (Stand alone complex and SAC 2nd GIG). You can also watch the anime movies (with the first one, keep in mind that it came before the move Matrix... yes, it influenced it a lot!)

Kino's Journey





What's it about: A girl on a talking motorcycle (like knight rider, but not a guy and not a car) travelling the world and visiting different places. She has a gun.

What's it also about:
Philosophy, ethics, being human.

Comments:
There is one from 2003 and one from 2017, both are nice in my opinion, though the first one did not seem to have a big budget. It does not look too special nor have great dubbing but there is something great in it. It slowed the world down for me and made me think. You love it or hate it.

Mushishi



What's it about: A wise "medicine" man on a journey helping people where the balance of the world needs to be fixed. He interacts with invisible forces of nature, called mushishi.

What's it also about:
have you ever read Zen stories? This will remind you that a bit, but will also be spooky and dark.

Comments:
The haunting calm is perfect expression for this one. The series consists of different stories where the balance of the nature, otherworld and human world is somehow no longer there and our protagonist has to fix it. It is a slow paced anime but with one episode you could really feel as if you visited a different world.

If you like this one: Mermaid Forest, Bird of Fire. Just as this one they consist mostly of cautionary tales and have strong mythology



Spice and Wolf



What's it about:
Holo, wolf god of harvest, is travelling with a merchant - accidentally learning the trade on the road

What's it also about: Loneliness, dreams, hopes. The urge to feel needed and remembered.

Comments:
This has many funny/brilliant moments to quote. The relationship between the two is enjoyable and there are unexpected turns and twists.

From the New World


What's it about
: Future. Kids with powers growing up and learning more and more about the world.

What's it also about: the cruelty of human kind. Who are the real monsters?

Comments: That one was a shocker for me. Not due to the story itself, which is mostly super cute, but the explanations in the end. Some images will just stay in my brain forever

Barakamon



What's it about: A stressed out calligrapher taking some time off in countryside, trying to improve his craft

What's it also about: Family, bonds between strangers, kids... a lot of kids.

Comments:
If you want something that makes your heart sing, take this one. Funny, but also realistic slice of life.

Kids on the Slope



What's it about: 2 very different guys starting a jazz band

What's it also about: Friendship, doing what you need to do in order to feel alive, I guess also about finding your place in the world

Comments: Have you ever been in a band or jammed with someone? Have you ever been exactly on the same page with your partner? Yes! This anime gets it. They get it so right. This one too will make your heart sing.

If you like this one: Carole & Tuesday might work

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash



What's it about
: a group of youngsters are transported to a fantasy world and need to slay monsters to survive there.

What's it also about: Survival, sacrifices, grief, friendship

Comments:
With so much Isekai around, this one does not seem too special on the first glance. However, the fights in this anime have weight. They are important. You can feel how everyone is fighting for their lives - and damn, this is so rare in anime that it even compensates the fan service, silly female clothes and stupid jokes in this one.

Violet Evergarden


What's it about: A human-doll war machine learns to fit in as a human after the war is over

What's it also about: Finding your purpose in life. What do you do when you have been made for a purpose and it no longer exists? Learning who you are.

Comments: This is a tale of growth and learning for the protagonist and it is a great one to follow.
Also, looks nice.


NANA


What's it about: Two young girls, both named NANA, one tries to become a rockstar, the other find love.

What's it also about: Feelings, relationships, messiness of life

Comments: I'm not sure why this one got stuck in my head -  there is even one of the songs from it that always gets me the shivers. Is it maybe the realistic feelings presented? Or maybe it reminded me myself at age 20. Not sure, but it worked for me.

Hell Girl



What's it about: There is a web page that opens only at midnight - if you add someones name there, they will be taken to hell. However, your soul too will be taken there once you die.

What's it also about: Cruelty of humankind. Making hard choices and living with them. Human condition.

Comments: While rather dark, I love this one. The way how the evil-doers are punished just seems enjoyable... There is something so dark and human in the whole package.

If you like this one: UN-GO has something a bit similar

The Ancient Magus' Bride



What's it about: A girl disappointed in life sells herself and is purchased by a strange magus who wants to turn her into his wife

What's it also about: Being human, being awkward, finding your place in the world

Comments:
Yes, this one is not ideal. Even the concept of buying someone to be your apprentice and later wife is messed up. But there is something sweet in it (not in the buying humans part, but in the anime itself)
Let's take Ainsworth - he has difficulties understanding the world and tries to do everything to understand it and fit in correctly. He is messed up and dark, but working on keeping a balance. Using mostly logic but failing with that. And that makes him somehow strangely more human like and enjoyable as a character.



Did not find anything in the list? 

Fear no more. Here is some stuff that I feel was cool, but did not click this much. Maybe you will find something interesting here. (missing some animes still - nor my brain nor my notes are perfect - but it is at least something). I only dare to recommend stuff that I have watched myself, so in case you do not see your favourite 900 episode anime here... well, that is the reason. I prefer stuff that is finished and not too long.


Category: Gore and Bloody Mess

Elfen Lied; Hellsing Ultimate; Black Lagoon; Parasyte -the maxim-; Attack on Titan; Another


Category: Unexpected wtf Twists

Puella Magi Madoka Magica; Berserker; Steins Gate; Astra Lost in Space; Claymore


Category: Awesome soundtrack that I still listen time to time

Death Note; Parasyte -the maxim-; Ergo Proxy; Elfen Lied


Category: Cool Action/adventure stuff

Samurai Champloo; Cowboy Bebop; Attack on Titan; The Rising of the Shield Hero; Samurai 7; Yona of the Dawn; Le Chevalier D'Eon; Made in Abyss; Goblin Slayer; Black Butler; Noragami Aragoto; The Heroic Legend of Arslan; Black Bullet; Blue Exorcist; Darker than Black; Overlord


Category: Not 100% sure I understand what is going on but will keep watching

Ergo Proxy; When They Cry; Devilman: Crybaby; Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne; Land of the Lustrous; Fooly Cooly, Furi Kuri


Category: The story is not finished, so I don't know if they will F it up or not, but the beginning is promising

A lot. Way too much to add all of it here.


Category: Too Long, Did not Watch

... [empty for obvious reasons]...


Bonus Category: My respect for using sign language in anime

Gangsta. (+ there is also a movie A Silent Voice)

Kelmid ja Kangelased maailma mõtisklusi vol 1

(kirjutet peale rasket töönädalat klaasi veini saatel... kuid ehk siiski miski mõttega)

Seitsmekümnendate Ameerika. Kung-Fu on vallutanud kino, televisiooni, raamatud ning südamed. Seda tuleb nii uksest kui aknast. Isegi raadios lauldakse "Everybody is Kung-Fu fighting".
Tegemist on meelelahutusega, mitte kultuuri ajaloolise tutsvustusega ning olgugi, et kusagil on peidus ka kung-fu tegelikud juured, tekib selle ümber justkui omamoodi müstika. Inimestel tekib arusaam võitlusmunkadest ning selle ümber olevast maailmast, mis on täiesti fiktsionaalne - väljamõeldis.



Ometigi oli see äge ning kes ei tahaks rohkem ägedust oma ellu. Nii pistsidki laua-rollimängude loojad ka võitlusmunga oma reeglitesse olgugi, et selle seos Sõrmuste Isanda, keskaja Euroopa ja mütoloogiaga, millel too mäng enamuses baseerus, oli ilmselgelt... väiksem kui olematu.

Siiski, mitmeid generatsioone hiljem tunduks Dungeons and Dragons ilma Munk klassita lausa imelik - see on muutunud kuidagi selle maailma osaks.

Ma ei ütle, et antud teekond on olnud lihtne. Dungeons and Dragons 5e reeglite põhine munk on hetkel vast kõige paremini välja tulnud ning selleks läks 40 aastat. On seda korduvalt nimetatud kõige hullemaks klassiks terves mängu ajaloos.
Kuid ometi on selles algusest saati olnud midagi...
Hoolimata sellest, et tihti võitluses ebapraktiline...
Hoolimata sellest et baseerub kellegi muljel kultuurist, mida pole kunagi sellisel moel eksisteerinud...
Kuidagi on see ikkagi 40 aastat vastu pidanud ja arenenud.
Miks? Sest mõte ise on äge. Ja kes meist ei tahaks rohkem ägedust oma ellu? Hoolimata sellest, et esialgu võib tunduda, et see kohe mitte kuidagi konteksti ei sobi...

Kõike annab kuidagi sobitada. Põhiline, et äge oleks.

Kui ma sügisel hakkasin mõtlema sellele, kuidas Eesti mütoloogial baseeruvat rollimängu teha ning peas juba vaikselt maailma kokku panin, ei olnud ma mitte kuidagi valmistunud esimese mängija esimese küsimuse jaoks.

"Nii et Tabaxi rassi selles maailmas ei ole jah?" küsis ta.
"Ega vist..." vastasin tookord, sest olgem ausad, toppida Eesti mütoloogia keskele leopard-inimesed ning need ka kuidagi ära põhjendada... ei ole just lihtne ülesanne. Mingit analoogiat kah kuskilt võtta polnud.

Ometi jäi see mõte mul ajusoppi ketrama. Kõutslased rassinimena oleks ju ise-enesest nunnu, aga kuidas ma neid põhjendan? Tahtsin ma ju, et kõik siiski vähemalt mingil määral meie mütoloogiaga seotud oleks.

Kass-inimesi meil mütoloogias ei ole (vähemalt mina pole leidnud), ainult koer-inimesed. Küll aga käib kass läbi mitmest tekstist. Võib selle kuju võtta nii luupainaja kui ka katk. Kassi kahte pimeduses heledavat silma on kasutatud kollide kirjeldamiseks.
Eisen ütleb, et tondid päeval kassidena ringi käisid:

"Tondi meelitamiseks viidi majarahva poolt tihti ohvrid. Need ohvrid olid tavalisesti puder, piim ja muud road. Neid kanti mõnes kohas iga nädal korra lakka ehk laudile tontide jaoks. Viijad rõemustasid, kui kassid tontidena roa ära olid söönud."

Sellele lisaks on veel hunnikus ebausku, mis selle loomaga koos käib. Küll ennustab ta ilma, lapse või kasulapse tulekut, tüli, tulevat külalist, õnne kui ka õnnetust. 

"Hobuseõnne kaotab kassi vihkaja või kassipoja uputaja; ka öeldakse niisugune isik vaeseks jäävat. Kassi vihkav tüdruk ei saa mehele, aga ka mitte liialt armastav."

Saa nüüd aru mida selle kassiga täpselt tegema pidi? Tappa ai tasunud, vihata kah mitte, kuid ka mitte liialt armastada.

Ilmselgelt on kasside puhul tegemist liigiga, mis on oma käitumise ja olekuga on tekitanud omamoodi müstika enda ümber ning seda kasutamata jätta oleks ilmselge patt. Ei ole me ka ainsad, kes leiavad, et kassis miskit peidus on. Vaadakem kasvõi Jaapani poole.

 

Olgugi et Kemonomimi (inime, kel on miski looma kõrvad, vahel ka saba) on populaarne, ei saa me üle ega ümber, et seda esindab peamiselt ikkagi nekomimi - enamasti noor neiu, kel kassi kõrvad ja saba ning ka mõned kassi käitumismustrid. Sellest on saanud omamoodi anime sümbol.

Jaapani ajaloolistes tekstides aga on kassidel samamoodi negatiivne varjund, kui meil. Kui kass elas kaua sai temast deemon-kass ning temas tärkas maagiline vägi. Sellised deemon kassid suutsid käia tagajalgadel, rääkida inimkeeli ning muuta end välimuselt ka inimese sarnaseks.

Aga kuidas siis?

Dungeons and Dragons on juba algusest saati olnud erinevate mõtete, mütoloogiate ja ideede segu - täielik mixing pot - kus esialgsest müütilisest olevusest või ideest on tihtilugu alles vaid nimi, muu aga mängu loojate enda fantaasia.Munk on selle hea, olgugi et ekstreemne, näide.  Eks looming ju baseerugi sellel, et sa võtad erinevaid juppe siit ja sealt ning siis lased need ühiselt mahlapressist läbi. Põhiline on see, et oleks äge, nii loomingus kui mängus.

Kõutslane, kes päeval võib võtta nii kassikõrvadega inimese kui ka kassi enda kuju (kuid siiski vajadusel inimkeeli rääkida suudab), öösiti aga pigem deemoni või kolliga sarnaneb oleks ju päris äge, eksole? Ehk võitleks oma kassilike instinktidega ning ka miski pimedama poolega. 

Oleks samas ka mingil määral mütoloogiaga seotud ja põhjendatud (eriti Kelmid ja Kangelased maailmas, kus üks hetk ootamatu kogus väge laia ilma laiali paisati - see aga igasugu imetrikke tegema hakkas).

Nüüd vaja lihtsalt numbrid ette võtta ja valmis vorpida. 

Ehk ei toimi kohe, aga ilma proovimata ei tea - enamik dragonsist on nii tehtud, miks ei võiks me samamoodi jätkata ja seda kodustada. 

How to write like an improviser

This year I finished my first book and the next one is already 55k words in. Not too shabby, eh?

It does not, however, mean that I know what I’m doing. As I teenager I wanted to be a writer, but then at some point, I gave up on that dream. Why? Because it was too huge and too scary.


I’m not saying that it is less scary now, but at least now I have the skillset to deal with it – the skill set of an improviser. So, without further ado, here are some improv tips to keep in mind that could help you in writing and possibly in any creative activity.

1. Just do it


It can feel scary and intimidating, but if you do not take this step, nothing will happen. So, be there and do something. It does not have to perfect and it cannot be – especially when you have never done it before. But before this step, there is no growth. You will not become good at something by just hoping that you will get good at it. You have to do it. It is as simple as that.

2. Enjoy what you do


Imagine that you write a book but no-one buys or likes it. Pretty bad, eh? Now imagine that you hated writing it and spent several years of your time on it. Sound terrible, right?
The least you can do it is enjoy it yourself and even if the world does not need it later, you had already your fair share, and that is good enough.

3. Discover


I’m always curious to see where the story goes. Shouldn’t I know it as a writer? Maybe, but it would not be as fun if I did. Knowing too much ahead could even hinder the writing. Especially if everything is super detailed and well thought through in the movie that you see in your head. How could you ever put all that perfection into words? Well, obviously, you can’t. At least not like that. You could get it pretty close, but it will never be exactly as you have it imagined - the writing process changes the outcome, whether you want it or not. 
However, that is not a bad thing. You discover something new and maybe even better.

4. Ask 'What comes next'


The main thing is to know what comes next. And then you will see what comes after that. Step by step.

Some things will come naturally when you start looking at the situation through the eyes of the characters. What would this character do in that situation? Well, you know the answer. Also, why not add some challenges to the characters? Enforce them with hurdles and joys. Have fun with them.

5. Be aware of what happened before


Sure, you might say, I'll just write something down with your neat trick of 'what comes next', but it will not be a good story. Well, have you seen a good long-form improv show? The actors do not know where they are going with all that but somehow it still works. Why? Because they are aware of what was already there before and can then link it all together. 

Keith Johnstone (one the grandfathers of modern improv) compared long-form improv with a man who walked backwards - still moving ahead but always aware of what he had already passed.

It is a skill that can be trained.


6, Make mistakes


I'm not saying that you should do them intentionally, but at least don't be afraid to do them. I know my English is not perfect, it is not my native language, but I will not first go take all the possible English classes before I try writing in it. Mistakes happen. Sometimes I create words. Sometimes I have to use google translate or synonym generator to find the right expression. This writing would not exist if I would be afraid to make mistakes.
Just do the best you can with the current tools and skills you have and that is good enough.

7. Be ready to let go of your ideas


There are some ideas that are not too great and even if you write them down, they will not work. Still, try to finish them, and then just go on. No-one has to see them or even know that they existed. It's like in improv - sometimes you create crap. The aim is to get your skill to the level so high that even your bad show is good enough. The same should be true with writing.

So, be ready to let go of your ideas, even if they can feel the best ideas ever at the time. Just write then down with the skills and words you have and then tuck them away. You can always revisit them some months or years later. Maybe you just did not have the skills to make it work yet? Or maybe the idea just was not good enough. In any case, you will know it later. But now, let this one go, and take the next project.

8. Make clear choices to move the story forward


Writing a book can sometimes feel like an improv show. You go on the stage with a great idea and then someone comes with an even better one. Only this someone is also you. Well, one of you has to let go of the idea, obviously. But which idea should you go with? If you have not decided it after a day or two, just pick one and stick to it - even if it was not the best choice, it is better than being stuck and not doing anything.

Also, if it is writing, you can correct it later if you want to.

What should be the name of the drunk character who limps around in the palace? Who cares. What we actually care about is why is he limping around in the palace or why is he drunk.
Several of my characters have been called just a single letter at one time, only because I knew I had to get the part written down and I could always come back later to add a proper name. And even if I added a name later, I was not 100% sure about it, but at least it was better than a single letter. The single-letter thing worked only for Mr.T.

9. Tell the story you would like to hear


Would you in a different universe, who has never written a book, pick this book up, read it and give it a positive review? If not, why? You don't have to love it before you show it to others, but it should be at least something you would like to read. As they say, to love others you first have to love yourself. So, to please others you first have to...

10. Use what you have


Do you know how to create the best lasagna? Use that for a character. Not that you have to share your mother's secret recipe, but what you can share is the feeling of making a good lasagna. You have that experience in you, and you can just give it to any made-up character. Just add your experiences to the blender, mix them up and then use them where needed to the tell the story you would like to tell.
There is no shame in using your own stuff. Instead, you can add surprising credibility to your characters with it.

Also, if you are into improv, theatre, live-action roleplay or dungeons and dragons you already know how to create characters. Do that if you need a character for your writing.
Use whatever you have at your disposal.


So, this was my two cents! Hopefully, you will find these ideas just as helpful as I did. 
May your creativity fly.

A small announcement

So, this happened: This week I sold my first book!

Wait! What?

No, it does not mean that I am a door to door salesman now. Neither have any publishers picked up my manuscript. However, I did decide to put it up on Amazon as Kindle ebook (hail the cover style that makes you think of the 90s).

[update on 28th of August: Now also available as a paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1688683372 ]

Just look at that dope 90s feeling

Wait! You wrote a book? How did that happen?

Well, to tell you the truth... it was an accident.

It all started in the summer of 2015. I was down with fever and reading Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett and as we all know, it is not wise to read when you are high (around 38 degrees).
After finishing the book, I had the urge to write something (also my feverish eyes could not stand any additional reading). So I started to write... and not even in my native language.
I know, it still makes no sense.

Anyways, after a few weeks, I had a finished short story that was fun and all, but the ending did not quite work. I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I sent it to some friends. After positive feedback and encouragement (insert a Personal Thank You here if you were one of these people) I continued working on it.

Soon I had a novella, that was also extremely funny, but that too was not enough.



And then it turned into a novel. But the ending still did not work, so I rewrote it... and then I rewrote it again.

I did get it to work finally and liked the characters and the story, there were obviously some other issues in it that I had missed before. So I tinkered with it some more. Then I sent it out for test reading to several friends and colleagues (I bow to all the test readers who assisted me in this step).
I fixed the mentioned bits and sent it to some competitions.

And... did not win.

To be honest, I would have been surprised if I did. It was my first ever writing in that length. I'm still surprised I wrote it and still have no idea what I'm doing when I write, but I did even less so when I started.
And after 4 years, here we are.
I decided to put it out there and focus on my next piece.

So, are you saying that it is not good? Well, that's not a wise sales pitch, mate.

No, I'm not saying that. However,  take the first book of any author and then take the last one. You see the difference. I'm not saying that I will be any good innit, but...
There are certainly people who would call my first book Pratchett fanfic and I cannot disagree. This is where my language skills and love for books came from.  Developing your own style takes time and practice and I feel the second book (that is already over 50k - I plan to finish it next year) already has its own vibe that seems more genuine.

So, you are rich and famous now?

Hell no!
But if I am lucky, people will like the book, get some smiles and laughs (it's still funny, but also serious - these are not opposites), and maybe even give me enough money for it so I could buy myself a cup of coffee at the end of the month. :) And I will definitely continue writing.
This is not the end. This is a milestone.

How long is it again?

Well, well... oh, you mean the writing?
In MS Word it was around 300 pages, but I also use a lot of spaces to keep the structure more clear. Kindle puts it somewhere around 218 pages, but it might not take into consideration the millions of footnotes.

The journey continues. 

In hindsight, it is obvious that I wrote the first book in the scrum framework - short story, novella, novel, all of them were finished products. I did not even know I had a book in me. Currently, I'm writing knowing that it will be a book. This will make a difference.

Also, I can already hint that it will be in the same world and have many of the same characters (think in style of 5 years later)

When I start thinking about it, the last 4 years of my life have been quite crazy. There have been ups  (for example getting new cats) and downs (... why do you think we needed new cats?) and I feel writing has helped me to survive it. There have been several days like this:


But I'm still kicking, alive and writing.

As Neil Gaiman put it in a speech in 2012

"Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.

Make good art.

I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Make it on the good days too."

And I must agree.

Though, I'm not sure how good it is yet. This is for You to decide.
Cheers!