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  2. Gustopher

    Howdy folks!

    Name’s Gustoph, but most folks call me Guus (pronounced like the bird, goose. Honk honk.). I’m a freelance illustrator and, more recently, mental health and awareness advocate. I’ve struggled with chronic anxiety and depression since I was a wee lad, so self care, mental health, and creativity are all near and dear to me. I hope to become part of something greater than myself, and to help others who are still lost find their way. This may be a small way to start, but better small than not at all! I’m excited to become a part of the community here. And if y’all are interested in my work, I regularly post artwork on my Instagram @gustopher_inks and Twitter @guustopher.
  3. Earlier
  4. Aleksi

    Rose, Thorn, and Bud

    Rose - Listening to the new arctic monkeys album while being cozy in bed. Thorn - I was supposed to go do some groceries and go out but I didn't manage. Bud - Going out this time, taking some time for myself. Iv'e been through a rough patch lately and it took a toll on my mental health, but staying at this friend's empty flat and being alone in a city I don't know will probably be refreshing.
  5. Zach Valenti

    WriScriVember 2017 Feedback?

    Hey everyone, I'm looking for feedback on WriScriVember 2017 AKA "Write a Script in November." It was a month long community writing challenge in the spirit of Script Frenzy and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with a stretch goal of 90 script pages of any medium or genre, a flexible goal of one completed draft of any length in any medium or genre, and an audio drama contest for qualifying audio drama scripts (learn more at http://wriscrivember.org). Myself and our amazing moderators want to know: how'd it go? What should stay the same? What should change? We're interested in anything you want to tell us about the experience. For example: What did you like and/or not like about the email experience? How did you feel about your actual writing time? Were there resources you wished you had, but didn't? Was the community distracting or helpful? What platforms did you communicate with people on? What do you want and not want in regards to a future contest? There are no wrong answers here. Feel free to be vague and open ended or laser specific and nitpicky. Thank you, Zach
  6. This question is for any of y'all who do any kind of live performing arts. Do you enjoy it? Wish you didn't have to do it? Bit of both? How does it affect your relationship with your art (and, for that matter, with your own self-care)? I'm a violinist I play the violin I study the violin with my college Symphony Orchestra. I'm not a music major or minor, and am nowhere near the same caliber of our conservatory-level musicians, but we're in something of a dry spell and need violinists' bodies in chairs, so they keep me around. It's a lot of fun--I love going to rehearsals, hanging out with other musically inclined peeps, and playing cool music. Still, I hate pretty much everything about actually being on stage, from the hollow sound it makes underfoot to the bright (hot, so very hot) lights to the audience that I can feel but not see because of said lights. When I get nervous, the first thing I notice is tension. Usually in my knees, then my hands. Sometimes each finger will go numb above the second joint. Then my hands start to sweat. Even if you don't play a stringed instrument, you can probably see why this would be a problem. If I concentrate, I can get some of the tension to go away... but the more attention I'm paying to the over-tight tendon in my left hand, the less I'm paying to the repertoire. I kind of see performance as the price of admission for being in the orchestra. I get to spend my time with this cool group of ridiculously talented musicians, and in exchange I have to grit my teeth and spend 2 or 3 hours per semester in front of an audience. I realize this probably isn't the healthiest way to look at it. But as much as I love music and sharing what we've been working so hard on with others, I would be seriously fine with rehearsing for a full semester and having no concert at all. What makes it all extra special and strange is that I don't get the same thing with horse shows--at least not in the same way. Best guess: when working with horses, the worst case scenario remains the same whether you're practicing or competing (you could get into an accident, risking serious injury or death). Without that element of physical danger that you have to accept before starting even the most informal practice, music is a bit less clear. Worst case scenario in rehearsal: you get frustrated, maybe a little embarrassed. In performance: ??? Public shame? Failing an audition? People you care about are in the audience? Call it performance anxiety, stage fright, or something else, it doesn't happen for lack of talking about it. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a seminar about harnessing that high-energy alertness to achieve a "flow state" or "get in the zone". Did you know Chopin hated big concert halls and sometimes refused to play piano outside a parlor setting? Itzhak Perlman has said that even he gets nervous on stage! So misery (and, apparently, performance anxiety) loves company, but you and I are neither Chopin nor Perlman. So I thought I'd ask how y'all feel about live performance, musical or otherwise. Love it? Hate it? What do you do when the stress sets in, and disengaging long enough to calm down isn't an option? Hope everybody has a good weekend!
  7. DejaDaydream

    Camp Nano

    Yep I did commit to a project, now I have to play a little bit of catch up but I’m really excited about learning more about th characters and world I’m creating.
  8. Rina

    Baking

    This weekend we made cookies The recipe was definitely a lie and did not have me save enough dough for the green and white layers as it should have.
  9. Jess G

    Feeling Conflicted

    Thanks for your thoughtful response and kind words. For the record, I did feel tons better today. In retrospect I think it's something not unlike the rage you can get from being "hangry", but instead of resenting whatever meeting, class, or accident of logistics that is separating me from much-needed calories, I could only direct that frustration at the fact that my draft didn't exist yet and by extension myself for not having done it. It helps to be able to remind myself that this is A Thing(TM) that human brains do. I would be more surprised if my brain wasn't unhappy with me for subjecting it to stress and sleep deprivation.
  10. Rina

    502 Bad Gateway Error

    I'm not seeing high traffic in our report, so I'm not sure it's any issue with our forum. I believe we're using an Invision-hosted server, so it may be an issue with their services. If it happens again, clearing cache and restarting your browser can sometimes help with persistent gateway errors. And if it persists for more than 5-10 minutes, let us know so we can hit up Invision's support about it.
  11. luvkirby4ever

    Feeling Conflicted

    Ooh this is a really interesting thread- even though it's a bit of a bummer that you had to pull an all-nighter I'm glad that you documented this for discussion. I think in my college career I've pulled 2 all-nighters for papers (I think I pulled an almost all-nighter to cram for my organic chemistry final which felt somewhat different than putting off writing papers), though I remember the first one in much more vivid detail. Before I talk about that though I'd like to touch up on something you were saying about your 4AM mindset. "Why are you doing this? You don't belong here" was a very frightening mindset that started occurring fairly frequently to me in college, especially when things were getting down to the wire. I think there's something to be said for a tired mind making this worse, though I'd be lying if I said that was the only time I felt that way. That's another story for a different day, though. My takeaway from the experience is that it seems that it's easy for a tired and aching mind to be overcome with our fears and insecurities. My first all-nighter, if I recall correctly, happened my sophomore year of college. I had a lot of early morning classes because I'm actually an early bird but because of this my "4AM brain" existential crisis happened probably around 2AM. It's been awhile but this is what I remember: 8PM: "It's okay I've got this" 10PM: "Why didn't I start this 3 days ago whyyyyyy" Midnight: At this point I was working pretty steadily I think? 2AM: Existential crisis, lots of thoughts about how I didn't belong at college and lots of self-loathing thoughts 4AM: "This is fine" 7PM: I finished and the stress of doing so was lifted, though since I didn't get to sleep my mind didn't fully reset to normal until I turned in my draft and got to sleep for the night One difference between our stories that I noticed is that I didn't feel hungry until I had printed out my draft. I'm usually constantly hungry but I think the stress of the situation prevented me from thinking too much about it past 10PM. I had a string of morning classes but I was surprisingly fine through them- I think at a point my body was prepared to function as though it was a normal day, though my mind was slightly confused at what day of the week it was since sleep is what keeps yesterday from blending into today. I think I took a nap after my block of 4-5 classes (so at like 2PM) but I didn't feel normal again until I got a good night's sleep. This is really what motivated me to respond to this thread. Speaking from my own experiences, I think that maybe there's a degree of self-love that gets compromised in the process. It's one thing to stay up too late and not get sleep. But it's another to let your mind get too tired during a time when you're susceptible to anxiety and deep-seated fears. When I was 14 I was told that I had Seasonally Affective Disorder (which sometime along the way morphed into regular depression), so I've found that I have to be mindful of the situations I'm setting up for my future self. "Preparation is self-love for you future self," or something like that. I'd definitely try to get back on schedule. One thing I recommend is installing a computer program that blocks distracting websites while you work (I use Focal Filter) if that's something that contributes to work procrastination. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that it's easy to start berating yourself when you fall behind with your work and that that can be more damaging than helpful. I've found that personifying my future self as another person and doing nice things for them is a more helpful line of thinking: [Going to sleep instead of staying up an extra hour on Tumblr:] "You'll be tired- go ahead and get some sleep." [Not eating pizza for breakfast:] "You wouldn't want to be groggy for that thing that you're doing later." [Starting on a task I need to do:] "This one's for you, future me." All that aside, though, I hope you feel better. It's a feeling I'm too familiar with so I sincerely hope it's something that isn't eating away at you. You can do it, don't let your 4AM brain tell you otherwise.
  12. luvkirby4ever

    502 Bad Gateway Error

    As of posting this, I can now access the forum I was trying to look at. It could be my imagination but the site feels laggy when trying to switch threads, though. Just thought it would be good to report in case there's something bugging up the system.
  13. luvkirby4ever

    502 Bad Gateway Error

    Is anyone else experiencing some difficulties accessing the forums? I wanted to look at a thread someone made but when I try to access the forum I get a 500 error message: If I hit "try again" I get a "502 Bad Gateway" error message. I'm not sure if it's a problem on my end or something to do with the server, but I thought I'd report it.
  14. luvkirby4ever

    Green Grass (Focused.af Discussion)

    Aaaaaa thank you! It's going to be an amazing story one day so I've got to keep on persevering. Thanks for the kind words
  15. Jess G

    Feeling Conflicted

    The main question here is, how does the way you think about self-care change (if at all) when you feel like you've fallen off the wagon? Long winded version: I'm going to level with you guys here--I didn't do a great job with self-care this week. For a number of reasons, I had a pretty rough week and didn't get ahead on work like I had planned... and realized too late that I needed to draft a research paper by Friday afternoon. Nothing for it but to work through Thursday night. It's something we're culturally told (in the US, anyway) is something that college students do. We know it's not a good thing to do. Sleep is important. Health is important--ostensibly mores than grades in college. But an 18-22 year old in reasonably good health can recover more quickly from a night of lost sleep than a late assignment. So here we are. I'll admit I'm feeling odd and conflicted about my all-nighter. I haven't done that before. I don't know exactly what I expected, but I thought I'd share a few observations: It was easier than I'd thought to stay awake. A bit of coffee, a 2 AM shower, and two 90-minute naps got me through. I thought that would be the hard part, but it wasn't. I got hungry. I suppose it makes sense, being active much longer than usual, but I hadn't expected that. Lucky I had some healthy food in my room so the urge to stuff myself with the nearest junk food wasn't a problem. Controlling your environment really does help. I live in a single room, so I was able to keep the lights on and pace as necessary without disturbing anyone. Napped in my clothes so I wouldn't mentally transition to "night mode". It went fairly well until about 4 AM. That was when I really started hitting the wall, and as my body wore out, my mind also became less disciplined: there was less coherent thought about folk music of the Cold War and more "you're never going to finish this. Why are you doing this? This was a bad idea. You don't belong here. This isn't going to work. You need sleep. You can't write like this..." It was very, very hard to get out of that rabbit hole. By midmorning today, I felt... better? I was more or less fully functional today, which was unexpected. I'm slowing down now, just waiting for something that resembles my normal quittin' time so I can get back on a schedule. Helps that I got to ride a horse this afternoon. Don't know if it was the moderate exercise or the animals themselves, but I felt sooooo much better after the ride. So I guess in the end everything turned out... okay? I finished my draft. It wasn't anything spectacular, will need plenty of revision in the coming weeks. But it was done. Still, I can't shake the feeling that staying up like that was a mistake. I didn't like the person I was at 4 AM. The exhaustion dredged up pretty much every fear and doubt I had in the back of my head and wouldn't go away. So long story short, I accomplished my goal, but I compromised... something... doing it. Not sure what yet. Plan for the weekend: equalize. Reestablish routine. Maybe get ahead, because I don't want to do this again. I'm no stranger to little sleep, but this felt different. Curious to know any of your thoughts, if this is something y'all have dealt with before.
  16. Jess G

    Green Grass (Focused.af Discussion)

    First of all, that drawing is amazing. I'm definitely in the "work things through rather than starting from scratch" camp. Starting over seems like it would be easier, because the early stages generally tend to be. With a blank slate, you have so many options open, so if one doesn't work it doesn't feel like a big deal. But as a project takes shape, your options for progress narrow. It gets harder because you have a better idea of what you want Your Thing to be, and you feel compelled to work through issues rather than find an easier solution. That's a good thing. It means your project is starting to exist. Whenever I feel like scrapping something, I remind myself that the same issues will crop up with the new project. It's just a part of making something--something I can be proud of, anyway. So then it becomes a question of whether I actually like the new idea enough to take the time necessary to start from scratch. Otherwise, stay the course. PS: got distracted five times while writing this just looking at your comic. Looks like you've got a fantastic sense of humor!
  17. luvkirby4ever

    Green Grass (Focused.af Discussion)

    Firstly, wanting to do many different things is 1000% relatable- if I could do many different things I'd love to compose some music, make video games, draw webcomics, write amazing fanfic, be fluent in Japanese, learn to code, maybe learn a bit of dancing, and all sorts of random stuff (make a podcast maybe!). Granted that some of that you can try to do in the same lifetime- I've just been so consumed with my art lately that I don't even have much time to play video games anymore (a deadly sin as far as my 10 year old self was concerned). Regardless of how many of these things can be accomplished in one lifetime, however, I think that the topic of the episode is pretty relevant. No matter what you try getting into, it starts getting harder (the grass gets less green) the more you look into it. Which leads me to my next point. I think that the "grass is always greener" metaphor presented is pretty spot-on. There's a saying that the more you learn, the more you realize that you don't know anything... and that's pretty much what your friend was saying Zach. Everything has its rough patches (of grass), it's merely a matter of what ones you choose to endure. I have my own funny little example here (though Google misreads "compound" as "heavy"). As someone who does amateur translating the fact that there's a wall of dialect, tone, casual use, nuance, complex sentences, and much more to master is rather daunting. But I love doing it, so it's not something that will get me to stop. Speaking of stopping, I also agree that it's worse to start over on big projects than to work your way through what you already have. I've had tons of ideas and started projects over the years that have been abandoned because I hit a point where it started looking less tantalizing than the greener grasses of other projects. But after years and years of wanting to do all of these art projects but not getting anywhere with any of them I started getting tired of watching all of my passionate ideas die, so I'm finally buckling down and honing in on one. In fact, with my current project (a webcomic I'm creating) I had taken a year off because I had discovered Wolf 359 and wanted to make art for it while it was still running (/I was facing that problem of wanting to slip away from this patch of grass). Then I realized that I had a problem because my art had improved in the year I was on hiatus. So I thought about starting over (with new updated art because I found myself hating a particularly early set of pages) but knew that if I did that I'd probably give up the project entirely. Not this time! I'm tired of running away from all this stuff that I'm very passionate about. So I'm working through the fear and you know what? Putting behind me the pages I hate the most: And looking at what has come out of moving forward: I'm glad that I chose to keep going C:
  18. luvkirby4ever

    Green Grass (Focused.af Discussion)

    I thought it'd be neat to start a thread for the latest (as of April 13, 2018) Focused.af episode, "Green Grass". Since I tend to talk too much I thought I'd preface my thoughts with a post highlighting what I think are the big talking points of the episode: Loving lots of things and wanting to do them all "The grass is always greener" because you've got to be up close to see the patchy (bad) spots of something Starting over vs. working through what you already have So what do you all think?
  19. Gmz1023

    Questions Only?

    Do you think i'm capable of joy?
  20. How did you manage writing for Wolf? Like, How did you get in the **mood**
  21. Gallifreystands

    Questions Only?

    Would you be happy to see that it isn't ever over?
  22. Zach Valenti

    Podcast Prompts

    Late to the party but very excited about this thread
  23. Zach Valenti

    Camp Nano

    That's awesome to hear :-) Did you end up committing to Camp Nanowrimo this month?
  24. DejaDaydream

    Camp Nano

    Don’t be sorry, we all have our own stuff going on. Just having this community is enough support.
  25. Alicia

    Last Post Wins

    #winning
  26. Gmz1023

    Last Post Wins

    Niet, Comrade. it is i who is of the winning.
  27. Gmz1023

    Rose, Thorn, and Bud

    Congrats on your move as well. I'm just glad the weather held out -- it was supposed to be super crappy the other day; snow and all that. but its been a nice 40-50 all week!
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