I touched on a few of the things that have been going on- but we're at a point that I can elaborate a little bit. My sister,
has been having some issues as of late. A few months ago it was found that one of her ovaries had died and had a large growth. They managed to remove it, but it's made things pretty rough on her end. This past month, her pain returned and they found that her other ovary needed to be worked on as well. They managed to save it by removing the cysts that were growing, but there's a chance they could return. Please pray that she's through this hurdle and she can heal up without these things returning! It all stems from endometriosis, which runs in our family. I have the condition as well but I've yet to experience it to the same degree as her. While I have come to terms with the fact that I'll likely have no biological children, she has always wanted to start a family of her own, so this has been emotionally devastating for her. On top of that, the recovery time is pretty lengthy because of the amount of medication she has to be on. She can't return to work until next month so she has been doing some artwork to make up for lost income, but it comes and goes as much of her medication knocks her out for a few hours.
I was having a hard time with this. I had spent several years working jobs I loathed to build up a savings. We've been sharing my mother's car for a while now but once she recovered- she would be taking on a full time position as a transportation worker. I need a car for my job as I generally have to make a trip to the bank every day for the first two weeks of the month and I run another property that's a mile and a half away. My boss has agreed to let me ride my bike to my other property, weather permits, but when going to the bank I cannot do so as it's six miles away and I'm carrying sensitive information. I was stuck between needing a car and needing to lean on my savings to get us through this financial tight spot. It wasn't my sister's fault and she had no way to make up for the funds she lost.
I went to a nearby car dealer with my Mom (who was a jet engine mechanic so she can spot a lemon from a mile away) to consider buying a car. I'd been working on my credit with a small mastercard for a few months, so I was hopeful. We found a car I loved and the dealer cut a good deal for me. However, when I went home and crunched numbers between my current wages, insurance, and the bills I pay- I couldn't afford it. Add in that I have a dental appointment coming up to discuss pulling wisdom teeth out of my head and it just wasn't a wise choice. So I put the idea away and started looking at owner sales.
The next day I got a call while I was at work from my Dad. He said that they were buying the car for me. I needed to bring $2,500 to pay a portion of it, sign the papers, and set up USAA. I just about broke right there. Long story short- my parents helped me pay off the car. They said that I've been responsible, I've never been in debt, and that God laid it on both their hearts that it was the right thing to do. My folks don't often have the same inclination, but both agreed that it was the right thing to do. On top of that, my Dad gave us some money to help us financially through my sister's recovery so I could retain some money in savings in case of an emergency. I still can't believe that they would do this for me, I'm over-whealmed by it. It's a huge burden off my shoulders to finally have a car to myself. I don't have to ask permission or try to manipulate my schedule around- I can just pick up my keys and go. I just hope that I can find a way to bless my parents for what they've done for me.
The car is a beetle- and... I'll be honest, I've always wanted a beetle. It comes with navigation because I can't find my way out of a paper bag to save my life. It's the perfect car for me. I'm not into big cars or sport cars, I don't need anything fancy or fast. I just want something small but safe, practical, and easy to drive. I took it for its first long drive to a company picnic the other day and while I'm still pretty new behind the wheel, I'm comfortable in it. I still can't believe it. ;_;
The Silver Eye
So I have finally found the time to sit down and re-read
's webcomic,The Silver Eye
. I had read it last year, but I've been forgetting to check for updates. (I'm the worst, honestly.) Finally, I sat down and dedicated a few days to re-reading and catching up with the new pages. If you've not checked it out yet, please do so! I would love to give a formal review of the story, but I don't want to give anything away. The story itself is very well written and the characters are so lovable- even the villain got me to crack a smile a few times. It's a truly rare thing to find something wholesome but interesting. I'll be the first to say that most Christian Fiction is just corny or overly preachy. Secular fiction has slowly started to descend into the gutters while pandering to every vice humanity is now proclaiming as human rights. The Silver Eye isn't preachy in the slightest. There are religious themes and under-tones but they're realistic. The characters aren't standing up and making speeches and quoting verses. There's themes of redemption, responsibility, forgiveness, and atonement that are easy to relate and tug at the heartstrings. Even the protaganists are written as people. They're not perfect, they struggle with situations and emotions that could easily tempt them into darkness.
The artwork is fantastic and you can watch as the artist grows from the start to the most recent page. The tone is very well managed, shifting from grave to more light hearted without it feeling forced. The sad moments are genuinely heartbreaking and the quirky moments are a lot of fun. The pacing is easy to keep up with and return to and the lore gives you just enough to stay involved but it keeps much of it unspoken so it keeps you invested, looking for little nuggets. It's a beautiful piece.
As I've mentioned previously, it's getting harder and harder to find stories to read. Modern fiction is always pandering to the politics of the day, there's smut for pages upon pages, and if you do manage to find something that doesn't contain any of that it's generally about as bland as a piece of stale wheat toast. It's very rare to find well thought out fiction. These days anything that panders or tosses in adult content will be published, it's making it very hard for folks with genuine creativity that needs no padding to find a foothold. Webcomics are especially prone to this as the content creator has a frequent and almost immediate connection to their fanbase. I can't say how many times I've gotten invested only for the sjw's and the snowflakes to scream loud enough to convince the content creator to either quit or start pandering to them. It isn't a problem that we're going to solve- but we /can/ throw our support out to content creators who deserve the respect and wield the talent and ability to produce a good product without stooping to scraping content out of a gutter. It's a rare thing- and by supporting it we help to cultivate a community to allow other content users to grow in the same vein.
There's also a group for fanart on da,
and it's a lot of fun to browse through to see what the fan community has come up with. I had life hit me like an over-caffeinated bull moose so I missed out on the recent contest- but there's typically an annual to semi-annual art contest. Still- I may have to crank out some fan art once things slow down. Please give it a peek and share with a friend!
Taking a Breather
As some of you know, I am a writer for Geeks Under Grace
, specifically focusing on reviewing video games, game theories, and articles relating themes in games to themes in scripture. I've been writing there for a number of years and have managed quite a few editor's choice awards and have even been mentioned by other sites online. It's all volunteer work and I do love it dearly- but it's been very hard for me to keep up lately. The last few months I have done research for elaborate articles that really get little reception while kicking out "filler" articles focusing on mobile games that do very well. This month I've not even been able to look at a game console, much less play. I specialize in JRPG's, RPG's, and action games. For anyone in the know- you do not beat an RPG quickly. Most will have a MINIMUM of 20 hours to get to the end game but as a reviewer, I am expected to dabble in side-quests and try to get as much of the game in before reviewing it so I can give the game a fair shake. For a Christian game site, I am also tasked with looking for elements that need to be mentioned by way of warning such as sexual content, spiritual under-tones, etc. It's a lot of work and while I enjoy it, it does eat up a lot of time.
One thing that's been weighing on my shoulders is time. I'm turning 31 this year and the only lifetime goal that I've retained any hope for is publishing a book. I have time enough to write about video games but my own stories have been pushed to the side to make room for that. It's work for the Lord, but I'm feeling more and more like I've run my race on that track for long enough. I've requested a hiatus from writing at GuG so I can let life settle and figure out if this is the race I need to be running. It may be that I'm being called to write in that field because it reaches a demographic that's largely ignored by the church- or I can find that it's time to move on. I'm not sure.
I have one more article coming out this month. I spent HOURS researching and putting it together. It has to do with the Christian symbol in FF15 so if you're a fan of Final Fantasy- keep a look out for it! The very talented
allowed me permission to use one of her works as the featured image for my article so I wanted to give her a special shout out for that.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support! You guys are a blessing in my life.
Some of these are pretty recent but there are a few that are slowly gathering dust. I'm leaving them up as a reminder to myself (and hopefully the other artists involved).