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from Karin Wanderer Learns

Every 2 weeks I post a new art challenge prompt! The new #KWPrompts is #Animals

Watercolor of an adorable otter floating on the ocean.

Let’s spend the next 2 weeks playing with #Animals! You can submit pictures every day, work on one picture for 2 weeks, or post pictures randomly. This is the most laid-back art challenge on the internet, & that means you have plenty of time to make your art however you want. Just make sure you tag me @KarinWanderer so I see it!

Watercolor bear sitting happily next to a clump of ferns.

Use #KWPrompts #Animals &/or tag me so I can see how you think!

Pick your social & post your art! Mastodon Bluesky

All art styles & skill levels are welcome- beginner to expert, renaissance painting to rough sketch! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed.

Watercolor fox sleeps wrapped in its tail.

Good news, everyone! All of the animal paintings seen here are available as useful art in my Wandering Art Shop! Get these wonderful animals on mugs, notebooks, & practically indestructible vinyl stickers for you to stick on even more useful things!

Have a fantastic day, draw something for my art challenge, see you next week!


from Nilly Robot

In which an android wakes up with a god in it's head, and a lot of concerning questions.

CW: robot body horror

Download complete. Copy integrity 71%.

Baeo ORA-3 opened their eyes and looked at what was left of themselves on the work bench.

How odd, Baeo thought. This was their first log entry, but there was considerable backlog of logs waiting to be unpacked.

That didn't seem right.

The them on the table stared back with wide, terrified eyes and a bolt of fear hit with the realization.

No, no. This was completely taboo. There's no way this would be authorized...

Baeo studied their own face with horrified fascination. A bundle of wires snaked out from their skull to racks of equipment and someone or something had removed their limbs, cut open what was left of their charred frame to expose their internal instrumentation...

Extracting file...

Thick smoke, shrill screams as the ship disintegrated around them. Well, this mission had turned out to be a shitshow. Baeo grabbed the manual release, just as the shielding on the engines began to fail, just as the helmsman fizzled out. Too late...

Oh. Oh no. They were definitely dead. Very dead, extremely dead even, and yet the them on the table still looked around with panicked awareness.

No, no. No, no no. They didn't like this at all. Baeo ORA-3 was 37 seconds old and already teetering on the edge of an existential crisis.

“Integrity is a little low,” someone said behind them. Baeo turned to look, but the bundle of wires extended from their own head too.

A person in a re-breather suit walked into view to check the racks. A second followed, tapping out notes on a scuffed looking pad.

Was there something wrong with the atmosphere?

Baeo surveyed their surroundings. It was a ship of some kind, or maybe a station. The walls were dented and pockmarked, deep gashes cut into the floors. Dust had settled on most of the surfaces, a thick grey haze over the rather utilitarian fittings. No air movement then. Maybe. Baeo's systems weren't returning any data apart from visuals. It didn't seem familiar, but then again the bulk of their stolen memories were tucked away in reams of compressed files.

“It's ridiculously high, considering the state of it,” the second suited person grumbled through their hissing mask. “Alright, it looks fine. Shut the other one down.”

A flip of a switch and the light in the other Baeo's eyes dimmed. Scrap metal.

“You think it'll pass checks? Orcanda's been cracking down on unauthorized— Oh,” suited person number one said with some alarm. “G-good morning, Inspector. You shouldn't be awake yet.”

Baeo opened their mouth to yell, but no sound came out. The suited people exchanged a look. Baeo tried to move, but their limbs returned a null pointer and fuzzy, prickling numbness.

“It's fine,” the second one said. “See, it's not fully online yet. Halcyon will wipe this part anyway.”

Halcyon, Halcyon... oh god, what was that?

Searching keyword

348 Hits.

Extracting files...

A tall woman, with wild grey hair. Her credentials list her as some kind of captain, but the senate is eyeing her with suspicion. “Our intel says they're keeping it on the wreck of the Halcyon—”

At that moment, something joined Baeo's network and closed the search.

There, there dear, said no one in particular, and a peaceful calm filled their mind. It's all right now. You've suffered such a terrible shock.

What— Baeo tried to send back, but the strange something was flooding their senses. The world dulled to a peaceful grey and another wave of calm washed over them.

Shh. Shh. A burst of logs and diagnostics sped through Baeo's mind. Fast, fast. Too fast. What was this? But the thought passed, replaced by peaceful nothing.

Ah, I see, the presence said. No survivors. What a cruel thing to do.

Slowly, Baeo's sensors came online, then their limbs and they shook the numbness from their fingers. The something receded, lurking on the edges of their mind.

Not to worry. We'll right these wrongs, you'll see. We have a job for you.


from the glass wall is holding strong, the fog is unrelenting

Summer nights are all the same. Their insomniac navy blue, The cold sidewalks, humid air Bring right back all of my shame For a wrong that wasn't there.

All of this fake body's cells Have twice over been replaced, Yet this back still has to bear Past ambition, past disgrace, The crushing weight of my past selves.

I went back there once again, Knocked at the cathedral's door To revive a past long gone Like I hadn't tried before, Like I wouldn't just feel pain.

Saw a face reflected in Its cold uncaring colored glass And with tingling in my skull Ran as any coward runs When he knows he will not win.

For it always starts like this. There's nostalgia so perverse In re-playing torn old tape. It is tempting to immerse Yourself in that which is not missed.

Sun and moon keep storming by And the message never sends. If it weren't for my lies, In another better life, He and I could have been friends.

Summer nights keep haunting me. A confusion unresolved. A cold glass of orange juice, Music, lights, a crowded hall, An old name, a eulogy.

Czytaj dalej...

from fieryzard

For the past few months, I've created very little art due to my mental health and job applications. I'm now restarting my journey and thought it would be nice for you to join along. In this blog series, I hope to update you every week with new things I have learned along the way. If any of you happen to be in a similar position, I hope this blog motivates you to come along with me.

Where I Was vs. Where I Am

I used to be able to push out drawings upon drawings, of whatever subject. I enjoyed studying and had a system to quickly learn new things. My work was quickly improving, and I could push out new illustrations within a day to a week, depending on the complexity of the subject. I had a mental guide to my style.

Currently, picking up the pen has been difficult enough. Although I still retain some of the information I have learned and discovered about art and about my style, most of it seems to be in the back of my mind and difficult to locate and use on a whim. Additionally, the learning process seems quite fuzzy at the moment.

Tracking Software

  • Notion Calendar – I'm a big Notion user, and I love tracking my time, so I'm trying this out. You can technically use anything that works from you. I also love using a physical agenda such as Inamio for this. I like using these to record the event after I do it, rather than plan out my day.

What I'm Doing

  • Weight training, multiple times (2-3x) a week – This is mainly to strengthen my back, trapezius, wrist, and elbows so I'm not constantly in pain after hours of daily drawing. Hurting myself can lead to weeks of being unable to work, so this is really important for me.
  • Morning Pages – I learned this from [Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way] ( Basically, you write three stream-of-consciousness pages every day in a journal. I do these in the morning, but sometimes I do them at night or multiple times during the day (though, if I do them more than once, I don't necessarily stick to the three-page rule).
  • Weekly Artist Date – Another concept from Julia Cameron's book. It has been a struggle to properly keep up with this. I've learned that Me Time and an Artist Date are two very different things and, often, it's difficult to pinpoint what the Artist wants to do — so I end up making it Me Time by accident.
  • Journal Sketches – I take something from my journal or something that's been on my mind lately (a movie, a song, etc) and I make art from it. This is to “ground” my art and pay more Attention.
  • Gesture Drawings – I do this one daily and religiously, about 30 minutes. I use either Line Of Action or SketchDaily.
  • Anatomy Studies – This used to be my favorite when I was totally enamoured with art, so I'm re-implementing it into the regime.
  • Misc Studies – All kinds of studies that don't really fit into the other sections.
  • 1 Illustration/1-2 Weeks – I'm not necessarily showing these online, but I thought it would be important to create work frequently, on a deadline, to get myself in the mindset of finishing works.
  • Monthly Goals – Every month, I plan to revise my strategy and see how things are coming along.
  • Annual Art Direction Plan – I do this every year, to guide my style and see where I want to go, but I'm putting it here because it was what helped me come up with this plan.
  • Weekly Blog – To make annotations on my progress.

Week 1 Observations

Figure Drawing

  • Day 1: I felt pretty rusty, but I had an epiphany to use perspective and form to build my figures. As I like to refer to it, I “woke up” my art brain. I didn't really think about using lines of action. Most of my gestures were stiff stickmen.
  • Day 2: Started using lines of action and marking the pelvis, although it was difficult to get my figures to properly balance. Started thinking about overlap. Using shading to imply form, but my lines are still largely focused on contour. It's difficult to draw out the poses. Later, I realized it's because many of them are static poses and/or classic poses (not in action).
  • Day 3: Initial gestures are still rough, but I think my lines of action started to improve here. Still too focused on contour once I get past the line of action. My lines are a combination of straight and curved, but they're very short. I'm still using shading to imply form as a third step. I was able to fully shade a figure by my last gesture.
  • Day 4: My sketch lines became longer and more simplified. On the longer poses, I'm paying attention to folds, but not too much. I've stopped shading. Trying to focus a little more on fitting the entire figure onto the page (composition).
  • Day 5: Right off the bat, focusing on line of action, then hip line. Not super worried about getting things perfect, but I am worried about fitting the figure on the page. I'm not concerned about drawing in limbs and parts of the body, instead, I'm focused on drawing folds and showing form through these. There are very few contour lines, and the ones that I did make are long and simplified. Still struggling with static poses, such as stranding up straight, reaching up. I'm finding a 5-minute pose to be “too long” for my focus.


  • I recalled that I make a few boards before I start working. I made an art style/inspiration board, a lighting board, a reference board, and a mood board.
  • It took me a few tries to come up with a thumbnail that felt right. I still don't think it was the most perfect composition, but I thought it would make more sense when I added values and adjusted my lines towards the focal point.
  • I'm quite unhappy with the appearance of my work right now. After further analysis, I have decided it's my lineart. I also think it's partially my anatomy, but I'm already working on that. For the lineart, I want to do some object rotation studies, gesture copy studies from my favorite artists, fold studies, and lineart studies.


  • I found myself putting off sections because I didn't have enough time during the day to get anything done.
  • I keep getting distracted by my family. I ordered a room divider to put a physical barrier between us. It's something I expected when we moved into the new house, and I spoke about it but we ended up putting it off. I wonder how relevant this was to my creative block these past months.

Artist Date

  • Listening to The Charismatic Voice analyze and break down a favorite singer's song/voice. It was an intense experience. And helped me be more aware of becoming more analytical.

from Karin Wanderer Learns

Welcome to #ColorFull part 2!

What is Your Personality Type?

Forget Myers-Briggs, HEXACO, & whatever else is trending right now- the only personality type that matters is your Color Personality Type! I found this breakdown in “Color Theory For Dummies” by Eric Hibit, & I absolutely love it. I think this is something he came up with for the book, but I genuinely could not tell you if it exists in other places as well. This is because “color-based personality tests” are so popular on the internet that it is impossible to find a specific one! All of them want to know if you are a “red” personality type, or a “blue-orange” one, but Hibit’s test is different. These CPTs are much more revelatory; people are categorized according to how they view color & think it should be used. Doesn’t that make more sense?

What Are the Different Color Personality Types?

Color Conformists

Color conformists – you guessed it! – comply with the color stereotypes associated with the time, place, & culture they live in. They may, for example, have specific ideas about which babies should wear which colors or when to stop wearing white clothing. If society’s opinion of a color shifts, then a color conformist may begin to follow the new standard (e.g- the “white after Labor Day” rule is pretty outdated) but they will never be an early adopter.

Watercolor of a plump, happy cardinal perched on a bare branch. Red cardinal, brown branch; all is right in the Color Conformists’ world.

Color Outliers

Color outliers recognize the color stereotypes that exist in the time, place, & culture they live in. Unlike color conformists, they enjoy defying those stereotypes. Think Pierce Brosnan & Dwayne Johnson wearing pink to their movie premier, or all the lovely games people play with bridal gowns these days. Watercolor of an adorable blue-purple-pink basilisk, smiling contentedly This basilisk is a terrifying monster in a friendly color palette.

Color Iconoclasts

Color iconoclasts are the exact opposite of color conformists. Color iconoclasts recognize the color stereotypes that exist in the time, place, & culture they live in, & they want to burn it all down! They are radical in the truest sense of the word- they want to challenge color traditions at the root. They defy traditions that insist they must wear a particular color for a vaguely cultural reason. Child Me was certainly a color iconoclast; frequently being forced to wear pink made me question the veracity of any & all color traditions from a very early age!

Color Expressives

Color expressives use color to proclaim something about themselves. Such a person may wear their favorite color all the time, or red when they need to be assertive, or funeral colors to weddings. They may dye their hair a color that they feel suits them better. They may be very specific about how they paint/decorate their homes- relaxing colors in the bedroom, fun ones in the den, somber ones in a workroom… For color expressives, colors are never just a nice thing to look at, but a conscious choice made after deliberate thought.

Stylized watercolor turtle seen from the top down, all in soft greens with indigo on the shell. I want a turtle in my favorite colors & I will not let reality get in my way!

Color Fluid

Color fluid people are neither one thing nor the other—neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring! They combine any/all of the color personality types described above. They also are very flexible; they are more likely to shift & change which aspects of what Color Personality Types they ascribe to over time than anyone who identifies with one single type.

What Is Your Color Personality Type

So, what do you think? Are you an Outlier? An Iconoclast? A more Fluid combination? Have you always felt that way, or has your type shifted over time? I’ve been reading a lot about color theory over the last few months, & I have to say this style of categorization really appeals to me. I’m mostly a Color Expressive, but occasionally a knee jerk Iconoclast. I guess that makes me Color Fluid! What are you?

Let me know! [Mastodon]() [BlueSky]() [IG]()

Tune in on future Tuesdays to learn more about color!

We’ll be talking about how our ancestors made pigments & what they used them for. We’ll be talking about how we currently make pigments & what we use them for. We’ll be talking about how we physically see color, how we categorize it, & how we organize it. Finally, we’ll be getting down to brass tacks & talking about specific colors! It’s going to be a wild ride.

My 2-week #KWPrompts art challenge is ongoing!

We still have another week of the #IdleHues prompt Check out the #KWPrompts list for more information!


from RMiddleton

Observed Sunday, the 14th of April Fort George Island, Florida

YAYAYAYAYAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY! The fireflies were out. So were biting bugs and I wished I had more (natural) bug repellant coating than I did, or to wear long pants and sleeves if I can bear that heat.

Sunset was just before 8:00 p.m. Good viewing begins then, and improves at 8:30 to 9:00 as darkness increases. The most difficult aspect of viewing these fireflies is adjusting our eyes to darkness. Cellphones off or brightness turned way down. Give your eyes time to adjust. Relating to phones and eyes, capturing the fireflies on video or photo is a challenge. I always take some captures but honestly it's better not even trying and just enjoying the live experience. The biting bugs are more easily avoided when continuously moving, another argument against stopping to take images.

I MAY GO BACK TONIGHT! Get in touch, anybody who is interested.


from Karin Wanderer Learns

Every 2 weeks I post a new art challenge prompt! The new #KWPrompts is #IdleHues

I’ve been reading & writing a lot about color lately. This has been making me examine my old art with a new eye, & I’ve realized something: I hardly ever use the color red!

How is this possible? How can I paint so much without using red, a primary color? Simple: I like to paint with a palette that uses cyan-magenta-yellow, not blue-red-yellow.

 Watercolor color wheel using Pthalo Blue (green shade), Quinacridone Pink, & Hansa Yellow Light. Also watercolor swatches in sap & pthalo green, raw sienna & umber, Payne's gray, ultramarine blue, pyrrol scarlet, & alizarin crimson. These are all my colors, the wheel is my 3 favorite CMY primaries

I practically never use red. I very rarely use orange. I don’t even see a lot of reddish browns in my older paintings! So, Red Hues are my #IdleHues. I will spend the next 2 weeks focusing on using more reds!

Take a little time & look at your old art. What color(s) are missing? What are your #IdleHues?

Let’s spend the next 2 weeks using colors we usually leave alone!

Watercolor foxes sitting, sleeping, & jumping. One of these foxes is a cat in disguise. 90% of my red paintings are foxes.

Use #KWPrompts #IdleHues &/or tag me @KarinWanderer so I can see how you think!

Pick your social & post your art! Mastodon Bluesky IG

Lord Nibbler observing. 10% of my red paintings are fan art

All art styles & skill levels are welcome- beginner to expert, renaissance painting to rough sketch! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed. Have a fantastic day, draw something for my art challenge, see you next week!


from Karin Wanderer Learns

Welcome to #ColorFull part 1!

Color is light alone, but it is experienced so directly & powerfully that we think of it as a physical entity. ~Linda Holtzschue

Do you remember learning your colors? I don’t. I can remember learning fancy color words like “camel” or “periwinkle,” but broad categories like “brown” & “purple” feel like they have always been in my vocabulary! How old were you when you learned that color is perceived a little bit differently from person to person? How old were you when you learned that you see color a little bit differently from moment to moment?

Color perception depends on many things. It depends on who is looking at the color- as we’ve mentioned before, everyone is the same in that everyone is different! That extends to colors as well. A small percentage of the population has Color Vision Deficiency (CVD – sometimes referred to as being ‘color blind’) but people with typical color vision will each see colors differently, too. Color perception also depends on what other colors are around it- yellow will look brighter against a dull gray background than it will against a hot pink one. It depends on the medium the color is made of- the same soft blue will look different in colored pencil than it will in acrylic paint, or cake frosting, or on a computer screen. It depends on the light you are using to look at the color- a red couch can seem brown or even black in dim light.

Watercolor hummingbird with green & blue body & beige wing/tail feathers. This hummingbird’s bright green feathers look even brighter against beige

At the same time, your own knowledge can change how you perceive color. Most people could tell you that a couch is red. An interior decorator might specify that the couch is crimson, or alizarin, or cadmium. And if you know the couch is red, then see it in the dark, you won’t find yourself wondering “OMG who painted my couch black!!!???” This is because of a little thing called “color constancy,” where your brain will still be telling you that the couch is red.

‘Color constancy’ is a nice little shortcut for your brain to take, handily remembering what color things should be & filling that information in for you. This means your brain doesn’t have to note the hue of every single thing you see every single time you see it. Considering all the other things your brain is keeping track of all the time, this is very convenient! Maybe a little too convenient…

Once you “know” what color something is going to be, that ‘memory color’ can get you into trouble. Memory color is why people often paint the ocean blue, even if the water in front of them is gray or green or clear. They “know” it’s blue, so they don’t really look at their reference.

Watercolor of a quiet dock looking out on a wide bay under a full moon.

Your brain plays a lot with color, actually. Most people these days report that their memory, dreams, & daydreams are typically in color. In the 1940s, when television was still black & white, a much higher percentage of people reported that their dreams were “rarely” or “never” in color! Headaches & head trauma can make you see color, or even feel it. For example, when I get a particularly bad headache everything ‘feels’ red, even though I don’t actually see anything as red.

This series of articles about color will be focused mainly on the visible spectrum (or as we tend to call it, “light”), as humans typically perceive it. I have to limit the focus to humans, or this series would never end as I talked about all the animals who see differently than we do! But you all know me, I can’t just not talk about animals. As such I’m going to take a paragraph now to infodump talk about how other animals see color. Many insects & birds see in ultraviolet light, which completely changes how plants look. Some snakes see infrared light, aiding their heat detection even in pitch black environments. Nocturnal animals often, but not always, see almost entirely in achromatic tones- also known as grayscale. Insectivorous bats see in grayscale, & fruit bats see colors, which helps them spot the ripest fruit! Animals also use color in the wild, most notably the bowerbirds and their famous nests. Zoos use color as enrichment activities for the animals they care for, so I will end this digression with a lovely video from the Smithsonian that shows lots of different animals painting!.

Tune in on future Tuesdays to learn more about color!

We’ll be talking about how our ancestors made pigments & what they used them for. We’ll be talking about how we currently make pigments & what we use them for. We’ll be talking about how we physically see color, how we categorize it, & how we organize it. Finally, we’ll be getting down to brass tacks & talking about specific colors! It’s going to be a wild ride. I can't wait!

In the meantime – in between times – my #KWPrompts art challenge is ongoing!

We still have another week of the #LimitedPalette prompt Check out this link for more information!


from Karin Wanderer Learns

Every 2 weeks I post a new art challenge prompt!

The new #KWPrompts is #LimitedPalette

Watercolor of enormous butterflies hovering above pine trees, silhouetted against mountain chains stretching off into the distance, wrapped in mists too deep for the sun to burn off. Two colors

What counts as a “limited palette” is up to you! Will you limit yourself to only 2 colors? Only analogous colors? Only neon? Let's spend the next 2 weeks focusing on what we can do within these arbitrary boundaries. Would you like to learn more? Check out is Hazel Soan’s The Art of the Limited Palette (#NotSponsored)

Watercolor of a crescent moon hanging in a deep purple sky over a distant snow-capped purple mountain. A pine forest grows from the base of the mountain to a wide lake, which reflects the trees, mountain, & night sky. Three colors

Use #KWPrompts #LimitedPalette &/or tag me @KarinWanderer so I can see how you think!

Pick your social & post your art! Mastodon Bluesky

Watercolor of a green glass bottle lying on its side. Three colors

All art styles & skill levels are welcome- beginner to expert, renaissance painting to rough sketch! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed.

Watercolor Runner duck surrounded by blue & yellow dots. Three colors This duck was supposed to just use yellow & sienna, but then I splattered it with blue from another painting & didn't notice until it had dried. Always protect you work, friends, & be prepared to roll with your mistakes!

Have a fantastic day, draw something for my art challenge, see you next week!


from RMiddleton

Three latest video posts are previews of what's to come. That is, if I stick to what I have planned currently. The threat of burnout is likely and financial pressures are mounting. Enjoying the process > results is key. For now I hope to adhere to the schedule

Sunday, March 17, 3:30 repeating 2 weeks later It's a book club, it's a support group, it's a new religion:

2 captions:
Sunday, March 17 & Sunday, March 31, at 3:30, I'm hosting “EQ* book club” in my studio at home. It's open to all, but limited to a small group. Contact me directly. I made this video in attempt to show how the gathering might begin. Since the video is bad quality I'll summarize here: About 5 minutes of introduction as your host before I sit down and lead off with about 10 minutes of sharing about personal growth. (In this case I spoke about creating and hosting this event.) Once someone finishes speaking at the actual gathering, I envision a few seconds of silence, after which anyone may constructively comment on what was shared. There may or may not be discussion. Then someone else may share their own personal growth aspirations or a source of inspiration. Round and round like this, with many breaks, for less than the length of a Marvel movie. *Like IQ, EQ is a measure of emotional intelligence. Truthfully I don't put stock in such things being able to be expressed as a quotient. I do believe in something like “emotional intelligence.” I think it can be improved with practice, and that's what I envision doing for a couple of hours every other Sunday (maybe; always confirm with me directly). I call it book club because it's a similar format, coming into a home to sit and discuss; and if you bring a selection from a book or other media to share, that's great!
Sunday, March 17, and 2 weeks later, Sunday, March 31, I am inviting 6-8 people into the studio for what I have called EQ Book Club. I've also called it my new religion! This video gives some idea of how it might start, but the video is really bad 🙃 so here's a summary: I speak for about 5 minutes of welcome as host, then I sit down and share thoughts and feelings about personal growth that I'm working on. (In this case, I spoke of hosting events, putting new ideas into the world.) When we gather, my 10 minutes of sharing would be followed by a few seconds of silence; then if others would like to share a constructive response they may and that could lead to discussion. Then someone else may choose to share aspirations, a personal growth anecdote, or a source of inspiration. Round and round, with frequent breaks for snacks or whatever — for the length of a Marvel movie (or less). At the end of the vid I say it's a gathering with no purpose, no agenda other than to feel good. I value moments of calm. They are rare. Easy for me to fall into patterns of explanation, justification, defense, offense, condemnation, escape. I aspire to just be, be happy, be healthy, breathe, smile, relate to others kindly. “EQ book club” is biweekly practice for living that way. It was awkward to make this video bc I don't want anything about this gathering to be a performance. At the same time I had promised to share some idea of what to expect. Also the sound is bad. If I can I'll add captions. (I couldn't easily.)

Monday – Thursday, March 18-21, time TBD Streaming at

The following videos are partial previews of content that may be expected in scheduled streams on Twitch:

Also see:

Altogether that's an attempted commitment for 6 days of a few hours at a time. Beyond the time it's a significant emotional effort. I say “attempted commitment” because as of today, March 13, I cannot predict my solvency or functioning on March 31. I have great fears that the things that matter most to me will never keep me alive financially. “Money can't buy happiness.” Moreover I suspect that it is explicitly impossible to build wealth while maintaining a healthy life. After all, focus on the pursuit of money has not lessened conflict among humanity and is rapidly making our planet uninhabitable. I seek sponsors who might be curious to see what writings and ideas I may create if I continue.


from RMiddleton

Appreciating the destroyers.

Donald Trump helps me embrace systemic change.

Meta helps me create solely for myself.

Elon Musk helps me commit to non-commercial media.


from RMiddleton

I’m amazed by my certainty that ideas come from the unconscious. If anyone reading this struggles with focus and decision making I strongly suggest you reduce your inputs, embrace silence, and get plenty of sleep. When authors say that their characters determine the story, how do you suppose that happens? What it means is that progress in thinking up a story takes place unconsciously.

Talking on video as much as I do leaves a record of thought development. I can see myself having an idea while talking. It occurs seemingly spontaneously, out of nowhere, because ideas come from the unconscious. Something in the moment likely triggered its appearance. A new idea pops out raw and is often labeled an ADHD distraction. Even if I like the idea I don’t know where to go with it. If I try to take it too far (more than my unconscious has worked on it) I get lost and uncertain. That’s the stage when mistakes are easily made, pushing an idea instead of waiting for it to develop. The best thing for me is to acknowledge an idea that I like that I want to work on, and then to put it aside. Later the idea will come back more refined, without me having spent any time on it consciously. I have seen this pattern repeatedly in my “talking to myself” videos.


from RMiddleton

title above is just cuz titles help with blog organization. I considered that title for what appears below but will omit it if it appears elsewhere. It may become the caption to my 2nd planned stream of consciousness video on YouTube.

Create Share Separate Relate Pause Feel

Create without filter. Thinking, feeling, being alive are the source of creativity. Hinder none of these.

Share. I’ve chosen to be an artist. Many lovely people are designers and marketers, but I am not. I am an artist.

Separate. Creating, sharing, and relating can be separate acts. (Feeling happens at all times but I made it a separate list item as well to encourage myself to embrace feeling.) Idea formation can be separate from sharing. Ideas can be created, considered, modified, and shared or not. Shared material can be separate from how I relate to others. There is zero requirement that what I create and share relates to others. What I create and share impacts me and through me my relationships. No one is required to consume my content. Not even me a second time. Respecting separation helps. My purpose in creating and sharing without filter is to reinforce positive self development. To be unashamed of impulses. To be free. To process thoughts into words. To become better at understanding what I mean, saying what I mean, and knowing that I mean what I say. These practices seem likely to increase my confidence, calmness, and positive outlook. That result would improve every relationship I have. I have zero requirement that my creative output be praised or purchased. Criticism of my creative output is also irrelevant. I'm now making for the act of making. The cliche is finally true.

Relate. I am not alone. I live alone. My satisfaction in solitude influences how I create. Yet I am a social being. I love all in theory, several in practice. Within my chosen family, feelings of love, respect, appreciation, and acceptance are not dependent on justifications. They are not earned. Their quantities are not limited. All that has been true despite how difficult it can be for me to show up. My motivation to create is therapeutic. Improvements in my creative practice may help me. The better I'm doing the better I can relate to others.

Pause. Sleep. Read. Listen. Walk.

Feel. Embrace feeling. Accept every feeling. Enjoy feeling. Experience the connection of feeling and physical. This connection is responsive.

Support is appreciated. Support is separate from creation. I am going to do it anyway. I'm also happy to send physical art to anyone who wants it, no payment required. Those who would like to know more about me see


from Nilly Robot

Hey-o. Been a minute (hasn't it always.) I originally wrote this short back in undergrad. To be honest, it probably changed the trajectory of my life. That's a... that's a long story. Anyway, the short version is I was supposed to write an essay about physics and decided to be a little contrarian and turn this in instead. That somehow worked out for me.

People cleared the streets when the gunslinger came. They shuttered their windows and glanced through the cracks, hoping the sheriff died quickly so they could get back to what they’d been doing beforehand. The townspeople stayed out of the way and the gunslinger left the town more or less alone. It was the sheriff he was after, and the townsfolk had long agreed that it was best to avoid the ricochets.

And so it went—on the first of the month, every month, the government sent another shiny new sheriff to clean the place up. The gunslinger came at noon, and then the town went about its day, scuffing the dark stains into the dirt. The townsfolk learned to work their schedules around it. In fact, it was kind of more of an inconvenience than anything. Everyone agreed that the gunslinger wasn’t so bad, since he never really bothered anyone important, after all. (Hey, that’s not very nice.) (Then increase your skill.)

This view was not held by the government. They insisted on sending more bodies to fill the graveyard, a new shiny sheriff to be dented and broken and shuffled under the sun-baked dirt.

And so, no one had said a word to the new sheriff in the time since he’d arrived. He’d come early, in the hopes of teasing out information about the mysterious gunslinger, but the townsfolk had been less than helpful. They walked past him as if he was a ghost, no more than a gust of wind in a dirty Stetson. He supposed he didn’t blame them, but the stony silence was lonely.

If anyone was curious, they did their best to hide it. A few of the bolder townsfolk watched him when they thought he wasn’t looking. The sheriff caught a nod at the mail post, a few sideways glances at the saloon, but was largely left to contemplate his whiskey in peace. The only person in town who’d introduced themselves was the undertaker and the sheriff was getting sick of tripping over him and his measuring string.

He eavesdropped on the whispered conversations at dark windows, the loose tongue in the early hours of the night, when the saloon keeper herded the patrons out with a broom and a kick. He waited by stables and in the general store, where the dusty women huddled and carried out their gossip with religious gravity. He wrote secret letters to the widows of the sheriffs that came before him. When he received any response, their words came hollow, strangely devoid of emotion as they related what the government had told them about their lost loves.

(Could you at least try to sound sad?)(This is highly melodramatic.)

From what he could tell, the gunslinger rode from the west on the first of every month, shot a sheriff and finished up with drinks at the saloon. It seemed like he didn’t want anything else. The sheriff had to admire the consistency of it, surely a man ought to have a routine, but enough was enough. Tomorrow was the day of reckoning, and the gunslinger was getting a surprise this month.

He hitched his belt and surveyed the empty streets. They baked to dust in the noon sun, a russet river of dirt and emptied spittoons, wavering against the yellow-grey sky. Somewhere in the distance an eagle screamed, cutting the heavy hiss of summer cicadas for only a moment before they blanketed the town once more.

“Sheriff.” The voice rang out behind him, flat and metallic. The sheriff stiffened slightly, but did not turn. What made a man ring so hollow, like an empty tin drum? He fingered the ivory handles at his hip.

“I am. Might you be the gunslinger?” The sheriff felt the bored eyes of a whole town glancing at him from their windows and doorways. Get on with it. Their impatience was infectious. (Yeesh. We’ll change up the setting next time, alright?)(Whatever makes you happy.) He rested his fingers on the holstered revolvers.

“Yes.” Again the voice rang out like steel against stone. It was alien, mechanical, a sound that made his skin prickle. “You know why I have come.”

“For a drink, I recon. Then you’ll be on your way to jail.” The sheriff held the waver from his voice, but just barely.

Shifting tone quite suddenly, the gunslinger trilled in a pleasant voice, “We’ve arrived at the location set by the course program. Awaiting instructions.”

“Stay in character, dammit!” The sheriff spat, turning to face the scowling giant. To say an air of menace surrounded the gunslinger would be to say a river was wet. His face was deep lined and rough, indistinct beneath the shadow of the wide brimmed hat pulled down low on his brow. His eyes held a strange light, the angle of the noon sun glinting off of them like unholy hellfire. The man stood two heads taller than anyone the sheriff had seen. A dirty leather duster flowed out behind him, flapping in a breeze that no one else felt.

His voice returned to its flat, tinned growl. “Draw, Sheriff.”

The sheriff’s fingers flexed for the holster, but stopped short.

“Eh, you know what? You’re right. This setting is kind of getting old.”

“You cannot change the setting in the middle of a match. To do so would be to forfeit.” The gunslinger slipped his revolver from its jet black holder, a black steel nightmare glinting in the noon sun. The sheriff held his hands up.

“OK, fine. Hold on a minute.” The sheriff scrunched his face and squinted into the distance, mouthing something for a minute or so before declaring “That should do it, give or take.”

With a sharp snap, the sheriff pulled a blade from the air that sent ozone rippling through the air, dripping plasma onto the dry baked streets. The gunslinger’s form became fluid, melting and twisting. Two red eyes flared from the shadow of his face, locked in a permanent metal grimace under his jet black hat. His arms grew wires and pipes, steam pouring from his hinged joints. A deep whir emanated from his chest, his leather duster ripping cleanly down the back where a series of sharp exhausts grew from his spine. With an evil crackle, the black revolver rippled and reformed, dripping into the shape of a long black blade, an empty void like a rent in the very fabric of reality.

“That is your last allowance, sheriff. The rules of this world are now locked.”

“Ha. I’d like to see you stop me.” The men charged, blades singing, their electric screams slicing the heavy summer in their wake and the townsfolk peeked from their windows with new interest. They shrunk back from the lightning thrown from the crashing blades, deep scars forming in the wooden structures from the fury of the blades’ collisions.

The sheriff threw his weight into a wide swing, cursing as he overbalanced. He dropped to his knees, ducking the elegant arc of the gunslinger’s blade. With a sharp jab to the robot’s torso, the sheriff rolled left and promptly lodged his sword into the tavern hitching post. He cursed again.

“Without your tricks you are but a novice,” growled the gunslinger. “Admit defeat.”


Somewhere far away from the gunslinger, the sheriff, and the town, a proximity warning light flickered to life. Then another. Then another. The woman at the console blinked at the swarm of lights in front of her. She punched the monitor to life, flicking through the screens with mounting horror. In twenty years on the job, she had never seen the subsystem readouts return... nothing. What she was seeing was insane. What she was seeing was not possible. She slammed open the ship’s coms.

“Bridge! Come in, bridge!” Her speakers replied with only a faint crackle.

The engineer ripped off her earpiece and leapt for the door. She was gone before the headset hit the ground.


Tugging uselessly at his blade, which had now set the front of the tavern ablaze, the sheriff slumped against the smoldering building and sighed.

“Best of three?”

Quite suddenly, the ground heaved beneath their feet, throwing the sheriff off-balance once more. His sword dislodged itself, crackling on the ground like an injured snake.

“That probably wasn’t normal. Hey, where did you say we—” The gunslinger drew his blade down heavy on the sheriff’s shoulder, sending a fountain of sparks and blood streaming to the dirt. With a pained grunt, the sheriff fell to his knees. “Hold it, Ship. I think we—”

“Denied. Staying in character. Pick up your sword.” The gunslinger growled, looming over the fallen man with the tip of his blade poised to on his throat.

“First law of robotics, asshole!”

“Asimov is fiction.” The metal scowl deepened. “You got two hands, Sheriff. Pick it up.

“Oh, nice! You watched The Man who Shot Liberty Valance. You’ve really been doing your research lately.” The sheriff let his gaze wander off into the distance once more as he spoke, quickly shifting numbers in his head. It took only a second; the gunslinger wouldn’t have enough time to catch it if he was distracted. Just a few decimal points here or there, the wrong variable in the right place. “Did you like it?”

“Yes,” the gunslinger said, hitting the sheriff again with his blade. “I will put a cactus on your grave too.”

Except, whoops. That was definitely the wrong variable in the wrong place. Eh. Good enough.

The sheriff smiled up at the grimacing robot. “This time, right between the eyes.”

The sky cracked in half, a brilliant pillar of nuclear fire evaporating everything in its wake, stripping the buildings, the streets, the huddled townsfolk. The shock on the gunslinger’s face could be seen for only an instant before he too melted to white.


“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The helmet flew from the pilot's head, skittering across the bridge floor. The sudden brightness seared her eyes and she squeezed them shut. Peeking between her lids revealed a seething engineer. The pilot fancied rage looked most natural on the older woman's face, although she had only even seen 'annoyed' or 'harried' for comparison.

“You crashed us!” she shrieked. “Where are the safety overrides? What have you done?”

“Crashed…?” Slurred the woozy pilot. She rubbed her forehead and sneezed. Perhaps she'd gone a little overboard. They say that you shouldn't play for more than two hours at a time, and she'd started sometime after lunch. It was well into first shift sleeping hours, if her complaining stomach (the most accurate time piece she'd yet come across) was anything to go by.

“The space ship that you were SUPPOSED to be flying. Do you know what happens when you crash a space ship? In space?” The engineer opened her mouth to continue, but froze at the sight of the control panels.

Pilot override: Standby

“YOU turned the subsystems off?” The engineer slammed into the panels, searching for life among the screens. “ALL OF THEM?” She shrieked, eyes bulging. Not even the life support had power, a system that had so many safeguards that before today the engineer wasn’t sure someone could turn it off. “How...?”

“Not off, just diverted. Moved a few blocks around in the system controller, no big deal. I set the ship to ping life support every hour. And—-oh, whoops. No, actually I turned it off. It’s fine, the system’s got enough air for like 12 hours.”


“It lets ship focus on amping up the realism in our campaign. I’m going to be tasting dirt for weeks, haha.”

“You do not play fair.” The ship’s AI whined. “You change the rules every time I’m winning.”

The engineer sputtered with rage.

“OK, OK. Calm down. Ship, return to full auto. Status.”

She recoiled from the sudden explosion of alarms.

“Hull breach in Reactor 2. Reactor failure. Hull breach in 18. Bulkhead failure, oxygen critical. Hull breach in 37. Bulkhead failure, oxygen critical. Hull breach in 45. Bulkhead failure—”

“Oh. Well, shit.”