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from Karin Wanderer Learns

February is for Faces

I’m on a mission to draw 29 faces in 29 days! I got a bit lonely on this mission, so I made it into a 2-week art challenge we can all do together.

Join me for the second week of #KWPrompts: #Face drawing challenge Show me how you think! Mastodon Bluesky Ko-Fi Tag me @KarinWanderer &/or #KWPrompts so I see your art! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed.

A small child with hair up in twin buns looks just past the viewer. She is bundled up in a pink scarf & a purple puffy jacket.

Would you like to know more about drawing faces? No problem! This article you’re reading right now has valuable info! Would you like to know even more? Read Part 1: There Go I But For My Face

And as always…

Practice, Practice, Practice!

No matter what method you use to draw people, you always need to practice! Is drawing a whole face too intimidating? Draw it in small parts.

Digital drawings of disembodied eyes, lips, & half a face in profile from the brow line to the upper lip. The best type of practice is the type you actually do

Start with a frame

There are a lot of ways to frame out a face. Try as many different ways as you can find. You might just be surprised by what method works out for you! If you have a reference photo you like, draw wireframes over & over. This helps you see how the facial proportions work together. If you are working digitally it is very easy to layer the different wireframes to see how your different iterations line up. If you are working physically you can do the same with very thin papers & either a light box or a bright window.

Wireframe outline of a woman facing to the side. The body lines are drawn in orange, the face is roughed in using green. Wireframe outline of a woman facing slightly to the left of the viewer.

Attack of the Clones

Once you have a wireframe you like: use it, use it, use it! This is easy if you work digitally. If you work physically, trace it a few times. Using the same wireframe over & over again helps you see how everything comes together. It also is fun to see how differently you can make people look in spite of starting them from the same wireframe.

Wireframe outline of a woman facing the viewer. The body lines are drawn in orange, the face is roughed in using green. I don’t want to admit how many versions I’ve drawn of this wireframe.

Digital drawing of a woman looking calmly at the viewer. Her curly black hair is worn up under a wide-brimmed blue hat tilted to one side. She wears a purple necklace & earrings. Her body rapidly disappears from the collarbone down. I really don’t want to admit how many versions I’ve drawn of this woman.

Reference Photo vs. Live Model

Drawing with a photo is easy! The subject holds still, indefinitely, so that you can really take your time & pay attention to detail. Drawing a live model is easy! The subject is actually there, so you can look at them from a few different angles & even ask them to pose differently if you like. Drawing with a photo is hard; the angle/lens distortion can really mess up things like perspective/foreshortening that are already difficult, especially for beginners. Drawing a live model is hard; people can’t just hold still & let you practice forever. Think about what pros & cons are most important for you. Try drawing from photos, videos, & from life to see what you like the most. This will depend on your temperament, your resources, your experience & your art style. Everyone will be different!

What do you think? Do you like drawing people? Do you have any favorite tips & tricks? Please, share them with me! Mastodon Bluesky Ko-Fi


from RMiddleton

The primary purpose of this blog's recent reorganization is to designate multiple spaces for me to work towards separate goals. I have never written any long-term projects and I'm making everything up as I go. There are other writing tools I've seen recommended lately — specifically and — but for now I'm choosing blogging. Much like the best camera being the phone you have on you the best writing tool may be the one I'm already using. I can quickly switch from my general blogging habit over to a parallel site reserved for a designated purpose and just keep writing.

As this space is for general purpose I will sometimes cross post what I'm working on elsewhere. I want to envision a future that's hopeful and put it in writing. The dream goal would be to produce a #solarpunk novel. I do not have the writing space for this project set up yet. Here is what I wrote for this project last night:

To start a business a decision-making body is empowered, consisting of equal parts capitalists and disinterested citizens of the proposed operating zone. The more zones in which one seeks to operate the more citizen partnerships must be established. The largest corporations are the least concentrated. The citizen partners are budgeted to hire contract with scientific experts and labor representatives

This is what directly inspired the above:

And this is what I posted: Dreaming up alternative corporations with control divided into equal thirds: the capitalists, the workers, and citizens representing the area of operations. The citizen third would be empowered to hire scientific experts & consider long-term effects. The labor third would protect the health & safety of workers. If the capitalist owners wish to operate in multiple locations their % goes down as additional citizens & labor shares are added, making the largest corps the least centrally controlled.

Thinking about the transition period, when the capitalists revolt bc they're used to the way things are now. Govt says: Oh sure you can either walk away or continue doing what you have done for as long as you can. Govt contracts will preference new corporations, workers at new corps will get tuition and health care paid for, and many increased benefits. You are free to operate within current rules except that regulations will increase. Resources are allocated. New corps are higher in the chain

Up until the change (due to new social media network and or the message from outer space and or the stasis capsule) the system was adversarial harming everyone and seemed frozen in place. The arguments were between complete laissez faire capitalism and complete government control seizure at the end of a gun.

Book organization: Rough rough — pinned post

Outline — pp I've never written a novel

Stake holders

My plan is to maintain separate blog writing spaces for my main projects.

I am choosing to write about a potential positive future in order to give myself hope. I've never understood living in a society with adversarial relationships between corporations and employees, between corporations and customers, between short term profit and long term survival. It feels like human nature because it's systemic. I believe other ways are possible, and that it's up to art to dream these things up.

Note: I feel terrible. I'm posting words anyway, even though it's unedited and I can feel many missteps here I felt many missteps here as I made them.

Just gonna share it anyway. The future is for refining Now is for stumbling forward

The above is a small sample of what I've written so far in my sci-fi better world imagining. (As soon as I can make some structural decisions) I plan to collect all the rough bits together at


from RMiddleton

As part of #100DaysToOffload I am offloading my overloaded tabs and bookmarks. If I stick with this being a regular series sometimes I'll have stuff to say and sometimes just list links for future reference. #1000TabsToOffload Off My Phone:

  1. Warped Front Pages: Researchers examine the self-serving fiction of ‘objective’ political news Saved but not read because I believe in its veracity already. Kept open for possible future reference, and because of a nostalgic fondness for CJR. They covered my college humor mag when I was in charge, back when print was fun and influential. screenshot: Columbia Journalism Review. Warped Front Pages: Researchers examine the self-serving fiction of 'objective' political news. November 20, 2023. By David M. Rothschild, Elliot Pickens, Gideon Heltzer, Jenny Wang, and Duncan J. Watts. Photo of a newsstand with a New York Times newspaper in the center

  2. Memo to self: make a feed or list or whatever it takes to get this instance's local feed in my home. It combines things I love: Mexico, the fediverse, and trying to learn Spanish.

  3. A lot of good places left Substack to protest that site's blech. Maybe I want to start reading Molly White regularly.

  4. I'm always looking at alternative web search sites screenshot of simple web search page: yacy* (in logo text) Web Search by the People, for the People (search bar)

  5. I'm always pondering the etymological connection of art, artifice, artificial, etc.

  6. One of my own other blog spaces. Why am I keeping it open? Probably to remind myself that at least one person is subscribed and not to forget it now that I'm posting here daily. (See ADHD & creativity.)

  7. Another of my preexisting blog spaces I need to tidy up.

  8. Funk & Soul Radio DJ'd by actor from Red Dwarf I recently watched Red Dwarf for the first time and wondered what the lead actor was up to now. I feel like I should check this show out! Show page at BBC. screenshot of wikipedia entry for The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show: The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show is a British radio programme, broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music on Saturdays, between 6 pm and 9 pm, and from 2016 until 2022 between 10 pm and 12 midnight on BBC Radio 2 (dubbed the Craig Charles House Party). The Radio 6 Music show is presented live by Craig Charles and produced by Simon Hodge, Ben Appleyard and Ellen Orchard for TBI Media. All varieties of funk and soul music are played, from classic tracks to contemporary releases. It is the longest-running show on BBC Radio 6 Music.

  9. Probably a book recommendation from Mastodon.

  10. We Need Diverse Books' resources to fight when books are challenged.

  11. A link from an artist I like on the fediverse led me to this platform. Is it for me? Based on this image of the site's landing page I would say no. screenshot:
livespace    Sign In/Up
For You [button] Music [button] Gaming [button] Just Chatti [button]
Welcome to LiveSpace!
Join thousands of creators on the all-new social streaming platform.
on Twitter | Discord
Let's Go!
LIVE videos
Sitting Pretty G.
Trying out Next.. memoryleakd.

Laptop: 1. 2. 3. 4. blog 5. poet

Potential PeerTube Instances
#100DaysToOffload #1000TabsToOffload

Mastodon bookmarks:

I saved this one because I was gonna talk about how I reuse every plastic grocery sack I receive, for my garbage bags (I live in a building with a trash chute). If I lived somewhere this law went into effect I would suddenly have to start buying bags packaged in boxes to discard my garbage. I do believe that systemic change is the way to improve society, but in this case I would say that the system that needs changing is the widespread acceptance of wastefulness. For someone like me, who reuses everything that can be useful (including plastic shopping bags and glass jars) the greatest problem at the grocery store is in product packaging. I was seriously thinking of making a blog post out of this, so I'm glad to discard it here. I live in Florida. My lifetime supply of free grocery bags is under no threat. I'll be doing my grocery shopping by gondola before my state government does anything remotely pro-environment!

from RMiddleton

Blogging. Journaling. Writing.

I sense myself at a nexus of old and new. That sounds grandiose and sci-fi, but it's a mundane truth. Every moment is between old and new. I made some writing decisions—I want to categorize a few different types of writing by URL—that gave birth to this blog for uncategorized writing. I wanted continuity so I imported prior posts here. I have been working my way back to new. When I finished my importation I made a Post Zero as pivot point. That put me in mind of Inbox Zero, Browser Tab Zero, and fresh starts... A doctor once told me my post-surgery shoulder would be “as good as new!” That taught me some lessons:

One—Nothing is ever “new again”
Two—Many people embrace delusions
—Doctors are fallible/state incorrect things
~for more business/money?
~to give comfort?
—Unknowingly? They fool themselves? Hubris?
Three—I prefer to face reality, however difficult
Four—Perfection is unrealistic, and not required. I can must enjoy the progress of life.
Many things in my life are as confusing as the above list. Why did I structure it that way? It's super difficult to understand. Is there any value at all to it?

The digital realm differs from life in that there are new starts. I could delete this entire post and start over. I can delete photos, profiles, programs, and hard drives.

> > But can I close my open browser tabs?! < <

I saw this toot...

...and saw myself. Working my way back to new, babe I learned of the #100DaysToOffload hashtag movement promoting personal blogging when I saw Hyde's toot below that leads to their post reviewing every bit of their past month's media consumption!
That might be too ambitious or too embarrassing for me, so I'm going with an impossibly ambitious and undoubtedly embarrassing idea instead—a mashup of the browser tab dilemma and 100Days toots. I will be posting a series offloading my open browser tabs. That leaves me asking myself questions: #1000TabsToOffload or #10000TabsToOffload and what about bookmarks? Will I sustain a regular writing schedule? By assigning this space for general blogging will I be able to make progress in my writing ambitions elsewhere? Will I produce coherent projects? Will I ever close browser tabs?

from RMiddleton

During the time that I've been arranging this blog just so I have barely made a peep on popular social media. Today I dropped the following note there:

What I've been up to / where I've been online

Many times already I have expressed my dislike for commercial platforms. I don't need to convince anyone reading this to agree with me. If you are enjoying your online habits why should I hector you? In social media there's the social and there's the media. After many years I'm choosing the media over the social. Not that my preferred hangout is a technologically advanced and beautiful medium. No, it's about the oldest and plainest online venue. I'm enjoying simple blogging. What I mean when I say that I'm choosing medium over social is that I feel able to amass a “body of work” there & the very fact that that sounds so delusional tells me that I'm finally doing something right for me. All the years of interacting in various proprietary online spaces feel like ideas written on notebook paper and thrown out the window of a speeding car. In a rainstorm. It's too fast moving for me and it feels too temporary. On my chosen blog platform there literally are no bells and whistles. The words sit still on pages that I largely control. I have the possibility to think. To see themes in my ideas. The mere possibility that I might revisit past ideas, and over time shape them into something better is the definition of encouraging. It's long been one of my core beliefs that the main cause for most problems in the US is lack of reflection. The common trait of all mainstream media is that the stream rushes quickly and without pause. This pace is incompatible with deep thinking as I understand it. All caught up in this stream, passively or actively, experience cognitive difficulty. Yes I am saying that people who are sharing ideas on TV and other fast media are unlikely to be thinking deeply. The rest of us non famouses who are consuming ideas delivered in a fast stream find ourselves trying to take sips from a firehose. We get overwhelmed. We struggle to think. We feel exhausted. I don't know how often I'll keep coming back to share on the fast stream. I know my mind feels clearer elsewhere. And it's not that there's no social aspect to my preferred media. It's just so much slower and simpler that I might be able to think and reply substantively. I might not! Because I still carry with me my own struggles that interfere with happy socializing and my own ability to function.

As of this moment I feel hopeful when I spend time at


from RMiddleton

This post marks the end of imported posts from this blog’s prehistory & the beginning of contemporaneous posting.


from Karin Wanderer Learns

New #KWPrompts: #Face

It’s that time again! A new prompt for my bi-weekly art challenge! I have been thinking a lot about faces lately. Join me! Digital drawing of Lunella Lafayette a.k.a. Moon Girl studying. She has an apple juice box on the table next to her. Devil Dinosaur's giant red scales fill the background.

For the next 2 weeks my art prompt theme is #Face. Don’t want to draw a whole face? That’s OK too. Leave off the ears, just draw the nose, any face you want! Monochrome ink black painting depicts curly-bearded man smiling so big his eyes are closed.

Show Us Your Face!

Want help with faces? Read last week’s KWL!

Check them out & share your own!

#KWPrompts #Face

Tag me @KarinWanderer &/or #KWPrompts so I see your art!

Mastodon Bluesky IG

Show me how you think! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed. Have a fantastic day, draw something for my art challenge, see you next week! 2 pencil sketches: 1 is a little girl with her hair in twin buns. Most of her face is hidden in a scarf. 2 is a stylized person with an enormous head of curls framing their face, shown in profile.


from Karin Wanderer Learns

February is for Faces

I love drawing & painting animals. I could paint them all day long, & sometimes I do! Jungle animals, desert animals, marine animals- all animals are interesting to paint. Well, almost all.

I may have mentioned a time or six that humans are my least favorite animal. Humans don’t have pretty scales or plumage, they have fingers instead of fins, feet instead of flukes… essentially all the animal features I enjoy drawing are missing from humans. In my quest to get better anyway, I spend one month each year drawing humans. In my quest to avoid drawing humans, I choose the shortest month of the year. Last year I focused on drawing whole people, this year I am focused on faces.

Pencil sketch of Avatar Aang: a happy bald boy with an arrow tattooed on his head that is pointing down towards his nose.

People Proportions

There are a lot of rules bouncing around the art world when it comes to human proportions. Things like “Human adults are 8 heads tall, children are 6, & infants are 3” are repeated so often people will follow them without thinking. It is important to remember that these are more like guidelines; one thing every human has in common is that we are all different.

Appearance Advice

With all that in mind, here are some guidelines for human faces. * There are lots of different ways to lay out the foundations of a face. Many are based on ovals and lines.

Some are simple: Before & After Pencil Sketches. Before: Wire frame of a human figure sits at a table resting its head on its hand. After: A cute & somewhat bored little girl with big eyes & hair in a high bun sits at a table resting her head on her hand. She stares off into space, daydreaming.

Some are more involved: Pencil drawing of the first three steps to drawing a human face.
Step 1: Split an oval into 4 equal quarters with 2 perpendicular lines
Step 2: Add a line slightly above the middle horizontal line (this is the eye line.) Add a line half way between the middle and the bottom of the face (nose line.) Add a line slightly below that one (mouth line.)
Step 3: Draw a narrow triangle extending from the top set of double lines down through the chin. Pencil drawing of the last three steps to drawing a human face.
Step 4: The inner corners of the eyes line up with the outer corners of the nose, where the triangle crosses the nose line.
Step 6: Finishing details like hair. I prefer the simpler ones, how about you? * Foreshortening is hard, especially when drawing humans. A suggestion I have seen over & over is to draw a basic face on a hard-boiled egg & use that for reference. I haven’t tried this yet, but I might before the month is over! * Drawing a face using the Front View, aka facing straight out at the viewer, is very hard! All the features are visible, everything needs to be relatively symmetrical, it’s very easy to get frustrated. * If you get stumped, do yourself a favor & try Profile (side) or Three-Quarter Views instead. Watercolor woman wearing a blue coat & green hat carrying a red purse while walking away. The wind is pulling strands of black hair out of her bun. Or, skip the face entirely and focus on a subject looking away from you.

What do you think? Do you like drawing people? Do you have any favorite tips & tricks? Please, share them with me! Mastodon Bluesky Ko-Fi

See you next week! Pencil sketch of woman wearing sunglasses & a head band to hold back her long hair.


from Nilly Robot

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. It was kind of more of an inconvenience than anything, if you stayed off of the streets. 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.

No one had said a word to the new sheriff in the time since he’d arrived last month. He’d come early, in the hopes of teasing out information about the mysterious gunslinger. 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. No one had bothered to ask his name. He supposed he didn’t blame them, but the stony silence was lonely.

If anyone was curious about him, 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.

Everything the sheriff learned came from eavesdropping 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.”


Hey-o. Been a minute (hasn't it always.) I wrote this short story back in undergrad. To be honest, it probably changed the whole 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.


from Karin Wanderer Learns

New #KWPrompts: #Birds

It’s that time again! A new prompt for my bi-weekly art challenge! I have been thinking a lot about birds lately. Join me! Watercolor duck walking past groups of people who pay it no mind.

I Had A Visitor Recently

Photo of a falcon perched on a power line, looking off to the side. This gorgeous friend came & peered in my window the other day. I have been drawing birds ever since! I think this is a Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk.

Put A Bird On It!

For the next 2 weeks my art prompt theme is birds. Show me your birds! Don’t want to draw a whole bird? That’s OK too Watercolor branch with a bird of prey's talon clutching it (rest of bird is not pictured).

The Boy & the Heron

Starting this art challenge was one of my new year’s resolutions. Another resolution was to use art to motivate myself to leave the house more. This might sound silly, but I am agoraphobic so bribing myself to go out is necessary! This month my art excursion was going to a movie theater to watch the latest Studio Ghibli movie. It was gorgeous, & it had so many, many birds in it! I’ve never seen a Ghibli movie on the big screen before. I am so happy that I finally did! (#NotSponsored) Pencil sketches of 2 long feathers.

Show Us Your Birds

Want more birds? You’re in luck!I posted new pictures of birds with the art prompt at the links below. Check them out & share your own!

#KWPrompts #Birds

Tag me @KarinWanderer &/or #KWPrompts so I see your art!

Show me how you think! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed.

Mastodon Bluesky IG (IG users please be sure to @Karin.Wanderer, IG does not show me people who only use the #)

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


from Karin Wanderer Learns

It’s Karin Wanderer Learns’ birthday!

KWL is 1 year old!

1 year! 52 whole weeks! When I started this blog, I didn’t even have a title card! Now I do – in fact, I just recently designed a new one! It is a self portrait in the style of Tomie dePaola, one of my favorite illustrators.

Watercolor & ink painting of a pale woman with short green hair smiling as she holds a paintbrush & a piece of paper nearly as big as herself. The table behind her is covered in art supplies & mysterious bottles.

I started this blog because I needed a place to archive all the arty things I learn. Explaining something to someone else is an easy way to reinforce your own knowledge while spotting areas that need to be explored more deeply. I chose to shout my explanations into the WriteFreely void rather than talking my friends’ & families' ears off, & I am so glad I did! (They probably are, too.) Originally I was writing articles about whatever amused me and the articles were pretty short. Things quickly grew until I was doing things like writing a whole series of longer articles about #WatercolorScience & the history of Sumi. I'm not complaining- I love learning & writing about art! I kind of have to love it to keep KWL going- no one is paying me to do this. (Though they could be!) It takes a lot of time to research things, process them, & then write about them. Part of that is definitely on me, though. I type slowly.

If you had told me a year ago that I would still be writing weekly art articles, I probably would have said “yeah, that sounds like me. This is fun & I am nothing if not a creature of habit.” Now if you had told me that I would use the 1 year anniversary to shake things up, I might not have believed you. I should have believed, though. Change is coming!

In fact, it’s already here…

Last week, I started a new art challenge: #KWPrompts, brought to you most places prompts are posted:

Mastodon Bluesky IG

The challenge is very laid-back, I’m only putting a new prompt out every other Tuesday, so you have a whole 2 weeks to participate. Or go ahead & draw something for an outdated prompt. If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad!

“But Karin” you say “KWL comes out on Tuesdays! How will you handle writing a mind-blowingly stunning article AND a soul-rendingly heartfelt art prompt AT THE SAME TIME?!??” And that’s the best part- I don’t!

Going forward, I will be alternating between releasing either a new article or a new art prompt on Tuesdays. I’m going to have so much more time for activities! #KWPrompts was one of my New Year’s resolutions. Actually, it was 1 of 2 resolutions that related to KWL directly…

Calling All Artists!

You may have noticed that I have a nice, small section of articles on Featured Artists. I want that section to grow & grow! Lately I got sidetracked learning about brilliant author Tomie dePaola & trying to read all his books, which is a tall order- there are over 200! (Big thanks to my local library system, I could never have read dozens of dePaola books without their help!) I want to write about more artists, & maybe interview current artists instead of just researching & writing about people on my own? If there is an artist (or you are an artist) who you think should be featured, let me know on Mastodon, Ko-Fi, or BlueSky!

Watercolor purple sea turtle whose blue-green shell has a bronze edge. I posted this turtle painting a year ago, the same week I started my blog.

The last year has been fantastic! I am so happy with everything I’ve learned & I’m thrilled how many of you have come along for the ride with me. I think these changes are going to make things even more fun! I’ll be here every Tuesday to talk more about art (& sometimes cooking) or to post links to each #KWPrompts art challenge. I hope you’ll be here, too!

Watercolor sea turtle with green shell, brown carapace, & greenish brown body swimming happily. I posted this turtle recently. What a difference a year makes!


from Piko

Inspiriert von den Maker Skill Trees findet sich hier die Antwort auf die Frage, was eine erwachsene Person so tun muss.

Skill Tree PNG CC-BY-SA Piko / Steph Piper Makerqueen

Ich habe hier gesammelt, was ich für sinnvoll halte – im Mastodon-Thread, in dem ich nach Ideen hierfür gefragt hatte, gab es beispielsweise zu den Versicherungen sehr unterschiedliche Meinungen. Nehmt das als Inspiration.

Das ist auch die Antwort auf die Frage nach Formulierungsunklarheiten: Ist mit „Freunde finden“ gemeint, ich soll die Fähigkeit haben, Freunde zu finden – oder soll ich direkt Freunde finden? Wer bestimmt, welche Themen wichtig sind, sodass eins dazu Allgemeinwissen haben soll? You're a grown-up now, you decide.

Die Baum-Icons weisen darauf hin, dass es bei den originalen Skill Trees eigene Skill Trees für die jeweilige Aufgabe gibt.

Anders als bei den Maker Skill Trees sind die Aufgaben hier teils nicht gut quantifizierbar. Ich vermute, dass das in der Natur der Sache liegt. Wenn jemand trotzdem versuchen möchte, den Skill Tree entsprechend anzupassen, würde ich mich sehr freuen, das Ergebnis zu sehen.

Falls hier Dinge fehlen oder Ihr ähnliche Projekte kennt, dann teilt sie mir bitte per Mastodon an mit. Vielen Dank an alle, die beim Sammeln mitgeholfen haben!

Weiter unten finden sich die Aufgaben als Liste – diese Liste ist aber auf mehreren Ebenen nicht allgemeingültig: Sie bezieht sich auf ein relativ privilegiertes Leben in Deutschland. „Deeskalierend mit der Polizei reden“ zu können wird beispielsweise für viele Menschen unter “Muss” und nicht unter “Sollte” fallen. „Zähne putzen“ muss nicht für jede Person einfach sein. Please don't make me tap the sign.

Der Squishy Stuff von ganz unten fehlt größtenteils im Ausmal-Skilltree. Ich empfehle, die zehn Punkte in Ruhe durchzugehen und die, die ihr für Euch haben möchtet, in Euren Skill Tree zu übertragen – dafür sind die vielen leeren Bubbles!


  • Zähneputzen, Körperhygiene
  • Vorratshaltung
  • Steuererklärung
  • Krankenversicherung
  • Rentenversicherung
  • Personalausweis
  • Bankkonto, Geldkarte
  • Dokumente wiederauffindbar aufbewahren
  • Kalender
  • Wissen, wie mit Krankheiten umgegangen werden soll bzw. wer dann gefragt werden kann



  • Testament und Vorsorgevollmachten (Vorsorge-Set)
  • Versicherungen (alle paar Jahre überprüfen, Lebensituationen verändern sich, mögliche Vertragsbedingungen auch.
    • Haftpflicht-V
    • Hausrats-V
    • Berufsunfähigkeits-V
    • Unfall-V
    • Rechtschutz-V
    • private Altersvorsorge
  • Notgroschenkonto
  • Backups machen


  • Zeitmanagement (verschobenes nicht vergessen)
  • Erwerbsarbeit
  • Gewerkschaft
  • Budgetieren

Körperliche Gesundheit

  • Bewegung/Sport
  • Gesunde Ernährung
  • How to Arzt
  • Eine Ärztin finden, die einen ernst nimmt
  • wie gehe ich mit Medikamenten um (z.B. wie und wann nehme ich Schmerzmittel)
  • Krebsvorsorge
  • größerer medizinischer Check-Up, mit großen Blutbild (Menschen empfehlen, das bei einer Blutspende machen zu lassen)
  • Blutspenden
  • Impfungen regelmäßig auffrischen
  • Organspendeausweis ausfüllen (da lässt sich auch „Nein“ ankreuzen)


  • Freunde finden
  • Hobby/Interessen haben
  • Engagement, siehe auch Civic Skill Tree
  • grundlegende Kenntnis der Dinge, die unsere Gesellschaft und unseren Alltag bestimmen (z.B. Erde=rund, Homöopathie=Placeboeffekt)


  • Richtig Wäsche waschen können
  • Richtig Aufräumen und Saubermachen können; siehe auch Cleaning Skill Tree
  • Werkzeug haben: Akkubohrer, Metermaß, etc.
  • Handwerkskills (Knopf annähen, Bild aufhängen, knarrende Tür fetten), siehe auch Renovation and Repair Skill Tree
  • Umgang mit Lebensmitteln


  • Deeskalierend mit der Polizei reden
  • Grundlegende Jura-Kenntnisse
  • Erste Hilfe (regelmäßig auffrischen)
  • Um Hilfe bitten können
  • Sich entschuldigen können
  • Eigene Gefühle deuten und steuern können
  • Bewerbungen schreiben
  • Umgang mit Computern

Squishy stuff

  • Finding Peer groups
  • Healthy Communication Patterns
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Handling Conflicts
  • Managing Emotions
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Coping with whatever Brain Issue you have, Therapy
  • (Sex Specific) Body Maintenance
  • Consent and Communication about Sex, Safer Sex
  • Setting / Reevaluating / Questioning Life Goals

from humanissome

* Alternate titles: I Roll With It, I Make It Tea, I Break Bread With It, I Befriend It, I Comfort It, I Coddle It, I Cuddle It, I Kiss It, I Ride It, I Surf Its Waves, I Embrace It, I Endure It, I Accommodate It, I Hang Out With It, I Tell Ghost Stories Around A Campfire With It While Making Smores

This Blog Is Changing

I cannot say for certain from what into what. Writing this should help me figure it out. In good news — for me; this is all for me1 — I can say that I have made decisions! New for 2024 I'm moving my messy thoughts into piles. They aren't going to get organized suddenly but this initial classification is progress. I hate the word piles so I'm moving to a rooms metaphor. To start I have to go back. (It's always been that way since Winnie-the-Pooh.2)

Prior to beginning this blog I started other fediverse (WriteFreely) blogs using the free instance Well, here is where greater sponsorship would be so nice — cue my When I'm fully funded dreams! sometimes goes away from the internet for a while, and since I'm not paying and have no relationship with its maintainers I certainly cannot complain about that. So I started writing here. I gave it the name Humanissome because that's “one of my brands” and I do desire to explore my humanist philosophy in writing. But is that what I've done at this URL so far? Not much.

I talked on Mastodon about my multi-blog cravings, to which a reasonable person replied that I would do well to use tags on a single blog. Well... I'm not doing that! I've done that before and it just isn't sufficient to tame my disordered brains. I am going to physically carry my boxes of words into different rooms, with the goal to assemble... new metaphor alert Yes this will do nicely:

Ideas come quickly, in from all directions, unannounced and at any time. Some ideas are minuscule. Some are quite large. Some come in clusters, pieces already put together. I have a strong sense that I can combine many of these idea pieces into bigger and maybe better creations. As of 2024 I am —
I got carried away into enjoying metaphors that may take over the meaning. But I want to push through. Editing comes later.
Let's imagine my ideas are some of my favorite building toys of childhood: Rig-A-Jig, wooden blocks, Legos and Lincoln Logs. (If these are unknown to you, think of IKEA furniture parts, electronics components, anything at all that can be combined to make bigger and maybe better things.) The separate blogs I'm maintaining are separate rooms and I'm putting all the Rig-A-Jigs in one room, all the wooden blocks in a room, etc. Because like ideas are designed to go together. But the thing is, you see, I do like playing with many of these concepts together. My Lego men like to walk through the world of wooden blocks. Maybe I could make a cool Rig-A-Jig canopy atop one of my buildings made of blocks. And then there are the Matchbox cars! And of course I put my grubby little hands (and, let's be honest, mouth) on all the toys; and I often customize them with stickers or by coloring them with markers. Phew! It's a lot. Let's get out of this lavender square.
My ideas interrelate, if only because all my ideas have me in common. My ADHD has typically been great at receiving ideas and terrible at whatever-the-next-step. These Fedi blogs are the next step. I am not planning to abandon any of them. I may try to re-title some to make them more accurately labeled. This one in particular would be better to be named after ME as it has veered quite far from thoughts on humanism into thoughts on just one human. I am hoping that I will figure something out.

The other place I'm excited to be compiling writing currently is: · · RSS feed
In that room I'm pouring out the pieces that assemble into an account of my journey to mental wellness. [3] In other spaces coming soon I plan to collect my thoughts on humanism and, finally, one new room will be the nursery for my first attempt at solarpunk science fiction!

1. If you're reading this you're an absolute nut. A doll. Welcomed graciously. I'll make you some tea if you'd like. Or a glass of wine? Well I'm having tea. The wine is from a box, I hope that's alright. I think it's fine. But this particular creative state I'm in thrives on putting aside any concept of an audience.
2. “Oh help, I'd better go back. Oh bother, I shall have to go on.”
Having the Winnie-The-Pooh stories read to me at bedtime by my mother are some of my earliest happy memories. I choose this quote to accompany my senior year high school yearbook entry. I carried the hardback The World Of Pooh (complete stories) with me to college where I read at bedtime to a couple girls who lived the floor below me in my dorm. Sweetness 3. No reason to comment anything at all as to whether I've made a journey to wellness or not! I will say instead that as cute as colored suprascript is for notes I think barebones footnotes are just as good actually better. Now to hit Publish and see how all this actually looks.


from humanissome

Americans do not eat the fruit on their trees.

Most Americans do not walk anywhere daily.

Bakeries in walking distance where every American regularly can grab fresh bread is not a thing.

This post will be updated continually.


from humanissome

Always with the updates!

In classic blog fashion I might begin, “Sorry it's been a while since I posted...” I recently have considered a secondary blog for more fragments and keeping this one to my original vision of posts I put some work into, edit, add photos to, etc. This post is not that. Maybe it's ok to have a mish mash blog. Whether it's ok or not for the long haul, that's what this will be for now.


from Curator

This is a joint statement from all of's moderation team.

2.3M people are currently being genocided as the State of Israel withdrew water, food, and electricity from Gaza, while the IDF targets civilian infrastructure, refugee camps, schools, and hospitals with munitions. This is being done with support from big Western countries like the US and UK who have sent military aid to the State of Israel with no conditions on how that aid is used.

If you wish to help, here's who we recommend donating to:

Medical Aid for Palestinians: The Palestinian Children's Relief Fund:

However, since aid into Gaza is being limited by the State of Israel and there's currently no guarantee of if or when any physical or financial aid will reach them, it's equally important to attend rallies and protests, and to pressure your local politicians via letters or phone calls for an immediate ceasefire.

We will moderate as follows:

We won't tolerate any arguments about whether words like genocide, apartheid, colonialism, ethnic cleansing, nation-state, ethno-state are accurate or not. What's happening to the people in Gaza is a genocide and what the State of Israel is inflicting is colonialism.

Regarding Zionism: defending an ideology that is currently justifying killing over 2 million people is not a place to find nuance. We will take into consideration who is posting, what power disparities are at play, and who is being oppressed when people post about Zionism, but will be on the lookout for antisemitism.

'From the river to the sea' is a restorative call for the land and its people to live and thrive together. We are aware that it can be used as an antisemitic dog-whistle and will moderate against antisemitism but won't otherwise moderate against use of the phrase.

We will try our best to fact-check reports of propaganda and fake news. We'll always focus on protecting people's lives over spreading misinformation that encourages hate, violence, and oppression. We will ask people to include sources for any claims made, if none were given.

We will defend people over states/nations/governments/countries. The situation is not black and white, and you can support the people in Palestine without wishing harm on the people in Israel, and vice versa. We will moderate against anyone wishing harm on people, and in a way that protects the vulnerable and oppressed.

We have a diverse moderation team, and where we receive reports regarding the I/P conflict, we will wait until several of us have had a chance to look at the report before discussing action.