Vote over at TWC and you can see a very proud Marisa from tomorrow’s page ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m back from New Mexico! It was very refreshing. Gramma’s only kind of mobile, and she gets worn out quickly, so mostly we stayed at home and fed pigeons. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better get away. I really needed to just do nothing for most of a week, and that’s what I got to do. My plane had a fuel leak the day I was supposed to leave, so they put me up at a hotel nearby…it wasn’t a nice hotel, but it worked. And then I came home and plowed through two days worth of work in one day, and here we are! I have a BUNCH of comments to go through, which is awesome. I’ve read most of them, but I’ll try and reply throughout this week :).

I’ve been trying to get more saturated in my coloring lately, both because these pages keep getting happier, and also because I like bright colors but don’t understand them. So far, so good! I used this tutorial on Youtube (it mostly works with my copy of CS5) to set up limited palettes, and that’s helped a lot. I’m just generally trying to be less conservative with my coloring, since that’s the biggest hurdle I have to overcome in my work. I’ve sort of plateaued in my drawing skills, but I barely understood color at all like, a year and a half ago. (My drawing skills will keep improving little by little, but I’ve nailed most of my bigger frustrations!)

Anyway, I’ve been trying to give these nerds some time to really fall for each other, rather than just shove them together right away. It’s a challenge! Because I don’t want to speed things along too much, but this is a flashback, so there’s a bit of a natural acceleration to it. Technically, next week is the final page of this flashback (we have to finish shopping at some point! and conclude some werewolf business!), but I decided to split it into two pages so we have a really quality finale for these two.

I’m aiming to bring this chapter to 85 pages or so, which means I have about 27 left. That should be enough? We’ll see. There are a few more short sequences for shopping time, then some stuff to wrap up and set up for next chapter. Plus, there’s a bit at the end where I finally get to reveal some secrets! I just have to shove that all in there. It’s kind of an arbitrary end point, but I have to keep myself from indulgently adding more and more pages. Gotta start chapter 8 at some point! I’d like to be the kind of person who plans all this stuff ahead of time, page wise, and I’m sure I could be if it were required, but I have a much easier time with pacing if I follow my gut as I go along. Writing this story is like I’m driving down a curvy mountain road: I know when I need to brake and when I need to accelerate, but I only know that once I get into the curve. You could plan ahead, read maps, anticipate the curves…but most of it comes down to what feels right when you get there.

Speaking of accelerating and braking, I gotta wrap this up because I’m taking my car to the shop for some maintenance work this morning. I’m determined to keep my little 2006 Hyundai Elantra running for as long as possible, because my short self can’t handle the shitty visibility of most recent cars. I like driving with a whole bubble of windows around me so I can see everything.