Welp, it's almost time for me to start messing up and still signing my drawings with the previous year. XD
I've gotten better at remembering before I ink them in over the past couple years, at least. XD XD
But anyway, I wanted to write this up because a lot has happened over the past year. Some good, some bad, some meh...
I'm not sure what I've accomplished this year, exactly...I mean, AuTalkz seems to slowly be getting more popular; I want to do some character arcs, which is made a little difficult with bi-weekly (closer to 2x per month) update. Depending on what I want planned, I might do some extra ones, but I don't want to burn out.
When I first started to do webcomics (with my failed "Chibi Writers" comic which poked fun at fanfiction tropes and bad habits), I had tried for weekly and it took a lot out of me. Granted, Chibi Writers (and when I tried to revive it with Chibi Writers Revived, or "Chibi Writers R") was a full page comic instead of a strip, though Chibi Writers-R was more of a four-panel strip, it still took too much and I was burning out trying to get them out every week.
More like coming up with storyboards and ideas was the hardest part to get them out weekly; I applaud anyone who can put out quality strips daily.
I've tried doing manga-sized shorts as well, and trying to do 15-17 pages of a comic a week is BRUTAL. So, uh, the next time your favorite mangaka takes a short break (saying they don't have a habit of taking long hiatuses...look'n at you, Hunter x Hunter, or "Hunter x Hiatus", as the fans started to call it years ago)...don't flip out until you've tried to do a 15-17 page comic in a week. Just say'n.
Okay, other comic stuffs aside...AuTalkz is coming along, and I guess I'm happy about it. I was hoping it would be a little bigger by now, but I've always been slow...so I'll take what I can get. The fact that people are still adding me to their watch list, favoriting, and commenting on the issues is a huge deal for me (also very motivational, even if I don't always respond to comments. I try!).
So, I suppose I'm happy with that.
I'm not making much via Patreon, but at least right now it's enough for things like new sketchbooks and ink refills. I wish I could be making enough to say "bye-bye" to SSI, and maybe even to be able to afford the latest Photoshop (still using CS5 here).
Won NaNoWriMo again with an original story, though it's still incomplete...mostly because I'm not sure I like how it's turned out thus far. x.x
My goal was to finish what I started, so hopefully I can either come back to it or rewrite it and finish it. I still haven't given up on trying to get published; self-publishing would be the shortest way, but it'd be cool if I could get an actual publisher to accept my manuscript. I went through that process once...some places take six months just to get back to you (as in, six months of waiting just to be rejected).
I should probably stick with mystery; I like writing that genre. There's one story I want to rewrite because I actually like how it came out, but I think the protagonists are a bit flat.
So, some projects to do...and in the meantime, I write fanfiction to keep my skills up (though I haven't uploaded any fanfiction in a long time). I had been working on a huge Fairy Tail AU project which has three arcs to it (Gray-centric, of course). I had just started to write the third arc when I hit a snag and stopped (the snag being that I have trouble writing teenagers because my own teenage years were really messed up with all my disabilities and what-not, and my mental/emotional age is closer to 12...yes, that's official. I have moments of "insight" or "being grown-up", but one psychologist placed my mental age at typically the same as a 10-12 year old; prolly cause of autism, I dunno).
Other good things and projects...hrm...can't think of them at the moment. There have been some good video games I enjoyed this year; Monster Hunter Stories is one of them (which, sadly, won't get me into the main MH series since the other games are super different. Even MHW coming out in 2018, for how awesome the graphics are, is a little disappointing in that you still have to be a Hunter when the concept of Riders were introduced with MHS).
Pokemon Ultra Sun has thus far been 10x better than its predecessor (Sun/Moon) since it feels like this is MY pokemon adventure and I'm not just babysitting Lillie. Sadly, some of the cutscenes are EXACTLY the same and there's no way to skip them; besides the split in clothing options (Sun version still not selling green, blue, or purple...and Moon version still not selling red, yellow, or orange), a lot of the things which annoyed me about the first Sun/Moon games aren't there. I might actually get an extra copy to run nuzlockes off of due to the decrease in cutscenes. I just wish I could bloody SKIP them.
Not sure who I'd contact about that; I mean, how hard is it to add in a "press "START" to skip cutscene" on the bottom DS screen like pretty much every other game in existence with cutscenes?
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp was very fun and addictive at first, but I can see why people have been dropping out of the game. The crafting system really doesn't make sense sometimes (as it takes more time, money, and resources to craft a dinky stool-chair than it does to craft a huge/fortified table...I get that it's a video game, but if I wanted to build a wooden table, it'd definitely take more time, wood, and money than building a chair).
Some items also take an absurd amount of time to craft (the things which allows you to raise villager friendships past certain levels taking upwards of 48 hours), and doing quests for the animals doesn't give back enough crafting materials (I'm personally at level 37; my highest level villager is almost level 11, and I still only get about 2-5 pieces of crafting materials from them. At my level and what I've unlocked, it takes between 30-90 of one material to craft an item...even someone not good at math like me can see the problem here).
I believe it's because Nintendo wants you to spend real money to buy Leaf Tickets, which can speed up the long crafting times and cover any lack of crafting materials. Though you can earn some in the game, it's really not that much since you'll probably be spending most of them on inventory space (because they're really cheap with that, too).
The game/app itself is free, so of course they'd come up with an unfair system to get you to spend real money. I just dumped my remaining credit from the Play Store into it to get started; I don't plan on spending any real money on this game/app...especially considering that many people have stopped playing already. I've only been playing for a week, and I've already deleted two people off my friends list because they haven't been on for over 5 days.
Other games...welp, that gets into some good/bad combos.
FFXIV and Stormblood...Stormblood was fairly fun and Early Access was an absolute mess due to server stress. On the other hand, those of us who got in during early access will have fond memories of people forming a huge line in the Fringes to try and do the duty "Cold Steel" (or, as we call it, "Raubahn Ex" or "Raubahn's Wall" since it took dedicated players between 4-8 hours, and sometimes longer, for the duty to actually work. I gave up after my third try and just explored), and being "smuggled" over walls on two-person mounts from kind people who managed to complete Raubahn's quest and picked up the remaining Aether Currents to be able to fly in the zone.
We'll also remember the zones being divided into three instances due to the amount of players, which made Fox and Ixion hunting extremely difficult. That, and adjusting to the new changes they did to the UI and the removal of cross-classing (SO glad I leveled Lancer, which I hated, to 34 for Invigorate just to have it now be a "Role" skill...yep, time well spent).
FFXIV also starts some bitter memories for me. I suppose this is a good spot to start the "sorrows and regrets" section.
I'm fairly happy with the FC/guild I'm in now, but my previous one...welp, I had felt it was like a family. I joined it around September or October of last year (2016), and...welp, if you've been keeping up with my drawings and prose, you know that there was a HUGE issue with some bullying that went on.
Basically, I was venting about a group (cause, ya know...everyone should feel safe in their FC/guild to vent about bad groups without being judged), and some asshat decided to start to challenge me on the point which made me angry. This led to us starting to argue, which led to more people joining in to become a "peanut gallery" and making snarky comments whenever I tried to explain my point, to this asshat being all "I'm elitist and you don't know what you're talking about" and continuing to put me down that way.
I was so pissed off that I eventually ended it the way I end some cases with my father when he gets verbally abusive, which is to just say: "Fine. You're right, I'm wrong. Enough."
Whether I believe it or not, it's the proper thing to say to get them to shut up sometimes.
All four of them (someone joined in mid-way...at first they agreed with me, then randomly took the other person's side and acted elitist as well; it was cyberbullying minus any "kill yourself" stuff at that point).
But, yea...I got so pissed off and hurt that I blocked all the people who shat on me, finished up exchanging tomes and sending my retainers on ventures, and logged out. Just before I logged out, the conversation apparently started to turn to them discussing what had just happened...more snark.
I didn't log in for a week; logged into Discord a few days later after completely pulling away from the game and the FC/guild.
Not a single person asked what happened or if I was okay even though there had been officers on at the time.
In fact, not a single officer tried to diffuse the situation.
The only one who tried was someone who got in-game married to an officer (but I don't think was an officer) who gave a line like: "Don't make me pull this car over!"
I know he was only joking, but at that time, I felt like I was being patronized. After already being ganged up on, that comment stung.
So, then came the "controversial" drawing I made ("World of Darkness"). Nobody said anything else, and for a few weeks, things were fine. I had blacklisted/blocked the bullies, and everything was fine...
...until almost a month later the FC leader contacted me and wanted me to remove the bully's name from the description in the drawing because apparently it was coming up under a Google search for "FFXIV bullies" and they didn't want someone to connect their FC with one which bullies people.
That's right. Instead of talking to the person who bullied me to see if they'd have the decency to apologize, I was made out to be the bad guy in the situation because I called the bully out by their in-game name in the description of a drawing which detailed how sad and hollow I felt during that experience.
I'm a tattletale, but I didn't tell any of the officers about the bullying incident for two reasons:
1. About two of them, plus some high-ranking folks, were online during that time (and not afk)
2. Victim mentality (something I got used to of just not telling anyone; in school, I'd tattle on anyone whom I thought could try to hurt me, but online...I never, in any cyberbullying incident, went to the admins or anyone else because experience had proven that I couldn't trust them to resolve the issue)
But point is, I did the drawing and got the bad feelings out (and in the description, calmly stated what happened; I didn't trash talk the prick or anything), and then suddenly it's not okay for me to have just the first name of the person because "people can connect them to our FC and then connect our FC to bullying".
Oh, come on. The amount of detective work someone not familiar with our FC would have to do (especially not knowing my player name or the last name of the bully, and especially not knowing what server we're on) would be too much work for most people; don't bullshit me.
Yea...I guess I still have some negative feelings about that, which is part of the reason why I wanted to write this entry...get them all out before the new year.
When I was asked to edit the name out, I refused. I was being called out (and called a bully by outing a bully) for a description which hurt nobody...and frankly, if you don't want any backlash on social media, don't be a fucking asshole in the first place. What I did was TAME compared to what I could have done considering I'm a passive-aggressive person (and that some people wanted me to post the entire back-and-forth I had with the officers of the FC over this matter because of the harsh things which were said to me and how I was made out to be a bad person and the bully was the victim).
The leader who contacted me was apparently busy with stuff, but started to come down on me without paying attention to my side of the story. I was more angry than hurt because I didn't really know him well, but then when I was trying to explain what happened that day (he wasn't one of the people who had been online), he wanted to speak over teamchat/Discord (verbally).
In a panic, I told him...no, reminded him since I had written it on my application and mentioned it quite a few times to avoid situations like this...that I'm autistic. That I don't communicate well verbally, and I wouldn't be able to explain anything.
At the time, I was talking to a friend in the FC on Discord, and he offered to step in on my behalf since this leader wasn't listening to me, and I was frustrated and scared (frustrated that this guy wasn't understanding that I don't do well with verbal communication, and scared that he was going to force me into a situation where I would just get attacked and steamrolled over). My friend offered to intervene and explain it bluntly.
It seemed to work, but then I was contacted by another officer.
Now, when I first saw the person's name pop up...let's call him "Mug"...I relaxed. Mug had been really nice to me in the FC. One time, he even pulled me aside when he noticed that I was sad over something to ask what was wrong. Nobody else noticed, but Mug did. So, he messages me and asks if this communication thing was true, and that the leader had turned the situation over to him because he (the leader) was busy dealing with some IRL stuff.
I thought: Awesome! Mug's my friend, so he'll hear me out and stuff!
Nope. Maybe that time Mug was just being an officer and making sure members were okay or something...just doing a job instead of being a friend. Maybe I misunderstood his intentions...eh, happens a lot cause of autism.
Cause the next thing he said to me was along the lines of: "Why did you feel the need to drag your friend into this when it has nothing to do with him? That makes you the bully."
Oh. Mug's one of THEM. One of those people who I thought was a friend, and then turned around and then started to make fun of me or ignored me during my school years. Someone I thought I could trust, but then says something so hurtful, so cruel, so...well, awful (with only half the story, to boot). OH.
I told another officer I was fairly friendly with that I was leaving the FC...and as I did, I mentioned that all I wanted to hear from SOMEONE was that they believed me...believed IN me. Knew that I wasn't a bully or a bad person.
He asked me why I didn't say that to them.
I responded with: "I shouldn't have to ask for that sort of thing."
And I don't. Part of me wants to message Mug even now and say "so...do you really think I'm a bully?".
But I'm not going to.
Because if I have to ask for someone's apology on something, it means that they didn't feel they did anything wrong.
If someone feels truly remorseful and like they wronged someone, THEY will approach and apologize...if it's the other way around, I have no guarantee that it's sincere.
I had kinda hoped that this other officer would let them all know what I said. I'm kind of hoping he didn't, because if he did, Mug still never apologized or said he doesn't think I'm a bad person.
Mug, if you see this, I might not believe you even if you message me now on Discord. I don't know if I can forgive you, because you REALLY hurt me.
That pain is going to be with me for the rest of my life whether I want it to or not. I can name every person who did similar things throughout my school years; every bully who had once been my "friend"...who suddenly turned around and proved they weren't by making fun of me or ignoring me.
I was reading a story the other day where the protagonist had something similar happen to him; where his teammates were in grumpy moods and took it out on him, and one of them said something really hurtful and nasty. In that story, the protagonist also had a friend who was willing to come to his defense and tell the other teammates "hey, you crossed the line". Eventually, those teammates felt genuinely remorseful and went to apologize to the protagonist.
The one who had hurt him the most felt terrible about it, and like the others, approached the protagonist on his own to apologize...and cried during it. He felt genuinely sorry, and realized how much he had hurt the protagonist with just a few careless words.
The protagonist didn't go to any of them to ask for an apology, because there was no point; because he was hurt but understood that he shouldn't have to ask them to apologize for being cruel to him.
I cried when I read that story, and recalled this event. Part of me had hoped that at least Mug would message me and apologize for accusing me of roping/manipulating my friend into what was going on (especially after I explained that my friend offered to help me...that I at first turned down the offer for help because I was afraid that my friend would get in trouble or something. Turned out I was the one who got "yelled" at for his involvement)...
...but unlike that story, it's not going to happen.
And if it does at this point, I'll presume that Mug read this and decided to apologize...and I won't know how to react. A wise Rabbi once said: "To forgive is to let go of the hope that you can make the past better."
Or, in this case, change the past.
That's part of what inspired me to write this, and yea...the majority of this entry on "out with the old of 2017 and in with the new of 2018" is due to that incident with the FC.
Forgive but don't forget...that's how I've always been since I was a little kid.
I can't change the past...I can't stop them from saying nasty things, I can't go back and stop the kids at school for making fun of me up until I finally got away from them via graduating high school. I can't change the fact that out of years and years of being bullied and cyberbullied, only ONE person in my entire life ever came to me on their own decision and apologized sincerely (from a cyberbullying incident on a forum...I think I was in my late 20's at the time)...and it took my mind a week or so just to accept that someone who hurt me and bullied me just genuinely apologized to me because it had never happened before in my entire life.
It's stupid to hold onto the anger and frustration of being bullied by my FC members, and nearly being forced to communicate in a way where I'd get steamrolled because for some reason I couldn't communicate properly that verbal communication was NOT a good way to discuss a sensitive topic with me due to my disabilities. So...I let that go. If I see them in game, I ignore them. I don't have them blacklisted (except for that elitist asshole), but I just don't pay them any mind. They don't mean anything to me.
Mug's case is a little different...I at least took him off my friend's list, cause people who say stuff like that to you and never come to apologize for their nasty words aren't your friends.
It's the last day of 2017. I want to put all of it behind me as much as I can. I'm going to forgive, but these things did hurt me, so it'll be a scar I'll carry with me for life; I won't forget.
If those members ever see this, I have a message for them:
Desh - I'm not going to mince words or be nice about this. You're an elitist jerk, and you're going to piss off a lot of people by continuing to act that way (besides the ones you've already pissed off and hurt). I remember when you were the undergeared one in one of our Ex runs, constantly getting hit by mechanics. I never called you out on that...still won't, and this isn't meant to, but I remember those times. Maybe you should remember, too, that you were like that once. There's a difference between being a "veteran" player and an "elitist". People like the veteran players; they help others out, listen to them, ect. People don't like the elitists, because they think they're the best.
You were new once, just like everyone else. And regardless of what you think others SHOULD be doing, if someone is venting and upset, you shouldn't counter them while they're frustrated...because that's just stirring up trouble (aka, bullying). If you want to chime in on something they said you disagree with, either keep it to yourself or bring it up when everyone is calm at a later time. I'm socially inept, but even I know that. Or maybe, it's because I'm socially inept and had to learn and practice social rules that I understand what those rules are. You don't have to be an elitist jerk; you can be a nice veteran. Think about it, dude.
Vain - Even though I explained to you that I tank at verbal communication because of autism, you still insisted on it. That frustrated and really frightened me. I wondered if perhaps I wasn't communicating with you properly even on a media (text chat) I worked better with. Maybe you just had too much on your plate IRL to properly deal with it, but you shouldn't have insisted on a method of communication which would make me essentially lose my voice and ability to explain myself.
Oh, and I knew something was up the second you contacted me asking how I was doing, because you never had contacted me before, by the way. Real life can suck, but if you couldn't properly handle an altercation in the FC you manage, you should have waited to say something to me. If you weren't going to listen to anything I had to say, you shouldn't have even approached me, because there's always more than one side to a conflict. You can't just listen to a single side and only trust the ones who are closest to you (and yea, I know that you and Desh are buddies). Just a heads-up if you're going to try to mediate a problem again. I'm not saying any of this to be mean, but as constructive criticism. I don't hate you, but you make me uncomfortable now due to your unwillingness to adjust for someone with a disability. You need to properly listen to both sides, and if you have any bias towards someone (such as your friendship with Desh in this case), you should turn the situation over to someone else to deal with.
Mugetsu - I'm not sure what to say. I doubt you or anyone else from the FC will ever see this, let alone you. You hurt me a lot by accusing me of being a bully and not retracting that statement even after I explained everything. All I wanted was for you to say in the end that you believe me and my side. I didn't have screenshots, I get it...I wasn't looking to get Desh in trouble at that point, and that wasn't the point of my drawing, either (or the description; it was merely to explain what spurred that drawing). Who thinks to take screenshots while they're being attacked? On the street, what victim would pull out their cellphone to take a picture of their attacker while someone is trying to club them or punch them into oblivion?
That aside, nobody had screenshots. But I thought we were friends, and a friend would have told me they believe me. I'm not saying you had to say I was correct in any way I reacted, though honestly, nobody else besides you folks seemed to think I reacted wrongly to being attacked. However, even if you were doing your job as an officer, you accused me of being a bully and involving someone before hearing my side. You asked me why I involved someone, then immediately said that doing so makes me a bully without giving me a chance to explain.
That really, really hurt. And once I did explain, you never came back to tell me you were sorry for assuming things. Even after I wrote up an entire document for all you officers to see on my side and feelings when I was leaving the FC (being nice about it all), you never returned. You never said "I believe you" or "I trust you" or "you're not a bully".
You never said those things, so I suppose we were never friends in the first place, because friends...because a family...can argue, but if someone is wronged, they get apologized to.
I shouldn't have to ask or beg for an apology. Obviously, you felt you didn't do anything wrong to me...and unlike the thing with Desh, I DO have screenshots of what you said to me in Discord in case you deleted them. Hey, I learn, at least. And chat programs like Discord are different from video games in that they automatically create logs of what was said.
Point is...I was hurt. Very hurt. And that will be a scar I'll carry with me all my life, alongside the others from being verbally abused and bullied in my past. I felt betrayed...still do.
Welp, still did, as the point of this is for me to let go.
Forgive but not forget.
I don't think you're a bad person, but I guess I didn't know much about any of you in the FC like I thought I did.
I was active, I helped out people who asked, I organized the FC chest constantly, I tried to cheer people up if they were down or vented in chat...do you really believe those are the actions of a bad person? Of a bully?
I really wish you had said "I believe you/believe in you, and I know you're not a bully". Calling me a "kind person" isn't the same as retracting your accusatory words; of saying "I know you're not a bully".
That's all I wanted to hear from you. I don't think we'll ever be friends again; I can't trust someone who does that to me. Forgive? Yes. Trust? No.
If you ever want to message me in game or on Discord to talk about it, you can...but we'll never be friends again. I can't change the past, and neither can anyone else. It's been, what, well over a month I think...without going back into the logs and looking at the timestamps, at LEAST a month. A month with no apology or anything from you, so I can only presume you either think you did nothing wrong, don't want to take back your words, or don't care.
Nobody will force you to apologize...I won't. I'll listen, I'll probably forgive you...but I'll never trust you again.
So, yea...I'm gonna stop before I start going in circles (pretty sure I already was). Those are things I'd never be able to express verbally, by the way.
I don't want to let this incident hang over me anymore. I've been in many a dysfunctional family now...real life and online. I guess I'm used to this shit. Doesn't make it hurt less, but I'm used to it.
Used to it enough to realize...hey, it's gonna be 2018 soon; a new year. New starts, new beginnings...I suck at making resolutions, but in the very least, I can start this over fresh. I said what I wanted to just now...got it out (I hope coherently enough).
Other stuff...2017 was also filled with me worrying every couple of months if I'm going to lose my healthcare or have it slashed (same with food stamps). Being in the "poor" bracket, on SSI and Medicaid cause of disability and still unable to drive more than 5 minutes on backroads (forget main roads)...Trump's presidency and the GOP has raised a lot of hell.
If I'm still alive in November 6 of 2018...I'm going to use the only power I have: My finger (aka, voting) to try and get the country I love and grew up with back; a place where I wasn't constantly worried. You know I haven't had a physical in years because the Medicaid doctors don't give me the same level of care as docs who take "better" insurance? One of them nearly put me in the hospital, in fact...my first dealing with a Medicaid doc, that was. We should have sued her, to be honest.
I've got a 2018 calendar...and it's marked. I've learned a lot about politics and political terms, so I guess that's a plus. I didn't even know I was labeled as a "liberal" until this year.
America is supposedly the "wealthiest nation", but we have the highest poverty rates...cause it's a reverse Robin Hood here. We need change, but the change occurring now is the opposite.
Didja know we're the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD who backed out of the Paris Accord? Even Syria joined in. All cause some rich fat fuck wants to bring back health and ecosystem hazards like coal.
SOLAR is the next thing.
Okay, didn't want to start ranting on politics.
But basically, thanks to the greedy fucks in the GOP and the White House, I've had to live in fear in 2017. I have anxiety/panic disorder...I get enough of that.
Winds of change in 2018. Yea, 2017 sucked and was a constant struggle...and I know for half a year at least, 2018 will also be a struggle. But people like me who are at risk...we can't afford to give up. We have no power; I can do drawings, but all that and protests don't matter if nobody's listening.
I'd move if I could...to another country. This isn't the same country I grew up in. But since I can't move, the only thing I can do is utilize the only power I have...the right which was given to me by the men and women who fought and died and got injured so that I could have that freedom:
So, 2017 wasn't the best year. I've had worse years on a personal level (2014 and the first half of 2015, looking at you), but welp...time to practice what I preach.
"To forgive is to let go of the hope that you can make the past better."
Can't change the past, so time to step forward to 2018...
And hey, new AuTalkz tomorrow, too! ^^
Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry for this long entry that's prolly gonna take up hella space on my DA page; I wish there was some way to have a "click here to read the rest" or something like that.
Oi, DA...get on that, will ya? Spoiler tags would be nice, too!
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