Day 20 of 365

Tomkin felt the ice spread through her as the creature grabbed her. She yanked her arm back and kicked off the edge of the hallway it loosened its grip but still held on as she hit the other side of the hall hard. Tomkin was terrified of it.

Mylard was still floating around looking–frantically–for the box. Her eyes combed everything, but she couldn’t find it. The broken control center sparked, and then she saw the little screen she’d had been holding earlier. Mylard floated over to it, turning it on. The glass was cracked but it booted up. She began flipping through the security cameras. She spotted Tomkin in the grasp of the floating creature, then flipped to another camera–it was there. Sitting on top of a shelf next to the engine.

WARNING. OXYGEN SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN TURNED OFF. PLEASE TURN ON MANUALLY FROM THE CONTROL CENTER OR THE ENGINE ROOM. THERE IS 74% OXYGEN REMAINING. WARNING… the message blared.

Mylard wheeled around realizing suddenly she’d have to go through the monster to get to the engine room.

To Be Continued…

Advertisements

Day 15 of 365

Both girls continued their struggle inside the strange room. Tomkin’s glasses didn’t do much to help as she tried to figure her way out of the room. She spotted something strange off to the side as she wandered around. It was a tiny black box. Tomkin walked over to it, tripping several times as her depth perception was interrupted by the strobe lights.

Mylard struggled the breath had been knocked out of her when Tomkin had fallen on top. She rolled over to her side trying to breathe and figure out how to navigate her overwhelmed senses. The stench was getting to her and she wanted to hurl. Tomkin looked like she was ignoring the smell as she walked away. Mylard pulled herself together and stood up. A little woozy but she kept her balance.

Back in front of the screens, Valrose was excitingly narrating the girls, “Look at that, I think Tomkin might be finding her way of this maze sooner than Mylard if she gets that box open. But Mylard is smart so who knows? Who are you rooting for? Remember all cash bets close the moment these girls get out of the room. If my estimations are right, and they usually are, I’m gonna say these two will figure their way out in about 10 minutes! So get your bets in!” he reminded the crowd watching the show. His eyebrows did the shuffle they were famous for.

Tomkin reached out touching the box. The moment she did all the sirens and lights abruptly turned off. They were in pitch darkness with the awful stench.

“What. Did. You. Do?” Mylard asked.

“Uhhh…I––AHHH!” Tomkin screamed as something grabbed her leg and pulled down. She found herself trying to fumble at her laser gun and shoot it but just as it had touched her leg it was gone, “WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUU–––”

Mylard turned abruptly toward the sound of Tomkin’s screams but as she did something tugged at her right arm causing her to trip and fall. The surface of the ground had changed. It felt like cold dirt now instead of the flat hard room. She twisted around trying to look but the darkness only consumed her.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Day 10 of 365

Continuation of yesterday’s short story. This one is fun, will have some additional assets later this week to go with this tale. Hope your week is going well!

~Kendall


“Welcome back to RING! I’m your host Valrose Meteor! If you’re just turning into this exciting race of Ring we are now down to our final two players. Two ferocious women that have taken out the 20 other females in this game. One’s saucy and sweet and the other is spicy with a little kick to it. If you haven’t been following us for the earlier part of the game make sure that you catch up on our app! RING! is the name of it!” A loud charismatic man shouted at the camera with a grin that felt like it was its own entity.

Behind him, the screen sparkled to life and focused on the individual women competing. They were running in a small maze with stun guns. Mylard was short with bright purple hair with a couple freckles. She found herself one of the remaining two contestants in this massive competition, and honestly, she was terrified. She felt like every moment leading up to this had been on big mistake after another. There was no possible way she could get to this point.

The camera shot panned away from Mylard to Tomkin a tall woman with orange hair that flowed straight down to the violet tips. She had a pair of sunshades propped up as a headband to keep her hair out of the way. Her frosted lipstick matched the shade of her dyed hair and glittery eye makeup. She was chewing a stick of gum and carried her stun gun over her shoulder casually. Tomkin seemed comfortable walking through the maze waiting for the inevitable confrontation with Mylard. Contrary to her relaxed look her thoughts were racing. There’s no way I’m winning this. I’m up against Mylard of all people. She’s going to get me before I get the ring.

Valrose Meteor popped back into the frame as the cameras continue following the girls. “How ’bout that Ringers! Lets recap who these fine ladies are and find out what their defeated rivals think of them!”

Close up shots of their faces and quotes from when they started the game 72 hours earlier flashed across the screen. This Mylard has her hair in a braid to the side. She attempted to smile but Valrose held the stage.

 

Day 5 of 365

This story is still winding its way through my head. Will wrap this soon with a new story.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part four

~Kendall


Verona smiled raising the alien gun slightly. Mr. Sandburg tensed.

“Maybe I should just turn you lot in,” Verona said. He looked over the group. “Who’s that?” he asked nodding to Ellis.

“None of your–” Diana started.

Mr. Sandburg shushed her. Verona rocked back on his heels. “I want him. I think he’s good bait. Or maybe I should take one of you. I mean, do you think the Empire is over how you traitors backstabbed them?”

“Like you’re any better,” Marilyn interjected. “If memory serves me, you’re stuck here on this planet in exile just like the rest of us. What was it like getting exiled for falling in love with the prince?”

“That’s a petty insult even for you,” Verona replied. “At least my love was pure intentions. You lot thought it’d be smart to rob from the Empire.”

To Be Continued

 

Day 2 of 365

Here’s part two. I need to pick an earlier time to do these at. Hope you like the continuation.

Part One if you haven’t had a chance to read it.

~Kendall


 

Ellis did not like the way Mr. Sandburg stared at him with dark eyes. He nearly lost his nerve. “Mr. Sandburg, please tell me–”

“If you come back Ellis I will kill you,” Mr. Sandburg’s alien snapped. Mr. Sandburg tried to scream again for help.

Ellis was taken aback. He’d fancied Diana for the past year but had he’d known how rude her father was he wouldn’t have wasted hours daydreaming about going out with her. He swallowed his pride and walked away from the house feeling that there wasn’t something right about Mr. Sandburg’s abrupt anger. It would be many hours of analyzing the moment and weeks after the Sandburgs had suddenly disappeared from the town that he realized his mistake. It wasn’t that he left the house it was that he returned…again.

When Ellis returned, slipping around the back part of the house to see if he could get Diana outside to talk, well that’s when Derrik knocked him out. It was a shovel of course. Straight over the top of Ellis’s head, any lower and he could have died. Derrik dragged him inside and tied him up.

The Sandburg aliens stood around him discussing the best way to address this horrible mess. It’d been nearly 300 years since they’d had a similar issue. At that time they were aboard a ship sailing between America and Europe. The family they had assimilated into were beginning to draw attention considering they were stuck on the boat with the same people. Several people brought the strange reactions of the Hendale family to the attention of the captain. It was discussed that they should be thrown overboard should they continue to threaten guests on the boat. The situation escalated quickly leaving several people dead and others in a deadly hostage situation. In the end, the aliens had escaped by assimilating into a pod of dolphins. The rest of the crew and guests upon the boat found themselves paranoid and starving until they drifted into an island.

“Well I think we should kill him before he alerts the police,” Diana said with her hands resting on the knife.

“We can’t kill him,” Marilyn said. “His murder will attract more attention than us letting him go. At least we can spin the story that he’s going crazy if we let him go. Not that many people believe in aliens these days.”

“I agree with Marilyn,” Preston said.

“I think you’re all giving me a headache,” Fell interjected.

Mr. Sandburg stood and quietly said, “I think we should let him go. I’ve done research and if we tell enough tall tales around the idea that he is impulsive and ignorant, well I presume he’ll be considered crazy.”

“I think you should let me go,” Ellis said. He’d become conscious a couple minutes before and was feeling a bit nauseated.  “I can say I hit my head on something.” He glared at the family.

To Be Continued

Horizons

Horizons are tricky. One little slip and you’re down another inch in the world of time. I don’t want to lose that inch just to stupidity nonsense like not calibrating my inch by inch simple horizon portal gun. Just fucking going to jump out there and let you know that horizon jumping is almost as dangerous as eating poison. You make a little inch slip and you can be with dinosaurs about to get crushed or in the future where the earth no longer exists, and you’re there without a spacesuit and oxygen. Dangerous shit falling through time. All about that horizon gun and accuracy.

I slip the safety off the gun gently and glance around for any time police. No need to get caught with one of these babies. I slip my glasses on, an instant blue-green tint. The years flash across the glasses, correlating with the direction the gun is pointing along with a brief description of what I’ll be stepping into.

I pause seeing the year 2403 and Bar fight of 2403 in a small establishment. Between two political parties. “That’ll be a good cover,” I mutter as I steady the point of the gun. With a deep breath, I pull the trigger. Nothing happens for a brief moment and then my arm jerks forward as a large blue light emits from the gun. A buzzing sound fills my ears and I tumble forward into a loud yelling match.

Just as I get my footing on the glass floor a large whiskey bottle smashes above my left ear. It shatters on me, cutting my neck and shoulder slightly. I glance up seeing a large black man wrestling a stocky Asian woman. The two are pulling at each other’s hair and kicking. The woman jerks her arm back and slams her fist into his nose hard. The man pulls away as it lands wincing.

I shake my head at the sight of the two fighting and immediately store both gun and glasses in my side bag. I cinch the clip close to my body and look around. The two aren’t the only two fighting. Another couple fights are going on. One old man with a white beard is reaching into the bar and flinging whatever bottle he gets his hands on at another old man. The two yelling profanities at each other. I swivel around looking for the door out of this establishment. I get the feeling cops will be upon us soon and I don’t need to be caught here.

The door is to the left of me and down a flight of stairs. I can see a few people running toward it as other people start to get into the spirit of the fight. Before I have a chance to run through a hand grabs my shoulder and spins me around. I barely register the hand and shift my head as the large angry Asian woman attacks me. I immediately bring my knee up and hit her square in the stomach. She lurches back slightly but doesn’t loosen her grip. Gritting her teeth she readies for another punch at my face. I lean forward toward her butting my head and glasses against her hard skull. Surprised at the retaliation I feel her fingers release. I quickly swing my left hand at her ear offsetting her balance and twist out of her reach. I don’t look back, sprinting toward the door.

As I push open the heavy metal door more scared bar goers follow my heels. We press out into the light and the edge of a metal balcony. I freeze just a second before I hit the railing and can go overboard into what seems to be miles of nothing below me. Someone presses against me and runs away. The metal door slams loudly behind me. I pause looking out at the view.

There isn’t earth below me but buildings. The lights and metallic dull gray trail beneath me. I roll my head up to see more buildings upon buildings rising above. Where is the damn earth? I ask myself as I strain to see the sky. There is smoke, fog, and smog above me. Cutting into any view I have of the sky. I turn looking for where the person that had used me for traction could have gone. This balcony is a metal railing that goes for miles up and down. I can see people mulling around some of the bridges, going in and out of shops. Everyone casually moving on them.

“Huh,” I say. “I didn’t expect this.”

“Didn’t expect what?” a woman’s voice asks behind me. I twist seeing the Asian woman I had wrestled with in the bar. Her lip is bleeding and bruises are forming on the bottom of her chin and right eye. She sighs walking up beside me to look at the view. I stiffen a little unsure if I’m being lured into another attack. “Don’t worry, fighting is left in the bar. Nice work unbalancing me,” she says leaning up against the railing. She spits a bit of blood out and looks at me again before repeating her question, “Didn’t expect what?”

“The fog,” I lie.

She raises an eyebrow knowing I’m lying. I know immediately that the fog must be constant from her look. “Whatever. You want to grab drinks at the bar on 1078?” she asks.

I grind my teeth, tense.

“Not going to hit you again. I just get a little caught up when arguments get heated,” she says as she extends a hand, “I’m Nola.”

I warily take it. Her hand feels like it’s crushing mine. “I’m Cal.”

“Well Cal, you coming?” she asks taking off down the railing. After a few moments, I follow.

The wind is loud as we walk down the railing. I’m slightly behind her, studying her movements and the strangeness of this time. We reach a little shoddy elevator with a card reader. Nola swipes her card and steps in. I follow her into the cramped excuse for a machine. I’m not even sure it’ll hold our weight. Probably going to plummet to our deaths in this. Nola presses the floor number into the computer and hits enter. It beeps, makes a loud whirring sound, and shoots down at an alarming speed. I have to grab the railing to keep from falling.

Nola simply leans against the wall casually studying me as we fall. My head feels a little woozy from the sudden rush. She grabs a handle just as the elevator shutters to a halt. My knees nearly give out at the sudden stop. The door slip open and she steps out without hesitation. I give my stomach, breath, and blood a moment to catch up before following her.

The view from this lower height makes the buildings seem even bigger. I can’t see anything but buildings around and railings with shoddy elevators. I can’t fathom how we got to this point. The other thing that just occurred to me is that I’ve only seen a few people out. Where are all the people in this massive complex?

“Cal, this way,” Nola says holding open a door. I follow her into a large bar that seems similar to the one we were in before. No one is throwing bottles in this one thankfully. As if to remind me my neck twinges with pain. Nola stalks past the few customers in the building to the back. I follow while investigating. The music is calming and the bartender watches us as we walk over to him.

“Two No-Breaths,” Nola says slipping her card over the reader. It beeps and the bartender busies himself creating the drink. Nola gestures to a cozy table. We take our seats as the drinks come out. The liquid is a dark brown with a red separated jello like substance on top. I raise a brow as Nola picks it up.

She waits as pick it up. “To us,” she says and knocks it back. I swallow and hope my stomach can keep it down as I follow suit. The drink burns my tongue and throat as it goes down. I can feel it go down as I cough. My throat seems to close leaving no room to breathe. I understand where the name comes from and then the painful feeling vanishes as I hack again. Nola chuckles. “So Cal, you a traveler?”

I don’t say anything still gagging on the awful taste of the No-Breath. “What did you come to fix?” she asks casually. I hesitate and study her face.

“Who said I came to fix anything?” I retort feeling the alcohol starting to kick in.


Planning to continue this story later. I’m not sure where it’s going, but I’m interested. I don’t usually write in first-person so this is strange for me, but I’m having fun. We’ll see where this goes.

~Kendall

2016 Highlights & Review

Here are some highlights from 2016 and my New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s interesting looking at to what this blog evolved to. It started with stories and then turned into this journal of trying to keep myself on track with goals and habits. I’m proud of keeping up my habit. Missed a few days but kept to it almost every day this year. Here’s the favorite posts from the year. There’s more of course, but I can’t pick all of them!

Proud of all the hard work I put in this year, but still got a lot to get done. I looked through the original resolutions I had for 2016 to see what I had accomplished and pivoted.

  1. Animation Shorts: Make some shorts to advance my portfolio.
    • Pivoted this one into learning better animation skills from School of Motion. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come in animating with After Effects. I feel more confident in where I want to go career-wise as a result.
    • Created some GIFs and worked on a couple larger animations. Some are not finished but I hope to finish them in January.
  2. Stories: Learn how to tell better ones
    • Changed this to learning through watching and analyzing short animations. I wrote a few stories through the year, but I changed focus to learning stories for animation and film.
  3. Minimalism: Start getting rid of things that don’t add value to my life.
    • I never made a full commitment to this one so…It did save me many times during the year when I did want to buy objects. A good reminder to check if I actually needed it or if I just wanted it. Still need to clean out and donate many things, though.
  4. A career job: Get a career job in graphic design.
    • Got one at the beginning of the year, but after that, I kind of dwindled. I lost a lot of confidence after I had to turn down a freelance project for the first time. November’s Startup Weekend really helped bring back that confidence. I think I will be able to focus better and apply for many things out of my comfort zone now.
  5. Read more.
    • I’m def going to make a habit of reading a minimum of 15 pages a night. I read some books but I’m disappointed in the amount of reading I actually did.
  6. Start a Youtube channel.
    • ACCOMPLISHED. I didn’t post much after the Booktube-a-thon but I started and that was the whole goal. I will hopefully post more in 2017 and find my footing there. I’m still camera awkward, but the more I practice the better it’ll be.

I’m happy with what I’ve done this year, a little annoyed at some parts of the work ethic, but excited to change these bad habits. Can’t wait to see what I make of 2017! I’ll admit 2016 was difficult with all the deaths and the sad moments, but we’re still here pushing forward. I’m just so excited to be out with the old and in with the new. I’m excited to work and make all the new goals real!

Happy New Year friends! Hope you’re celebrating and looking forward to making 2017 amazing! I’ll have a post with my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions tomorrow! Have a great party and stay safe!

~Kendall

So much to do

It’s always great to see family. Didn’t get a ton done today but hung out with the fam which is awesome. Upcoming projects are on the way and catching up on others. Lots of animations to do and not a ton of time to get them all in. Additionally, I now need to find time to get to a doctor. My hip has gone on the fritz. Can’t find a comfortable position for sitting, standing, or lying down. Resulting in some terrible concentration, but I’m pushing through to get these projects done. Lots of Advil and attempts to rest, but not really working out since I’ve been trying to finish Christmas shopping. But time to stop complaining because I have work to do.

I am starting a new planning system for 2017. Trying out the Passion Planner. Hope that this method will help for the year and stick past January. The only thing that’s ever stuck has been the Bullet Journal, but I’m optimistic because the Passion Planner has reflection writings at the end of each month. I love looking back on the month and thinking about what I can do better. I’ve started filling out parts of it and will let you know how it works.

Some projects being released Friday so stay tuned to the blog and my twitter for updates. Hopefully, I’ll get some sleep and still have some fun.

~Kendall

Art Updates

Got some good art projects on the way. Been trying to get as much done as possible during the day, but gotta do some other work and family time too. Here’s a little preview of an upcoming project I’ve been working on for the last couple days. Got a lot to work on. The lettering styles don’t match as well when transferred from hand drawn to digitally illustrated. I spent awhile vectoring it only to scrap that whole lead because it didn’t fit the style I want. I have to add the last words in the quote which are ‘I am one’ and design the illustration. It’s from the book The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie. She asked me to do this since I had a few lazy days of waking up after 9 AM. It’s technically punishment for waking up late, but I always have fun working on these so maybe I should sleep in more.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-1-53-06-am

I hope to have a finished version done by the end of the weekend, but no promises since I have so different projects to do! I always get so busy working on gifts during the holiday season. Not to mention that now I’ve been asked to learn Sketch for UI/UX design work. It’s not hard but it’s a different workflow from Adobe products so the key commands are going to take some getting use to. I just finished listening to the Animalators episode with John Schlemmer the Motion Lead at Google. I’m fascinated by the idea of incorporating motion into UI. I’m going to read through the Material Design Motion guidelines for some extra homework. I’m really interested in how all of that works. Who knows maybe it’ll get me a job at Google? Probably not, but I’m interested in reading that nonetheless.

Here’s a quick update on that dog Xmas gift I’m working on. Not satisfied with the coloring style, might return to that black and white version but clean it up. It could be a case of more detail too. I’m in that middle area of not sketchy nor polished enough.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-2-08-37-am

That does it for the art updates of the day. I will be working on lots tomorrow so tune in for the rest of the work and final versions!

~Kendall

 

Perfect is the Enemy of Good

So I made a small step for my website update. Not quite a rebrand, yet, but I wanted to get new projects up for a job application. So the portfolio page has been updated and populated with a few more projects for viewing. I am working to navigate the site toward videos and illustration eventually. The rebranding process has been quite difficult because I’ve been wavering in the audience due to what my goals are. I’ve been confused about pushing toward hiring managers, freelance work, or just personal projects. They’re all a little different audience wise so picking the projects has been weighing on me. The job app reminded me to just post the projects and get it all up there.

Of course, I have more to add and change, but trying to live by the quote of ‘Perfect is the Enemy of Good.’ I was reminded of this today. I realized I’ve been stalled by the rebrand because of the need for the perfect way of posting projects and the perfect bio…etc. It’s been exhausting on my mental health because I keep working toward a goal only to doubt it because I’m not covering another target audience. Just being reminded of the quote changed my whole perspective on the website today. Better just to finish and have some little misalignments in the design than to continuously start over because it’s not perfect. Glad I made progress.

I also drew this earlier today. I’m calling them all Cactus Rats. Would be an interesting project to illustrate more of these Cactus Rats and give them all little stories…might be an interesting side project.

cactusrat

Till later friends. Remember Perfection is the Enemy of Good.