Because Santa Cards are Way Better with Zombies

The Grinch Avatar

I want to get rocking on my Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge, and as part of that one of my “wish list” items is to squee about something cool that I really enjoy. Today’s squee is timely, and it’s about Michael Spradlin’s Zombie Christmas Cards. I found out we had a couple of these left, and off in the mail they went with braaaaaaiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnsssssss.

Anyway, I dig Michael’s illustrations and the jokes for these cards. Zombies are a nice, geeky way to share the holiday spirit for those who appreciate the undead with their candy canes and nog.

Here’s a picture of one of the cards; if you click on it, it’ll take you to www.zombie-cards.com where you can see both illustrations, their interiors, and buy a set for next year.



First Squees for 2015

Fire She-Ra Avatar

Sitting here with Enya blasting through Pandora nursing a “Oh ye stars… Why does my diet go to hell on deadline again?” stomach. As it is now 2015, a new set of squees is now needed. Woo!

1.) I organized my beads and chainmaille links. This is VERY IMPORTANT, as I have designs I bought beads for but couldn’t remember where all the pieces went.

2.) Medieval pet names. How cool.

3.) The holidays are over and my house is back to normal. Yay!

4.) Trying to set up recurring evenings of beadness and have a few months scheduled already. Forced social human interaction you say? Yikes! Er… Good!

5.) Have planned my convention appearances for 2015. I’ll be doing more of them.

6.) 13 Essential Summer Reads in 1852 gives a historical look during the time period. I believe that reading history is important, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

7.) Fire Mountain Gems, a bead supplier, posted an article about the eras of jewelry. From a designer’s perspective, this is really awesome.

8.) Pen PR0N!!! The seven-year pen from Seltzer. Yes, it writes very smooth.

9.) Four words: homemade chocolate chip cookies.

10.) Learning that yes, using a spatula to stir cookie dough is way better than a wooden spoon. Rock. Star.

11.) Re-obfuscating my hair. This makes me happy.

12.) Prepping for a writer’s retreat. Very excited!

13.) LEGO Doctor Who. Need I say more?

14.) I never get sick of watching The Avengers. So impressed with the connected plots that weave in and out of the movies and the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show.

15.) Put in an order from JetPens.com for this calligraphy pen. Here’s the awesome part about this pen: the colors BLEND.

16.) Managed to clean our place before we left for California, so came back to a fresh pad. After one load of laundry, I’m totally caught up on maintenance-type crap. Woo!

17.) Starting to get some reviews for my latest project. Geist: Ready Made Characters. Glad fans are digging them!

18.) Two unannounced projects are moving forward, I’m getting caught up on other projects, and I’m making progress on my own stuff, too.

19.) Combat boots have been acquired. I’ve been looking for over a year, ever since my old ones got irreparably damaged on a trip. Opted to go with a convertible pair of Doc Marten’s and I’m really anxious to break them in.

20.) I mentioned earlier that I was starting to Couch to 5K program. Due to the pressure on my joints, I wasn’t ready for the speeds I was aiming for. I’ve since modified the program, but I’m keeping up with it despite my achilles tendon acting up. Really anxious to build some endurance and continue on the health train. It feels great to get my heart pumping again!

21.) A squee for Phil Reed and Sam Mitschke from Steve Jackson Games. They’ve been promoted!!! YAY!!! Well-deserved.

22.) Another squee for discovering Joseph Bruchac, a Native American author. Really powerful stuff.

23.) Happy that Constantine is getting some rave reviews. It’s a GREAT show and I’m thrilled for the cast and the team that put this together.

24.) Threw a holiday party to see some friends I haven’t seen for a while. Pretty excited about that! And, we’re keeping the good times going. Huzzah!

25.) Made my New Year’s Resolutions and am diving into the pile. So grateful for my co-writers and editors to be able to do what I do. Thanks for seeing 2014 through and cheers for a BIG 2015!

26.) We funded the Dark Eras Kickstarter in one day! I have a chapter in this supplement called “Doubting Souls” for Hunter: the Vigil.

27.) Fans are great. Fan feedback is what keeps me going! There’s been loads of it lately, and that’s keep me going.

28.) I don’t know if you’ve seen that Creative Process illustration that’s been floating around, but I managed to track down the artist who’s selling a print of it. Neat!

29.) I love it when art and history come together. This prize-winning animation lets you fly through 17th London. SO COOL!

30.) I’m ALMOST through Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Yay!

31.) Yes, I do have a room for GenCon. In fact, I’m coming back to the Writer’s Symposium! Huzzah!

112/365

    Mood: Go, Go Gadget
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: It’s winter. I lost track.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Butt in chair. LOTS of writing.
    In My Ears: Coffee pot.
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: All the work-related things.
    Movie Last Viewed: Pacific Rim
    Latest Artistic Project: Beading!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.


Last Squees for the Year

Mario Christmas Avatar

Been a busy past couple of days, and I’m just now starting to get caught up on year-end chores and holiday-making activities. Yep, I’m behind. Which means half my cards haven’t been sent out yet and there’s cookie dough still sitting in the fridge–three kinds! Thankfully, my cards say: “Happy whichever holiday you celebrate.” So technically if I get them done before New Year’s… Yes, I’m terrible I know.

I’m glad we went to California and very grateful for the time I spent there. It was a whirlwind of a trip, what with deadlines packed on top of travel, but totally needed. I have pictures (of course) but they’ll take a while to sort through and upload. Joy of joys!

With that last, here are the fifteen remaining squees for the year. This’ll take me up through December 31st!

1.) The Hogfather: It’s an annual tradition for the holidays!

2.) The Muppets’ Christmas Carol: On Netflix! WOO!

3.) Finding out that baking recipes are supposed to be conducted with unsalted butter. Thanks to my friend Suzanne for helping me figure out my cookie fu!

4.) Seeing the redwoods. How beautiful!

5.) Figuring out what was wrong with my netbook. So, HILARIOUSLY, my memory was borked because I had synced all of my cloud storage to that device instead of just the one folder. Nice, eh?

6.) The suggestion that I revisit talking about the process of writing as opposed to the YOU MUST DO THIS NOW kind of writing advice. Hard to find a niche when so many others are already blogging about the how to’s of writing. This is definitely a jumpstart to my brainpan.

7.) A really kick-ass draft of [redacted], which will be shared in 2015!

8.) A Kickstarter for [redacted], which will likely launch in January!

9.) A skull spoon, for tea. Want!

10.) And on that last… Sugar cube skulls!

11.) Possibly cheesy, but I figured out what to do with the tombstone cookie cutters I have. For sugar cookies, I can decorate them with RIP 2014! HAH!

12.) Party went well and I figured out logistics for next time despite brain space issues. Thinking this’ll turn into a monthly event.

13.) I’m back on the workout train and my chemistry is starting to normalize. It really is disturbing how easy it is to get one’s body out of whack, but inactivity–especially for writers like myself who get sucked into a cycle of caffeine, carbs, and whiskey whilst on deadline–is pretty damn detrimental and hard on the body. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t drink to get drunk, but the triumvirate of sitting for hours at a time plus too much coffee plus an apertif made me crankier than I expected it to. I didn’t realize how much it screwed me up mood-wise, but there it is.

14.) A book I picked up in California is The Drunken Botanist. FIVE STARS!!! This is GREAT for writing research and general knowledge about planets and such. Plus, the cocktail recipes are pretty awesome…which brings me to a moment of serendipity. I had the Aviation at The Alembic, and lo! and behold! the original recipe is in that book.

15.) As the story goes, I’m baking gingerbread for the first time. (Zombies and skeletons, mostly.) However, my paltry attempt is nowhere near as awesome as Martha Stewart’s Downton Abbey made out of gingerbread.

121/365

    Mood: Getting caught up
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: managed
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: 30 on the elliptical
    In My Ears: The Hogfather
    Game Last Played: Brain Age 2
    Book Last Read: Gah! It’s on my nightstand!
    Movie Last Viewed: The Hogfather
    Latest Artistic Project: Beading!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.


The Big Catch-Up on 25 Squees (and other Musings)

Darth Vader Masked Avatar

I have Avengers on in the background as I’m writing this, and thinking back (for some bizarro reason) to the Ewoks television series, and how much I don’t like Hydra and would like to Monica Smash them into oblivion. See also: lamenting the fact that I let the Squee project lag, but scrambled to take vacation, so there you be. And, to top it all off? I’ve been obsessed with the concept of resilience as of late, and how important that is for writers.

Let me rewind that last statement, because it’s something I want to reinforce. Writing is a hard job, because when the words don’t flow? Yeah, we only have ourselves to blame. No amount of [insert real life b.s. here] can excuse a lack of writing, because we can do that anytime, anywhere–even if it’s for half an hour. Fifteen minutes. Something. Resilience, though, isn’t about writing. It’s about the lifestyle and all the other peripherals that come with it. The contracts that fall through. The projects that we don’t get credited for or we’re forced to take to pay the bills. The good reviews, the bad, and the ugly. The pressure we receive from friends, family, fans. Etc. Etc. Etc. And then depression starting with isolation, then an over-reliance on the Internet, then a loss of perspective…until? The things we say online don’t seem to have an impact in real life, because we’re not grounded in real life enough to know that words can hurt other people.

Anyway, deep thoughts ahead of squees. There was a point where I got discouraged, since there’s so much going on right now, so many real world issues…but now that I’m back from a wonderful vacation? I feel like these squees really are another way to hold back to the darkness, another method to be resilient in addition to be grounded in real life.

On to the 25 squees! This’ll bring me up-to-date through Tuesday, December 16th.

1.) The Star Wars trailer was released! No, I haven’t seen it. I’m very excited for the new films, but want to enjoy the movies when they debut in theatres. I’m a little old school that way I suppose, and don’t want to let the dissection of every nuance ruin the experience. Star Wars is, and has been, a huge part of my life and I couldn’t be happier that the property is in great hands.

2.) This design. Because it’s true and awesome. Don’t Read the Comments by miski

3.) I’m done with holiday shopping. WOO. Not done with cards or shipping, but soon. SOON!

4.) Throwing a party. Excited!

5.) My trip out to the Bay Area could easily take up the rest of these squees. Plus, we took a trip out to the Redwoods and up the coast to Eureka.

6.) Science is awesome. Congrats to the space team that landed on an asteroid, then got this data! Rosetta Instrument Reignites Debate on Earth’s Oceans

7.) I’m a guest at Mo*Con X. Pretty cool!

8.) A time capsule in Boston has been found, buried by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. SO FREAKING COOL!

9.) Finished another Firefly RPG supplement. Announcement to come VERY soon!

10.) Christmas cookies. Mixing, baking, eating. Need I say more?

11.) Blue Man Group is coming to a theatre near me in February. WOO!

12.) Time for the annual MDK (Murder Death Kill) holiday photo. Let the shenanigans commence!

Christmas Rimmon and Zak

13.) I don’t put up loads of decorations, but this 8-Bit Wreath is one of my favorites!

14.) I never get sick of watching The Avengers. So impressed with the connected plots that weave in and out of the movies and the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show.

15.) Put in an order from JetPens.com for this calligraphy pen. Here’s the awesome part about this pen: the colors BLEND.

16.) Managed to clean our place before we left for California, so came back to a fresh pad. After one load of laundry, I’m totally caught up on maintenance-type crap. Woo!

17.) Starting to get some reviews for my latest project. Geist: Ready Made Characters. Glad fans are digging them!

18.) Two unannounced projects are moving forward, I’m getting caught up on other projects, and I’m making progress on my own stuff, too.

19.) Combat boots have been acquired. I’ve been looking for over a year, ever since my old ones got irreparably damaged on a trip. Opted to go with a convertible pair of Doc Marten’s and I’m really anxious to break them in.

20.) I mentioned earlier that I was starting to Couch to 5K program. Due to the pressure on my joints, I wasn’t ready for the speeds I was aiming for. I’ve since modified the program, but I’m keeping up with it. Really anxious to build some endurance and continue on the health train. It feels great to get my heart pumping again!

21.) A squee for Phil Reed and Sam Mitschke from Steve Jackson Games. They’ve been promoted!!! YAY!!! Well-deserved.

22.) Another squee for discovering Joseph Bruchac, a Native American author. Really powerful stuff.

23.) Happy that Constantine is getting some rave reviews. It’s a GREAT show and I’m thrilled for the cast and the team that put this together.

24.) Heading to a holiday party tonight to see some friends I haven’t seen for a while. Pretty excited about that!

25.) Last but not least, I’ve already made my New Year’s Resolutions and am diving into the pile. So grateful for my co-writers and editors to be able to do what I do. Thanks for seeing 2014 through and cheers for a BIG 2015!

106/365

    Mood: Go, Go Gadget
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Managed. (Sort of). I had 3.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: 30 on the elliptical
    In My Ears: Computer fan. (It’s loud!)
    Game Last Played: Mah Jong
    Book Last Read: An encyclopedia about demons and fairies pulling from global folklore.
    Movie Last Viewed: The Avengers
    Latest Artistic Project: Beading!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.


This Week’s Squees. Productivity-related even!

Mushu Avatar

Okay. I have a confession to make. I’m stuck on a Ni No Kuni board so vidjo gaming breaks are few and far between. F-Bomb timed puzzles. I SWEAR! I have, however, been busy with other things. And I socialized. Which is, of course, always dangerous. Always.

On to this week’s squees!

1.) Printed out the Couch to 5K plan. Will attempt to start this tomorrow. I squee in the face of motivation!

2.) Things I do when I’m not online. Rags to Riches Bracelet

Fairy Wirework

3.) Speaking of not online, I’m looking forward to NaNoNetMo for December. (National No Internet Month. I made it up!) Yep, I will still blog but a little less conversation and a lot more enjoying self and being productive offline is needed.

4.) Loads of socialization visits. Did I mention. I was social! I am not a sociopath! HOORAY! Annnnnd… I am planning… A party. Whoa. (I jest, but I’m actually not that bad. I play extroverted Stewart-esque host quite well.)

5.) Found a treasure today. A fat Star Wars Origami book. I have a happy. Now, if only I had a floor to justify getting a R2D2 robot who could roam around one day:

6.) Got through 150 e-mails today. Chipping the in box down to…um…less than what I had before. WOO!

7.) I have some great news to share very shortly. It’s career-related, and I think you’ll dig some of the new projects I have coming up.

74/365 through 81/365

    Mood: My window. It moves.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: HAH HAH HAH HAH!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: HAH x 1,000!
    In My Ears: The tank. Sh… I have to feed my fish. BRB.
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: Work-related. Still.
    Movie Last Viewed: The Tick BECAUSE BATMANUEL.
    Latest Artistic Project: You’re looking at it.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.


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Monica Valentinelli > Blog > 365 Days of Squee

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