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The Mechanic by FadedDreams5
The Mechanic
Winry Rockbell from Fullmetal Alchemist.  I love her.  She's always been one of my favorites just because she has such an awesome personality.  She's very caring and has a big heart, but she's also tough and smart and has a good sense of humor.  She knows how to take care of herself, and Ed and Al never give her enough credit for how much she cares about and takes care of them throughout the series.

This is what I've been working on while I try to sort out the disaster that is my story.  And since I still haven't figured it out, I'll probably do some more FMA fanart in the near future.  There are a bunch of characters I want to draw.  I haven't decided who next, but probably Roy or Ed. We'll see.

Used this as a sort of pose reference: c2.staticflickr.com/8/7417/128…
I probably should have found a good face reference.  Her face looks a little weird to me.
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So as I've mentioned, I've been working on editing rewriting my story since like October, I think.  I'm about 40 pages from the end of the original draft, so I've been all excited about the progress I've made and everything, and I've managed to work out some major issues with the story, so that was great.  I really wanted to be done by now--mid February at the latest--so I could send it to some new beta-readers for general thoughts and opinions.  Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.  The fact that I've rewritten so much of this thing (literally like 75%) means that I've somehow managed to write new problems into it.  I sat down while I was at work last night (hooray for super boring night shifts!) and just listed all of the big issues in the story, which basically boiled down to a bunch of major plot points that were too coincidental or felt too contrived.  I have a tendency to do that sort of thing A LOT, and it's something I hate seeing in the stories I read because it just feels so lazy on the writer's part.  That was honestly my biggest problem with Twilight, all sparkly vampires and creepy manipulative relationship issues aside.  (Yes, I read Twilight.  Yes...the whole series.  Don't judge.  My best friend kept insisting, "It's so good!" and, "The next book is better!" and on and on.  I don't go to her for book recommendations anymore.)  So anyways, I just listed all the problems and then possible solutions for each of them.  It's kind of devastating.  And the sucky thing is that I don't even know if these solutions are real solutions, because some of them are like solutions to previous problems I worked out that are now problematic themselves.  Does that even make sense?

I don't know.  I'm just feeling a little frustrated and discouraged with my writing lately.  I love the story and characters and I want to keep going with it, but there's this voice in the back of my mind getting louder and louder that wonders if this story is stupid and I'm never going to be good enough to write it well and so on.  And then I know writers who are just freaking brilliant and can turn out nearly-perfect drafts the first time and it's just...frustrating, I guess.  Why can't I do that?  I know every writer feels like that at some point and I know I shouldn't compare myself to other writers because everyone does things at their own pace and everyone has different strengths or whatever.  But it's still just irritating sometimes.  I feel like I take three steps forward and two and a half steps back, and while that's still making progress, it's minimal and it isn't happening as fast as I'd like it to.  Of course it doesn't help that I have to work and go to school and be a mom on top of trying to write.  I'm seriously thinking of taking my vacation days at work during spring break in March and just using that time to write.  It would probably make me feel a little better about the lack of time and progress.

Anyways, enough writer-angst.  School has been going ok so far.  I'm a little irritated with my art history class online.  I've taken a few online classes now and this one is seriously so freaking disorganized I don't know how anyone manages to keep track of it.  I've been doing ok so far but it always takes me a ridiculous amount of time to do my homework just because I have to spend so much time going through multiple sections and folders and files on blackboard to even start on one thing.  Statistics is going ok so far, I guess.  It's hard, but I'm not under so much pressure to get an A anymore because I can't qualify for the Dean's scholarship at USU anyways.  The deadline was yesterday, and they base it off your GPA at the time of the application.  You have to have a 3.8 and I have a 3.77.  So close.  Oh well, maybe next year. Honestly, I'll be happy to end up with a C in statistics, at this point.

Speaking of USU, my husband and I took a little trip down to Logan, Utah on Thursday to look at housing and stuff.  I really like Logan.  It seems to have grown a lot recently and there's a lot of nice, new buildings.  It's a decent sized city, but not huge, so that's nice.  There's a lot to do.  And we were super excited to find a Hastings there.  There's one in Twin Falls, and I had always thought they were just a local business or something, so I was surprised to see one there.  Does anyone else have a Hastings or have you ever been to one?  Basically, it's paradise.  They have books and CDs and movies and manga/anime and TONS of nerdy things.  Every time we go in, I just want to stay there for a few hours and look at everything.  Of course, we had to stop, and I ended up walking out with the first Fullmetal Alchemist manga (three volumes in one).  I'm super excited about that.  I've been wanting to read it forever.  It's been in my cart on Amazon at least a dozen times but I always just delete it. :P  And yes, I know I've watched the original anime like three times and Brotherhood twice, but the story and characters are just that good that I really want to read the manga too. And probably draw some fanart, whenever I have time for that.

I also bought a bunch of new books a few weeks ago.  I finally bought Nexus by theant4 and Vertigo by GSJennsen, both of which are the second books in very good indie sci-fi series.  I'm about 1/3 into Vertigo and liking it much better than the first book.  The first book was good, but I feel like the pacing of this one is a lot better and some of the characters are better developed and easier to keep track of.  I'm also got 1984 by George Orwell, which has been on my to-read list for years.  It's actually really good--better than I expected.  I'm about 75% into that one.  And then I got American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which I am super excited about because I've never read any of his books but have always heard that he's an excellent writer.  And finally, I got this book called Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, which looks really interesting.  Lots of reading.  I have been making an effort to read more lately because I kind of stopped doing that for a few years (no time), and I know that reading is really important to becoming a better writer.  I can see a difference, I think.  I feel like it's helping, and of course books are just awesome so it's fun to read them anyways.  I usually only get to read at work if my resident is sleeping (so usually when I work nights), so I'm kind of slow, but that's ok.  It's fun.

I guess now I should go work on sorting out all these major plot issues in my story.  Oh, and do homework.  Yay, homework. :(
  • Mood: Defeated
  • Listening to: Bastille "The Draw"
  • Reading: 1984, Vertigo
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Eating: Smoothie
  • Drinking: Water
Go Ahead, Underestimate Me by FadedDreams5
Go Ahead, Underestimate Me
I saw this little saying thing on my pinterest "suggestions" or whatever a few weeks ago and have been wanting to use it with a painting of Zira forever.  The fact that Zira is really small and young and has a kind of innocent-looking face leads a lot of people to underestimate her.  This used to really annoy her, but she's learned to use it to her advantage and just kind of laughs it off now when people tell her she isn't capable of something.

Got a little lazy with the clothes (as always), which means that I also forgot her armband, but I guess I can live with that.  I'm pretty happy with how her face and hair turned out, especially considering that it's been ages since I drew her last.

Reference: i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv…
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School started again yesterday, which I am simultaneously excited about and dreading.  I'm super excited about my social work classes.  It's nice to be almost done with generals and actually working on something that's relevant to my degree.  But I am dreading waking up every morning at 6:00 AM to get ready and drive to Twin Falls.  I am not a morning person and I've been fortunate that my kids aren't, either.  I can only think of three times where I've had to wake up before 8:00 in the past three years....wow.  So that will be a challenge.  I was so worried about missing my alarm the night before school that I woke up about a dozen times in the night just to check the time, so then I was exhausted all day.  I almost fell asleep in my statistics class, which is probably not a good sign.  I think I should try to catch a nap before that class or something, because that's going to be my worst class and I really need to pay attention.  Anyways, I was pretty proud of myself because I actually woke up on time and wasn't scrambling around to get everything together last-minute.  It helped that I'd gotten everything ready the night before and just took the girls to abuela's in their pajamas.  I made it to class on time and everything.  Now if I can just keep that up for four more months.

The social work classes should be good.  One of them is an intro class, so we'll just talk about social work in general and different types of jobs and everything.  That should be very enlightening.  And then the other one is called "Human development and behavior," which I was kind of confused about at first.  Apparently, it's just about studying development through the lifespan (like childhood development, adolescence, etc).  The first half at least should be interesting.  I want to work with kids and teens anyways, so that will be good.  Not so sure about the second half (adulthood, old age), but I guess we'll see how it goes.  The instructor is the same for both of those classes.  She seems nice and reasonable as far as how grades and homework assignments work.  There are a couple of girls I used to work with in those classes, too, so that will be good.  One of them also has to drive from Burley and stay there until noon (my class gets out at 11:00) so we may end up carpooling.

The last two generals I have to take are this art history class online (to fulfill a humanities requirement) and statistics.  The art history looks pretty similar to the jazz appreciation course I took last semester, and I understand more about art than I do about jazz so hopefully I won't have to BS my way through that one as much.  It should be easy.  Time-consuming, but easy.  And then there's my statistics class.  Oh my gosh.  I'm scared.  Seriously.  I've even been entertaining the idea of just dropping the course, but if I do that, I'd have to take it at USU, and I have a feeling it would be harder there than it is here, so I should probably just stick it out.  I just did my first homework assignment on the online math program thing, and missed about half the questions.  In the freaking introduction chapter! It was just asking about populations and samples and I just....I can't wrap my head around it. It doesn't help that I haven't done math at all since high school. I'm probably going to have to start going to the math lab or something to get tutoring help.  Or find someone good at math to come help me.  Elissa (because I know you read my journals), you should move back to Idaho and help me with my homework so I can pass this class. :P

Anyways, before things get too crazy with school, I'm trying to finish rewriting my story so I can do one more quick pass over it and then send it off to beta-readers.  So far, I'm happy with how it's going.  I've made lots of big changes.  Everyone's viewpoint except Jared's and Zira's got cut out.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to continue that in the second book, but I do want to stick to just 3-4 viewpoints instead of having a few random chapters here from other viewpoints.  So probably Jared, Zira, Revolver, and possibly Ryku or Aubreigh? I haven't decided yet.  Anyways, having all those viewpoints always just felt weird, and I never felt like I was really pulling it off.  Aubreigh and Seth got bigger roles in the new version of this book, which is working out surprisingly well and should make Seth's transition to book 2 make more sense.  I never realized how much of a shallow, 1-dimensional character I made Aubreigh in the first book until I reread it and saw that she was just awful.  Half the time I wanted to slap her.  She's better now (but probably still needs work).  And then I think I've managed to make it seem like Seth is more of the antagonist of the story than Ryku is (until much closer to the end, anyways).  I'm really curious to see how someone responds to that--someone who hasn't already read the book and doesn't know anything about it.  Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't.  It was always my original intention to set him up as more of a father-figure to Zira--harsh and strict maybe, but a decent person.  Somewhere along the way I got carried away with the whole "Ryku is evil" thing and I kind of wanted to get back to the original plan.   And I was super excited to find out about some recent advancements in prosthetic limbs to kind of use as a springboard for Zira's leg, so now I feel like all of that is pretty scientifically and medically solid instead of just me spewing out random nonsense that I sort of made up on the fly.  Hooray for productive research!  And pinterest.  Because surprisingly enough, it was pinterest that pointed me in the right direction with that one.

I've always sort of mentally divided the story into 3 parts, and I just finished rewriting part 2, so I've only got 1/3 left.  I cut a LOT of stuff out of part 2.  It was kind of devastating, but it definitely needed to be done. The word count has changed a lot.  I think it was something like 63,000 before I started this rewrite.  Then it jumped up to 73,000 before I got to part 2 (so yeah--I added and expanded on a lot of stuff), and now it's down to 69,000.  It will probably go up again after I'm done with this last section, though.  It's also been kind of interesting to look at how much the chapter number has increased.  I had 23 chapters before, I think, and now I will probably end up with 30? We'll see, I guess. All I know is that part 3 is going to be about as much of a disaster to rewrite as part 1 was, so maybe expecting myself to be finished by the beginning of February is a little too ambitious.  I'm going to try though!
So as I've mentioned, I've been working on editing rewriting my story since like October, I think.  I'm about 40 pages from the end of the original draft, so I've been all excited about the progress I've made and everything, and I've managed to work out some major issues with the story, so that was great.  I really wanted to be done by now--mid February at the latest--so I could send it to some new beta-readers for general thoughts and opinions.  Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.  The fact that I've rewritten so much of this thing (literally like 75%) means that I've somehow managed to write new problems into it.  I sat down while I was at work last night (hooray for super boring night shifts!) and just listed all of the big issues in the story, which basically boiled down to a bunch of major plot points that were too coincidental or felt too contrived.  I have a tendency to do that sort of thing A LOT, and it's something I hate seeing in the stories I read because it just feels so lazy on the writer's part.  That was honestly my biggest problem with Twilight, all sparkly vampires and creepy manipulative relationship issues aside.  (Yes, I read Twilight.  Yes...the whole series.  Don't judge.  My best friend kept insisting, "It's so good!" and, "The next book is better!" and on and on.  I don't go to her for book recommendations anymore.)  So anyways, I just listed all the problems and then possible solutions for each of them.  It's kind of devastating.  And the sucky thing is that I don't even know if these solutions are real solutions, because some of them are like solutions to previous problems I worked out that are now problematic themselves.  Does that even make sense?

I don't know.  I'm just feeling a little frustrated and discouraged with my writing lately.  I love the story and characters and I want to keep going with it, but there's this voice in the back of my mind getting louder and louder that wonders if this story is stupid and I'm never going to be good enough to write it well and so on.  And then I know writers who are just freaking brilliant and can turn out nearly-perfect drafts the first time and it's just...frustrating, I guess.  Why can't I do that?  I know every writer feels like that at some point and I know I shouldn't compare myself to other writers because everyone does things at their own pace and everyone has different strengths or whatever.  But it's still just irritating sometimes.  I feel like I take three steps forward and two and a half steps back, and while that's still making progress, it's minimal and it isn't happening as fast as I'd like it to.  Of course it doesn't help that I have to work and go to school and be a mom on top of trying to write.  I'm seriously thinking of taking my vacation days at work during spring break in March and just using that time to write.  It would probably make me feel a little better about the lack of time and progress.

Anyways, enough writer-angst.  School has been going ok so far.  I'm a little irritated with my art history class online.  I've taken a few online classes now and this one is seriously so freaking disorganized I don't know how anyone manages to keep track of it.  I've been doing ok so far but it always takes me a ridiculous amount of time to do my homework just because I have to spend so much time going through multiple sections and folders and files on blackboard to even start on one thing.  Statistics is going ok so far, I guess.  It's hard, but I'm not under so much pressure to get an A anymore because I can't qualify for the Dean's scholarship at USU anyways.  The deadline was yesterday, and they base it off your GPA at the time of the application.  You have to have a 3.8 and I have a 3.77.  So close.  Oh well, maybe next year. Honestly, I'll be happy to end up with a C in statistics, at this point.

Speaking of USU, my husband and I took a little trip down to Logan, Utah on Thursday to look at housing and stuff.  I really like Logan.  It seems to have grown a lot recently and there's a lot of nice, new buildings.  It's a decent sized city, but not huge, so that's nice.  There's a lot to do.  And we were super excited to find a Hastings there.  There's one in Twin Falls, and I had always thought they were just a local business or something, so I was surprised to see one there.  Does anyone else have a Hastings or have you ever been to one?  Basically, it's paradise.  They have books and CDs and movies and manga/anime and TONS of nerdy things.  Every time we go in, I just want to stay there for a few hours and look at everything.  Of course, we had to stop, and I ended up walking out with the first Fullmetal Alchemist manga (three volumes in one).  I'm super excited about that.  I've been wanting to read it forever.  It's been in my cart on Amazon at least a dozen times but I always just delete it. :P  And yes, I know I've watched the original anime like three times and Brotherhood twice, but the story and characters are just that good that I really want to read the manga too. And probably draw some fanart, whenever I have time for that.

I also bought a bunch of new books a few weeks ago.  I finally bought Nexus by theant4 and Vertigo by GSJennsen, both of which are the second books in very good indie sci-fi series.  I'm about 1/3 into Vertigo and liking it much better than the first book.  The first book was good, but I feel like the pacing of this one is a lot better and some of the characters are better developed and easier to keep track of.  I'm also got 1984 by George Orwell, which has been on my to-read list for years.  It's actually really good--better than I expected.  I'm about 75% into that one.  And then I got American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which I am super excited about because I've never read any of his books but have always heard that he's an excellent writer.  And finally, I got this book called Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, which looks really interesting.  Lots of reading.  I have been making an effort to read more lately because I kind of stopped doing that for a few years (no time), and I know that reading is really important to becoming a better writer.  I can see a difference, I think.  I feel like it's helping, and of course books are just awesome so it's fun to read them anyways.  I usually only get to read at work if my resident is sleeping (so usually when I work nights), so I'm kind of slow, but that's ok.  It's fun.

I guess now I should go work on sorting out all these major plot issues in my story.  Oh, and do homework.  Yay, homework. :(
  • Mood: Defeated
  • Listening to: Bastille "The Draw"
  • Reading: 1984, Vertigo
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Eating: Smoothie
  • Drinking: Water

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FadedDreams5
T. A. Hernandez
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Just a 22-year-old artist/writer living in the middle of nowhere with my husband, our daughter, and a doberman. I love comments, feedback, chatting, and meeting other artists/writers, so drop me a not anytime! :)
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:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for joining my Secret-Santa-2014 group and featuring your journal! :hug:

It would always be good to submit your Secret Santa wishlist too as a favour!
Reply
:iconfadeddreams5:
FadedDreams5 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, will do as soon as I get it made.  Thanks for all the faves
Reply
:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That sounds fair enough.

Sorry for not responding sooner or enough, but my network connection is becoming increasingly unreliable recently. :(

Your entire gallery is wonderful! I'll be looking through your older stuff on your page, btw. :hug:
Reply
:iconsabinoir:
SabiNoir Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014
Thanks for the fav! Meow :3 
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:iconarkiniano:
Arkiniano Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
Nice gallery! and thanks a lot for all the support ;)
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