Update: Life and Books (Jan 2023) + First Art of the New Year!


The first month of the new year is over. *Phew* I guess?

I made more art! I tried something different, using Rebelle 5 Pro. But alas, I still suck at watercolor, even digitally. This picture has grown on me though, after redoing some parts and doing a bit of editing. I actually love how the line drawing came out, but I thought it looked cool without the lines too. The jagged one is a quick version of the original idea, to see if I still wanted to go that way, meant to be someone dreaming of being a faery or something along those lines, but now I just like it colorful.

Digital watercolor with black line art of an attractive bald man in profile, eyes closed with a calm expression. His ear is pointed with four little stalks that curl away from the outer rim and flop over with a little dangling ball at the end. His head is tilted back, strong light hitting his face, like he's facing the sun. There are moles above his lip and eyebrow and on his shoulder. The colors used for shading are yellow, pink, and green, and the shading is messy, paint running and mixing and overlapping. Background is blue.Same picture as above, but there are no lines and no background color. It's just the colorful face and head shading and lots of blank canvas where the light is hitting.Same picture as the first one, but there are jagged lines diagonally splitting the image into three sections. Outer sections show a dreary sky and muted human skin color, but the middle is still bright and colorful.

I bought The Sims 3 Dragon Valley for 50% off and then went to the Sims 3 store to redeem it and somehow got 2900 free sim points??? (I think some were from another pack I registered a while ago but didn’t realize I’d be getting simpoints for.) So then I also bought the gondola lot, a foot massager, wind chimes, a crystal ball, a bathroom set, and some decor for my sims! That was fun, like a little shopping spree. I haven’t actually played with the new stuff yet though.

But I did play I Was a Teenage Exocolonist! Over 70 hours of it. It’s sort of a combo visual novel, rpg, and deck builder, but I’ve never played any narrative-based game that was this complex with stats and choices and relationships all affecting each other in so many ways to create so many different outcomes. I think this is only the second time I’ve said this about a game (the first was Lake of Voices), but I so badly want an actual novel about these characters.

That’s all I got for this month.

P.S. If this post is only half-finished and doesn’t have tags or other things, it’s because we’ve had some internet issues lately, and I don’t feel like finishing everything right now while internet is working because I have a headache.

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I won an ebook of Beyond the Trees by Christopher Renna in a Goodreads giveaway, yay!


Books I Received for Review:

Instructions in Flesh by Marcus James, from the author. (Vampires!) Crescentville Haunting by M.N. Bennet, from BookSirens. (More vampires!) The Immortal Navigator by M.D. Young, from the author. (Vampires in space!) Abandoned Things by Chani Lynn Feener, from BookSirens. (Not vampires, but that’s ok!)


Books I Finished:

Sword Dance by A.J. DemasWorld Running Down by Al HessCrescentville Haunting by MN BennetOf the Wild by E. WambheimAbandoned Things by Chani Lynn Feener

Some of the books I read this month were bought with the gift card someone gave me for Christmas, including the Sword Dance series, so thank you again!

If you’re considering buying one of the books below from Amazon, I’d really appreciate if you’d use my affiliate link!

✨ Sword Dance // Saffron Alley // Strong Wine by A.J. Demas – Started off the reading year strong! This series was such a lovely, beautiful romance! Plus great nonbinary rep!

Brie Mine by Dani Lakely – A cute little freebie short story in the Sunset Surf series.

Nether Realms (Anthology, edited by Tab Kimpton & The Neon Caster) – I’ve tried two anthologies from this editor now, and I think they’re great for a lot of reasons, but maybe not for me. The stories are just too short for me to get into them. But I loved the diversity of all kinds, the full color art, and the creativity!

Vamps: First Blood by Nicole Arend – This was basically a bunch of snooty rich teens at vampire school, but I found myself getting more invested as it went on.

World Running Down by Al Hess – Despite the dystopian-ish setting, this was a nice story with trans struggles but also trans joy, and a romance with an adorable AI in an android body!

Crescentville Haunting by MN Bennet – YA with lots of supernaturals and magic and a bit of romance, but also sort of grounded with some nice character growth.

Of the Wild by E. Wambheim – It was a magical story with a forest and fae and trans and ace characters.

Oblivion Heart // Midnight’s Son // Last Rites by Nazri Noor – More enjoyable books in the Darkling Mage urban fantasy series.

Abandoned Things by Chani Lynn Feener – A fun and interesting take on the idea of an author’s characters coming to life.

Sunsets & Showdowns by Maz Maddox – This was the final book in a series, and I just can’t get over the author killing off a main character from one of the previous books, who’d already had what I thought was an HEA, in a romance series. And for no reason that I could figure out. I didn’t even have any particular feelings about this character or relationship, but I’d sure be upset if I did. What a wild decision to make.

The Fallen King’s Penitent Soldier by Megan Derr – I’d been looking forward to this character’s redemption arc, and it did not disappoint!


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights!

– I reviewed

– I reviewed


Talk to me!

Have you found any good books, games, etc. lately?


Your Thoughts


18 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (Jan 2023) + First Art of the New Year!

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  1. Greg

    I’m so glad January’s over. This month sucked (for me at least). I am looking forward to trying Hess’ books. I’ll have to remember to use your affiliate link when I get ’em.

    Have a good week 🙂

  2. Mary Kirkland

    I’m sorry you’ve been having internet issues. That always sucks. I tried doing a blog post on my phone last month when the internet went out and I couldn’t use my laptop and there was just no way. lol

  3. Becky@ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I love the art! It looks very cool, even if you aren’t happy with how some things turned out. Yay for unknown simpoints when purchasing a pack as well. I just can’t adapt to the squishy sims 3 faces every time I reinstall. I just miss the open world game play.

  4. Jessica

    Pretty art. For me I read The Burglar in the Closet by Lawrence Block. It’s about a burglar who get trapped in a closet while a woman gets murdered. It reminded me of Trapped in the Closet by R Kelly. I had been listening to it. I found out there was a movie based on the book that was made in 1980’s. I watched it, but it was a little bad. I just finished Gone for Good by Harlan Coben. There is a Netflix tv show loosely based on the book. Tomorrow I’m going to start listening to The Omega Factor by Steve Berry.

  5. Roberta R.

    I think the first version of your art is my fave, but I love N°3 too, especially now that you explained the idea behind it.

    I had to chuckle at all the vampires in your latest book approvals (“not vampires, but that’s OK” 😂).

    Other than that, I think that following you on Twitter and Goodreads tends to spoil your wrap-up posts for me LOL.

    1. Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)

      Thanks! I also like the first but felt like the original idea was worth sharing too!

      I’m glad someone saw and appreciated my little vampire jokes, I didn’t know if anyone would even read that section lol.

      Haha, yeah, you already know everything going on and what art I’ve made and games I’ve played!