5-year Vineversary

Time flies when you're having fun! I can't believe it's been five years since I joined Comic Vine. In the last year I haven't been quite as active, thanks to school.

If you want one of those jumbo posts about ALL THE THINGS I'VE DONE ON CV EVER, here's the one from last year. I honestly don't feel like making a new one since most of the stuff is almost up to date (just bump alt and post count up a bit), so I'll just cover this year's highlights.

I graduated from high school, and set out for college! I'm on my winter break as I write this blog! :)

I put together a hilariously obnoxious April Fool's joke.

I met Neil Gaiman, and he gave me a hug!!!

I organized the KOV, which in hindsight wasn't a great move since I went completely incommunicado once school started...but it was a lot of fun putting together stages!

I participated in some amazing RPG stories, particularly with President Premonition, and his over-powered alternate-universe son.

And then I retired from RPGing so I could focus on school work. It was sad all around. :(

At school, I became a DJ! I have my own foreign punk/metal show.

I cosplayed The Corinthian for Halloween.

It's been such a great 5 years here, and I'm so glad I get to know you all. :)

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Halloween Costume: Corinthian

This year for Halloween, I was the Corinthian. I had a fantastic time. I literally almost gave one of my professors a heart attack.

Sandman has a very special place in my heart because it was what got me into comics.

Your favorite worst nightmare
You'll have to fight me, king of dreams!
Lend me your eyes
They call me the Eye Guy, Shades, the Killer Angel. I'm the dark mirror of humanity.
Delicious
What shall we do today Matthew? What gods shall we destroy?

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Shelving the Costumes, and Turning Out the Lights (Here's Looking at You, RPG)

Okay, I've been putting this off for a long time now, but I think it's finally time to call it quits.

It's been an incredible few years. Originally, I RPGed to escape the misery my life had become. Before you all cry 'melodramatic', let me just specify that I was stuck at home, desperately sick, basically unable to leave, for a YEAR. Having just started high school, I had no friends, and no energy to spend time with them even if I had them. While comic books had consumed my world, they weren't enough. Comic Vine was a saving grace since I could interact with people who shared similar interests without leaving my home or exhausting myself. It took a while, but eventually I found the RPG section. A whole new world opened. I learned how to write. I created worlds. It was freeing, it was exhilarating. I looked forward to getting up each day to write.

Gradually I got better, my illness became manageable. I went back to school, and made friends. I still spent all my free time writing. I decided I wanted to be a writer professionally. I finally began to make my mark on the RPG world. People knew who I was. I won the best writer award one year. I was relevant.

My posts became longer and more intricate. It took more time, more energy to craft each one. I became unsatisfied by the short posts I used to make, the posts devoid of intricacies and tangents.

I advanced to the semi-finals of the KOV. I was devastated when I lost.

I did some fan-fic writing, just to see if I could.

Time passed. I was not as active. I had a real life now, and it exhausted me. I did not have the focus or the time for the kind of all-consuming writing I had been able to put forth. I felt myself a failure for being unable to produce as much. People still remembered me, but not as anyone who mattered.

I started working on independent projects, largely in outline form.

I advanced to the finals of the KOV. I became interested in expanding my own mythos. I began to have difficulty working other people into my stories. I knew what I wanted to happen. But once I structured the story for myself, I lost interest. Real life kept knocking me down. I had recurrent illness.

I took creative writing in school. I loved it, of course. Having the structured deadlines, the prompts, inspired me.

I tried to show my teacher some of my comic writing, but he complained. He said he wished I would turn my attention to short stories and poetry, and abandon my work with others. I ignored him.

That summer, I took a creative writing program at a college. I discovered rigidly structured poems, which delighted me, and wrote several short stories that I consider among my best work.

The writer Ransom Riggs came in for a workshop. He gave us all a prompt, in groups. The best story from each group would be voted on by another, and read out loud. Mine was chosen. Ransom Riggs GUSHED over it, said how wonderful it was. When I introduced myself, he was extremely kind. He told me to keep writing.

Over the years, I met my idols. They were more than I imagined them to be.

My writing dropped off sharply. I still loved it, but school had become demanding. I was tired all the time, and struggling against illness. There was so much to do. I made more friends and spent time with them.

I managed to write for the first few days of NaNoWriMo, but real life circumstances (including the desperate need to deal with my college applications and the death of my beloved guinea pig, Tater Tot) forced me to stop.

I fell into a severe bout of illness after the college application process. I began to suffer from migraines on a regular basis.

Eventually my doctor told me I needed to get more sleep, and I HAD to be offline by 10:00. I did for a while, though I wanted to stay online and write. Isn't that how it always works?

I managed to get elected as President of the United States here, with Premonition. I was ecstatic.

The CVnU was put into place just as I was about to start doing things. Angry, I basically stopped writing. Luckily, a writer I care about very much here ended my hissy fit and got me to actually get elected. Again.

I love the CVnU.

Worked for me! Premonition became president of the nU, and I got more writing done than I had in months. This bothered me.

A new crop of RPGers showed up. They did not know my name.

I set up the KOV. I was eliminated in the first round, which made me sad, but I was actually okay. I really enjoyed setting up the stages.

Pyrogram managed to pull me out of my writer's block, and I wrote more, and was more excited to write, than I had been in too long.

Even that activity fizzled out. I haven't posted in our latest RP in a month.

I leave for college in a week, so this seems like a good stopping point. It's time to walk away and find new horizons. I want to focus on my independent work. I want to build my characters into their own world.

I cannot thank you all enough.

Maybe at some point I'll return. I might jump into some small RPGs in the future. I don't really know. I'm going to try to finish up the stuff with Pyrogram, and the Vine Villains. I WILL make sure the KOV concludes. But after that...

Well, I don't know.

I'm not leaving the site, I love moderating and chatting. But I will bid RPGs adieu.

I'm just not relevant anymore. I just don't have the drive to write.

Good luck to you all, and thanks for a great few years.

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The Green Guinea Pig!

(This was formerly in the 'super bio' section of my profile before the site update).

Clementine: The Green Guinea Pig

Clementine Penelope G_____was a normal guinea pig. She would eat anything put in front of her, and purred loudly when cuddled. Then one day, she tried something very few guinea pigs had done before....she climbed up the stairs on her own. Her willpower was intense as she pulled herself up each step for that tantalizing piece of lettuce. Her little orange mohawk swayed in the breeze. As she bit into the piece of lettuce, her task complete, Clementine's life changed forever. A Green Lantern ring burst through the window. "Clementine of Earth, you have incredible willpower. Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps" Clementine wiggled her nose to show she accepted the ring. It flew onto her little finger, and Clementine recited the Green Lantern oath:

In Brightest Day, In Purple House


No Cel'ry will escape my mouf


Let Those who hide Romaine wi'out qualms


Beware my power...
GREEN GUINEA PIG'S NOMS!

A bright green light filled the air, and Clementine became....the Green Guinea Pig. Fighting for truth, justice, and tasty vegetables across the universe!

Due to the insistence of her owner, Clementine took up a secret identity. She wanted to be called Destroyer of Lettuce, but decided to take her owner's mantle of Icarusflies instead. She is assisted in her eternal quest for justice by the Pet Lantern Corps, fuzzy guardians of the universe!

Powers:

Clementine has incredible willpower, allowing her to use the Green Power ring to its full potential.

She also has a 'cuteness aura' preventing her from getting hurt in any way.

Clementine possesses the power of the 'epic nom'. While it does not do any real damage, it can pierce anything, and it REALLY HURTS!

Weaknesses:

Clementine has a 'tickle spot'. If she is rubbed there she wiggles uncontrollably and is more or less incapacitated.

FUD: If food is available, Clementine will be distracted by it.

Orange juice makes Clementine exceedingly hyper.

---

Clementine is beloved by both the heroes and villains of the Vine, who adore feeding and petting her.

Transportation:

Aside from flight, Clementine's favorite means of transportation is to ride in the upside-down Purple House.

Link to list of my other RPG profiles

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This is Goodbye! (Special April Fool's Edition Blog)

It's been fun, and I'll miss you all! But things have come up in real life that makes it impossible for me to stick around any longer. Since this is so sudden, and I really do love you all, I think I owe you an explanation.

Pretty simply, I got a job! I know usually I say that I want to be a writer, or a doctor, but this is one of my earliest dreams: I'm actually working with NASA!!!! (On the ground though...not really astronaut material unfortunately). I don't really talk about it much, but I do have a lot of experience. It helps that I'm not a younger gal like I usually claim, I'm actually that 40-year-old guy your parents warned you about. Sorry. I didn't want to admit it since comics are usually thought of as a young-people's game and well...no one really wants to talk to the old guy. No offense to any of my brothers here, but you know what I'm talking about.

Though actually, I'm still not being honest with you. I'm sorry, it's habit. I've been hiding these things for so long, it's so hard to talk about them! The real reason I'm working with NASA: I have a fair amount of experience with space-flight, as I said. That experience comes in the form of an unfortunate joyride I took in my younger days, which ended with my crashing on this planet (I'm no Superman, haha!). Not being designed for this atmosphere, I'm a pretty sickly individual, thus why I complain of not feeling well so much of the time. Living in the land of space-squids and cosmic horrors (to your puny human minds, haha!) you can understand my fascination with H.P. Lovecraft.

But Icarus, (which is about as close as you can come to pronouncing my REAL name, by the way) you may ask, what about your guinea pigs? I live in a lab you dolts...why do you think I go through so many guinea pigs? It's not rocket science (yes it is! LOL).

Anyway, as I said, I love you all, I'll miss you, Live Long and Prosper! (sorry, little joke, couldn't help myself).

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Pet Update! :)

So as many of you know, it's been a bit of a difficult time petwise in the Icarus household. My beloved guinea pigs Tater Tot (aged 5 or 6) and Marzipan (who was only almost 3) passed away within a month of each other. My dog then proceeded to break her foot on New Years.

When I last posted I introduced the baby guinea pig Blini. I was concerned about her and said I'd keep y'all updated. Well:

It turns out Blini was just a little shy. She seems to be in good health >knock on wood< and WOW has she grown! When I got her home I kept her quarantined from my other guinea pig, Onigiri, for about a week. Then I introduced them. I was a little worried about whether they'd get along or not, but they're best buddies now! They're playing or snuggling constantly. It's super-adorable.

Poor Calypso (my dog) is healing up, but she still needs to wear a cast for at least three weeks. She doesn't seem to mind...everyone gives her pity food, and she's getting around just fine.

And now here are a bunch of guinea pig pictures! :D

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Next Cosplay?

Hey all!

I know it's way early, but the more prep time I have, the cooler a costume I can make! I was wondering who I should cosplay next (for whichever convention I end up attending).

Here are my previous cosplays in chronological order: (Agent "!", the Séance, Calculator, Weather Wizard, Blue Beetle, Fire, Vera/Manchester Black, an Indigo Lantern, H.P. Lovecraft, Animal Man)

As you can see, I've come a long way since Agent "!". I was really happy with how my Animal Man costume turned out.

Anyway, the characters I've been considering have been Rocket Red, Herbert West, the Rainbow Raider, and the Dogwelder. I'm not really super keen on using any of them right now (though if I go to a horror con I'd use HW, and someday I'd like to make a super-epic metal or PVC Rocket Red).

I really, really want to hear your ideas. What would be a good cosplay for me? Carrie Kelly maybe? I really don't know. You certainly don't have to (and I'd actually prefer if you didn't) pick from the cosplays I listed.

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Teeny Weeny Eeny Blini

Say hi to the newest member of the Icarus family! This is Blini! (A blini is a buckwheat pancake, fun fact of the day).

Blini is cute and soft. She is also the most remarkably calm guinea pig I've ever seen. I accidentally fell asleep with her today. If I had done this with Onigiri she would have been either on my head or in my shirt within about ten seconds.

Yes, it was 4 pm, and I was still in my pajamas. Don't judge me.

I am a little worried about Blini though...she may not be in good health. I've been keeping an eye on her, but sometimes pet stores aren't super reliable about checking guinea pig health before they're sold. If you could send some prayers of health Blini's way, that would be much appreciated. Technically I should probably return her, but I grew irreparably attached about three minutes after I first saw her. So I'm just going to take care of her and hope for the best.

Just in case, she's going to be kept quarantined from Onigiri (my other guinea pig) for about two weeks.

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Goodbye Marzipan :'(

I can't believe I have to write another one of these blogs. Barely a month ago my sweet old guinea pig Tater Tot passed away. This evening I received a phone call from my dad telling me that Marzipan died.

She had been in good health as far as I could tell, she was eating, and she wasn't particularly old. She did, however, have some kind of mutation from the start...her fur type was extremely unusual, and she had partial albinism. We believe that in addition to the visible mutations, Marzipan may have had some kind of heart defect or something similar. Whatever the case, she passed away peacefully, in her sleep.

Marzipan started out as a tiny little fluffball. She didn't know how exactly to eat at first, but Tater Tot taught her about the joys of strawberries and there was no turning back. Marzipan grew up to be big, strong, and the fluffiest fluffball that ever fluffed. She was always ready for a cuddle or a tasty snack. She acted as a nurse to the elderly Tater Tot, and a playmate and mother/sister to baby Onigiri. She loved to blow bubbles in her water bottle, and chew on sweaters when no one was looking.

Good bye Marzipan. You were taken from us much too soon.

I love you, and I miss you. R.I.P.

Baby Marzipan
Marzipan with Onigiri
Marzie and Oni
Marzipan and Tater Tot enjoying a snack
Marzipan
Marzipan
Cuddle pigs
Snuggle Pigs
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I got into college!!!

My acceptance letter came in the mail today!

It's my first-choice of school, so I'm really happy.

I'll be going to a small college in the Midwest. :)

If anyone wanted to know why I've been so busy/not online as much recently, getting all my applications in order/stressing over them was the primary reason.

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