Archive for the ‘Words Words Words’ Category

To Admire and to Adore

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

red and black book cover with yellow text

It’s finally out!

In this sequel to To Hive and to Hold, we check back in with Arthur and Jade, meet some new friends, make some new magic, and watch a new romance catch fire.

Arthur: witch, apothecarist, tea-maker, and teacher.
Jade: sorcerer, tattooist, and Arthur’s non-binary lover.
Basil Vasan-Everleigh: part fae, part human, and entirely overlooked by his sorcerer family.
Rixt: dragon, patron, and a man of exquisite taste.

Dragons have a bone to pick with the sorcerers, and both parties require impartial negotiators. Arthur and Jade agree to speak on the dragons’ behalf, and Basil’s father volunteers him to speak for the sorcerers.

Arthur gets new clients for tea, new vendors for magical plants and ingredients, and Basil gets a whole new world that appreciates him for who he is. Rixt gets more than he bargained for, Jade gets to see his former enemies get what they deserve, and our heroes get a whole lot of happily ever after.

Tags: low stakes, romance, m/m romance, genderqueer character, medium spicy, solarpunk, hopepunk, cozy magic, will make you hungry and crave tea, HEA and extended denouement, slice of life

Categories: Words Words Words
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Random Recipe: Minted Lemonade

Thursday, August 18th, 2022

A recipe made of 4 ingredients, and to your own taste!

You will need:

  • a pitcher
  • boiling water
  • fresh mint
  • fresh lemons
  • sugar

Make mint tea! Pour boiling water over washed fresh mint and steep for 5-7 minutes. Longer goes stronger, but much over 7 minutes and you’re adding flavors you probably don’t want.

Filter out the mint and then pour the tea into your pitcher.

Add the sugar to taste, keeping in mind that you’ll be adding a lot of lemon juice later. You want very sweet, minty tea. Cool it down.

Add lemon juice to taste and drink up!

For reference, I added 1/4 cup of sugar to 4 cups of tea, and the juice of 3 lemons. It could maybe have used a fourth for real tartness. I used a bundle of mint from our farmshare, and everything else was just guesswork and experimentation.

It’s pretty tasty, though.


PS – Please enjoy my new hobby, 8-bit pixel art!

Categories: Whimsical and Strange, Words Words Words
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2021 State of the Kitties

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

Including some things about the artist after the cat picspam!

Though it does need the preface that I’ve successfully moved across the country, so there are now SIX cats instead of two to update you on!

photo of a chonky black cat asleep on a pillow

Poddleston/Naps = OTP

Pod, the OG kitty of my pair, is up first! He is adjusting to winter by sleeping a lot, either on the heating pad or under the covers, or occasionally in front of the space heater in my room. He mostly just lives in my room, but he’s getting more and more brave on the occasions I hide their food bowl from cats 3-6 and leave my bedroom door open for him. The sound of bagels being toasted is still a guaranteed draw!

He’s still got a lot of kitty anxiety, but he’s slowly getting used to the other humans in this house, and seems to find Mal the familiar kitty face, though Gramsci is starting to win him over by being a harmless muppet. Dan and his magical cat whisperer powers has actually gotten Pod to come to him for pets a time or two, especially when the multi-cat Feliway diffusers have just been refilled.

A poll of the household agreed he is the most spoiled of all 6 cats, so do not worry for him. He’s being taken good care of.

a lynx point siamese cat peeking out from under the covers

Malfeasance does not believe winter should be allowed

Mal absolutely loves having a whole house to sniff and explore! She even is starting to make friends with the two muppet cats, playing with Gramsci and trying to figure out playing with our nervous ex-feral, Raccoon. She’s definitely adjusted better than Pod, but she still prefers to be on the Amy side of any door if that’s the choice she’s being given. She also takes a lot of naps in the bedroom with Pod, and they definitely have a solidarity thing going against the strange new world.

She has a harness for eventual walkies, but even though I got her somewhat used to it beforehand, the moment her paws hit the cold porch she ZOOMED back inside. A very indignant NOPE! She keeps trying to want outside, but outside keeps being A Temperature That Should Not Exist to her California-bred mind. Other than that, though, she’s really just become one of the kitties, sleeping with me but otherwise happy to roam around if I’m out of my hermit cave.

photo of a black cat asleep in a sunbeam

Gramsci the harmless muppet

Gramsci gets away with so much by being too dumb not to know it’s a bad idea, lol. He is the sweetest, most harmless boy. He’s the one who ventures into my room the most, although he’s mostly in it for the food he’s not allowed to have (he’s on a prescription diet) and the warms he is totally allowed to share. He’s the one who plays chase and incompetently play fights with a hyper Mal, and also manages to sniff Pod without distressing him too much. He’s the same age as Pod (12) and they’re very opposite but both lovely sweet old men.

photo of a grey and white cat looking deeply offended

Lenin the grumpy old man

This is Lenin! He is also 12. He hates all other kitties but maybe not Gramsci. But really, he is not happy about there being six cats, and will commit pee crimes to let everyone know. Fortunately he’s also very loveable, just a huge cuddler and very into pets and purring, and thus is forgiven despite his criminal nature. He’s kind of hissy at the other cats when the multi-cat calming stuff runs low, so Lenin being a dick is how we know to check them.

photo of a white cat with tabby patches sleeping

Raccoon, nervous but oh so fluffy

Raccoon is one of the two young ladies of the house! They are about 2 years younger than Mal, and this one used to be a feral in a fighty cat colony, as evidenced by her one bitten-off ear tip. Yowch. She is very very food-oriented, but also once she settles in your lap no amount of shifting or fidgeting will convince her to move. If you get Raccooned, you live there now and there is no escape.

She wants to play fight, but is really, really bad at it — she has managed it with Gramsci pretty well, but she and Mal are still working on it. They’ll figure it out someday, though.

photo of a tabby cat peeking around a corner

Carmilla, not a cat person

And the shyest of the bunch, Carmilla! She looooves pets, but is just not interested in other cats at all, thank you very much. Once she figured out that living mostly in one person’s room was allowed, she took up residence in the kid’s room and began insisting on taking her meals upstairs where the other cats won’t stare hungrily as she takes her time finishing. She will cuddle and purr up a storm with a willing human, but flees at the first hint another cat might consider interacting with her.

Ironically they got her from the shelter with Raccoon because the shelter said the two had bonded, but once they got a forever home, turns out nope. No they had not. But they both seem content here, well-fed, well-loved, warm and happy.

Just like all of the kitties!

a lynx point siamese cat and a black cat cuddling on a pillow

Malware & Podzilla vs the world

And now for your artist news…

I’m still alive, for one thing! Despite all of the extreme drama at the end of 2020 (not just on a national level, but a personal one in a much more stressful way), I am still not dead yet. Heh.

I live in upstate New York now, not the city, where the Cost of Living is about half for housing/food/etc. I moved in with my friends the Drs. Tags, a pair of wonderful poli sci profs and giant nerds. We don’t share a brain precisely, but there are definitely brain cells being shared around. Dr. Dan is a punk full of piercings and tats, with pink (soon to be blue?) hair, and a barber he was willing to share. Dr. Corinne is a fangirl nerd, and the one I knew much better before moving — it turns out internet friends are real people! They have a kid who I get along with pretty well, and who is old enough not to be too annoying and young enough to not be a teen yet. Expect to hear little about kid, for internet privacy reasons.

I’ve got my room kitted out with some nice furniture, including an antique dresser I found online and a modest and very climbable cat tree for his chonkiness. Once I get a few more decorations up, I’ll post a few pics, but it’s warm and cozy and I’m working on making it functional for more than just sleeping, heh. All of my boxes and stuff arrived safely and the majority of the unpacking that’s going to be done right away is done now. Whew!

a photograph out a window of trees in winter

It’s winter out there, all right. Good thing I don’t leave the house!

Perhaps a bit about art?

I’m back to making art! My Etsy shop is all caught up finally, and right now I’m concentrating on getting my giant backlog of Patreon sketch cards done. I have finished one new painting since I got here, Concentric 8, and it’s already sold to one of my Patreon supporters. My commissions queue is also super full, but I’m finally starting to get a rhythm going with getting work done vs family time vs introvert time.

You’ll see some posts soon with new sketch cards and that one painting, and I plan to get a few more art pieces done as well. I’ve got another odd little abstract that’s 90% done, and an underwater tentacle painting that’s mostly ready to go, too. I’m going to keep offering first dibs on Patreon, so if you want to be in on the first wave, you can pledge there for as little as $1/month or <$11/year. That’s my main source of rent money right now, too, so it’s a great way to help an artist out in a very affordable way.

detail photo of a purple abstract painting with concentric circles of shiny dots

Concentric 8, detail, sold

PS – all these images are from my Instagram, because I was never gonna post this if there was photoshop involved. It’s a better year than last year, but it’s still 2021 here, too. Stay safe, cats, kittens, & kiddies!

Categories: Words Words Words
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Ash Ghost zine

Monday, February 10th, 2020

Happy Patreoniversary!

I’ve been on Patreon for 5 years now, amazing! I’ve managed to grow a lovely little community there of supporters and friends, and I’d like to invite you to join with a special offer*.

Ash Ghost zine by Amy Crook

Ash Ghost zine

I’m going to make a limited run of these little zines for my patrons! They’re made by hand, printed right here in my living room as always and lovingly assembled and stapled just for you. The unsettling short story inside uses my Ash Ghost art series as both inspiration and illustration, including a new one created just for the cover.

Every one of these will be signed and numbered, and the edition will be exclusive to my Patreon supporters. You don’t even have to buy one — everyone who is at the $10+ level in February will get one in the mail for free!

I’m also including these lovely bookmarks, which will be available on Etsy afterward (unlike the zine).

Ash Ghost bookmark set by Amy Crook

If you’re not a patron by then, you’ll have missed your window and the zine, but there’s still a bunch of great perks even at the lowest level. Become a supporter today!

Ash Ghost zine, a/p copy, by Amy Crook

*Offer ended on Feb. 29, 2020.

Categories: Angels, Cthulhu, and Other Myths, Card Design, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, People, Figures and Faces, Series and Books, Words Words Words, Zombies, Skulls, and Other Morbid Things
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State of the Cats: 2020

Monday, January 20th, 2020

2019 was a weird cat year for me, with losing Belladonna and gaining Formaldehyde. Pod, I think, would agree — as soon he was off B’s weight gain dry food, he slimmed down and has become practically svelte again, but the blood tests show he’s healthy, just getting a much better diet for his age and circumstances.

Pod turned 11 in September and is officially an Elder Kitty now, and Mallow will be 3 in April, putting her firmly in the young adult category. She’s not a kitten or even a teen anymore, but it’s still a lot more energy than I’m used to. Pod, too, has suddenly had to deal with another cat who wants to play and make friends instead of sleep and seethe.

And now for the part you’ve been waiting for: cat pics!

I can never move again. Formaldehyde has colonized me.


is this really necessary?

don’t you wuv me?

she’s behind me, isn’t she?

Categories: Words Words Words
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Artist’s Choice: Best of 2019

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

Artist's Choice - Best of 2019 by Amy Crook

2020 is here!

It’s been 2019 all year, hasn’t it? But I still made a lot of art, including five Floating Galleries with 9 paintings apiece. Here’s my favorite dozen from the past year!

May 2020 bring us all clarity, compassion, comfort, and joy.


Categories: Floating Gallery, Series and Books, Words Words Words
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Rest in Peace, Belladonna

Friday, October 25th, 2019

a small, sick kitty being petted

Belladonna got an infection and, after failing to fight it off, is gone. She passed away last week, but was purring faintly even to the end there, while keeping me from reaching for my drink. She was very tired and old and had been with me over 18 years, so it was time. I’ll miss her very much. I do miss her.

Pod has been doing his best to console me, and life keeps moving on as it does. Plus, I got a cold two days later, because 2019 is just like that.

Rest in peace, old grumpy girl.

Categories: Words Words Words
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