Some Clarifications

Lordy! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I woke up to a bunch of concerned DMs, to people trying to guess who I’m talking about/asking who they are, etc, and because my friend Natedraws is dealing with a stalker of his own (a situation far more serious than mine) I want to clarify some things.

๐ŸŒˆ 1. Yes, Nate’s journal/blog post yesterday was directed primarily at my stalker, and prompted by their behavior. I think all parties involved know this, so it’s okay for me to say, but I am saying it here so people aren’t confused. The person was once a mutual friend of us.

๐ŸŒˆย 2.ย The ex-friend stalking me is not a long-standing member of the community. They are local to me (or used to be). Because I make an effort not to crap talk about others (unlike them) most of you do not know them at all, unless we are so close that you couldn’t help but be part of my breakdowns of the last two years, then you’d probably know. They account-hop and change names constantly, so that should eliminate a lot of people you’re thinking about. Thankfully, there is no one else in the community that I have once called a friend who would do what this person is doing, and while my level of closeness with people in the community ebbs and flows naturally, there is no one else I could describe as an “ex-friend” when it comes to the furry/Little community.

TL/DR: You almost definitely don’t know who they are, and for the sake of civility I prefer to keep it that way.

๐ŸŒˆ 3. Nate has a stalker of his own, a different person. Nate’s latest blog post and FA journal were directed at that stalker. That person (whom I do not know at all) is a more well known member of the community. It is NOT the same person stalking me.

I hope that clarifies things, and here’s hoping we have some peace, because this has gone on way too long for both of us. The title of my other journal may have been a bit triggering for people who are very paranoid in nature, and I apologize if it caused distress. I wanted to be forceful in my message to this person. But no, it’s not you, unless you have been asked to leave my life, and then proceeded to stalk my blog and FA so you can make petty, mean-girl subtweets about it, while venting venomously about me to a mutual friend who is caught up in the middle. There is only one person doing this, and if it isn’t you, then the post isn’t about you.

I’m sorry for anyone who was stressed out, and for anyone who is tired of this drama. You all have never seen me make such a post in over eight years in the fandom, I’ve never had to, and I hope this is the end of this topic.

Thank You ๐Ÿ’•

I have received so much support today, in replies and DMs, from people who have long known the particulars of this whole mess since it began. I’m deeply grateful for that.

Rest under the cut, in case you don’t want drama, but I had a few more words to say, and wanted to get them out. Apologies for bringing personal drama into my blog. I try not to.

Continue reading Thank You ๐Ÿ’•

Let’s Move On To… Today’s Mail!

Weeeell! Let’s follow that up with something less dramatic and petty, yeh? Forgive me, I do have to let the petty out once in a while. All better now!

Here’s today’s mail. First, a new book, and a new phone case! The phone case is from AliExpress. I’m so glad to finally have a snail case!

There’s one more book I am waiting for: The Alchemist’s Cat by Robin Jarvis, Book 1 of The Deptford Histories. I’m looking forward to returning to that world.

Next, the Warcraft stuff I mentioned before! Ok so the pillow is like… WAY bigger than I thought which is just amazing, because it’ll be a perfect iPad support pillow that will allow me to keep my back more straight:

And here is the mat. Oh, it is glorious.

It smells like a new car. A smell I’m not normally crazy about but I like it for some reason in this particular case.

Anyway. Pillow fluffy. Mat pretty. Sale was a good sale. Glad I held out and didn’t buy before, and now I can’t get poked by stray nails on my desk.

This Post Is About You!

I’m grateful for my friends. I’m grateful for people who are here for me, who for whatever reason are interested in my long diatribes, who stand by me, who defend me, who judge me by my actions rather than the words of others. You make my life worthwhile. What would I be without you? I’d be much more alone, that’s for sure.

I’ve been blissfully unaware of this for all this time, but apparently, someone I once called a friend, who belongs to this community, has been saying some pretty horrendous stuff about me, indirectly and directly, privately and publicly. For my own mental health, I blocked every place this person is on, and I specifically added their pages to my block lists on the blocking software I use, including every new one. I try, really hard, to not let their words reach and hurt me. Because they really want to hurt me, and are actively trying to, as it has now become clear. Despite the falling out, I didn’t realize this was the case, until now.

Though I didn’t find out of my own accord, sometimes it’s good to be reminded that you have friends who care about you, and it’s good to be reminded that severing a toxic relationship was the right call.

Thing is, until now I just thoughtโ€ฆ we’re not a good match as friends. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. Right? Or so I thought. But, in spite of myself, I’m starting to feel differently. I hate feeling I’ve misjudged a person. Even when our once-mutual IRL friends told me otherwise multiple times, I kept thinking they were a good person. But maybe not. Maybe I see things through rose-colored glasses too much.

I feel as though I have a stalker. That’s a weird feeling to have. So, since I have not said this clearly until now (I didn’t think I had to) my message to this person is:

GO. AWAY.

Get out of my spaces. My blog posts aren’t about you (EDIT: By and large. After all, I was left pretty traumatized by your effect in my life, so sometimes, very rarely, you might be mentioned indirectly. But you shouldn’t be reading this anyway? Lol.) This one post though, definitely, 100% is about you! Ding ding ding! ๐ŸŽ‰

Why are you reading my blog? Where do you get the time to read, in your own words, the “novels” I write about every boring little thing that happens in my life that up until very recently you were still actively trying to be a part of? You’re creeping me out. Get out of here. You are not welcome on this page. Why are you still obsessing about me? I’ve moved on. Why can’t you? There is no acceptable excuse for your behavior.

Is your life really so empty and boring that I have to be the topic of your subtweets, convos you have with mutual friends, and more? Like why, my dude? Just move on? Please? I reiterate:

PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE. Grow the F*CK up. Why are you here. Please stop stalking me. PLEASE.

This has been a public service announcement. ๐Ÿคก

Dwarven Wanderings And Other WoW Things ๐Ÿฐ

I had a subscription to WoW for a month, but as it came close to renewing I canceled it again. I want to keep playing, but since right now I’m reading Bears of The Ice and playing Code: Realize / Guardian Of Rebirth, it is better to take a break. However I am still very much in a WoW mood.

When I jumped back in last month, I got a new mount and race-changed back to a dwarf. Here are a couple of screenshots I took while playing that I found pretty or funny.

I also ordered a WoW gaming mat and pillow since they were having a pretty good sale, and I needed a new gaming mat after I switched my setup. Those should come in the mail today, but here’s stock photos in the meantime:

I’ll make another post when FedEx gets here with proper photos. ^_^

Thoughts On Remember11 (So Far) And On Disorder Diagnoses

Random screenshot is random. I just liked it and wanted something to go with this post.

I’m playing two visual novels at this time, one with Christopher and one by myself. The image above isn’t really spoilery but anything else I say after this probably will be. Also, content warning for huge ass ramble on professional diagnoses of mental illness. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Spoilers ahead!!

Shinies Sketch #3 [Jessica]

Shinies sketch for againsttimescurrent on FA! I’ve been coloring all of these sketches even the ones that weren’t priced for color, to get out of being rusty with them.

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2020 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

Who Am I?

A phrase I’ve had in mind a lot: first it came up on Ever17, then during Remember11 (which we are now playing) and now on Code: Realize / Guardian of Rebirth (which I am currently playing too.) Visual novels really like that sort of self reflection, it seems (no spoilers for these games in the comments, please.)

But no, really: who am I?

Am I still a furry? Honestly, I don’t know.

Am I still a Little? What does that even mean to me anymore?

Is it my description of these things that matters? Or is it someone else’s, the fandom’s at large?

Every once in a while, I ask Christopher to unlock the internet on my phone for something, and even more rarely, I sneak into Twitter. These days, I remember less and less people’s account usernames to look at. So I can’t see much of the furry and babyfur discourse any more, even if I try.

But I always see just a little, and it always leaves me shaking my head in bewilderment, and often disappointment as well.

I “became a furry” about two years after joining FA. Before this, I was simply someone who drew anthro characters, quite repelled by the NSFW aspects of the fandom, having never once attended a furry con, and not a part of the babyfur or Little communities at all. With my squirrel-elf “fursona”, I was an outsider happy to be among furries and welcomed by them, but I did not feel like one of them. I never felt, when showing my art to others, like it was being in any way pigeonholed or seen as strange. What identified me wasn’t a fandom, it was my own characters and stories and other interests.

To me, being a furry means you embrace the community, describe yourself as a furry to others; it’s a bit between a lifestyle and a hobby, too casual for the former term, too intertwined with every aspect of one’s life for the latter. About two years in, I’d attended one convention and one life-changing meet, most of my close friends were furries, I talked mostly to furries every day, my work was furries/babyfurs, and my future plans generally involved the fandom in some way or other. I’d found “home”, my people, and I was proud, very proud to say “I’m a furry” and did so all the time.

These days… I mean, I have no shame in my furry ties. I still feel like the fandom is a big part of my life, even if there’s a permanent undercurrent of disconnect and even sadness for me. But it’s like, at some point, somehow, when furry and babyfur absorbed me, something else happened too.

Before, if you asked me, “who are you?” I would have said: I’m someone who likes to draw animals and fantasy (primarily fantasy.) I like to read –a LOT. I like playing WoW. I love working with pen and ink and colored pencils. I like to write. I love history. Most of my free time goes to working on my books.

By the time the fandom absorbed me enough, the most important and quick answer to that question would have been “I’m a furry”. By then, a lot about me had changed, but it changed too slowly for me to notice.

I began to read less and less, down to almost nothing, despite still buying books regularly. I stopped writing almost completely, often frozen by fear of writing “the wrong thing” in the eyes of the fandom. Video games? Ok –what’s popular on Twitter, what screencaps would mean my friends engage with me more? My traditional art supplies lay untouched for years… oils, acrylics, pyrography tools, Prismacolors… It’s all about how fast can I draw this as good as possible, digitally –ok, it’s done, now I can take another commission to buy some useless colorful crap to give meaning to my existence and post a photo of it so I get a few comments on it.

What happened? No, seriously. What happened to me?

There was a time when being a furry made my life feel rich and happy, and when being a littlefur (or at least little-adjacent) made me feel like I could really, truly be myself for the first time ever. But even that managed to spoil other things for me: I no longer feel comfortable showing my art to just anyone, because of the assumptions people make if you draw baby animals almost exclusively. I could not fully enjoy joining the Lolita fashion community, because of the unrelenting hate which that community shows towards Littles, even Littles who are respectful of the EGL community and keep things separate, so I left that behind too.

I never knew when I became a furry (which happened as I began to draw for babyfurs) that while it would grant me wonderful experiences and many valuable friendships, it would come at a pretty big price, of my old personality, of how I interacted with others, and most of all, how it would impact my artwork.

Other than the recent sketches for shinies, I haven’t sketched traditionally in two years. I haven’t inked traditionally in… I actually do not remember. Colored pencils? I think… 6-7 years?

What happened? How do I fix this? Do I want to fix this? I used to feel so lonely. As a furry, I am no longer lonely. But I also feel stuck, stagnant, in a way that was there beyond the pandemic. I remember sitting with Mwako watching the fursuit parade last Megaplex and he sounded so jaded about conventions and the convention experience as a whole. And my response to him was to express disappointment that he felt this way, but in a way, I was talking to myself rather than to him. Because I felt the same as he did, deep inside, but to say it out loud in agreement would have been to admit it, and I wasn’t ready.

And I’m not sure I’m ready now.

I’m not trying to force myself away from furry. I’m not even sure where I’m going with this post, which really was more going towards the fact that I need to make taking commissions a rarity, keep them artistic freedom, likely stop doing commercial work altogether (yes, really) and listen to my husband when he tells me I will never have as good a chance as this one to work on my books. This is it.

Most of my piled-on commissions are from buying nonsense. It’s been an awful year, of loneliness and disappointment, of severing toxic ties and recovering from ties broken by others. Toys, teddy bears, cute clothes, these are things that all help to distract me, but also keep me away from what really matters, really makes me who I am, which is, and always has been, my writing.

Maybe it’s also that I’m afraid the more writing I put out there the more it becomes clear it’s not very good, or it’s problematic, or whatever, and I don’t care about the latter other than the stress it can bring, and the former is just like art: if I don’t do it more IT WILL NOT GET BETTER. So it’s a vicious cycle, I’m the only one forcing myself to spin my wheels in place. I keep longing for something I could easily have.

When it comes down to it, I think what I want is for furry to no longer be the thing that comes first to my own mind when I think “who am I?”

I want my friends to keep the same important place that they hold in my heart, but I want the fandom and its opinion to go way, WAY down in importance to me. I want to just be an artist again. Not a furry artist. Not a babyfur artist. Not a digital artist. Just an artist. I want my world to feel bigger, to have more possibilities again. The fandom made it feel bigger once, and it helped me rediscover myself as a person, but at some point, it began to retract –and to constrict me, to trap me. I have felt trapped for a long time.

Right now, I’m concentrating on clearing my queue. Thankfully, you guys have been so receptive of my artistic freedom pieces. Because you have been, I can see myself continuing to take commissions, regardless of what else I decide to do.

But if I want to balance my life a little, I think that in addition to taking less slots, I’m going to be upping my rates. Perhaps significantly.

As always, these long posts are ways to help me figure out where to go from a given place. At the end of writing the post, I feel a little more clarity of mind.

Please don’t think that I regret my experiences in the fandom. I’m not sure what moving away from it would even mean… I’m not leaving FA. I’ll still take commissions. If someone says “are you a furry?” I’m not going to say no.

Let’s just say I’m in a weird place, and those of you with good memories will surely remember journals similar this one being posted months or even a year or two earlier. My desire to pull away from this part of my life grows stronger every time I write something like this, so I consider it all part of the process, even if it comes across as “oh, she’s going on about this again.”

Hopefully I get a little closer to wherever I’m going with each deep dive into self-reflection.

Sketches For Shinies โœจ

Here are the first two sketches that I did for FA “shinies”. I ended up throwing some color at them. These were for AvatarSong and RaspberryCrayon.

๐Ÿ„ Artwork is ยฉ 2020 by Marina Neira McKinzie. You may NOT copy, color, reference, repost or use this artwork in any way or claim it as your own. Only the commissioner/giveaway winner & those featured in the artwork may repost with credit and following my Terms of Use.

Just a squelf, squelfin' around.