In which I suffer a heart attack

…but not literally. I take heart attacks quite seriously. However, I was doing a little bit of hyperventilating and heart-palpitating today when my computer profile completely shut down and I lost everything.


My thousands of pictures, documents, and songs. Gone. Poof. Just like that. We were fortunate enough to have backup – which did not work the first time. The second time it worked like a charm; so after an afternoon in which I aged about twenty years, I am back and trying to catch up on my NaNo (I lost some time, aging like that). I am back on my feet, and even though I haven’t written quite my quota today, I’m going to fix that AND finish my drawing of Sepiroth.

For now, here’s a drawing I did last night of Genesis from Final Fantasy: Crisis Core. These characters are so much fun to draw.


This is a very short post, but I’m short on time and just wanted to give you all a little peek into this particular, panic-ridden slice of my life. And I hope you like the drawing. Coming soon: My eulogy and a post on depth.


Adventures in NaNoLand, Day Five

So today I slept in, did chores, and went to the zoo. We had a blast, of course; the weather was perfect and I got a peppermint mocha because I AM REMEDIATED AND NO LONGER ALLERGIC TO MILK. Ahem. However, that whacked a great big chunk of NaNo time out of my day – the instant we got home I sat down at the computer and started writing. And then it was dinner, and then we watched two episodes of Jericho (so what if I’ve already seen them twice; I have loyalties, you know) and then I sat BACK down at the computer. I figured I was in for a late night. Oh; and while we watched Jericho I finished my picture of CAAAYYYNNEE! (I know, finally. I’ve been drawing Vey all the time and he isn’t even my NaNo character – Cayne is! Though…I DID draw Vey yesterday, since I didn’t like the way the previous picture was turning out, soooo – I guess you get to see TWO drawings!)

Here is Cayne, looking, as my mom said, ‘crazy and horrified’ which is exactly what I wanted him to look like –

And here is Vey, looking a little bit cold in a snazzy leather buckle outfit thingy.

So, yes. Drawing relieves my NaNo stress (except for when I smudge. Then I get quite irritated). Anyhow, at the end of the day (meaning about eleven o’clock at night) I had reached my word count for the day and therefore I feel pretty content. I passed 11,000 words!! (And seriously, why is it always during NaNo that you get swamped by all these other ideas? To paraphrase a great composer, “It’s all I can do not to trip over them when I get up in the morning!”)

Here’s an excerpt from today’s short chapter. I do love these two.

            “Who was that?” I asked as he strode back over to me, stepping over long weeds with longer legs, and handed me back my phone.

            “A friend.”

            “You have friends?” I hadn’t actually meant to say that out loud, but he only gave me a dark expression that was like a sigh personified. “Where are we going?”


            “Okay,” I said, calculating the distance in my head. Math had never been my strong point. “That’s going to take us…it’s about…”

            “We’ll be there probably late tomorrow or early the next morning,” Cayne interrupted.

            I rolled my eyes. “I could have figured it out, you know.”

            “I don’t have all day.” He started walking again.

            “Sink me, the man has a tongue and knows how to use it,” I said, jogging behind him. He looked at me over his shoulder with an expression that made me start laughing. “You know what I meant,” I reprimanded, pointing a finger at him.

            A ghostlike smile turned the corner of his mouth up again. “Chit.”

            “Psycho,” I said, and wondered if this was the first baby step toward becoming something like civilized travelling companions.  

And there; I am off to bed now so I can wake up in the morning and begin this cycle once again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The Super-duper-trouncy-pouncy-flouncy-bouncy-full-of-fun-fun-fun SURPRISE…

The big news is – –

wait for it…

waaaiiit for it….

(okay, it’s not THAT exciting… but still….)

….wait for iiiittt….

My artwork is going on SALE!

From now through December 20th (latest date for rush shipping), there are several different sales you can take advantage of. (Gadzooks, I sound like a salesman. Oh, well.)

1. If you order a drawing with two characters, you can get it for the price of one ($10 off)

2. If you order two drawings, you get the second drawing half-off.

3. You can order five 4×6 cards for $20 rather than $25

4. You get ten percent off any ordinary commission.

5. Also, I’m selling some of my originals, and will take price offers! If you want to look at them, check them out HERE. Mind you, they’re not ALL for sale – but if you’re interested, contact me: the-shieldmaiden(at)hotmail(dot)com and we can talk about it. 🙂 (They will not be as expensive as a commission unless they’re one of my favorites. 🙂

So far, all my commissioners have been satisfied; and I managed to garner a few references! (Yes, they’re completely real, and I could probably provide contact information if you wanted to check. *laugh*)

Stephen says –

‘As a writer I always wished I had the artistic talent to couple with my idea, story, and book concepts, since I never considered getting others to draw them for me; most artists would charge high prices for relatively low quality, and I didn’t give the idea much thought.  However, when I commissioned Mirriam Neal to draw several book characters for me, providing her with only a relatively rough description, she more than exceeded both my standards and expectations.  The characters turned out better than I myself had imagined.  If you have any desire to get your creative ideas written out on paper, a fancy to see a favorite person or book character drawn, or perhaps simply want a picture of some kind to hang on your wall, I highly, highly recommend this young, talented artist, Mirriam Neal, for nearly anything you want done!  I might also add that she is very easy to work with.’

Michelle says –

“Your prices are ROCK SCRAPING BOTTOM. *ahem* People are going to cry into their tea when the prices REALLY go to where they should be. In other words, ladies, gentlemen, and elves, do not hesitate to order.

As a customer of hers, I can testify to the fact that Mirriam is prompt with her work. She is also very conscientious and shows several preliminary sketches for approval before starting the work on your commission. Her skill is every-growing, and her wiliness to offer one-of-a-kind art for these prices is proof of her humility.

She has been published in Aletheia Magazine, has created art work for their website, and has illustrated several pieces in an Anthology due out from Port Yonder Press. When that happens, her prices COULD go up.

Order NOW. Do not let this talented and bright minded lady’s work slip through your fingers.

Order now, and avoid the rush!”

Shawn says –

“I commissioned some concept art from Ms. Neal, and was more than satisfied with the results. What she gave me was quality, low-priced art that conveyed the character of my concept with great success. She has my recommendation.”

So there you have it. From now until December Twentieth, I am having the biggest art sale yet! 

Enjoy, and please spread the word! I would be eternally grateful if you did 🙂

~ Mirriam