My name is Marina! 🐌 I am an artist and fantasy writer. I born in ’83. You’re welcome to refer to me as she/her. 🌈💙💖💛 I do not take commissions; though I did for over fifteen years. These days, I am focused on sharing my personal work.
I’m a big animal lover (with four cats and a varying number of pet snails) and an avid reader, with books in almost every room of the house. I have a passion for dinosaurs and natural history, as well as fantasy and science fiction. I also really enjoy gaming, primarily Nintendo Switch and PC.
I’m what you could describe as peculiar. I talk peculiar, dress peculiar, and have peculiar interests, to put it all mildly. Being this way has sometimes made it hard to find people I vibe with, but it has also led me down some interesting paths in life.
Today goal tracking has resumed, but I spent the entire day doing chores. In spite of this, and being unable to exercise, I ate well enough and didn’t go past 1,200 kcal. Tomorrow I have an interview for a new job! An appropriate GIF has been chosen to illustrate a potential depiction of how it might go.
☁️🌥️🌟🌈 Daily Goal Tracker 🌈🌟🌥️☁️
These daily posts are a way for me to track my most important 2023 resolutions (and some other important goals) every day.You can view all of my goals on this page!
Hey everyone! As I’ve slowly been making some changes, I wanted to give formal notice of them. They’re kind of major, so I appreciate you reading this long but important post.
Even if you’ve already read this on FA, please note that this post has been greatly revised and expanded, so there’ll be more info for you if you read it again here.
🌈 BEFORE YOU READ 🌈
The most important things to keep in mind are: I am in no way disappearing, and you shouldn't expect my artistic output to decrease, either! What I draw WILL change, however, and it will make me happier. 😊
I am also making my withdrawal from the community a little more formal, but in practical terms, I had already withdrawn. I am not really spending most of my time in furry spaces anymore.
My Patreon isn't closing, my Telegram group isn't closing, my FA account won't be deleted and I'll still post art to it.
So really: the biggest change is that I am no longer accepting commissions. These changes are all for my personal fulfillment. I hope you can be happy for me, and not make me feel bad. I gave the majority of my time, life and output to the community for twelve long years, and I want to move on to other things, other hobbies, and other endeavors.
❌ COMMISSIONS ARE PERMANENTLY CLOSED ❌
Requests are also closed (and always have been), while trades are for close friends only (but I am not available for those for a while, regardless). I will eventually reopen trades and collaborations.
Any commissions that have been paid for, will be completed as normal, and my Trello remains available for viewing. However, I have removed all commission information from my website/socials/online galleries/etc.
👑 MY PATREON WILL REMAIN OPEN 👑
I have no plans to close or make changes to my Patreon! It will remain the only way to reliably get art for me in the form of freebies and YCHs. Indeed, if you’re a Patreon supporter, I am basically begging you to not cancel your pledge for a couple of months if you are able to maintain it without hardship. My hope is to find a job and clear my queue in the space of two months, but if I lose the $130-ish I get from Patreon, doing that may get much harder without accepting any new commission work. 😓
(With that said, I also don’t want anyone to get into undue financial difficulty, so if you need to cancel I understand and will manage somehow.)
Working on my Patreon pieces, which are artistic freedom, still brings me a lot of joy. I will stop offering the rewards the moment that feeling of joy goes away. So please know, if you’re a supporter, that if the tiers are still up, it means that working on that art is making me happy. It is not a burden in any way.
With that said: please do not try to get non-artistic freedom commissions using your Patreon rewards, by ignoring this fact and asking me to include details that would normally require a normal commission slot. There are no exceptions.
I have decided to take this more drastic decision of announcing closure and removing all commission info (rates, terms, etc) because I’ve kinda wanted to go back to job seeking and no longer take commissions, but either by temptation or necessity, I keep taking commissions –again and again– despite the fact that I’ve tried this before.
So I am forcing my own hand here, because other than Patreon (which I still find fun and fulfilling) I just don’t want to do this anymore, and without such drastic action, I kinda lack the discipline to pull the plug on my business of so many years.
It’s true that at my last job, little as it lasted, I was very upset about not getting to draw all day. Like my husband said, what I really need to find is a part-time job, or even temporary work. I don’t really have a need to work all the time, I am very fortunate in that regard. I just need to save money for certain events from time to time and make a little side money to help my mom.
🐾 MY PLACE IN THE FANDOM 🐾
🙅♀️ I AM NO LONGER ATTENDING FURRY CONS 🙅♀️
Every once in a while, friends still ask me “Are you attending so-and-so con?” And while I’ve mostly been unable to due to other travel plans or monetary reasons for about three years now, the truth is… I haven’t been terrible bummed about it.
I have come to the realization that my desire to attend furry conventions is simply not going to return; in fact, it wanes more with every passing month and year. It’s no longer my scene, I have no interest. I’d rather work towards visits to specific friends when I am able and attend other events and conventions that aren’t furry-related.
We may cross paths at other cons! Anime cons, science-fiction cons… who knows! But I no longer plan to attend any furry conventions.
My FA watch list has gone down from almost 2000 to a trim 160 (yes, really!) I went through every single person that I was watching and went down to that few. This is because I don’t plan to visit the site as often, and when I do, I don’t want to miss out on the stuff my close friends and favorite artists have posted. I did the same in other places, like cohost.
I unwatched people because they posted topics I either wasn’t interested in, or actively put off by, because they had been inactive for years/deactivated/passed away, or because we weren’t close any longer. Every rule I used to trim my list had one or a few exceptions, but I did unwatch people I really care about because I no longer wanted to see more extreme sort of fetish content, so please don’t take an unwatch as it meaning we are no longer friends, this is not the case AT ALL.
💭 INTROSPECTIVE 💭
None of this is new; nor is it my first attempt at this life change. But it is the first time that I’ve used a bit of a scorched earth method to go about it.
You might say “you’ve tried this before” and yes –I have. But never taking all my commission info down in this way. It was a huge amount of work, because my commission offerings were intertwined with my entire online presence and dozens of pages on my site and social media. I had to fix dozens of broken links. It was a BIG job.
I have been gradually taking bigger and bigger steps back from the fandom over time: first, from our specific “niche”, then, from the fandom as a whole. It has been increasingly becoming a negative force in my life over the last few years, and a place where everyone is seemingly engaged in upsetting discourse or sharing of kinks that I have no interest in, which is pretty alienating at times.
I have tried to maintain a presence in certain spaces where I’ve long felt that I no longer fit in, mostly because I have friends and loved ones in those spaces still. But I don’t wanna force myself to be in them anymore. Hopefully the friendships can be maintained outside of that. Otherwise, it would be a real bummer.
Moreover, at some point long ago I stopped calling myself a furry. I slowly removed that tag from all my art. I’m not sure when that happened, because it was gradual, but it did. It isn’t a label that I feel fits me today. It’s just not me anymore. No community label does anymore, but furry actually feels alienating to me now.
I wanted a simple way to convey this last part without sounding emotional or upset, because I am neither: my interests simply keep pushing me to other areas. It’s been a fun twelve years, but I want to see what else my artistic future can hold.
You’re going to see a great uptick of personal work this year, and once I finish with the current draft (which has seen more progress these last three months than in the last three years) you’re going to be seeing a barrage of illustrated book chapters being posted to my site. I hope you’ll look forward to that.
When I came into the furry fandom, there was a big empty hole in my life. For twelve years, that hole was filled by the community, a large net of furry friends, and furry fandom activities, online and offline. I gave the community my all: twelve years of most of my artistic output. I feel that I’ve received a lot in return as well, but also that it has somewhat run its course in my life. And so, I find myself with a sort of emptiness again.
But that emptiness doesn’t upset me. Instead, I’m looking forward to finding a new community, or two. I want to delve more into paleontology and I want to attend science-fiction conventions. This year, I’ve filled my time with reading, scrapbooking, puzzle-building, gaming, walking, and other fun and fulfilling activities. It’s been wonderful –I can’t wait for more!
🌈 PARTING THOUGHTS 🌈
I’d like to close with this: at some point in the next two months, you’ll probably see me fret, second-guess myself, worry about money, have trouble adjusting, etc. Please give me support (as in, cheer me on) rather than I-told-you-so’s. It’s gonna be a big change for me, but I’m going to give it my all.
Thank you for always supporting my artistic endeavors! I can’t wait to share new stuff with you!
Before you comment, please read this again (just including a reminder because again, I’m still posting art and interacting with my friends and with my Telegram group and everything! This isn’t a sad announcement.)
This was a week with some painful lows but still some happy moments. I went to see my mom, we had family visit, we celebrated Christopher’s birthday, my mom’s immigration process finally had movement, and I completed my first race (well, it was a walk) since restarting my daily strolls. I also took Kotoko to the vet, some tests were done, and the results were not good.
Because of those test results, I want to warn you that this post will discuss pet illness and impending (though not immediate) loss. Because it’ll come right away, under the Monday summary, there is no cut: if you keep reading, it’ll be after the “soot” photo. So please be aware of that. Anyway, let’s get on with the summary.
🌈 Monday 🌈
Let’s start Monday with something utterly delightful. Remember the soots from last week? The blue soot at this employee’s desk has been graced with a tiny hat!
I love the idea of someone possibly purposely bringing this hat to work for this soot. It’s so cute.
💞 Pet Illness/Loss CW Starts Here 💞
Now, with much regret, I must move on to a more somber topic. You might recall I mentioned on my last post that I planned to take Kotoko to the vet on Monday. Her projectile vomiting is somewhat controlled by occasional Cerenia, but with no specific cause, I wanted to try the vet near our house and see if anything else had developed that our usual, beloved and trusted vet, Dr. Pisano, had not seen at the time. It was also time for a new blood test.
Kotoko was quite noisy as everything was done to her –check-up, x-rays, blood work. She was in discomfort, her tummy tense, and the x-rays would show other motives too. Here she is attentively listening to the vet talk about her:
After the x-rays were done, the vet took me to the back to show them to me. In this first one, if you know what you are looking at, you will catch a few things: the first being the spacing between her last few vertebrae, where an irreversible degeneration is occurring. This is painful for Kotoko, and probably made the x-rays more uncomfortable too.
The more important one is the thickening, or potential mass, in her stomach:
Because of her long-standing other symptoms, there isn’t exactly a multitude of possibilities here. It is almost certainly IBS or lymphoma, or IBS that became lymphoma. Kotoko’s blood tests also came back, and they showed the first stage of kidney failure. So as you can see, she is dealing with a lot.
The prognosis is not good. Kidney situation aside, this is a fast-acting disease, and Kotoko is 15 years old. We could do an ultrasound, and possibly need a biopsy to boot ($1,300 at a minimum if both are needed) but all this would tell us is how little time we have left. The course of action would not change.
We have decided to not subject her to any more diagnostics. Instead, we will use our funds for the best prescription foods, for daily medications that will substantially improve her comfort, and in paying for the service that will allow us to say a comfortable goodbye at home when the time does come (this is very expensive, hundreds of dollars).
And really, it could be fast. It could be two months. We could get unlucky, and it could be less, or we could get lucky, and it could be longer. We are going to do all we can to enjoy whatever time is left with her. We might just get lucky in how much time that is. Why not think positive? But even if we don’t, I know I’ll take a lot of comfort in the fact that, at 15, Kotoko has had such a long and happy life. She could have hardly had more loving or dedicated pet parents, if I do say so myself. She also had kitty friends, and many human friends to boot.
You might have seen me mention something very vague on Mastodon. It was about this. I didn’t want to go into detail, because even someone who understands pet loss may not realize why this loss will be so major to us. We’ve experienced severe heartbreak over pet loss before –this will be of a different magnitude. We will be okay. But because this isn’t a normal pet loss situation (I don’t think I could properly explain why) it will be a while until we are.
But I also want to concentrate in the here and now: with daily Cerenia, Kotoko already is showing a big improvement. No more vomiting, much bigger appetite. She just looks more lively. She’s a sturdy cat, and as long as she is here, we will love her and be grateful for her. Later we will have time to grieve. Before that time comes, I am also doing some things like a cute little cast of her paw, and a stamped imprint of it as well. I might do more things if I can think of them.
Something interesting that you can see in this other x-ray is that Kotoko has an extra rib, like some people or animals have an extra toe:
Let me close this part with a little more positivity. I really liked this vet, which is walking distance from us. They also have some chill office cats, three of them. Here’s a photo of one of them:
💞 Pet Illness/Loss CW Ends Here 💞
Monday evening I completed the Snoopy Run, 13.1 miles! I walked it, though.
My medal should be here by the weekend.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
The most significant event that happened on this day is that my mom’s immigration case entered the last stage on USCIS. She should have her residence soon… I hope!
A funny thing happened too. Tomoyo has a tendency to fling her toys high in the air when she plays. Well, while I was having lunch, this landed on my plate:
It actually landed ON my food (gross) but I moved it off right away. Meanwhile, she was just innocently waiting for me to return it to her:
Here’s a random photo of our sweet old lady:
In the evening I got dropped off at my mom’s. She gave Christopher his birthday present before he and our partner left. Then we had snacks, and wine, played Generala, and talked about a million things.
For dinner we had a baked potato:
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
Wednesday was a calm day. Here’s Sweeney being very cute:
In the afternoon my mom made really delicious egg bites, and we watched TV together.
Later I lay down a while and played more Legends: Arceus.
Not long after, our partner picked me up. Once we got back home, I made the guys dinner, then tea, and just did my best to keep Christopher cheerful. Between the bad news this week and his back hurting so much without a break, it’s been really rough for him.
🌈 Thursday 🌈
Thursday was Christopher’s birthday. I prepared his presents on his desk before he woke up:
I also hid one in his book bag so he’d have something to open at work. He liked most of them. 😊 In the evening, we had dinner at Blue Ginger to celebrate. It was really good!
On this day I finished reading another book. Though it was comics, it was really long, as it was an omnibus of all the Muppet Babies comics, plus the comic in which they first appear (The Muppets Take Manhattan). That marks the seventh book I’ve read this year. With it being March already, this may not sound like much, but “It” was well over 1,100 pages… so that took a while.
The Muppet Babies Omnibus was delightful. Some frames made me do a double take! 😳
Baby Rowlf was adorable…
There were a lot of funny fourth wall breaking moments. This one was particularly amusing!
Next, I’m going to finish The Last Days of the Dinosaurs by Riley Black.
I decided to move one of the cat stairs to the porch to make it easier for Kotoko to access the chairs, particularly in light of her spine degeneration. She uses it, but right now, mostly sleeps on the bigger step rather than the chair, I guess because it became “new” again. Elliot sleeps on the chair.
It’s been so much fun to feed the birds and squirrels at the front of the house. Here’s a photo I took on this day:
Down the road, I would like to buy a bench and a birdbath, so I can enjoy seeing them up close while I’m outside reading a book.
🌈 Friday 🌈
Let’s start Friday off with this photo of Tomoyo lounging on my chest. Really, she’s just waiting to be fed.
It was cage cleaning day, so here’s a couple of photos of a cutie:
🌈 Saturday 🌈
Saturday morning we went to look at garage sales, a favorite activity when family visits. You never know what you’ll find!
For lunch we went to Chili’s. I had Palmito in my backpack so I took photos of him on this day:
You very likely have never seen Palmito, Robito or Rosemary (the skunk, not the cat). These little plushies were the first I ever took places with me back in the heyday of Toyvoyagers.
Though the website is still accessible on the date of me making this post, and the odd Travelog still updates, Toyvoyagers are sadly very much defunct. The idea was that you bought a little metal tag with a unique number for your toy, and left it places, and hoped someone would update its Travelog. It did happen! Alternatively, you could send your toy to one person elsewhere in the world, and then they would come back. Or you could have it join a “round robin” of locations.
All of my Toyvoyagers went places and brought me back souvenirs. It’s nice to be taking them out again.
When we got back from lunch, I found my latest medal in the mailbox. It’s really pretty!
I also have the t-shirt (though I won’t make a habit of ordering those) and the race bib with my number, which I’ll probably use for a scrapbooking page.
Christopher gave me $5 and I got some goodies while out garage saling:
This book is for dungeon masters but really cool and inspiring nonetheless!
And I couldn’t leave this little guy behind:
I’ve washed and disinfected him, so he’s ready for cuddling!
For Christopher’s birthday dinner, we went to Buca Di Beppo. We had chicken parmigiana, stuffed shells, meatballs, and garlic bread. We had a coupon for a free dessert for Christopher that was big enough for the five of us!
It’s really nice to be taking Palmito out for photos again. It’s been many years.
After we got home, we hung out at the house watching Christopher play GTA 5 (always fun) and then our friend Jessie came over, so we watched the two of them and our partner play the Stick Fight game on Steam. It was a really nice and chill evening.
🌈 Sunday 🌈
I went on my usual five mile walk, and stopped by Target. I hadn’t been to Target all year. They had a new version of their Sesame Street figures that was really cute:
Christopher made a really good pasta with zucchini for dinner. It looked far too healthy to be so delicious, I was pleasantly surprised. Can’t wait to have it again.
I usually only sleep with Grover, but on this night I wanted to cuddle my new triceratops friend too. Grover didn’t mind sharing!
Before we know it, March will be over… the rainy season will come, with it the humid and oppressive heat, and then hurricane season. Time is flying, but I’m trying to make the best of it, and I hope you all are too. Let’s make this coming week a wonderful one!