Posted in Uncategorized

How do I do this again?

Hey!
Man, It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’ve missed typing away aimlessly on here. So I figured now would be as good as any to start! I hope whoever you are reading this you’ve been having a great week 😀 Mine has been filled with editing. Stories, Videos, Comics, but everything has been coming along slowly yet surely, and though it has been slightly overwhelming at times, it’s been good. Oh! Something pretty exciting happened last month that I’ve been meaning to tell you!

I won Camp NaNoWrimo! Meeeeeeeeeeeep! I already shared a bit about the project on youtube, but I was working on the sequal to my first novel Confidence: The Diary of an Invisible Girl  and I’m really really excited about it. It still needs a bit of polish before it’s ready for beta-readers. But I cannot wait to share it with you. I’m already brainstorming cover ideas. :p

I’m going to try to keep up on my blog a little bit more. I know by typing that, I’ve probably already jinxed myself, but I really like writing on here. It’s fun to share the little bits about my day, rambles and write about whatever catches my fancy on here, and I feel like I should be doing it more often.
But for tonight there’s a lazy puppy sleeping on my legs, and the Playstation calling me with it’s ominous glowing light practically begging Matt and I to finish playing Life is Strange. (it’s getting crazy!)

Talk to you again soon,
Paige

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Posted in Uncategorized

Is my art good enough to make webcomics? Q&A

Hey Everyone,
PeppermintFrog asked me a really great question about making web comics on twitter, one that I’ve been meaning to sit down and talk about in a video but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. And I wasn’t able to answer it within the character limit of Twitter, so I thought I’d share my answer in blog post form here instead. Hopefully you find it helpful, and always feel free to send me any questions you have!

onto the blog post!

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This is a question I’ve wondered myself before. And I can honestly say, I think getting started making comics is the best way to get better at drawing them. As artists, we’re never really satisfied by the level of art we’re creating. Our lines could be finer, or backgrounds more detailed. There’s always something to work on. And the best way to work on your craft is to actively practice, learn and grow in comics than to start making them.

With every page, every chapter, you’re going to get better. You won’t really notice it happening, until you open up an old sketch book and you compare them from side to side. But every time you draw your main character the lines will get stronger, sharper, you’ll change little details, you’ll learn ways to draw faster.

There is no perfection, there’s only progress and the only way to see it is to keep drawing ❤

I’m not the best artist. There are shots and scenes that I can visualize in my head that I just can’t seem to get down on the page, and my storyboards have changed as a result of that. Reference pictures, 3D models have helped me figure out some tricky poses in the past. but there are things I’ve modified to suit my drawing abilities and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. All we can ever do is our best and to learn from our previous pages about things that work, and things that won’t.

I wanted to share these two pictures with you. This is a drawing of Isabell from six years ago

And another from four years ago

And now here she is from the page from today

Looking at the three, they don’t even really look like the same character much less like they were drawn by the same person. Someday I’ll dig out some of the SUPER old drawings of Isabell I have from when I was sixteen if I can’t find them for fun. Back then my comics where really rough, but it didn’t stop me from drawing them and sharing them online. People didn’t always say the nicest things in the comments section, but I’m so glad I kept going. It hasn’t always been easy, being totally transparent a few weeks ago I had a breakdown just wishing I could get my background the way they look in my head. But I know that the only way to get there is to keep going. 
There’s always going to be new levels to unlock and a laundry list of things to work on. But the point I’m trying to make is you’re always good enough to start 😀 That’s the easiest way to get better. There will be good days, and bad days, but as long as your creating jokes, stories, and characters your proud of, starting a webcomic to me is always worth it. It’s an archive of your growth as an artist, it’s a new adventure, and if it’s something you want to create, I say start creating it! 
Wishing you luck, and inspirations to keep drawing and growing your skills, 
Paige
Posted in Uncategorized

Soupa Saiyan Ramen Shop & Quickly Boba

Hey Everyone!Oh goodness ❤ Yesterday was a day of indulgence that's for sure. My friend Erin and I have been wanting to check out the Dragon Ball Z themed ramen shop "Soupa Saiyan" ever since we heard about it. Fandom, Food and Friendship all in one day? Sign us up! We headed there for lunch, and I thought it would be fun to do a little vlog of our adventures. Sidenote: I am so thankful to have a friend who doesn’t judge me for filming my food.
….and you know, also her food… :p 

I had the veggie broth with udon noodles, steamed veggies and fried tofu. If you can’t tell by my face, I was very excited. 


After we devoured our bowls of Ramen, we shockingly still had room for more! To satisfy our sweet tooths we headed on over to Quickly Boba for the first time. It was so cute and colorful in there and I loved it!  

❤ ❤ ❤ 

Could this picture be any more colorful? Enjoying a Earl Grey and Lavender flavored milk tea with pearls. It was my first time trying this combination (normally I go for Taro or Honeydew) and I think I found my new favorite. 

That’s all for today! Hope everyone is having a happy Monday ❤ 
xo Paige
Posted in Uncategorized, writing

Writing Game using an Anime Tropes writing deck & a story about a cat princess

Hey Everyone! 
I really like writing short stories, and I’ve been looking for more excuses to write them more frequently. As soon as I saw the“Premise Party” writing decks in the dealer room at Holiday Matsuri a few years ago I was so intrigued, and regretted not picking up a deck before the room had closed. Ever since, I’ve been wanting to give them a try. So when I saw them vending at Megacon I knew I couldn’t let the chance pass me by again! They come in a few different themes, and after debating for a while I decided to go for the “Anime Tropes” set! I’ve been so excited to try these out that I thought I’d turn my first experience into a writing challenge and invite you to join in the fun.
 
There are three types of cards in each deck. Cards filled with possible protagonists. Cards filled with conflicts, and cards filled with some sort of outcome. I shuffled up the deck and drew my cards! Here’s what I ended up with. 
 
A king’s youngest child is cursed into the form of an animal, and learns to live for themselves.
 
Here’s how I got along over on my vlog, 

 
I had fun! I had a few too many breaks and my story ended up being double the word count goal I had set.  But I cannot wait to try this out again, and am even thinking about making it a weekly thing. 
You can pick up a writing deck for yourself over on Hitodama Craft’s storenvy, they are $15 a piece and the printing and design is really high quality. 
 
 
Now as promised, here is the unedited short story, typos, plot holes and all, hope you enjoy it, and please tweet your creations at me @MrsPaigeLavoie on Twitter  I can’t wait to see! 
 
 

        “Despite being extraordinary. I’ve always been the most ordinary of all of my brothers and sisters in line for the throne. Drusella can sing with a voice more beautiful than a dove, with her twin Alexander following her flawlessly on the piano. Arthur is charismatic charming his many suitors from neighboring kingdoms with just a wink and a bow. And Emilie a brilliant swordsman.  

Continue reading “Writing Game using an Anime Tropes writing deck & a story about a cat princess”

Posted in Uncategorized

Megacon, Photoshoots and the Pink Princess Posse

Hey Everyone!
Recently I had the absolute pleasure of twirling around Megacon in my friend DaVid J McCarthy’s Ariel Gown! We met at Dapper Day a few years back, and I’ve been admiring his work ever since, so when he posted that he wanted to wrangle a few girls to model his pink princess dresses, Well, I couldn’t have been raising my hand any higher! A week before the convention, Matt and I drove out to his studio for a fitting and to pick up the costume.

“I think I’m going to put you in Ariel” He said, as we stood in the room, surrounded by elaborate costumes, and bolts of fabric. Before that moument,  I wasn’t sure exactly who I was going to be cosplaying. And funny enough,earlier that day. The fitting was really fun, and probably the first and only time anyone will ever say, “Wait! Do you need a dinglehopper?” and hand me a bedazzled fork in my life ❤

Words cannot describe how beautiful this dress is, so I’ll just show you instead! All of the little details, the lace, the beading are all apart of the whimsy and charm of DaVid’s designs. His work is perfect balance of elegance and razzle dazzle.

I’ve cosplayed before, but I’ve never been essentially a walking model of someone’s work.  To say I was nervous would be an understatement. In motion I felt like a floofy mermaid princess, but when I was stopped to take a photo..I won’t lie, I panicked a little. I wanted to do the dress justice you know? Don’t get me wrong it was a lot of fun. But my inner monologue was very…”where do i look…how should I hold my hands- did i make a derp face…oh I think I blinked” Princessing was very new to me! But as I talked to other cosplayers, I realized, these are things everyone worries about to an extent.

I mean really, no one wants to be tagged in a picture, and feel like they look like this,

Or maybe you do, I don’t know your life.

My favorite thing about wearing this cosplay? (besides the clouds of billowing fabric of course) had to be all of the cute kids! Hearing a squeaky voice say “Ariel can I take my picture with you?” was the most adorable thing, one little girl even told me she “loved my movie” and It was so unbelievably precious! In that moment to her, I was the real Ariel. And that was something unexpectedly wonderful about cosplaying a Disney Princess.

 After floating…and sometimes tripping… around the vendor room, we headed on over to The Disney Meetup. I always see photos from things like this at conventions, massive groups of people crowded together on a staircase or in the lobby, but it’s something I’ve never actually been apart of before. I was the first of DaVid’s girls to arrive, but I didn’t really have time to feel anxious, as I was quickly welcomed into the group of disney fans. One of the other cosplayers warned me that people’s hoops had been getting caught in the railings of the staircase, and helped offer to carry the back of my dress, so that I wouldn’t find myself in the same predicament. (which was so kind, and if you’re reading this thank you!) I seldom feel like I can walk up to a stranger and start talking. But here it was different. It really did have a community feeling. And was seriously awesome! There were tons of cosplayers gathered around, snapping selfies, chatting with each other. And the craftsmanship and originality blew me away.

We gathered up on the staircase, not sure which camera to look at, the left, the right-You know, One thing that these time lapsed convention videos don’t tell you? By golly is it hot outside. After the big group shot, all of the girls wearing David’s designs broke off into a group trecking across the convention center to a cute grassy field to go forth and shoot with Themed Shots. (pictures coming soon!)

I felt this strange bubbling mix of nerves, excitement, and a little uncertainty. The rest of the girls where so kind, helpful, but also had way more experience than I did. So, I definitely put some pressure on myself to make sure I was doing my best. It’s been a while since I’ve felt the vulnerability of a new experience. But luckily everyone was so welcoming and helpful, One of the girls Dani helped me fix my  wig and the photographers at Themed Shots,and gave me some great guidance for posing. And Matt was the sweetest real life prince I could ask for, and ran and brought us bottles of water, so that we wouldn’t melt away in the sun. And somehow he knew just when to give me a wink and a smile to encourage me.

DaVid, Themed Shots, and The “Pink Princess Posse” and Good Fairies where all so wonderful to collaborate with, and I think I’ll always have a fond place in my heart for my first cosplay photo-shoot ever.  Sure my heart was pounding, and I was so nervous, but would I do it again? Oh absolutely.

Megacon this year was filled with new experiences. I’ve been going to conventions for what…9 years now? And so much this year was new to me. Waiting in crazy lines, wearing a ballgown, doing a photo shoot!  and through all the new adventures and experiences, I started thinking a lot about Confidence, my own…and also my book that shares the same name.  I kept wondering how my character Barbara would deal with all of these situations, I empathized, related to her, and tried to soak in all of the ideas! For all of the nerves and worries I felt, I had twice as much fun, and in a way doesn’t that describe conventions pretty perfectly?

 Sometimes it takes trying something new, being vulnerable, new faces, and old friends, to get re-inspired, and I’m feeling more motivated than ever to get back to writing more of Barbara’s story! (Which btw you can now buy the first book at Bookmark It! here in Orlando at their location in The Lovely!)

I want to thank DaVid and Themed Shots for letting me be “Part of their world” Sunday at Megacon #PinkPrincessPosse forever ❤ If you'd like to see more of his work, or inquire about a commission, all of his info is linked down below, and seriously a dream!

Till Next Time,
Paige

THE CAST 

DaVid J. McCarthy Design. 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DaVidMcCarthyDesigns/?fref=ts

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/davidfordisney/

Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9eRNGbKdqy4OEajoFRok-g

Themed Shots
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/themedshots/?fref=ts

Website http://www.themedshots.com/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/themedshots/

The Girls! (who are on social media)

Belle: -Taylor
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/simonds_says/
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRQLi3KVPDUFIaDEWCV6fpA

Aurora “Maid Of Might”
https://www.instagram.com/maidofmight/

Giselle -Ashley 
https://www.instagram.com/ashley.the.hobbit/

Rapunzel -Dani
https://www.instagram.com/delightfullydapper/

Posted in Uncategorized

UPDATES -Book Fairs, New Stories, Camp Nanowrimo & More!

Hey Everyone! 
Yesterday I shared an update video over on youtube, talking about my experience during Camp Nanowrimo, events and more! I thought I’d do a quick run-down here on the blog as well.


Update #1 I would love to hear your suggestions for what type of comic making/writing videos you’d like to see on my youtube channel in the future! Leave them in the comments section of the video above, or send me a tweet at @ MrsPaigeLavoie and let me know. 
Update #2 I finished two novel rough drafts last month during Camp Nanowrimo! WOOOO! *confetti flies everywhere* The first was a modern day Frankenstein story and the next a “Punk Rock Cinderella” All of the retellings! I’m hoping to be ready for beta-readers within the next few months, so if you’re interested, please send me an email at pumpkinspicedcomic@gmail.com 

Update #3 My comic Pumpkin Spiced is updating on Sundays now! There’s a cute gag-a-day comic up now that I made with my husband Matt, and the story will continue next week. Click here to check it out. 


Update #4 I’m going to be at a local author festival this month at the library! I cannot wait, this is going to be the first time I’ve ever done at a library. I can’t wait to meet new people, and all of the other local authors. 😀  If you’re from Orlando and you’d like to check it out, the flyer is down below. 
Update #5 I’m on snapchat now! Follow me at “StoriesByPaige” for lots of coffee pictures, and cute puppy posts. I also recently signed up for twitch, I might try to do some creative streams in the future, so stay tuned! https://www.twitch.tv/pumpkinspicedpaige/
That’s all for now! If you want to stay in the loop, check out my mailing list over on the sidebar. I’m going to start utilizing it more in the future! 
See you later, 
Paige
Posted in writing

Taking Control of your story – 3 Products to Help Combat Writers Block.

 Hey Everyone!
We all know that you can’t buy a cure for writers block. You just can’t. If you could we would probably all have a few more finished stories under our belt. But while you can’t buy motivation, inspiration, or actual written words, it’s something you need to actively work at, especially when you don’t want to. (which i have learned the hard way.) 

And while you can’t BUY a cure for writers block, you can still find some pretty fun tools to help you along the way. I scoured the internet, and found three fun products, that won’t get rid of writers block on their own, but might ignite something within you when you’re stuck brainstorming, or just want a fun writing exercise!



Disclaimer! I am planning on trying some of these, but they are as new to me, as they are to you. So this is not a review, more of a first impressions. Let’s get started.

.


First off we have , A writing deck! The “Premise Party” sets give you a character archetype, conflict, and some sort of resolution, and it is up to you to make that story come to life! I think this is really interesting, and I’ve had this product on my radar for a while now. I think it would honestly be so fun for short stories, because it gives you the setup, and then you can just take it wherever you want.


Second, A emergency kit. At first, when I saw this I thought it would be something similar to the writing deck we just talked about. But instead the cards hold prompts such as “what if your hero and antagonist had an honest conversation? What would be said?” The way these questions prod you i think could be a fantastic way to push along a scene that you’re not sure what to do with, and I would love to give them a try sometime!


642 things to write about! As far as daily writing exercises go. This book looks amazing. And like it has a lot of fun jumping off points, and i think this would be a really cool thing to just have and keep in your backpack or purse on the go, or to do every morning with a cup of tea or coffee.


Now you don’t need a product for any of these, you could simply tweet out to your friends that you want a word prompt, write your favorites in a hat, or a mason jar, and pull one out, when you’re feeling stuck, or do the age old, take a break, go for a walk, sit in your favorite coffee shop.


These things all sound so much fun! And I want to try them all, and hope that you enjoyed this list! But remember, inspiration, comes from you! Your environment, experiences, and you have the power without anything extra to dive into your story again. So shake things up, throw a party, maybe even a grand ball, get your character into a fight, or have them find a lost kitten. This is your world, and you have the power to make it incredible.

xo Paige

Posted in Uncategorized

Under Construction

Hi Guys!

Playing with the layout here on wordpress, and trying to decide it i want to move my blog on over. This is a test post to try to figure out how it works and what I’m doing. 🙂 Wish me luck!

xo Paige

 

Posted in Adventure, Author, Book Chat, books, Confidence, Confidence: The Diary of an Invisible Girl, daily life, Florida Authors, Orlando FL, paige lavoie

High School Bookchat – Sailor Moon Backpacks & So much fun!

“Do you think they’ll laugh at me if I take my Sailor Moon backpack?” I asked my husband the night before my first “book chat” at a local high school. I was so nervous, more nervous than I had been in such a long time. I didn’t know what it would be like. I wasn’t sure If the students would think I was a total weirdo. I was homeschooled. I can count the times I’ve walked into an actual High School on one hand. It’s a little silly, but I was terrified I’d be reenacting that iconic scene from Mean Girls and eating lunch hidden in a bathroom stall, with tears streaming down my face.

I loaded up my backpack (Which I, of course, ended up taking.) with the old proof copies of “Confidence” in different print sizes and ugly temporary covers. I had to take it, not only to embrace my kooky self and all that good stuff but also because it’s literally the only bag I have that will fit all those books…which was also, you know pretty important.

I told you I was nervous, didn’t I? Well, the truth is, nervous is an understatement. The night before the book chat, a day that ended up being so wonderful, I sat on the very same couch I’m writing from right now, hyperventilating, in the worst panic attack, I’d had in months. I went to sleep and had a series of terrible stress dreams. In one I showed up to the school in pajamas. In other I was late.

And then after all of the worrying, I had an amazing day. A seriously amazing day. Matt was kind enough to drop me off, I checked in at the front desk, and was guided over to the Media Center. Media Centers are a fancy name for libraries? Did you know that? I didn’t know that! Anyways, we chatted until it was time to hop over to the first talk, which was in the 9th-grade media center.

Before it was time to start, I had just enough time to frantically jump up and down, wave and make silly faces in the window of my friend Lacy’s classroom. She’s one of those friends who I feel like I don’t get to see enough of, but every time I do, I just can’t help but light up. “She’s here!” she shouted, and to my surprise, a few of her students joined in with her excited cheers. She smiled, grabbing the door for me, and I sat in for a moment until the bell rang. This was the first time I had ever been in a proper Biology classroom.

Fun fact! As a youth, I dissected a cow heart in a friends mom’s basement. #homeschooledlife

We went over to the book chat together after the bell rang, which was nice. Things like this are always a little easier with a friend around. In total, I think it was around five students, myself, and some of the staff and we just talked. I showed them the proof copies of the book, talked about the process of creating it, and answered their questions. Sometimes it felt structured, and others it was candid and goofy. A lot of them were writers and artists which I thought was so amazing. One was even named Paige! And as the day went on and the groups of students changed from 5 to 10, to a full room of people the welcoming feeling of the first group carried on.

My last chat was actually after school during “Anime Club.” Upon entering the room, one of the students greeted me with a friendly smile and said, “I haven’t seen you here before! Are you a new member?” Bless her soul right? ❤

Fun fact! I was actually in an Anime Club in high school. It was just around eleven years ago. :p

After that, a girl named Isabella who had super fun blue hair told me she “could read Confidence every day” and another student said It was the first time she’d ever read a whole book in a single day! Whaaaaat?

I was so grateful. I think those words are honestly still sinking in. I wrote this book for them. And as someone who was a member of an Anime Club myself, it was really special to be back in that sort of setting as a guest. Typing that out, I still can’t believe it happened. I can’t imagine how my fifteen-year-old self would react if I could travel back in time and tell her. Life Goals have been met. Though, I can say with certainty my anime club had nothing on theirs! Not only was this club four times the size, but they were all so sweet and creative. It blew my mind – artists, writers, and even a few folks who made comics. Two of them even doodled pictures of me in the back of the classroom! I can’t even tell you how excited I was to see this.

^ See what I mean?! I’ve always wanted to be an anime character. Thanks for making that dream a reality! (and let me know 1. If you’re reading this and 2. If you have a tumblr/art blog/ect. that I can link to) 

I really hope I helped inspire them to keep creating, and they share their stories with the world, I know first hand it can be so terrifying. Our stories are close to our hearts, really, they’re a part of us. It’s one of the most vulnerable things you can do, but it’s worth it. And you don’t have to do it alone. Publishing my book, I had the support of Matt, my editor Jen <3, and friends and family cheering me on. And without them, I’m not sure… I hate to think of this reality, but honestly, it could very well still be sitting on my computer, unedited, unread and collecting dust.

If I hadn’t published Confidence. I never would have gone to that book chat. I wouldn’t have had anything to chat about.

I’m not saying you can’t do it alone. But I think the journey is better with some traveling companions. After all, Frodo would never have made it to Mordor without Sam. I’ve let anxiety stop me from a lot of things. I’m really thankful that with the support of my friends and husband, I didn’t let it stop me this time. I’m so glad I met everyone I did, I just wish I had more time to talk to each and every one of them.

Oh, also! I want to share one of my favorite quotes from the day, with absolutely no context, but still, it’s one of those things I want to make sure I don’t forget. :p

“Chuck Norris was like, a meme before memes were a thing” 

I think that just really sums up who I am is terms of public speaking. Joking aside, I want to do this again! If you work at a school, library, run a book club, or are looking for speakers at a convention and you’d like to get in contact send an email over to pumpkinspicedcomic@gmail.com, and I’ll be in touch soon. ❤

Till next time,
Paige

P.S If anyone was wondering, everyone loved my backpack. MOON PRIDEEEEEEE!

Posted in daily life

Screaming Squirrels & Coconut Milk

Today I thought it would be nice to sit outside for a little while. The weather is honestly the closest thing to a “nice spring day” we get here in Florida, so I figured might as well take advantage of it. I grabbed the Ulta catalog that came in the mail earlier today, made myself a hot drink, and the pups and I headed outside. 
Monuments after I snapped this silly little photo surrounded by sunshine, and snuggle puppies. I heard the strangest of sounds coming from across the street. The trees were shaking and crashed together, making the dead leaves fall down like confetti, and all of the wildlife around me sounded like it was screaming. birds chirping frantically, squirrels whining. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. 
It sounded a little too dramatic to be a reaction to lawn work. Calmly sipping my coconut milk with cinnamon, I looked up to try to see what was causing such a ruckus, I however, didn’t expect to see a giant hawk flying across the blue skies. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but marvel a little, It’s wings spread wide, gliding back and forth, while the wildlife all around me was shouting, warning each other of the danger, making me feel bad for whatever prey it might have pouched from the tree.
I looked down at the un-phased puppups slinking around the yard, without a care in the world, Kaylee slinking around the yard, and Oliver snuggled on my lap.

…I guess they don’t speak bird or squirrel.

Either that, or they just knew I’d protect them from any majestic hawks that wandered into my yard. 
Which reminds me… I have another “weird hawk story” I’m going to have to share sometime…

Till next time,
Paige