A break from turtles

I was so sad to say goodbye to everyone over the past week; I’ve loved learning more about everyone in our class and growing our projects together. 

However, one thing I am happy about it the short break I will have from Mia the turtle. I have spent hours drawing her and her friends perfectly in many different poses, only to have her file crash my computer. And reading through her dialogue dozens of times, I think I might start speaking like her. 

While as of now I believe the book is done, I think if I read it again in two weeks, I might think differently. So, while I’ve posted it on my site for now, I will wait to try to publish it until after break. 

My other reason for doing this is the Kindle updates. Right now, Kindle doesn’t offer any fun fonts, which are necessary to making Mia kid-friendly. Kindle should be updating their software soon, and I hope that with this update they will include more fonts so Mia can be properly portrayed on their platform. 

I’m also still hoping to create a print form. However, I will need to add a few more drawings for this (most importantly a title page). 

Either way, I’m so thankful for everyone in this class who have kind but meaningful critiques of my work throughout the process. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and shows off their new creations to family and friends, (or maybe just your dog… that’s where I’m going to start). 

Mrowy does not like cartoons

I’ve been working on my cartoons a lot lately. I use a white board to draw each character, then take a picture of it one my phone and use a photo editor on my computer to remove the background and fill in the colors.

At first, I was using an online photo editor, but this took about half an hour for each image because my computer is very slow. My cat, Meowcolm Catwell or Mrowy for short, hated all the time I was spending on my computer working on the cartoons.

He often sits on my keyboard while I try to do work. But a few days ago, he sat on it while I was processing an image and deleted all of it. Unhappy, I picked Mrowy up and set him in the corner, where he laid down to sleep. He could have left the corner, he is just very lazy.

When my husband, David, asked me why Mrowy was in the corner, I told him about how Mrowy deleted the photo. David showed me how to use Paint 3D which was already installed on my computer with the new Windows update, and now processing images is much easier.

Mrowy still has not gotten over the fact that I have to do work on my laptop – and he is in fact sitting on my lap right now – but thankfully I have an easier way to create my cartoons so that I can spend more time playing with Mrowy, and he can spend less time meowing incessantly as he is currently.

picking a font is difficult

Over the past two weeks, Mia the turtle has gone from trying to clean up mud off of her floor to filtering through investor profiles for the perfect business partner. Today, I had the opportunity to speak with Eva and Zach to figure out how I can make this journey insightful for Mia and (hopefully) her future fans.

One of these developments was the use of different colors and styles of fonts to indicate vocabulary words or dialogue between individuals. I wanted to help definitions stand out on the page so readers could refer to the back of the book for further explanation. For example, the term patent might be explained briefly in a dialogue between Mia and the investment banker, Heather, but it would be discussed with more examples and specific in a glossary at the end.

However, I felt that simply bolding the term would remind students of their textbooks and make reading less enjoyable. So, based upon Geronimo Stilton (below) I will be using fun, descriptive fonts to introduce each new term.

The use of changing fonts can also help in explaining the dialogue between a few individuals, as each person will speak with their own color or font style (TBD which one will be used to define the speaker). Students can know who is speaking whether it is explicitly stated before or after the quotation, or skim a page to understand the main contributors in a conversation.

Image result for piece of writing geronimo stilton

I plan to have the complete draft finished by the end of the week (I am about 2/3 the way there), and then begin going back through to simplify language, create consistency in each character’s voice and add in the fun changes in font / color. After that, I will start finalizing the character drawings and scanning them into the draft.

My main concern is the drawings themselves. I find that as my story gets more complicated, there is greater need for illustrations which I might not be able to do perfectly. I might have to sacrifice some of the details on my characters so more obscure drawings (like the invention itself) do not seem out of place. I also need to figure out how / if I will still be adding backgrounds to each drawing as this might prove too time consuming.

One of my model texts, Mochi Queen, uses a style similar to how I draw cartoons right now, adding a little bit of shading to the brief illustration of what is happening instead of painting an entire background. Her art is seen below.


Image result for drawings mochi queen

Too Many Turtles

After finishing up my project proposal, I was happy to have a clear image in my mind of the characters, setting and plot for Mia the Marsh Mogul and so I began drawing the three main characters (Mia the turtle, Tommy the Beaver and Heather the Heron) to practice for the final product.

As I sketched Mia over and over again, I wasn’t overwhelmed with the difficulty of creating each drawing. But, when I stepped back, I noticed the enormous number of turtles on the page and thought about how the audience will see about 20 sketches of this turtle throughout the book.

Staring at the page, I realized how important it is that Mia is complex, slightly different in each of the drawings based upon her quirks, thoughts and emotions. And making Tommy and Heather dynamic is just as important since they will be seen several times throughout the plot.

But on the other side of the coin, the investors must have flat but intense personalities – they will only be seen once or twice, so creating a quick impression is vital to kids remembering them. I have a few of the characters listed below with some of the ideas for animals / personalities. Please let me know if you have any thoughts / ideas!

Private Equity Investor – a group of investors who gather money from institutions and wealthy individuals to buy whole businesses with loads of debt and then sell them at a profit years later.

Potential character profiles: 

1. A very fluffy sheep with a monocle that says “BaahahaBahaha” when he laughs (which is quite often because he is arrogant and makes fun of others). He tries to fool Mia into taking an extraordinarily low offer for her company while Heather is out of the room.

2. A friendly, fat bunny who drinks tea with her pinky up and has whiskers far too long for her face. She kindly explains the private equity business to Mia, but she declines upon realizing she would no longer have control of the business.

Venture Capitalist – an investor or group of investors who invest directly in a business, usually taking less than 50% of control of the business. They tend to work alongside existing management to grow the business.

Potential character profiles: 

1. A chubby cat with short, sharp whiskers who wears a golf cap almost covering his eyes and uses a walking stick. He speaks in short, blunt sentences in a scratchy voice. Overall, he has good intentions for helping Mia’s business, but he does believe he would eventually drive it to an IPO.

2. Two llamas – one is shorter than the other, and continuously smiles. She has one eye covered with her slightly unkempt mane, and wears a flower behind her ear. The other is taller and colder, with thin, square glasses and her mane slicked back.






Website Posted

After hours of procrastinating followed by hours of work, my website for the Gateway is finally published! The theme is sensation and perception, with an especial focus on how that relates to the business world. I have learned so much this year about being able to explain what I find interesting to other people and make it fun for them also. Similarly, I loved working with my classmates, learning more about their topics and being able to explain mine to them.

I hope to continue working on my website, finding ways to include my work from other classes in this portfolio. This will help me have a better multidisciplinary education, while giving me a reflective place for these pieces of work to see how my studies relate to me personally.

Letter to Future Gateway Students

For me, what I took from this course is that the ability to share with each other what they feel and believe, and why, is one of our greatest strengths as students at the University of Michigan. I learned this from my growing relationship with my blog group. Meeting two strangers from different colleges, hometowns, friend groups, and even campuses (North Campus is better than the best ever!!!) can be really intimidating. Having to critique these people, and receive critiques, is even more daunting.

But the thoughts of “what will they think of me writing this” or “will I sound mean with this criticism of their work” or even “do I sound sarcastic here by saying I really like this part of their piece” melt away when you read their thoughts on the some trivial and many personal matters and find that you can relate. Suddenly, you will know a responsibility within your group to review honestly, thinking of ideas for their pieces as you would your own, because the people who you once saw as strangers become human to you. You even care that others see the ingenuity in them that you do; if their ideas changed your way of thinking, why not make sure that the next reader is even better off from discovering their piece? Because of my blog group, I will never look at Roman History or the word “Lemon” the same again, and I hope none of their other readers do either.

Why I Blog 2

Because it is a Sunday night, and I’m still unsure of why I right, I am using some animals to explain the different ideas behind each other and the ideas I have concerning my own writing.



Like this donkey, Didion’s motivation for writing is a bit obnoxious. Although it seems she is just an ordinary person, as this is an ordinary donkey, she wants others to understand her life as complex- and by extension, life in general- through her simple scenes like that of the train car. And like this donkey expresses extreme happiness in a bleak setting, she has her own emotion on the scenes around her that she wants to share. Writing about Charlotte, she does not just describe the character but gives herself further authority by claiming she knows why Charlotte arrived at the airport alone. Like Sullivan, she values her own insights as an individual, but rather than opening them up for a conversation, offers them to the reader with no strings attached.



Heavy, playful, and conversational, Sullivan’s meaning for writing parallels the panda who has with great difficulty propped himself on the swing as a platform on which to discuss issues with his readers. Sullivan blogs because it is natural and conversational; real issues can be brought up because there is not as much time to second guess himself. This panda, also, seems passionate about his topic, but he has not practiced for this time to speak. He just lets his friends know what he’s thinking and why it’s important while sitting in a casual way, like how Sullivan blogs to have a place on which to speak where he has more authority than the reader but not so much as to limit conversation.



Like this frog sitting on his rock in authority, crossing his arms in rebelliousness but with more indignation than angst, Orwell’s writing has a job to be done and it won’t be stopped. His fight against totalitarianism motivates him to write outside of the other incentives of historical preservation, personal exaltation, and aesthetic pleasure. He believes the meaning behind what he writes more than the tools he uses, evident through the lack of fluff in stories like “Animal Farm” which argued against totalitarianism compared to “Shooting an Elephant” which focused on personal experience. Contrary to Didion and Sullivan, he does not focus so explicitly on his own personal experience so not to forsake the cause of his writing for his own personal expression.



I feel like this Corgi when I write. Outside of Writing 220, I’m a better writer than most of my peers, so I tend to lead the way, like how this Corgi leads the way for the baby ducks because he has a larger body and can provide greater defense. However, as this Corgi cannot swim, neither am I proficient in each subject that I write. I value my writing capabilities as giving me control over the final product of many group efforts, and, in the case of individual work, I value it as creating a façade to hide behind so that I might speak on matters which I do not wholly understand. In the Minor, I would like to develop the skills to let the little duckies take the lead in group projects and for my sources to take the lead in individual projects so that I can better learn how to swim in that subject.

Drafting and Revising Your Project

Because Drafting and Revising Your Project focuses so heavily on how the writer can prepare themselves for critique and how they can best critique, this chapter gave me a lot of information on how to introduce my EPortfolio ideas to my blog group with the correct level of direction and content.

In the rough cut section, the text says to create enough content that peer reviewers can look through and decide what they like, but not so much that you’re giving them so much crap that they can’t find the good stuff. With this, since my remediation and remodeling projects reflect what I’d like my EPortfolio to look like, I should remember to keep together some of my extra multimodal ideas from those projects and bring them into my EPortfolio Rough Cut.

One of those ideas that didn’t quite work for my multimodal project but might be a good idea for my EPortfolio is some more anecdotal information on myself. I thought of including something more personal in my Remediation on the effect of market place stimuli on the consumer, but looking closer on my audience, it did not seem appropriate; for my EPortfolio, however, it might work because the audience is more interested in me-they’d be on my site-than the general population.

Because of this, I might like to include some media from my student organization and maybe some pieces on less professional fields that are more interesting to me, for example Reflexology or Facilitated Communication.

The Rough Draft section of the text lists a few things to get down before presenting the Rough Draft to the peer editing group. Since I honestly didn’t get much different information from that part than from the Rough Cut section, I went through the different aspects listed to give my peer edit group a better idea of where I’m trying to go.

The intended audience will be employers. I’d like to be able to list the URL on my resume. Because of that, I’m going to need to have milder colors and avoid anything super personal.

The purpose of the EPortfolio is going to be partly to bring together my professional pieces into an easily navigable medium but mostly to make myself want to write more. I think that if I make a nice interconnection through the pieces included in my portfolio, for example starting with marketplace stimuli and from there going to product functionality (instead of something more obvious like marketplace functionality or product stimuli) I’ll have made myself a little path to which if I would like to exercise my writing abilities outside of class in a more creative, less academic way, I can go.

As the genre will be more professional, sources included must be from a database or something comparable in reliability. I still need to look into other genre conventions so that I can know how to change the modality of the EPortfolio to fit..

Blogging you Process

In my repurposing project, my goal is to reach small business/start up owners in the retail environment concerning how to make their store most conducive to people’s purchasing. I’m touching most specifically on the kinesthetic, olfactory, and auditory senses, along with some new discoveries like air ion concentration.

I’d like to model my article off of a Forbes how-to, which enumerates simple ways to improve a business without any sort of specific data or citations. Because of this, I would like to include real life examples of chain stores which exceed at different aspects of business to keep in line with the genre and have an alternative of explanation to the scientific studies which I’ve collected.

Right now, I am having trouble thinking of stores which are infamous for having unsatisfactory consumer environments. Some of my examples thus far include Subway, which always seems to smell odd- and Burlington Coat Factory, which I’ve always known to be a little off. If anyone can think of any others, that would be great!

Also, I’m thinking of examples of stores which actively ionize their air, resulting in a fresh feeling. Active ionization comes from biological processes like photosynthesis or water collision, so places with water features, salt lamps, plants, etc. are those which also have a high rate of negative ions, which cleanses the air. So far, I’ve come up with PF Changes and Holiday Inn lobbies.

I’m also struggling to find the best tone in which to address my audience. The tones of my genre tend to make broad generalizations with slightly formal diction, but because my piece relates to getting into the client’s shoes, I thought it may be more appropriate to use the first and second person and also to use specific, relatable examples along with my scientific evidence. Perhaps by writing more casually, it could relay an honesty from myself to my audience that will make them more likely to implement the ideas I give. If anyone has thoughts on whether or not that is a logical idea, I would love to hear.

Planning Project 1

A paint-by-numbers frog stares down the reader as they scroll to “How WD-40 Created a Learning Obsessed Culture”. He lacks a few spaces in its coloring; the single digits leftover indicate that the artist second guessed the rules of painting before finishing the creature. Waiting in a perpetual formlessness, the pathetic frog begs the reader to fill in the final portions of the picture.

This very abstract drawing is the perfect multimodal piece to introduce William Taylor’s article on free thinking in the professional setting. It visually and gesturally captures the reader, as the void spaces trigger their natural desire for completeness and wide eyes create a pity leading to action. He asks the reader to consider the position of WD-40, a company which encourages employee creativity and inquiry, as they do not simply paint by the numbers in their business, but question the reason behind corporate instructions.

He first describes the lack of innovation in large, successful companies as a major issue for the reader to understand this short article is not just a praise for WD-40 but a solution to a common problem. Following up with quantitative data on the performance of WD-40, he understand the particular skepticism of his economically-inclined audience and gives reason for WD-40 as an exceptional example.

In describing the particulars of WD-40, he uses a quick and distant tone, not forming any specific opinions on how the company’s system works or how their methods apply to other business owners so that they can practice the lesson on free-thinking from this article. He offers mostly information on qualitative aspects of WD-40’s environment through interview’s with management and physical descriptions of the business so that nothing is lost in translation between the entity of WD-40 and the reader.

I’d like to emulate this piece especially because of it’s casual but important nature. Taylor does not feel the need to spew out half a dozen examples of businesses who fail for lack of free thinking because he assumes that his audience knows of some themselves; he takes advantage of the fact that the people reading would like to learn how to better their business, so he nonchalantly skips the heavy research and goes straight to his point. I’d also like to have a unique but well-known topic like his. Most everyone has heard of WD-40, but I have never thought of this as a business. In fact, I previously  thought that WD-40 stood for some sort of a chemical equation or patent number, not a business. I would like to have a topic like this, well-known enough that it is relatable but shown differently.