The smaller of the two purple mushies is Laccaria amethystina and the bigger one is a Cortinarius violaceus, with many thanks to the Societe MycoNB Society for identifying these gems and helping me learn about them.
The major side quest of the month is MidJourney AI. I've tried most of the AI generators by now, but MidJourney's the one that makes me gasp when the images appear. One of the things I've been using it for is character generation. Especially as a fantasy writer where my characters aren't always human, it's wonderful to be able to mock up a physical representation to work from.
When I can study a picture of one of these nonhuman characters, I get to see weird details that I can use to deepen the character. Small things, like a notch in a pointed ear that suggests a fight in their past, or a strange glint in their eye that tells me a story I wouldn't have known otherwise. It's a delightful new tool and I am loving it.
In keeping with that, I starting mocking up some faerie selfies that go along with my current work-in-progress (the first book in a cozy fantasy trilogy!) around the same time MidJourney introduced their beta upscale and remaster options. That's when things got fascinating, because it turns out that using those buttons actually appears to build a faerie glamour (magic that faeries use to disguise their true forms from us so that they appear human) on top of my faerie. For what it's worth, I am using magical thinking here, I do realize the machine is just trying to make something weird look more human, but magical thinking is critical to my career and a little wonder is good for the soul.
Here, check it out, the first pic looking rather Fae and painterly, then the second, the beta upscale, sort of smoothing out, and finally the remaster where our faerie is just another sultry human gal taking a selfie. She loses her beautiful strangeness, most of her clothing, and becomes kind of... normal. Well, an idealized version of normal, anyway.