Today's "smoke and mirrors" distracting you from the lack of work being shown is a little comment on art podcasts:
Working from home is great for concentration and getting things done, but the social aspect definitely lacks. I discovered a bunch of art podcasts (radio interviews) awhile back and they have been great for providing not just information, but the needed background chatter and simulated social interaction you need when working alone. I highly recommend artists put these on to break the silence. Having been to a couple conventions in the past year and meeting many other artists in my field, I am finding the podcasts very interesting because I know the work and personalities of many of the participants. Having your friends converse in the background while you work approximates an office environment where the water-cooler talk is always interesting and on topic. I have found many times the podcast conversation touches on exactly what I was thinking recently or broaches a topic that is perfectly timely to my current work.
Give these a listen:
I also just posted a poll to the right asking artists what pencil they use. I'm going to switch up to using a mechanical pencil again after using the col-erase for a few months. I think the choice of your tool is very important and tied intimately to your drawing style. I'm just curious as to what others use...