12 days ’til I turn 37!!

I officially do Too Much Stuff. All these stories (priority #1, of course), and trying to log all the art I experience (essentially a religious thing), and then all these hobbies like drawing and making music videos and video games and recordings of stories and whatever else-all I do… and then what if I want to play a video game? I mean seriously! And this is all in my spare time, around work and sleep and, like, life shit (why do I have to shower so frequently what is this waste of time) and taking dog for walks and playing Dominion with my mom!

So first of all, when people tell me they’re “bored” or “need something to do,” I’m like, Literally WTF. Can you give me some of that extra time you seem to have in your life? And secondly, when I get fucking sick again, or bitten by a great Dane and am a little under the weather because of it, or things like that, Literally WTF all over again. In the words of one awesome lady, ain’t nobody got time for that! I have shit to do, universe! Don’t you care about Saitou and Sano??

To sum up, I’ve been sick waaayyyy too much lately and I’m behind on all sorts of projects and I’m tired of it. Trying to get in story-working time or to write AEL’s between the lengthy periods of headache or sore throat or just pain or I don’t even know what has been a massive hassle for, like, two months now, and I’d like to respectfully request that that fucking stop. Recently I’ve had food poisoning and… well, let’s never mind the TMI. Just stop already.

I have three-days weekends most of the time, and that’s great. However, since I do most of my errands and chores on Mondays, I’ve been finding lately that the stories I’ve set aside for Monday work (HoH) have been consistently neglected. So I’ve decided to move HoH from Mondays to Saturdays after TLY, alternating with Saitou & Sano one-shot, and see how that goes. If I do manage to get any creative pursuits worked on on any given Monday, so much the better; but they’re off the schedule for that day until further notice.

So. TLY — With the completion of chapter 24, I’m at about 94k words here, and able to make an estimate of perhaps 130k words total. This isn’t important, but we all know faeries like to throw around k’s like that :D

So you know how in Harry Potter, in the first six books there’s all this school and daily-life stuff that goes along nicely and then pretty well gets completely dropped when the adventure story comes to a head? That’s kinda the point I’m at in this book. Of course, given the way the story is set up, the daily-life stuff is still going on alongside the adventure story, and that never stops, but the adventure story becomes the most important part and home life needs to fade out of focus here. So I’m trying to come up with a couple of scenes that will sort of taper out of the daily-life stuff. That’s where I am right now. It’s a good place.

Because this particular project is nearing completion (linear completion, anyway), I’ve been able to rouse in my mother some unprecedented interest in it. And in response to my musings about whether or not I should wait until I have more (if not all) of the rest of the series written before I make this one available to the niece and nephews to whom it’s dedicated, she strongly recommended that I don’t put it off. I won’t list all the pros and cons here, just say that that’s the option I prefer on my own part as well… so that’s probably what I’ll do.

I’m going to publish through Amazon in any case, and my understanding is that it’s pretty easy to replace the files for a new edition at any time. The possible — even probable — need for revision of earlier books as I work on later ones is really the biggest argument against not publishing them all at once… well, that and that the series title might at some point be in danger of needing to be changed. Still, though, if I get the first out to the kids sooner rather than later, I can see whether they’re even a little bit interested in it (or whether I’ll be writing the rest of the series even more exclusively for myself than I’m doing now XD) sooner rather than later as well.

Forgivably Wrong — There are three flashback scenes in this story, and I’ve finally gotten the second one started. Tokio is going to have a bigger role than I expected. I have a tendency to keep my cast extremely tight in certain types of stories; sometimes nobody actually appears outside the pairing in question, or at the very least nobody is named. But here it turns out Tokio actually has dialogue. That’s nice.


Aku Soku Zan(za) — I feel like the original version of this fic had a lot of great elements that just didn’t come together as well as they should have… like a puzzle that had been cut poorly. So a lot of what I have to do in this rewrite is smooth the edges so they fit better. Some parts require more of this than others, and this one is particularly tricky. It’s taking me much longer than bits of this story usually do, because I have to think so hard about so much of it and coordinate it with the rest of the story, extant and future. That’s still pretty fun, though.

This fic has forced me to look up minute details more than any other I’ve written. Today’s instance was not a particularly interesting or important one, but I’ma mention it anyway. While rewriting this latest part, I reached a point where in the original I’d used the phrase “Ruffian’s Row,” and I paused. I’ve thought of the area where Sano lives as Ruffian’s Row for as long as I can remember, but it suddenly occurred to me to wonder not only where I got that idea but also just how accurate it is. So I had to look it up, which process typically involves opening up the scanslation, the tankoubon, and the western volume of the section of the manga in question and cross-referencing.

The term “gorotsuki nagaya” is what Sano uses to describe his neighborhood, and this translates to something like “thug tenement housing.” Given that the homes there are referred to alternately as “longhouses” and “rowhouses,” “Ruffian’s Row” seems like a perfectly reasonable rendering of the name of the place, and I have no problem with using it. What I’m left wondering, though, is where the hell I got it from.

The scanslation I typically refer to has Sano mention “an old longhouse on the edge of town” at that point, which is interesting because the original dialogue doesn’t actually include the house, just the neighborhood. And the shitty western translation, oddly, leaves the phrase “gorotsuki nagaya” untranslated. (I say ‘oddly’ because shitty western translations are typically given to overtranslating rather than leaving the reader to guess about anything, and because this particular shitty translation went all-out with nonsense such as the plethora of incredibly awkward dialogue surrounding Zanza’s “fight merchant” and Kenshin’s “this one.”)

I feel like the phrase “Ruffian’s Row” must be something I picked up either from the shitty subtitles on the anime back when I could stomach watching the anime or from other fanfiction many years ago. I could check the anime to see what the subtitles say at that moment, but I don’t really want to XD It’s enough to know that “Ruffian’s Row” is an acceptable translation, and to continue using it.


Heretic’s Reward chapter 26 — Sano’s relief and happiness at the beginning of this chapter might be somewhat a reflection of my own. That damn meeting was hard to get through, and not just for my characters!! And I, like Sano, am ridiculously pleased at getting him out of Elotica and back into Enca.

So according to my plan, this chapter was due to end on a dramatic cliffhanger with the first, “Give me a good reason not to kill you,” but that left me with only about half a chapter’s length XD The whole story has been getting more and more off-plan (to the point where after this I don’t even have the plan divided into chapters anymore), and I’m not too worried about it.


Blood Contingency part 17 — So this part, of course, finally explicitly makes the point on which this entire story hinges — Sano’s endless quest, endless heartbreak, and endless devotion — and I think I wrangled things really well to put it just about perfectly in the middle of the story. The whole thing is all these various interwoven ironies, and it’s almost a headache to get them all to come out right and exactly where I want them (requiring things like that fillery part 7) so that information is revealed and emotional impact is felt at just the right moments both in the story as a whole and in each story in juxtaposition with the other… I’m just really, really glad I got this part to work out where and how I did.

As I mentioned to psjk in the comments at one point, I personally have never seen immortals combined with reincarnation (though I’m sure it’s been done), and I think it has vastly interesting potential for a fascinating and emotional story. That’s probably part of the reason I’m so deeply attached to this fic; the concept just works so well.


Music video — It’s been a few years since my previous music video, and I’m ready to get way back into this hobby. I’ve got a great new method for what was previously the lengthiest and most tedious part of the process (arguably… deciding on what footage to use is still hella boring and takes forever), and it makes the process much quicker and easier while still allowing me the exact same freedom as before.

This video is about Batman, with footage from Batman: The Animated Series, to express my new but deep love for Batman. Because Batman. I have to mention one thing about it that makes me a little sad, though. I love Batman as a serious character, despite any and all inherently ridiculous elements in even his most serious presentations. I’ve never seen the bullshit 60’s series (though someone did make me sit through its movie once), and I’ve always been interested, in a horrified sort of way, to observe the fluctuating levels of seriousness in the intention behind the character as well as the audience response.

But the song I’m using for this music video is silly, leading to a comedic video all ’round. For some reason, different parts of the series kept reminding me of this particular song until right there in my head I had half a video already mapped out without ever having planned it. So I figured I’d go for it. But I’m a little sorry that my first piece of Batman fanwork (unless I manage to get something drawn before I finish this) will not reflect my love of Batman and his world as a character and setting meant to be taken seriously. Sorry, Bats!

At the moment this video is at 2:24 out of 3:15. I have to do some footage-searching (which I mentioned is hella boring and takes forever) for the part immediately following the one I’m working on, though, so I’m not as close to finished as those numbers would seem to indicate. I am still pretty close to finished, though, so look for this after not too long.

One thing I’m massively looking forward to is, once this project is finished, getting on that remake of my very first music video I’ve been discussing forever. The improved techniques I’ve discovered will make that soOoOo much easier, and that poor old thing deserves (mostly Saitou and Sano deserve!) better.

Nine Decades — Thanks to the schedule change mentioned above, I’ve actually managed some successful work on this collection!! It’s been so damn long I feel I should explain all over again what its status is: six stories out of nine are at linear completion, and the seventh (the 40’s story) is about 2/3 finished. Or I could possibly say that six stories out of eighteen are at linear completion, but I have serious doubts about the hypothetical Trowa half of this set since I’ve never gotten more than one idea for a story about him.

In this 40’s story, I’m attempting the always-interesting task of making something clear to the reader that isn’t at all clear to the narrating character. We’ll see how successful I manage to be. Also, rather to my delight, I get to invoke an Irony of Inevitability ending. (See my commentary on The Ill-Made Knight for details of this phenomenon.)

Merpolepon — My darling girlfriend Lee loves Napoleon, and I love her, and we are both dorks. So I’m drawing her a picture of Napoleon as a mermaid. The original plan was just watercolor pencil, but I fear that, remembering how damn well Really Living turned out, I won’t be able to resist the temptation to put Prismas over the top, no matter how much I loathe working with Prismas (see progress notes on Really Living XD)

Anyway, I’m still in watercolor pencil stage now, whatever may come after. Have some progress shots (there are a lot of them because it’s been so long since my last PL):

It will surprise nobody to learn that this piece of paper came from the same package Joe‘s did. The creases are actually mostly gone in subsequent shots, because the frequent application of water has that nice effect (unlike for poor Joe in his graphite).

I go through SO MUCH of this particular brown. Seriously. Look at Cannibal’s Herald, and you will see how much of this brown I use.

Can she capture the nuances of color in an ocean vista?? Tune in next time to find out!!

Yeah, I mostly just keep putting color down until I’m satisfied. Watercolor pencil is a wonderful thing.

Of course, sometimes I never become satisfied, and then it’s like, “I just keep putting color down until I’m too frustrated to continue” XD

Seriously, this ocean shit is hard to draw! I think it’ll look a lot better when I start to get the clouds filled in, because then at least there’ll be more color balance.

I’m not satisfied with this water on the sand and its foam either. For the breaker I’m going to use some Prismas and make it look maybe OK, but the more forward part will probably always annoy me.