Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

My novel is almost done for the month, so I shall make a return to blogging soon.  In the meantime, I just wanted to say that I have indeed not abandoned this blog!

We're leaving to go to Golden Corral soon.  Why, yes, we like to go out to eat for Thanksgiving!  Much less stress and mess and still good food!  I also don't feel the need to stuff myself like I do when we make it ourselves.  I know the point of Thanksgiving is to stuff yourself, but it's not worth the discomfort to me!  This way, I can just take a few bites of everything that I want and still have room for dessert.  :b

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Things I missed

I've been too busy to blog, myeh!  And there's so much that I wanted to blog about this month.  I'll have to plan better next year, like maybe make some posts in advance.

Stuff I wanted to blog about:

Veterans Day was on the 11th, so was the anniversary of Aladdin going to theaters!  Aladdin is my all-time favorite movie, and I wanted to post some little known trivia about it.  I might do that tomorrow.  I hope.

People pronounce veteran (and veterinarian) different ways!  As a linguist, that is interesting to me, especially since people have different ideas of which way sounds more educated and whatnot.

I saw a play!

I've done more modeling!

I sometimes make pixel art even though I suck at it!

Language learning stuff!

My old YouTube videos that were actually somewhat popular back in the day!

So much awesome music in the world!

The dangers of not wearing your retainer every night!

My kitten is freakin' adorable!

????

PROFIT!

Eventually, I'll get back to it.  Myeh.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Getting behind on blogging!

I hate NaNoWriMo!  X(  I was doing so good with blogging everyday until this month, haha.

What happens is that I typically blog at night after everything's done for the day so that I can be sure to be productive during the day (or try to be, haha).  However, during NaNoWriMo, I also work on my novel at night, so I put NaNoWriMo as my first priority and blogging second.  So, I'm often too tired by the time I finish my novel to actually blog anything interesting or decent.

Once this wretched month is over, I will go back to blogging everyday!  Or almost everyday if nothing else.  I have been modeling and am going to see a play tomorrow, so I definitely have things to write about!  All in good time.  :b

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday whatever: Kittehs!

I've been really busy with writing my novel to also write for this blog, but I definitely plan on a full return in December!  In the meantime, here is a picture of my cats from when they were younger to enjoy today:


Nya~!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday writing: NaNoWriMo status

I haven't been posting blogs on the weekend, and that's because of stupid NaNoWriMo!  I'm thrilled by the end of the month since I'm always fifty thousand words closer to finishing a novel, but during the month, it's nothing but irritating!  I hate checking my word count and seeing that I've only written a hundred words since the last time I checked.  It's a more formidable goal than people might give it credit for.

I would post an excerpt here except that I know that no one would actually care to read it, haha.  I'm not at all delusional about my writing!  I know that until I become published, no one is going to care to read anything I read.  So, I'll just need to work harder!

This novel isn't my favorite idea, but it is my most marketable.  It's a little difficult to write because it is so unlike many of my other novel ideas, much more light and fun.  In many of my stories, I put my character(s) through something very traumatic, something that really drives their internal conflicts and the choices they make.  Those are the stories I really care about a lot, the character-driven ones.  This one is character-driven, but the stakes aren't very high.  It's the kind of book you would probably only read once.  This book won't make me famous, but it has the best chance of getting me published.  A debut novel needs to be relatively short and marketable to a large audience.  That's what this will be.

So, I'll just continue dying this month until I can cough up fifty thousand words.  I won't be able to finish it this month, but I'll get pretty close, I think.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday modeling: Brandan Lee

Still very new to modeling!  This experience was fun and certainly educational.  The photographer I was going to work with, Brandan Lee, suggested going to a jewelry store and posing with some peridot jewelry, so I chose to wear a color that I thought would complement the light green color of peridot pretty well.  I brought along a blue shirt as well in case he didn't like the magenta shirt.  :b

I met him at a jewelry store called Silver Sea Jewelry in downtown Tucson.  As I've mentioned before, I live north of Tucson and don't go into the heart of Tucson very often, so I had never heard of this place.  As usual, there was nowhere to park nearby the jewelry store, but thankfully, I had arrived early just for that reason.  I had plenty of time to find somewhere to park.  I wasn't entirely sure if it was legal (there's no way to really be sure when you're downtown anywhere!), but I didn't see any signs suggesting it wasn't, so I finally made my way to the jewelry store.

I actually found it pretty quickly, but I wasn't ready to go in yet, so I walked past and tried to compose myself further.  I was really nervous!  I finally turned out around but to my embarrassment saw that Brandan had spotted me walking past and was now holding the door open for me.  I pretended that I just hadn't seen the store and sheepishly followed him inside.

After talking a bit, we drove around and found some locations to shoot, mostly just to get me comfortable.  I was so nervous, my goodness.  I had once again forgotten to take something for my anxiety, so I was through the roof!  But I tried my best to hold it together.  We actually got some good shots!

We then headed back to the jewelry store and took some jewelry for me pose with.  Those also turned out nice.  I changed into my blue shirt to model one of the blue pieces of jewelry.  I guess it was a good thing I brought it after all!






I was very happy with the results, and best of all, it raised my confidence, which is the main reason I love modeling.  :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thursday music: Celestial Soda Pop

NaNoWriMo has been killing me!  D:  As it always does, haha.  Music is actually great for writing.  It's relaxing and can even give you inspiration when you're not sure what to do next.  Or, you can just take a one or two minute break and just soak it in.  I usually write in silence, to be honest, but every so often, I'll decide turn on some music.

When it comes to writing while listening to music, I find that the music needs to be instrumental.  Otherwise, I end up singing along which is only distracting!  I can't sing words while trying to write completely different words at the same time.  It just doesn't work!

I really like New Age music for writing.  It's so interesting and beautiful, just really gets my mind going and thinking.  One of my favorite New Age artists is Ray Lynch.  At least, I think it's New Age.  I've heard his music described that way, but I don't know for sure.  I'm not an expert on New Age music, but it certainly sounds like it to me.  The first song I ever heard by Ray Lynch is probably his most famous: Celestial Soda Pop from his 1984 album Deep Breakfast.  It's a strange title, but it fits the mood and sound of the song really well.  It has an ethereal quality to it, but the melody is upbeat and "poppy."  It's easily the type of song you could listen to over and over again, and yes, it gets you thinking.  Story upon story plays in my head when I listen to this song.


There is also a remix of this song which is quite enjoyable, but the original is definitely the best!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday whatever: Gaia Online avatar for November

Okay, so I can be a geek sometimes...

Sometimes.

Being part of an online anime community doesn't make me too much of a geek, I know.  It's not a word I usually use to describe myself.  I can be pretty geeky when it comes to my fandoms, but overall, it's not how I would describe myself.

Anyway, I have been a member of Gaia Online since September of 2005.  My sister had joined it a few months earlier, and I had just moved from Japan and was still enjoying anything related to it.  Gaia really has very little to do with Japan, though.  In the beginning, it was advertised as an anime role-playing community.  It has changed a lot since then.  The only real anime components that remain are the designs of the avatars and the manga updates.  Gaia is also no longer as free-to-play as it used to be.  I'm not here to rant about how Gaia has changed for the worse, though.  There's really only one thing about Gaia that I enjoy, and that is dressing up my avatar!  ^___^

I try to reflect the current holiday or season in my avatar.  Halloween just passed, but I never actually bought anything for Thanksgiving, and I've been too lazy to TekTek a new avatar.  So, this is what I came up with for this month:


Yeah, I know...I don't really get it either.  D:  But it was all I had in my inventory, and with the insane inflation in the Gaia economy, I wasn't in the mood to buy anything new.  Myeh!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday animation: The Princess and the Goblin

Rating:

I meant to review this last week, but was unable to.  I finally get to review an obscure movie, yay!  Though I think many women my age have probably seen it.  They just might not remember it!

I saw this movie when I was very young, and though I watched it multiple times, it had been so long that I had to review it.  Plus, back then, I didn't have a real appreciation for animated films, so I needed to watch it as an adult to understand it better.  When I first saw this, I probably would've given it five peridots!  But now, I can be a bit less biased.  :b

I also read the book on which this film was based several times when I was little.  I still had trouble remembering the story up until this past week.

Overview: The Princess and the Goblin is an animated childrens' fantasy film released in 1991 in Hungary and 1994 in the U.S..  The film combines the efforts of teams from three different countries: the UK, Hungary, and Japan.  The film received mostly negative reviews, especially since its American release was overshadowed by the highly acclaimed The Lion King from Disney.  As suggested by its American distributor Hemdale, children tend to rate the film quite high.


Art: Some of the backgrounds are actually really nice and lovely.  Facial expressions don't always match the emotion or words that the characters express which is just poor animation.  It does not surprise me that Japan had a hand in this film as anime is well-known for characters only flapping their mouths but not expressing much otherwise.  Well, that's how it was back in the early nineties, anyway (and to some degree, that's still how it is!).  The designs are okay, better than a regular cartoon, but not particularly nice to look at it.  Everything is mostly fluid, and there is actually some nice rendering of light and shadows.  Not always, but sometimes.  I like the way water is rendered when it's falling, too.  There are actually some fairly impressive shots like when Irene rides down the cave walls on a rock.  I liked the animation over the credits as that suggests some extra work went into the film, though the dedication was strange (to babies born during production?).  I appreciate the obvious effort that went into this film and am giving the animators the benefit of the doubt that the lazy animation was not due to lack of caring but rather lack of money.  Considering the other movies that came out around this time, though, I still can't rate it too highly.  I would expect something like this from the seventies or even eighties, but from the nineties, this is quite poor.  It's only a few small steps above a regular cartoon.  Even so, I definitely recognize the talent of the artists and that this was a film that they cared about; it was not just made for money.

I wish the characters looked as good as the background.  They seem a little out of place.
I love how light looks in this film.


She should be leaving a shadow behind her.  I love when animation pays attention to those kinds of details, but not in this film.  Oh, well.


I love how the water looks here.
Fairly impressive animation in this scene.  Not as mind-blowing as Tarzan makes it look later, but still good.



Sound: Terrible acting from almost everyone.  Curdie's voice actor is especially terrible.  It's almost painful to listen to him.  The voices all matched, though.  I actually enjoyed the Prince Froglip's voice actor, Rik Mayall.  He was so fabulous!  I understand that this actor is dead now, which saddens me.  He really was the best in this movie, easily the most talented.  Sound quality was not perfect, but it was clear and easy on the ears.  The music was just okay.  I enjoyed the one song that Curdie sings, but it wasn't that great or memorable.  It was certainly triumphant and nice, but it's kind of boring.

Story: This story is definitely intended for children.  I do not remember the book at all, to be honest, but I imagine that this film is probably fairly close to the source material for the most part.  I imagine that there is no cat in the book, though, at least not like the cat in the movie (named Turnip).  Anyway, the movie has some dark moments, but it's overall pretty light, perfect for children.  Princess Irene is one day chased by goblins but is saved when a mining boy named Curdie sings to scare them away.  The two become friends and then must save the rest of the kingdom from the goblins who plot to have their goblin prince, Froglip, marry Irene and thus rule over the "Sun People."  While not the most compelling story, there's enough adventure and fun to keep you entertained.  The characters are not the most interesting.  Curdie is especially kind of flat.  Irene is a bit of a brat at times.  The most interesting character was probably Prince Froglip, but that's likely because his voice actor really gave him a lot of energy.  There is a moral of finding your own strength and not relying too much on others, but it's kind of a thin moral.  It's very easy to miss or forget.  This whole film reminds me of Disney's The Black Cauldron, just with poorer animation, character designs, and acting.  But really, Curdie is a bit like Taran and Irene is a bit like Eilonwy.  Even Eilonwy's bauble can be compared to Irene's great-great-grandmother.

Yes.
Isn't that adorable?  Except that they're like eight.
The king looks like the Burger King.  D:
Personal appeal: I loved it as a child.  I remember renting it from our local rental store several times and watching it over and over and over.  For that reason, I like it today on a very nostalgic level.  I can't say it's a great film, but I can say that it is a good one.  I would definitely be up to watching it again with my own children (if I ever have any, haha) or if I'm babysitting (which I no longer do, but who knows?).  I admire the animation for what it is.  It's poorly done at times, but considering the time it came out and the countries it came from, it's pretty good for my taste even though it does look like it belongs in the eighties, not the nineties.  I never expect the quality of animation that Disney produces from any other companies because that would be unfair.  Most non-Disney animation companies at this time simply did not have the money to produce high-quality animation.  I appreciate the obvious effort despite this limitation.  Any company that creates animation just for the end credits obviously cares about their work.

RAINBOW!  One of the most cliched ways to end an animated film, haha.
Overall, I give this film two peridots.  If the acting were better, I would probably give it another half peridot.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday writing: NaNoWriMo status

Today is day three of the novel writing madness, and I'm already tired.  :b  I haven't met today's target word count yet, but I'm realizing that I made the mistake of not planning enough.  Normally before I write a novel, I plan it quite thoroughly using the snowflake method (discussed in this post).  I didn't do that this time because I had planned until just last week to continue my novel I had worked on the past two years.  Starting a new novel was kind of a last-minute decision, so I didn't plan it as much as I should've.

I realize now that this is definitely going to be a very rough draft, and that's okay.  What I like about NaNoWriMo is that it forces me to write something even if it's really crappy.  As long as I get the basic story down, I can work on wording and plot holes later.  The hardest part really is just getting the entire story written, and for something like NaNoWriMo, one cannot use "writer's block" as an excuse for winning.  Skip ahead to a part that you do want to write or write a completely unneeded scene that helps you develop your character.  Just write something!  If you write nothing, you will lose, and I have never lost yet!  With that in mind, I am fully prepared for this draft to turn out terrible, but it'll be just fine.

I also think I'll be learning a lot about the plot as I write it.  Usually, I plan the plot points first, but I think this is going to be one of those times where they just kind of happen.  Again, I can fix everything later, so I'm just going to let it go.

I haven't even come up with a title for this novel yet.  Hmm.  I might need a title generator for that.  There are a bunch out there, but here's one that I like: http://writingexercises.co.uk/story-title-generator.php.  When I get ready to actually come up with a title, I'll play around with some and see what I can come up with.

And now, time to meet today's quota.  D:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November layout

The layout is currently bright and orange because the birthstone for November is the topaz!  If it hurts your eyes, I apologize!  I tried to make it as dark as I could without it looking brown.

The actual birthstone for November is the yellow topaz, but I decided to make orange the main color since a yellow layout would have really been hard on the eyes.

What will I be doing this November?  Working on my new novel (and titling it), finishing on my MA thesis (I hope!), practicing for the Messiah in December, more photoshoots (I need to drum up some more courage), and Thanksgiving!  The holidays are going to get into full swing from here on.  They always start playing Christmas commercials the day after Halloween which drives me crazy!  I don't like to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. 

Happy November!