BHS Blogress Report: 2016, Week 52

So here we are with the final Blogress Report of the year.

Last year at this time, when I was coming up with the idea for weekly Blogress Reports… well, for one thing, I didn’t imagine that I’d make the progress that I did. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking much about the future, as I try not to do that when I don’t have to. Life, in my experience, is unpredictable and ever-changing. For me, the best way to cope with the changes is to live in the moment and let the future try to sort itself out.

My best friend will be on his way here soon enough and will be staying until January 1st, so barring any last-minute bursts of inspiration, I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting much work done in the last few days of the year. I’m okay with that, though. The time I’ve taken off has been healthy for me.

I still can’t shake the feeling that next year is going to do a number on us all, but no matter what happens, I’m going to try to keep my new survival mantra in mind: “We got this.” It’s a simple way of reaffirming not just my own strength, but the strength of the people and things that keep me going. I may have to repeat it multiple times a day, but you know how it goes: tell yourself something often enough, and you’ll start to believe it.

So that’s it from me for 2016, everyone. Enjoy your holidays, and remember: “We got this.”

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 1: 4 pages done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 23: 4 pages done


– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2016, Week 51

The penultimate Blogress Report of the year mostly covers wrap-ups of this season’s anime. I’m still enjoying my break, but I did manage to work on some stuff here and there…

http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2016-Week-51-652175587

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 1: 4 pages done
  • Shattered Skies, Chapter 23: 0.75 pages done

I hope all my readers have safe and happy holidays in the coming week. Peace on earth, and all that jazz.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2016, Week 50

SPECIAL “ALL PROJECTS FINISHED FOR THE YEAR” EDITION!

Yes, for once, I’m ahead of the game! I got everything I wanted to do before the year’s end finished, so for the next two weeks, I can enjoy a well-deserved break. Blogress Reports will continue as usual, of course… and I’m already working on a bit of a buffer so that next year there won’t be as long a wait between updates. The first page and a half of Soulsnatcher’s revision is already done, with more to come.

A few more details are at the usual link:

http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2016-Week-50-650946106

– BHS

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ETERNITY AWAKES, CHAPTER 6

Chapter 6

Woe, oh ancient one

When all that you know is gone

Where will you wander?

“Never corner a fox, if at all possible. When foxes are trapped with no hope of escape and their lives in danger, their first instinct is to attempt to talk their way out of peril. Anyone who has spent sufficient time in the company of foxes could explain why this is undesirable for all parties concerned.

“Foxes, of course, think themselves quite witty. The average todd or vixen has such a high opinion of themselves and their intelligence that they will approach the task of talking themselves through life-threatening danger with the utmost confidence. One supposes they reason that once their adversary is angry or distracted enough that judgment is impaired, the fox can make their escape with impunity. Anger or distraction on the other party’s part is all but guaranteed, given that when a fox speaks at length, their words inevitably become insulting, offensive, or both.

“So provoked, the fox’s adversary will resort to violence, lose their temper, or otherwise make an effort to force the fox to stop talking by any available means. In the ensuing confusion, the fox will take advantage of their clouded judgment, and more often than not will flee the premises, laughing all the way. While the adversary may experience significant frustration over this turn of events, it is often eclipsed by relief that at least the talking has stopped. Thus, a favorable outcome for both parties, all things considered.”

[An excerpt from The Art of Diplomacy, by Gaius Cloelius Fulcinius]

“Look,” said Faun. “I’m just saying, there’s been some kind of huge misunderstanding here.”

The jackal did not answer.

“I mean, I get it. Three thousand years alone, you’re looking for companionship, I come along and… well.” She smirked. “Nobody would blame you.”

The jackal did not answer.

“I’m just saying. There’s better ways to solve that problem, ones that don’t involve me.”

Still the jackal did not answer.

Faun sighed and leaned against the back wall, playing idly with her tail fur. Blasting her way out of her prison was no longer an option; after a few more useless grenade volleys, Seker had taken her boom belt from her. When he grew bored of her constant attempts to retrieve it, he made both the bandolier and his hand insubstantial with a spell that Faun had to admit was rather impressive, then sank the belt into the brick floor. Now it was embedded there, completely out of reach. The only way to access the tower shaft to the lower chamber was by his will, so that was out. That left talking as her only viable option. It was not going well.

Seker stood immobile before the tower’s enormous crystalline picture window, his hands clasped behind his back, as much like a statue as the first time Faun saw him. The jackal cut a noble figure, there was no disputing that… but every time she felt faint stirrings of sympathy for him, she remembered that he intended to keep her there against her will until she agreed to be his eternal companion or died, whichever came first. Any pity she had for him shriveled in a hurry when she thought of that.

At this point, the sole comfort she had was trying to annoy him. It was something she had quite a knack for. “For example,” she said with a wicked grin, “why not try, you know, indulging yourself? I swear it doesn’t really make you go blind, that’s a myth.”

She thought she saw his shoulders twitch, but perhaps it was a trick of the light.

“Or a hobby!” said Faun. “That could help pass your time. Do you have any hobbies? Painting, sculpting, collecting bird feathers? I had a friend back in Unify once that loved bird feathers, he collected all kinds. Sparrow feathers, chicken feathers, swallow feathers, pigeon feathers, seagull feathers, duck feathers, red-tailed hawk feathers, white-tailed hawk feathers…”

As she babbled on and on, Seker was unreasonably glad that the vixen could not see his pained expression, nor his eyes rolling behind his mask. He stood in silence, trying to ignore his slowly growing suspicion that this entire situation was spiraling out of his control. However, he took solace in the fact that eventually, given enough time, she would stop talking. Eventually, given enough time, she had to stop.

Didn’t she?

The jackal suppressed a dry chuckle. Thousands of years spent yearning in vain for the sound of a voice other than his own, and now he found himself wishing for silence. What an irony.

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BHS Belated Blogress Report: 2016, Week 49

Please excuse my lateness once again! My brain is understandably a bit fried, because after eight months of work, the long-in-progress magical girl photo project is finally FINISHED as of Sunday night! A direct link is below:

http://fav.me/daqot20

And the few more details of my week that didn’t involve marathon Photoshopping are found in the usual place:

http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Belated-Blogress-Report-2016-Week-49-649763582

Sleep now, more write later.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2016, Week 48

tumblr_inline_oh9r97cbyp1qfwpks_500

Kaylee: “So how come you don’t care where you’re going?”
Book: “‘Cause how you get there’s the worthier part.”
– Kaylee Frye and Shepherd Book, Firefly, “Serenity, Part 1”

This weekend, we bid farewell to Ron Glass, remembered by all of us Browncoats as Shepherd Derrial Book in Firefly and Serenity. Mr. Glass had a decades-long career in television, including a starring role in Barney Miller, but it’s as Shepherd Book that he became a legend. Tributes have come in from Joss Whedon, his fellow cast members, and fans all over the world, and now it’s my turn.

This hit me, hard. I was late getting on board with Firefly, but once I did, it became one of my favorite series ever. I felt the pain that every fan feels when I learned how such a brilliant series was cut down so quickly by idiots that didn’t understand it, and I’ve told countless people about the miracle that was Serenity, the movie that shouldn’t have happened. I love Firefly more than my words can express, and Book was a key part of what made it so different: in keeping with the space Western theme, he was the man of faith in a lawless frontier, a classic archetype given a new twist. There were the numerous hints and signs that he hadn’t always been a Shepherd, of course, with a later graphic novel confirming his checkered past, but that’s mostly background material. In the series and the movie, Book was a counterbalance to Captain Mal’s cynicism and lost religion, a decent man trying to apply the lessons of the faith that saved him to the family he found himself with. He had some of the greatest moments of the series’ brief life: the “special hell” line in “Our Miss Reynolds”, his admitting to Zoe in “War Stories” that while the Bible had some specific things to say against killing people, it was “somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps”, accidentally terrifying River by unleashing his hair in “Jaynestown”, his heartbreaking death scene in Serenity, and his first meeting with Kaylee in the pilot, which I’ve quoted above. I can’t choose a favorite.

Of course, as I’m preacher’s kid, Book has always reminded me of my father. My pop is a constant reminder of the good things about faith and religion, and how they can transform people for the better. It would have been easy to show Book as a stereotype, a cheap metaphor, or a way to spout pseudo-profound lines to the audience, but no. Book was flawed and layered, as all good characters are. He struggled with his faith, just as I know my dad has struggled with his… but in the end, he always refused to let any ugliness he witnessed change him for the worse. Just like my pop.

Mr. Glass was a practicing Buddhist. As such, I feel it’s appropriate to try to focus not on the sadness of his passing, but the new journey he’s been sent on. That’s part of why I quoted that particular scene up above in tribute; I think he would have approved. Go well, sir. Thanks for sailing with us for a while.

More news can be found at the link below.

http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2016-Week-48-648434484

  • Tasakeru Book II Chapter 6: 7 pages done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 22: 7 pages done
  • Photo projects: Effects/background

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2016, Week 47

Book I‘s manuscript has officially been sent off to the copyright office! Next stop: publication! After a few months of waiting for it to go through the system, of course.

I started rereading Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, one of my favorite series ever, and I put down a few thoughts about it at the link. Other than that, it’s been a slow week. The petsitting business is finally picking back up, but I’ll try to have another chapter of something out during my downtime this week.

http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2016-Week-47-647170193

  • Tasakeru Book II Chapter 6: 5.25 pages done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 22: 5.5 pages done
  • Photo projects: Effects/background

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2016, Week 46 – Coming Out

Dear readers,

I’m using this week’s entry to publicly come out as asexual. This is something I’ve mulled over for quite some time now, but I feel it’s more important than ever to stand up and be proud of who and what you are. I’m doing this not for attention or adulation, but because I think it’s right. There’s more on the subject at the link below.

http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2016-Week-46-Coming-Out-645871116

Thank you for your support.

– BHS

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Music Page Update: Autumn Afternoon

I’ve uploaded a new song to the Music page called “Autumn Afternoon”. It’s a gentle, mellow guitar theme for Zero and Hanami’s relationship.

– BHS

Aside

BHS Blogress Special Report: Day One

I’m not gonna lie: yesterday was bad. Really bad.

Last night I had a major depressive episode. I quite literally owe my best friend VDrake my life for talking sense into me. Last night, the foul little voice of my depression came back hard, screaming at me that all was lost until it was all I could hear.

This morning? Well, it’s too early to tell. I don’t exactly feel better, but I feel stronger. Hardened, if just a bit.

I work with words. I’ve been thinking about some of my favorites.

“Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free
You can’t take the sky from me…”

I’m thinking about Firefly. I’m going to watch it again, and try to convince my folks to join me this time. In Joss’s own words, it’s about “living in defeat.” It’s more appropriate than ever now. Good old Captain Mal with his famous rally cry at the end of Serenity: “No more runnin’. I aim to misbehave.”

“Do you hear the people sing? Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth, there is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise!”

I’m thinking about Les Miserables, in particular those words from the finale that never fail to give me chills.

“As long as one heart still holds on
Hope is never really gone
And I hear them saying
You’ll never change things
And no matter what you do, it’s still the same thing
It’s not the world that I am changing
I do this so
This world we know
Never changes me
What I do is so
This world will know
That it will not change me”

Those are words from a song Garth Brooks wrote after Oklahoma City, his hometown, was bombed by Timothy McVeigh. I will always remember the first time I saw him perform that song on a crappy old TV in a middle school that I hated… it’s the only memory of that place I want to keep. His eyes were like he was looking right into my soul. When he finished, the room that had been making jokes about rednecks and pickup trucks before he came on was stone silent.

“Don’t forget
Always, somewhere, someone is fighting for you
As long as you remember her
You are not alone.”

And those words are from Madoka, the words that I’ll cling to in the coming days.

Those are other people’s words, but they’re words I live by.

Last night was terrible, and at the time I wouldn’t get through it. But now the morning’s here. Now it’s time to stand back up and continue writing my own.

– BHS

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