BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 39 – Sonic is Forgiven, Sega Isn’t

Week 39 – Sonic is Forgiven, Sega Isn’t

Thank god the renovations are almost over. I’ve had about as much as I can stand of my current schedule; the usual routine may be boring, but I’ll take boring over loud, messy, and chaotic any day. I was woken up at 9 AM this past Saturday by my folks moving furniture and vacuuming on the floor directly above my bed… and that’s on the low end of the annoyances I’ve had to deal with over the last two weeks. Once it’s all done and things are back to semi-normal, I’m going all in on getting Soulsnatcher Chapter 5 finished, no matter what.

So I did finally finish Silent InvenTOYry Episode 5 after five months of non-continuous work… the link is below, so please watch, share, and leave comments. The next full SI episode is going to be something far less elaborate, I can promise you that.

I also finished this project that I’ve had in mind for several months now: a “clean” version of “Kanata and Towa’s Melody”, the violin duet from Go! Princess Precure, without the background instrumentation. More details are in the video description, but what’s just as important is that I put the finished version of this remix up on Bandcamp for purchase. This is the first track I’ve uploaded there, hopefully more will follow soon.

So after hearing Pat from Super Best Friends Play call Sonic Mania “perfect”, I decided I had to give it a shot. I know I promised that I was out of Sonic forever, but hearing someone who hates what’s become of the franchise even more than I do sing Mania’s praises, especially after hearing many years of his angry rants about every time Sega’s tried to do a “retro-style” Sonic in the past… It convinced me to give Mania a chance.

I admit: I am impressed. After playing the game for about four hours, I can confidently say that Christian Whitehead and his team nailed it… and this is coming from someone who played through the Genesis games more times than was healthy. More than the Advance games, more than the Rush games, more than Generations, and a hell of a lot more than either episode of Sonic 4, Sonic Mania feels like a natural evolution of the classic series, like it came from some alternate universe where Sega/Sonic Team didn’t consistently fuck themselves over after 1994 or so.

I’m still not giving Sega one more dime of my money, I stress; the purchase was made with a late-birthday gift card. I continue to hate Sega for how they’ve treated their IPs, their fans, and their licensing partners, and that’s not going to change. But just this once, by some miracle, they did something inarguably right, right enough to bring a smile to even this bitter ex-fan’s face.

Pat also said that if Mania outsells Sonic Forces (a game which is looking more and more dire by the day), it’ll be the definitive slap in the face to Sega, and final proof that they’ve let Sonic Team become a mockery of itself. I have to agree… though I wonder what it’ll do to the brand if there’s another ’06-caliber disaster so soon after finally winning the series back some respect. Wouldn’t that be such a perfectly Sega scenario if that happened, though? Almost like karma.

Anyway. Whitehead, you’ve done a great service to a series that probably doesn’t deserve your talents, and I hope the higher-ups have enough sense to hire you back for a sequel. Job well done.

– BHS

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Belated BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 38 – Closed for Renovation

Week 38 – Closed for Renovation

Bleh, another late entry, sorry. Getting writing done while doing my housesitting job is proving harder than I thought. For whatever reason, my laptop screen has been giving me headaches when I look at it for more than an hour at a time, so what progress I’ve been able to make has been exclusively at nights and over the weekend when the workmen aren’t here. It seems like there’s always something getting in my way… The good news is, I’m now in the home stretch for Silent InvenTOYry Episode 5. I spent most of last Saturday shooting the last few scenes I need, and I think there’s only one or two more left now. With any luck, I’ll be done by this weekend, but until then, here’s a teaser shot for you guys, with my apologies for the long delay:

Whatever happens, I’m going to try to get Chapter 5 of Soulsnatcher done by the end of the month if at all possible.

In better news, I’m almost finished with the Shattered Skies bonus thing I’ve been working on, so if I can’t manage to update before October 14th then the bonus will go up as Chapter 29 and the main story will continue in Chapter 30.

Sometimes it seems like my life has two speeds: moving at a crawl, or Warp 9…

– BHS

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 5: 5.5 pages done
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 3 Patrons
  • Book II Appendix: 2 pages done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 29: 1 page done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05: ~80% done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Shorts Episode 02: Now in progress

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 37 – Re-energized

Week 37 – Re-energized

Well, what a pleasant surprise! One of my oldest friends became my third Patron this week, so that gave me a much-needed motivational boost to get back to work on Tasakeru. I want to make absolutely certain that I repay him for his generosity by getting the next chapter out ASAP. I also finally made progress on the Book II Appendix, and made some corresponding changes to the Three Gods page on Tasakeru.com. Furthermore, now that my first fundraising goal has been met, I’m going to start uploading my MIDI tracks to Bandcamp, where they’ll be available for streaming and purchase. (The tracks I have on my Soundcloud will make their way there too.) The latter process will take a while, but I hope it’ll be worth it when it’s complete. Many heartfelt thanks to BMK for inspiring all this.

As for Shattered Skies, I wrote quite a bit of material this week that will show up much later in the story, plus a few pages of a special chapter that I’m hoping to upload for the fic’s third birthday next month. There will be more on that as it gets closer, but this chapter is an idea I’ve had in mind for quite some time. It’s… not really anything at all like the rest of the story, it’s more of a gift to my readers, but I’m pretty sure you guys will get a kick out of it.

I’m making it my mission to get as much of Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05 (The Big One) done tomorrow as possible. There’s renovations going on at my house for most of the next two weeks and I’ll be staying elsewhere, so I won’t have nearly as much time at my dekstop with my editing software handy. Fortunately, I think I just need to film maybe four more scenes, and I’ll finally have all the footage I need. I’ll try to be sure the finished product is worth the long wait.

So it looks like the next movie I absolutely must see is IT. I love Stephen King, and IT is one of my favorite books of his, but the 1990 miniseries version was… not great, aside from Tim Curry as Pennywise and a young Seth Green as Richie. From the first trailers for this new one, it looked like they finally got the book’s tone right and had the budget to do it justice. The presence of one of the kids from Stranger Things was just icing. And now that the movie’s done absolute gangbusters and a sequel is a sure thing… hell yeah, I’m excited. It’s been too long since there was a really good horror movie.

Things are looking up in my neck of the woods… it’s about damned time.

– BHS

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 5: 5 pages done
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 3 Patrons
  • Book II Appendix: 1.5 pages done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 29: 1 page done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05: ~60% done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Shorts Episode 02: Now in progress

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 36 – On Feedback, Or Lack Thereof

Week 36 – On Feedback, Or Lack Thereof

I’ve always been led to believe that people on the Internet love to talk. Net denizens will express their opinions about anything and everything, no matter how small, and most of them will do so loudly and repeatedly.

Whoever those people are, by and large they’re apparently not aware that I exist.

Not to sound like I’m wallowing in self-pity (any more than usual), but when I look at a site like Wattpad, which I just joined last week, and I see that some piece of meaningless fluff composed of teenage girl fantasies about Tom Holland has 1.2 million views while the most popular thing I’ve ever written, something I poured my heart and soul into, has only been seen by 65,000 people in five years… I start to wonder if I’m doing something wrong.

I try to be nice and unobtrusive about requesting feedback. I don’t badger people to read my stuff and tell me what they think. I only self-promote to a degree that I deem acceptable. And when it comes to writing stuff worth commenting on, well… the people who do comment generally tell me I’ve got some modicum of talent, so I’m not inclined to think they’re wrong. Don’t mistake me, I’m immensely grateful for the comments and feedback I do get, and I try to always respond as soon as possible, in a friendly and personable manner. I’ve been making a conscious effort lately to give people the kind of feedback that I want to see on my works, just so no one can claim I’m being a hypocrite.

Yet despite all my efforts, I’m still languishing in relative anonymity. The same dozen-odd people engage me every time I upload a fanfic chapter or a figure photo, and that’s it. In eight years, I haven’t gotten more than a handful of comments on Tasakeru, even less since the relaunch. I put my first tier of Patreon rewards down to the absolute minimum price, and aside from VDrake and Chronorin, I still don’t have any takers. As you might imagine, this does a number on my self-esteem and motivation.

At the end of each chapter of his ponyfic The Changeling of the Guard, VDrake has taken to saying that “Comments are an author’s breadcrumbs.” I’m putting that in bold type because it’s really, seriously relevant: if you like the stuff that I do, or have any feelings on it at all, really… please, please, please leave a few words saying so. Long comments are the best, but even a “nice job” will do. Tell your friends to do the same, and maybe make a Patreon pledge if you’re feeling especially generous.

This creativity stuff is one of the only outlets I have, guys. I want to be able to create just for the sake of it, and not for validation, but… a little more validation will really help things along, you know?

– BHS

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 5: 3 pages done
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 2 Patrons
  • Book II Appendix: 1 page done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 29: 1 page done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05: ~55% done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Shorts Episode 02: Now in progress

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 35 – Another Year Older

Week 35 – Another Year Older

… but thankfully not any deeper in debt. Thanks for the birthday well-wishes, everyone, I really appreciate you all thinking of me. As I said last week, I ended up taking a week off of most of my creative projects, save for doing the pictures for the revised Shattered Skies cover. Overall, I think that decision was for the best, because I feel much refreshed now and ready to get back to work starting tomorrow.

It seems Bandai must have known it was my birthday this week, considering that three Precure Figuarts got announced within a week of each other. Two of those, Cure Scarlet and Cure Custard, are on my must-buy list. Scarlet is now accounted for (thanks, VDrake!), but Custard is still in a very early stage. The third is Cure Whip, who will be releasing at the end of next February, thereby having the closest-ever interval between the airing of her show and the release of her figure. I really hope this means the Happiness Charge Cures will finally be getting theirs this year, because now theirs along with A La Mode’s and Mahou Tsukai’s are the only official ones left. As long as I get my Cure Fortune, I’ll be happy.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me for another year. More content will be coming, slowly but surely.

– BHS

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 5: 2 pages done
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 2 Patrons
  • Book II Appendix: 1 page done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 29: In progress
  • Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05: ~50% done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Shorts Episode 02: Now in progress

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 34 – I Think I’mma Just Crawl in a Hole For a While

Week 34: I Think I’mma Just Crawl in a Hole For a While

Oh man. I don’t know if it’s the eclipse making everyone and everything more bonkers than usual or what, but already this week seems like it’s gonna be a chore. I woke up this morning with a massive inexplicable headache and things haven’t gotten much better from there. I feel like a mess.

Honestly, I may just spend the week leading up to my birthday reenergizing and trying not to put pressure on myself. I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of a creative burnout, and that’s the last thing I need to happen right now.

– BHS

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 5: 2 pages done
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 2 Patrons
  • Book II Appendix: 1 page done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 29: In progress
  • Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05: ~50% done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Shorts Episode 02: Now in progress

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BHS Blogress Report – 2017, Week 33: At Last, A Break

Week 33 – At Last, A Break

No more braindead chickens, needlessly hostile cats, or suicidal goldfish to take care of for the time being. For the next six days at least, my calendar is blessedly free of petsitting, thank god. Why yes, my job last week was one of the more difficult ones, how could you tell?

Anyway. Since that took up 80% of my time, I didn’t have the energy to get much done save for Shattered Skies Chapter 28. I was inspired to crank the rest of this one out thanks in part to ErinPtah and her new fan art based on Sailor Chibi-Moon’s part of the Insecurity System sequence in Chapter 26, which you can see below:

Thanks again, Erin! You’re the best!

Since I now actually have some time to myself, starting tomorrow I’m going to get back to work on Soulsnatcher Chapter 5 and Silent InvenTOYry Episode 5. Both of those are waaay overdue, I know, but as the Summer of Nigh-Endless Work is finally drawing to a close, I think (read: hope) that I’ll be a bit more productive from now on.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 32 – Adventures in House/Dog/Cat/Chicken/Fishsitting

Week 32 – Adventures in House/Dog/Cat/Chicken/Fishsitting

Dammit, it’s Monday again already?!

This will be another short one, I’m afraid. As the title indicates, I’m smack in the middle of a very involved job for my pet/housesitting business, and I’m dead tired from it. Suffice to say, it looks like Chapter 28 of Shattered Skies will be the next project to go up, since I got on a roll with it this past weekend. I’m making a concentrated effort to get what I can done during my downtime at this job. Anything that keeps me away from this client’s chickens is a welcome distraction. I never knew what stubborn, messy, and incredibly stupid animals they were until I started taking care of them… more to the point, until today, when I spent ten miserable minutes trying to herd seven near-braindead birds into a coop because they didn’t have the sense to come in out of the pouring rain by themselves.

Good lord, do I ever need a vacation.

– BHS

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 5: 1.5 pages done
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 2 Patrons
  • Book II Appendix: 1 page done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 28: 9.25 pages done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05: ~45% done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Shorts Episode 02: Now in progress

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 31 – Plus Ultra

Week 31 – Plus Ultra

Sorry for my rotten mood last week. Trumpcare seems to be dead again, for what it’s worth. I’m not any less pissed at McCain, who could have stopped this nightmare in its tracks when it came up in the first place, and who still votes with Voldemorange and the rest of his party of lunatics 95% of the time… but I can go on living, at least.

I wanted to push to get Episode 05 of Silent InvenTOYry done this weekend, but it’s hit yet another snag. The footage I shot for it last weekend was all unusable due to a really stupid mistake on my part… I forgot to change my camera’s brightness settings from automatic back to manual before filming. Result being, the outside footage was way too bright, and the inside footage was way too dark. I still managed to make some progress on it, but it’s most likely not going to be done until mid-August at this rate. I’ll be house/petsitting for a family in the neighborhood for a week starting Saturday, which means no access to my PC and no access to Vegas. I might try to rush through Episode 02 of Semi-Shorts as a placeholder, but it’s unlikely. At least I’ll have my laptop with me during my sitting job, so with little else to do (aside from work, of course) I should be able to write some more.

On the glowing recommendations of several friends of ours, VDrake and I started watching Boku No Hero Academia. I was afraid it would be another generic Shonen Jump series… I’ve been wary of them ever since Bleach drew me in with the bait-and-switch of its first fifteen episodes only to spend the rest of its run as an endless series of “my sword is bigger than yours” battles with an exponentially increasing cast of characters I could care less about. To my surprise and delight, BNHA seems to be trying to subvert, invert, or outright defy as many of the tired old shonen hero tropes as it can. In the seven episodes we’ve watched so far, every time I’ve seen something that looks like something I’ve seen a thousand times before in Dragonball/Naruto/etc., the plot’s taken a hard left swerve and managed to surprise me. There’s genuine feeling behind the protagonist, Izuku, and his impossible dream of becoming a hero… which also sounds like the same old “chosen one” crap, but that gets turned on its head by depicting the actual work that he puts into achieving that dream, rather than having powers, fame, and glory dropped in his lap. Like, there seems to be a deliberate effort here to take what works for other shonen series (hero from humble beginnings, rival that’s cooler than he is, mysterious mentor, huge cast of characters) and improve on those tropes while shattering others. To sum up, I’m really shocked at how much I’m loving this, and if it can keep up the pace as it has been, I might have a new favorite on my hands.

– BHS

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 5: 1.5 pages done
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 2 Patrons
  • Book II Appendix: 1 page done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 28: 3.25 pages done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05: ~45% done
  • Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Shorts Episode 02: Now in progress

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Belated BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 30 – We’re So Screwed

Week 30 – We’re So Screwed

Sorry for the belated update. It’s been a rough couple days, and judging by today’s news it’s not gonna stop there. Let me take this opportunity to give a colossal FUCK YOU to the Republicans who just voted to kill me and tens of millions of other Americans, with an extra-special SERIOUSLY, FUCK YOU to self-proclaimed “maverick” John McCain.

I’m in a bad, bad mood right now, and I don’t have much else on my mind other than more profanity, so that’s it for this week. Sorry.

– BHS

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