BHS Blogress Report 2017, Week 21 – Sick as a Dog

Week 21 – Sick as a Dog

To get right to the point: nothing got done this week. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I had a new client for my petsitting business, taking care of a very friendly but high-maintenance dog for almost a solid week, and that would have been tiring enough without my entire family, including myself, getting sick in succession from the same respiratory bug.

So yeah, that was pretty much the sum total of what’s happened to me over the last seven days. If I can get through the next week without any major complications and/or disasters (knock on wood), then maybe, maybe I can actually get back to writing.

– BHS

(Original post on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-21-682129382)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 20 – My Not-Happy Place

Week 20 – My Not-Happy Place

At last, I’ve got my new graphics card and can use ZA BEASTO again. No more literal headaches from staring at my old monitor, and hopefully no more figurative headaches from dealing with the “computer repair shop”. Please note the sarcasm quotes. Last Friday was my last straw in trying to work with the idiots that run that place. I brought my PC in on Thursday after installing the new card borked my system, brought it home on Friday, and they had done damn near nothing to fix it; it had the same problem it had when I brought it in. Fortunately, I was able to fix the problem myself, and after about a half hour of yelling on the phone, I finally got them to give me a refund.

Now the only thing in the way of completing Silent InvenTOYry Episode 4 is, you guessed it, actually getting my item in the mail. I sent an email off today about it, and they’ve promised to respond within 24 hours.

Shattered Skies Chapter 26 is finally done as of a few hours ago. Those of you who have read it already can probably tell why it was such a drain to get through… suffice to say, it required me going deep into my Not-Happy Place for nightmarish imagery I could use. I’m really proud of how it turned out, but good lord am I glad that it’s finished. Now I can devote all my energy and time to Tasakeru again. Which, considering I’m writing a Stalker chapter, isn’t much less nightmarish… but with Stalker I at least have a framework of where to go and what to do.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-20-680840778)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 19 – I Don’t Know What to Write Here

I wish I could say I made some progress on Tasakeru this week. That was my intention, but for whatever reason it’s been near-impossible to concentrate on it for the past week or so. I dunno… maybe it’s due to the next Shattered Skies chapter occupying most of my mental energy. Chapter 26 will contain scenes I’ve had in the works for a very long time, scenes which I feel need to knock it out of the park if they’re going to deliver the proper emotional impact to my readers.

Maybe it’s because said scenes are so different from what I usually do that my batteries are drained for other things. Or maybe it’s lingering guilt or self-imposed pressure for not getting a chapter up during April. Or because Chapter 4 of Soulsnatcher is undergoing such a substantial revision from the first draft that it’s practically a new thing. *shrug*

Like I said, I dunno. Being a creative type can be really frustrating at times.

Not much went on in terms of my personal life. I watched a whole lot more of Kamen Rider Gaim, that’s about it. My Tumblr commentary for the new episodes of Steven Universe is going to be quasi-live this week, so that’s notable, I guess. Still no graphics card, and I still can’t do much more on Silent InvenTOYry until I actually have the item to review. I’ll just have to hope I get both this week, I suppose.

Oh, I just remembered that I did throw this together over the weekend, based on something that made me laugh in the newest Super Best Friendcast.

More activity next week, hopefully.

– BHS

 

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 18 – Henshin A-Go-Go

My tech troubles last week were compounded by catching a really nasty cold, so so much for being productive. My computer is now mostly fixed… except that the new graphics card to replace the one that died may take as long as a month to get here, so I’m still stuck on my old 20-inch monitor, because of course the graphics card had the HDMI ports on it and now it’s gone. After eight months of using ZA BEASTO, I’m having a really hard time readjusting to the smaller screen.

That said, once I learned that I might have to wait on the card, I decided to at least try to get whatever I could done on the next Silent InvenTOYry episode in advance. As it turns out, VEGAS does work with just the hardware I have. It doesn’t work well, but it does work. So I put together about a minute thirty of footage as a test run, and it turned out pretty well. I also took the time to lower the entry bar again on my Patreon. Let’s put this in nice, enticing bold caps: now you can get the first level of rewards (Ashigaru Tier) for the minimum pledge of $1 per chapter.

Anyway, since :devVDrake: and I finished Shinkenger, I’ve been scratching my toku itch via other avenues. This may well be a huge mistake, but I decided to finally jump into Kamen Rider, the darker and edgier older brother of the Super Sentai/Power Rangers franchise. I’ve been meaning to watch Kamen Rider Gaim for some time now, since that series was written by Madoka Magica‘s Gen Urobuchi, so I’ve started with that. Let me tell you, if I wasn’t convinced of Urobuchi’s mad genius before… He’s possibly the only man on the planet who could take a concept as patently absurd as “gangs of underground street dancers in a dystopian, corporate-controlled city participate in Pokemon-esque monster battles and transform into fruit-themed samurai”, and not only make it work but make it compelling drama. The sheer, crazy awesome lunacy of the show is best embodied by one particular character… and again, only Urobuchi would take a campy, flamboyant, crossdressing, French-speaking patisserie and have him turn out to be a massive badass in and out of Kamen Rider form. Kamen Rider Bravo, alias Pierre Alfonso Oren, is set up as an absolutely ridiculous character who transforms into an even more ridiculous-looking durian-themed samurai/gladiator… and then he proceeds to wipe the floor with his first two opponents and carve a swath through the rest, because said campy, flamboyant patisserie also happens to be somewhere around six-foot-five, built like a pro-wrestler, and a former member of a French military special forces parachute regiment. I realize the last paragraph or so must read like I’ve recently taken a whole bunch of LSD, but I assure you I’m making none of this up.

That said, I’m trying my best not to let my new enthusiasm distract me much more than it already has.

– BHS

(Original post on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-18-Henshin-aGoGo-678258158)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 17 – Tech Support

Sorry, but this week’s Report will be short and unpleasant. I’m writing this from my laptop because my desktop decided to fail last night. I’m having to replace my hard drive and graphics card… the new HD will be in tomorrow, but the graphics card make take several weeks to get here. That means Silent InvenTOYry Episode 4 is on hold for now; I can’t run VEGAS with what I have built into my machine.

During my downtime, I’ll do my best to get some writing done, but this has thrown a wrench into pretty much everything…

– BHS

(Original post on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-17-Tech-Support-676911720)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 16 – *Crickets*

This is going to be another boring Blogress Report, sorry. Three of my usual petsitting clients went out of town for Spring Break within days of each other, so I’ve been running all over my neighborhood multiple times a day since last Wednesday. This is my Job job at the moment, so it’s got to come before anything else. I got a little bit written in both Tasakeru and Shattered Skies, but until I’m through with my last one I won’t be able to focus on much else.

The upside is, the pay from these three jobs plus another recurring one every week are going to cover all the expenses for my next episode of Silent InvenTOYry. The next item is a big one… it’s not out yet, but it should be in my hands in early May. I’m planning on giving it the full unboxing treatment.

So how about that trailer for The Last Jedi, huh? I’ve seen a lot of reports of people blowing their stacks over Luke’s “It’s time for the Jedi to end” line. While I understand why people are upset, having just rewatched the OT again, I understand where he’s coming from. Consider what’s happened to him since the start of A New Hope: he lost his home on Tatooine, his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, his first mentor, who knows how many of his friends who died in two different wars, his hand, his image of who he and his father were, his second mentor, his father, arguably his nephew, his Jedi pupils, and most recently Han, his best friend. Luke’s gone full-on Season 5 Samurai Jack. It’s no wonder he sounds so tired.

Anyway. That’s it from me. Next week should be more productive.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: )

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 15 – Chan-Chanbara

I’ve got an extremely busy week coming up, which prompted me to get as many long-term projects as I could done this weekend. Chapter 25 of Shattered Skies was first… yet again, this one was supposed to go on longer and cover a few more scenes, but I decided it would be better to push them to Chapter 26. The Lucky Star 10th anniversary tribute pic was the second project. I think I’m getting faster and faster at editing in Photoshop, as I was able to do the majority of the work on this picture done on Saturday.

For the next day or two, though, my schedule is clear. I’m going to take some downtime while I have it, and perhaps go through a few series I’ve been meaning to finish.

God help me, I think I may be back in to the Super Sentai franchise. Some friends of mine got back into the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers hard thanks to the reboot movie, and entertaining/boring them with factoids about the original Japanese source material got me curious about the new series, Uchu Sentai Kyuranger. I always try to be at least somewhat aware of what’s going on in the world of Sentai each year, and this one being so weird and so different from the past five or so convinced me to give it a shot. Kyuranger is still early in the series, but it’s got a good mix of goofy, cheesy, and awesome to it, and I like it so far. Recent catalog scans have revealed that there will be twelve Rangers on the team in the near future, so seeing just how they’ll manage such a huge cast will be reason enough to keep watching.

Of course, that got me itching to watch my beloved Shinkenger again… but this time I convinced VDrake to watch it with me. I was worried that after eight years it might not hold up, but I’ve been thrilled to learn that the superb writing, character work, fight choreography, and style are just as wonderful as I remember them. (In the interest of full disclosure: rewatching Shinkenger has also reawakened my dormant crush on Tori Matsuzaka/Takeru Shiba/ShinkenRed. Call me crazy if you will, but the man is still the best Sentai Red I’ve ever seen, and I can’t in good faith claim that he isn’t one of the reasons I love the series so much.)

Expect something Tasakeru-related to be done in the next ten days or so.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-15-Chan-Chanbara-674162028)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 14 – AAAAAAAAA

I tell you, this was a hell of a weekend.

So first of all, Silent InvenTOYry Episode 03 is up and posted.

As with the last one, I had to futz with the music in order to monetize it on YouTube, hence the silence over the clips from the anime… The uncut version is up on OpenLoad, but please watch the YouTube version first so I can get revenue from it.

So anyway, imagine the noise I made when not ten minutes after I posted this on Saturday morning, Hiroe Suga of freakin’ GAINAX saw it on Twitter and retweeted it to her followers! An actual employee of the studio that made Gurren Lagann, and the wife of one of its founders… she saw my video and liked it enough to share it!

As you might imagine, that pretty much made my year. It also made for a pretty decent burst of inspiration, so I’m now back on track with Shattered Skies Chapter 25. Still no progress on the Book II Appendix, dammit, but the next SI episode’s most likely not going to be for at least a month, so I’ll be shifting focus to my writing projects.

Speaking of which: I also made some significant changes to my Patreon this weekend. I’ve lowered the entry level (“Ashigaru”) reward tier to $2 per chapter, and lowered the Samurai and Daimyo Tiers to $30 and $60 per chapter. All rewards are still there, but they’re now a bit more accessible to potential supporters, I think.

So this year’s April Fools Day started strong and ended stellar with the completely out-of-the-blue return of Rick and Morty on Adult Swim. After 18 months of near-total silence from the R&M creative team, aside from the occasional short or storyboard, they showcased their particular brand of demented genius with possibly the best April Fools “prank” ever. I put “prank” in quotation marks because I’m not even sure it is one, since the word implies fakery or deception of some kind… and this wasn’t that. No, this was just one of the most anticipated single episodes in the network’s history, in its entirety, being dropped on the channel and on streaming with no publicity, no scheduling, no nothing. Good thing the episode was great enough to justify the year-and-a-half-long wait, too, because if anything could take the sting out of preempting this week’s Samurai Jack, it’s this. Rick and Morty has been sorely missed, but if this premiere was anything to go by, the writers haven’t lost a step. I can’t wait for more.

Oh yeah, and a little thing called Attack on Titan also returned on Saturday. I’m not the biggest AoT fan, but the story is gripping enough that sheer curiosity is keeping me watching.

In celebration of Sakura’s birthday, MADHOUSE revealed a new Cardcaptor Sakura OVA, set to be bundled with the release of one of the volumes of The Clear Card Arc in September, and serving as a prelude to the new anime. There’s not much to say about it yet, but if the teaser footage is any indication of what the Clear Card anime is going to look like… holy crap is it going to be gorgeous.

And Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid finishes this week. If I can survive the knowledge that it’ll likely take a year before we see new episodes, I’ll probably do a write-up and review following the finale. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be a glowing recommendation.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 13 – Wipeout

Ugh. I don’t know what’s going on today, but I’ve just been wiped out. Barely any energy at all. Therefore, this is going to be a very brief Report, sorry.

I think I’ve shot all the footage I need for Silent InvenTOYry Episode 03. If all goes as planned, it’ll go up on Sunday.

There are some logistical difficulties with getting certain characters where they need to be in Shattered Skies, so Chapter 25 is a bit stalled at the moment. I may try to go on ahead and write scenes after the point where I’m stuck.

I’ve started watching KonoSuba, a recent comedy anime that parodies the “trapped in an MMO” genre popularized by Sword Art Online, et al. The full title, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, or “God’s Blessings on This Wonderful World!” is one of those absurdly long ones that every third light novel uses these days, which may or may not have had something to do with my indifference to it up until now. A glowing recommendation by Pat of Super Best Friends Play convinced me to check it out, and I’m quite glad I did. Its cast, comprised of a scumbag otaku, an idiotic former goddess, a delusional mage, and a masochistic crusader, plays off each other in brilliant ways. The genre is now widespread enough that it’s rife for parody, so if Kirito and his many, many clones in other isekai series get on your nerves, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll love this.

And that’s all the energy I can expend tonight. See you next week.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-13-Wipeout-671472800)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 12 – Hi-Jacked

Well, after the auto-flagging debacle with YouTube, the last thing I expected to work on this past week was another InvenTOYry episode. However it happened, I had some good ideas for my next one, so I decided to get a jump on it. This time, I think I have some ways around the problems with the music/footage, so working on it should be less stressful this time.

I pushed myself to get Chapter 3 of Soulsnatcher out this past week, as part of my effort to finish it by July at the latest. Chapter 3 was the halfway point in the last draft, but with all the additions and expansions I’m making in the revision, this one was double the length of the old one. I think I picked a really good place to cut it off, though.

Not much else to report, other than holy crap if you’re not watching the new Samurai Jack, you’re missing out. The original SJ was one of the best things Cartoon Network has ever aired; it was no surprise that I and so many other people loved it so much. Its cancellation was a travesty, but now it’s back and it’s better than ever. AND DARKER. Oh man, is it ever darker.

By next week I plan on having Chapter 25 of Shattered Skies done. And I should probably work on the Book II Appendix, too… busy busy busy.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-12-Hi-Jacked-670205204)

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