BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 42 – What the Hell is a “Hugtto”?

Week 42 – What the Hell is a “Hugtto”?

I hope you all enjoyed the insanity of Shattered Skies Chapter 30! It was a blast to write, obviously. Writing stuff that’s supposed to be funny is always risky because humor is so inherently subjective, but the consensus among my readers is that they got a kick out of it. I’m glad, because usually my pattern is to write something that amuses me, the author, first and foremost, and hope for the best when it comes to everybody else.

Now that I’ve got some leeway, I’m taking my time getting back to other stuff… including a one-shot that will be posted on AO3 for Halloween. I would post it on DA, but for reasons that will become quite clear, it wouldn’t exactly be welcome. ;p

News just broke this morning: the 2018-2019 Precure series is “Hugtto! Precure”, leading many to ask the eponymous question that titles this Blogress Report. The most plausible theory I’ve seen is that the title is an unholy Japanenglish portmanteau of “hug” and “gyutto”, i.e., “squeeze”. As titles go, it’s strange… it’s VERY strange. As for the theme and concept… well, the title tells us pretty much nothing other than that hugging is (presumably) somehow going to be involved, and that’s the only verified information we have on it right now. That’s not enough to make a judgment call on, so I’ll wait until character designs and/or plot details leak in the coming weeks. If it’s not another saccharine, generic cutefest like Mahou Tsukai, I’ll be happy with it.

(Comic by MissMellifluous, from this post on her Tumblr)

On the A La Mode side of things, promotional pictures released yesterday seem to indicate that at least the other three primary ALM Cures are definitely in the works. The promo shots indicated that the little papercraft/vinyl cake that comes with Figuarts Cure Whip will combine with four others to make a backdrop of the multi-layer cake from the Sweets Wonderful group finisher. That suggests that the other pieces will come with Custard, Gelato, Macaron, and Chocolat, which is fiendish incentive to buy them all. I was going to do that anyway, of course, but now I have even more reasons to shell out for them. Up until the Hugtto! news this morning broke, I was going to title this Blogress Report “Bandai? More like Bankruptdai!”, but maybe I’ll save that for a future entry.

SPECIAL SHAMELESS PLUG CORNER: Those of you who read the addendum attached to the end of Skies Chapter 30 will know that a certain character from my friend thesilvergoddess‘s epic fanfic Break My Heart, Break Your Heart made a special guest appearance. Thesilvergoddess also recently published a book of LGBTQIA+-themed poetry called Fragments, Recovered, and it would really help them out if you all would consider buying the digital version, which is currently on sale for $5.99. Buying their book helps them write more of the stuff they love, so please check it out if you’ve got a few bucks handy!

– BHS

<- Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report ->

Advertisements

Aside

BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 41 – Cadet Tilly Gives Me Life

Week 41 – Cadet Tilly Gives Me Life

Ahhh, look at all those COMPLETEs on the list down there. I feel really, really good about myself that I managed to finish both Shattered Skies Chapter 29 and the bonus chapter in the last three days. Cause enough, I think, to take a break from writing for the rest of the week. The bonus chapter will be up this Saturday, and I think you all will love it.

I got caught up and finished Boku no Hero Academia Season 2 with VDrake last week too, and now it’s officially on my all-time favorites list. And as excited as I am for the third season, I’m immeasurably glad that they’re not trying to go the Naruto/Bleach/whatever route and take advantage of the show’s popularity to crap out entire seasons of filler episodes. The wait will be hard, but I’m confident the results will be worth it.

So, last night I watched the two latest episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, and found an absolutely wonderful surprise. That surprise’s name is Cadet Sylvia Tilly, who in her first scene with her new roommate, main character Michael Burnham, introduces herself as “special-needs Starfleet”.

Her scenes in the next two episodes seem to make it clear that Cadet Tilly is on the autism spectrum. But rather than the stereotypical Hollywood portrayal of ASD people or their equivalents as inspirationally-disadvantaged idiot-savants (The Rain Man), obnoxious sociopaths played for cheap, easy laughs (The Big Bang Theory), or unfeeling and emotionless robots (take your pick of the rest), Cadet Tilly is sweet, friendly, exuberant, and brilliant in her field. She just happens to have quite a few quirks, such as having problems socializing and a somewhat broken conversational filter.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Cadet Tilly since last night. I fell in love with her character pretty much from her first scene, because she’s absolutely adorable, but more than that… there’s someone like me in Star Trek, a franchise I’ve loved since I was in kindergarten. There’s an actual, reasonably accurate, non-exploitative portrayal of an ASD on a major TV program. As I said to my dad when discussing it this morning, it wasn’t too long ago that some fans (even some Star Trek writers!) would have claimed that there were no autistic people in Star Trek, because all “diseases” were supposed to have been cured hundreds of years ago.

As I’ve learned to accept myself and my ASD, I’ve come to realize how harmful it is to treat autism as a disease. Autism is a different way of thinking, no less right or wrong than any other. It impacts my life in every way, and sometimes I wish it were less of an obstacle, but I wouldn’t be who I am without it. Seeing Star Trek validate the fact that autistic people aren’t sick and don’t need to be “cured”, having Starfleet acknowledge a “special needs” person like Tilly, even giving her a position on a top-secret, experimental starship with a hand-picked crew of the best of the best… it means more to me than I can say. Sure, she’s just a character on a TV show, but again… I’m seeing someone like me working on a Federation starship. Accepted as part of the crew. Trusted and relied on. Respected. Living the dream.

Representation is important. Not every series needs to have an autistic character, but those that do should treat the condition with respect and dignity. We’ve had too many Sheldon Coopers already. Cadet Sylvia Tilly has stepped up and won my heart, and I am deeply grateful. The stars are in my eyes, and I’m seeing a part of myself up there on screen, striding down the corridors and helping save the Federation… just like I always dreamed about doing when I was a little kid. Cadet Tilly is my newest favorite Star Trek character, and I can’t wait to spend more time seeing what she can do.

– BHS

<- Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report ->

Aside

BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 40 – Give It Time to Grow

Week 40 – Give It Time to Grow

Finally! It’s long overdue, but Soulsnatcher Chapter 5 is finished! Along with finishing Silent InvenTOYry Episode 05 last week, that’s a huge load off my mind. And with no more renovation or huge petsitting jobs in the foreseeable future (knock on wood), I can finally relax a little.

But not too much, as you’ll see. I’m already working on Chapter 6, plus both the next regular chapter of Shattered Skies and the bonus chapter. I’d expect Chapter 29 to go up sometime in the next week, but you never know… The bonus chapter is almost finished, though, so that’ll almost definitely be up on October 14th.

So, as of last week, after many delays and much behind-the-scenes chaos, Star Trek: Discovery finally premiered on CBS for one night before moving to CBS All Access, its permanent(?) home. The pilot got something like 10 million people watching, and for broadcast TV in this day and age, that’s impressive as hell. You might think that would secure Discovery a guaranteed full-season run, but… well, nothing’s certain anymore. More worrying is that I’m seeing a lot of bitching, moaning, griping, and the usual fandom activities about how it’s “too much like the reboot movies”, or “the tech looks too advanced”, or “the Klingons look too different”, or “SPOCK NEVER HAD A HUMAN HALF-SISTER, WHAT THE HELL, CANON RUINED”, etc. etc. etc.

Now, I’ll admit, I’m used to fandoms doing this, especially fandoms as old and widespread as Star Trek. Fandoms complain, it’s in the nature of things. And I’ll also admit that based on the first two episodes, Discovery is not what I expected. Much darker, for one thing, and far more focused on a single character than on the ensemble. But I’m putting this out there for all my fellow Trekkies: please, be patient.

Yes, I know. It’s different, and change is hard to accept. We’ve all got our own ideas of “what Star Trek should be”. You have every right to think that Discovery isn’t what you wanted, or that it’s starting off weak, or that it’s messing with canon, or whatever the complaint du jour is. Please keep in mind, though: this is the first Star Trek series we’ve had on the air in twelve years. The future of the franchise as a TV show, at least for the next decade or so, is riding on this one. Now isn’t the time to nitpick and complain and declare that Trek is “RUINED FOREVER”, because we’re being watched very carefully for our reactions. If CBS has any reason to doubt the show, they’ll pull the plug and that’ll be it for ten-odd years, until somebody convinces the suits in charge to try again.

We’re so conditioned to want success right out of the gate that we’ve largely forgotten that even our much-beloved Next Generation took three seasons to really get off the ground. DS9 took four. People need to stick with Discovery even if its beginning is rough, because if given time to grow, it’ll be something spectacular. I have faith in Bryan Fuller’s plans, and though I’m sad he’s no longer involved with the show, the man has worked enough miracles that I’m confident he’s left his baby in good hands.

And dammit, if there’s one thing that we all need right now, it’s Star Trek. We have a glut of pessimism, cynicism, and nihilism in our culture right now… the two most popular scripted shows on TV are both drowning in it, the headlines are full of it, the internet is swarming with it. You can even argue there’s good reasons for that: right now, life sucks for a lot of people. But Star Trek, even bad Star Trek, offers the hope of something more, something better. It dares to show us a bright future for ourselves. When I was a little kid watching TNG with my dad, it taught me that even if the future seems scary, it’ll eventually be all right. Any idealism at all is sorely needed right now. We need Star Trek, so if Discovery isn’t what you want right now… please, just keep watching. Give it a chance to shine, and I know it will.

– BHS

<- Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report ->

Aside

SOULSNATCHER, CHAPTER 5

Chapter 5

Petals on the floor

Rectifying past mistakes

Duel in the flames

“How ironic it is that one of the most terrible nights of the Silver Order’s history led to such great change… For all the horror that occurred that night, for all the innocent lives lost or ruined in both the Soulsnatcher’s attack and the events that followed because of it, it is that bloodthirsty monster that was arguably the catalyst for bringing the Order into the modern age.”

[Excerpt from the writings of Sister Belladonna Justitia]

 

None of them seemed able or willing to break the silence. Apart from the hiss and crackle of flames spreading through the meditation chamber, there was no talk, no motion, only the Soulsnatcher, Lady Lily, Drake, and Zero himself, locked in stalemate. And Lady Nadeshiko, Zero reminded himself, either unconscious or dead in the monstrous wolf’s grip. And Naole, still dazed in Drake’s arms, still helpless. Any moment now, he thought, someone would break the spell and all hell would break loose, but as long as no one moved and no one spoke-

“You,” growled the wolf again.

So much for that. There was an unnatural gleam in his crimson eyes, visible even beneath his heavy brow. The word was directed at Zero, but despite wracking his brain for the answer, he could not imagine how the wolf recognized him, or what provoked such seething rage. He was used to being hated on principle, but the only wolf Zero interacted with with any degree of regularity was Drake, and this, clearly, was no Drake. While he searched for an answer, and while the Soulsnatcher still had a hostage, it was best to try to stall. “Sorry,” he said as he raised his blade and dropped into a counter stance. Better to go on the defensive until he had a grasp on the wolf’s fighting style. “I can’t say I can place you. I think I’d remember a face like yours…”

“Murderer!” Froth flew from Stalker’s jaws. “You’re one of them! The ones that killed Mother!”

More confused than ever, Zero blinked. No one had ever accused him of that before. “What the hell are you talking abou-”

Any further attempt to unravel the mystery was derailed by a chilling, wordless howl of rage as Lady Lily Argenteus, the graceful and benevolent head of the Silver Order – Lily the aged, Lily past her prime, Lily whose days on the field were behind her – rushed the wolf that captured her daughter with hellfire in her eyes, her great broadsword’s edge for his neck. Heedless of the spreading flames, heedless of the danger, heedless of the chaos around her, Lily charged at the Soulsnatcher like a frenzied boar. Steel met steel, the heavy clang resounding through the chamber as Stalker raised his stolen cutlass to protect himself.

Lily would not stop. She gave no quarter, clashing against the flat of the cutlass again and again until it was in danger of being cleaved straight through. With every swing, she snarled: “Take… your hands… off… my… daughter…!”

More

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

<-Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report->

Aside

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

<-Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report->

Aside

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

<- Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report ->

Aside

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

<-Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report->

Aside

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

<-Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report->

Aside

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

<-Previous Blogress Report

Next Blogress Report->

Aside

Previous Older Entries

COPYRIGHT

Tasakeru, tasakeru.com, and all related contents, text, and media are the Intellectual Property (IP) of BHS and BHS Productions, registered in 2009, and may not be modified, reproduced, or changed in any way, shape, or form without the author's express permission. For more information on usage rights, see the From the Author page.
Pets Supplies Shop online for pet supplies, pet care products for house hold pets as well as small garden animals at low internet prices and fast home delivery service - petsboutiques.eu

Member of The Internet Defense League