BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 13 – Apple and Discord

Week 13 – Apple and Discord

For once, the Tech Gods have been merciful. On Thursday, I entered BHS Crisis Freakout Mode™ when my desktop’s operating system went bananas. With my usual tech support (VDrake) temporarily unavailable, I had no choice but to bring my PC in to a local repair shop. Hours later, I was told my that hard drive was failing and I needed a new one.That would have put a serious crimp in my plans for the next week or so, particularly my Apple Fools Day stream… so it was a stroke of good luck that when I called the repair place today, they told me they were able to fix the old drive without problems. I’m back on my desktop with all of my files and settings intact, and all is normal, knock on wood.

So! After a few days of uncertainty, I can thankfully say that the APPLE FOOLS DAY live stream will proceed as planned, this Sunday at 7 PM EST on http://picarto.tv/bhsdesk ! The promo video is below:


This is the special reward I promised all my followers and subscribers for helping me push my YouTube channel over 1000 subs in time. The event will be a live MSTing of a singularly bizarre, spectacularly insane work of fiction, one of my all time favorites. It’s running on Picarto and not YouTube due to said work still being under copyright by a major company, and thus liable to get yanked from YT despite Fair Use laws… but with Picarto, I should be safe. Please note: despite what it says in the promo video (which was prepared well in advance), you will NOT need a Picarto account to comment on the stream. Those who want to sign up are welcome to, of course, but it’s not required. If you want an alternative way to get in on the action, you can sign up for my brand new Discord server, Blazing Harbl Server: https://discord.gg/MYajJMM A Discord chat window will be overlayed on the stream, so if you’d rather comment there, feel free. And if for some reason you can’t make it on time, don’t fret! I’ll be making the entire stream available for free download as soon as I can find a reliable hosting site for the video file.

Now, for reasons explained above, I wasn’t able to get much work done on other stuff this past week… but once Apple Fools Day is all taken care of, I’ll have much more time to devote to other pursuits. Thanks for your patience.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 6 – Necessary Retcons

Week 6 – Necessary Retcons

You know, it occurs to me that in the two-plus years I’ve been doing Blogress Reports, I’ve barely written about Tasakeru at all. Which is weird, because Tasakeru is supposed to be my magnum opus, my passion project. I know at least part of the reason I don’t write about it is because I want to avoid spoiling the story for my readers, but still.

Well, this week I’ll be discussing it at least a little, because I have an important retcon that I’ve made as of last week. Normally I believe retcons should be applied as organically as possible, so that the audience doesn’t even notice them, but I think it’s important to call attention to this one.

Those of you who read Tasakeru (WHICH SHOULD BE ALL OF YOU, DAMMIT) know Lady Nadeshiko Argenteus by now. She’s the prickly, stoic, and ungodly stubborn Field Commander and Vice-Mistress of the Silver Order, and next in line for its leadership. Nadeshiko has had a wild journey as far as her character development goes; brutal honesty, I originally created her as a bit character for one scene in a “bad future” AU roleplay that I was hashing out with VDrake. She was supposed to be in that scene and then quietly disappear from the story… except she didn’t. I ended up bringing her back, and she patently refused to stay as a bit character. Something about her fascinated me, so I wrote a much younger Nadeshiko into the first draft of Eternity Awakes. She became a prominent supporting character and got a few chapters largely to herself in Books III through VI, and by the time I hit the wall with the first draft of Warriors, I was setting her up to play an even bigger role. As of the relaunch, she debuted in Book I, and she’s now the most important character aside from the primary antagonists and the Outcasts themselves. So basically, most of the history of Nadeshiko’s development has consisted of ignoring or downright rebelling against what I, the author, intended for her.

Now, during the process of rewriting Book II, while discussing my future plans for Nadeshiko, I was once again blindsided by a plot development that I never saw coming. What follows is technically SPOILERS, so skip the next paragraph if you’d prefer to be surprised.

So, over the course of the story, Nadeshiko is going to start a romantic relationship with a mate. A female mate. Said relationship won’t start for a while yet, but it is happening. And to that end, because this is intended to be a story for young adults and sexuality is a part of the story (handled tastefully, I hope), Nadeshiko is now seventeen years old at the start of the story, a few months shy of eighteen. Now, I stress that I had no idea I would be writing a relationship for her when I started the relaunch, so I wrote her as a fourteen-year-old just like I did in the last draft. Over the past few months, as I’ve planned out details, I realized that there was no way I could justify having one of my foremost LGBT+ characters be fourteen without some seriously unfortunate implications, given the extent of what I have planned. Yes, the age of legal adulthood in the world of Tasakeru is thirteen, and yes, it’s supposed to be a different culture, but there are some things you just can’t do. I want Nadeshiko and her mate’s relationship to be progressive and provide some much-needed diversity in the fantasy/YA genre. The last thing I want is for my efforts to be overshadowed by questionable decisions on my part. So, it’s not a major change, in the grand scheme of things, but I hope you’ll understand why it has to be made.

SPOILERS END

So. I managed to finish the new Silent InvenTOYry episode in record time, finishing roughly 80% of the episode in a 48-hour span. I was really happy with how it turned out… which of course meant that YouTube flagged it after a couple days. Their “remove audio” function completely borked the first upload, so I had to delete it and put up this new version today:

This of course meant that I lost all the upvotes and views from the first one, so I’d appreciate it if you guys could help me get them back.

My effort to boost the subscription numbers on my channel seems to finally be working. I hit on the bright idea yesterday of uploading Cure Yell’s transformation and attack footage from the first episode of Hugtto! Precure while it was still hot, and the result was 3000+ hits and a whole bunch of new subs in a day! I’m getting closer and closer to hitting my goal, so I think I’ll do the same for Cure Ange next week, just for the extra boost. After all, the item for my next Precure review won’t be here until after the Feb 20th deadline.

Now then. If I do break 1000, I’ve got something very special planned. As I said in the teaser video I uploaded on Thursday, if I hit the magic number I’ll be hosting a special reward live stream for my followers at a date in the near future. I still have work to do on the technical side of things, but I’ve got a site to stream on that WON’T autoflag me (I hope) and I’ve figured out how to get the media to run on it. More on this in the next few weeks.

And finally, there’s Hugtto itself! Based on the first episode, I’m pretty well sold. I’ll have a more detailed write-up when it’s not so late and once the whole team is assembled, but in brief: Hana/Yell is a precious dork, Hugtan isn’t at all the annoyance I feared she would be, Harry is shaping up to be one of my favorite mascots, the villains are actually threatening, and HOLY CRAP THE COMBAT IS BACK. As far as first episodes go, this one was a definite winner.

So. I hope you’ve all enjoyed both the look into my thought process and the new episode. More stuff coming soon.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 5 – Adventures in Self-Promotion

Week 5 – Adventures in Self-Promotion

I really, really wanted to have my second Silent InvenTOYry Semi-Short episode done tonight, but it’s not happening. To be fair to myself, I did get all the footage and pictures I need (*knocks on wood*) shot between my item’s delivery at 11 AM this morning and now, so. I’m fairly confident that the episode will go up tomorrow if I put in a full day’s work. The rush is so I can have my review posted as close as possible to the item’s release date, and thus get more views and hopefully more subscribers while the subject is still hot.

Why yes, I do still need more subs, how astute of you to notice. Most of my online activity for the past week has been spent on efforts to hit the looming February 20th deadline; I’ve been trying to increase engagement by uploading gaming streams almost every day. Because of that, my writing progress has suffered quite a lot… bleh. I now have even more respect for people who manage to put up videos on a weekly or daily basis.

I may have to break my four-month streak of Tasakeru updates this month… I’ll do my best to finish Soulsnatcher by Wednesday, but unless I pull off another last-minute save, it’s not looking promising. I owe you guys a Shattered Skies update too, of course, but InvenTOYry is taking priority until it’s finished.

Kira Kira Precure A La Mode has come to an end. After thinking about the events of the finale and the series as a whole, my final verdict puts the show in the upper-middle end of the scale in terms of my favorites. I adore the characters, especially Himari/Cure Custard and Bibury (or however her name is romanized). Both Aoi/Gelato and Yukari/Macaron won me over by having really strong spotlight episodes, and of course I love that with Yukari and Akira we’re closer than ever to an actual, confirmed, canon lesbian relationship in this franchise. However, the almost total lack of hand-to-hand combat really, really hurt this show. Much as I detest Mahou Tsukai, its fight scenes at least had a modicum of punching and kicking from what I saw. Thankfully, it appears that Toei actually listened to the complaints of the fanbase, because Cure Yell’s cameo in the final episode had her clobbering the monster into submission… and the fandom rejoiced. I’m already hearing from multiple but as of yet unconfirmed sources that the fighting is back in Hugtto, and that alone makes me giddy for the premiere next week.

Oh yeah, and I started watching Dragon Ball Kai last week. I’ve only ever seen bits and pieces of the Dragon Ball franchise; it’s always been on my “get around to it later” list because in its original anime form it takes so damned long to get through it. Kai’s cutting of the original DBZ‘s nigh-endless padding and filler has done wonders for my enjoyment of the show, and I’m studying the fight scenes very carefully for future Shattered Skies chapters.

Too tired to write anything else.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 4 – YouTube Screw Job

Week 4 – YouTube Screw Job

Welp. My plans to make extra money with my YouTube series have taken a fairly serious hit. Starting on the 20th of next month, all channels with less than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time over the past year will be kicked off the monetization program, making it even harder for people who don’t already have massive fanbases and/or large amounts of money to pour into advertising to make a profit through the platform. Since I’m currently sitting at around 840 subscribers, I’ve been trying to promote Silent InvenTOYry in as many places as possible to try to beat the deadline. I’m good on hours, and I thought I had found a few ways to boost my sub count… but then on Saturday YouTube started purging dead or inactive accounts from people’s subscription numbers, which knocked me back down again. I’m not gonna lie: this really, really sucks. I want to keep doing my show, but if I can’t break 1K in the next four weeks, it’ll be that much harder to justify spending money on it.

Therefore, I’ve kicked preproduction of the next InvenTOYry episode into overdrive. The item I’m reviewing doesn’t ship until the end of the week, but I’m doing as much of the episode as I can in the meantime so I can get the episode posted as close to the release date as possible. As I said, I’m also trying to promote my channel in quite a few new avenues, with mixed results so far. Readers: if you or people that you know are interested in Japanese toys and collectables, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE. If you have subscribed already, you can still watch, like, share, favorite, and upvote whenever you can… the more people I have watching, the more likely it is that I’ll draw enough attention to pull in the 160+ subscribers I need. Links to all seven complete episodes are below:




I’m working on putting together a special celebratory thank-you stream for when I do hit the magic number, but that’s still in the very early planning stages. More on that later.

As you might imagine, this impending YouTube crisis has made it hard to concentrate on anything else. The last few days have been spectacularly nonproductive on the writing front, but I plan to sit myself down tomorrow and grind out at least two pages for either Soulsnatcher or Shattered Skies before I get distracted by other stuff. Easier said than done, I know, but…

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 3 – Too Cold to be Clever

Week 3 – Too Cold to be Clever

Silent InvenTOYry Episode 06 is done!

And thanks to another round of YouTube auto-flagging drama, I’ve set up an alternate account at Daily Motion to post my episodes with their intended soundtracks. This is going to be the case from now on: the versions with the public domain music go up on YouTube, and the versions with music from their source material go up on Daily Motion. Here’s the link: http://www.dailymotion.com/silentinventoyryuncut

So if you watched ’til the end of the video (and you should have), you saw the announcement that I’m celebrating “Precure Month” by doing two more Precure-themed reviews in the coming weeks. Both forthcoming episodes will be Semi-Shorts, and the timing on both of them may vary depending on shipping times and other factors, but I’m at least reasonably certain that both of them will be worth watching.

That’s about it for news of my projects this week, honestly. Work continues on all the usual stuff.

MEILIN STILL EXISTS. Thank you FantasyCrest for sending me word, you made my Sunday morning very happy indeed. Now I just need to hope she appears in person.

Hate cold hate cold hate cold hate hate hate hate hate cold…

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 2 – So Pure

Week 2 – So Pure

After doing about seven hours worth of work on Silent InvenTOYry today, I realized that I wasn’t going to finish it by tonight, as I had planned. Which sucks, but I did at least make a ton of progress on it. I only need to shoot one more segment and then maybe reshoot my outro, then I’ll be done. I’m gonna push to get it uploaded to YouTube by Friday at the absolute latest.

Speaking of InvenTOYry, by the way: I had to delete and reupload the SoC Megazord episode, as I caught a pretty serious audio sync error in its last few minutes when I watched it again a few weeks ago. See, YouTube still has that wonderful system that forbids you from changing a raw video file after it’s been uploaded, so if you catch a mistake, the only option is repeating the whole process again with the fixed file. I’d appreciate it if you all could watch, fave, share, and upvote it again, since that one’s currently my most expensive episode. Thank you.

Cardcaptor Sakura: The Clear Card Arc‘s anime has finally started! And oh, what a start it was. The animation was drop-dead gorgeous, and seeing and hearing Sakura, Kero, Tomoyo, and Shaoran again felt like coming home. I’ve long espoused that the original CCS is a pure, fluffy, damn near perfect cinnamon roll of an anime, and Clear Card looks to be continuing the tradition. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: I kind of wish Sailor Moon Crystal had gone this route. I mean, not that I’m knocking Crystal… I’ve said before that it improved massively as it went on, and I understand that there are multiple reasons why it couldn’t and didn’t retain all of the cast and music from the original. It’s just that when I see the huge, lavish budget put into Clear Card and when I hear not only the entire original cast returning but selections from the first anime’s soundtrack… I’m like “Come on, Toei. This is how it’s done.” Maybe when they finally put out those Season 4 movies, they’ll take note?

Ah, anyway. Sakura is a terrific antidote for these stressful times. For the next three months, at least, I’ll have a surefire way to brighten my mood on Sundays.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 1 – New Years D(el)ay

Week 1 – New Years D(el)ay

I hate to start off the year with news of another delay, but hey, I’ve got a decent reason this time: I took advantage of a recent Humble Bundle to upgrade my video editing software from Vegas 13 to Vegas 14 Pro, which has given me a whole new array of options to tinker with for Silent InvenTOYry. Unfortunately, since Pro 14 is such a big step up from what I had before, I’m having to sort of relearn the program on the fly. Hence, I’ve temporarily paused production on Episode 06 so that I can figure out what I’m doing. I think the end product will be quite impressive, though. I’m aiming to have the episode done by the 15th, and there’s a Semi-Short that I’ll be working on very soon after that.

I’ve discovered that the end-of-the-month Patreon deadline is indeed a fantastic motivator for me to get off my ass and write Tasakeru chapters. Yet again, I managed to finish a chapter on the last day of the month, making four months in a row that I’ve been able to update on time! Not that I want procrastinating until the last minute to become a habit or anything, but… if it helps get the chapters out so I can get paid, so much the better.

Goals for this year are below. I’m not doing resolutions this year, because knowing me I’ll forget about most of them by mid-February.

  • Finish Soulsnatcher; start on and possibly finish Book IV: Twilight Dreams
  • Finish the long-neglected Book II Appendix, and begin the Appendix for Book III
  • Rerecord the Tasakeru soundtrack in Music Maker, transfer all tracks to BandCamp, and make them available for streaming/download
  • At least two full InvenTOYry episodes and at least three Semi-Shorts

And of course, I’ll be continuing Shattered Skies and Viluy’s Database as well.

Here’s to a new year. May it be better than the last.

– BHS

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New Fan Art!

Two new items in the Gallery from Silver and Suoish!

Chibi Zero, by suoish

Tasakeru rabbit sketch, by Silver

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Good News, Bad News

The bad news is, due to an extremely hectic month that included working overtime on Spring Break, getting sick, and catastrophic computer failure all within the same three weeks, it looks like there won’t be a Tasakeru chapter ready for the month of April.That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I’m now lowering the entry reward level even further than before!

Now a pledge of just ONE dollar per chapter will get your name in the print edition of a forthcoming book!

I apologize for the lack of updates, I’m really trying to make up for it in the next few weeks! Please bear with me.

– BHS

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Not an April Fools Joke: Patreon Reward Tiers Updated

From my Patreon:

Not an April Fool’s Joke: Reward Tiers Updated

I’ve made some much-needed adjustments to the Reward Tiers. Admittedly, I think the entry level was too high, so now the Ashigaru Tier starts at a $2 per chapter pledge.

The Samurai and Daimyo Tiers have also been adjusted, to $30 and $60 per chapter. All rewards are still the same. The price gets you FREE merchandise, shipping included, with personal messages and/or autographs available for the Daimyo Tier.

– BHS

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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.

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