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Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Update: Commemorative Woodburn Projects
CharacterSourceInspired ByCompletion Date
Ichigo KurosakiBleachtwilight samuraiProjected: Friday November 16, 2007
PikachuPokémonbeybladerProjected: Sunday, November 18, 2007
HokutoB'T XShireishouProjected: Thursday, November 22, 2007
LizardmanOriginal DesignMagnus LensherrProjected: Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Bonus PieceUndisclosedMyselfUndisclosed

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Final Update


The heading says it all.

Some new information regarding the reason I had originally chosen to reduce my blogging presence here has come to me recently, information that I'm not too happy about seeing. Right now, I'm in a very awkward position because what I have before me strongly indicates a violation of trust has been committed. That is something I do not appreciate, nor will I accept passively. What that means to everyone who reads my blog is, I don't feel I can be open or honest here anymore for reasons that I do not feel I can safely communicate in public or private. Because what I now know, and what happened previously both tell me that my honesty here comes at too high a price for me, I will not add fuel to fires I did not start in the first place, but was left to tend. This is not a decision I make lightly, I take my trust of others very seriously, and you can bet it hurts like a trek through all seven levels of Hell when I feel that was violated.

This means I have to postpone indefinately my "bigger project" relating to the woodburn practice project I'm still working to complete right now (had I not been sick, it would have been finished and the pieces sent on their way by now). It also means that my posting here will be limited to portfolio plugs when I update that, but little else. As before, I will make my rounds and comment when I can, and I will answer comments to my last blog entry (and the ones to this one which I know will come) in private messages. I can't answer comments publically anymore either, since that goes along with the trust issue I'm having right now.

When I am absolutely sure I can be open and honest with my readers here, I will blog here again, until that time, I won't be saying much here except in the comments.

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Under the Weather


Sorry for the delay in posting. Last weekend the site was down for server maintenance/issues, and I've been a bit sick all week so I hadn't felt up to getting online and really posting a whole update till now.

First off, Hope you all (those who celebrate it), had a great Halloween, I couldn't resist getting in touch with my inner zombieish thing. At any rate, enjoy the meager attempt I made to show off my effects make-up skills for you. I know I talk about them a lot, but never really went out of my way to show you what I can do. Granted, that's far from my best work, but then again I don't have access to the green room at my high school anymore, so I make due with what I have to work with. Yes, I know how to make a life cast and do the full face latex applications (any sci-fi series alien is done that way), but I don't have the alginate to really go overboard with doing those kinds of things yet. Someday though, I'll do up a really cool application for you guys here, when I get a couple more quarts of latex, and the alginate to make the molds.

I'm still working on those wood burn pieces, they should be finished up this week, and I hope to have another piece or two from my back-log finished up as well.

While I am here, I will mention that I'll be cutting back on my regular updates here for a while. Something came up this week that's got me in an uncomfortable position, so I'm going to step back from my blog for a while and watch a few things unfold before I decide what step to take next. I will not go into detail for personal reasons, but this is something my gut tells me I have to do for now. Don't worry, I'll get around and comment to sites more while I'm taking my leave from active blogging, so, some good will come of it in the end.


The words of encouragement are always appreciated, they do so much to lift my spirit, I can't even begin to say how. With my work, I'm taking some time off from actively soliciting it to research the genre I've been marketing it under. I may be missng the mark because I'm shooting the wrong direction. Hopefully I'll get some ideas and maybe, just maybe spark some interest in my writing style.

In my short stint in art classes, and my whole High School theatre career, I heard that very thing many times over. My pride is in the work I put out to get to the point where a company could tell me "no", it is in the finished story, the labor of passion stirred by my own desire to get somewhere in life on my own and with the help of true friends. I have no energy to waste on pride in a useless rejection that tells me nothing. There's no point in being proud of a message that says a company is too high-brow to even offer a single piece of useful information to market the work elsewhere.

Oh, I'm useless in the woods too, that's where Boy Scouts will get you. The park has cabins that are pretty well modernized with central heat, indoor plumbing and a refigerator. I enjoy the environment out at the park, it's peaceful and a good source of inspiration for me. Too bad I can't get out ther emore often.

Thank you, the support I get from my friends is what keeps me pushing to see that work in print. If I have to self-publish, I will go that route, there are a couple avenues I can take in that direction, but I'd like to avoid having to do that if I can. No one ever said getting published would be easy, and there isn't a really solid roadmap for how to do it, but that's the kind of challenge I enjoy pursuing.

What strikes me is, I wrote my piece from the theatrical perspective of an actor or director, and Cassie wrote from a completely different one. Tthe concept really boils down to the same basic elements. Whether it's called feedback ( for a convention) or critique (for an actor in a play or a piece of art), there's a right and wrong way to do it.

That's not much of a surprise, I hear tell of other characters that have differences in their personalities between the manga and the anime. I do like the character, and I'm still looking for that first DVD so I can see what the anime is like.

Those links are a big help, I got what I needed from them, thanks for sharing.

I'll come up with a way for you to hear it, don't worry about that. I just have to find it first.

I'm late with this suggestion, but the best stiff wire I know of for anything is that of cheap coat hangers, like you might get from a dry-cleaner.

Oddly I enjoy reading as much as writing, but I've never really tried to read something in another language. I suppose if I got a book in another language, I'd have to learn the language to be able to read it, and that would get tiring for me.

When your mind can center on the art, it is a great place to work from. This last time though I couldn't get my mind to work at all.

Yeah, there are less conventional ways to publish than the "old school" traditional publishers. Those methods usually make the end product cost more, and less accessable (the industry isn't really set up to handle the modern age of publishing on demand yet) than traditionally published books. I'd prefer old school publishing to self publishing in any form because I want it to get the best exposure and distribution possible.

Apparently that's the case, given what I've come across in my research. I'd like to forego the agent, but most publishers don't want to even waste time on direct contact with authors. They probably think agents will screen out the worst stuff so they don't have to work as hard doing all that themselves. Whatever the reason, it's frustrating to say the least. Having to court agents as well as publishers is really mind-boggling.

I heard about those strikes over there. You know, one thing the US government did right was make it so certain unions couldn't strike, the ones working Postal Service jobs are among them. Might be a model worth suggesting to the politicians over there, it would at least keep mail flowing while deals are worked out. As for the survey, yeah, it'll be a couple questions, not too many, about the piece and some related stuff.

All in good time.

It was a refreshing break for me. I'll probably have pictures up with my next update, which is a while off at this point.

The site's been having some issues lately. I think the bulk of them are handled by now though. I had that comment thing happen to me a couple times, but anymore when it does, I chalk it up to the tinkering being done to ready the site for Version Vibrant as Adam is calling it.

If I knew the camera was there, I'd have flashed it a sour look (I hate cameras unless I'm behind them), but it goes to show you the casual nature of the convention's down time. I looked through the other pictures on the site, and didn't see me in any others.

The line art is actually done now, but I'm going to hold off on posting it till I run it by the guy doing the tattoo. If he gives it the okay (in terms of not being overly detailed to the point ink would bleed and not look good), I'll post it in my next update, and by then, I should have a color scheme in mind of it as well to post too. I'll check out your pics when I get done posting here.

Oh yeah, I can be wicked stubborn when I want to be, and getting published is something I want to be stubborn about.

Yeah, Camping does relax me, and it rained when we were there, it was really nice.

I sure will come up with something.

I know. If I knock on many doors, one is bound to open.

Nature and I get along very well.

I wasn't counting on being sick this week so they got delayed again. Hopefully I'll have them done and up next week.

All we can do is wait and see right now. With VV coming up withing the next month or two (barring any other delays), we'll know soon enough.

It certainly did trigger something in me, and you can bet I'll find a use for it.

I'll take some time off from that, but go at it again full force with renewed energy to do it. I have had it looked at and got great feedback on making some changes and polishing it out some more so I'm good there. I don't want to have to rely on too many people to get this project done though. That;s just cause I'd want to make sure everyone who offered me any advice on changes and such was acknowledged. Too many manes would be very hard to remember when writing that part up.

With my next update, I will begin posting some of my short stories that I have posted over on the message board, just to give you all a small example of my writing style which isn't really easy to explain. I've been meaning to share my work with you for some time now, I just never got around to doing it.

The day I give up is the day my non-evil (I'm the evil one) twin is posing as me, and feel free to kick his butt all the way to Pluto for me. I know if keep at it, something will happen, but I do need a little rest right now and I'll go at the whole thing with reneweed fervor in a week or so.

I let myself be too lazy for too long, and I have to get all my stuff done, I want to be completely free of old projects by the end of the year to start off next year fresh and new. I kind of have to work through my doubts and all that to get these things done, and never let myself fal so behind again ever.

Actually, I'm a horrible editor, go back through my posts, you'll see any number of spelling and grammar flubs I missed while typing and proofreading. There are no local people worth talking to about anything, they're only interested in helping themselves and their inbred cousins here, but if I could talk to people from anywhere, I'd certainly try. I don't really want a "job" that way, I need the income, but if I got a job, that's all it would be is for the income so I could pursue my passions like writing and my art mch better.

The "powers that be" are too art-centric these days, focusing more on visual rather than anything else. Sure it takes some writing to do manga, but not every fiction writer is capable of drawing out their story, or is willing to seek out someone who can draw it out for them. Aside from that, there's no way to submit joint projects here that equally applies credit to both drawer and writer. I know I'm not really comfortable with my art enough to take on a fan manga project yet, nor would I be a very good partner to work with in terms of having someone else do the artwork for me even though my writing is really good.

Funny little thing people never seem to be aware of. An idea cannot be copyright, the expression of the idea in tangible form can, but not the idea itself. I think it would have to be moderated by intelligent people with a few years behind them so that they could properly evaluate pieces when a question comes up, but a literary section would be a nice addition to the site. Sometimes people come up with independantly similar concepts, it happens all the time. The right people would be able to spot those versus the shells that some people would try to pass off as original having only changed the names and places a little. On that note, Deviantart is a much bigger site that TheO, yet it still has a thriving literary sector with few problems of the type you describe that I'm aware of, and if they'd happen anywhere, that would be the place youd expect to see them. Problems will only arise if the people submitting, and other members of the site create problems for such an area like they do on the art sites here now.

I'd volunteer my time to a literary cause in a heartbeat. Granted, I'm no Hemingway, but I do have some sense when it comes to literature and stories and such.

I did have a good time, thanks, and I'll mark your vote.

Yeah, time and patience seem to be key factors in a lot of things.

I know the feeling. I've been so busy myself it's hard to keep track of things anymore.

So do I. After a week or so of research, I'll go at it again and keep going till something comes up.

I did have a good time, it was relaxing to not have the daily beat of checking the e-mail or posting on the board, or even seeing the regular TV shows.


First off: Welcome to my little corner of the Otaku universe. Pull up a chair, grab some biscotti or a cookie, have a cup of hot tea, and enjoy yourself.

I've seen your name around the whole site quite a bit myself. It's nice of you to stop by and say "hi" to this somewhat timid dragon. Yeah, been trying for a little while now to get into print. The things worth doing in life are never easy.

I agree whole-heartedly, and "getting away" doesn't have to mean going out to a cave in the middle of the woods either, there are ways to "get away" right at home. Turning off the TV, the computer, and putting on a nature sound CD (I have thunderstorm, ocean waves, the Bayou, light rain, and a few other nature sound CDs I use for that purpose), lighting a scented candle or some incense, and just closing your eyes and letting your mind go on a journey once in a while can work wonders to recharge the mind. Even if all you have is 20 minutes, you can get a mental refresh that way. I don't do that enough myself, but it does work.

Hello again.

Can't say that I have. At this point, I'm looking for work for the incomee, not for the joy of working. My passions, I'm looking at ways to see if they can be a source of trickling income for me (I doubt I'd hit it big with them - then again I don't know that I'd want to). The book is still in limbo, still waiting to get the green light from someone willing to take the risk on it.

No comment is ever useless. And I did have a good time camping. I am somewhat recharged, though a little under the weather this week, but I'll manage. Thanks for the luck I'll need it. Oh, funny thing, I can only remember how to spell endeavour because of the Space Shuttle. I recall reading one of the articles about it way back when it was still a young shuttle, and the space program has always fascinated me.

Animé Dreams!

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

What Dreams May Come. . .


Last week, On saturday, I quietly sent off a query to a literary agency, and as expected, I guess they're not interested in my work either. At least they were up front about their contact policy on their web site, and they provided a query form to use. I have a few other submission policies bookmarked, I'll go at one of those next week since I'm too tired to do it before the camping trip. When I get back, I'll sit down and plan some strategy on submitting, and even look more deeply into alternative publishing methods for a workable solution for me. I've only had two rejections so far, so I'm not giving up on traditional publishing methods, but I am being realistic about getting the book out there.

I'll be offline from tomorrow afternoon till Wednesday, I'm heading back into the cabins at the state park again. That kind of get-away does me a lot of good.

I have most of the reference material I need to do the sketches for the burn project. I didn't anticipate some of the difficulties I ran into with the search efforts, but I'll come up with something. I'm taking the ref material I do have with me on the camping trip to have something to do while I'm there, and to get at least that much done so I can start burning next week as planned.


I suppose that's one of them cycles. I'll be glad to get all the work I have piling up done though, I'm almost a whole year behind in my artwork!

Gentle mist, thick and lazy drifts across cool damp grass, hanging among a stretch of trees in thin spiderweb wisps. Pale, dim morning light reaches it's fingers through barren, twisted and bleached gray brown branches, touching damp earth and stone lost below thick silvery white. A weak chorus of distant moring songbirds tunes their pipes for a serenade as a low shuffle and grumble rolls through the blanket of fog. The shuffle grows louder as a form begins to materialize out of the pallid nothingness of this autumn morning, the shape, still shrouded by shadow and mist halts, taking in the serenity of the moment. A low rumble escapes from the form, replaced suddenly by a thunderous hissing roar and bright burst of yellow flame. The dragon has returned. It never ceases to amaze me where I'll find an inspiration. That passage came from your dragon roar greeting. Imagine it being narrated by Patrick Stewart, Sean Connery, or Basil Rathbone and it'll sound right in your head.

Thank you for saying so. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I don't really try to be a great dragon, I'm just a dragon who's passionate about his topics. As for ignorance, it's only a hinderance if you let it be one. There's no harm in seeking knowledge where it's lacking, I do that all the time (I just hide it well).

It's an honor for me to be able to post here in this community and be received with such warmth and insight to my posts. I write well, I think, as a mechanism of self-assurance. Aside from not having the paper diploma from my high school (I do have my 21 credits, the story behind that is a long one I care not to tell), I have been unemployed for seven years, and I have been through so many hardships in job hunting, with nothing to show for them, that my mind seeks some outlet to prove to myself that it's doing something productive with my existence. I may not earn a cent for it, but at least I provide something valuable to someone other than myself.

Right now TheOtaku has Cosplay, Fan Manga, Greetings, Wallpapers, and Quizzes as active sites, with Articles, and Reviews being closed to new submissions, and not being linked on TheOtaku anymore, aside from the links in portfolios of people who have content posted in those areas. There is a lot of attention being focused on visual art, but not the full scope of the term "art". A simple haiku that paints a picture in your mind, or a complex story that has you reading from start to finish in one sitting is as much art as pictures of chibi Ed ranting about being called short, Naruto and sasuke (or any pairing of characters) making out, scantily clad busty anime babes, or half-naked hot anime guys. Art is about expression not the media used. Whether it be with a computer program, a pencil and paper, a hot iron on wood, or words being spoken around a campfire in style of Homer, being delivered on stage in the style of Shakespeare, or put to paper and bound in the styles of too many great word artists to name, they are artists as much as Warhol, or Dali, Da Vinci, or Van Gogh. They're media are different, but they are all artists at heart. It saddens me to see the focus on one art form while blinding itself to the other artforms that are just as important to the community. The thing of it is though, Adam repeatedly states or implies that he's trying to out-deviant DeviantArt. That will never happen if he doesn't do like DeviantArt, and provide for written content submissions. Even TokyoPop's community has space for written content by way of fan fiction and user articles.

If I were at war with Tor, you'd certainly know it by the tone of my posting. That was just a Public Service to people who consider submitting their work to Tor. Prospecting authors have the right to know that they'll get an impersonal reply that contradicts every author I've ever seen doing a TV interview where they say the rejection letters they got from publishers offer some form of advice to help authors improve their marketability. The rejection itself doesn't bother me one bit, but having learned in theatre how to properly give and take good critique, I'm easily annoyed by a lack of information when it comes to feedback responses. It's hard to fix a problem if I don't know what's broken. I can't polish the manuscript if I don't know what's turning off the editors and agents about it. Nothing in life that's really worth doing is going to ever be easy, if it were, it wouldn't be as fulfilling. Getting someone to believe in the story, and have them willing to take the risk to put it out to the masses is a complex process. Publishers don't want to deal with authors who don't have agents, agents don't always want to deal with authors who don't have publications to their name, it's a vicious circular trap that has to open up at some point. Even while this manuscript is in limbo, I'm already working on my next one, and I'll keep on writing novels and submitting them all until at least one of them is accepted somewhere. I can be very stubborn that way.

Being rejected itself wasn't unexpected. I'm a first timer seeking entry into the publishing world, so it's going to be harder for me to get that foot in the door. The lack of anything useful at all by way of information in the rejection letter, and the swiftness of it coming to me, leave more questions than answers about the whole thing. The lack of a signature or a name associated with the letter shows the impersonal nature of the company, the absence of specific information in the response hints at a less than thorough review of the material, and it does reflect poorly upon them.

That was a lucky break for you then. Not being publishes was better for you. Odd I know, but like my luck with job applications, having a source credit that went under doesn't appeal to others. I hope I get that break myself too.

For me, I'm trained to take feedback if it's given the right way. I can't wrap my mind around two sentences that tell me none of the things I need to know about the rejection or how to make my story appeal to editors. Being rejected itself is a little disheartening, but it wasn't unexpected, so it's not a devestating blow by itself. I expect to be rejected many times before I'm accepted, if I haven't hit my self-imposed deadline and self-published first.

Okay, if I understand you correctly, published authors are not truthful about the rejection process they went/go through. In almost every interview I've seen on TV, heard on the radio, or read online or in print somewhere, published authors go into how the rejection letters provide the feedback that helps them make their manuscripts better. There's something rotten in the state of Denmark, and I'll end my thought right there.

If the letter wasn't worthless, I probably would take it to heart, but since it gave me nothing, I'll give it nothing in return.

I owe you guys for promising a lot of pictures of the convention, I got a total of 7 pictures from the convention, that's unacceptable to me, so I want to make it up to you all by doing a special art piece. I asked the question should I do the art piece on wood (as in have 5 wood burn projects instead of the four) or should I do it on paper like a regular art piece. I'm giving everyone till the end of the month to offer their opinon on the matter, that's when I'll do the piece. If I get no input, I'll decide on my own.

It's not really my place to bring this up, but encouraging that kind of behavior isn't exactly a good thing for the whole family. Pets, like people, do like to get attention, but maybe she should be taught to seek it in a less aggressive manner.

One of the pieces in my backlog is a dragn yin/yang piece for a friend (I will post it here when it's done). I've got to get that done soon. I believe in the concept of universal balance, but it's not a symbol I'd want a permanent part of me (I wear a yin/yang post earring to keep the hole in my ear open anyway). I do however like the idea of incorporating an ankh into a tattoo design with a dragon. I can see some possibilities there and I'll work out a rough sketch this weekend on the camping trip.

Yeah, Microsoft doesn't do tech support for 98 anymore so it's a good idea to upgrade. Beauty of Vista being out, machines with XP on them will be bargains.

The thing about a company being impersonal like that is it's a two way street. They obviously don't care about me as a person, so why should I care about them as a company? That's a lot of books in the genre I read that I might think twice about buying after seeing the Tor/Forge logos on them.

It's getting cooler at night now here too, I don't expect the heat to hang around too much longer in the day either, but it likes to spite me by proving me wrong regularly.

It's their loss when they make it painfully obvious that they don't pay attention to details. As I mentioned in the previous comment, when it's apparent a company thinks little of me, I think little of that company right back. Respect is earned, and Tor lost mine.

Always hit 'em with a cream pie. It's far more embarrassing to a mean spirited snit(Yes, I spelled that correctly) to be slapped in the face with a sticky, goopy, cream pie.

Oh my family has all manner of colorful metaphors for situations like that, none of which are clean enough to post here so I won't go into those. It's unfortunate for me only because I really needed the time to rest up from geting to the submission point, since publishers and agents don't like when you submit to multiple sources at the same time, I was expecting to have to wait longer before putting it out to someone else. That's time I don't have now because I want this book out.

I doubt it's fear that motivates their impersonal nature. Given that the letter was a photocopy, I think it qualifies laziness to be the key motivator. But see, where they mess up is in being lazy that way, it raises the question: Did they actually look at my work at all, or did they dispose of it without even a glance? They lose their credibility when they don't provide details. Sure it saves their editing department time, but at what cost to the company?

I already have the wood plaques to burn, I got them last week. The nice thing about having a big art supply store in town, it has good prices on lots of stuff. Now if on'y they'd get the toning sheets to go with the manga art boards, manga paper, and Sakura micron pens, they'd be doing something. Shipping the plaques isn't going to be all that costly, even through the USPS it won't be more than a few bucks if I go with the right delivery method. My biggest concern is letting the pieces dry (I clearcoat my wood burned pieces) enough so that sending them thorugh the mail won't set off flammable chemical alarms at whatever checkpoints the package may go through. While these aren't commercial pieces, keep that offer in mind because I'm going to have a small survey for you and the others who'll be getting the pieces, and I need to know if it'll be better to send you that survey with the piece and have you mail it back (I'd cover the postage), or find a way to do it online.

I may experiement with updating on other days to see if I like something else a little better than the Saturday schedule I'm on now. I kind of like doing the update on Tuesday, so I may shift to that for a while, just to see how it goes. That won't be till after my camping trip, so next week will be on Wed or Thursday, then after that it'll be Tuesday or Wednesday. I'll update my other blogs on Saturday though since I get few readers on one, and no readers on the other two.

I think any malice is unintentional, but the blatant lack of personality in the letter shows a lack of interest, and their overly quick reply indicates that they either don't get the number of submission that they'd have people believe, or they don't read unsolicited submissions while making the claim that they do. Either way it looks bad on them, not me. At least in my cover letter I apologized for not being able to address the appropriate editor by name since I couldn't find the information anywhere online to properly address my letter. I'm sure a publisher will take the risk with my book, but right now, I'm going at the angle of getting a literary agent, since more publishers are thumbing their nose at unsolicited work these days, I figure it wouldn't hurt to tap an agent to sell my work to publishers for me. They do after all know how to do that part right.

The idea was sound, but the application needs work. I'd sell my photos online if I had the place to do it. but that's going to have to wait till something starts some income flowing for me somewhere.

I was expecting to have an easier time finding the reference material to work from, so the final pieces have been delayed longer than I originally thought. They'll be done as soon as I can put them out though, so no worries. On that note, would it be easier on you to answer a short survey online, or mail-in (I'll cover the postage).

The idea was (according to authors whom I'm increasing believing are being told to lie about rejection letter contents) that the letter would tell me why the manuscript wasn't right for the publisher (in this case Tor), and have some suggested improvements to make the story more marketable to someone else. They didn't do me that courtesy, so I have no idea where I need to focus my polishing efforts. Tor is one of many publishers in the Sci-fi genre here, the problem being a lot of them won't take stuff from just anybody (unsolicited material), they want to get their material through an agent, which is the angle I'm currently working right now, though I'm having about as much luck with it as I did with Tor.

Dragons are my thing, not spiders, but I have an idea, it's a surprise though, can't say anything more for now.

I'll drink to that, Corporate America royally sucks, blows, and many other more vulgar things.

Yeah, that's what I'm doing, I'm taking the agent angle now since more places don't want unsolicited stuff. I hope I'll have good news on that front soon, but if I don't, I'm prepared to go my own way with it.

Actually, I already have a sample piece I did a while back. I do intend to post the others here when they're done as well.

I'm in Hillbilly Hell, oops, I mean West Virginia. The farthest I'd be willing to talk my family into taking me for a convention would be to Columbus OH to the West, Probably up as far as Youngstown OH or Pittsburgh PA to the north, give or take a little, but kept within reason. That convention does look to be a good one, but it's out of my travel range.

Well, I think that's the point, that it's a standard "one size fits all" response that doesn't actually fit anyone. You know, my story actually hedges at least three different genres easily, so it kind of rewuires a specialized response. They didn't even offer me a simple "you might want to consider using _______ as the primary genre of your work instead of Sci-fi" if genre was an issue for them. Oh, count on me not giving up on the book, I'll keep pushing till someone decides to put it out, or I put it out through self-publishing methods myself. That's not the ideal solution, but if I have to take it, I certainly will.

Sleeping isn't hard for me, I taught myself a self-hypnosis trick to cure that. Putting together a project to use what I am good at as a source of income, even in tiny amounts, is the challenge I have trouble with.

Naturally. I coudln't do the things then not show them off.

The weather's playing games with me right now, it was warm early this week, now it's getting cold again. I wish it would make up it's mind so I know what to pack for the camping trip in a couple days.

That is not a surprise to me, I think it's kind of an American thing for companies to be big, soulless, and out of touch with the people they supposedly want to hear from. I look at it this way, when the book is out, it's Tor's loss and I'll make sure they know it, within appropriate context to avoid being called libelous. All in all, the whole thing goes against even the basics of good feedback (see here and here for "in a nutshell" common sense critiquing). I wish I could say I learned something from the submission to Tor, as well as one I made last week to a Literary Agency, but neither of those taught me anything.

The character interests me in a deeply mental way, that's why I have to do him for this project. I've never seen that anime, but I think it might be one I'd like if I ever did get to see it. I know Illumitoon (A company that came about from former FUNimation employees, I think) has it licensed in the US, so that shouldn't be too hard to find (Volume 1 of the DVD is out already, I'll have to try to find it). I will need a favor from you though. In a rare case of US based search engine ignorance, I can't find a whole lot of reference material for Hokuto, if you could point me in the right direction for some images, I'd really appreciate it. Also, while I'm on the subject, I'm putting together a small survey for the people who will be receiving the finished pieces, and I'd like to know which would be easier on you, a mail-in survey (postage paid by me), or online (if I can find a way to do it)?

LOL There certainly is truth to that. What better place to see cosplay at it's finest than the country which inspired it around the world? Seeing the photos is one thing, but I gained a whole new respect for the art after seeing it in person. Photos only capture so much of the details, but there's far more depth to the experience first hand. Anyone who takes the time and effort to make such elaborate costumes certainly gets high marks from me.

That's okay, not too many people know a whole lot about my novel, I kind of keep a tight lid on it so it'll be all the better when it does come out. Thanks for the well wishes, Every little bit of support I get means the world to me, and it keeps me stiving to get the work out there so it can be enjoyed by others.

Animé Dreams!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Long Awaited


Sorry for not getting this up yesterday, the site was backing up and I didn't want to do anything that might interfere with the process.

I'll start off with the bad news to make the good news all the better. A couple days ago, I got the response from Tor on my manuscript. Remember when I said getting the response sooner rather than later was a bad thing? Well, given that this one came three months earlier than it was supposed to, I think that speaks for itself. I was expecting a rejection, but not of the caliber Tor dealt. They shouldn't accept unsolicited proposals if they're not interested in reading them at all. That's the tone I got from their impersonal, photocopy reply (I can see the toner spots and other indicators it's a photocopy document). Here's the letter, my notes follow.

Dear Author:

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read your submission. We are sorry to say that it's not right for us at this time.

Due to the volume of material we receive, we are unable to reply individually to each author. However, please be assured your work was given a careful evaluation.

We wish you the best of luck with this work; thank you again for thinking of Tor/Forge.

The Editors
  1. Not even a personal salutation on the letter, and I'm supposed to believe they read my proposal if they can't even address me by name? When I was six I learned that the proper way to address a letter is to use the person's name if it's available, in this case it most certainly was, on 50 pages of cover letter, story synopsis and novel excerpt.
  2. Reiterating a point of contention only draws more suspicion to it in my eyes. The proof is in the pudding so to speak, they need to make it look like they actually read the work by not sending a photocopied two sentence. uninformative. form letter.
  3. They go out of their way to not ID themselves either, that just plays off the paranoia in my mind.

I'll be retiring the calendar project on December 15 as well. It's not really going anywhere so there's no point in laboring to keep it in the public eye if the public isn't interested in it. Maybe I'll do a 2009 calendar featuring my artwork instead, I don't really know at this point.

Now, on to the good news. The final results for the commemorative project are in, and here's what I got. Given that the popular choice was to send the piece to the person inspiring it, that's what I'll be doing unless requested to do otherwise by the person who inspired it. We'll work out the details in getting the pieces where they need to be privately when the pieces are done. I'll be taking this week to look up reference pictures for the characters, and do the drawing so I can get to the burning hopefully before Saturday. Clear-coating the works after they're burned on will take the most time since with the cold they won't dry as fast betwen coats, and that may not get done till late next week.

After reading over all the submissions, here are the three I'm going to do this time around:

  • Pikachu (Pokémon) - Suggested by beyblader
  • Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach) - Suggested by twilight samurai
  • Hokuto (B'T X) - Suggested by Shireisho

Those three struck me in the readings, and I did go over all the submissions a couple times to get a feel for all the submissions. I'm also doing another woodburn piece, that's the original lizardman suggested by Magnus Lensherr, and I'm doing a piece who's medium hasn't been decided yet, don't forget to weigh in on wood or paper for the surprise piece I'm doing to make up for having few convention photos. Weigh in on that by Oct 31.

Other than that all that, things are going well, it's cooler here at night, but still hot during the day sometimes, kind of wish the temp would even out, the fluctuations kind of give me headaches at times.


Entry for September 30, 2007.

You come by when you can, that's all that's important to me. I don't get by your page as often as I should these days, I'm working on getting the energy up to do that. Hard to believe just this time last year I was doing daily updates and getting to everyone on time.

I had some help to get me there, and yeah, it was a good experience. Now I have a point of comparison to reference when people talk about conventions. I can finally wrap my head around the subject a little better.

This one is sort of a test the waters deal for something bigger I plan to do later this year, into next year, I have to see what I'm capable of doing so to speak, and how to organize things on the web end. You'll get a chance to provide your input for the next one, cause I'll let you when that one's starting so you can come by.

Actually much of that color washout is the result of a close range flash strobe going off, digital cameras are all sensitive to light one way or another, this one (takes excellent pictures, even in the dark), happens to wash things out if the light's too bright.

That's all right, I'd probably be lost myself at this point.

The convention was an adventure, that's for sure. Wish I could have gotten more pictures though.

That group does sound fascinating, I'd like to take a look at it. I'd be curious to see if anyone's tried to delve into what Exile is, or could be. I stay away from MySpace completely, it's way too easy to dig oneself into a hole over there.

I get the Otaku Dispatch myself, I kind of like getting that. Wish it would come regularly, like monthly or so, but getting it at all helps out a lot. Even officially site sponsored contests have a somewhat bittersweet air to them. Lately all the site's been offering is art contests, I think half if not more of the people I interact with on the site here are not artists. That's why I promised, and I'll reiterate the promise that when my book does get published, I will donate several signed copies to TheO as prizes for a Writing contest. That will be the stipulation to the donation. I believe a site this big shouldn't focus on one section of the community, it should focus on the community as a whole, do things that will appeal to more diverse groups within the community, not just the mainstream group.

The guy used a "liner" needle to do the outline, those are narrower needles, this one having one point (some of the fill needles have 5, 6 or more points on them) which probably contributed to the nice look it got. I don't know how other tattoo artists do their work, but the "heavier" looking ones probably use a fill needle when they should be using a liner. He's also a good artist, and experienced with the tattoo gun, so that's a plus as well. I hope I can get my dragon to look really nice too, since I'm doing the artwork for that myself, I really want it to be great.

The ones you sent me are all great reference pieces, the size doesn't really matter too much cause I'm using them as reference for my own work. I have to bear in mind the final size on my piece though, can't have it too big or too small for where it's going on the body.

In terms of anime fans, friends, or groupies, no one. My Mom was interested in seeing I get to the convention, so she got me down there and hung out among the oddballs for three days. Check out the links in the response below.

I know the feeling, it was something I'd go through with other people's mentions of conventions. It was actually dumb luck I found Tsubasacon. I wish I could have taken more pictures while at the convention, I got a total of seven I think. Oddly enough, there weren't a whole lot of people taking pictures there other than the staff. I can direct you to the Gallery of photos taken by the convention staff which paints a good picture of the weekend. This picture in particular strike me, it was taken before the closing ceremonies on Sunday (October 7). In the back, away from everyone else, just left of center in the picture, there's a guy with a dark green hat and a woman in a pale orange, that's me and my Mom. I think we're looking over the Graphic Novel she got, or we're figuring out something on the schedule.

Thanks for the luck, I'll need it, and thanks for the sentiment about the blog. I try to keep it up as best I can.

Really? I haven't said where the tattoo is? Wow, that's kind of a basic thing for me to forget isn't it? It's high on my right shoulder so I can cover it up with a sleeve if I need to. I'll get a picture so you can see where. As for recoloring, you can't really see in that photo, but the color is a little uneven, which kind of gives it some personality (I like it to have that somewhat faded look), so I may just leave it as is after all. I have some good reference pictures for the dragon, but I haven't finished drawing him yet. When I get the lineart done, I'll post it here so you can see that, and I'll have a picture of the tattoo when it's done as well.

That's good to hear, sometimes when people ask that question they expect to get a synopsis of the story and everything else, so I tend to answer with that in mind. I like to be tight lipped about such things because with a project in limbo (as mine is now), talking too much about it kind of jinxes the project. Basic stuff is okay to disseminate though. I hear that though, patience is a virtue I lost a long time ago.

Yeah, I've been getting a little lax in posting and commenting lately. I'll be back in the game soon I hope. I can't really say much about the novel that I haven't already said, I don't like to discuss the details of a pending project. What I'm telling agents (I've exhausted my short list of publishers, now I'm trying to land a literary agent) is that it's a a blend of science and realistic fiction (it's only really sci-fi because of one non-human character) leaning toward the young adult market. Other than that, I don't want to divulge anything specific till it's published.

According to published authors and industry information, that's what an editor does upon rejecting a work. I don't know how many times I heard authors say "All those rejection letters helped me improve my work." As you can see from my main post today, they're not even doing that anymore, so it was a waste of my time. I can't polish my work to make it marketable if I don't know why it's not appealing to editors.

Yeah, it was insane there at times, but the whole thing was fun. I also got some ideas on my own convention (I haven't scrapped that idea, just put it on hold), on what to and not to do in that regard. The ideas are flowing, now if I could only get the money to make it happen.

I think I'm going to have fun with this project, at any rate, it's giving me some practice in the drawing field because I'll have to draw the characters first, then trace those drawing onto the wood to burn. Believe it or not, burning is the easy part.

Yeah, adding color would darken it somewhat, It looks light in the photo cause of how I took the picture, and the flash and all. In person the color is quite nice now, and I think I'll go with it as is for a while. At least till after I get my dragon done. That would be a cool looking tattoo, and evil spider with that sly demonic smirk villains always seem to have on.

Thank beyblader for the term "corporate", it really fits qute well.

Funny thing though, he keeps saying how he's competing with TokyoPop and DeviantArt, both those sites have hubs for written work as well as art. If he wants to compete with them in the truest sense of the concept, he's going to have to bring back written content submissions. Right now, he's talking a more full integration of TheO and MyO, which could be good, it could be bad, we'll have to wait and see. Best case scenario on having the MyO blog and a TheO equivalent, the TheO blog could possibly be used for written content like articles, fan fiction, and so on, whether or not that's the intended purpose of that addition, that's probably what it'll see happening to it, and I'm all for that. As far as news goes, Gia, the former FUNimation animeOnline writer, has been doing a good job keeping serious news on the main page. A novelty story once in a while is okay, but I like serious anime news most of the time.

I wouldn't go as far as saying that, but I do think he's lost site of his vision from 2004 or 2005 where he wanted to make TheO the #1 anime web portal site. Maybe his vision for the site has changed, I don't know he hasn't really said anything on that. Part of the game is figuring out what the site needs to grow, but also what the site's users, the member base, wants to have. So what if something doesn't get a million hits a day, the members who support that section are as important to the site as the ones who post ridiculous amounts of drawings every other day. Adam needs to be reminded of that sometimes.

  • July 11, 2007, First Mention of the Cosplay site's future.
  • July 26, 2007, Second and more direct implication that Cosplay is on the chopping block/
  • July 27, 2007, Third mention of the cosplay site, and the final shot at those who mention the articles hub.

I didn't mention those because right now that's in limbo, we won't know the final decision on that till it happens, I'm afraid. If he worries about a backlash like the outcry he gets from the articles hub being shut down, he may just wait till it's too late to do anything (like the day after he closes it down) to make the announcement that it's closed. Best thing we can hope for though is that Panda, one of the admins on site here, and an avid cosplayer, would step in and set him straight about closing that one. As much as I disagree with current union tactics, I have to say the initial model was a sound one. Workers came together to make employers (coal mine companies) take notice and improve the safety of their mines. Unions have advantages, and maybe we should get together with as many members as we can to form a TheO/MyO members union to represent what the members would like to see on the site.

There is a lot more to that "anti offender" thing that meets the eye, I have no doubts about that based on what I saw. I watched that for a while as the really heated stuff was going down, and it was more than just e-cards when I happened to stumble on it, it was wallpapers too. I'm from a vanishing breed of people that sees no place for vigilante justice online. I mean trolls used to get reamed royally for spamming with accusations like that, what ever happened to those days? I support reporting suspected plagiarism through the proper channels, otherwise the act is harassment, plain and simple. Anti offender doesn't seem to have been active lately, but there's a copycat or reincarnation abomination by the name of thethiefreporter who's only recently taken up the same cause, but doesn't appear to have as much influence, yet.

All I'll say to the possibility of staff involvement with condoned persecution of any kind is: may whatever gods they believe in have mercy on their souls should I find out those sacks of crap are masquerading staff members, or are acting under anyone on the staff's direction. This is a community, not some grade school soap-opera, the staff needs to act in a professional manner, and demonstrate that harassment of any kind will not be tolerated (so what if the intention of exposing plagiarism is good? The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, it doesn't make it right). What seems to be happening to me are personal vendettas against certain users being carried out, under the cover of reported plagiarism. Only a coward hides behind someone else, or another identity, to bash another person when they don't agree about something, or don't like that person. If a staffer can't objectively assess a particular user's submissions for one reason or another, they need to have someone else evaluate that work's submission potential. If it's Adam himself that doesn't agree with a particular user, he needs to be up front about it and not create more chaos with subterfuge, and he should know better than that anyway with as long as he's been online.

I would hate to see the site go under, but I suppose it's bound to happen someday. If I'm here to see it happen, it'll be a sad day for me

Yeah, I try to keep myself on top of what the staff is doing, cause they sometimes give away little bits about the site, and upcoming events and so on. It's good for them too cause I give them honest feedback about things I like, don't like, about the site. When I started out here, I was in love with the art, I still like to browse it, but I see more than just the art now.

There really isn't a whole lot of culture in WV which is what makes it hard on me. I can't really be my true self among others who don't share that same interests. Why would I promote a clannish, self-absorbed, willfully ignorant and blame the victim culture, or try to fit in with that same culture? It goes against my principles, my sense of honor to do that.

Can't promise anything on the art right now, but soon. I've been saying that all year, but soon.

Here in WV, they put on the show of the "do you own thing" attitude, but it's a front, they're self-absorbed here, and when someone does have a legitimate problem, they blame the victim. It's not a place I'm proud to say I live, and I know I say it a lot, but I don't think of West Virginia as my home. Corporate culture is everywhere, it's hard to avoid it anymore, but there are places that it hurts rather than helps.

The geckos are back? Try to get a picture if you can.

I didn't really get a good full body shot at the convention, but this should do in that regard. For the record, I stand 6' tall, just to give you an idea on perspective. I will get a picture that places the tattoo in perspective soon, you can't see it on my right shoulder in that picture, but it's there.

I suppose there are fantasy elements to my work, it just depends on your perspective really. At any rate, I hope to get somewhere before next year, because I will self-publish if the industry doesn't help me out.

I'll be 27 in January, three years away from the 30 mark. Funny I don't feel all that old myself.

I did try, but didn't really get much. Being my first convention, there was a lot I didn't know about the approach to taking pictures there. Normally I shoot stuff that doesn't have to grant permission to take, or use the picture, with people involved, photography becomes a whole different animal, one that'll bite if your not careful.

Yeah, I'll be glad to get the project done so I can polish up the details for the next one I'll be kicking into gear probably in November. I'm kind of curious to see how the end product will turn out myself.

I'm not sure the official color name, but the ink bottle calls it "blue balls", I like it for it's kind of rich royal blue shade. Funny, I thought I'd be chicken too, but after the initial stinging, the skin goes numb so you don't really feel the needle at all. There are temp tattoo options out there now too. They don't last that long, but they look just as good sometimes. The Kanji reads "kaze", wind.

That's okay, you get in when you can.

Yeah, I managed to get to a convention with some help, I hope I did a good job on the report. That kind of writing is new to me, I'm not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination. Best of luck to you at your next one, have fun.

Thank you, I need all the luck I can get, being a dragon isn't enough sometimes.

Entry for Comment Responses October 8, 2007.

Yeah, that's a nice piece of work the pocket watch is. I've always been fascinated by pocket watches, so I'd been wanting to get something like that since I saw FMA the first time. I haven't been around to sites a lot lately myself, but all we can do is try.

I can't really say for sure, being my first one, I'd got nothing to compare it with in my mind. I realize it's impossible to run something of that size and format completely smooth, but there were times it seemed the lack of organization wasn't accidental. After I get a few more conventions under my belt, I'll probably see the whole thing differently, with more understanding of how things work. Overall, I'd say it was a positive experience, and I'd do it all again the same way if I was given the chance.

Yeah, it was a great find, accidental on my part too. I'd been by the vendor several times before I saw that.

I know that feeling too, don't worry about it.

Actually, I did plan out some down time during events/panels that didn't strike my fancy, so while it seems like I was bouncing off the walls, I had some time to sit back and watch the cosplayers stroll up and down the hallways. For my first one, I'm glad it was a small convention, I don't think I could have handled a big one first time in.

Keep an eye out for something that may be close by, and make a plan to get there. Figure out a budget for travel, hotel, food, admission (bear in mind pre-registering is easier on the budget), convention expenses (vendor's room, artists alley, and other stuff), and save toward that goal, but keep in mind you might want to add a little financial cushion just in case something comes up you don't expect. If you have good friends in the right position to help you, they might be willing to help out too.

If I haven't said it already, a belated Happy Birthday to you.

They had a panel at the convention on Pocky, the highlight of which was the tasting. There were flavors there I never knew existed. I know some stores like Wal-Mart and Kroger are carrying the basic chocolate and/or strawberry Pocky, if there's an Asian market near you, you might find other flavors, and they're not that expensive, which is good too. If you ever get the chance to try the green tea, black sesame Pocky, men's (dark chocolate), or honey and milk Pocky, try those, they're good. I don't get enough Pocky myself either, but like the woman heading the panel said, "Pocky is an addiction, once you have one, you can't stop." and she's right.

Yeah, I did have a good time, hopefully my report was okay. I used to have a problem with reading myself. I learned to speed-read and that helped a lot, especially with longer web pages. There are books on that kind of thing in libraries, might be worth a try if you need to optimize your online time like that.

All that stuff was fun and enlightening.

My mom already has me looking at other conventions in the area (Ohio and Pennsylvania) so we can plan to get to another one. I think she's more hooked on the convention experience than I am. If I could get my sister to come along too, that would be quite the experience for all of us, cause my sister's into anime, not like I am, but she's got some favorites, and I think she'd have fun at seeing cosplayers in person too.

Oh yeah, it was fun. I hope you can get to something like that someday, it's not an easy thing to describe the whole experience. I paced myself well the whole weekend, and got to some important things, and did snap a few shots in the process.

Credit where credit is due, I never forget to thank someone who helps me out. The gesture kind of has me thinking though. I'll have to do the leg work to see what can be done about setting up a legitimate non-profit to provide financial assistance for financially limited anime fans to get to conventions. The two biggest inhibitors for fans to get to conventions that I see are location and cost (the third is parent/guardian misinformation about the genre), travel would have to be figured out another way, so would informing parents/guardians truthfully about the genre, but a nonprofit could provide micro-grants to deserving fans for covering admission costs and other convention related expenses. It's just a matter of doing it right by the IRS.

You know, that would be interesting. Seeing a convention in another country to see how another culture handles its cosplay would indeed be an enriching experience. I'd like to do that myself some day.

First off, welcome to my little corner of the MyO universe, pull up a chair, have a green tea Pocky, and make yourself comfortable.

You have no idea how much those convention articles helped me out, they came at just the right time. I know I've have been a nervous wreck if I had gone in there without having some set of organized thoughts to guide me through my first convention experience. Little things that I wouldn't have thought of ended up being lifesavers at times, like marking up the schedule with highlighters, that tip made the the weekend flow pretty good for me, and my Mom got some things out of the articles too (I printed them out so she could read them before we went down there).

Someone in the panel asked about those butter & maple Pretz, but the hosts hadn't heard of them so they didn't know much about them, or how they tasted. They sound good, it's shame they stopped making them. They did have some exotic flavors there, in Pocky, Pretz, and Poare (like a reverse Pocky - the cream is inside the stick). there was a black sesame Pocky, there was a couple Pretz that were good both sweet and savory, and in Poare we tried a milk cream, and banana ones. Of course we also had Caplicos and Happy Burgers, and Koalas too. The honey & milk Pocky is one of my favorite flavors aside from the dark chocolate, or the winter chocolate (it's textured dark chocolate). Yeah, that was one of my favorite panels at the convention.

In all fairness the host of the Old School Anime 101 panel was one of three people who was supposed to host it (according to the description in the program). The other two never showed up during the panel at all. I'm guessing from his presentation, he wasn't supposed to be the primary presenter, so he did an okay job covering for the no-shows as best he could. He was also one of the Pocky panel's hosts, and he did a great job in that panel, probably because that was a topic he was well researched and prepared to present. So really, it wasn't his short-coming in the one panel so much as it was that of the two others who bailed on their responsibility.

The guy who did the Toonami panel though, he gets no slack. He admitted in the panel itself that he presented that same panel, the same topic, at a convention prior to Tsubasacon, and that he knew he needed to sort the files on his computer so that they would be quick access during the presentation. It was immediately apparent he didn't do that sort job when he fumbled to find the video clips and audio bites throughout the panel. In my book, willful ignorance like that deserves no slack from me.

I think if I did a panel on something, that first time would probably be completely insane for me too, but I have at least some sense of presenting to an audience, I learned how to handle that in theatre and Speech/Communications class, so I would hope I'd not be too out of things. I can still project my voice on a stage with no problems at all to boot.

Animé Dreams!

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Tsubasacon 2007 Report


First off, just a reminder that I'll be announcing the three characters I'll be doing for the commemorative project on Saturday, along with the fate of the finished pieces. Don't worry if your character didn't get picked this time around, I'm still working the bugs out of a more thorough, more interactive project to be done at the start of next year.

I'm skipping comments today, but I'll answer the ones for last post (and this one) on Saturday.

Convention Report


Before I begin this report, I would like to thank Cassie Richoux, who's weekly Otaku Survival Guide articles on Theotaku.com for the month of September covered the convention experience. Without those tips, I would have been completely lost the whole weekend.

Also, I owe Kiki-tink a whole lot of gratitude and thanks for helping me get to the convention in the first place. Without her assistance, I never would have gotten there at all.

The staff of Tsubasacon deserve kudos for putting together a convention for the state of West Virginia (thank goodness someone beat me to it!). They also made my first convention experience a memorable one. Thanks guys and gals.

Thursday, October 4: Before the Convention

Actually, the convention doesn't start until tomorrow, but my Mom and I came down to Huntington a day early to find everything so we wouldn't be bogged down in the morning. It was a good thing we did that. The directions to the convention center, and to the hotel (that I got from Google maps) weren't 100% accurate, but we managed to find the hotel, and the convention center all right. We're planning an early start to hopefully get in without too many lengthy delays.

The hotel itself is nice, having worked in housekeeping before, I tend to over-analyze every detail of the room, so I won't bore you with all that stuff.

Friday, October 5: Tsubasacon 2007, Day One

The turnout this morning was surprisingly light as the 9:00AM open time, which made the process of picking up badges easy for preregistered attendees. Things were expectedly slightly unorganized, but flowed smoothly and without problems. A neat piece of swag for preregistered attendees is a t-shirt which I wasn't expecting, but still very cool.

After picking up the badge, I sat down with the schedule and program, planning out the whole weekend as best I could. I'm thankful for the recent articles on TheO's main page on conventions for that tip and others which helped me through the whole weekend. It spared a lot of stress and running around doing nothing. With the plan in place for the weekend, I took some time to get acquainted with some anime I've never seen before. Black Cat was playing in one of the video rooms, so I checked it out. It's a good show that I'm interested in following up on later when I have the finances to obtain the DVDs.

After Black Cat, I took my first trip through the vendors room, somewhat curious, and wanting to idle some time till the opening ceremonies. That was overwhelming to say the least. There was so much to look at it was mind boggling. There was stuff there I'd never seen before (a solar powered bobble-head being among the unfamiliar), some things I had, and one booth, that of Wizzywig Collectibles had a large selection of Pocky, some Japanese candy, and soda. That was the first of several trips through the vendors room, but it gave me a good grasp of the layout, and what types of items the different vendors had.

The opening ceremonies were an experience to say the least. The convention staff lacked organization and bumbled through the whole event. It lacked any sense of order and barely provided any information. I made a note of the issue and plan to bring it up on Sunday at the "convention gripes" after the closing ceremonies.

From the opening ceremonies, I went to Artist Alley, which was cool in and of itself. The quality of artwork that was there was absolutely astounding to say the least. Kind of lit a fire under me to maybe work harder to improve my own art skill. I did get a caricature type piece done by an artist there Alex Heberling. I think it looks cool. I don't know about you, but I think the likeness quite remarkable.

I did attend a panel on old school anime, and I made some notes in that panel to present to the convention staff on Sunday. The panel presenter came off as ill prepared for the job, though he was not helped by ambient noise from Random Battle Group in the next room and the Spoony Bards (a really good band, don't get me wrong) out in the hallway. The noise drowned out the presentor's voice, so he wasn't at fault for that, he did try to get the PA working, but a short in the mic cord prevented him from using it. He did get some basic old-school anime facts spot on, but his research seemed hurried, and absent of thorough details. It was an entertaining panel for me, I rather enjoyed recalling points that the presenter overlooked to my Mom who came with me.

I made another trip to the Vendors room, picking up a couple things so I'd have them. A couple flavors of Pocky, and some things for my nephews, niece, and sister. I found some other things of interest then headed into the ADR Directing Q&A.

The ADR Q&A was very informative. I couldn't take notes fast enough to effectively discuss in detail all the questions Patrick Seitz and Caitlin Glass answered, but I did learn that ADR directing is quite a demanding, but not well paying job (VA work itself is apparently not well paying, they don't get residuals at all, they're paid for the hours they work only), but in both cases, the guests indicated that they enjoyed the challenges of the job. They also explained the process of doing ADR, and how complicated it is. Even for the English dub, the Japanese studios still have to approve alterations that are made. I was able to get their autographs after the Q&A session, now that's cool.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of pictures today. Taking pictures at a convention is very different than my usual subjects (trees, trails, tunnels etc). There are processes, and courtesies (not to mention laws) that must be taken into account, processes and courtesies that are unfamiliar to me. I saw some very interesting Cosplay today, a lot of very elaborate costumes, many of characters I couldn't identify. I know I promised lots of pictures, hopefully I'll get those tomorrow.

Saturday, October 6: Tsubasacon 2007, Day 2

Day two of the convention wasn't as stressful as day one. There were a few little hitches, but nothing as abrasive as what went on yesterday. I still have no photos of cosplayers unfortunately, as I mentioned yesterday, there are things I'm not familiar or comfortable enough with to attempt to shoot yet. At this point, all I can do is promise I will try again tomorrow. I did get some photos today though, I'll get to that in a moment though, I think you'll be surprised, so be patient.

First up on the agenda today was a Pocky panel, in which Pocky was discussed and sampled. I learned a few things about Pocky, but more importantly, I got to try a few flavors that were interesting. If you happen to get the chance to try the black sesame Pocky, do it, that one was good. Other flavors of interest were the dark chocolate (men's) Pocky, a winter chocolate Pocky, and a honey and milk Pocky, though we tried others as well. That panel also had us trying other things, like Poare, which in simple terms is a reverse Pocky (the filling is inside the biscuit stick). The banana was good, we also tried a milk Poare which was nice. Other convections we tried included Caplicos, and Happy Burgers which I liked in both cases. And I can't forget Pretz. We had sweet potato, tomato, salad, chocolate, shrimp, and roast, they all had unique flavors that can't really be described off-hand.

tsubasacon panelAfter the Pocky panel, and a quick trip through the Vendor's room idled time till the Voice acting Q&A which was as fun as the previous night's ADR directing Q&A. The crowds were a little quieter this afternoon, but it had it's high points. Patrick and Caitlin went through an FAQ session covering question's they're asked at every con which was nice. Like many VAs, they get asked by fans "how can I become a VA?" The answer wasn't really surprising. It went along with what other VAs have said on the matter, just watching anime doesn't give a person the qualifications to do voice work, and they suggested that acting, whether it be for community theatre, or in a college or high school class was a good start, that it would help, not only train the voice to emote well, but be a good source to learn how to take direction. Having been in theatre throughout high school myself, I can certainly appreciate that advice. It was a good panel to sit in on, very valuable.

Next up, I took an origami lesson, sounds simple right? Well, the piece (pictured) was a three part origami box that took all of the hour panel to make, and the teacher of the panel was Caitlin Glass. It wasn't all that intimidating to learn, Caitlin was a great teacher. As you can see, the final result resembles a box with a lotus decoration on the top. Honestly, I've never done origami as well as I did that piece, I think having someone actually explain the steps makes the process easier than trying to read off a piece of paper with crudely drawn diagrams. It was a challenging, and fun to do, I'd do it again if I had the chance.

I may not have gotten a lot of pictures, or really good entertaining ones, but I did manage to snag a gem that I thought you guys and gals would be interested in seeing. I got that one after the origami panel with a free moment. and I think this picture alone is worth the whole trip.

Sunday, October 7: Tsubasacon 2007, The Last Day

There was a bit of a scheduling snafu (pardon my language) today, apparently no one checked to make sure the times were aligned on the printed schedule, my Mom and I rushed to get to the convention at ten for a panel on the history of Toonami, only to find out it didn't begin till 10:30. Anyway, that panel was interesting since it filled in some of the gaps for me. I came into Toonami late in the game, so there was a lot I didn't know about it's early years. I think I came into Toonami just after Tom v. 2 came onto the scene (if anyone really knows what that means). I learned some things about the origins of the programing block (which always followed the premise of showing action cartoons, not specifically anime). The presenter was a little unprepared, but he did have some nice aids to his presentation, both audio and video which helped him along.

One last spin through the vendors room actually landed my a gem of an item. I don't believe I mentioned it before here, but I collect pocket watches. I found a vendor with a replica from Fullmetal Alchemist which I absolutely had to pick up. The neatest thing about it, the vendor took the time to have it set to the correct time before putting it on display which was completely unexpected.

At the end of the convention itself, the staff hosted a "gripe" session in which they sought feedback on the convention. As much as I hate to say it, that session, which was the staff's last chance to leave attendees with a good impression, didn't. The staff was very interested in getting the positive comments about the convention, but they pulled a classic West Virginia when it came to the "negative" feedback. There were some issues with Artists Alley being cramped, which I briefly mentioned earlier, the convention staff's response to those statements wasn't really positive. The same happened with concessions (there was no onsite food or drink vending other than two coke bottle dispensing machines), they passed the buck of not having concession onto the arena, which can't entirely be faulted. To make a long story short, Tsubasacon staff welcomed positive feedback, but had excuses to counter any statements that had to deal with issues. As with the other issues that came up for me, I noted that on the back of the exit survey with my other concerns. They can't hope to improve the convention if no one brings up concerns like these to them.

All in all, for my first convention experience, it was all right. I certainly did have a good time while I was there, and I learned a bit about anime that I didn't know before, and I got to see interesting people, great artwork, and so much stuff on which English was the secondary language. There were a few hairy moments, like when my Mom had to get the car out of this spot. The red Jetta was not in a legal parking space, there was a support column to the parking garage in spot, look at the paint line on the ground. Good thing my Mom learned to drive in New Jersey. There was also the, well, I don't know what it is sculpture thing in front of the arena. For three days I walked by that thing and still can't figure out what it's supposed to be. I suppose the convention experience could have been better, but I'm chalking up a lot of the negatives of my trip to the fact that it was my first time attending a convention. Since I've never been in that environment, there's a lot of things I don't know, and wasn't expecting. I am more than a little disappointed in myself that I didn't get more photos as pictures do indeed tell a story far better than words alone.

I'm going to make up for not having the photos I promised (I really don't like breaking promises I make), so to do that, I'm going to do, I have an image in mind that I'm going to do for you, but I'd like you all to choose the medium: wood, or paper. This is a majority rule system whichever gets the most votes, that'll be the medium I use. I'll give you all a couple weeks to decide, so by the end of October let me know and I'll do the piece in the medium you chose.

Now I'm open to questions.

Points of Contact

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Submissions Closed, Now the Fun Begins


Well, next week is Tsubasacon, so I'll be there, and not here. Unfortunately, the nature of the internet service provided in the hotel is through that webTV thing, so I won't be able to update nightly as I had originally intended. If I get the chance to get there again next year, I'll be sure to chekc hotels more thoroughly ahead of time and find one that lets me plug in, or log on to their net directly with my computer. I will post my full report probably on Tuesday or Wednesday following the convention, I'll need time to rest, and it'll also allow me time to get the pictures I hope to take uploaded and such too.

Yesterday was the last day to post submissions for the commemorative project, I'll go through all the comments to be sure I didn't miss anyone's submissions, then I'll read through every one I got and decide the three I burn from there. Trust me, the next time around I do this, you're all going to be more involved in the process, I promise that. So I no longer have the need to post the project details in my posts anymore, that will give me more space to work with.

I finally got that tattoo picture that I'd been promising for weeks, well months actually now. The new camera is a Canon, and it takes great pictures to say the least. Not too bad a shot given I was working the camera myself. Anyway, it's a little washed out by the flash, but that's pretty much how the thing looks after being recolored. I'm up in the air on having it recolored again, but I think I should at leasst get my dragon's line art put together first before I worry about the kanji anymore.


I didn't notice that detail right away myself, but it stuck out in my mind. It's nice to have more accessible interactive features like that on the site, that's for sure. It's a small start, but a step in the right direction none the less.

At first I wasn't going to agree with you about the "coporate" site idea, it just didn't seem to fit very well. That changed after I saw something on site here which made me think about it in detail. Theotaku.com started down the corporate road with the podcast. Closing the article and review hubs was another step in that direction, adding a former staffer from one of the big anime licensors further still drives that point. Add to that what I've seen recently, and the point is too clear not to miss. I'm kind of weird this way, but here's a timeline of things for you, just so you see how my mind works on things:

  1. May 9, 2006: Adam first mentions the podcast in his blog.
  2. May 20, 2006: First podcast episode posted on theOtaku.com.
  3. May 21, 2006: Adam's first acknoledgement that the podcasters got negative feedback.
  4. July 15: 2006: The infamous Episode 9. My comment to that posting says everything.
  5. July 19, 2006: My own blog entry on the infamous Episode 9.
  6. July 30, 2006: Adam's first posts about closing the articles and reviews hubs.
  7. July 31 2006: Adam follows-up on his previous post after getting some serious feedback.
  8. August 15, 2006: Adam's official Articles and Reviews hubs retirement post.
  9. Monday, July 29, 2007: Adam promotes the newest news staffer, Gia, the head writer for FUNimation's now defunct animeOnline project.
  10. August 21, 2007: Epic fan art contest announced.
  11. August 22, 2007: Epic fan manga contest announced.
  12. August 31, 2007: Wallpaper contest is announced (not related to the other two in terms of sponsor).
  13. September 24, 2007: Adam announces in his blog that a theotaku/myotaku member and contributor to the upcoming Art of Otaku Sessions, spin-off of the original Art of Otaku e-book, will be a guest artist at the New York Anime Festival (NYAF sponsors the fan art and fan manga contests).

In a nutshell, putting all that together is what made me realize you were right about the "corporate" direction of the site. I don't really know why, but a couple of the comments for that last item rubbed me the wrong way, to the point I'm choosing to withdraw my interest in participation for the fan art contest myself. I'll finish the picture up and post it here as a regular piece, but I won't enter it in the contest.

I get that reaction all the time when I associate things with Beethoven's chamber pot. Maybe I should use a cleaner simile/metaphor thing, whichever it is.

I do have a few new things in the works, but most of it is old hat. I think I can say this has been my least productive year to date, only because I got hit really hard way back at the start by a lot of stuff at once and I'm still trying to recover from all that in some ways. The project list is quite long too, hopefully I'll start to see some progress in it as I go to work on each piece.

Yeah, I've been around limited-minded people since I moved to WV, there are a few good people here, I just seem to end up in contact with the ones who aren't. One step at a time is all I can take to try to see some culture come into this area.

Yeah, I think I should do a lizard man since that's kind of my going theme in both my writing and drawings at the moment. Actually, my lizard man soda jerk will probably be the picture I use (I'm still working on it at the moment) for that, unless I get a better idea along the way.

I promised you some numbers regarding my novel a long time back, so here they are now that I have them set pretty well. It has about 31,000 words (the actual word count is 30,641), and in standard manuscript format spans 158, 8.5 by 11 inch pages (very close to A4 size paper). I understand the time lag in the publisher's responding, and I certainly appreciate it for what it's worth. It would be cool to get a "yes" to the project in January, cause that's my birth month, but even a "no" will be helpful to me in terms of polishing the story further to make it more appealing to the next prospect which I have yet to locate.

Yeah, I'll be heading out to a convention, my first time at one, so I have no idea what to expect or anything. I couldn't have gotten there without some help along the way, I'll have a really nice formal thank you to post after the convention. Since I don't really feel comfortable in large crowds of people myself, I know I'm going to be more than a little tense down there, but it should be fun all the same.

Thanks for the well wishes. The group's admin has gone through and cleaned out a lot of the bots, and I think he's moderating registrations now too to keep them from just signing up and posting their junk.

Kind of busy, kind of unlucky at the same time. Usually when I have a moment to get online, I end up fighting with the connection to get it to work. Eventually things will smooth out I hope.

Thanks. I promised the admin I'd mention it here (that reminds me I've got one other place to bring it up), and go from there. I never promise anything by way of recruitment, because all of that is subjective and people either want to join or they don't.

I'm not releasing any specifcs of the story yet, I'm holding off till I get a green light on publication, then I'll be able to be more open about the contents of the book since the ball will be rolling at that point. I can say that while it's technically defined as "Young Adult" science fiction (only because one of the characters isn't "normal"), the audience age isn't significant, anyone of almost any age could read and probably get something from the story. I will post a short exceprt when the time is right though, but till then, I'll be tight lipped about details.

Oddly enough I didn't start out writing, I started out dictating to a tape recorder, then I got bored of that and actually sat down with a typewriter (yes, a typewriter, which I still use on occasion) and tapped out a short. You kind of have to find the right medium for your release of the creative energy, and that changes with time, make no mistake about it. I write on computers now mostly, but I still find some comfort in writing up a short story with pen and paper once in a while.

The double-life standard is an old one, but it works for me in terms of characters. I like to see characters who seem to be one thing, but are really something else in the long run. Haku is indicitive of that kind of character. He has multiple levels to his personality that makes him a believable character.

It's finally up there!

Of course I'll post the pictures I take. That'll be part of the coverage I promised that's getting me to the convention in the first place.

I've ridden 14 miles in four hours straight once, but that was on a flat trail, and I wasn't in a hurry that day. This time of year most people will be busy, even I'm still working on my projects, at least the proposal is out of the way for the time being.

Sure it's a beautiful landscape, the state parks are nice, the Rail Trail is nice, and there are a few good people here, but 90% of the people here leave a lot to be desired, no bones about it. When you have people in the state government blame you for one of their bureau's discriminations, you'll understand that to it's fullest. Aside from that, being bullied by arrogant blow-hards who couldn't grasp the concept of home schooling bittered me on the people here quickly. I've brought it up with people before, but have you ever noticed that the John Denver song never once mentions people in it?

Almost Heaven, West Virginia,
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River,
Life is old there, older than the trees,
Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze.

Country roads, take me home,
To the place, I belong,
West Virginia, Mountain Momma,
Take me home, Country roads.

All my memories, gather 'round her,
Miner's lady, stranger to blue water,
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky,
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye.

Country roads, take me home,
To the place, I belong,
West Virginia, Mountain Momma,
Take me home, Country roads.

I hear her voice, in the morning hour she calls to me.
The radio reminds me of my home far away.
And driving down the road I get the feeling,
That I should have been home yesterday . . . yesterday.

Country roads, take me home,
To the place, I belong,
West Virginia, Mountain Momma,
Take me home, Country roads.

Take me home, Country roads.

Take me home, Country roads.

Take Me Home, Country Roads

By, John Denver, Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert

See what I mean? Back in the 70's he knew something most people don't. Scary thing is, I can sing that song on key(one of very few English songs I can), a capella, without looking up the lyrics. I can also do the Japanese reversion for Whisper of the Heart from memory, and I think the next time I have to sing-along at a function of some kind (they do that song a lot around here), for spite, I'll do the Japanese one to annoy the people around me.

There are some nice features of landscape here, but I can't honestly tell you one place I've been where the people are genuinely outgoing and friendly to strangers. There's almost always that air of alterior motive to their saying "hi" and talking to you. They want to know everyone's business is what it is.

Things should start to simplify here soon I hope.

Given that more of the problem is Verizon being stupid, I think you're right about that.

Yeah, there's a lot of crud on the info superhighway, that's for sure.

They say patience is a virtue, but I say I lost that virtue long ago. Waiting really is hard no matter what the outcome is. It's tough, but it has to be done. I just hope I can find other publishers who'll take unsolicited proposals while I'm waiting for the answer to this one. Being my first one, I have the strong suspicion that it will be rejected, but that's part of the process too.

Now that I know the proper format to write in, which I didn't before I began my lasst manuscript, I'll do that stuff from the start. It's the reformatting somethign that's already done that's a real headache. My sarcasm should also be noted in the all caps REALLY of the REALLY fun part being editing.

Well, it remains to be seen just how much of that is PR and how much of it is serious. I'll be holding them to their word though, and I'll rip into Regal if it's WV theatres choose not to show the stuff after being offered it next time.

For the people who've lived their whole lives here, I'm sure it is ideal, but she has not been nearly that welcoming to my spirit in more ways than she has been, so I just don't really feel at home here, I never have, and I never will.

Animé Dreams!

Points of Contact

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Late Update


Click here to join DragonsFlameClub

Sorry about not getting around to many sites lately, just when I thought my net troubles had died down, they reared up again so I've been unable to do much around here. I did promise that I would mention an anime group I'm signed up with on Yahoo!, the DragonsFlameClub. It used to have a lot more activity than it does now, mostly spam bots and such, but we're trying to get it up and running again as best we can. As anime fans in a country where access to it is segmented, we should try to come together. If your interested, click the button, if not, that's okay too.

One week left to submit character considerations for the Anniversary Commemorative project. Then I'll begin the task of reading and deciding which three I'll be doing this time. That process should take a couple weeks, and I'll be offline the weekend of Oct 5-7 because I'll be at Tsubasacon, unless I have a net connection at the hotel, then I'll be posting convention updates for you all.

The Otaku Survival Guide is back with Part Two of it's convention coverage. I'm finding these articles to be very useful as I go about planning my trip to Tsubasacon in a couple weeks.

My novel's proposal will go into the mail on Monday, then I play the waiting game. I may not hear anything before Jaunary, and hopefully no later than March, but that will give me time to start on my next novel and get all that outstanding art done. Yes, I plan to write another book, actually, I have the material, I just need to polish it up, finish the story, and get it formatted (the REALLy fun part).

I did hear from NCM Fathom that they would consider West Virginia for future events. That's a positive step in the process, but it also tells me that they never even offered the content to WV theatres in the first place. I love busting arrogant corporate America wide open like that.

I had to post this gem among propaganda gems when I stumbled upon it this morning. Apparently WV is so desperate that they've resorted to THIS little number to try to ruin more lives by sucking unsuspecting fools into the hellish black hole that is this state. They need to work on the real problems, like their poor record of helping unemployed West Virginians, and the horridly arrogant, self-interested attitudes of the hillbillies who live here before they can tout themselves to the world as any kind of haven. The new motto on our welcome signs, "Open for Business" is the biggest crock of crap since Beethoven's chamber pot.


If you don't read the TheO front page or Adam's blog, chances are you haven't heard about it. As for it being a US only thing, I don't understand that myself. If I had the energy, I'd try to answer that legal question since a lot of my readers here are outside the US anyway.

Actually I did watch it on TV when I probably shouldn't have, knowing that trying to see it on the small screen would hit that sore spot in me. It's not the same to see it on the small screen when it could very well have been in a theatre close enough to me to see it right a couple months ago, and wasn't.

I didn't even know there was more than one, so I had to do some research to answer that. No, it was the first movie.

I don't know where the regulation comes from that says they can't open them to more than US residents, but I do agree with you, it's hardly a fair deal to have contests that aren't equally accessible to all members.

Yeah, it probably could have been better, but I think it turned out okay. For some reason, I can pick up almost any visual art media with little trouble, it's getting the details down that's the hard part.

Yeah, I like to compare it to tattooing, everything is permanent, it can't be corrected once it's done, so it's a slow process to complete a piece, I actually did Haku over the course of two days to make sure the lines were done well.

I like Haku in Spirited Away for a couple reasons, not just cause he's a dragon :P He's a complex character, you see him kind, gentle, and wise one moment, then hard and cold the next. It's something that you don't see much of these days.

Dang it! I knew I forgot somthing again! I'm going out with family this week to find a better digitla camera for tthe convention (my Fuji is a piece of crap). I'll use the tattoo as a test shot for the new camera.

Haku came out okay, but I'll get better as I do more stuff. I'll probably do Van Fanel (Escaflowne), and Claus (Last Exile) in terms of my own projects next while I'm still working on the paper drawings I need to get done. Worse comes to worse, I'll do all the art projects I'm backed up with on wood.

Actually, I like the thought of doing an original character piece, so I'll draw up my own lizardman and make four instead of the original three I was intending to do.

Yeah, I rode the school bus with a bunch of tobacco chewers. The driver failed his duty by not reporting the underage use of the crap or not taking it away from them in the first place.

Thanks for the input, I'm glad to know that I'll do the characters justice when it comes time to do them.

The movie itself was all right, the misery was from having to see it on TV because when Viz had it in theatres a couple months ago, no theatre in or near West Virginia would show it. It's just not the same to see a movie on a small TV screen, it loses more than half the experience.

I'm only entering the fan art contest myself. I'm not good with wallpapers or manga style art yet so those are out for me.

I should take a picture of my oil painting (I only did that once, it's too expensive to be a regular hobby for me). Maybe it's cause I'm ambidextrous I can adapt to most art media, I don't know. Learning quickly is a talent I have that I wish I could impress upon employers. They can't see how I work on the paper application or in a 30 minute interview. If they knew how fast it was to teach me stuff, I'd probably get hired in a heartbeat. Oh well, that's West Virginia's loss.

Hope you get to see it, the first one is good anyway, can't speak for the others yet.

Glad you like it, Haku is an easy subject. Actually that dribble is blood, you have to see the screencapture to get that I think.

You get around when you can, I don't stop by your page as often as I'd like to either.

I wanted to see it, but I probably shouldn't have watched it anyway knowing what it would do to me.

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

It remains to be seen which ones I'll be doing this time, this is kind of a test round for me for a future, bigger project. Granted I'm picking the three I'll be doing myself this time, next round I'll probably do something more interactive for that part of the process, and there will be more slots available. I'm still working out the kinks of those parts in my head, that's why I didn't do that this time.

It's kind of hard to explain what wood burning is, that's why I wanted to show everyone what an end product looks like.

Actually, the Fan Art and Fan Manga contests are open to US and Canadian residents. See #2 in the Short list of rules for both of those contests.

Fan Art
Fam Manga

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing our neighbors to the North taking top honors in some contests, but since I'm entering the Fan Art one myself, I'd rather see West Virginia take that one, although, I think I stand a snowballs chance in- well you get the idea.

Actually, It could be the worst movie in the world and I'd still feel the same way, because it's the principle of the whole thing that had me down. Just the fact that it's theatrical presentation a couple months ago never came close to me.

I think eventually he's going to see that he made a mistake with that choice. DeviantArt and TokyoPop, the sites he's obsessed with beating lately, both provide for writers as well as visual artists. If he expects to keep up, he's going to have to be more open and supportive of writers as well as visual artists. You can be discouraged by his action, or you can fight harder. You can continue to be active about the lack of support for writers on the network, just keep his decision with Articles out of your efforts. I was disappointed to see Articles and Reviews go myself, because at the time I was working on a couple reviews that never got posted, and in my frustration over not being able to post them, they got deleted. To me, the written word is as much an artform as pigment on paper, pixels on screen, or even charring on wood, and it should be encouraged, particularly in the animé fan community. You can count on me to back you up on this regard. In fact, when I am published, I will donate several copies of my book (which I will personally sign, addressing the winners) to TheO as prizes for a contest, under the stipulation that they be awarded for a witing contest, and that I not have anything to do with the judging process (I don't trust myself). It makes sense to win a book for writing something, not drawing it anyway.

I learn quick, but it does take practice to get things down completely. Thanks for the feedback, I look forward to future challenges in the craft myself.

I may have missed a weekend in there somewhere, I'm not really sure anymore. Nice to see you around again. Woodburning is fun (when you don't hit your hand, that hurts), and it's another way for me to create, which I like to do.

All right, I've got your info to read through later (I'm going to read through all of these in detail at the same time when I'm done taking submissions, that's when I'll decide which three I'll do this time around). Added your count to the tally as well.

The heat's actually letting up a little here, so I'll be able to focus on those art projects again soon. It wears me out a lot too. As for movies, I don't normally fall asleep durning films on TV, the commercials usually keep me awake with how loud and obnoxious they are.

Yeah it was a while back. I subscribe to the e-mail newsletters of FUNimatin, Viz, and I'm on ADV now too, That's where I get my info from if it's not posted on TheO's main page. The movie was in "select theatres" (I hate that phrase with a passion) for one night only, like the ones that were last week, and coming up this week (I'm not even going to get into those, don't ask). It would be nice to see just one animé film in a theatre, it doesn't have to be a good movie, I'll settle for anything. They're just not the same on TV.

Thanks for the feedback. No, it's on there really good (I like it not to smudge off with the hand I'm left handed sometimes and that would be bad if it did). I thought about my kneaded eraser after I clearcoated the thing so I couldn't try it at that point, but I think I'll do some testing with it, and some other things I thought of to try to reduce the blue carbon's appearance in the finished product. If that doesn't work, I have a sheet of grap[hite paper that I can use in lieu of blue carbon paper which should be easier to take off, and look less intrusive on the completed work.

And that's why I almost always have this goofy grin on, smiling makes people wonder what you've been up to.

Got that info saved and the options added to the count. I'll read through the whole thing in depth when I read all of them later.

I don't associate rain with depression or sadness, I've always loved the rain, it's calming and soothing to me, but for every up there is a down. I'll be all right, I've got new things to attack anyway.

That's a legal question that I don't have the answer to right now. Most of that may have to do with the partner Brickfish, I can't speculate, it's out of my realm of experience. It's not really a good show for TheO, but I guess it can't be helped.

Thanks for the input I appreciate it. I certainly hope I do the characters justice when I start to work on them.

I am a dragon of many moods, and since I did get a positive indicator from NCM Fathom on the posibility of future events being promoted to West Virginia, I'm all right on that front.

I suppose so, but given that I know I have a lot of readers based outside the US, well, I should be more considerate in my presentation of such things.

So very true, and even I say that about my work a lot. I generally don't say my stuff is good on my own, I just say it's good cause other people tell me it is.

Well, it works better in some industries than in others, I still haven't gotten Japanese music on Napster yet, but with iTunes running a Japanese store, I think the American Music Download services will pick up the content or find themselves in hot water. As for NCM Fathom, they tell me they'll consider West Virginia for future events. I certainly hope that means Anime events since that's what I hit them with at least three times over.

That's your choice, I respect it. I will mention that I haven't really read any of the submissions yet, I'm waiting till the end date and I'll read them all at once to give each a fair shake in terms ofa read/comprehension type of thing.

It certainly has been a while, thanks for stopping by. In my case I'm having more net troubles now than anything, so it kind of keeps me off when I want to be commenting and stuff these days.

If you do enter, good luck. Wallpapers aren't my thng so I'm sitting that one out. The fan art one though, I'm almost done with my entery for it, I finished up the lineart while camping and the coloring should be done this week.

Anniversary Commemorative

Another year, and many more possibilities. Looking back at this past year here on MyOtaku, I can say it was pretty rough for me, it still is in some respects, but I made it, and I look forward to many more years to come here. A couple weeks ago, I asked for some ideas on an event to commemorate my fourth year anniversary. After giving it some thought myself, and looking over the feedback I got in relation to that question, I have come up with something that I hope is different enough to spark your interest.

I have decided to immortalize a character on wood. I'll be burning a fanart piece onto a wood plaque, the thing is, I don't really know which character to burn. So I'm turning to you guys, name your favorite anime characters (three at the most please), what series, movie, or OVA they come, and tell me something about them in a short paragraph (a short paragraph for each character). I'll look over every submission I get, and the three I like the most will be burned onto wood plaques.

What I do with the plaques when they are done will be up to you guys. The options will be:

  1. Give them to the first three readers who ask for them.
  2. Give them to the member who's post inspired the piece.
  3. Hold some sort of raffle type give-away for them here on my page.
  4. Donate them to TheOtaku for potential future give-away.
  5. Donate them to an anime convention's charity auction (if any will take them).
  6. Prize for a future event I hold here on my site myself.

The Current count of favored options is:

0 - #1 Give them to the first three readers who ask for them.
5 - #2 Give to member who inspired the piece.
1 - #3 Hold some sort of raffle type thing give-away for them here on my page.
4 - #4 Donate them to TheOtaku for potential future give-away.
2 - #5 Donate them to an anime convention's charity auction (if any will take them).
1 - #6 Prize for a future event I hold here on my site myself.

I'll take submissions up till September 29, and I'll post my decision on October 13 (can't do it October 6, I'll be at Tsubasacon). The actual plaques probably won't be done for a couple weeks after I post my decision.

Animé Dreams!

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Moods of the Dragon


Feeling kind of down today, I saw the Naruto movie on TV last night. I really shouldn't have watched it, but I wanted to see what I missed when it was in theatres a couple months ago. The reminder of not seeing it on the big screen kind of sapped my energy out today.

Another TheO contest, this one's a wallpaper contest. Now, this one's kind of weird, in that participants need to create a user account on Brickfish which is the partner for this contest, and it's restricted to US residents, the details are on the site. At this point, I don't even know why I brought it up.

Hosted by Theotaku.com

At least I can deliver on one thing I promised last time, that's a sample of my woodburning work. Not too bad considering I'm learning as I go without any guidence, and I just picked it up this summer. It could use some improvement to my eyes though. I do have to transfer an image from paper to the wood with carbon paper(the bluish color around some of the lines), I need to figure out how to clean that carbon off when the burn is done and I just need practice with the iron in general. I don't have the source screencapture available online yet, but I cna put it up if anyone wants to compare the two.

I'm keeping the commemorative info up at the end of my post, I'll also have a tally of the options I presented with it, those are at the bottom with the other info.


All right, I've saved those and I'll read through them in mroe detail later.

Yeah,it was a failure on my part to mention that restriction on those two. I don't really understand the legalities of that kind of thing, but I'm sure there's a reason for it.

It's not hard to figure out which quote is mine, but still, I'm not saying which one it is.

A year ago, I would have said the same thing, in fact I think I did. But in my position, I know I'm good at art, I'm good at writing, so I'm going to try to market my skills since I can't get a normal job to save my own butt.

I thought it was different enough to give a go, and it'll help me learn woodburning too since I just took that up this year.

Submissions saved, I'll read them over later.

Eventually we'll both be back to a routine of being on here I guess, for now, all we can do is try.

Thank you, it's been quite a ride so far, and I look forward to seeing it grow and develop.

I only took up woodburning this year, actually about a month or two ago, not very long. I seem to have a knack for artistic stuff (still haven't given the tattoo gun a whirl yet, but maybe next year). It does take patience, like drawing with a pen, cause one mistake and the whole piece is pretty much messed up.

Submission saved. I'll read through it later with the others.

Yep, I was tagged, and no, I don't actually tag anyone else. Like spam and chain letters, I break the chain at me, but I do leave the option of continuing it up to anyone who reads my post. You can say I tagged you, or just say George Spelvin did (that's a stand-in name for theater playbills because one actor "can't" play more than one role as I learned in theatre So when there's one actor playing two character, the second one is usually listed on the playbill as being played by George Spelvin). Funny thing about Sapporo, the only place that carries it around me, is not one of the high end liquer stores, it's actually in the beer case at a drug store. I don't get hanghovers, but I don't get drunk either, I drink smart, and I have Irish and German blood in me which is like 99% alcohol anyway so it takes a lot to get me even close. The thing I did wrong that night was not eating enough carbs while drinking.

I'll have the tattoo picture up next week, no exeption.

That sure is something, you've been here longer than me . . . by one day. Those early days sure were something else weren't they? We'd have to wait two days at least for our art to get up, the standards were much higher (I had at least six pics rejected back then that just might slip through these days), and the article hub was alive and well. That's right, I'm supposed to have links to Articles and Reviews on my page, I said I'd keep them up.

Submission saved, I'll read it later with the others. Also, you're the first to actually bring up the second part of the project. Option choice counted and added to the tally.

You're very lucky in that regard, but all the same, it doesn't hurt to educate oneself in business fundamentals, whether it's through a book or not. Oddly enough though about the quote. That was a statment I wasn't really trying to make sound like a good quote, but if it works for him, I'm glad he's using it.

TheO, and MyO is a great place, I've seen lots of things in my years here, but the people like Snow Fox, who were here long before this was an anime site can probably tell far more interesting tales than those of us who managed to be here close to the beginning of MyO. Getting through the hardships as a community is a great thing, we were really tested this year, but we pulled through and we're doing all right.

Well, up till a month or so ago, I'd never tried.

All right, submissions saved, I'll read through them in details with the others. Those paragraphs are just fine from the look of things. I'll add your option choice to the tally.

I didn't want to repeat myself, so I did reference my earlier tag as well, It's hard to come up with interesting facts about me given that I sit around all day looking for jobs, drawing, and writing, but I managed to pull some good ones together. As for tagging, I don't officially tag anyone, I leave that open to you guys to decide if you want to be "tagged" by me or not and go with it.

Thanks, let's stick it out right here and see how far we can go.

Having never been to a convention before, I expect to have some measure of unsettled nerves, but even so I will try to have a good time and keep my mind open. I'll do what I can to report as much as I can about the convention, hopefully in a light that will get others on site here interested in attending next year. I'm not planning an official meet-up at the moment, cause honestly, I ddon't know that anyone else from the site here is going. If I learn that others will be attending, I'll try to come up with something just to say "hi" to other members.

C'est la vie. Since neither of us noticed, all's good then. Yeah, I'm doing yakitori for my sister's friend. I promised him months ago I'd do it, so at our cook-out, I'll be handling that, so it'll be a fun weekend. Hope you have a good one too.

Seems like it was just yesterday that I was signing in for the first time, but yeah, I'll stick it out here as long as I am able.

Lucky for me I can't ever be late for work, I don't have a job. Take care.

All right, I've got those saved for later reading, and I've added your option choice to the tally.

Yeah, I'm going to make it, thanks to some assistance from a friend, and good timing. I hope I have a good time and come back with lots of good stuff to report on.

I've got those saved, and I'll read throught them here in a bit. Also, I'll add your option choices to the tally, though I may have to make another option for one of them.

It's good to be back.

Adam has the experience, he's in advertising if I recall. His business sense goes beyond what you'd get in a college course, and he presents it in plain language so that anyone could understand what he's saying.

Oh yeah, I'll be here as long as the site is around.

I've added your option choice to the tally, thanks for the input. I never did think of doing an original as one of the pieces, I'll have to think about that. I should point out that these lizards actually aren't original works of mine, these are SoBe drink labels that I've scanned and cleaned up.

Oh yeah, I was a real Star Trek Nerd back in the 80's and 90's, but you know, I still don't have a single one of the movies on DVD yet.

Luckily for both of us, they're futher south, and wont come this far north (they don't swim the oceans either). They are more potent than bee stings, but they're tolerable.

The one I tried was a menthol one, I think that's what made me sick. It is an odd habit, but not as bad as the chewing tobbacco one that's dominant around here. The stuff they spit out is just gross.

The book is informative without being dry, and sorry, once again I don't have the picture. I'll have it up next week without fail.

Hard to imagine I've been here four years already, but it's true. Basically, when I decide which three characters I'm doing, I'll research the characters, and do a simple piece of line art of the character, and I'll have to use carbon paper to transfer the line art to the wood, then go over everything with a burning iron and, if I do it right, actually make it look half-way decent in the process. I've added your option choice ot the talley.

Actually my first Poe story was "The Cask of Amontillado", but I soon found all Poe's works to be up my alley. Yes, I do sound criminally insane, but that's the fun of it. I actually have a recording of my reading the story, I had to wait till I was alone in the house to belt out that classic closing line at the top of my voice and not disturb the family. Now, if I could find a place to upload it so you guys could hear it, I'd be set.

My brother used to have honey bees crawl all over him, better him than me, they never stung him. For some reason my sister and I wer always getting stung by bees. I was four or five at the time, so I don't really know. I probably just stood on their nest not realizing it was there.

Yeah, I could use the rain.

There's a similar phenomenon in the anime dub industry, the same VA will use different names depending on the project, I think it's along those veins, but for high school that's not really relevant.

The only other thing they said was they'll pass my feedback along to NCM, which is moot since I already contacted them directly myself. I'm going to make a habit of being a thorn in everyone's side till someone gets off their butt and gets West Virginia some anime content. I don't think I've hit FUNimation yet, I'll do that next. Hopefully they'll act where the others are casually brushing off their discrimination.

Anniversary Commemorative

Another year, and many more possibilities. Looking back at this past year here on MyOtaku, I can say it was pretty rough for me, it still is in some respects, but I made it, and I look forward to many more years to come here. A couple weeks ago, I asked for some ideas on an event to commemorate my fourth year anniversary. After giving it some thought myself, and looking over the feedback I got in relation to that question, I have come up with something that I hope is different enough to spark your interest.

I have decided to immortalize a character on wood. I'll be burning a fanart piece onto a wood plaque, the thing is, I don't really know which character to burn. So I'm turning to you guys, name your favorite anime characters (three at the most please), what series, movie, or OVA they come, and tell me something about them in a short paragraph (a short paragraph for each character). I'll look over every submission I get, and the three I like the most will be burned onto wood plaques.

What I do with the plaques when they are done will be up to you guys. The options will be:

  1. Give them to the first three readers who ask for them.
  2. Give them to the member who's post inspired the piece.
  3. Hold some sort of raffle type give-away for them here on my page.
  4. Donate them to TheOtaku for potential future give-away.
  5. Donate them to an anime convention's charity auction (if any will take them).
  6. Prize for a future event I hold here on my site myself.

The Current count of favored options is:

0 - #1 Give them to the first three readers who ask for them.
3 - #2 Give to member who inspired the piece.
1 - #3 Hold some sort of raffle type thing give-away for them here on my page.
4 - #4 Donate them to TheOtaku for potential future give-away.
1 - #5 Donate them to an anime convention's charity auction (if any will take them).
(Added this option)
1 - #6 Prize for a future event I hold here on my site myself.

I'll take submissions up till September 29, and I'll post my decision on October 13 (can't do it October 6, I'll be at Tsubasacon). The actual plaques probably won't be done for a couple weeks after I post my decision.

Points of Contact

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Sleepy Sleepy Sleepy Dragon


Anyone out there interested in selling your artwork? You might want to take a look at this. Adam, yes the same one who founded this site, has released a free "lite" version of his e-book Artpreneurship. I've had the opportunity to read that book, and it's very well put together. The business sense it offers can be applied to other areas like photography, music, even writing for publication. It's not something a person who's wanting to go commerical with their art should avoid reading. For the record, part of my comments on the book are quoted on the Artpreneurship website. I stand behind that quote 100%.

Once again, I don't have that picture to post, I'll get it taken tomorrow, so I can have it up next week. Also, I didn't get around to too many sites lately, I apologize for that, I'll get around to them in the next few days to cover my weeks of not doing it. And finally, I promised a treat for you all this time around, well, that's the whoe reason I'm posting this a couple days early.

Anniversary Commemorative

Another year, and many more possibilities. Looking back at this past year here on MyOtaku, I can say it was pretty rough for me, it still is in some respects, but I made it, and I look forward to many more years to come here. A couple weeks ago, I asked for some ideas on an event to commemorate my fourth year anniversary. After giving it some thought myself, and looking over the feedback I got in relation to that question, I have come up with something that I hope is different enough to spark your interest.

I have decided to immortalize a character on wood. I'll be burning a fanart piece onto a wood plaque, the thing is, I don't really know which character to burn. So I'm turning to you guys, name your favorite anime characters (three at the most please), what series, movie, or OVA they come, and tell me something about them in a short paragraph (a short paragraph for each character). I'll look over every submission I get, and the three I like the most will be burned onto wood plaques.

What I do with the plaques when they are done will be up to you guys. The options will be:

  1. Give them to the first three readers who ask for them.
  2. Give them to the member who's post inspired the piece.
  3. Hold some sort of raffle type give-away for them here on my page.
  4. Donate them to TheOtaku for potential future give-away.
  5. Donate them to an anime convention's charity auction (if any will take them).

I'll take submissions up till September 29, and I'll post my decision on October 13 (can't do it October 6, I'll be at Tsubasacon). The actual plaques probably won't be done for a couple weeks after I post my decision. I'll have a sample of my work with the burning iron up here in a couple days.


In keeping with the spirit of thetagging game, I found myself on the receiving end yet again. That's quite all right, I kind of like this sort of thing once in a while. This one is different from my last one technically, but the basics never change.

The rules are:

  1. Post these rules.
  2. Each person tagged must post 8 random facts about themselves.
  3. Tags should write a journal/ blog of these facts.
  4. At the end of the post 8 more people are tagged and named.
  5. Go to their page and leave a message telling them they're tagged


  • I can narrate Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart convincingly.
  • I've seen every episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, 99% on the original air dates.
  • I've been bitten by Fire ants (you people in the south know what I mean).
  • My favorite flavor ice cream is Ben & Jerry's "Chunky Monkey".
  • Sapporo (Japanese beer) is the only alcohol that's come close to giving me a hangover.
  • In High School, I tried smoking once - Never again will I do that.
  • I once put 16 Altoids in my mouth at one time - All I tasted for 2 days was peppermint.
  • The sound of a light rain inspires me to create more than any other sound.

Now, like before, I'm too much of a free spirit to stick to all the rules, so I'm cutting out the last two, I never tag anyone when I do these things. Anyone who's interested in doing this can feel free to make a post on their page with this info and say George Spelvin tagged you. Only theatre geeks with get that reference, but whatever works. Now I have two data sets to reference when I get tagged in the future.

Feature Article Clarifications and Updates:


Due to an oversight on my part, I omitted the complete list of states that would not have any theaters running the Anime Bento Festival event. At my last check, the list of states was as follows: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.

Also omitted were appropriate source links to relevant information. The Anime Bento Festival can be located on the Fathom Events website. FUNimation Films has two films in the event, and Manga Entertainment has two films in the event.


In their response to my e-mail, Manga Entertainment indicated that they ". . .feel they(NCM) have done a solid job." distributing their content. I don't consider that a positive response.

None of the other entities have answered my messages yet.


I'm skipping the comments today, but a lot of you brought up the convention, so I will cover that. Part of the promise I made that's helping me get me to the convention this year is to provide as detailed a report as I can. If I have internet access in my hotel there, I'll try to have detailed nightly updates for the whole weekend. This being my first convention, I can guarantee that I'll be overwhelmed, but I'll do my best to cover the event as best I can anyway.

Hopefully I can get back on my game again next week, I hate making a regular habit of not visiting sites and skipping comment repsonses.

Animé Dreams!

Points of Contact

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