palmedfire: (Romeo/Kimu)
So yea, that meme that be going around:

A Takarazuka meme of awesome )
palmedfire: (Read in 2011)
Nonfiction totally counts for this!

How NOT to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and how to Avoid Them - A Mistep-By-Misstep Guide by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman.

I read far more books about writing than I probably should for the limited amount of writing I actually do. But this one was a lot of fun. Despite the tongue-in cheek title, it's actually very helpful, because they do go through the common stumbling blocks of unpublished writing, complete with hilarious over the top examples. And they keep their advice simple, straight forward and to the point.

Good book to have on your shelf if you're like me and still harbor illusions of becoming a writer some day
palmedfire: (houses of the blooded fox)
Two pieces of background information before I launch into this story. First, I frequent the forums at RPG.net. I enjoy skimming them to look for interesting information about various tabletop RPGs, see if anyone is selling/trading any interesting books, and occasionally to scan the Tangency subforum for interesting news. I have a high, high opinion of the moderation done there, though there is still a lot of the usual internet nastiness, they try very hard to keep it under control.

Second, I am a big fan of Kickstarter, which is essentially a crowdfunding method for, well, any sort of project one might wish to raise money for. I've backed roughly a dozen RPG-related projects so far, and been really pleased with the whole experience. No money is taken until the funding drive is over and then only if the project has met or exceeded its goal.

So, background information out of the way, story time.
Cut for rape/sexual assault triggery stuff )
palmedfire: (Read in 2011)
Yay going to Portland means I got books read!

Book #7 Eon by Alison Goodman - Continuing my love of young adult fantasy novels and my love of girls disguising themselves as boys, I picked this one up at Borders months ago, but only started reading it on the flight out to Portland. Finished it in a day, it was that good. It's very Chinese myth-inspired, but the author has really made the world her own and not just "fantasy China". It's a fascinating story, and the main character is very gripping. She makes many mistakes, all while trying to do what she thinks will help, only to have things go more and more awry. I picked up the sequel at Powell's and am looking forward to how this all turns out.

Book #8 - Family Ties & Torn Skies by various authors, including myself - Well, I figured since I've been doing so much shameless self promotion for this, I should read the whole thing myself. I'd read most of the stories on the Torn World site, but it was neat to read them all in a bunch. As with any anthology there are some stories that are stronger than others, but overall it was very good. And I gained a bit more appreciation for the Northerner culture, which thus far hadn't really grabbed me. I still prefer the Empire, but that's a personal thing. It's also kicked back my desire to write more, which is always a good thing.

Normally I don't cross post these, but I'm going to do so for this one because of my review of Family Ties & Torn Skies. If any LJ-folk wanna see what else I've read this year, hop on over to my Dreamwidth and follow the 'read in 2011' tag.
palmedfire: (Osa Score!)
My apologies to those who've already seen this on Facebook and/or plurk, but I feel I must share.

Please look at this picture:
Photobucket


Please notice that book I am holding. Notice I am listed as one of the authors. :D

Yes, the copies of Torn Skies and Family Ties are in! No more preordering! So if it pleases you, my dear friends, feel free to buy a copy either direct from the webpage HERE or via Amazon HERE

I am still way too excited about this. I bought three copies and I keep wanting to pet them.
palmedfire: (Tonamibeth)
I'd almost forgotten I was going to do [livejournal.com profile] artslam until a couple of people made posts about it. Thank you!

Anyway, my intro + first day's work is posted over there, please feel free to take a look: http://artslam.livejournal.com/1062766.html

Feel free to leave me comments there or here.

And, because I had free time at work I drew this:


Ray and his firelizard by ~palmedfire on deviantART

See, I play Ray from Silver Wolf at this fab RP called [livejournal.com profile] adstringendum, where he's recently gotten himself Impressed to a Pernese firelizard (brown, if you're curious). And I just had to draw that. I think it came out okay.
palmedfire: (Read in 2011)
I've gotten terribly behind on this ;_; So y'all really only gonna get a quick line or two. And so few books! I mean, I read a lot, but it's often spot reading through RPG books. Which totally doesn't count.

Book #4: Basara, vol 1 by Yumi Tamura
I swear this series was written by someone in my head. Girl masquerading as her (dead) twin brother to lead people in rebellion against tyrants? What more do I really need? Especially since the layout's straightforward enough it's one of the few manga I can actually follow without getting a headache. Normally I have a lot of trouble reading manga, both because of the right-to-left-ness, and because panel layout tends to be more... uneven? than western comics. But Basara hits the sweet spot.

Now if it wasn't so damn hard to find ;_;

Book #5: Artesia, vol 1: The First Book of Dooms by Mark S. Smylie (author and artist)
(note: this is a re-read)
I was turned onto this graphic novel series via the RPG of it (shut up), which had gotten recommended to me as a good example of lifepath-style character creation. The art in the game was really neat (done by the same man who does the comic), and the world background sounded facinating. So when [personal profile] everchangingmuse and I were are her comic shop, I had them order me volume one. And now I also has volumes 2 & 3, so I decided to re-read vol. 1. It really is an amazingly fascinating story, with a very strong, sex-positive female main character who totally kicks ass. There's a lot of nudity, but it's not gratuitous or done just for cheesecake purposes. It's something I highly, highly recommend to anyone really.

Also, why did I just now find out volume 4 is out?

Book #6: Penny Arcade: Attack of the Bacon Robots! by, well, the Penny Arcade boys.
And now for something completely different. Picked this up at McKays today and read through it this evening. It's a collection of their webcomic strips from 1998-2000, and it's interesting to see how much better their art is now. Really, Penny Arcade just amuses me.
palmedfire: (shiny!)
...because if you can't promote yourself, who can?

Thus, I wish to make everyone aware that preorders are now available for this anthology:




One of those names on that list of contributors is ME!

Thus, you should totally go HERE and preorder yourself a copy. Or two. Or twelve ;) Preorders get the .pdf of the ebook version for free, and immediately! Come on, you know you want to!

Oh, you wanna know what it's about first? Well, the anthology is for the shared world project Torn World, a wonderful collaborative project with a definite steampunk, science fantasy vibe. This is the official blurb from the website:

In a world where time itself has been torn, family is more important than ever.

Explore concepts of kinship - by blood and by choice - in a setting that spans lush rainforests, monster-infested seas, wild valleys, and frozen mountains. Journey between the strictly licensed, steam-powered cities of the southern Empire and the small communal villages in the north that believe they are alone in the world. Meet the varied people and cultures who define family in so many different ways. Glimpse mysteries unique to the temporal structure of Torn World and search for answers to universal questions about belonging and relating.

And heck, if it looks interesting enough, you can even join and help all of us create and explore more of the world!

Or just buy the book. That'll make me happy too]
palmedfire: (B/W Asa!Tod)
The weather is beautiful out today. Maybe a little overcast, but without the damned oppressive humidity we've had this past week. I've got all the windows and the patio door open. Probably annoying neighbors with my epic RomiJuli playlist.

Speaking of RomiJuli, I have decided that this man is my husband and should be the father of my children:



I have no logical reason for this, except he's gorgeous and i love his voice. And [personal profile] everchangingmuse approves, so... Now I just need to learn French ;)

In other news, I've discovered a love for men's ribbed tank tops (aka 'wifebeaters'). They're perfect for wearing under my work shirts and for lazing about the house in. Like I'm doing right now. They're also good for wearing while working out. Which is good, because I really am trying to exercise more/get in shape. My parents bought me a Wii Fit for my birthday. My birthday's actually tomorrow, but I opened it today anyway and hooked it up and everything. It's actually quite fun, though my balance sucks, which I knew, and my rhythm is all over the place. So there are a lot of games that are more frustrating than they've worth. But I like the running, strangely enough, and the biking. It's fun, and hopefully it'll help. Even if it did make my mii all chubby :( :(

Well, I've got friends coming up tonight for birthday-weekend fun, so I've got chili in the slow-cooker and I'll get some beer bread in the oven in a bit. I hope this weekend will be as much fun as it looks to be!
palmedfire: (B/W Asa!Tod)
Since my last plan to get in shape sorta fizzled, I've been making myself go back to the full, three-days-a-week resistance training program m'lady and I did a few years ago and worked really well. And despite my body currently being in full-on 'I hate doing this so I'ma gonna ache all the time' I've been pretty good about keeping up with it so far. And perversely, I've found it gives me more energy and motivation for the day, and I'm not hitting that 3pm slump where I just want to nap. Which is good because 3pm's when I leave for work most days. I think I can feel myself getting stronger. Not sure how the weight loss is going, but I'm trying not to focus on that aspect.

I've also found that watching Takarazuka revue shows makes the whole routine far more enjoyable. Sparkles and feathers, FTW!

Today I worked out while watching Tarantella, which I think may currently be my favorite revue. Unsurprising, since it's the one attached to my favorite show and has a lot of my favorite 'siennes in it. I was struck, this watch-through by a couple of things.

1> Kimu is subtly amazing. Seriously, you can see in everything she does in the show that she doesn't just hope to become a top star, she knows she will. And she has, I think because she's a very, very deliberate actress, who knows how to make the best use out of Every Single Moment she's on stage. Seriously. She knows how to draw the eye, without upstaging others, which is amazing in and of itself. And the camera loves her.

2> I don't think Maachan sweats. Like, at all. I was watching the end, and there's Komu dripping with sweat, and Maachan, who honestly has been dancing just as hard looks as fresh as a daisy. Well, okay, she is breathing heavy by the end of the number, but that's about it.

3>The end is so beautifully bittersweet, as Komu looks back, and then turns away to walk the rest of the way up the stairs. It's also I think a nice touch that she passes Mizu coming down the stairs. Symbolic passing of the troupe?

Okay, that's enough random ramblings for now. As I do not have Maachan's amazing anti-sweat powers, it is time for my post-workout shower. Yay!

HOLY SHIT!

Mar. 19th, 2011 09:05 am
palmedfire: (Oooo)
HO CRAP! RE-RELEASE OF THE SAILOR MOON MANGA IN ENGLISH! PLUS ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF SAILOR V! CAN THIS DAY GET ANY BETTER?

NEW TRANSLATION, NEW RELEASE.

COMES OUT IN SEPTEMBER AND I AM BUYING IT ALL

NEWS LINK FOR INTERESTED PARTIES

I AM NOT SORRY ABOUT THE ALL-CAPS ENTRY.
palmedfire: (Tonamibeth)
First, a Public Service Announcement - I have two offers up on [livejournal.com profile] help_japan. I am offering an amigurimu eevee HERE and a pony drawing HERE. Winning bidders donate to charity. So please bid?

On to the actual entry.

For those who don't know, I have very thick, very nice hair that I keep cut short-ish for ease of dealing with/work. I've had long hair in the past. In college it was down to my midback, and I use to regularly grow it out to roughly shoulder length. Then I realized how much easier it was to deal with when short, especially since working massage means I have to have it out of my face anyway.

So why am I mentioning this?

Well, last week I had two people at work comment about my hair. Now neither of the people are people who's opinions I care much about (there's a big rant coming about one of them soon), but I still found the comments annoying. Basically because both people said "Oh, you would look so pretty if you grew your hair out!", with the very heavy implication that it would make me look more 'feminine'. This needless to say annoyed me quite a bit. And sadly, even though I know I should just ignore them and move on, sadly has continued to annoy me in the back of my mind. Because really, it's neither of these women's business if I look 'feminine' or not. I know it came up because I am due for a hair cut, and my hair's grown out to the point that its a little shaggy, but I'm not sure why it's convinced either of them (neither of whom have ever seen me with long hair) that I should grow it out.

Feh, I could shave my head and I'd still look like a girl. I can't pass as male, even if I wanted to. My hair length or lack there of doesn't make a difference. And even if it did, it's no one's business but mine (and maybe m'lady's) what I choose to look like.

Fuckers.

That said, I am due for a haircut, probably this weekend. And completely unrelated to the idiots' comments, I have been debating getting it cut even shorter than usual so I can do the spiky thing with it. I'm just not sure it'd look good on me, and I'm not sure how to tell. I'm probably thinking way too much about this. After all, if it doesn't look good, it'll always grow out, right?
palmedfire: (Default)
Just one this time, so you don't get a cut. But since a couple people asked...

The Lady Oscar Pony!


Lady Oscar Pony by ~palmedfire on deviantART
palmedfire: (Default)
What, you thought I was done with the pony pictures? Ha! I have some more to subject you to!

But I will nicely put them under a cut in case you are offended by cute )

There will be a Mercutio pony eventually, but I need to find a better reference image for the pose I have in mind.

PONIES!

Feb. 26th, 2011 09:33 pm
palmedfire: (amigurumi)
For those who aren't aware, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is possibly the greatest kids cartoon ever. No. Really. I mean it. The storytelling's actually pretty nuanced, and despite (or perhaps because) it's flash animated, it has a great visual look to it.

I mean seriously, aren't these the cutest things ever:


The ponies are also in a very imitable art style. And thus, being the type of person I am (read: rabid Takarazuka fangirl), I have been turning 'Zuka characters into ponies.

Cut for image dumpings )
palmedfire: (THAT red dress)
Tomorrow will be [profile] everchanginmuse and I's ten year anniversary.

Ten Years

That's longer than something like 50% of marriages in this country. Maybe more. I can't remember the statistics right now.

This is both amazing and slightly terrifying. I'm not quite sure why.
palmedfire: (Read in 2011)
So I decided that due to my obsession/fascination with the musical version, I felt a need to reread Romeo & Juliet.

Now in the interest of being upfront and honest about such things, I am forced to admit that R&J has long been one of my least favorite of Shakespeare's plays. Even above and beyond the fact that I generally prefer his comedies to his tragedies, R&J has long struck me as less a 'timeless, epic tale of tragic love' and more a 'misguided lust makes teenagers do stupid shit' story. But I so completely buy Hoshigumi's version of the musical I thought it was only fair to give the original source another shot.

General verdict is, no, I still dislike it greatly. Romeo especially reads as being motivated more by lust and overly romantic ideals of perfect love rather than genuine love for Juliet. There's nothing really different in how he talks about Juliet than in how he talked about Rosaline at the beginning of the play, except in the fact that she returns his affections. If the duel with Tybalt hadn't happened, I wonder if Romeo wouldn't have found his eye wandering once the initial rush of "ZOMG Twu Luv!" wore off.

Juliet's love for Romeo I believe slightly more, if only because she's far more level-headed about it. I mean granted, she does do the whole "fake her death" thing, but that's because she doesn't want to break her marriage vows. Despite her nurse being all like "Oh Paris is such a better catch anyway" >.< And I realize it's Values Dissonance, but the fact that Juliet's only thirteen really squicks me.

I think, when it comes down to it, R&J just isn't a story I can buy into on paper. Even most stage and screen productions leave me sort of flat. Ah well, I suppose I'm just not much of a romantic at heart
palmedfire: (Read in 2011)
Well, I'm not reading as fast as some of the other people on my flist who are doing this, but I'm trying not to worry about that. Just going to keep plugging away at this.

I picked up Soulless right before Christmas, on recommendation from [personal profile] zehavit_lamasu and to bump my Amazon order up enough for free shipping. Only just got around to reading it, but that sort of thing happens a lot in my house. Too many books, such a trial ;)

So, about the book: Soulless is a roughly Victorian-era, steampunk AU sort of book, set in a London where vampires and werewolves not only do exist, but are part and parcel of society. There's some very interesting things set up about the supernatural society - the idea that one needs an excess of soul to be turned into either vampire or werewolf (if you don't have sufficient soul, the change kills you), and the idea that while werewolves have packs, vampires have hives, which isn't something I've seen before. Then again, I'll admit to not having read a ton of vampire lit.

Anyway, our main character is a wonderfully strong-willed woman named Alexia Tarabotti. Alexia is far too bright and blunt for her social status and time period, and also has no soul. This gives her the ability to neutralize supernatural powers, which is either incredibly handy, or rather inconvenient depending. Often both at once.

I truly loved this book, Gail Carriger manages to be incredibly witty and amusing all through the story, even when the situation is getting bad. Alexia is a compelling character, so perfectly in-voice for the time period, but yet so a women who would have done much better born later in history.

I am looking forward to picking up the rest of the series (Changeless, Blameless and Heartless) at some point.
palmedfire: (Romeo/Kimu)
So anyone who talks Takarazuka with me for more than like five minutes lately quickly realizes I've become obsessed with Hoshigumi's Romeo and Juliet. I got the DVD off of eBay, and [personal profile] everchangingmuse and I bought the soundtrack as our anniversary present to each other. I've been listening to it almost nonstop, and it's made me realize something.

I really, really wish Yukigumi could have done it in Komu and Maachan's era. Not that I don't think the current Yukigumi production isn't probably amazing, I just really wish I could hear Maachan sing Juliet. And really, it would have fit so many people in that era. So, like any good fan, I've put together my dream casting:

Romeo: Asami Hikaru - No, she's not as strong a singer as Chie or Kimu, but I think she could pull it off, and really, who else could be Romeo to Maachan's Juliet?
Juliet: Makaze Rira - She would have been perfect for this role. Sweet and innocent yet determined and brave when she has to be...
Tybalt: Takashiro Kei - I've not seen a lot of Kashi, but I know she has the voice for Tybalt, and it fits right hierarchy-wise. The other option for her would be Benvolio but...
Benvolio: Sou Kazuho - I think her voice is in the right range, and I can really picture her playing well off of my castings for Romeo and Mercutio ;).
Mercutio: Otozuki Kei - Because who else should get to caper around and be the crazy-fun one?
The Nurse: Miho Keiko - The nurse has one of my favorite solo songs, and I think Keiko could be amazing at it.
Father Laurence: Mirai Yuki - Initially I'd thought of Hamako for the Prince, especially the opening number, but Father Laurence really has the better songs. And then she and Keiko would get that great duet in Act 2...
Lord Montague: Asuka Yuu - I think it'd be a good part for our kumichou ;)
Death: Ozuki Tooma - I think she'd look great as Death, and I'm pretty sure she could dance it well.
Love: Ouki Kaname - Okay, there's a little bit of wanting the irony of Teru as Love when she's played Tybalt. But in all honesty I think she'd look really good in this role.

So whatcha think? Any suggestions for the other roles?
palmedfire: (Read in 2011)
So like [personal profile] everchangingmuse I've decided to keep track of all the books I read this year. And since I just got my NOOK eReader, I've also decided to keep track of which ones I read on the Nook versus paper books I read.

So, book 1 for 2011 - The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold. The first book of the Vorkosigan Saga, which is one of those sci-fi series I've heard a ton about but never read. And it's very popular for Yuletide. So when I found out the Baen Publishing has released one of the books for free digital download I thought 'hey, why not'?

I'm glad I did. The Warrior's Apprentice introduces us to Miles Vorkosigan, who is a member of the Vorkosigan family who are essentially nobility on his home planet of Barrayar. He wants to go into the military like all his male relatives, but fails the physical fitness test rather spectacularly. Which then cascades into a series of fascinating events, piling one on top of one another, taking him far from home and then back again.

It was quite a fun read, with lots of twists and turns to the story I was not expecting, but made perfect logical sense. Miles was a great character, always just flying by the seat of his pants and yet still somehow managing to make everything work. I don't want to spoil anything, so a lot of what I liked I can't really mention. But I'm definitly going to be hunting down more of these!

In terms of reading it on my NOOK, I have to say, I love how easy it is to just pick it up and read a page or two, and to be able to pick it up and put it down without worrying that I'll lose my place.

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