rynling: (Gator Strut)
Life Goals

- Don't do that thing you've been thinking about doing. I'm serious, don't do it. Figure out what you need to do to keep going.

- Be more upfront with people about what you want. Learn to approach life with the attitude that people like you and will help you if you just tell them what you need.

- If someone aggressively insults you or otherwise treats you disrespectfully, call them out on it. Otherwise, learn to ignore isolated microaggressions. If someone sends you a stupid email or message on Tumblr, or if someone leaves an ignorant comment on one of your fics or blog posts, delete it immediately and don't think about it again.

Game Writing Goals

- Submit the Twilight Princess essay by the end of January.

- Submit one Wind Waker essay in January, one in February, and one in March.

- Finish the Wind Waker book manuscript by the end of March.

- Finish and submit the essay on Final Fantasy X by the end of April.

- Finish and submit the essay on Final Fantasy XII by the end of July.

Fic Writing Goals

- Finish the "Seat of the Empire" Zelgan fic, and try to figure out a better title. You can start posting it once the entire thing is completed.

- Return to the "Legend of the Princess" fic. It would be nice if you could finish it this year, but no pressure. Commission lightsintheskye to update the cover illustration and create at least one additional illustration.

Art Goals

- Do an Impa/Nabooru "Sisters in Arms" illustration for February 1.

- Do a Sheik/Malon "Roses and Violets" illustration for February 14.

- Turn the "Everyone Loves Mario" sketches into a comic.

- Finish the "Wind Waker Final Boss Battle" comic.

- Create a comic based on Link's Awakening.
rynling: (Mog Toast)
In 2016...

I read 105 books.

I read 58 graphic novels.

I read 152 manga in English.

I read 55 manga in Japanese.

I read 93 dōjinshi.

I posted 26 new drawings to Tumblr.

I made 12 posts on my book review blog.

I made 26 posts on my video game blog.

I went through 71 editing sessions on my published (lol) fic.

I left 114 comments on other people's fic (61 on Tumblr and 53 on AO3).

I also got my first book under contract have almost finished writing it, woot woot.
rynling: (Celes Chere)
My one resolution this year was to visit New Orleans. Mission accomplished.

I also did some other things...

I had a man's suit made from scratch and custom tailored to fit me.

I created a "my name dot com" website and gradually expanded it to include my complete professional portfolio.

I began inviting (and paying) friends and acquaintances in my field to write guest posts for my professional blog.

I began supporting more than a dozen artists on Patreon.

I commissioned character designs and a large illustration for The Modern History of Zelda.

In addition, I commissioned more than twenty pieces of artwork, most of which can be found under my commissioned illustrations tag on Tumblr.

Essentially, this was a year of me spending money to promote myself, to create opportunities for my friends, and to help support the artistic community within my fandom.
rynling: (Default)
This is dibeediboop's finished illustration of The Modern History of Zelda, which she posted along with the character designs on her Tumblr.



It's incredible, right?

Read more... )

Fall Goals

Sep. 5th, 2016 10:33 am
rynling: (Celes Chere)
I accomplished none of the goals I set for myself this summer. Life is hard, what can you do.

I have two goals for the fall.

My first goal is to hire a professional photographer to do a few headshots. I'm at the point in my career where people keep asking for them, and I'm still using the one I had a friend take with my old phone almost exactly two years ago. I'm going to try to get a photographer who specializes in weddings, because I vastly prefer bright filters and natural settings (I'm thinking the garden behind the Omni Hotel will do nicely) to the sorts of awkward poses with muted lighting that dominate the bizarre genre of "the professional headshot." It's probably going to cost several hundred dollars more than it should not to look like I'm already forty, but that's just the magic of attaching the word "wedding" to anything, including photographers.

My second goal is to commission a cover illustration of "The Modern History of Zelda." I've been trying to do this off and on for the past seven months, but it turns out that no one is particularly interested in having anything to do with an entire fucking novel about Zelda. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT. I'm going to try to contact a few more people who operate within fandom circles, but if I continue to be unsuccessful then I will use brute force and start cashing in favors with my connections at Small Press Expo to find a professional illustrator. It's difficult to explain succinctly, but that first novel (silly shipfic though it may be) means a lot to me, and I need some sort of validation and encouragement to keep writing.

Essentially, I'm planning on spending a lot of money to make myself look good. I get the feeling that my level of narcissism is approaching that of a Colombian drug lord, but one of the convenient side effects of being so vain is that I don't care.

(Actually I do care. I care a lot. If neither of these things works out for me I will be devastated.)
rynling: (Cecil Harvey)
I have found my way to New Orleans, and it is unpleasant.

I haven't been here since Katrina, when I was trying to get over a shitty breakup and for some reason decided that I would go be a hero and join the relief operations. It was a miserable experience, because of course it was.

The city is still a mess. It resembles Philadelphia in its state of flagrant urban disrepair, except one does not go to Philadelphia expecting charm, so the breakdown of public infrastructure is all the more apparent here. There's still a lot of storm damage, with derelict houses abandoned and boarded up right in the middle of residential neighborhoods. The paving on many of the smaller streets might as well be cobblestones. A lot of the major streets have been torn up by the city and then just left that way, with their chain link fences rusting and orange traffic safety cones bleached almost yellow. Water doesn't drain, and after it rained for an hour yesterday several of the main avenues became swamps.

Although hey, at least it's not Baltimore.

I'm here for work, and I have been put up in a bed and breakfast that I think is supposed to be quaint and historic, but it kind of creeps me out. I come from an area in rural Georgia that has its fair share of dilapidated Queen Anne houses with high ceilings and plantation shutters. My father lives in a house like this, as did many of my friends growing up. Where I come from, these houses are for poor people, as they're old and cheap and dirty. These are the sort of houses where people hoard newspapers and use large black trashbags as curtains; the plumbing doesn't work, there's never enough light, and the second and third floors are filled with literal piles of moldy "antique" furniture no one cleans or uses because the staircases are dangerous.

The owners of the bed and breakfast are white, and they are welcoming and genteel and speak in softly accented English, but all their employees are black and speak in Creole patois. This is also historic, I guess.

It was my New Year's Resolution to visit New Orleans, and I have accomplished that resolution. I want to go home now.
rynling: (Celes Chere)
My apartment is SPOTLESS.
My closets are MOSTLY EMPTY.
My hard drive is DEFRAGMENTED.
My credit cards are COMPLETELY PAID.
My tiny dog is UP TO DATE ON HER SHOTS.
My heart is AS PURE AS FRESHLY FALLEN SNOW.

My resolution for 2016 is to spend at least three nights in New Orleans before August. The last time we had a winter like this in the South, Hurricane Katrina happened. If I'm ever going to see New Orleans when it's not in ruins, now is probably a good time.
rynling: (Celes Chere)
Read 100 books.

I read 156 books. In addition, I read 112 graphic novels. I also read 235 manga in English, 53 manga in Japanese, and 115 dōjinshi. It's anal retentive to keep track of shit like this, but I swear I have a good reason. Or rather, it's a horrible reason and an uphill battle I will never be able to win. Maybe I'll write about it one day, or maybe I'll just let it simmer in the stew of my feelings of inadequacy; either course of action is equally terrible.

Post one book review a month.

I made 32 posts to my professional blog, which had 108,795 views in 2015. This is up from last year but way down from 2013, when I became the target of legions of asshole trolls from Reddit and 4chan. The blog also has about two thousand subscribers across several feed reader services. Considering how specialized the subject matter is and how infrequently I update, I think I'm doing well for myself. Now if only I could convert this success to money.

Leave two comments on AO3 a month.

I kept a running total of all the comments (with a complicated set of rules for what does and doesn't count) that I made across AO3, Tumblr, and ff.net, and I ended up with 109 comments. I'm not sure if that's a lot – it's certainly far less than my yearly total of comments when I was active on Livejournal – but I feel like I did okay. I'm not saying that the comments I did leave weren't sometimes awkward as fuck; but hopefully, at the very least, I helped to improve the intersite and search engine rankings of a small handful of stories.

Watch some quality tee-vee.

Fuck television, I hate television. I canceled my subscription to Netflix months ago. I managed to get through the first season of Hannibal and four seasons of Parks and Rec, and they weren't bad, but I felt like I was wasting time that I could have spent playing video games. Instead of actually watching anything, I decided to cheat by listening to the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour and appropriating the opinions of its hosts whenever someone tries to talk to me about television. I did watch a ton of anime though.
rynling: (Needs More Zelda)
Final Fantasy I: Dawn of Souls

This game is stupid, and I resent it.

Rain

This game is amazing, and I love it.

Okami HD

Nope. I played Zelda instead. Like, a lot of Zelda.

Tales of the Abyss

Nope, but not for lack of picking it back up about once a month. One day I'll finish it.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Nope. My intense distaste for the first thirty minutes of this game reminded me that games are supposed to be fun and that I don't have any sort of obligation to play them if I don't enjoy them.

2016 is going to be a good year for games, and life is too short for completionism.
rynling: (Gator Strut)
Stop using the word "awesome."

Fuck that. "Awesome" is awesome.

Buy a new t-shirt every month.

This is going to sound gross, and maybe it is gross, but instead of doing this I stopped caring about washing my t-shirts religiously. The less I wash them, the less the machine destroys them, and the fewer I have to buy.

Start dressing like an adult.

I signed up with Tog + Porter, but the stylist I was assigned was either a moron or a text-generating algorithm. I've had better success with a bimonthly subscription to Trunk Club, but only because they send you way more stuff to choose from. I still don't feel like an adult, though.

Only eat potato chips once per week.

What the fuck, I love potato chips. What was I thinking? This was probably a veiled suggestion to lose weight. I did lose weight, but only because I was so stressed out for months at a time that I had several periods in which I stopped eating altogether. After a year of entire days of eating nothing but kale juice and trail mix to prevent myself from passing out, I lost like maybe seven pounds. Dieting is bullshit.

Start using the metric system.

I already use the metric system for work, but using it in daily conversation made me feel like an asshole, so I stopped. In retrospect, this was a stupid resolution. This is America, and in America we speak American.

Rereading these resolutions makes me hate myself. When was I ever this sincere about anything? Did I really think people would suddenly start respecting me if I were thinner and dressed nicer and changed my vocabulary?

Hannibal

Mar. 3rd, 2015 08:36 am
rynling: (Teh Bowz)
I watched one season. And now I'm done, right? I think that was my resolution, right?

I therefore resolve, in the new year, to watch one current tv series from its first season to its most recent.

Okay, fuck. Maybe I'll take a month-long break, then.

The production quality of the show is fantastic, but...

(1) It's almost completely humorless. The three crime scene investigators are the sole exceptions, and they never appear for more than three or four minutes in any given episode. Of the three, Beverly Katz has a bit more screen time in the early episodes, but then the show decides that those extra two minutes of someone not being ALL SERIOUS ALL THE TIME are two minutes too many.

(1.5) Actually, now that I think about it, the special effects are pretty funny. The totem pole of human corpses on the beach is especially hilarious, and I don't use that word lightly. It's also cool when Hannibal has one of his dinner guests eat human flesh. Maybe those things are not supposed to be funny, though?

(2) It's kind of stupid. Will Graham is supposed to be a super-genius, but then he's hallucinating and having blackouts, so instead of taking a few days off work to go to the fucking doctor he's like, Naw just give me a gun I'll be fine. Sure, Hannibal messes with his diagnosis, but honestly, if you're seeing hallucinations, you probably need to get a second opinion! It's like, Dude! You work for the government; you have good insurance! Or at least hit up one of your many doctor friends for advice! Or check WebMD? Will is supposed to be socially awkward and live in a cabin in the woods or some shit, but presumably he has internet access on his phone. I also don't get why none of the Very Smart People in the show suspect Hannibal. He has freakishly specific medical knowledge, he has insider information about every single murder, and he was at the scene of every single crime. And all of his patients end up flipping out and attempting murder! But there is nothing suspicious about him because, I don't know, he has an accent? Why does no one in this show think or behave like a normal person? I can suspend disbelief for a two-hour movie, but it's harder to maintain this suspension over the course of thirteen fifty-minute television episodes.

(3) I don't think the show's writers or producers have ever been to the East Coast. Will Graham is supposed to live in Wolf Trap, an unincorporated satellite community of Vienna, Virginia, which is on the north side of Fairfax County, which is famously the single wealthiest and most developed county in the United States. (It's where I work, but I can't afford to live there.) There are golf courses and Super Target parking lots in Vienna, but not huge open fields with little cabins. Hannibal lives in Baltimore, which is a two-hour drive north of Fairfax County if there are no traffic conditions, road construction, or weather-related complications, which never happens. Since there's no public transportation between Fairfax and Baltimore, Will would have to get on I-66, the second worst highway in the United States, and then get on I-495, the absolute worst highway in the United States. During the afternoon and early evening, it can take more than four hours to drive from Fairfax to Baltimore, and then you have to deal with shitty Baltimore traffic and road conditions (the city is broke and doesn't maintain its infrastructure, true story). In other words, Will can't just jump up and go to Baltimore to visit Hannibal whenever he wants to, and it makes zero fucking sense for him to do so. And then, in the last episode of the first season, Will and Hannibal drive from Baltimore to Minnesota in one night? That shit takes at least twenty consecutive hours, and that's if you're peeing into the seat of your car.

In conclusion, this show looks pretty but takes itself way too seriously and doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Gillian Anderson should maybe take a rain check on producing Hannibal and go work on Ghostbusters instead.
rynling: (Default)
I don't have the resources to try for the big things I want from life, so I count small accomplishments instead. Whatever, I'm still young.

Read 100 books.

In order to count towards the total, a book must be read from cover to cover.
Acknowledgments, bibliographies, and end notes don't apply to the "cover to cover" rule.
Novellas and plays more than 60 pages long count.
Children's books less than 200 pages don't count.
Magazines and Japanese "mooks" don't count.
Art books and exhibition catalogs don't count.
Manga and graphic novels don't count.
Nature and travel guides don't count.
Academic articles don't count.
Fic doesn't count.

Post one book review a month.

To my blog on WordPress, of course. I'd like to aim for two, but that's not always reasonable, given my workload.

Two comments on AO3 a month.

Commenting on fic is hard. How do I leave a comment as touching and brilliant and witty as the fic I just read? How do I incorporate risqué fandom jokes without being offensive? How do I demonstrate unironic appreciation without coming off as creepy? That being said, the distribution of comments on AO3 is highly uneven, with some fic getting hundreds of comments while most fic gets none. Also, even though I've gotten some weird fucking comments on my own work (mostly on ff.net), I have always treasured every single one of them. I think leaving good comments is a skill that can be learned with practice. I will most definitely suck at it at first, but hopefully I'll get better. If I don't get better, then at least I can become a fun object of ridicule, like, Hey, have you gotten a comment from that crazypants girl yet; I got one last month, and she is so bizarre. Yes, this is exactly what will happen. Never let it be said that my goals are not lofty.
rynling: (Default)
I have gotten seriously lazy about video games during the past two or three years. I'm not sure whether this has to do with me getting older or with Journey spoiling everything else forever by being so gorgeous and well designed, but I really need to put my butt on my sofa and finish some games.

Final Fantasy I: Dawn of Souls

I have been playing this game on my iPad since this time last year. I would play it for two or three hours, get bored, and then not pick it up again until several weeks had passed. A few days ago I finally got to the last boss but was defeated after a half-hour battle. Apparently, all my dudes being at level 50 with the best possible equipment was not good enough, and I need MOAR LEVEL GRINDING. This is frustrating, since I feel that I've spent the entire game level grinding. At least I've watched some good movies on Netflix in the process.

Rain

I downloaded this game back when it was released in October 2013, but I rage quit shortly thereafter because the male player-protagonist's female computer-controlled companion has the AI of a pug. I hate ICO: Castle in the Mist for the same reason. Not only is making the female companion character stupid and completely dependent on the male player-character sexist, but it results in extremely frustrating gameplay. On the other hand, people say that it takes less than five hours to finish the game, and I did enjoy running around in the world of the game. To minimize my frustration during my next encounter with this game, I think I'm going to use a walkthrough.

Okami HD

There's no excuse for me to have not played this game, save that I missed it when it first came out and have been occupied with other epic adventure games since then. The internet tells me Okami takes about 45 hours to complete, so I should be done with it if I devote a month to playing it. That's what I did with Wind Waker HD, and it was a glorious month.

Tales of the Abyss

Why is this game so long whyyyyyyyyy. If I put in the same 50 hours in 2015 that I sunk into it in 2014, maybe I can finish it? Maybe? I'm not really enjoying myself, but at this point I've invested too much time to quit and pretend as if this game never happened.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

I pre-ordered the special edition of this game back in the summer of 2012, but it has been sitting unopened in a box in my closet for two years now. Yesterday I opened the shipping box that holds the game box. Maybe today I will make it all the way down to the disc box. YAY PROGRESS.
rynling: (Default)
I have so many things I'd like to do this year that it's going to take several days to get them all down. Let's start with the easy stuff.

Stop using the word "awesome."

I am such a fucking American. I'm not going to say or write that stupid word again this year, not even ironically.

Buy a new t-shirt every month.

There is a critical shortage of t-shirts chez Kathryn. This must be remedied.

Start dressing like an adult.

DC is worse than LA about judging people based on their appearance. I have some very nice professional clothes, because that shit's easy, but I'm clueless when it comes to not wearing a suit. I don't quite have enough money to hire a personal stylist, so I'm thinking about signing up for Tog + Porter or Stitch Fix. Maybe both at once? We'll see how that goes. If all else fails I'm going to sign up for Trunk Club, because I already dress like somebody's grandpa.

Only eat potato chips once per week.

It's either give up alcohol or give up salty snacks, and I don't see myself quitting drinking anytime soon. I don't give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut about my health, but I'm starting to look way older than I actually am, which is not cool. I know everyone resolves to eat better in the new year, but I am really serious about this. I'm going to keep a paper log of potato chips consumed and donate $50 to the KKK (they accept Paypal, I'm not even joking) every time I eat potato chips more than once in a calendar week. Even typing that makes me feel sick to my stomach, so I hope this will work.

Start using the metric system.

Yeah bros it's time.
rynling: (Default)
I try to stay informed about popular television series, but I have trouble actually watching them.

I'm not an "I don't own a tv" hipster, because I need something to play video games on, and I subscribe to basic cable, because cable+internet is for some reason (advertising subsidies?) cheaper than internet alone, but I have to force myself to sit still long enough to make it through even a single episode of any show on tv, even if I'm watching it on the PlaySation Netflix app or broadcasting it from my laptop. American television is just so cheesy and poorly produced...

That being said, you can't tell people that you only "watch" television through blog posts and articles on Jezebel. I therefore resolve, in the new year, to watch one current tv series from its first season to its most recent.

Sherlock is my darling precious baby and doesn't count. I watch Adventure Time and Arrested Development compulsively, so those don't count. Nature and science programs don't count, because I watch them for work. Anime, which I consume like candy (sparingly but with great relish), doesn't count. Although I haven't seen it and probably should, The Legend of Korra also doesn't count, because I don't know anyone offline who watches it.

I'm thinking... Hannibal? Non-fandom people like that show, right?

My brother recommends House of Cards, which apparently is not only good but also watched by my conservative middle-aged aunts. Since these aunts are embodiments of the platonic ideal of a non-fandom person, perhaps the show will serve my purposes if I become too fannishly attached to Hannibal.
rynling: (Mog Toast)
One of my resolutions for the new year is to leave comments on AO3.

Note that I didn't write "more comments," because I've never actually left a comment on AO3.

Two comments a month should be reasonable.

I'm not aiming for constructive criticism, just squees and appreciation.

It shouldn't be that hard, right?
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