Hey all, been a while. I’m still here and Ashes is updating again on its website (even though the ‘latest’ thumbnail is not changing), albeit sporadically. Once Chapter 1 is all up I’m taking a break before chapter 2. My health took another nasty dive and I can’t get to LA to see my surgeon until early Feb at least. So it might be March or later until Chapter 2 starts.
Another November creeps up upon me and it is time once more for National Novel Writing Month. And again, I’m obliged to sit out. However, I do not intend to be idle this November. I would like to do at least a little writing, and I think that I will set the modest goal of rewriting the prologue and first chapter of the novel version of Ashes. I’m horrendously guilty of something known as ‘purple prose.’ Which means there’s a ridiculous amount of irrelevant verbiage. So I’m trimming away all the flowery debris and attempting a much simpler, faster-paced, and readable style. Soff gave me a very good critique of the two chapters and helped me spot the major problems. If I am pleased enough with the rewrites I may start posting the prose along with the comic. But knowing what an insufferable perfectionist I am, it’s unlikely. :/
Also, I cleaned up my links page, removing all the link exchanges whose websites have disappeared or who have removed their links to me.
Some of you might remember I did a blog a while back where I experimented with taking DS screenshots with a camera… with varying degrees of success. Well, I’ve unlocked the secret to taking pretty clear screenshots with a digital camera. They don’t look professional, but they’re not bad for home-grown. As I mentioned in my previous blog, cables that allow you to take professional screenshots for a DS are not available to the general public, so we’ll have to make do without. First, grab your digital camera and set up your DS. Make sure it lies still. Taking screens of moving objects won’t turn out all that well, so get your game to a pretty still screen that you want a picture of. You might want to set up your DS so it’s standing up, then use a tripod to steady your camera across from it. If you don’t have a tripod, just try to hold as still as possible as you snap the photo or it’ll be all blurry. Now, a dark room is preferable, and you might want to use a low light setting on your DS or it’ll be washed out. Now set your camera to ‘super macro.’ Get your camera as close as possible to the DS screen- about until the screen fills the viewer of your camera. NOTE- this setup may vary from camera to camera. You’re going to have to experiment a little and find what works best for you. Now, if you’ve done it right, it’ll look a bit like this:
Don’t worry, that weird Escher bubble will go away once you load it on your computer and shrink it down. It’ll look kinda wall-eyed, but overall, it’s pretty clear. Now go have fun, my fellow geeks!
Well, actually it began yesterday, but I’m a little slow. We kicked it off with a three page prologue. Click here to read it! It will update on Tuesdays. I have a buffer big enough to last until the end of February, so there shouldn’t be interruptions for quite some time. Enjoy!
Playing: Pokémon HeartGold
Reading: The Sword in the Stone (T. H. White)
Edit 08-15-10: I upgraded the look of the website a bit. The dark blue was getting too dreary, so I lightened things up. I updated the links page, adding a new comic to me reading list: Ever Blue. And there is a new blog on the Ashes page with another panel preview and a look at how Rava’s character has evolved over the years.
Even though the poll only got a handful of votes, I can see that it’s split pretty evenly between ‘update now’ and ‘don’t update ’til you have a big buffer.’ Also, friends and relatives are starting to poke me about getting this thing up so they can read it. So I’ve decided on a bit of a compromise for Ashes. I am going to aim to start updates sometime in September or October. That’s in the near future, but gives me a few more weeks to do some additional pages. I was originally going to wait until I had 3 chapters finished, but am finding that I have difficulty working when I’m not getting any feedback and don’t have update deadlines. So I have 1 chapter finished and the second barely started, but I will be updating only once a week, which I think I can keep up with. My buffer is about half a year long so I’m hopeful that by the time it runs out, my health will have improved even more and I’ll be producing comics faster. If my health gets shaky between now and autumn, I may postpone the start date, but so far, so good. 5 months without a crippling headache, which is the longest I’ve gone these past 2 years. So I hope that surgery really helped. Recovery is very very slow, but it is recovery. And I’m very eager to be sharing the Ashes redux, which is 100 times better than the awful original. So keep an eye out! I will try to announce a more definite start date in a week or two. In the meantime, enjoy the random artwork I’ve been posting in the ‘latest artwork’ gallery.
Comedic observation of the week: I am currently on 4 medications. They are called Florinef, Abilify, Remeron, and Tramadol. In order to easily identify my pills, I write the first letter of each pill on the cap. When the bottles are lined up, they spell FART.