February and March Anime!

I missed my post for February because I was lazy/ busy/ whatever, so I’m just gonna throw in what I watched from then in this post as well.

So let’s see… I watched the rest of Fate/Zero, Fantasia Doll, started Cowboy Bebop, and watched the available Nyanbo episodes. I’ve let Trickster episodes pile up so I can watch them all at once, I’ll get around to that once I finish Cowboy Bebop.

Fate/Zero was pretty amazing. I watched it kind of a while ago now so I can’t recall all of the details, but the animation was gorgeous, the magic was really cool, the characters were great, and the story was pretty good. It’s basically about some preset magical war that begins between a couple magical houses. They get to summon these cool “avatars” based off of historical figures that fight on their behalf. It ended a lot differently than I expected, but looking back on it, I think that may have been because I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t see the hints.

Fantasia Doll was alright, but it was a little too cutesy and cliche for my tastes. It reminded me of Cardcaptor Sakura (in a good way) and though they kind of used the card aspect a little differently than most card game animes, it still feels weird to watch an anime about people playing a card game.

Cowboy Bebop is great so far, but I’m only a couple episodes in so I’ll talk about that once I’m done or at least further through.

I’ve saved talking about Nyanbo for last because I love, love, love this show. It is most definitely a kids cartoon and the episodes are only five minutes long, but it’s just so loveable. From what I can tell, the actual plot is very minimal. The characters are these box-looking “alien” not-cats that act like cats and have strange powers. They don’t know why or how they came to Earth, but one of the main characters is set on them rebuilding their UFO so they can get back into space. And they actually do find UFO pieces throughout the show. I don’t know, it’s just adorable and funny and super easy to get into, so I guess that’s why I like it. 🙂

Well, that’s all I’ve watched for now!

~Erynn

Learning to Draw

I’ve always loved drawing. There’s something about taking a pen or pencil or something and just letting the lines flow, kind of like I do with words. It’s a different kind of creative work… but it’s one that sometimes works the same, in the sense that every now and then stuff just comes out.

I’m not very good at drawing. I used to be pretty okay, back in high school, but since then I eventually stopped because I opted to pursue other interests. Now, though, at least over the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to pick it up again, although this time approaching it from a technical perspective. By that, I mean I’m trying to learn and master the skills I need to make consistently good drawings. Of course, it will take a long while and a lot of work before I’ll draw anything “good,” but I feel like I’m learning some valuable stuff…

It’s a really slow process, learning to draw. That’s probably because I don’t have the time or patience to dedicate multiple hours to it a week, but I digress. It is one of those things I’d like to be able to do without too much thought, eventually. I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

Right now, I’m just using online tutorials to learn stuff, but in the summer I’ll be taking a formal course at the university. Oddly enough, a drawing class is one of the requirements for my degree, so I guess it works out?

Maybe I’ll post a couple drawings sometime– once I’ve drawn something I’m happy with. 🙂

~Erynn

January As a Whole

So I intended to write this post at the start of February, but I kinda forgot. Whoops. I suppose 18 days late is better than not at all–hopefully this’ll be enough of a reminder to keep me on track for similar posts in the upcoming months. 🙂 

So… January. I guess it was a good month overall, albeit stressful. It started out pretty crappy, I was a bit depressed around New Years, but that passed once classes started again, replaced with the stress of learning. 

Japanese has proven to be as difficult as I suspected, although I’ve spent the last two weeks catching up and working on a system to memorize everything I need to know, as well as get ahead. Creative writing has been a handful; in January I had to write and edit the first two chapters of Desolace, which was probably some of the most strenuous writing I’ve ever done. That’s worked out, thankfully, though I don’t think I have the energy right now to continue onto the next chapter just yet. 

I guess January ended up being a month of discovery for me. I learned some about my academic limits and have begun working around them, planning so I don’t burn out and making it easier to study, stuff like that. I learned more about managing my time, more about interacting with people, and learned how that interaction can sometimes sting.

I belive that I’ve finally caught a glimpse of who I want to be, and grabbed that person and taken hold of them. Obviously it’ll take a while to grow into that person, but you know, it feels good to feel like I’m getting somewhere. 

Anyway, yeah, that was January. 

~Erynn

Music, Music, Music 

A long time I mentioned here that I really liked listening to video game music when writing because it drove me to focus. And it was always helpful to pick songs that were somehow relevant to the mood of the scene I was working on, as that made it easier to picture things in my head when writing.

All of that is still true, but I seem to be drifting away from video game music in general. I’ve still got a couple songs on my Spotify playlist, mostly stuff from Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, but other than that the playlist has turned mostly into a bunch of lyricless music. I don’t normally like listening to lyricless music unless I need to focus, so really, it’s perfect because that’s exactly what it does. All my other playlists serve different purpose (like the silly angsty music playlist I have for when I’m mad at the world, teehee).

My musical tastes in general have been shifting lately, I guess that’s a big part of reshaping who I am and what I want to do with my life. I have this sad song playlist that I used to listen to almost exclusively, but not so much over the last week or two. I’ve moved to listening to ‘poppier’ music, I guess? Generally more upbeat, happier songs, or stuff that I can sing along to since I like singing (even if I’m bad at it).

I’ve also been going through my general playlist, which is where I used to throw any song I stumbled across that I liked, and sorting those songs into their new, respective playlists. I’ve got one for writing, one for sad stuff, ones with Japanese lyrics, dance music, and of course my ‘fuck the world’ playlist. The plan is to sort out all of those into those playlists and keep pretty much everything else in the general one, so that it really is general and not overtaken by a bunch of other music that’s better when listened to on its own.

~Erynn

My DnD Character

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about dnd, and since it’s something I do pretty regularly now, I suppose that’s kind of strange. So I thought that I’d talk a bit about the DnD that’s gone on since I started university, then from here on out write semi-frequent updates on my campaigns.

I’m currently playing in two campaigns -one at the university, the other not, but I’m only going to talk about the former in this post.

As a part of games club, we do dnd and other tabletop roleplaying games every week. There’s lots of people who participate so there’s a bunch of different groups, but my current game is run by a newer dungeon master with four players, including myself. The group used to be bigger, but just before winter break a different group finished their campaign and lost a couple players. So when the new semester started, they didn’t have enough to start a new session, but my group gave up two players so they could.

It kinda sucked for us, but we’ve managed so far. Anyway, for this campaign, I’ve been playing a female human cleric. If you’ve never played dnd before, you might see the world ‘cleric’ and go “ugh support so lame” but with that, you’d be completely wrong.

Wyvia Louv is a war cleric. She slices shit in half with her battle axe, blows people to smithereens with thunder waves, and only heals teammates when they’re one turn from dead.

She’s not a bitch or a badass. She just doesn’t give a shit about anyone or anything. I guess that’s what happens when you decide to roll a neutral/neutral character, instead of someone with the tendency to do good or evil. At first glance, you might think that makes a boring character, but it’s actually been quite fun to play.

See, just because she doesn’t care about other people, doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about herself. So when someone tries to fuck with her, she’s not gonna tolerate that shit. At first, I spent most of my time observing the other people in my group, our NPC companions, and our surroundings, but I eventually moved from that to keeping an eye on the troublemaker of our group.

It’s been interesting playing a neutral character mostly for the developing characterization. Going from not caring about anything to caring about the group of travelers I’ve been paired with has been a slow, thought-provoking experience. I don’t know how much longer I have to see this character grow, but every session is extremely helpful for learning bits about the nuances of characterization that really make the characters real.

Maybe I’ll go into more detail on that another time.

~Erynn

Some Literary Festival

I’m probably a terrible person for not remembering what it was called and being too lazy to look it up, but the festival itself isn’t really the point of this post so I guess it doesn’t matter. 

Anyway, last week there was some sort of literary festival here in Kelowna. It went on for a couple of days, I went to one reading as part of one of my creative writing classes. Us students had a private reading with Dina Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli, two awesome poets who also run the “Can’t Lit” podcast.

I think everything they read was from one of their poetry books called Rom  Com. It was a joy to listen to not only because they’re great poets, or because it was my first experience at a poetry reading, but also simply because I was having a shit day and listening to them really brightened my day. 

My encounter with them was a lite embarrassing, though. I’d just entered the building after an encounter that left me a little stressed and dizzy, and I was the only student in the room because everyone had just left to get coffee. My professor introduced me to Dina and Daniel, and I kind of stood there like an idiot, then said hi and reintroduced myself. Rip. I was so out of it that I didn’t even try to make fun of myself for being nervous because I didn’t think about it until later on, when I’d calmed down a bit. 

I didn’t say anything during the Q&A, and I kinda regret it. I had a good question, but I just really didn’t to talk to anyone. So I listened instead. I’ve been thinking about emailing one of them and asking that way, but I haven’t decided yet if that’s what I actually want to do. 

During the Q&A, though, I learned something important about poetry. Since I’m primarily a fiction writer, I’ve got it stuck in my head that everything I write either needs to stay hidden because it’s only for myself, or because if I share it, the writing won’t be worth as much if I want to publish it in the future. 

I don’t remember what the question was or what the actual response was, but what I got from it was that there are some things you write for yourself. And if a piece is emotional enough to warrant that title, then it shouldn’t be reserved to be sold and potentially diminished. It should be used by yourself for whatever you need from it, for whatever reason you felt the need to write it. So in my case, that I shouldn’t be afraid of putting some of my writing out there if that’s what I need it for. 

I guess this applies to fiction as well, but I feel like it’s more relevant to poetry because poetry tends to be more emotional or relevant to our lives than fiction. Not that it can’t be or isn’t, and not that poetry always is or can’t be irrelevant, this is just in the general sense.

So I guess that’s another reason I’ll be posting some of my actual writing–be it fiction or poetry or whatever–here on my blog every so often.

~Erynn

Shiny New Camera

Hey! So I’ve been running low on ideas as to what I should write about, but I’ve spent a couple of days thinking and now that I’ve got a bunch of ideas ready, here I am back at writing.

SO first of all, reading break has officially started and I’ve got the next week off! Woo! I don’t have any exciting plans, maybe I’ll go visit family for a little bit, but ultimately I’ll probably spend most of the break preparing for mid-terms and catching up on stuff that I can’t normally do because I have no free time. So read more, binge-watch TV shows, video games, and work and stuff. 🙂

Anyway, for the actual subject of this post… my lovely new camera! Scored a Canon EOS Rebel T6 at Best Buy during a flash sale a couple days ago. It’s got a bunch of cool features– I can connect it to my phone and take pictures with the camera from my phone at a distance, and different shooting modes specific to whatever I’m taking pictures of. I haven’t played around with it *too* much yet, but I’ve taken a few shots with it and though I’ve still got a lot to learn about taking pictures, I think I’ve managed to take a few nice ones so far. Now that the weather is getting a little nicer, I’m thinking I might go on an adventure sometime within the next couple of days and practice, and, you know, get some exercise.

I was thinking that once I managed to do that, it might be nice to write and post some poems based off the pictures I take. That would probably be fun and good poetry practice, too, so maybe keep an eye out for that in the next week or so. 🙂

~Erynn

Early Spring Cleaning

I decided a couple of days ago that I’ve got too much shit and that I need to get rid of stuff. I don’t know what exactly I’m going to get rid of just yet, just that I’ve got a lot of useless junk that I’m never going to use. And all that stuff is taking up space.

I decided that I’d start with some of my old YA books and some video games that I don’t play anymore (or intend to play ever again). The hope is that I’ll be able to sell some of them for some much needed $$$, but who knows if that’ll end up happening. I might just need to donate them somewhere if I want to get rid of them. After that, I’ve got some old toys and collector’s items that I might be able to sell off at some point, so that seems like the next step to take.

Once those are all gone, I’ve got boxes of random shit everywhere that I need to sort through. I’ll either need to find a practical use for or decide whether to throw them out or donate them somewhere. I’ve got some stuff that I know I’d use if they surfaced and were put somewhere that I could access, and then there’s plenty of other stuff that I’ll probably never use and there’s no point having. The problem is that there’s so much of it.

I wish I could just spend a whole day sorting through stuff to get it over with, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time for that right now. Even during the short break I get from university next week, I’ve got shit that I need to keep on top of every day. Preparing for mid-terms, reinforcing my Japanese, writing, drawing, etc, so I simply won’t have the chance to take a whole day off just to clean and stuff. So instead, I’m just gonna spend a bit of time every day doing what I can, sorting through a box here and there, setting some things aside, whatever I do have the time for. That way I’m making a little bit of progress at a time, and it’ll get done sooner rather than later.

Yay!

~Erynn

January Animes!

I’ve been trying to make time to watch a lot of anime lately because I think it’s pretty useful for learning mannerisms, and it’s good listening practice. I’m starting to recognize a decent amount of words (even if it sometimes takes me a little while to figure out what they are, once I’ve recognized them) which feels pretty good.

Anyway, since January is just about done, I figured I’d just quickly mentioned what anime I made it through this month.

I finished Yuri on Ice, Izetta the Last Witch, Mob Psycho 100, and made it through all the available Trickster episodes.

Yuri on Ice was pretty cute. It’s a short anime focused on figure skating and stuff, but I thought the characters were pretty great, even though they don’t do much more than skate and hang out sometimes.

Izetta the Last Witch is probably one of my current favourites. It’s a fantastical, alternate history that takes place during WW2. I loved the characters in this as well, and I thought the magic was pretty sweet.

Mob Psycho 100 was super confusing and funny. Like I mean it wasn’t confusing in a bad way, things made sense most of the time, but sometimes things just happened and they seemed completely random at first but they eventually mostly make sense. It was strange, but I liked the premise a lot.

Trickster was alright. I thought this was especially helpful for helping with my listening since it was a lot closer to slice-of-life than any of the others I watched (even though this is technically sci-fi) as it followed the lives of some students and their detective shenanigans. I honestly thought it was done at 13 episodes but it seems to be continuing on, so I guess I’ll see where that goes.

I also started Fate/Zero and made it through the first two episodes, but I was doing homework and not really watching so I think I need to go back and start again. It looked cool, though. I just need to pay more attention because there seems to be a lot going on, haha. 🙂

Gonna keep trying to get through as much anime as possible. Not only for the practice but because there’s a lot of stuff that I need to catch up on since I haven’t been watching all that much over the last couple of years.

~Erynn