2020 Writing Log, Part 32

– I posted the first two stories in Night of The Final Day, a collection of vignettes about how the characters in Majora’s Mask spend their final few hours before the moon falls.

– I edited Chapter 25, Chapter 26, and Chapter 27 of Malice.

– I’ve been continuing to chip away at Chapter 41, which isn’t even that long. I’m going to need to figure out a different approach if I want to finish this novel by the end of the year.

– I posted a review of Hiromi Kawakami’s newest short story collection in translation, People From My Neighborhood, on my book review blog. I also posted an abbreviated version on Goodreads.

– I posted another short autobio comic, which began as a set of thumbnails I made for the fundamental comics workshop exercise of drawing a memory from your childhood in five minutes across four panels. It feels nice to know that I’m capable of creating an entire comic page from scratch in a week.

– I finished editing and reformatting my Ghost Stories zine and reprinted the second edition, which is now up for sale on Etsy.

– I also printed two new stickers, some Halloween ghosts and an Animal Crossing themed Nintendo Switch.

– I went back to the stories in my Haunted Houses zine and edited them one more time. I think I might be able to put the zine into production this coming week. I’ve gotten some amazing gift art for earlier zines that I may be able to print in this one depending on how the formatting turns out.

– I put a lot of work into promoting the Legend of Haiku zine, and I also commissioned an artist I’ve admired for years to create a special illustration that will be printed as a sticker as a gift for contributors. I’ve already gotten some amazing submissions, and I’m really excited about how this project is turning out!

– I applied to be a virtual exhibitor at the Philly Zine Fest, and I wrote a short story to submit to their anthology. I’m also working on an illustration to accompany the story, and I’ve been experimenting with what I hope will be an interesting page layout for the submission.

( You can follow me on Patreon if you’d like to support my work! )

2020 Writing Log, Part 31

– I edited Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, and Chapter 24 of Malice. I’m definitely emotionally invested in the story now, and I very much wish someone else would finish it for me.

– DarkAcey on Twitter (and on AO3) created a gift illustration for Chapter 23, and it’s amazing! I was blown away by this artwork, not to mention incredibly inspired. It’s such a life goal for me to be able to do something like this for other fic writers one day.

– Newly filled with motivation, I started writing Chapter 41. It’s going to take a while, and I’m (probably) not going to post it until the rest of the chapters are finished, but it feels nice to make progress instead of letting the story fade away.

– I edited my piece for the Press Start Exchange fanfic exchange one more time before posting it. It’s going to be a few weeks before it goes live, and I imagine I’ll return to it again before then.

– I posted a review of One Love Chigusa on my book review blog. The less said about this misogynistic mess, the better. It’s a shame that, of all the excellent work put out by the press, this is the book they decided to promote.

– I edited and updated the pages on the book review blog. This was tedious and took forever, but it’s good to do every year or so. I usually handle this in May, but better late than never.

– I created an icon and an announcement post for the Legend of Haiku zine, which I’m going to post later this weekend on social media. I’m starting to get nervous, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be okay.

ETA: The zine announcement post is now up on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram!

– I posted a (very) short autobio comic for the first time in more than a year. I’ve gotten better at time-saving techniques, and I’d like to try to post more comics from now on, even if they’re not so great. The only way to get better at something is by doing it, right?

( You can follow me on Patreon if you’d like to support my work! )

2020 Writing Log, Part 30

– I edited Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, and Chapter 20 of Malice. Is it weird to say that I got emotionally invested in my own story? I wish someone else were writing it so that I could read it all the way to the end without having to finish it myself.

– I finally edited the last chapter of The Legend of the Princess. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for the past year, but I wasn’t able to work up the courage until earlier this week. I was in a constant process of editing the chapters of this story during 2018 as I tried to keep the threads of the plot connected while posting the story to various venues, but I was in such a dark place when I wrote the last chapter that I just posted it and walked away. Coming back to it now, I was afraid that it would be garbage, but it’s kind of good, actually.

– Here’s what happened: I was going through TV Tropes to look for examples of a trope I really enjoy and came across a page someone wrote for Legend of the Princess. That’s wild, right?

– I edited my story about The Magnus Archives and posted it on Tumblr.

– I edited my story for the Press Start fanfic exchange. It’s not bad, all things considered. Although it won’t go live until September, I’d like to go over it again this week and post it next weekend.

– I edited the stories in my Haunted Houses zine, which I hope to be able to send to the printer by the end of September. I also started thinking about graphics to use for the bookmark and sticker I want to make to go with it. Maybe something (like this) would be good?

– Before I get started on the page layouts for Haunted Houses, I think I’d actually like to create another reprint of Ghost Stories from scratch so that it looks a bit more professional. I’ve already gotten started, and I hope to finish it up by next weekend.

– I started work on the graphic I’m going to use for the announcement post of the Legend of Haiku zine, and I contacted the artist I’d like to make the cover illustration. This is someone I’ve wanted to commission for a while now, and I was so excited when they agreed to work with me on this project! I also set up an email address, but I don’t think I want to create accounts on Twitter and Tumblr. Although I’m definitely going to invite contributions, I’d prefer to keep this project small and relatively stress-free.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Last night I was thinking about what I’ve accomplished this summer: I’ve written two original short stories, five short fanfic stories, seven chapters of my current neverending novel, four book reviews, and a collection of fifteen flash fiction pieces for a new zine. I’ve also been doing a whole lot of editing. I guess I’ve been working on visual art as well, and I’ve gone from posting an average of one new piece a week on my art account to posting twice a week. I’m not sure if this is a lot or not enough; but, if nothing else, at least I can say that I did my best during a truly strange and difficult time.

( You can follow me on Patreon if you’d like to support my work! )

2020 Writing Log, Part 29

– In my last writing log, I said that I submitted “Mount Hiei” to Strange Horizons. What actually happened was that I got the story ready to submit to them as soon as their weekly submission period opened on Monday at noon. When I submitted the story, the automated system told me that I could only submit one story at a time. It turns out that “Don’t Order the Fish,” which I submitted at the beginning of June, was still “under review.” I therefore withdrew that submission and tried to submit “Mount Hiei,” only to be told that I would have to wait seven days before submitting a new story. So I took the opportunity to edit “Mount Hiei” again. I was able to submit it successfully this week, thank goodness.

– I finished my story for the Press Start fanfic exchange.

– I wrote a fake episode of The Magnus Archives podcast, which I posted on AO3.

– I edited Chapter 13, Chapter 14, and Chapter 15 of Malice. Chapter 14, which was actually the first chapter I wrote, was particularly rough, but it’s (a little) better now.

– I’m writing a review of Yoshiko Okuyama’s monograph Reframing Disability in Manga for Journal of Japanese Studies. The book is really good!

Red Circle kindly send me a review copy of One Love Chigusa, a cyberpunk novella written by a male author in the 1980s. I’m dutifully writing a review, but I’m having a lot of trouble with the overt misogyny. This isn’t something I’m being sensitive about; rather, it’s right there on the page, front and center. One might even go so far as to say that misogyny is the guiding theme of the book. It’s gross and upsetting, and I’m at a loss for what to do about the review.

– I finally picked up my Legend of Zelda essay! After taking a long break, it feels good to work on academic writing again.

– I resumed my Korok hunt in my Wii U copy of the Breath of the Wild. I completely lost the narrative thread of Evoland 2, which I started playing at the beginning of the year, so I started a new game and somehow managed to log fifteen hours into it during the past week. It’s nice to take breaks from writing every once in a while.

– I started a Tokyo photography blog for self-care purposes. It’s nothing special, just me reposting images from the official websites of various stores and locations, but it’s a nice way to ease myself into work every morning.

– I set up a creator account on Patreon (here), but I’m still figuring out what to do with it. I’m thinking about posting new art every Sunday morning and links to new writing every Wednesday morning. Everything I create will always be freely available, both on Patreon and elsewhere, but this might be a good way for me to present everything I do in one feed while (maybe! hopefully!!) picking up a tiny bit of extra income that I can put toward a professional graphics tablet, which I’ve been wanting to buy for years now.

2020 Writing Log, Part 28

– I edited “Don’t Order the Fish” again and submitted it to Eerie River’s It Came from the Sea anthology.

– I edited “Mount Hiei” again and submitted it to Strange Horizons.

– I edited my story about Tetra and Linebeck, It’s Free Real Estate, and posted it on Tumblr.

– I posted a review of Edogawa Ranpo’s 1927 mystery-horror novel Strange Tale of Panorama Island, as well as an abbreviated version on Goodreads.

– I gave a talk on “The Legend of Zelda and Japanese Religion” at Otakon Online, and I posted the slideshow for anyone to view and download.

– I wrote and submitted the syllabus for the “Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy” class I’ll be teaching online in the fall and posted it here on my website.

This week was tough, but I did my best. I’m truly fortunate to be supported by the kindness of my friends, and somehow I was able to make it through.

2020 Writing Log, Part 27

– After reading through the first issue of 34 Orchard (and really enjoying it), I decided that “Mount Hiei” is probably a better fit for Strange Horizons. I also decided that “Don’t Order the Fish” is a much better fit for 34 Orchard, so I submitted it to them. I got a polite rejection email four days later. Which is cool! I already have another venue in mind, so I’ll go through the story one more time this week before sending it out again.

– I put “Mount Hiei” through another set of edits. I’d love to be able to send it to Strange Horizons during their weekly submission period on Monday afternoon, but we’ll see.

– The artist I’ve been working with to create a cover for my next zine sent me the finished piece. Not only is it a gorgeous illustration, but it’s also super spooky. I already have rough drafts of all the stories, and I think I’d like to start working on them again in August so that I can have the zine ready to go by October.

– I posted It’s Free Real Estate, a short story about Tetra roasting Linebeck that I wrote as a bonus prompt fill for the Multifandom Drabble fic exchange. I’m a big fan of the person who requested this, and writing it was a lot of fun.

– I decided to go ahead and post the individual segments of The Memory of Stone, my main submission for the Multifandom Drabble exchange, to Tumblr. I’ve been continuing to edit it as I go along, and I hope at least a few people have enjoyed the story.

– I edited Super Bowser Odyssey, my story about Peach pegging Bowser while he’s wearing a wedding dress. This story hasn’t gotten many kudos, comments, or bookmarks in the six months since I originally posted it, so I was afraid to return to it. What if it was embarrassingly awful? To my surprise, it was already well-edited and a lot of fun. There were no typos or instances of body shaming, just two nerds enjoying themselves while indulging in some kink. The fic is actually kind of wholesome, in its own way. I can’t for the life of me remember what possessed me to write this story, but I’m happy it’s a thing that exists in the world.

– I edited Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 of Malice.

– I talked with the Otakon digital production team to test out the platform we’ll be using for my talk next Saturday, and we had a good time. I also started putting together my notes and slideshow.

– Although my appointment at University of Pennsylvania doesn’t formally begin until August 1, I was able to set up my faculty profile page this week. I say that “I was able to” because all of the university support services (including nonessential employee processing) have been shut down, and I had to be devious and sneak in through a back door. I don’t want to go into the tedious details, so let it suffice to say that administrative assistants are powerful wizards who should be admired and respected.

– I managed to mail out all of the Etsy orders I received over the week, a lot of which were international. Whew! I ordered more of the items that are running low on stock, and I also added a new sticker based on this design.

It occurred to me this week that a lot of my “creative” work involves polishing content in order to send it out into the world with the hope that the right person will see it, enjoy it, and decide that I’m worth supporting. Although I put a fair amount of time and effort into promoting myself, I’ve come to accept that I have almost no control over how people interact with my work. The only thing I can do is keep putting out good content at a steady pace while keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to find an audience one day. Until then, even if they’re not “the right person” capable of promoting my work on a larger scale, I’m extremely grateful for the writer and artist friends I’ve made.

It’s tough to keep putting myself out there, and I would never be able to do it without everyone’s kindness.

2020 Writing Log, Part 26

– I finished editing and rewriting “Mount Hiei.” I’m going to let it sit for a week before looking over it one more time and sending it off to an online magazine called 34 Orchard.

– I edited Chapter 40 of Malice and posted it on FFN.

– I also edited Chapter 9 of Malice, as well as Chapter 10. I had to make two retcons, which was a bit embarrassing, but better late than never!

– I’m extremely fortunate to have been able to work with the incredibly talented Mehkuno on an illustration for the fifth arc of Malice. This project was a lot of fun, and the finished piece is the perfect blend of a Hollywood movie poster and a late 2000s anime DVD cover. It’s gorgeous.

– I put my submission for the Multifandom Drabble fanfic exchange through another set of edits. I also edited Going to Seed, my Animal Crossing story.

– I saw one user’s set of prompts on the Multifandom Drabble gift spreadsheet and got really excited. I wasn’t able to get the prompt fills in by the deadline, but I’m happy to have gotten started on a (somewhat) longer story that I hope they’ll enjoy. I’m going to let another of their prompts sit for a bit and return to it in October, as I think it will be seasonally appropriate for Halloween.

– I sent copies of my zines to The Soapbox, a zine library that’s right in my neighborhood. Once everything is back to normal, I’m looking forward to visiting them in person, especially since they’re only a ten-minute walk from my apartment. It might even be worth applying to join their studio, because it would be nice to have a dedicated physical space for art and community.

– The Japanese embassy in Washington DC asked me to give a (virtual) talk about The Legend of Zelda and Japanese religion as one of their sponsored panels at this year’s Otakon , and of course I said yes. This week I put together a small packet of promotional materials to send to them while exchanging emails to work out the details. My talk about The Legend of Zelda and Japanese religion is titled, appropriately enough, “The Legend of Zelda and Japanese Religion.” I used to care a lot about clever titles when I was younger, but these days I’m much more interested in search engine optimization. Anyway, the talk is going to be based on a lecture I prepared for my giant “Japanese Culture in a Global World” class last fall, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

2020 Writing Log, Part 25

– I edited (and partially rewrote) the first half of the old short story I mentioned earlier, “Mount Hiei.” I hope I don’t jinx myself by saying this, but I’m surprised by how entertaining it is. I originally wrote it in 2013, which is back before I started seriously writing fiction. I expected it to be garbage, but it’s not bad!

– I saw an interesting call for anthology submissions from a small press I admire; and, before I could stop myself, I wrote the first few pages of a story called “The Slithery Dee” (after the Shel Silverstein poem). Unless I get another sudden burst of inspiration, however, I’m going to put this story on hold until I’m finished editing “Mount Hiei.” I love writing, but I want to keep everything slow and steady in order to avoid unnecessary stress and burnout.

– I took my It Never Happened zine to two local bookstores, Bindlestiff Books and A Novel Idea. The people I spoke with were super friendly, and I ended up walking out of both stores with more zines than I came in with.

– I finished my story for the Multifandom Drabble fanfic exchange. I can’t even begin to describe how much of a joy it was to write this, and I’m eternally grateful to the person who created the prompt. I hope they enjoy the story!

– I signed up for the Press Start fanfic exchange. This is the first year I’ve been able to participate, and I’m excited. I spent the past two weeks thinking up prompts, and I hope the person I’m paired with is at least a little amused. I just got my own assignment this morning, and I am delighted.

– I edited Chapter 8 of Malice.

– I wrote another page of my Legend of Zelda essay. Progress is slow, but it’s coming along!

– I submitted a short entry on “manga” for a handbook titled Key Terms in Comics Studies. This was a lot of fun, and the editor was a pleasure to work with.

– I completed my Summer 2020 sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project and mailed it in. I have to admit that I’m not super onboard with the trend of people feeling compelled to post photos of portfolio-perfect sketchbooks on Instagram, so I really appreciate this program, which encourages and celebrates messiness, experimentation, and artists of all skill levels.

– Now that the Philadelphia city offices are open again, I was finally able to get a Pennsylvania driver’s license. It took a bit of work, but I’m now officially nonbinary on my state ID. I also registered to vote. Hooray!

2020 Weekly Writing Log, Part 24

– I posted Chapter 40 of Malice on AO3. This is probably the last chapter of this story that I’ll write, at least for a few months. Maybe I’ll come back to it, and maybe I won’t. I’ve been lucky to be supported by a group of incredible readers on AO3, but I have almost no confidence in my ability to finish this story right now. It feels silly, to be honest. Some people write amazing, heart-shattering fanfiction, but I’m not sure I’m one of those people. That being said, I anticipate that I’ll feel differently once Nintendo releases more information about the Breath of the Wild sequel.

– I’m incredibly honored that Vhyrel agreed to work with me again on an illustration for this chapter. Speaking of heart-shattering, it’s absolutely gorgeous!

– I edited Chapter 7 of Malice. I’ll probably keep editing a chapter a week, if only for the practice.

– I got my assignment for the Multifandom Drabble fanfic exchange, and I’m excited. I put together a few story notes, and I should be able to complete a rough draft this week. If I have time, I’d like to write a bonus story as well.

– I withdrew an illustration that I submitted to the Ganondorf zine. I’ve learned a lot in the year since I created it, and I noticed a whole bunch of mistakes when I looked at it again. It would be too much trouble to fix everything, so I went ahead and posted the piece on Tumblr.

– I also submitted a comic to the zine, and I put a lot of time and effort into touching it up. I think this piece will still look good when the zine comes out, so it was worth it.

– I ordered a set of mirror-finish stickers from Sticker App based on this drawing of a Blupee (the rupee-dropping moth rabbits from Breath of the Wild). I also ordered a set of samples from the service. I’m particularly interested in their epoxy stickers. I have an idea for a set of designs that I might be inspired to create if the sticker quality is high enough.

– I completely sold out of my It Never Happened zine, so I went ahead and ordered another print run. I’m going to take some copies to various indie bookstores in Philadelphia this week to see if they’d be interested carrying them.

– After doing some research, I think I found a good venue for the original short story I’m going to start working on this week. The magazine specializes in “dark fantasy” rather than horror, which is good, and the suggested wordcount is perfect. If this venue doesn’t work out, I also found a backup. I’m excited to get started on this story!

– I wrote the third page of my Legend of Zelda essay. I intended to pick up the pace a bit, but then there was a new update for Animal Crossing, and… Well, we all know how that goes.

2020 Writing Log, Part 23

– I finished a complete rough draft of Chapter 40 of Malice. This chapter got a bit long, so I’m going to take all of next week to edit and polish it.

– I posted Chapter 39 on FFN.

– I edited Chapter 6.

– I wrote a very short story about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which I posted on AO3. This was such a joyful and healing project.

– My short story “Don’t Order the Fish” was rejected from the body horror anthology. I went back to the story and decided I really like it. I edited a few bits, and I’m going to send it to the online magazine Strange Horizons when their submission window opens on Monday.

– I finished the illustration I was going to submit to the Path of the Goddess zine. Since my artist application was rejected, I didn’t put as much effort into the piece as I originally intended, but I still had a good time working on it and learned a few things in the process. I’ll post it on various social media platforms tomorrow. (ETA: Here it is on Tumblr!)

– I wrote the second page of my essay about gender in the Legend of Zelda games. I intended to write more, but you know what? Two pages is better than zero pages!