Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Current Reading

Been trying to catch up on my reading lately but with my ADD in overdrive, it's no longer a book a day like it once was. I did finally read Kresley Cole's newest from her Immortals After Dark series, MACRIEVE. 

As per most books in the series, it ties in with the overall plot but can be read as a completely separate book for newcomers to her fantasy world. This one follows a Lykae with a seriously depressing past who at this point, just wants to call it quits and die already. Until he meets his destined mate. 

Problem is, it's a human girl who is the daughter of not only his sworn enemy, but the enemy of every creature of the Lore, even the pretty evil ones. So pretty much, every mystical creature wants this poor chick dead just because of her father. And she had no idea what he was doing or that this other world of Lorean creatures even existed. Sucks to be little Chloe. Oh, and did I mention that she isn't exactly human after all? No, she's coming of age and therefore her Lorean side is rising to the surface. Which would be fine except that Chloe's becoming a creature that her mate, MacRieve, detests with all of his being.

Can he see past who and what she is and accept her as his true mate? This one was very well written and a real tear-jerker for me. Then again, it could be the hormones right now. This pregnancy has turned me into an emotional time bomb. 

Another masterpiece I read this past week was THE MARVELOUS LAND OF OZ, the graphic novel put out by Marvel. This is the sequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ which I bought and read months ago and enjoyed immensely. I will confess, I have never actually read the children's books but from what I read and hear, the graphic novels follow them very closely. 

I say graphic novel because it's a thick book but it's pretty much a really long comic and it's for readers of any age. In fact, I plan on sharing it with my kids because I know they will enjoy the silly humor in it. The Tin Man, Glenda and Scarecrow from the original story are back for this one but the main characters are a little boy and a pumpkin headed friend that he made himself. 

I'm not going to get into the story itself but it was a fun read and the pleasurable experience was made even better by the awesome illustrations. Skottie Young is the artist and man, I do love his style.

I recommend this for children of all ages, including the big kids my age whose childhood never truly ended.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Anime Music Videos: What's All The Hype?

I realized last month that's it's been a year since I made an AMV. I didn't lose the desire to make them, just the patience to sit and fiddle with Windows Movie Maker's buggy ass. Incredibly, I have a lot of patience for pouring over the same video and sound files over and over again until it's how I want it. My AMVs don't turn out exactly how I want because of crappy programing but I won't get into that.

Anywho, so what's the big fuss about AMVs and why the obsession with making them? Well, as a huge fan of anime and music, how could I not want to combine two perfect things? I've been watching them for years, in awe of the skills of those who put out videos that really get to me. Whether it's action, comedy, horror or drama, I've been moved by some great pieces of video and minutes of audio.

So back in 2011 I thought to myself, "Hell, I can do that. Why not?" 
Boy did I suck at first. This was my first real go at serious video editing. Timing with the audio is critical and I have learned a lot over the years. I'm still a silly amateur but what's important is that I really enjoy making them, regardless of how much I might bitch and gripe during the process.

NekoCon is coming fast and the deadline for the AMV contest is next month. Wow, that is very little time to put out a high quality AMV for someone with as crazy a schedule as mine. Because it's so time consuming, I really have to make time for this hobby and late nights are becoming a regular thing. Oh, I won't win any awards or anything. I just like to enter the contests to give my AMVs exposure. It's a form of art really, it's an idea you wanted to get across. True, you are usually using someone else's source material but plenty of "artists" do that exact same thing and no one complains. You're taking it and making it your own. Like doing a song cover.

So, this is one of my many hobbies that I enjoy and put more time into than I probably should. If it's not your thing, that's fine. To each their own. Just don't hate on what makes me happy.

I want to post a link to an AMV that to this day really makes my heart clench up. If you've never seen CLANNAD After Story, you may not get it but I think it's pretty powerful by itself. It brought me to tears before I'd ever seen the series. It's been passed around Youtube so I honestly don't know who had the original channel but the director is Perfect-Blue. This was an award winner in 2011 and anyone can see why. It's called "Dare To Love Again."