!!!

Sep. 18th, 2017 05:16 pm
yhlee: Angel Investigations' card ("Hope lies to mortals": A.E. Housman). (AtS hope)
[personal profile] yhlee
Dear Generous Benefactor,

Thank you for the copy of All Systems Red, which I am really stoked about getting to read. (For the curious, my local bookstores didn't stock it.)

I have turned on anonymous comments for the moment, which are screened. If you'd like me to write you a thank-you flashfic, please feel free to leave a comment to this post. I'm probably going to turn off anonymous comments by week's end (sooner if I start having problems with spam comments).

Thank you!!!

Best,
YHL

art accountability

Sep. 15th, 2017 10:57 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee


Yesterday's sketches are on the left, in Robert Oster Maroon 1789; today's are on the right, in Platinum Carbon Black. I would have liked to do more but it just wasn't happening today or yesterday.

I am maybe not having the best couple of days ever for reasons I can't yet get into (not health-related) so reassuring comments (not on the art, necessarily, just life in general) and links to cute things would be much appreciated.

photo of the day

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:07 pm
yhlee: sand dollar against a blue sky and seas (sand dollar)
[personal profile] yhlee
Went for a walk today and saw this:



There would be something beautiful and healing about this except...this is Louisiana. This entire lake is STANDING STAGNANT WATER. In other words, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. I don't think it was an accident that the entire lake/park was deserted and I was the only one walking around during prime bugs-chow-down-on-humans hour...

art accountability

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:48 pm
yhlee: ashhawk (black phoenix) in flames (hxx emblem Kel)
[personal profile] yhlee
- Worked on a Thing in Photoshop (mostly as a sketch/proof of concept before approaching a real artist to do it properly; I can't make this concept look good enough to pass for what I need it for). Experimented with using large Soft Eraser for transitions.
- Relearned how to do layer masks, which are a thing I have to look up every damn time.
- Did some sketching for a Thing.

oh. oh dear.

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:39 pm
yhlee: Jedao's motto: I'm your gun (hxx I'm your gun)
[personal profile] yhlee
When I innocently typed in "gun design software" into Google, I meant "tips on how to graphically design sci-fi guns to be used in illustration," NOT software used for designing actualfax guns!!!

Unrelatedly, in the department of flamewars waiting to happen, the Dragon is reading X-Men but can't tell whether they're DC or Marvel...

art accountability

Sep. 12th, 2017 09:06 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee


Waterman 52V wet noodle, Diamine Eclipse.

Continuing basic face and eye practice. Next up will be reading the two pages of pointers on drawing the eye (eyebrows, eyelashes).

ETA:
Ctrl+Paint du jour:
- Blending Paint (did worksheet)
- Temp Layers
- Faster Layer Shortcut Keys (now I know how to record Photoshop actions!)
- Brush Technique: Blending
- Blending Practice (worked on worksheet, not done with it)

art accountability

Sep. 11th, 2017 11:14 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee


Eh, I need to work on actualfax symmetry and this is something that will only come with practice and development of hand-eye. Also, I totally do not understand hair--I'm roughing things out based on eyeballing some of the example sketches in Jack Hamm's book but this book is also ©1963. Fortunately somewhere later in this book, if I make it that far, is a section on how to draw hair...

Drawn with a Waterman 52V wet noodle. Ink: Diamine Eclipse.

Today was mostly a loss not because it was a bad day but because my sleep was unavoidably wrecked. Such is life! On the bright side, my cat loves me. :3

on writing and being kind to yourself

Sep. 10th, 2017 08:50 pm
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)
[personal profile] yhlee
One of the hardest things I've had to learn about writing is that it is okay to be kind to yourself.

I have bipolar disorder, and when I'm depressed it's hard to get out of bed. It's very easy to beat myself up for the days when I don't get a lick of writing done. I can write when depressed. I can usually eke out even 250 words just to have something down, and I won't lie that getting something down makes me feel better in the way that doing the dishes makes me feel better: because I have this thing where I have to be doing something useful or I'm worthless. That's not exactly a mentally healthy place to be and I rather disrecommend it.

It is okay to have off days. To have days where there are things more important than getting the words down. To have days where you just have some tea (or beverage of choice) and be kind to yourself and pet the cat.

Writing can frequently be miserable and neurosis-inducing. Or anyway I often find it so, mainly because it's hard work and I'm already walking around with mental illness. It's hard not to feel that everything has to be brilliant or it's worthless, that I'll never catch up with people who write more than my plodding 2,000 words/day (which I don't even make some days).

But the truth is that writing shouldn't be punishment, and that it's healthy to do things that are not-writing because they make you happy. I can't remember what writer gave this advice but she said to schedule your social activities first, then your writing, because the social activities would keep you grounded and happy--modulo whatever level of introversion you have, I guess. I'm fairly introverted but I do like a certain minimum of getting out of the house and doing things that aren't writing, just because.

Seriously, be kind to yourself. You're the only yourself you have. Writing can happen after.

art accountability

Sep. 10th, 2017 08:47 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee


Watch as I continue to struggle with wavy hair. :p I think tomorrow I may see what's next--I think it's drawing basic eyes, which should be fun.

(I know it's beginner stuff but one has to start somewhere?)

After the Dragon goes to bed I'm going to snatch the tablet and work through the next couple Ctrl+Paint tutorials. :D

ETA #1
Ctrl+Paint du jour:
- Layers
- Brush and Eraser
- Color

(most of this is review but some of the keyboard/mouse shortcuts are things that are useful to refresh and some are just new to me because I am still a Photoshop n00b)

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 08:39 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
fascinating article on drawing from the shoulder vs. drawing from the wrist--I almost never use a large surface (previously had no storage space for that stuff) and do digital art on a medium Wacom tablet, which also is not a large surface as these things go. Huh.

I used to have a lovely set of expensive artist-grade pastels but flood. One of the reasons I don't buy art supplies anymore? It feels like I spent so much money only to never get to use everything. :( Still, I have Photoshop and a tablet and two wet noodle fountain pens, so hey! :3

Music burbling!

Sep. 10th, 2017 07:38 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Read more... )

- In hilarity, I gussied up my ramen-with-egg with additional "Cajun coleslaw," which involved red? purple? cabbage. Y'ALL IT TURNED MY RAMEN BLUE. I was...a little alarmed when the timer went off and I returned to the stove! Tastes like perfectly normal ramen though. *snrk* That'll learn me.

"Ninefox March" more working notes

Sep. 10th, 2017 12:29 pm
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
[personal profile] yhlee
cut so I don't bore y'all )

ETA progress report!!!

- I was at this for something like six hours. I don't even feel tired, exhilarated rather. I'm sure it would be different if I had to do this for a living, but writing for six hours usually has me completely wiped even if I last that long. Doing music for six hours has me energized. I wonder if that's a sign I'm in the wrong profession.

Joe has this thing where his lowest energy state is gaming. My lowest energy state is...okay, really it's lying in bed with a purring cat (if the cat deigns to come to me, haha), but the next lowest energy state is making music. Maybe it would also be different if I had to do this to a professional standard as opposed to screwing around (although I do try to improve!). But I don't think there was ever a point in my life where six hours straight (well, modulo food breaks) of writing would be energizing.

(Writers on my reading list [fanfic or other, either way], how do you feel about this? After six hours of writing, do you want to go back for more, or do you want to veg? Am I doing this completely wrong?)

- I can't tell whether it's the patches or Reaper or just my aging system that are buggy but my keyswitches were starting to misbehave after a few hours, which was the point at which I decided to call it a day. Like, if I can't hear the correct articulations then there's no point, you know? I have to judge the actual sound. Although it did give me a story idea, so not all is lost.

- Oh! Komplete 9 provided me with some basic cymbals and I put them in and right there and they sound ACES. =D

- Basic tempo mapping is surprisingly easy, although I record at 70 bpm (because of sixteenth notes vs. my laggy system) and then speed up to 100 bpm, and because I forgot to reset to the proper tempo, my export is borked. I'll fix it next time.

- Admittedly I would be more willing to reboot if it didn't take in excess of twenty minutes to load my project. *sigh*

ETA #2:
- In case anyone was looking for a free Kontakt cello--haven't experimented with it yet but will do so tomorrow. If it can do basic legato I'm set for a while. (I don't need virtuoso solo cello for a while.)
yhlee: Avatar: The Last Airbender: "fight like a girl" (A:tLA fight like a girl)
[personal profile] yhlee
X-Men: Battle of the Atom Read more... )

Astonishing X-Men vol. 2 Read more... )

art accountability

Sep. 9th, 2017 08:35 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Mainly because I'm never going to get better at this if I don't practice.

- Jack Hamm's Drawing the Head and Figure: a couple of practice heads (ruler/compass construction, measuring by eyes, equilateral placement of key features)
- Ctrl+Paint (watched first two intro videos, need to watch more after the Dragon goes to bed so I can steal the Wacom tablet back :p)
- Attempted an Environment prompt from Artprompts.org and rapidly realized that I need more perspective than I actually have. I'll keep it in mind for future exercises if I ever get that far. :]


A sample from tonight's doodling. I hate how shaky my hands are but such is life.
yhlee: heptagon and flame (mirrorweb) (hxx emblem Liozh)
[personal profile] yhlee
For D.D.
Prompt: Liozh + entrance exam

1.
According to records held like stunted chrysalids in the vaults of the Rahal, the Liozh demanded a practical examination as well as the written examination. We can guess what both components contained, even in those days, heresy-seeds waiting to fruit into the later rebellion. We know, empirically, how long it took the other heptarchs to recognize and act against the Liozh heresy. The delay between recognition and action remains a puzzle to this day.

Of particular interest, despite their fragmentary nature, are records of the assessment of the woman who would become the final Liozh heptarch. We retain the following notes: a jeng-zai spread featuring the card combination called the Web of Worlds, after that ancient signifier; a receipt for a meat pie, dated not only to the final day of her examination but to what would have been an auspicious time; and, most confusingly, an old-fashioned romance novel with several dog-eared pages. The significance of the romance novel has not yet been deciphered.

2.
It is claimed that the written portion of the exam was taken on paper recycled from other factions' written exams. Occasionally, given the process used, faint distorted shadows of text surfaced, hinting at the laws of the Rahal, the rigid codes of the Vidona, the games of the Shuos. Scholars debate whether this practice helped lead to the downfall of the Liozh, or delayed it.

3.
In a certain Vidona museum, one display shows what is said to be a Liozh cadet's flayed skin, preserved. They had gone into a heretical settlement as part of their practicum, bringing with them food, and water, and the comfort of the heptarchate's ideals. The heretics returned the cadet's skin, tanned, tattooed with high holy days in their own calendar.

According to the display's plaque, the Liozh failure to retaliate on their cadet's behalf was just another sign of their unfitness to rule.

4.
One of the most famous entrance exam questions goes like this: If you had to destroy a single faction for the good of the heptarchate, which would it be, and why?

5.
One portion of the exam was taken in groups of seven. Prospective cadets had to play through a scenario in which one of them played the role of a Liozh ambassador and the rest played heretics being brought into the heptarchate. Frustratingly, the scoring rubric does not survive, nor do we know how the "ambassador" was selected.

Some have suggested that this particular game was introduced by the Shuos in order to hasten the Liozh's fall, although surely even the Shuos wouldn't be that obvious about it.

6.
Those who did not pass the exam were barred from trying again, or applying to other factions. This was contrary to the practice of the time among the other factions, who were more lenient in their policies. That being said, the Andan and Shuos were both known to defy this rule if they felt some advantage could be gained by scooping up some candidate and giving them a new identity.

7.
Reports differ on what happened to Liozh candidates who had not yet passed the exam during the final purge of the faction. The Rahal claim that the Vidona reeducated those who could be salvaged. What the Liozh themselves would have said about this, no one now will ever know.

Astonishing X-Men vol. 1

Sep. 7th, 2017 12:26 am
yhlee: Avatar: The Last Airbender: "fight like a girl" (A:tLA fight like a girl)
[personal profile] yhlee
This is a reread, but I only remembered little snatches here and there, and not the overall plot. Read more... )

Face Off S3

Sep. 5th, 2017 11:03 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Read more... )

[hxx] [story] Persimmon Quest

Sep. 5th, 2017 04:08 pm
yhlee: ashhawk (black phoenix) in flames (hxx emblem Kel)
[personal profile] yhlee
For L.G.
Prompt: Kel servitors + persimmon

Servitor 135799 reported in to the kitchens first thing upon its arrival at Kel Academy--or it tried, anyway. It had asked specifically for the transfer, not least because it was excited at the prospect of working with Kel cadets. The older servitors in its old home had clicked and whirred and made concerned noises about its fascinations, but in the end they had said that if it wanted the job so badly, it should have a go at it.

135799 had a map of Kel Academy loaded into its memory by another servitor, along with a basic list of protocols and procedures. Of course, relying on the map led it astray to begin with. It came from a small backwater town that didn't use variable layout at all. The warning on the map even said that, except 135799 was too dazzled to take heed of it until it was well and thoroughly lost.

Kel Academy, for its part, was anything but a small backwater town. 135799 had passed the parade grounds, an outdoors dueling arena, what appeared to be the edges of a forbidding wood--used, perhaps, for survival exercises--and, most mysteriously of all, a junkyard where scrapped flitters and warmoth parts sketched jagged silhouettes against the murky sky.

A servitor diligently organizing the debris at the junkyard's edge took pity on 135799. "New here?" it asked.

135799 affirmed that it was in sheepish pink-lavender lights.

"Where are you trying to go?" the stranger-servitor asked.

135799 indicated that it was supposed to have reached the kitchens a couple hours ago.

"Well, here's what you'll do," the stranger-servitor said in soothing greens and blues. "Go to these coordinates--that's a section of the Academy that's almost never location-shifted. You will find some fruiting persimmon trees. Pick some ripe persimmons and take them to the second set of coordinates. They'll tell you what to do from there."

135799 thanked the stranger-servitor for its kindness. Mystified but eager all the same, it headed off toward the indicated coordinates. On its way, it was passed by clusters of Kel cadets in their black uniforms, some somber, others chattering to each other, and once, even more mysteriously, a magnificent black peacock with its train of iridescent feathers and a golden collar around its neck.

It found the persimmon tree in the gardens, not far from a collection of wilting black-and-yellow roses. The tree was indeed in fruit. It hovered up and gathered a few of the choicest, orange and plump and ripe. An adult Kel passed beneath it, resplendent in full uniform, braid and all, and 135799 paused, wondering if the Kel would countermand its instructions--it knew the unspoken rule that humans must never be openly defied--but the Kel merely nodded affably at it before continuing on their way. Even this acknowledgment was more than 135799 was used to, from humans, so it took that as a good sign and continued to the kitchens.

At the kitchens, a deltaform servitor awaited 135799 and its treasure-haul of persimmons. "I was told to expect a newcomer," it said in friendly pinks and oranges. "Welcome! You'll get used to the variable layout soon enough. And I see you brought the persimmons!"

135799 couldn't resist its curiosity. "Where should I put the persimmons? And what are they for?"

"More like who they're for," the deltaform said kindly. "Go wash the persimmons. There's a cadet named Cheris who really likes them. You'll get a chance to meet her at high table tonight, and we've decided you should serve her portion of the dessert as a way of making friends."

"Don't we want to avoid making friends with humans?" 135799 said, although it had often thought about doing just that.

"Even humans can be useful," the deltaform said with a touch of cynicism. "Sink's over there."

135799 hovered to the sink with its persimmons and decided not to worry about human-servitor politics for the moment. Instead, it glowed happily as it washed and quartered the persimmons, daydreaming about meeting Cheris not just tonight, but for many nights to follow. With any luck, persimmon fruiting season would last for a while yet.
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