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02 February 2013 @ 08:01 pm
Herf derf blerf  
What I've been up to lately:

Noveling, which has been more about slow steady steps than a race worth describing in its entirety. Lots of outline shuffling, pacing grumbles, recontextualizing scenes so they fit within a timeline instead of floating in space. I need to jump off my cliff after the vague shapes within Act 3's fog, and I've just about shored up the foundation required to do so. I keep meaning to write up a master post explaining the project, my source list, and my progress metrics.

Enjoying a slow marathon of Deadwood. I expected realistic Wild West. I was pleasantly surprised to get realistic Wild West with heavy historical basis. I don't know much about the TRUFAX behind it, but I appreciate the research and focus on the unique conflicts of near-lawless gold rush frontier towns. And Calamity Jane is awesomesauce.

Finally excited about a new KOEI game. Dynasty Warriors 8 is nearing release, and a hell of a pleasant surprise after the disappointment of 7. Costume designs are back to that heavy Chinese aesthetic influence I love so much, and the stories seem to offer the something for everyone appeal that DW7 threw out the window to focus on its few anointed characters. I'm preemptively in love with the new Wu characters, Han Dang and Lu Su - historically nifty, known to interact with my other favorites in the same force, and drawn as unique, mature, down to earth men rather than cookie cutter avatars.

Rehabbing an owie in my sacroiliac joint, which led me to realize that my longstanding intermittent hip and back grumpiness was the result of undiagnosed glute weakness. Turns out that squats and deadlifts don't necessarily hit the posterior chain like you'd expect. Your hip and low back muscles can end up taking the brunt of the load, which leads to unpredictable strains and other fun bullshit. To get my butt back in order, I've switched over to one-legged exercises like Bulgarian squats and single leg squats and deadlifts. I also picked up a Rumble Roller to eradicate muscle knots that a regular foam roller can't quite hit - and oh does it ever work. OW OW OW. At least my upper body has been behaving itself.

Listening to weird electronic music, from atmospheric to catchy. The awesome soundtrack to Sleeping Dogs made me itchy to assemble something similar for my own triad-related novel. I haven't made any real progress on that, but I did discover some new tunes thanks to label websites and related videos - including the current music selection, whose full album is excellent background for programming.

Trying not to do the year-long bathroom dance because


(The setting of my novel, for those unaware)

In November. With a group of family and friends. As part of a tour featuring cultural highlights in Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, and Hangzhou, plus a cruise down the Yangtze. The tour showcases important locales like Sun Yat-sen's mausoleum and the massacre memorial, and gives us a free day to explore the city. I hope to spend that free day with a local guide, going off the beaten path for a strong sense of Nanjing's character. There is that matter of a 13+ hour flight each way, but I have a known superpower for sleeping on airplanes.
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Plaid - At Last
(Deleted comment)
The Heavy Metal Matador: Cao Ren Sunsetrydain on February 10th, 2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
It really is. -_- I miss all the group reactions to incoming DW and SW game news over on warriorslash. It seems like fandom has migrated to Tumblr, which I fail at keeping up with.

I knew very little about Han Dang and Lu Su before their designs came out, but now I'm all raring to fangirl over them like crazy. I want to draw Lu Su helping Lu Meng studying, but my visual brain has been on vacation since October and is having a devil of a time getting back into business. (At least I'm making a lot of progress planning my novel.) Which designs don't you like? I'm OK with most of them except for Xiahou Dun's super saiyan meatbun hair (but that can be fixed with DLC, which is more than I could say for poor Cao Ren's dreadful DW7 face). I'm hoping Ren turns out OK so I have a good excuse to draw an update of him and Cai Wenji together. She's all scholarly and I dig it.

Thank you! Nanjing is going to be awesome. ♥ I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures, and notes in case the updates have to wait until I'm back home. I've been able to do a surprising amount of setting research via Google Maps, travel journals, news articles, and such, but it's not quite the same as experiencing the city personally.