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So, in the beginning of December when Thuy was caught up in the hype and excitement of the new Star Wars movie, she had what sounded like an insane idea to purchase a well-made lightsaber. I’m more of a Trekkie, and Star Wars is something that I also grew up watching, but it doesn’t mean the same things to me. It didn’t shape who I am in the way that Star Trek did. I wouldn’t be the same person without it. Anyways, I digress. Savariben!

She ended up ordering two lightsabers from a company called Ultrasabers, and her brother ordered two as well (one for his girlfriend and one for himself. Thuy’s were both for her, uh…).

Honestly? I thought that it was kind of dumb to pay three hundred dollars for a lightsaber, especially when you weren’t a big fan or anything (Which she and I are not. Now, a Batleth on the other hand… I had been eyeing one for a while, but the price and the leather grip was keeping me from buying it. Why leather? I doubt that they even have cows on Klingon!). However, when the sabers came in a few weeks later, both me and Justin put in orders later that same night! I have an orange one for sparring now, and a purple one because, purple. I should have made the sparring one purple, but I didn’t know that I would use it for anything but photos at the time.

Time passed, and near the end of the month, Thuy found out that a Parkour gym down by the waterfront was starting Lightsaber classes in January. Uhh.. lame or cool? I wasn’t sure.

But, I mean, I’d sign up for Vulcan language lessons in a heartbeat, so why not? I signed up with Justin and Thuy. I hardly ever go along with the flow, but I am really glad that I did!

I am now a proud member of Hawaii Saber Academy.

And I am eating my words, and some of my dignity, but it is SO MUCH FUN THAT I DON’T CARE! Omg, I am letting my inner child out, and I could not be having more fun! I really wish that there was a Star Trek equivalent, but Trek is fundamentally about peace and acceptance, so that might not roll over so well.. I don’t know. Hmm..

Yeah, anyways, I am eating my words. I love the class so freaking much that I just can’t help but practice outside every night, and sometimes during the day. It’s mostly just learning poses and sequences right now, but the theatrics? They are so beautiful, and that glowing-light aesthetic is right up my alley! <3 <3 <3

I only brought my phone with me, so the pictures that I took aren’t as high-quality as I’d otherwise like, but I might try some long exposures another time. In the meantime, have this, and then look up to see if there are any classes in your area!  Continue Reading »

On Sunday, I went out with my girlfriend, roommate, and a few other friends to Waimea Bay on the North Shore.

Why? To go bouldering!

The gym down my street from our apartment is a bouldering gym, and Justin (le roommate) is a huge fan so Thuy started going, and then I started going, and we made more friends who also go (including James, who was a friend of mine during college but just moved to Honolulu too!). So, a few of us decided that we needed a getaway and went to try out doing this whole climbing thing outside!

I mostly worked on my photography skills, because I’m not a very strong climber, but I had a great time anyways! It’s winter, so it’s warm but not hot, and the waves were so strong that swimming wasn’t allowed! Not that that stopped a lot of people.

Want to see the photos that I took? Well, click here: Continue Reading »

My girlfriend just jetted off on a spiritual journey to India. I miss her sooooooooo much! Hopefully I have enough money to travel next year. The good side, though, is that I should have enough time to finish Denkiki by the time that she comes back. No distractions!! Except Halloween, yeah…

Justin and I are having a Halloween party at our place, which should be pretty low-key. I miss going out in Shibuya to have fun with friends and look at costumes, but last Saturday, I sprained my ankle while playing Quidditch, so walking anywhere crowded isn’t really in the cards. Oh well, more time to work! Again.

I will post more about that, but let’s take a little relaxer! I found this meme on Tumblr, and wanted to give it a go. Here we are:

25 Random Facts About Me (!)

1. I am a 35-year-old CIS female.

2. Continue Reading »

I was browsing Tumblr the other day looking at pictures of Autumn scenery (again), and I ran upon this list of asksIt’s perfect for my blog! I thought. It’s so creative and cute! So, here are the questions, and my answers. :) If I wasn’t working on other things (comic!!), I’d make illustrations to go with it. In the future, hopefully I’ll have time to do things like that!

VAMPIRE: SOMEONE OFFERS YOU A CHANCE AT IMMORTALITY. DO YOU TAKE IT, AND WHY OR WHY NOT?

YES. If I had the chance to become immortal, then there’s no way that I would turn it down, even if I had to become a vampire. I’d go the route of looking for donors, though, instead of stealing blood from people who didn’t want to give it. And under no circumstance would I drink animal blood. Hey, if I was immortal, I could wait as long as possible to eat if there weren’t any willing donors, right?

WEREWOLF: IF YOU HAD TO SPEND YOUR LIFE WITH JUST ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE?  Continue Reading »

Lately, I have been watching from abroad as the northern hemisphere turns orange and brown, and people don fall jackets and drink pumpkin spice lattes. You could argue that it’s better in Hawaii, where it’s still in the mid-80s every day, and the sky is blue and clear. We can still swim any day we want, trapped in our eternal summer.

But I totally miss fall.

It’s hot here, and there isn’t a respite from it. Granted, I’d prefer to be warm over being cold, but it’s not warm. It’s really hot.

So, I’m sure that I’m forgetting what fall is all about, but lately I’ve found myself browsing pictures of autumn leaves on Tumblr one too many times, and saved a huge folder of them to my hard drive. I guess you could say that I miss fall. Something that I honestly thought that I’d never say.

Anyways, I was idly wondering a while ago whether there were any pumpkin patches in Hawaii, and it TURNS OUT THAT THERE ARE! And they give free hay rides during October. I made immediate plans to go with my girlfriend, Thuy, and my roommate Justin.

Continue Reading »

Meet Luna!

When I think about writing in my blog (which is every day), I begin by thinking about how little has changed and how there is little to write about… But as my thoughts wander, I realize that a lot of things have changed, actually, and I have a lot to write about. Like, a lot. A LOT. Oh gosh, a LOT. Then, I start to tally up all of the things that I want to write about, and I start to feel a little overwhelmed, and I see a huge, long, meandering blog post forming in my head that nobody will read all the way through, and I start to fret. WHERE DO I EVEN START?! WHERE DO I END?!? Then, I just decide that it’s too much trouble and move on to something else.

So, in the interest of not doing that, here I go and try to write about something that’s two months overdue: I have a new family member! Her name is Luna. Let me tell you Luna’s story so far:

Continue Reading »

☆彡 Click here for a list of all of the posts in this series. *^_^*

Oh my. I’m sitting here, just after midnight, fully aware that it’s my birthday. My 35th birthday, actually. I don’t feel that age at all, or at least not what I imagined that age to be when I was younger (I should write a post about that). ANYWAYS, this post isn’t about that! This post is here because I’ve been fervently working on a manga, and it’s way behind schedule, but I’m sharing the process with you. That’s the way I roll.

First off, making manga is HARD. WORK. I should know, I did it for two years as an assistant, and I’ve been trying to do it for real, at the same pace, as an adult, and found out that there’s no way to put out a quality manga in a month with the page count and art quality that I want, and do it all alone. I’m so sorry everyone for pushing the release date back, BUT you’re going to have it totally made up to you! Trust me. Well, look and see as we go along.

Today I’m writing about a NAME. A name is what they do in Japan while first writing a manga. If you’ve read or seen Bakuman, then you’re familiar with a Name and what it is. It’s basically a rough rough draft, with sloppy pictures, to put together your manga.


My name. 

You can do this a lot of ways. First, I started with a basic timeline to organize my thoughts. Then, I wrote a page-by-page breakdown of what I wanted to go on every page. I wrote general actions, and even some dialogue. Basically, this was all about getting my thoughts together and putting them in order to make sure that they worked. Does that make sense? It does to me, but I might be fooling myself.


My timeline, breakdown, and finally the actual Name on top.

Let me teach you how by actually answering some questions (that I actually get asked):

So, how do I write a Name? 

I’m glad you asked! It’s fairly simple, though it’s not easy. At least not for me. You think hard about characters, dialogue, and panel layout, and then you draw it with simple drawings or stick figures, or whatever level of detail you want. I recommend going really simple, because you’re probably going to change things as you go on.

I can’t draw. Can I write a Name? 

You sure can! Have you heard of Death Note? Bakuman? Hikaru no Go? Those were all written by one person (whose drawings are terrible) and drawn by another. You can definitely write a comic if you can draw stick figures. Maybe you can find someone to partner with you to draw it, or you can submit it to a publisher. They may not listen, but who knows? They just might, if you have a really amazing, original story.

What format do I use?

Whatever is comfortable for you! I used normal old white printer paper, folded in half to look like a book. The proportions are similar to a manga page, and it was something that I already had on hand. I used a regular mechanical pencil with .3 lead, my favorite. Okay, and I used a pen sometimes, when I felt like it. The point is that you can use anything, any format. Some mangaka draw little tiny thumbnails of pages as their names, and write the dialogue on the side. Some put 4 on one page. Some use the whole page (which I have done). Some don’t even use printer/copy paper, they use special notebooks in Japan that look like manga paper, and are made specifically for Names. I used to own one of these, but it never really worked for me for some reason.

What if I don’t know how to draw the layout?

My best advice is to just draw whatever comes to mind, even if it’s bad, and then move on. When you’ve finished the chapter, you’ll have new thoughts about the beginning and be able to change it. I think the beginning of Denkiki went through 5 or 6 revisions before I was happy enough with it to start drawing.

No, I really don’t know how to draw layouts.

You can always use your favorite manga for reference! I am not saying to copy. It wouldn’t be your own original work if you copied it. But look at the kinds of panels they use, and use that as inspiration. I pulled out my favorite mangas (of the same genre) over and over again while drawing.

How long should it take to finish a complete name?

This is going to depend on a lot of things, like the length of your story, your inspiration and ability to concentrate, and how much experience you have. I worked for years in manga, but I am still a bit of a newbie when it comes to writing names. It took me almost a whole week to draw my name and revise it, and come to something that I really like. That’s about 50 hours, since I was working 10 hours a day. That’s a lot, I know. Arina Tanemura claims that she writes all of her names in one day. Konomi-sensei always seemed to be working on next month’s Name in the studio while we were busy with the current month, so maybe he was on the slower side, too.

Happy drawing, guys! No, it really is that simple! It’s not easy, it is hard work, but it will really pay off when you have a completed story in your hands and can’t wait to get down to drawing it!

Let me know if you have any other questions, and in the meantime, help me reach 100 preorders for my manga! I really, really need everyone’s help, and you can even consider it a birthday present to me! You can order here: http://jamieism.storenvy.com/products/13801038-denkiki-issue-1-is-finally-coming-preorder

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