Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Things Update: Baby Pictures!

My newest nephew Jackson is out in the big world and I've never seen a kid (who wasn't the child of a famous movie star) have more pictures taken of him. Here he is!

7lb. 8oz. 20in.
Dear God, please help me not to drive my parents too crazy before I am a year old. Amen.

Other new things that happened this past week: 

New Doctor:  the 12th Doctor is actor Peter Capaldi, which I'm actually really excited about. I haven't seen him in anything else, but I get the feeling he'll do a great job as the Doctor. He's pretty darn likeable, from what I've seen on the BBC Interview.

New Website: I've been working on my site for the past few weeks and it's almost good to go. Just nitpicking over a few things before the big reveal. After that I'll be querying as an illustrator! I'm both nervous and excited!

New Games: Since the Steam Summer Sale, my oldest nephew Andrew (13) and I have been gaming with our newly aquired booty. At first it was Dungeon Defenders, then it spread to F2P (Free to Play) games like Everquest and Tera: Rising. I just can't keep that kid in games, though! He bored with the MMORPGs fast (since my machine's processor is too slow for Tera, so we can't play together on it) and now he's on Castle Storm which looks like an incredibly fun tower defense game.
It's a new release on Steam and only costs $10.

If anyone has mini gamers in their family, I'd highly recommend Steam for its inexpensive and easily-downloadable games. Kids can spend their allowances on them and still have something left over. As always, be aware of what your kids play and download. Watch out for those M ratings!

New Nonfiction Book Idea: Speaking of being aware, I've been toying with turning that idea into a handbook for parents. It would introduce parents who might not already be geeks themselves to anime, manga, and gaming for their children. It would share terminology, ratings, culture, and genres, putting parents 'in the know' about their kids' newest interests. The more parents understand about these forms of entertainment, the better they can share with and supervise their children in them.

This idea has been boiling in the back of my mind for months now and I keep getting the nudge to start working on it. It was inspired by my own nephews' gaming habits as well as the huge popularity manga has with children at my local library. Even children who don't normally like to read can read manga, and I don't think manga is bad for them. The one thing I do want to emphasize is the rating system most manga has and some parents seem unaware of. It bothers me to see 11-year-olds check out titles that are rated M for sex, drug use, and prostitution while their parents stand beside them, happily oblivious.

Do you think the world could do with a book that introduces parents to anime, manga, and gaming?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What's up Wednesday: So Much is About to Happen!

It seems like it's been much longer than two weeks since I blogged. A lot has been going on and I have a feeling it's only going to get busier.

What I'm Reading: 

Still Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. I've decided I love the story, so even if the writing still seems too florid in places, I have to keep reading to find out what happens. Also, this book is 700+ pages, which explains why I'm still reading it three weeks later. Adult fantasy - you know I love it!

What I'm Working On:

I've been designing a new illustration website. I'm looking for a good portfolio/gallery builder, since basekit sitebuilder (Hostgator's free sitebuilder besides Weebly) isn't good for that. In fact, it's really horrible for that and you have to build the gallery by hand in a sort of table, making the thumbnails one at a time. Not handy.

I've gotten some great ideas, encouragement, and inspiration from my writer/photographer friend Sara Nam who's redesigning her website. Hers is gorgeous and makes me all kinds of jealous, but it's fitting for a photographer, not an illustrator. For my own site, I've made this:

My new site banner for what I hope will be a site that really represents my style. I'll definitely gush all over this blog when I finally have my new site the way I want it.

What Else I've Been Up To:

I may have some great news soon concerning my library job, but for now I'll just say it's very exciting!

Also, Friday my newest nephew will be born! The whole family is anxious to see him - especially my younger sister who he's turned into a beach ball with legs. He's her first - Jackson Donald.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Children's books like this one:

Absolutely gorgeous illustrations! With no words, only pictures, so your little ballerina can read it to herself!

What are you up to this week?
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