Monday, June 30, 2008

I GOT DEOXYS, fan trailers and other videos, Cal State orientation, thoughts on writing, etc.

Yay yay yay I got Deoxys. I am so happy. This is the first event Pokémon I've been able to obtain. After all, I missed Darkrai on that weekend, and I've always missed the other U.S. events. I am going to try to obtain Manaphy though, via the Pokémon Ranger connection (you have to beat Ranger and then put in this code, which I found in a Pokémon-related mini-magazine -- then you can do a special mission and get the Manaphy Egg, which you can transfer to your Diamond or Pearl game). Through Manaphy, you can get another really rare Pokémon, Phione, which is only obtainable by breeding Manaphy with Ditto (the Pokémon who can breed with anybody). Although, I just heard on WTPT that you can also possibly get Phione by trading with Hayley in the new Wiiware game My Pokémon Ranch.

The Deoxys is level 50 (typical starting level for most legendaries nowadays, including the three "lake Pokémon" in Diamond and Pearl) and comes in a Cherish Ball (the default ball for all Diamond and Pearl event Pokémon so far; events are the only way to obtain this ball without cheating). It also, for some odd reason, comes holding the item Nevermeltice, an item that powers up ice-type moves. The news blurb about the Deoxys giveaway on (Pokémon's official site) explains that this has to do with the fact that when it came from space, it crashed into ice (probably referring to Deoxys's landing in the movie Destiny Deoxys, where it landed in the Arctic). However, this psychic-type form-changing Pokémon has no ice-type moves (although when I did research earlier today I found out that it can learn two ice-type moves -- Ice Beam and Avalanche -- via TM's). However, having the item is nice, since otherwise it is almost impossible to obtain the Nevermeltice item in Diamond and Pearl (the only other way to get it is to catch a Snover that is holding one, something that would be more a matter of luck than anything else).

This Deoxys comes with four moves: Zap Cannon, ExtremeSpeed, Psycho Boost, and Iron Defense, which are Electric-type, Normal-type, Psychic-type, and Steel-type moves respectively. Deoxys would normally learn these moves by leveling up anyway, but not till much higher levels (ExtremeSpeed, for example, it doesn't learn normally till level 97!). A same-type move (Psycho Boost) is nice, since Pokémon's attacks become boosted in power 50% if they match the Pokémon's elemental type. It also comes with a Classic Ribbon, like the other event Pokémon for Diamond and Pearl.

I finished the fan trailers I wrote about last time...yay. I am SOOO relieved. They were cool, but a LOT of work. I have to do another fan trailer (for a request; it's not part of that series I just finished though) and after that, I think I won't do it again for a while, if ever, unless I get a better movie making program (which, if I get a new laptop, I probably will, since it will likely have Vista and thus have Vista's version of Windows Movie Maker, which is pretty much the same as the version I currently have, except for some new effects). I don't know if the new Movie Maker (the one in Vista) is any better editing-wise. So much of that depends on the person making a movie, not the program.

Aside from the aforesaid request (a "Star Locket"-based version of my "The Golden Sailor Moon Compass" vid, which is a Sailor Moon trailer with audio from the Golden Compass teaser), I have one other regular video on my to-do list: an Ichigo/Kisshu ship video, from Kisshu's perspective. It'll be set to the song "Here's My Hello" by Blake Lewis (runner-up from season 6 of American Idol). Now, I'm normally an Ichigo/Masaya fan, but this song screams Ichigo/Kisshu (as did the last Ichigo/Kisshu vid I did, to the song "Dismissed" by ZOEgirl) so I'm doing it on that couple. After those two vids, I can focus on fandubs -- my solo ones for BookSmartz Productions (my backup account) and group ones I'm running (my Dark Mercury Arc Fandub Project and the upcoming "Best of Fujiwara Zakuro Fandub Series"). Not to mention I have to keep up with my lines for two PGSM fandubs I've been cast in. I've been cast in PrincessSerena9899's PGSM fandub as Ms. Haruna (Usagi's teacher) and Kuroki Mio (a part I've done in other PGSM fandubs that I seem to enjoy playing, even though she's technically a baddie). I'm also playing Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen now, at PrincessSerena9899's request (the person cast in that part didn't get his lines in on time). Meanwhile, another user by the name of AmyMizunoPGSM decided to host a PGSM fandub too and made a casting call video almost identical to PrincessSerena's (even down to the audition lines). She sent me a message asking me to audition. For that one I've been cast as Kusaka Hina (Mamoru's fiancée and childhood friend, a character unique to PGSM) and (once again) Kuroki Mio. So I'm going to be busy (especially with PrincessSerena's -- Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen appears a LOT in PGSM).

Hold on. I just saw that PrincessSerena (whose real name, I found out, is the same as mine) has posted Act 1 of the fandub. I'm going to watch it.

Gah. I try to load the page and the bottom bar says it's looking for "" again. This has been happening even after I un-installed the Megaupload Toolbar that I installed to make getting episodes for the SM/Goblet of Fire trailer easier.

Eh well while I wait for that, a little update. I went to my orientation at Cal State on the 12th. I wrote about this before, but it was in a post that never got posted cause I had to run out the door before finishing it. It worked out ok, but the first two hours, during which I became hungry and in need of a bathroom, were hard to sit through.

After going through academic advising, we enrolled for classes. Since the core classes in my major (Literature and Writing Studies) are all full, I am taking a French class (Intermediate French I) for my minor, an elective in my major (Comparative American Ethnic Literature), and two classes for the three-class upper-division GE track I found out I have to do: Human Heredity and Modern African History.

Grr. Shouldn't have done the "repair connection" thing when I had files downloading. It reset the connection with the servers for those sites, interrupting the downloads.

Okay got everything under control. I got the files downloading again and watched the available parts of the aforesaid fandub. I only had a small role in it, as Miss Haruna (PrincessSerena used a different person for Mamoru, probably cause she having trouble getting my lines). I also downloaded a complete-season torrent for Tokyo Mew Mew, because I think I'll need all 52 eps to pick from for that Ichigo/Kisshu video, and getting a torrent is the quickest way to get all 52 (albeit torrents take a long time to download, but you can get a whole season at once when the torrent finishes downloading). It's like 10 gigs, but it's worth it.

Last topic...writing. I just finished a book today that I found at Barnes and Noble when looking for something else. It is called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Fiction. It's one of those books that is worth reading for your own self-improvement, but hurts you personally too. From this book, I learned that Christian fiction is just as hard to write as regular fiction, maybe harder. I also found out that fantasy and sci-fi -- the genres of the stuff I currently have unfinished -- are hard sells in the Christian market, especially for a first-timer. -sigh-

I said something to Papa yesterday when discussing the book that may be enlightening. I said that I am starting to think that the reason I fail often in my writing of novels is that I don't usually set out to write a Christian novel. I set out to write a novel, and then try to make it Christian afterwards. Now, technically, revising a story to make it more Christian would probably be ok if I had a finished manuscript. But I don't -- two of my more recent stories are still pretty much in synopsis stage (on one, I've only written one chapter, and not that great of one actually -- I was constrained by limited space available in Anime Angels, the Christian anime/manga e-zine I'm a staffer for and that I am publishing that story in), while my one actual manuscript (of Us Against the World) is not finished. So I think this is where the agony comes in.

Right now I am stuck revising the Lightning Girl storyline. This storyline began as a comic script written back when I was in high school that told the story of Coral Chandler, a girl who gets struck by lightning one night and gains all these superhero powers, including the ability to create and control lightning. She gets found by the leader of a superhero group, the Percival House Heroes, and joins them in their fight. The leader dies in the final battle, and the leader's recently-found daughter, who has responsibilities of her own as the Star Child (a sort of "savior of the galaxy"), disbands the group. This script (the original of which is now lost) was followed by a sequel, entitled "Lightning Girl 2: Chaos of the Light and the Dark" (the subtitle was borrowed from the translation of a Sailor Moon S Japanese episode title), which was set eighteen years later and was what is often called a "next-generation" story, in that it featured the children of the heroes from the first story. It was a retelling of the Norse myth of the Ragnarok (basically the Norse version of the apocalypse), with my own characters. As such, practically everybody on the team dies in the final battle, and the script ends with Percival House, the heroes' base, being demolished to make room for an amusement park.

However, after this, I remembered that I am not a good artist. So drawing a comic would be well nigh impossible for me, especially since I don't draw people well. (Although I'm interested in learning -- I picked up a couple "how to draw manga" books recently, as well as a "Manga for Dummies" kit, all three of which I picked up at conventional art product stores). So I tried to revise the Lightning Girl story into a novel, and quickly learned why superhero stories usually aren't told in novels. The first couple versions were (I think) similar to the original (they're lost now), and versions three and four had two members of the previous team, Vega and Mira, as main characters, both in situations involving Christian underground groups fighting non-Christian bad guys (this seemed like the only way to make the story Christian). Version five became my yet unfinished manuscript, a Christian-themed sci-fi novel called Us Against the World (named after a song by the band Play that I heard in the movie Holiday in the Sun), which once again had Vega as a main character and dealt primarily with the spiritual conflict between Christianity and the New Age, the idea of when it is appropriate for Christians to defy the government, and (in a subplot) the rather edgy topic of rape and rape drugs (one of the main quartet is a rape victim).

The subsequent revision attempts have involved the integration of Avalon Jacobs's character, who I added to the cast while mentally thinking out the plotline for a Lightning Girl animated series (in another attempt to figure out an appropriate medium for this story, since novelization wasn't working out). Through this revision process, the idea of the Christian Youth Alliance, a group of Christian young people who function much like a superhero team but use spiritual gifts and natural talents to do their work, rather than magical power, arose. This story, meant to be Christian from the beginning, seems to have done better in development. However, picking a specific gift for each member has been difficult (some of the spiritual gifts don't translate well to a battle setting).

The most recent Lightning Girl revision attempt sprung from an inspiration to do a story about characters with various physical and mental disabilities who are in a support group. They get special powers from a mysterious tree, and the subsequent experiences help push them closer to God. I attempted to work out the exact logic of how these experiences would goad the characters toward God in a "plot dump" at the end of the synopsis, provided by the highly knowledgeable Valorane. In theory, it seemed like a good book, but the idea of an ensemble cast didn't quite work (it was hard to focus on everybody equally), and the Christian elements I added seemed really forced. Working out a different spiritual "dilemma" for each character was very difficult. All in all, I think now it was a failure of a storyline. Eh well, hindsight's always 20/20, ne?

I think I really need to dump the Coral storyline altogether. Avalon's storyline (as outlined in the story I'm doing for Anime Angels) is okay. But the idea of making that story part of a series with the CYA story and the story I described in the last paragraph presents some problems. Also, between these attempts and Us Against the World, there are obvious unintentional character continuity errors caused by the re-use of character names for characters that are not the same.

The CYA story and Avalon's story -- which both have potential -- do not need to be part of a series; they both stand well alone, particularly Avalon's, which has closure in the end in the form of some "epilogue"-esque information at the end about who she marries and a vague statement about her death ("No one knows how she died. Some say...").

The CYA story has possible potential to be somewhat of a gothic novel, since the CYA's base is Mr. Lyndon's family mansion, which was built in the eighteenth century. Gothic novels (including one of my favorites, Jane Eyre) often take place in scary old mansions. Although that brings up the idea of, should I still set it in the future? I'm not sure yet if technology will play a mentionable role, as it does in Us Against the World (which, due to its theme about Christians defying the government, is probably best left in a futuristic setting, to avoid any possible libel accusations resulting from misinterpretations of the work comparing the bad guys -- Sphere -- to any current oppressive government body that particularly has a religious bent, such as the Chinese government). If it doesn't, a contemporary setting may work just as well.

The Avalon story, on the other hand, pretty much has to be futuristic because the bulk of the resolution of the novel takes place on Charmia, which is not only another planet but a made-up one at that, located in a galaxy (Andromeda) that it is not likely we will be able to visit with manned spacecraft any time soon. Although, if I choose to dump the Coral storyline completely, I have to cut Dr. Crestwell (in previous LG versions she is the leader of the Percival House Heroes) out from her cameo appearance and replace her with some other character. Also, when I re-read the synopsis today, I realized I have to find some way to explain how Shea (Avalon's younger sister, who cast her curse) suddenly becomes all genial around Avalon after their first meeting with the queen of the witch-sirens (who, now that I've read the His Dark Materials series, will probably be influenced by Serafina Pekkala).

Because closure is given for Avalon at the end of her story, I need to change her character in the CYA story to someone else, to create continuity and establish that story as separate from Avalon's story. Plus, of course, Avalon's story ends with saying she died, so that would be a problem continuity-wise with the CYA story as it now stands.

I've got to go eat dinner. Bye.


Rhiannon said...

Wow! I am really happy for you! I love deoxys so much, so i traded over wi-fi with a level 100 regigigas. I now have a level 100 deoxys :* I t is so cute, don't you agree? I got arceus i the same fashion. The only thing that is possibly wrong with the deoxys is that it's name is in japanese.

Misty said...

You traded a Regigigas for the Deoxys? Wow. Not something I would've done - I learned my lesson after trading away my first holo TCG card (a Ninetales) for a bunch of other cards that weren't worth as much.

The person you traded with might've gotten the Deoxys from the GTS, which would explain the Japanese name.