Writing Updates, 10/16/2014

I mentioned this earlier, but after getting good feedback on a first chapter/short story (I wasn’t sure what it was at the time) I started expanding it into a full novel. This has been a little outside of my usual genre, fitting more into the “New Adult” category (who knew I had anything but middle school kids in my head) though the supernatural/fantasy bit is still a part of it. I’ve been really excited about how it’s been coming out. I’ve been getting something written almost every day, and even had a few days where I wrote several pages. There are still a lot of holes, things I want to add but not sure how to weave it into the story, and basically just a lot of filling out needed. I have to keep reminding myself that first drafts are never that great, all I have to do is reach the end. Which I think I will. Let’s see what happens.

New Hampshire Fall Sky

I’ve also figured out a story I want to try working on for NaNoWriMo. For now I’m figuring out a plot skeleton (I don’t want to get overly detailed, that only ever kills it for me) and maybe some alternate POVs, since I don’t know that the plot is full enough to last through 50k words. But I’m excited, since I haven’t taken part in NaNo in a couple of years.

For reviews, I’m finishing off a longer review/article on the anime Beck for a series on The Fandom Post. Meanwhile my review for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 21 was recently posted on the website.

So that’s me. Other writers, what are you scribbling away at?

Writing Updates: Reviews and Shorts

Let’s quit dwelling and whining for a moment and look at what’s going right.

Thanks to a new anime season, I’ve been getting a lot of episode reviews done lately. Even though I told myself I wouldn’t do it, I put my name down for two series, Wake Up, Girls! and Silver Spoon Season 2 (click the links for my most recent review). While Silver Spoon was a given since I reviewed the entire last season, Wake Up, Girls! caught my interest, and even though it’s not as good as the other show it’s been fun to analyze it each week.

Pink by Kyoko Okazaki
Pink by Kyoko Okazaki

I’ve also been getting some manga reviews done, though not as much. My most recent one is Pink by Kyoko Okazaki. This was an odd story, and I had a difficult time with the review. But, I think this might be the best one I’ve written recently, partly because I’ve been trying very hard to practice the art of Not Spoiling Anything when I write up reviews. I think I succeeded?

For writing-writing, I finished rehashing an old manuscript, and I’m letting it ferment for a little while before printing it out and doing some heavy edits (I’m also out of printer ink, so I gotta wait to get more of that, too). Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a few short stories, which range in doneness from fine tuning to a typo-ridden mess. One, a fantasy-ish story, I’ve sent out a couple times, and though it’s been rejected, I got a very encouraging personal rejection from a big fantasy magazine, which made me more happy than disappointed.

Also, my mad querying dash of the other day may have paid off. We’ll find out…

Review Recap: Bride’s Story, Kamisama Kiss, Lou!

Three of my reviews went up last week. First was my review of the third volume of A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori on Suite 101. This is still probably one of the most beautiful manga I have, and even if the story isn’t always doing what I want it to, I love it.

On The Fandom Post I got up my review of Kamisama Kissvolume 7 by Julietta Suzuki, another very cute and fun volume.

Finally I posted another Suite 101 review, this one of a children’s comic called Lou! by Julien Neel. This one’s about a cute-but-crazy 12-year-old girl trying to fix the love lives of both her mom and herself. It’s really funny, really charming, and I wish I knew a little girl who I could buy it for.

I’ll get at least one other review up this week, plus something resembling a real post for this month’s Manga Movable Feast.

Fandom Post Reviews: Kimi ni Todoke 12 and Nura: Rise fo the Yokai Clan 6

This week two of my manga reviews were post on The Fandom Post.

First was the twelfth volume of Kimi ni Todoke, a truly fantastic shojo romance story. I’ve reviewed random volumes of this manga, and had to make up for the blank spots with library rentals. I love it so much that now I want to own all those volumes I’ve already read.

The other review was for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 6. I’ve been reviewing this series for a while, and while it kept getting better it’s kind of evened out. Still, it’s a pretty decent shonen story, when they keep to the demon stuff and ignore the fact that the main character is still in middle school.

Review Recap: Velveteen & Mandala

I meant to get my review of Dark Horse’s Chimichanga, but I haven’t quite gotten it finished yet. So, only one review popped out this week: Velveteen & Mandala by Jiro Matsumoto. This manga has interesting art, and an initially intriguing premise, but there are some things that just turned out a little too…gross…for me.

This week I’ll certainly finish my Chimichanga review, and possibly a look at the first Digital Manga Guild title, Tired of Waiting for Love.

Recent Manga Reviews: Kurozakuro and Blue Exorcist

I haven’t made this kind of post in a while, probably because I’ve been busy and my review writing has slowed down. But here are a couple that I’ve gotten up recently.

Kurozakuro by Yoshinori NatsumeFirst is my review of Kurozakuro volume 2 over at the Fandom Post. (Chris Beveridge no longer works with Mania, instead writing on this website, and all of his reviewers followed him.) I haven’t read the first volume of this series, but this one was interesting. Monster designs are boring, though, and where the heck did all the female characters go?

The next review I wrote was for Real Otaku Gamer: Blue Exorcist volume 1. This supernatural manga has a fun but predictable story, but the real high point of it is Kazue Kato’s character designs and background art. I have some images up on the review if you want to check it out.

I’m just about finished with my review for Kurozakuro volume 3, and after that I’ll have a series of short reviews of mostly Yen Press material. After that, I’ll likely be reading the Arina Tanemura manga that’s been staring at me. (I mean, literally, the girl on the cover has huge eyes, they’re boring into me.)

Reviews: Lady Kanoko, Beauty and the Squat Bears

You might notice, I’ve changed the name and address of the site. I’m trying something new, and hopefully it works out; I don’t want to have to change the address again.

I’ve mentioned it before, but last week I posted a review on Real Otaku Gamer for The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko volume 1. It’s a really fun shojo manga, and I just can’t get enough of the heroine.

Yesterday I tried something new and wrote a review for a picture book: Beauty and the Squat Bears by Emile Bravo. I was worried I wouldn’t know how to write about this – what the heck do I know about what kids would like, anyway? – but it was really fun! I hope I get the chance to review something like that again.

Next up for reviews will likely be a couple of manga from VIZ Media. I’ve also received an advance copy (by like a week) of a YA novel from Razorbill, which is really neat! Though I don’t know if I’ll have the time to get to it since it’s pretty thick.

Another Place for My Reviews – BookNom

Tasty Book Reviews
BookNom.net

Last week I signed on to write for a new website, BookNom.net. The website, run by Matt Blind, is a review site for books – any books! – that the reviewers love. Yup, no bad reviews here, only glowing recommendations.

Earlier this week Matt put up a Q & A he had with me to introduce me as a writer, and I posted my first review for the site, Slam Dunk volume 1. Yes, this is a manga, like I tend to review, oh, everywhere else. But it’s the book I had most recently read that I really liked. I’ll be posting up recommendations for novels and children’s books later, as I read and love them.

I want to add that BookNom is still looking for contributors, since it’s a new site without too many writers. I’ve only written one review, but I can say that it was fun, and Matt is an easy person to work with. If you’re interested, give it a look.

My Great Manga Gift Guide! Plus Short Manga Reviews

Well, I finally got it up yesterday: my Great Manga Gift Guide on Bookworm’s

Sumomomo, Momomo by Shinobu Ohtaka
Sumomomo, Momomo

Corner.  I’ve read a lot of the other gift guides that have come out, and those are more well-written, and often-times more thematic, than mine is, so check out Daniella’s list of 2010 guides if you don’t care for mine.

Before I wrote that, though, I got two sets of short reviews up on Suite 101. First there were Ichiroh! volume 3, Sumomomo, Momomo volume 6 and Black God volume 11. The best in that bunch was Sumomomo, and the worst was Ichiroh! – it’s a comedy manga, but I hardly found it funny.

Spice & Wolf
Spice & Wolf

The next article reviewed two titles, Spice & Wolf volume 3 and Nabari no Ou volume 5. I really enjoyed the characters in Spice & Wolf, and was surprised to find the plot so exciting,but Nabri no Ou was just blah.

I sent in a review for Sumomomo, Momomo volume 4 to Mania yesterday, so that should be up next week, and my next Suite 101 review will be a shojo manga from VIZ Media, Kamisama Kiss.

Dalai Lama Review, Facebook, and Another Blog

The 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography
The 14th Dalai Lama

On monday I posted my review of The 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography on Suite 101, which I received from Penguin books. It was a really interesting history lesson that made the invasion of Tibet by China emotional. I wish there had been an even deeper look into the Dalai Lama’s personal life, but that wasn’t really the whole point of the manga.

I made this a little while ago, but I created a Facebook page just for my writing. This way I’ll have a place to post links to articles and blog posts on a page that isn’t locked, like my personal page is.

Also this week, I started a new blog, Bookworm’s Corner. This will basically be a place for me to talk about things I read, or any book/reading news I find relevant. Please check it out and give me some feedback, so I know what’s working .