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Welp.

Just got back from "Avatar Day" and saw the 15 minutes of footage.  I said I'd post my reaction so here it is...

I will say it made me want to watch the whole thing, but it felt kind of pointless to show only scattered clips.  There was no introduction to what was happening to put it into context (although it was easy to figure out what was happening) and it ended with a playing of the last half of the trailer.  All in all, I think the trailer itself does a better job of selling the film.

As for the 3D technology, it was nothing totally mind-blowing.  If you've ever looked through one of those viewfinder toys, you already know what it looks like.  Think of that, except moving.  It looks JUST like that.  There is some stuttered blurring when things move fast, which is distracting.  It was nice seeing live action footage in 3D, though.  The CG characters looked better overall in 3D, however.  Plus the acting of the CG characters was excellent, I forgot I was watching CG for a while.  I'd say they're on par to Gollum in LOTR.  I really liked the main female alien, she had a lot of presence.

I didn't like the whole Dances With Wolves/Pocahontas feeling the story had, though, or the World of Warcraft Elf race feeling.  It was little corny.  :P  Kazu and I left the theater feeling pretty mediocre about it, but wanting to see the rest of it anyway.  We also left preferring to see it in 2D since the 3D didn't really add much to it.  For us.  It also made us feel like James Cameron is cute to want to make a film like this.  I have a feeling I'll have to go in with a child's eyes to really enjoy it, because it asks us to be whisked away.  Kazu also made the point that it has a similar problem as Assassin's Creid, where you're watching a meta-avatar.  The main character of the film is already an avatar for the audience.  Watching your avatar step into another avatar could get boring real quick.  No one wants to be reminded that they're watching an avatar.  >_<

We'll all go see it come December, anyway!

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Man...

Am I the only one totally excited about the new James Cameron Avatar trailer?  He hasn't let me down once so far, and being a fan of all his previous films I'm most excited to see the story over any 3D special effects.  It's been too long, James Cameron!  Too long!  Why do all my favorite directors tend to drop everything for 3D animation?  I'm looking at you, Robert Zemeckis (although I'm looking forward to your rendition of A Christmas Carol as well).

Tonight Kazu and I go see a free 15-minute screening in 3D.  I'll be back with reactions...  It'll be hard to concentrate on work today.

Edited to add:  Check out this adorable drawing inkandthunder  drew of me and Juni during her stay here.  She whipped this out in like two seconds~ she is so amazing!  :D



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New home, new trimester, new project.

Hope you all had a happy 4th!  We saw the "Americafest" show in Rose Bowl on Khang's recommendation.  This was after he and a whole mess of our able-bodied male friends helped us move all our stuff from our old place to our new place -- a spiffy 2 bedroom 2.5 bath condo with central air that was built in 2006!!  Yes... I believe we've stepped into the next stage of our lives: yuppie parenthood!  I didn't have to lift a finger the whole time because my belly is starting to expand (I'm 20 weeks/little more than 5 months).  Everyone treated me like a princess, but I was still the first one to konk out on the couch for a nap.  Just being on my feet completely drains me of energy, it is pretty ridiculous and frustrating.

Needless to say, after such a long day watching a really loud, bombastic fireworks show was last on my list.  Little Juni (the name of our son-to-be) was kicking around like mad so I put a bag of potato chips over my belly to cushion the sound haha~ totally didn't work.

Life has been massively entertaining, draining, and exciting the last few weeks, for reasons like the above mentioned move/fireworks extravaganza/baby kicking session.  But then there is also a new project I'm working on, and it's not Rema.  It's really fun so far, and such a relief to do after trudging through the mud of writing my first novel.  Rema is safely on hold for now, getting some much needed rest and distance while I've moved onto a new playground that's more lively.  Life is so wonderful, and I love pregnancy.  I love growing older and maturing.  I have nothing but good things to talk about, and when the time's right I'll talk about my new project too.  For now, though, I'll just have to fill my blog with stories about being a pregnant lady.  :P

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Have I mentioned...

That I'm so excited about this game?



I saw a really great movie last night.

Drag Me To Hell was awesome.  It's been a while since I've seen a movie that fully satisfied 100% without my story-sensitive brain picking everything apart, but this happened to be that movie.  It felt just like a haunted house ride, or a thrilling roller coaster.  It reminded me of great horror stories from Tales From The Crypt or the Nightmare on Elmstreet series -- a combination of boo scares and hilarious comedy.  Highly recommended!

Afterwards we all sat around telling each other ghost stories instead of analyzing the film.  You know something's good when it makes you do that.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-REviL75zg

p.s.. I also saw Up and thought it was also good!  It's just that everyone already has seen it so I thought to give Drag Me To Hell some love instead.  :P

Of books and babies...

Above is a watercolor of Tabby waking up in her bedroom (again).  Thinking about doing another one of Philip in his own room waking up, just to show how similar they are.  I'm not sure how helpful doing these drawings are, however.  They certainly aren't helping my writing!  :/

Speaking of which, I'm back in outline mode, taking summaries of draft 2 and 3, highlighting which parts I liked and which parts I thought were boring.  On Khang's recommendation, I've been using a website called bubbl.us, and it's been pretty indispensable so far.  If you're struggling with outlines, I highly recommend it.  It's better than using the old notecard-on-a-corkboard method.  It's easy to rearrange your ideas, you can color code everything, very flexible way of organizing your thoughts.

I'm also 3.5 months pregnant.  This is our first child and my first time dealing with pregnancy.  It's the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me, and I feel more healthy + happy than ever.  Really!  I haven't had much morning sickness or anything (yet).  The baby is progressing well so far, and I feel very lucky to be a woman and be able to experience this.  I've never felt so close to Life before. 

It makes focusing on my book difficult however, because all I can think about is being a mom.  If I don't finish this book by the time Little Amzu is here (temporary name) I'll probably move onto a shorter, simpler project and put Rema on the backburner.  I feel really close to a decent final product, but it's been taking me way longer than I ever could've guessed it would, and momma's gotta make some kind of income eventually.

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Last Cannon

Hello blog!  Long time no post.. isn't that how almost all my posts start?  I've been distracted by life these days (who isn't?).  I'm just popping my head in to mention that my friend Shadi has just got his first iphone game approved as an iphone app!  If you have an iphone, you should definitely check it out in the app store.  It's called Last Cannon, has great gameplay, great sound, and awesome graphics.  Check it out:   http://www.shadiradio.com/toys/lastcannon

You can also read his entry on the subject here.  It still amazes me he was able to make this game so quickly with such a miniscule "staff".  Shadi's also the one responsible for coding my blogging program.  He's a programming machine!

Back at my desk

I've been sick with a cold for the last couple days, and haven't stepped outside my front door at all during that time.  Having difficulty even getting up to get a glass of water, I let myself splurge on some more media.  I watched all of season one of Veronica Mars (great ending!!), I'm almost done with Final Fantasy 4 for the DS, and I started reading John Grisham's The Firm.  I became frustrated with not being able to write or draw, so even though I'm still congested I'm ready for more and am back at the studio.

After much deliberation with my agent, my friends, and some family, it's unanimously agreed upon that my book definitely needs more work!  I'm ready for the challenge though, and have already begun another draft.  Writing is rewriting, as they say, and here I go rewriting it again for a fourth time.  It'll get there.  Eventually.  Wish me luck.  ;)

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Kazu Teaches Comics

 

Just a quick note to promote my husband's upcoming Graphic Narrative Workshop at Gallery Nucleus.  This is a serious, in-depth $500 course of five classes every Saturday, 9am-12pm, from April 18th - May 16th.  He'll be doling out all his secrets -- everything he knows about storytelling, digital painting, and publishing (which is a lot!).  If you're looking for a place to take your work to the next level and get some honest feedback on what you need to do to complete a comic ready for publication, this should be right up your alley.

Check out the registration link here.

Book is finished, and other things.

It's been almost two years (slightly over a year and a half), and after several false alarms, the book is now really done and sent out to my agent.  There's more work -- editorial notes for when (and if?) the book gets picked up, along with creating the proposal package, but for now I'm basking in the sweet, sweet relief of this huge benchmark.

I was having fun posting all the sketches of Tabby and her friends when a whirlwind of stuff happened, some of which I'm not ready to blog about.  But amongst it all, I'm still discovering fun stuff offline to keep my mind active and happy.  Some things I've been enjoying:

Tiger Moon
A super wonderful book with really delicious prose.  Translated from German, this is a story-within-a-story, kind of like Arabian Nights but with only one long fairy tale told over several consecutive days.  I'm about 2/3 the way through finishing this, but I'm loving every single word.  It's undoubtedly one of the best new books I've read of late, and I'm wondering why more people aren't talking about it.  Maybe it'll just take some time...

The Sookie Stackhouse Series
A fun romp of a series, and the basis for the HBO tv show "True Blood".  I haven't seen the show, but from clips I think the books are way better!  They're a bunch of mysteries and romances revolving around the life of Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic barmaid from small-town Louisiana.  There's shape-shifters, vampires, witches, and all kinds of supernatural creatures.  Very fun!

Royksopp's new album "Junior"
This doesn't come out for a few days still (March 23), but you can listen to it all online here.  Man oh man, I can't wait to own this thing!  Every song is so good.  I'm a huge Royksopp fan and wasn't expecting them to come out with a new album, but here they are.  Couldn't be happier.  Check out the magical music video for "Happy Up Here"

It's been nice relaxing for the past few days and catching up on my reading (Still on my list: Wicked, Hunger Games, Kite Runner, and 1776).  I'm really amped for getting back to Rema, though, and have started brainstorming scenes for book 2.  Can't wait to get there!