It's 11 PM. I got up at like 2 PM, but I'm still fairly tired, so...nap time. I've not done much for today, even though I really should have. I'll get to it soon enough, though.
Today, I heard a song I haven't heard in literally years.
In case that doesn't work for you, that's Outside, by Staind.
It's actually one of my all-time favorite songs, and I was dumbfounded when I suddenly heard it. Loved every second of it, and am extremely happy and in a good mood because of it. That song is magical. It not only is a great song, but something about the lyrics has always resonated with me.
In some ways, I think it might be a reflection of my online life, actually, especially at my darker times: all my insecurities, all the times I've had to face the hard truths, seen them in others and reflected them in me, how I can stare into the heart of anything even if it's something I don't want to look at, how I've felt trapped, how there are things I will never have that I've dreamed of, the many times I've been sad, the times I've let my arrogance get the better of me because of stupid pride, how I waste more time than anyone else, the pain within me, how I suppress my emotions only to have them backfire by returning with a vengeance, the feeling of being alone and broken, having burned most bridges with nobody to blame but myself and being unable to repair them...yet with the vague promise of maybe having a better tomorrow.
Really, it should be no surprise why it resonates so well with me.
I don't remember when I first heard it.
But I know that with every passing year, I've loved that song more and more, in spite of me hearing it less and less.
And I never felt as good as how I do right now
Except for maybe when I think of how I felt that day
When I felt the way that I do right now, right now.
...But seriously. The latest page of Red Hood Rider is up.
It'll be the last for four weeks, as I focus on writing for two and build my buffer up for the remainder, butstill...it's some of my best work, and I love it appropriately.
Thursday night to be precise. (So this could equally be dated on Thursday, though knowing weebly, it'd put this much later article before the one I made earlier in the day.)
But some things are too cute to wait 'til morning.
I haven't blogged about the cuteness of our kitten, in part because that goes without saying. (Know how our dog is a lapdog? We apparently have a lap-kitty.)
But for our other cat, he has his cute moments as well. Aside from the cuteness of his mew, which we're seeing a lot of right now (he's...not exactly amused at the intruder to his house!), there are moments like what happened. See, I was wrapping up for the night: didn't feel like doing games, and not enough time to properly handle comics, with me also not wanting to get started on writing. I wanted to get to bed earlyish, so as to wake up earlyish and tackle the tasks for the day.
Well, that, or do some of the drawing I need to do.
...Then, glancing at the couch (well, loveseat) right next to the computer...there I saw him rather cutely sprawled out. But he wasn't asleep. No! He was awake...and looking at me. And without me even beginning to pet him, he had begun to purr.
Another cute minute after 15 minutes of giving him attention? We have this little toy mouse, which I believe has catnip on it. As far as the rest of the family knows, he has no interest in toys for the most part. Maybe he doesn't have interest in them as toys...but he kept rubbing...and rubbing...and rubbing this little mouse toy, and that was a ridiculously adorable moment.
And that's why I came to blog about the moment to you.
You know, the inspiration behind the special electric blade I designed? Serrated blade on one side, normal blade on the other, blade literally splits down the middle, the two points clashing at the tips produce the sparks which shoot from the blade, that thing?
Well, this one has jewelry on it. I've encountered this one before, but not often, and I haven't really thought much of using it...until now. See, one of the main things which makes the electric blade such a powerful weapon is that, in a Quincy-like way, it can draw energy from its surroundings into the weapon, and then discharge it. (This is, of course, not at all an ability unique to the weapon in any setting I've had it in, with it being a virtual necessity in most stories, actually.) If the surrounding area has a correspondence to the blade, then there's bonus energy absorbed.
Well, today I had the thought that the white gem on there could be a focal point to draw even more energy in than normal...and also, to make it even better, maybe even turn a dual-elemental weapon into a triple-elemental weapon: darkness, light, and energy, for a rather painful, super-powerful bolt.
Which would make a fine second upgrade to Black Lightning's Storm Reign, and I know just the spot to give it to him!
Another thing I found was, yesterday, in randomly browsing...someone having made a drawing of Ruby. I had absolutely no knowledge of this. It was made six months ago, and I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across it, especially since I had no awareness of it prior to last night. If I get permission from the artist to show it off, then I'll put it on Red Hood Rider's main site's (that is, ComicFury) fanart page so you can see it. Was rather impressed at what they did especially given that at the time, there were basically no colored pictures of Ruby.
So no detailed blog entry here.
I will say this, though.
I'm working on Heroes of Gistou again, finally, so...we'll have to see if something comes of it!
So I was running low on practical drawing ideas for Inktober come last night: I have just enough to cover through today, but beyond that, the remaining six days I had no material for. But then, last night, I had the best of dreams. In it, I had printed out a copy of a critique from a professional who I respected, and she gave me all sorts of useful pointers. The dream switched between comics and writing it seemed without warning, but seemingly out of the blue, I discovered I had found three new people to draw, because they were featured if only for an iota of a moment.
So now, I've got three to bring out: Athena, Amber, and Sam. The name Athena actually came in the dream. The names Amber and Sam just feel right. The characters aren't necessarily all linked to one another, though Amber and Sam at the least are. And even if they are, heck if I know where they'd be. I don't have any preexisting stories which they are definitely in, nor do I necessarily have the material where they'd have a story of their own.
But I'm happy all the same.
An actual surprise!
Not that it matters much.
I had things I was going to talk about.
I remember almost none of them.
Vaguely, I recall wanting to talk about how yesterday went. Good news: no parents, no Chuck, so I got time to read and listen to Locals Only.
Bad news: immediately after, I crashed for four hours. As in, slept basically a full night between 10 and 2. Where I woke up. And went to bed past 7, not because I was tired, but because I had counseling today and knew I also needed a shower. That second sleep, also 4 hours, taking me to 11:30 or thereabouts. So I only got...one and a half days worth of reading done.
I'm beginning to think the idea of me commenting on all those comics and the idea of me having a chance of doing anything else in my day are mutually exclusive. It's difficult to so much as hold ground, yet alone, gain it. Especially since tonight's going to be my art night...as soon as I figure out what to blog about on my work blog. Been having some terrible writer's block there.
Obviously, yesterday having some work in it, and also being anime night, and also being night before work (meaning, no staying up until 7 AM given that's the time I leave on Sundays), that left little time for activities I should do. So, I was debating: I have a lot of time on Sundays. If I don't nap, I theoretically have twelve hours just to take me to a normal bed time of 1:30 AM. (Yes, that's my normal.) By my current standard (which is looking more and more like 6:30-7), that'd be 18 hours of time.
Now, mind you. My family insists on watching Chuck religiously, eating up time. (I like the show. I absolutely hate the time which they select for us to watch the show, especially since locals only starts at 8, and they seem obsessed with the idea of starting at like 7:50 or so and always watching at minimum two episodes if not three...taking us to like 9:45 at best.)
I also crash for anywhere between 1-4 hours usually. (I've explained why this happens before, though I've noticed it being necessary less and less.) I also need to eat. And I don't always have access to the tools I need. Butstill! The fact remains, of all my days, I'd say Sunday is the day I have the most free time in. (I have a nightly obligation each weekday, at least during show season, which we're in right now between DWTS and Agents of Shield. Throw in square dance season and round dancing and family night and also biweekly counseling, and my weekdays have a fair amount. Plus, I wake up at like 11:30 every day, so I'm not exactly getting an early start those days.)
I faced a decision: work on getting caught up as a reader in comics today, or work on getting caught up as an artist in drawings today. I do need to do both, but I can't handle both today: doing one sacrifices the other, and if I did both, neither would get complete. (Though, both would still make significant progress!)
Work today made that decision much easier.
It being stressful, and confidential, I don't want to talk about it. Even if I was allowed, which I'm not. It was just...not a good day, and I need something to make me feel better than I am right now. Both activities would probably do this...but I have to say, I far prefer reading and commenting to drawing, because drawing can be frustrating; reading is nothing but a blast.
Worst case scenario, if reading becomes a chore I get tired of, I switch to the drawing. I know, I just said that doing so would mean neither gets finished, but we're talking worst case, here. Best case scenario, I finally fix being basically a whole week behind on my subscriptions. (I know not many people from ComicFury read this blog--there are a few!--but if you're one of them and you haven't seen me comment, now you know why. I'm at the sixteenth, almost seventeenth, in terms of subscribed comics. And I haven't refreshed that page since the 19th. But trust me, I know I can do this.)
There is the risk that I lose access to both (vacate the computer while my drawing stations are inconveniently placed/occupied, rendering drawing difficult), but I'll have to take it.
Before I begin that, though, I did want to talk about my comics a bit.
I'll start off with the wrong one. Well, one of them. An abandoned project of mine--thanks to how out-of-my-element I would have been--was Earth.
I wrote down the backstory in notes some random spot I'd have to track down, but the basics more or less go like this:
Humanity was super-advanced in technology. They had developed limited terraforming. (They can't terraform every type of planet, not even if they're solid rock. However, they can terraform most of them.) Whenever they couldn't terraform, they had the ability to create domed cities which would be either completely, or near-completely self-sufficient. They had developed faster-than-light travel, and spread out across the galaxy, to endless locations.
The history behind the politics of humans pre-"encounter", as it's now known, aren't exactly clear. It's generally accepted that humanity wasn't united, but to what extent they were divided is a question that will remain a mystery of the ages. What isn't a mystery is how humanity became unified:
They encountered a hostile alien race, which was vastly superior to their own. Now, this alien force isn't quite something as drastic as "Old world invading the New world", from earth history. The gap between humanity and the aliens wasn't too insurmountable. But it did exist, and it was enough to create the following situation:
The aliens were more advanced than humanity. Their technology was entirely alien to humans as well, who had no clue how it functioned. Now, this isn't "rock vs laser". It's more like early-1800s musket vs AK-47: still VERY bad for the humans, but it's not like humanity wasn't able to comprehend the technology. With exposure, they were able to deduce much of its machinations, even reverse-engineer some of it, slightly leveling the playing field.
Furthermore, humanity wasn't going to leave it at just recreating what the aliens had made. They did do things like try and improve the alien tech (not with much success, mind you), and better hybridize the alien tech with their own, and use the alien tech in unconventional ways. But one of the main reasons humanity was able to continue the fight was that they were also creating technology that the aliens didn't have. Technology not necessarily better, but also not inherently worse.
Between these factors, humanity was giving one hell of a fight. Still, all the same...they also had a numerical disadvantage. Sources place it at a minimum of 3-to-1. Some claim it could be as much as 100-to-1. Those numbers, at the beginning of the war. Because humanity started off at such a strong disadvantage and lost so much early ground, obviously, those numbers would continue to shift more and more to the extreme side.
Humanity was able to win fights, but always Pyrrhic in nature. Whenever they beat back an assault, another would come before they could recover, forcing a strategic retreat. Ground was lost. Eventually, last stands began taking place. These people were insanely talented: elite ace pilots of humanity could take down dozens or even hundreds of enemy fights without being killed, but their resources were growing thinner and thinner.
Everything humanity could do, they did, but they still were fighting a losing battle, one which they could never win. They tried to stall. They tried to prevent their bases from being located, but the trails were still traceable enough, so always the assaults would continue.
Eventually, the aliens reached the solar system, and many sacrifices were made, up to and including blowing up a planet with people still on there. Every colony was wiped out, including the lunar one, but the lunar colony, when detonating, created a radioactive wasteland which tore apart most of the invading fleet.
This bought humanity some critical time as the invaders recovered their considerable losses. Especially since the new asteroid belt surrounding Earth made them incredibly difficult to attack.
...Unfortunately, that's "difficult". Not impossible, and eventually the aliens managed exactly that. Humanity, by this point, has been reduced basically to rubble. They have maintained all their advances, and because of this, were close to closing the tech gap. In fact, they had developed a new superweapon which helped defend the world, but it was incredibly destructive to the planet, a double-edged sword: they knew it worked, but it was killing them.
The aliens eventually left when the superweapon detonated, thought to be an overload, and no signs of human life were left on the planet. Earth being the last remnant of humanity and their homeworld, it was thought over forever. And to be fair...humanity thought so, too! A few humans had managed to survive, in deep-underground shielded facilities, but they were still partially irradiated.
Between their severe lack of population, and knowing that fertility rates wouldn't be the best, they concluded that they'd go extinct. So what they did, is they engineered evolution: played god for what they 'knew' would be one last time, to forcefully make some surviving creatures be intelligent such that maybe, just maybe, at least one of them would live long enough to inherit humanity's legacy.
...What humanity couldn't have predicted is just how tremendously successful the project was, and these created lifeforms saw their dieing creators with a universal promise: they were going to save their gods. And, by a close margin, it looks like they're on their way to succeeding, a few generations down the line. Also featured in the story are a few AIs, though they are not too numerous.
This is all backstory, for a webcomic that is ultimately a post-apocalyptic crapsack world......slice-of-life (dark-humor) comedy. As in, it holds very little plot progression beyond that. In the future created, there are some elements which are nice: interspecies relationships are legal (with some restrictions), as are same-sex ones. Adoptions are common for those who cannot have kids, and it is not mandatory to have kids.
...There are much, much darker sides to that, though. Interspecies relationships cannot produce offspring, and in the case of species who are hard to keep alive (especially humans), that can be an inconvenience. Same for same-sex ones. If a person chooses not to procreate for any reason, they must donate their ability to do so elsewhere. Overpopulation is a problem as well, because while some species are endangered, there's still only so much habitable space on the still-devastated planet. (We're talking, less space than we have right now, basically.)
So, things are carefully arranged: marriages, babies, whatnot. You have the freedom to deviate from any recommendation, but these do carry weight, so by doing so, you must be willing to give them something in return.
And, as another note: vegetation is slowly regrowing especially thanks to technology, but not enough to feed everyone, and some species aren't omnivores or herbivores. There's also not enough livestock (that is, unevolved life) to go around for those carnivorous species. So, the society evolved there has a culture which is fairly squicky to most people: the dead of most species are given funerals, but instead of these funerals being "bury in the ground" or "cremate into ashes", are "turned into processed food".
Mind you, it's still a taboo to eat your own species, and also a health concern. But eating the dead of another species is the social norm. In short, things...aren't really the best in that world, but believe it or not, none of this is what I was here to talk about.
I was here because it was the aliens I wished to discuss. Before, I didn't really know much about them. Now, I'm thinking that their technology and biology are half-inverted from ours. Their biology is still biology, in that they reproduce similarly to us, consume resources similar to us, and produce waste similar to us, but they are formed from more synthetic material.
I was thinking maybe they have a crown of antennae (which act as their senses) which house their central processor (brain, more or less), and their bodies are various tendrils (so, vaguely like a jellyfish) which can manipulate objects, process energy, send out communications, and reproduce, among other functions.
Their technology, meanwhile, would have some organic feel to it. This wouldn't be biotech/organic tech, per se. We're not talking a ship grown from plants. Their technology is produced, just like they reproduce rather than be built. It's just that the produced technology holds some minor biology, in that it can morph off of different situations arising based on available resources, essentially.
This technology was poisoned during the war, which is one reason the aliens didn't bother to harvest the remains of the broken human worlds. It also is at a bit of a stagnant level, because these aliens are the dominant (and to them, thought only) lifeform in the universe, and they lack internal strife, so they lack a drive forward. It is still, however, relevant to humanity.
I may retcon like half of what I'm saying here about the aliens, but I thought I'd get it off my chest.
In actual Red Hood Rider work, I'm basically working out the background color for different characters. I need 13 or so total: Ruby, Gary, Sally, Hannah, Dark Ruby/Ryan, Dale, Herald, D.D., Vili, Whitney, Amy, Rin, and Asp.
I want all of them to be bright colors, thus why Ruby is pink. (Whitened red = pink.)
Sally's going to be green.
Dark Ruby's going to be gray.
Dale's going to be silver.
Hannah's going to be yellowish.
D.D.'s going to be orange.
Vili is going to be purple.
Whitney is going to be white.
Gary is going to be blue.
And from there, I'm not sure what to use. I've got brown free, but four characters who need a background color: Herald, Amy, Rin, and Asp.
Probably different shades of some colors, though not precisely sure which ones yet.
And she is ever-dominant. Our small little kitten is capable of bossing around our fully adult male cat and dog.
There's more to the day than that, but not something I'll discuss.
That being said...the new page of Red Hood Rider went live six hours ago, and has just been posted on here, too. I'm running the process of mirroring it elsewhere now.