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What to expect in the coming weeks

It has been a surprisingly busy season. With the release of Hell’s Gate book 2: Resurgence on October 13th so closely together after our first release Hell’s Gate book 1: Awakening, it’s been a bit…crazy to say the least. I am super happy to report that book two is right on track and I can’t wait to release it to all of you. If you aren’t familiar with my work, you can check it out on my YouTube page, or on my tab linked here on my website.

  1. I’m ecstatic to announce that my comics will be picking up again on Tuesdays. I had to take a break with the Hell’s Gate editing phase of book two.  Now that it is over, I can get back to giving you the lawls. Which in all honesty, I love funny. Taking things too seriously is just plain─ awkward to me.

See my audio short Mom’s Diary to get a feel for my less-than-conventional views on life.

My main comic is about my day-to-day life as:

  1. a high-functioning autistic woman living in society
  2. living with an autistic bf and the joys of that

I roll my eyes these days at everyone claiming to be all of these ridiculous things and it seems like people often are ‘riding off the coattails’ of autism and making money. If I had to describe what I’ve experienced, I would say Atypical is pretty accurate.

I get equally annoyed at someone that talks to me like I’m an effing child.

  1. I’m not mentally handicapped─ my perception is different than yours. Please don’t use the ‘I’m talking to a child’ voice with me.
  2. I don’t process emotions instantly or why people get so emotional very well. Know the difference, and don’t be a dick.

Am I hating on the people that actually have gone through this and struggled in life? Hell no. That shit is hard. Especially when someone has to actually pull you aside and tell you why it’s not appropriate to laugh at funerals─ even if someone’s face or crying has made me have to leave the room I am laughing so hard.

Funerals are just…weird. Why do we look at dead people in boxes? How about, if you have to view me after I’ve bitten the big one, you know─ just burn my corpse and throw me outside? I mean, seriously─ I’m dead, wtf do I care?

Have a few beers, talk about the dumb shit I’ve done and then be on your merry way. Mourn at home over pictures or something you weirdos. Don’t stare at my shitty funeral parlor makeup-ed face in front of a bunch of shit heads that are squabbling over my bank account funds. /suddenweirdrant

The point I’m making is that─

 

I’m back, breeches!

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❤ C.A.

 

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Live Events, Giveaways, and Anime Fest 2017

One of my all-time fav conventions is nearly here! Anime Fest (August 17th – 20th) has hands-down been one of my favorites since I started attending them some years ago. I am extremely biased when it comes to these sort of events, however, because I’ve always preferred smaller crowds. Granted, the fact that AnimeFest is now being hosted near my home in the Sheraton Hotel certainly means they’ve grown exponentially.

And have you SEEN the guest line up for this year? If you haven’t, seriously go look it up.

Unfortunately, for our team at Dusk Publishing, we weren’t able to snag a table this year at the event─ But, we are doing panels. And a panel I have planned oh hohoho~~

If you aren’t currently watching my Live Events, or are just kind of tuning in, I do live writing panels and stories for DuskLive on FB from 2p.m. – 2:30 p.m. These usually don’t go for more than a couple of minutes, but I like to stay on the safe side, just in case we have people asking questions! Once these live events are finished, I post them on all of my social media pages. So if you can’t attend, no worries─ they are always posted afterward. (like the one this past Sunday about a scary experience I had while I was in Japan doing research for the Hell’s Gate book series.)

For the AnimeFest panel, you can expect to have all my usual bizarre Japanese culture and Urban Legends content that you can find on Soundcloud (now slowly being added to my YouTube channel) and on my Livestream events.  This year, I’ll be covering modern Japanese urban legends and where they come from and also talking about some ancient Japanese urban legends. We’ll all sit and reminisce as I talk about my experiences from Japan (interesting, bizarre─ and the everyday life as a ‘normal’ Japanese citizen)

The panel will be held on Thursday, August 17th from 5 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Panel 4. 

For this panel, I’ll have copies of Hell’s Gate readily available, or you can bring your own for signing!

If you aren’t aware, you can actually enter to win a free copy of Hell’s Gate in our contest. (Hurry, it’s only running until 7/27/17!)

This next Sunday, (July 30th) I’ll be covering ways to combat writer’s block and techniques that I use to help. See you guys there!

 

xoxo

C.A. ❤

 

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Yesterday’s Live Event Journey, and What to Expect for this Thursday’s Japanese Folklore and Urban Legends Live Event.

If you were watching the live event taking place yesterday on Dusk Publishing  or on my page you were probably wondering why on earth some drunken crazy lady was posting live. Well, it was a live storytelling event designed to be told in a unique way.

I wanted to portray the character as poorly as possible. My art direction was to frame the character in as many bad situations as possible, including unflattering angles, clothing, and makeup to make it all seem ‘real’. I took great joy in making this character unfold and I wanted the progression to go from comical to very dark. The character focus was a type of sociopath that drove while drunk, could only see the shit side of life, and really had nothing go wrong but was bored and didn’t want to be here.

The series of lives are wake-ups after her blackouts from alcohol and after she ends up back to where she started (mentally and physically) decides to end it all. They are all still up on the pages (both my FB and Dusk’s) and you can check them out or comment at your leisure.

That being said─ what’s in store?

So, it’s that time of year that I both dread and freaking adore─ The Con season. I will be attending quite a few this year, but in the forefront of all of that is Akon28 and Afest ─both of which I have attended for several years and are my personal favorites.

For Akon, I wanted to do a series of live events building up until June 8th covering a few of my specialty topics and also some original content. You can hear my audiostories and podcasts here

For this coming Thursday, the 25th, I will talk to all of you live about Japanese urban legends, and folklore. I’ll also be answering any questions you have over the live events, and any Japanese folklore, culture, and urban myths questions you would like answered. (Please try and save the questions for the Hell’s Gate book release until June 7th, as we will be holding the AMA over that live on Wednesday before the book debut on the 8th!)

This one will be open for discussion and fully interactive, so feel free to ask questions as they come to you and I will get to them as quickly as I can.

This live event will be appropriate for all ages, so feel free to bring the whole family.

But there’s also─ a surprise in store!

For those that participate on Thursday the 25th’s live event, we will enter you into a drawing to win a free copy of Hell’s Gate book 1, and a sneak peek of the Hell’s Gate graphic novel releasing next year!
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There will be surprises in store for Akon, and it will be announced on the live event planned for June 7th as well, so you won’t want to miss it. 😉

 

Stay creepy kiddos─

❤ C.A.

 

 

 

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Keto Cheesecake Recipe – And History of Valentine’s Day in Japan

Tired of the same old mug cakes, or keto style cookies or cake? Want to make something fun this Valentine’s Day for your sweetie? Everyone loves cheesecake! My recipe used almond flour for the crust, but you can substitute finely crushed almonds or even use another flour. Just be forewarned, research flours before you use them. The valentine’s day history from Japan is down below!

 

Ingredients: 

Crust:

3 tbsp butter, melted

3/4 cup almond flour (or almond meal)

(**edit I found that 1/4 cup or handful of crushed pecans really enhances the crust**)

Filling:

12 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1/4 cup Truvia (or erythritol/swerve) whichever you prefer for you alternative sweetener

7 drops of Liquid Stevia

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

Toppings:

You can top it however you like. I usually use sugar-free strawberry or raspberry jam, but today I was in the mood to keep them plain! (mostly because I have a picky sweetie that wants to put his own toppings on it. And, well, it was for him.)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and start with combining your melted butter and almond flour. Mix until it is all crumbly but well combined! (here is where you could also add in 1/4 cup of crushed pecans or walnuts in the food processor for added texture)

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2. Line a muffin tin with paper or silicone cupcake liners. Then press 1-2 tsp of your almond flour mixture into the bottom. Personally, I prefer my crusts a little thicker, so I used 1.5 to 2 teaspoons typically.

3. Bake the crusts for 5-8 mins (depending on how hot your oven gets, you might want to check on them every once in a while) until they are golden brown.

4. To make the cheesecake filling, first beat together the 12 oz of cream cheese with a hand mixer until soft like this:

 

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and then add in 1 egg. Mix to combine.

5. Now add the 1/4 cup Truvia or sweetener of your choice and 7 drops of liquid stevia.

6. Next, add 1 tsp of vanilla extract, the 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice and 1/4 tsp salt and mix it all together one final time. Make sure you at least get up to medium speed on the hand-mixer so it becomes well blended.

7. Spoon your cheesecake filling into the baked crusts and bake for 20 mins at 350 degrees. My oven normally only takes 18. You will want to make sure that the cheesecakes have risen slightly, yet barely jiggly on the top. A key element here is to make sure that you fill the cupcake liners to the brim! It will puff up, but once it cools they will fall back down.

8. Now let them cool on the counter for at least 10 mins. After that, you can top them if you wish, or leave them plain and place them in the fridge.

9. Let them chill overnight for as long as you can stand! Or, if you are really in a pinch, place them in the freezer for a few minutes.

And viola~ Keto cheese cakes!

These are really great, at only 2.8 of net carbs per cake. They are so rich, you probably can’t handle more than one anyway.

Calories: 175 per cake

9 grams of protein

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So, what is Valentine’s Day like in Japan?

 

Even though this isn’t chocolate, like they do traditionally in Japan it is similar to what they call a handmade love chocolate, or “Honmei-choco”. (in this case maybe Honmei-cheezu? I know, cheesy) In which ladies will go out, buy ingredients and make something sweet for their sweetie! Like this:

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And stuff that you just buy for others (like co-workers or friends) get “Giri-choco” (obligation chocolate) like, this:

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Doesn’t seem so different except the swapping of genders…or does it? There’s a twist!

In Japan there exists something called “White Day” which takes place on March 14th, exactly one month after Valentine’s Day. On White Day men are supposed to give return gifts to women who gifted them chocolates on Valentine’s Day. More often the color of the chocolate is white because of the name of the day. Flowers, candies and other gifts are also popular along with the chocolates. Again, department stores have many advanced reminders with gift displays so men will have no excuse to forget about this special day which is important for women. Hmm, sounds like an excuse for the market to exploit one of the slower days for holidays around that time of the year. ha! White day chocolate typically looks like this:

And there you have it kiddos! The difference between Valentine’s Day in the US and in Japan. I like the idea of equally celebrating both men and women this way with showering your affections on some stranger you have a crush on. (or the love of your life…that works too)

In either case, enjoy Valentine’s Day with your sweetie. I know I will.

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We Have a Winner for the New Year Contest – And updates on this week’s shows.

Today was my drawing for the contest winner. Lucky numbers 27 and 13 had it! See below video for more details on what is to come this week.

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On Tuesday, February 14th, I will be releasing my podcast. It will be covering from the west:

Slenderman and NoEnd House

And from the East:

Kisaragi Station

I’ll go into the story, and then muse over the urban legends and their roots. If you’re a fan of the creepy, like me, you won’t want to miss it! Since this week, I’m releasing my podcast on Tuesday, my normal Tuesday comic will be delayed by one week, but will be back on track next Tuesday, the 21st.

I called to a vote last week on which people would want to see, and at just 2 votes higher, the Manga-style comedy comic panel won for next Tuesday. I can’t wait to draw this, it was such a joy to hear from all of you. Thanks for all who voted and congrats on this month’s winner!

Monday’s Japanese Blog Recipe (2/13) – I originally set it for today, but completely spaced that I was doing the drawing today and had to delay it by one day. (sorry guys!)

Have someone that you are going to make valentine’s treats for? Check back in tomorrow as I cover the history of Valentine’s day and White Day in Japan. Two holidays that I celebrate. Stay tuned, kiddos. It’ll be a week full of sugary sweet and creepy delights. ❤

Kimi no wa Movie Review – A Stunning Visual Masterpiece

Kimi no wa releases in the US this April 7th and it is every bit as amazing as everyone has lead on.

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Makoto Shinkai has yet again created a beautiful visual masterpiece. If his name sounds familiar, you may know him as the creator of Voices of a Distant Star or She and Her Cat or more recently in 2011 Children Who Chase Lost Voices

 

 

It is my firm belief that anyone can relate to and enjoy this movie, no matter if you are an anime or film fan. I was lucky enough to get a pre-screening and decided to share my experience with all of you.

The story follows the life two young people living in Japan:

Mitsuha from the fictional Japanese countryside town of Itomori.

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And Taki from the large city of Tokyo.

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It begins somewhat confusing as you slowly become aware that Mitsuha and Taki have switched lives. The interesting part of the story, was that it didn’t happen every day─ but rather, every so many days. You get to ride along with each individual as they experience the delicate intricacies of each other’s life.

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At first, they both lay out certain (and most definitely hilarious) rules for each other.

(I don’t care who you are, you will lose your shit at these scenes.)

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What starts as both people feeling a sort of general annoyance at this life change, gradually turns into an appreciation for each other, and respect for one another’s lives

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Until one day, Taki stops receiving messages from Mitsuha and begins to only wake to his normal, every day life.

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Time passes and Taki decides to take a train to the town to discover why Mitsuha has stopped being such an important element in his life.

What he finds, will simply floor you.

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Enter the life of Mitsuha and everything that happened within the lost time.

 

Eventually the two find one another again,  working together to prevent one of the biggest tragedies Japan has seen in a long time.

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It is as eloquent as it is brilliant─ written to pull the heart strings as much as provide you with a hearty laugh. It is one of those films that literally takes you on an emotional roller coaster.

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It’s a story of tolerance, acceptance, and walking in someone else’s shoes. It will sweep you into its magic and make you really feel as if you are part of something larger than yourself.

It’s a story of fate.

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Do yourself a favor─ Grab a box of tissues, go with your dearest pals or family and experience this amazing film together. I promise you will love it.

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I give it a huge 5 out of 5 possible stars.

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Here are the official trailers, please enjoy!

Official Trailer

English Version Trailer

What’s next?

2/12 Valentine’s Day Japanese Cake Recipe Blog – How to make one for your sweetie in the US. If you don’t understand the difference in Valentine’s Day in Japan and White Day, here’s a little info over both.

Info here:  Valentine’s Day and White Day in Japan – The difference

2/14 Come visit my podcast/audio book page here: https://arisevalhalla.org/podcasts/ for thrills and chills this Valentine’s Day as I talk about internet urban legends Kisaragi Station, Slenderman, and The NoEnd House.

 

 

Weekly Releases and Quick Update Info

So, as most of you have noticed I usually update my comics on Tuesdays. (last week was an exception due to my day job)

But, know that I work diligently each week to bring you laughs, or groaning and shaking of the head.

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What’s in store? Well, as I search for a job that will somehow manage to cover the ever-climbing costs of living in Dallas, I have found my only form of sanity is releasing these comics to all of you.

But, what else?

What else indeed! Last week I ran a poll (which I giggled at myself for only getting 1 vote) But, none-the-less still realized that the one person took time out of their day to click the vote button on Twitter and so I shall make ready the spooky tales that they requested.

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So, in honor of said-mystery-individual, I offer the internet Slenderman in all his glory and fame online─ including his origins, and different variations on this particular Urban Legend.

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In addition to this spook-fest, I decided to add a Japanese Urban Legend of my choosing. So, be prepared for a fun-filled audio adventure! I do so adore old radio shows and recording books are something that I simply love. So when combining the two, I like to really put my all into them. These last few shows I’ve done felt a little under-whelming, so

I’m going to make all the sound effects in the new one!

I plan on updating these with images on my YouTube channel as well as adding my own digital art to each. (this girl has a real affinity for the dark side)

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Some of my online comics will be dramatic or manga-esque, but most will be for the lulz. So with that, I leave you with this update message:

The creepy audio is coming soon, children, and the Tuesday comic will be up tomorrow as planned.

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