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Patreon Perks, Updates, and Company Building

Hello all! We are already in March (holy hell!) And I am working toward finishing the last part of Vengeance (my latest audiobook) You can find the others here.

My past audiobooks are completely free so that all of you can sample my work. However, starting this year I’m going to have to start charging for them as each piece can take upwards of 8-24 hours to make, depending on the sound effects. I wish I could keep releasing them for free, but something has got to give! I’m about to start a section in my Patreon specifically for audiobooks.

I’ll be posting all my podcasts for free as per usual and this next episode we took a vote and decided that my When East Meets West podcast would cover Japanese vs. American horror films. As most of you know, I have a real affinity for the dark side. You’ll find it in all of my writing.  Spring is in the air, which means I love to talk about the supernatural. hehe :3

Podcasts on YouTube

Podcasts on Soundcloud

Hell’s Gate is currently under revision and will have it all released together this year along with an art book. You can get the Kindle edition for free if you have Kindle unlimited. The first book (book 1) that I linked is 100% edited and done. Book 2 needs professional edits as I later discovered. Since I have a day job that I am currently only working part-time, I would like to finish this earlier than later so that I may continue to get more work out to all of you.

If you like my style and want more even if it’s just a dollar a month it helps! And, you’ll get it before anyone else. 

I just recently opened up a story that will be included with Hell’s Gate and it’s a companion to the Hell’s Gate Series. The story of the Weaver and the Cowherd. You can see samples of it on my Patreon here. 

Big things coming this year, as I further develop the company. Including our stream mini-series work (details to come later after we plan it all out) and of course more audiobooks, podcasts, and novels.

I’m only one person, and soon there will be more helpers but for now, it’s all me. That’s where all of you come in to help me in a big way.

With these funds, I can provide more content and have to do less of the backend work myself. For example, I currently do all of the social media, graphic design, illustration, marketing, on top of all of the content and writing/directing.

I don’t mind the work, but it is seriously dragging down my release dates. Thankfully, I am employing a few people this year that can help and getting our business proposal underway. I would love to finish out both Hell’s Gate and get my Sci-Fi novel released this year as well.

I don’t often like to post this because it seems like everyone is doing this that is an artist. With good reason, but it can get a little overwhelming for people to decide who to support. That’s why I offer so much of my work for free so that you can get a feel for my style, and hear the quality for yourself.

All that being said, thank you for taking the time to read this and hear me out. Any and all support goes directly to me and building my stories, illustrations, and writing to all of you. Thank you to all of my fellow supporters, artists, and a big hug to all the other struggling artists out there.

Take care and happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you.

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Comics are starting back up

For those of you that noticed, my comics have stopped for a while because I was dedicating my time to video editing my short film, Black, finishing the last edits on Hell’s Gate: Resurgence, and entering in NaNoWriMo. I also have been doing lives on Twitch and putting up audio stories and books on Youtube.

But the comics for me are a real way of expressing not only my daily joys and frustrations but a real form of release. I find it exciting to make other people laugh. Call it whatever you will, but I see so much crap online all the time that I find it my civic duty to make others laugh. If I don’t, I end up being this tightly wound ball of bitterness mixed with anxiety. I’ve decided that comics are a very real way for me to share with others. I generally enjoy making two types of comics: The Things My Boyfriend Does (or TTMBD) and life frustrations and silliness. Many, if not all of my comics are based on actual things that have happened to me or have been said to me. Don’t be fooled, because sometimes they are 100% random and plucked from my very demented mind.

Expect the Tuesday schedule to pick back up again. I won’t ever promise an exact time because of the chaos that is my life, but I will always generally have them up before 5. Thanks to everyone that has supported me!

I want to take a moment to also shout out to my Patrons:

  1. Brian and Amy Shader
  2. Seth Bailey
  3. Brent Smith
  4. Robert Vasquez

Without your help, I couldn’t make any of this a reality. Thank you so much! Check out this month’s rewards here.

If you would like to support me, but not become a Patron, you can also send it directly to me.

All of my donations go toward producing better content for all of you. Thanks guys~

If you would like to purchase my art, I will be placing it up in an online store soon! Sometimes, I also draw on Twitch as well and sell what I make. 😀

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Whew – An expression for this month

If you have checked out my YouTube, you’ll see I’ve been a busy lady. What is that? Is that music, Ms. Greyson? Why, yes. Yes, it is. I like to experiment and when I create my audio shorts, I tend to find most of my sound effects or use royalty free music. However, occasionally I enjoy making my own things along with the story I write. I love trying different things, and this was another way for me to experiment. The difficult side is finding musicians for vocals! But, worse case scenario, I just pay someone and send my stuff off to them to work their magic. I’m hoping that by accomplishing this, my creative demon is sated.

Currently, I’m working on my NaNoWriMo for 2017. You can follow me, add me as a friend, or get a sneak peek of the story and watch me struggle daily to try and catch up. My dumbass decided to wait too long to start, so I think I’ll probably be crossing the finish line and tripping over my own shoes and fall on my face. Best case scenario there.

So, if you were wondering why I was so quiet on social media, there’s your answer. I’ve taken a short break from Twitch, but I’ll pick it back up once a week again after hell month is over. My next creative twitch was voted on and everyone wanted a drawing vid, so I’ll hang out with all of you and do a little bit of fun painting!

Just a quick update to say I’m not dead yet.

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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. ❤

 

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.

 

 

Quick update – Today’s Comic Release

Hey guys! This is just a brief update on yesterday and today. Normally, I release a comic every Tuesday. As most of you know, I have a day job like everyone else.

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Which means my days can go from busy to:

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When you run a company, and work a day job (plus adding a kiddo to the mix 2-4 days a week) let’s just say my life is not lacking excitement.

Yesterday was a day of nightmares.

Finally, after trudging home at 10 p.m. (having worked at my job which currently has me as Marketing Director/CSR/Web Designer) I finally was able to try and finish my comic. Then, the realization hit me. I’d left my file at work and forgot to save it on G-Drive.

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Needless to say, (tl;dr) I’ll have it up today.

Check out my poll on twitter today @chrystal_Annecd at noon─

You all get to vote what my next Urban Legend podcast will be over. :3

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Happy thoughts, children. ❤

─ C.A.

Horror has a Bad Rep – Is that Merited?

From the sub-genre, to main genre, horror has had some pretty great times─

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To downright deplorable moments.

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But if you look at the genre all together, it really does have a bad reputation. Why is that, and is it merited?

The answer is more complex than you think. My personal favorite are thrillers and shows with thriller/horror like elements. For example, in shows such as Westworld, The Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones, the horror elements are fleshed out─ they’re balanced. But notice how I said that. Elements. The average person does not like to constantly be underestimated with cheap thrills, or jump scares. We like depth, we like just the right amount of complexity without over-thinking the scene.

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The director and casting director have a tough job. They have to not only convey the entire story within a reasonable amount of time, they have to embody the feeling through a combination of images, background, and good actors. This is a huge over-simplification of the process, but bare with me.

The main reason for disdain with the genre is the director’s focus. Much like the adult industry, horror gets caught up in ‘the money shot’ if you will and wants to creep-out or scare the audience as much as possible. But there is a huge piece of the picture they aren’t seeming to get.

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Horror fans are changing. We don’t want two dimensional characters as cliche as something you’d see on the CW. (and in my defense, I liked Supernatural so keep your pitchforks at bay.) What does better, time and time again are shows with elements of creepy/unknown because it’s alluring. No one wants to see the whole thing at once. And the whole ‘bad guy coming to get you’ is just over-done. Found footage? C’mon, that died years ago. The problem, I find, is that the whole industry is just outdated.

We live in the information age. If I can pick apart every issue and guess the film’s ending in the first 10-15 minutes of it, there’s a problem. Not everyone has to have that surprise element, or a twist. You don’t have to have a boogie man that just won’t die. Don’t make flimsy characters whose sole purpose is to die. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get with weak/pathetic characters that just stumble around and cry.

“Nope! I’m gonna die. Guess I’ll just walk down this road in a straight path and bawl my pretty eyes out. That’ll work.”

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Build an atmosphere. Make competent characters that try their hardest and still fail. The Green Room actually came pretty damn close to this, and I enjoyed it. The people weren’t helpless, it felt real. Like it genuinely could happen.

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Nightcrawler? One of my all-time favs to date. But, I am admittedly a little biased since I love Jake Gyllenhaal. If you haven’t seen this, do yourself a favor─ watch it, like, yesterday.

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But what do I know? That’s just my two cents.

 

What are some of your favorite horror films? Comment, share!