Archive for ‘video’

26/07/2014

A space to call my own.

*HAPPY INFECTED DANCE* I may have a really awful infection, but on the plus I’m gonna get my studio space. It’s been decided that the “work” room which is more of a dumping ground is going to get a revamp. More vertical storage, less crap on the floor. An old computer desk rebuilt as a workbench. A load of old melamine units taken out, and a new drawing desk with an adjustable drawing surface built into a corner.

Badly needed too, right now I have to pack away everything as I finish. Which would be fine if my health was more robust; but it isn’t. Right now if I have energy to draw for half an hour I’m losing 20 minutes of it to setting up, and packing away each time. Which this change I’ll be able to start something and walk away if I get tired; but also be able to just pick right up where I left off, even if it’s just for five minutes.

Anyway the end result should be more storage, less clutter, and a space where I can lay out drawing stuff properly, and leave it there.

In other news, a space will be created in my bedroom for recording my video blogs in the next couple of months. So yup, things are startin’ to look up for this creative puppygirl.

Oh and in, other, other news next vlog will go up in the next couple of days. Antibiotics kick my ass every time, so I’m just barely able to stay out of bed, much less record. So patience please.

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10/05/2014

Plans within plans. Gears withing gears.

So today I came to a few big decisions. The first one is to put off building my website ’til next Spring, maybe even Summer. Why? Well that’s the other decisions, though in truth they all boil down to one overarching decision.

The rest of this year is going to be about building up enough content to make a website worthwhile.

I started blogging again this week; it felt good to be writing in that style again. So I’m intending to write at minimum one 1,000 word post here per week, and look at that! A second one this week.

I’m going to get back to video blogging as well. I’m planning one short 5-20 minute blog a week for the time being, and once I get faster at editing, building up to Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

I finally found the right modpack for a series of Minecraft Lets Play videos, so I’m planning to do one 1 hour session per week (edit everything in one session) and put it out in 20 minute segments Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The idea will be that once I have a basic base built I’ll ask the viewers what I should do next, all the while riffing on whatever sparkly topic catches my eye on that given day.

Finally I plan to keep working on my drawing skills, and speed up my page updates. I’ve been struggling with it lately because my my migraines, but I think I’ve hit on a way of working that allows for those. This is in part with the intention of having my skills at a point where it becomes worthwhile to start sourcing a secondhand (though hopefully relatively recent vintage) Wacom Cintiq.

So yeah, that’s the plan. Of course the blogging has started, the next two pages of my webcomic are getting there, and video blogging will start as soon as I work some kinks out of my equipment (most notably the sound and video not synching without a shedload of jiggery pokery), Minecrafting…as soon as I figure out how in the hell the program for recording it works…*sigh*

I’ve an awful lot of work ahead of me; but I feel at peace with this plan of action. It feels like the right amount of output, while leaving me enough time for writing, rewriting, and gaming. So wish me luck folks, after all when I pull this off it’ll end with all my stuff on one site, and a lot more of my weirdness for you all to enjoy.

17/08/2013

Off to Cork for the weekend.

Yup, it’s Mommy time,  so I’m going to leave you all with the funniest YouTube clip I’ve seen in years.

And the entire of my favourite childhood animated movie. Click the link and enjoy. (Admittedly the picture quality isn’t all that good, but for a an old VHS scan it’s not terrible, and the show really is worth a watch.)

Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All.

Anyway have a good weekend, and see you all on Tuesday.

29/06/2013

Have you seen my voice? I know I left it around here somewhere.

I have the flu, aches, pains, bunged up, and somehow my voice got away from me. I feel miserable, so I’m going to watch a television classic The Day After. Miserable now, I fully expect to be absolutely bummed, while also being incredibly relieved, and happy to go with it in a couple of hours (despite the presence of the beauteous Bibi Besch). Why not join me?

I might even follow that with the classic, and original version of On The Beach.

And hey, just to round out my relief, and happiness that we actually lived through the Cold War, why not finish up with Threads?

These shouldn’t depress, they’re cultural relics of a type of war which so far we have avoided. I find them sort of uplifting because, they show an awareness of the reality of that time in the artistic communities. And an unwillingness to just be quiet about it. I honestly believe they made a difference.

Anyway have a nice Pride Weekend Dublin. And now I go to wish my sinuses would just explode, and get it over with.

10/06/2013

YouTube anti-choice/prolife adverts.

I love YouTube, where else can you go to watch movies which were never released on DVD in 9, highly censored, parts?

Where else can I go to watch my favourite critics, because the video systems they use on their home sites are rubbish, and just don’t work with any of my PC’s?

YouTube, home of the cat video, the angry bile filled responses to a world where not everyone shares your beliefs in a particular sky fairy, and Mrs. Betty Bowers.

Lately though YouTube has also become home of one hundred and fucking one anti-choice adverts. And you know what? I’m sick of them.

I’m sick of the sanctimonious crap of prolifers whose concern for children ends when they’re born.

I’m sick of living in a country that gives lip-service to secularism, while its leaders still get down on bended knee to suck off the local representatives of the Vatican City.

I’m sick of seeing people who I wouldn’t trust with a potato peeler, being given, or buying, immensely far reaching platforms from which to spout their hypocrisy.

But right now, most of all I’m sick of seeing guilt tripping advert after guilt tripping advert on YouTube, with no fucking way to either block, or opt out of them.

*deep cleansing breath* Going to go kill something on my Xbox now.

08/06/2013

I had the dentist yesterday.

And I feel like a horse kicked me in the face. So after I finish my grocery shopping I’ll be panning out for the rest of the day, while I watch some of my favourite movie, and game critics. Nothing cheers me up quite as much as someone ripping the shit our of bad movies, television, games, music…you know the important things. So seeing as I’m not really up to writing today I thought I would share the channels of some of my favourite critics on the intewebs.

Nostalgia Critic: He remembers it, so you don’t have to. And I pity him, all those bad, bad movies.

The Spoony Experiment: One of the most brilliant reviewers I’ve ever had the good fortune to watch. For my gamer readers I’d suggest starting with his Ultima series. Or his hilarious written review of Battlestar Galactica.

And finally for those of you who just want something short, and funny to watch.

Lore: Ever wonder what the story behind your favourite game is? Well learn here in roughly one minute.

So have a nice weekend. And enjoy avoiding the sun, so you don’t end up with that horrid tanned effect…or maybe that’s just me.

28/05/2013

I’m back, more or less.

As you probably know my blogging has been kind of spotty lately. Mostly this is because of huge swathes of childhood abuse related scarring having become a serious issue in the past few months, and finally coming to a head in the past few weeks. I’m not through the woods yet, not nearly, but I’ve at least gathered together all the forms of help I need to get through this. So that being the case I decided that for my first blog in two weeks I’d like to make a list of my various projects, explain them a little, and if I can prioritize them. Yup, it’s a sorta list post.

1: My Random Ruminations. This blog, well it was always going to be my first priority because, as was pointed out to me last night, I do get a lot from doing it. I would like to perhaps become a little more focused in what I blog about, continue my Old Games series, maybe start a little series about my experience transitioning, keep going with the “Ten reasons it’s awesome to be…” series. You know, continue with the things which have brought both my readers, and myself pleasure in the past. Though I am going to stick with my two days a week format.

2: Fictional written projects. My second novel has kind of found itself neglected of late. With my own emotions all over the place I simply haven’t been able to figure out what fictional characters are feeling. But I do have a nice chunk of it first drafted from before I went cuckoo, as well as parts of several short stories. So as I finally start to climb back out of this hole I’m in I intend to reconnect with those, as I feel able, and get back to creating new worlds.

3 or 4: Acidgirl. Poor Acidgirl. She got 5 strips and 2 filler pages before I had to put her to one side. I LOVE drawing her, Shotgun, and Knower, and I have wonderful plans for them in the future. But for now my webcomic has to take a back seat, it’s far too time consuming, and emotionally draining for me to have it be a focus. That said I am still working on it in dribs and drabs as I feel able. Mostly 1 page 4/5 panel short stories, full page poster type pages, and even a couple of genuine cover pages are starting to take shape. I’m also very regularly practicing my drawing skills so when i does come back the quality will be markedly improved. But I’m afraid it’s going to be a while before anyone finds out more about the last member of the 13th.

4 or 3: Foodish Video Blog. A while back I had an idea for a food, well actually drinks, based video blog. It’s a very simple idea, and would be pretty quick to make episodes of, so it’s probably how I’ll get back to video blogging. But there is a VERY big but here. My broadband is pathetic. It took over 90 minutes to upload my Transphobia video blog last year, and that’s just not workable for regular vlogging. So I’m hoping in the next few weeks to have a much better connection installed which will be a good first step. This project is a little interchangeable with Acidgirl in how important it is to me, and because it would be far less intense to work on it may well come first…we’ll see.

5: My Random Ruminations the video edition. I loved making video blogs. I truly enjoy planning, shooting, and editing them. But when you’re emotionally in a bad place it’s very hard to put yourself out there. It’s even harder when you know what you’ve done before is not what you wanted to do in the first place. But as much as I would love to get back to this, I know it would be a mistake right now. So instead I’m learning new editing skills, learning about lighting, and sound. Generally picking up the skills I need to really come back to this the way that will make me happiest. I’m not sure when I’ll get back, but it will be in the next year or so.

6: A review show. I have a good idea for a review show. It’ll be different to, I think, all the other ones out there in the interwebs, it certainly is to all the ones I’m aware of. And I’ve made a modest start on it by starting to gather materials to review. But getting back to basic vlogging is the first step before I can launch this idea on an unsuspecting world. But for now let me just say that it is very much a project that will have all my friends rolling their eyes. It’s a very Amanda Harper idea.

7: Graphic Novel. Yes, I am nuts. But I have a wonderful idea for a series of graphic novels. I can’t say a lot about this right now because it’s very much the barely sprouted seedling of an idea. But it will happen, and of course being a graphic novel Acidgirl coming back online is a key stage to getting to my jump off point.

8: My Slasher Pic. Yup, I want to shoot a slasher film. I have a weird idea for one, that’s been banging around in my head for months now. But it’s a very distant dream. For now it’s a VERY low priority, coming somewhere behind wiping out the Irish political system and having myself installed as Empress. That said, don’t be surprised if some day you hear about an Amanda Harper short being shown at a Horror convention…ah dreams.

There are of course other side projects. I’m always building something, or designing something. But for now this will give a good idea of what I would like to throw your way in the foreseeable future. However, these (just like my love-life, finding a slavegirlfriend, and ever having a night out again) are all reliant on my emotional health getting a lot better. I believe I will get there, after all as much as what I’m going through right now hurts me it is all a healing experience, it just doesn’t feel much like one right now. But for now, well, getting back on top of my blogging is as good a start as any. Right?

07/05/2013

Very short blog today. Mostly a question actually…

I have this idea, that maybe I should record videos of what I’m going through right now. Sort of show people what I’m coping with, what caused it, how it manifests, the stages I go through and how I finally end up dealing with it. Think of it as “This Girls Guide to Surviving PTSD Caused by a History of Childhood Sexual-Abuse.” I’m going through Hell right now, and I want it to be for something, but my getting better doesn’t feel like enough. I sort of feel like there should be something more at the end of all this than just having more peace with myself.

So the question is this, do you as my reader feel that this is something I should do? Straight question so please feel free to give a straight answer. All answers will be read, and replied to. I need to ask this now because for this to be valid if I do it I have to start pretty much today. These videos will be recorded, and dated. But not edited or uploaded for a while, until I feel able to cope with the seething mess of YouTube.

And with that I am off to town for a day with my best friend. Bye, bye.

12/03/2013

I came to a big decision last week.

Most of the people reading this will have seen my very short-lived video blog. A few things have killed it off after only 3 parts.

First I became too ill, for a period of three months, to either sit in front of a camera or to want to be seen by the world when I felt like I was dying.

Second my old PC finally gave up the ghost, succumbing to a full-scale motherboard failure. My PC was eventually replaced by a nice shiny new Dell 17″ desktop replacement laptop. Though admittedly weighing in at almost 4 kilos calling it a laptop might be, stretching things a little.

Finally when I did receive my new laptop, and set about recording a new video blog I ran in to some horrible technical problems. Not least the fact that my audio was completely out of synch with my video. That wouldn’t be much of a problem except that I have ZERO video editing knowledge, and in fact had used Windows Movie Maker to record, and produce my first three videos, none of which had actually involved much in the way of editing. End result, Amanda tearing her hair out after a full day of trying, and failing to synch them both up.

Well last week I was having a chat with a really lovely girl I know from the U.S., and she gave me some damned good advice. And that advice was as follows…

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!

And do you know what? She had a pretty good point. Up until this week I have been doing the following, every, single, day. (Barring Sunday, and any day I have an appointment anywhere. So probably it’s more like 95% of every, single, day.)

* 1 hour of ukulele/mandolin practice. Scales, followed by working on one piece for at least 30 minutes.
* 1 hour of writing exercises. Time spent learning new words/trying to learn grammar/punctuation, (with minimal success I have to admit) as well as writing, and rewriting the same piece over and over as many times as I can, each time with different sentences/words/structure, while always keeping the content and message the same.
* 1 hour drawing practice. Which is literally what it sounds like.
* 2 hours working on a novel. This can be writing, researching, or taking down notes.
* 1 hour on one of my pet projects Lately this has been learning about airsofting, but in the past it’s included learning to build PC’s, building things, stuff like that. But it had included video blogging. And finally.
* 1 hour of research every evening. Actually this usually runs to about 2 hours. But that’s because I really enjoy finding out about new things, and expanding what I already know, all so I have a vast wealth of random information to use in whatever project I’m concentrating on.

I think you’ll agree that for a girl who has a really debilitating chronic illness, that’s kind of a lot of stuff to take on. And don’t get me wrong I love doing almost all of it. I enjoy working. I enjoy making, creating, writing, learning. To me it’s actually just as much fun as kicking ludicrous amounts of ass in Skyrim. But lately I’ve come to realise that it’s just too much for me to handle. Not least because those “* 1 hour”‘s usually overrun. I start out intending to do one hour of sketching, then look at the time and realise, “Oh shit! It’s been 3 hours!” It’s taken together, all too much.

So I listened to that girl, and then out of curiosity I went back to watched my own video blogs. Something I had never done before. And they’re, okay. Actually the transphobia one is pretty good. But they’re not what I had intended my video blog to be. And worse, they’re less than I know I’m capable of. So I’m stopping recording new video’s for the time being. I’m also putting my music practice to one side, and letting go of my writing exercises for a while. The former because It’s really just a hobby for me, not something that drives me. The latter because I honestly don’t believe I’m reaping much, if any, benefit from them any more.

That’s 2 hours each “working” day freed up, right away.

So for now there’ll be this blog, my webcomic and the work needed to bring that to where I feel it should be, the novel I’m currently trying to get written, and the extra time is going to go in getting ready to relaunch my video-blog at some stage in the future.

I know precisely what I want it to be, and while I know it won’t be exactly that instantly, it can, and should be much better than it currently is. It just needs work, and I have a lot to learn in order to be able to do that work. You know, minor things like basic video editing, lighting techniques, basic camera work. And I need to sort out equipment for it also, I need to make as much of it as I can, and source the rest for as little money as possible. I’m determined that when I go back to it, it will be what I truly want it to be, not the milky, watered down version it’s been to date.

So rest assured, my video blog will return in the future. It will be better than it was. It will probably be considerably different to what it used to be. But most of all it will be something I can be proud of.

But for now I hope that you’ll keep reading my blog, my webcomic, and some day maybe even my novels. (Goddesses and a publisher willing.)

01/01/2013

So we’ve all survived another year…

…and yet another supposed apocalypse. If you’re reading this then you probably survived Christmas, that or you contracted a zombie flu, in which case congratulations on being one of those very rare intelligent zombies.

Anyway, insanity aside, welcome to the first post of the New Year. Huzzah! It’s 2013 and my Goddesses aren’t we all just frikkin’ delighted to be out of 2012.

Another year of nightmare budgets.

Another year of scandal followed by yet more scandals.

Another year where to rich became richer, while the poor shouldered the cost of this new Great Depression.

And sure there were highlights, the Olympics, the Apocalypse failing to appear again. The Robert Downey Jnr. doing yet another wonderful rendition of himself in Avengers Assemble.Oh and this very blog passing the 40,000 views mark after less than two years in existence.

But I think when the history of 2012 is laid out for posterity it will without any doubt be painted in drab, depressing tones.

But that year is in the past now, time to start looking towards the future. And what does that future hold? I can’t speak for the world but for me personally, well this year’s gonna be something special.

My PC having died about a month ago, combined with my ongoing health problems conspired to put my video blog on hiatus. Well I will, thanks to a little help from some very special people, be receiving a brand new Dell laptop in the next two weeks. A mobile platform at last. So the video blog will be returning with some serious vengeance, and let me tell you folks…I have plans!

That same laptop is the final piece in the puzzle of my long promised webcomic. Very soon the first pages will be online for one and all to enjoy.

With the New Year comes the time that I finally have to settle on one writing project. So with ten chapters written each of two separate novels, I will in the next week decide on which take priority, and aim to have its first draft finished by around my birthday. Of course then I’ll have to get the second done as well. So busy busy.

All that said, my health as I’ve mentioned before is giving me a lot of problems right now. And it’s been joined in the past 24 hours by a dose of flu. So, in the interests of my sanity, I’m now going to take a fortnight’s holiday while I await the arrival of my new electronic baby. I’ll be back with my next post on Thursday the 17th. This is going to be sweet, two weeks of me and my brand new Xbox. I sense much Halo, and Skyrim in my future.

So for now have a Happy New Year. May we all have a better one than the last, though let’s face it, that won’t exactly be a struggle.

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