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  • Listening to: Battle Cry - Beth Crowley
  • Reading: The Elf and the Templar
  • Playing: Shattered Universe
  • Drinking: Water
Roleplay has been a part of my life since I started being able to remember my life. I'm certain everyone has that moment when they suddenly feel as if they have woken up and they have thought. This is my life. And we direct ourselves. As children we played pretend and it was great. We were encouraged to be anything that we wanted to be. Fairytales, books, perceptions of societal roles from our parents and the world around us shaped us. I didn't have the internet, I had books, a library and the outside.

I gravitated towards my dad's DnD books and his Paladin RPG sourcebooks for inspiration. I never actually played a campaign until college but I made characters. I created backstories and I imagined a more interesting life doing anything but being me. 

I just remember being bullied for being mixed. We didn't fit in. We were a minority and we were bullied for it. It was bad enough that I wanted nothing to do with my ethnicity though I desperately wanted to learn more about my ethnic culture. I clung to the handful of books I found on Chinese folktales. I was so excited when my school librarian let me borrow one of the books from the teacher's only section since she saw how much it meant to me. 

I remember my first actual roleplaying characters all being blonde with blue or green eyes. They were confident, strong and people really liked them. No one made fun of them for being different because they were the desired ideal. When I had the chance to jump into the early internet wilds of chatroom roleplay, I became obsessed with it. It consumed my nights when I would steal the family computer from my parents or my brother. I desperately needed to be someone other than myself. 

I poured my soul into roleplaying. It was all text based so I could be or do anything that I wanted. I just had to know enough of what I was talking about. Researching information to build up the lies that became my alter ego was easier with the progression of online search engines. I wasn't a 13 year old dealing with a house haunted by a looming shadow of a suicidal family member or a feeling of inadequacy, I was anyone else. I wrote well enough and I was dealing with things beyond my peer group with maturity- that's what my teachers kept telling me- I had an old soul, and people believed me.

Through high school, I ended up running roleplay websites and i struggled to become myself, whoever that person was. I did try to play a character that was Asian but no really. I still have a fondness for Jaz but Victory was my favorite character throughout high school, in all of their incarnations. Writing was my outlet. I kept a journal since elementary school and I still have them. I have years of self-loathing and detailed records of my online roleplay. Those characters and their lives held a stronger importance to me than my own issues. 

It was too much. Eventually, I stopped doing everything. I was depressed and I couldn't deal with any of it any more. I withdrew offline and kept to myself. I wrote in my journal and kept my heart locked in the pages of a book. Looking back I recognize it as escapism. I didn't feel important in my actual life so I made a bubble where I was. I was doing something important but not really. It meant nothing and when I stopped, I had nothing. 

But that wasn't true. I had real friends that were worried about me. I had people that cared about and loved me. Those real people are the ones that brought me back to myself. I eventually returned to writing stories and roleplaying, though I eased back. I eventually started writing myself into my roleplay as I attempted to love myself more. 

Almost 3 decades later, I have come out the other side of depression. Writing and roleplaying are my hobbies. I do it now because I enjoy it, I am stable in my life and relationships and I don't need the validation. As a result, I am able to channel my emotions and experiences into my writing as a form of catharsis. My characters mean something to me. Their stories are important but it is not my life, they are not me. I can put myself into those headspaces and write as if it was me because I wrote parts of myself into them because, that's the best way to write a character that feels real. 

A few months ago I was presented the opportunity to create a new roleplaying website, Shattered Universe, from the ground up. It was a blank slate and I had an idea. I had started a story with my friend 5 years ago that we never finished. I was writing a species with magic powers but it was an allegory for depression and overcoming it. At the heart of it, that's what the Embers are about, you strip everything else away and that's the truth. I put a lot of my feelings on organized religion, the apathy of the self-righteous and the well-meaning. The dangers of being too open and empathetic. But, if you lose yourself, you are not lost and you can be saved. You can save yourself, with just a nudge. 

I am grateful to have found myself and an outlet that still allows me to communicate with the world around me. I can be myself and that's okay. I can write something that has meaning to me but still entertains others. I can move forward with my life and accomplish something while having fun. My obsession with writing and roleplaying still exists but it connects me to people and the people important in my life rather than isolating me from them. 

I am grateful my son, now 11, is learning the joys of writing and world building without any of the drama I had to go through. He doesn't get bullied for being mixed and he had never had to deal with mental illness. I'm hoping that as he gets older, he'll continue to write and push out a couple of novels. =) I'm hoping that as I start to finish actually finishing novels, he'll want to read them and he'll understand his mom a little bit better. It'd be surreal if he joins my roleplaying website, but he's got 7 years before that happens. 
  • Listening to: Further Away - Evanescence
  • Reading: Ethics Essays
  • Drinking: Water
It's been a few months but I am back home again, although home is a now continent away from where it used to be.  I haven't forgotten any of my projects, I've just shifted focus. I have mostly been focusing on my physical training and have made the decision to prepare for my first MMA bout in a few months.  I am also taking college courses again and doing a full course load.  I am hoping to get back into my story projects and get back into my figure drawing so I can finish up some of my comic projects. I've been country hopping for work and have had the pleasure of seeing Malaysia; Indonesia; Singapore; Timor-Leste; Darwin, Sydney and Cairns, Australia; Busan and Chinhae, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan. I'm now in Kanagawa, Japan, so time zones are crazy. Here's hoping my next post will be sooner than 3 months. <3
  • Listening to: Deadly Women
  • Reading: Song of fire and Ice
  • Watching: Deadly Women
  • Playing: Dragon Age 2
  • Drinking: Water
Just a few uploads of some the things I've been up to. I miss doing most of my creative projects. I have been crazy busy with life, work, school and family. Things are only going to get busier but I will try to upload more pictures of the places that I go and the things that I do!
  • Listening to: &quot;Into the Future&quot; - Unicorn Table
  • Reading: &quot;Interview with the Vampire&quot; - Anne Rice
  • Playing: Final Fantasy VII
  • Eating: Hard Times Cafe's Chili Taters
  • Drinking: Pepsi Throwback
("Salient Ramblings" Blog Repost from "Moonhawk Studios Presents")

I'm back home after a busy weekend of crazy con goodness. When I get Photoshop installed again, I'm hoping to get a mini-strip up about my adventures on Guest Security. It was wonderful to see all of my con friends, of course, shadowing Yunmao Ayakawa I didn't really expect most of them to really notice me. But to be fair, it has been a couple of years since I've been to Katsucon and I wish I had gotten a chance to talk to the following people more but Yunmao fanboy protection obviously consumed my con free time but a quick shout out to the following people: Eirik Blackwolf of Chisuji (I miss talking to you!) ; Kara Dennison of Conscrew (I wish I had more time to talk to you, I still owe you a picture of Emmy!); Robert Aldrich author of the "Crossworld" novels (I totally only saw you ONCE the entire con); Steve Yun webmaster of Roboteck.com (I'm sorry I didn't actually get to talk to you when you ran into me the 2nd time in the Green Room); and mecha artist, Newton Ewell (I was glad I finally got to catch up and chat with you in the Green Room!).  I still miss seeing, Steve Bennett at American conventions but he is rocking out with his lovely wife in Iwakuni, Japan with the MCCS. =)

Yunmao is a very awesome and sweet person to work with and I think of her as "my little sister wearing a short skirt" which definitely helped me in keeping extra vigilant on escorting her ALL OVER THE CONVENTION.  She was absolutely adorable in her maid uniform, her Mari Makinami plug suit and in her regular clothes. I kept thinking of things to say to her in what little Japanese I know and just decided to not embarrass myself and just say it in English. ^^; I know the guys here at MSP would be amused to know I almost got an official Nihon Maid Association certificate of participation in Yunmao's workshop which covered the basic level 3 maid etiquette with her seal of approval. I don't think I can put something like that on my resume alongside my Navy training, I can see it now in an eval brag sheet "Godwin, what's a Nihon Maid? And why are you certified and Maid etiquette?" Nooo thank you! But it was a great turn out.

I was really happy that I got to see the Masquerade and the concert (more specifically, Unicorn Table) for the first time in several years because I was with my beloved guest. =) I was only disappointed that I didn't sell more pieces but 4 of my 5 scratchboards sold and I decided to give that one to Yunmao. I felt like a complete fangirl but I wanted to give her something different for a Valentine and I didn't have anything else besides my 4 "H" pieces. I wouldn't have felt right giving her a picture of a topless girl so Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask it was! (<shameless plug>If someone wants to buy a framed print with the original inks you can e-mail me! </shameless plug>)

All and all it was a great convention weekend for me! I was working the entire time but I had a blast!
  • Listening to: Nick playing Dragon Age
  • Reading: Nothing. ;-;
  • Watching: Nick playing Dragon Age
So a year has come and gone and I have done so very little in the way of artwork or writing! It disappoints me since I consider both to be invaluable assets to my mental health. I have so many ideas on how to 'start' Caitlin down the dark and winding road in Salient Caligation but meanwhile, how to end the series in the 5th and final volume BUT I still have a clash of ideas with how I want to handle writing volume 3 while I wait on volume 1's artistic conclusion.

I am grateful to have wonderful friends and family to support me in my endeavors and I am looking forward to working with everyone again.

This means I need to budget more time for writing/art and roleplaying again. And I have started down that path as well as starting to plan on maintaining a regular exercise routine along with my daily work and family schedules. Here's hoping you stay tuned for the next bend!
  • Listening to: History Channel
  • Reading: BJM
  • Watching: The Uninvited
Hey folks! It's been a looooong boot camp experience due to some medical issues but all is right with the world again and I'm Fit for Full duty again. =D So I'm all done with boot camp and will be heading down to my technical job school for work this upcoming week. Once I get settled in, I should be able to get more net access and try to get things rolling again with Salient. Stay tuned! I have a lot of catching up to do.
  • Listening to: Background Noise... Vic's toys
  • Reading: Blood Lite
As of today, I have about 15 days until I leave for boot camp. So this means I will most obviously have all of my Salient Caligation filler pages uploaded to the appropriate servers while I am away.

SO any fanart work and such should be forwarded to :iconmaciapaladin: until sometime in March. I'm hoping to have Book 1's comic pages done by Summer of this year so there will still be a lot of filler until Book 1 is done and I have some pages of Book 2 to show.

Here's hoping we can keep this thing rolling!