Friday, May 29, 2009

Books and Babies

Above is a watercolor of Tabby waking up in her bedroom (again). Thinking about doing another one of Philip in his own room waking up, just to show how similar they are. I'm not sure how helpful doing these drawings are, however. They certainly aren't helping my writing! :/

Speaking of which, I'm back in outline mode, taking summaries of draft 2 and 3, highlighting which parts I liked and which parts I thought were boring. On Khang's recommendation, I've been using a website called, and it's been pretty indispensable so far. If you're struggling with outlines, I highly recommend it. It's better than using the old notecard-on-a-corkboard method. It's easy to rearrange your ideas, you can color code everything, very flexible way of organizing your thoughts.

I'm also 3.5 months pregnant. This is our first child and my first time dealing with pregnancy. It's the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me, and I feel more healthy + happy than ever. Really! I haven't had much morning sickness or anything (yet). The baby is progressing well so far, and I feel very lucky to be a woman and be able to experience this. I've never felt so close to Life before.

It makes focusing on my book difficult however, because all I can think about is being a mom. If I don't finish this book by the time Little Amzu is here (temporary name) I'll probably move onto a shorter, simpler project and put Rema on the backburner. I feel really close to a decent final product, but it's been taking me way longer than I ever could've guessed it would, and momma's gotta make some kind of income eventually.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Last Cannon

Hello blog! Long time no post.. isn't that how almost all my posts start? I've been distracted by life these days (who isn't?). I'm just popping my head in to mention that my friend Shadi has just got his first iphone game approved as an iphone app! If you have an iphone, you should definitely check it out in the app store. It's called Last Cannon, has great gameplay, great sound, and awesome graphics. Check it out:

You can also read his entry on the subject here. It still amazes me he was able to make this game so quickly with such a miniscule "staff". Shadi's also the one responsible for coding my blogging program. He's a programming machine!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back to my desk

I've been sick with a cold for the last couple days, and haven't stepped outside my front door at all during that time. Having difficulty even getting up to get a glass of water, I let myself splurge on some more media. I watched all of season one of Veronica Mars (great ending!!), I'm almost done with Final Fantasy 4 for the DS, and I started reading John Grisham's The Firm. I became frustrated with not being able to write or draw, so even though I'm still congested I'm ready for more and am back at the studio.

After much deliberation with my agent, my friends, and some family, it's unanimously agreed upon that my book definitely needs more work! I'm ready for the challenge though, and have already begun another draft. Writing is rewriting, as they say, and here I go rewriting it again for a fourth time. It'll get there. Eventually. Wish me luck. ;)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reman Novel finished... I think.

It's been almost two years (slightly over a year and a half), and after several false alarms, the book is now really done and sent out to my agent. There's more work -- editorial notes for when (and if?) the book gets picked up, along with creating the proposal package, but for now I'm basking in the sweet, sweet relief of this huge benchmark.

I was having fun posting all the sketches of Tabby and her friends when a whirlwind of stuff happened, some of which I'm not ready to blog about. But amongst it all, I'm still discovering fun stuff offline to keep my mind active and happy. Some things I've been enjoying:

Tiger Moon
A super wonderful book with really delicious prose. Translated from German, this is a story-within-a-story, kind of like Arabian Nights but with only one long fairy tale told over several consecutive days. I'm about 2/3 the way through finishing this, but I'm loving every single word. It's undoubtedly one of the best new books I've read of late, and I'm wondering why more people aren't talking about it. Maybe it'll just take some time...

The Sookie Stackhouse Series
A fun romp of a series, and the basis for the HBO tv show "True Blood". I haven't seen the show, but from clips I think the books are way better! They're a bunch of mysteries and romances revolving around the life of Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic barmaid from small-town Louisiana. There's shape-shifters, vampires, witches, and all kinds of supernatural creatures. Very fun!

Royksopp's new album "Junior"
This doesn't come out for a few days still (March 23), but you can listen to it all online here. Man oh man, I can't wait to own this thing! Every song is so good. I'm a huge Royksopp fan and wasn't expecting them to come out with a new album, but here they are. Couldn't be happier. Check out the magical music video for "Happy Up Here"

It's been nice relaxing for the past few days and catching up on my reading (Still on my list: Wicked, Hunger Games, Kite Runner, and 1776). I'm really amped for getting back to Rema, though, and have started brainstorming scenes for book 2. Can't wait to get there!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kazu teaches comics

Just a quick note to promote my husband's upcoming Graphic Narrative Workshop at Gallery Nucleus. This is a serious, in-depth $500 course of five classes every Saturday, 9am-12pm, from April 18th - May 16th. He'll be doling out all his secrets -- everything he knows about storytelling, digital painting, and publishing (which is a lot!). If you're looking for a place to take your work to the next level and get some honest feedback on what you need to do to complete a comic ready for publication, this should be right up your alley.

Check out the registration link here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Moody Philip

This particular moment is mentioned in the book, but not seen directly. There's a lot of scenes that had to be cut because Tabby wasn't there to see it. Following different characters in the narrative is a lot more acceptable in comics, I think, since it is more visual, like film. But switching character perspective in prose can be a little jarring. At least, with my limited writing skills, it was pretty jarring!

But it wasn't wasted time. Every written paragraph is a lesson learned, and goodness knows I need a lot of those little lessons!

Happy Valentine's Day, by the way. Tonight, Kazu is taking me to dinner. I hope you all have something nice planned too, and if you're single do something nice for yourself! Who says love is reserved to those who are coupled? It's important to show yourself some love too! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Raed with his hair down

Click to see larger version:

One of Tabby's many outfits in the first book, and a snippet of a scene where Tabby finds Raed praying by the tree at the top of the spire (featured two posts down). Sometimes I wish Rema could be a 2D animated film, but then it almost immediately gets eclipsed by the far-away dream that it could be live action. In which case, I would want someone like this to play Philip! Song Seung Heon is too old now, but he was the original model for Philip's face in high school. Philip's character design has morphed a bit since then.

But before I start daydreaming, I should probably finish the actual book. I'm on the last chapter now, and feeling a little nervous. It's difficult to figure out how to end it. After going through so much with the characters, I want there to be some feeling of conclusion, but I want to leave it open for the next two books without a cliffhanger. It's tough!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tabby has insomnia

Another drawing. This is Tabby in a robe in her pj's, stepping out at night and thinking about Philip's future. She is standing in front of Philip and Raed's house, which sits at the top of a tall rock spire. The tree is where Raed worships his goddess, Rema. Click to see the rest:

Here's a really bad diagram of where she's standing: diagram. About two chapters left before grammar checks and final edits...

P.S. Go see Coraline in 3D for some really beautiful puppetry. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

More Reman Novel sketches

Some more sketches. It's been really helpful to do these before writing. It gets my head into the habit of dreaming. I'm on the climactic scene at the end now, with about 3.5 chapters to go before I go through it all again for grammar, spelling, and final touches. There's about 3-4 chapters I might have to rewrite completely, but I'll find out when I get there.

Here's a drawing of Hiida walking. She's one of my favorite characters to write because she's so messed up haha! Click the thumbnail to see the rest:

Tabby and a new character named Islen (she's one of my favorites too), getting ready for a fight. Click to see the rest:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Quick Philip sketch. Age: 14.

Just a quick sketch I did for someone. I ended up liking it, so it got some color treatment. Click the thumbnail to see the full version:

I'm on chapter 24. Drawing this helped me get into character a bit, I think...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More watercolors and some sketches

Last Monday, Kazu wrapped up his epic graphic novel, Amulet 2. I simply cannot wait until it hits the shelves! I did a really awesome fan art, but I have to wait to post it until the book comes out to avoid spoilage. :P

I've been spending my full time writing the third and (hopefully?) final draft of Rema (tentative title). I'm about halfway through, and having a blast. I heard back from my cousin and friend, so here are the other two watercolors I did as gifts.

The first is a portrait of Nicole in friend's favorite color, orange:

The second is a Peter Rabbit fan art for my cousin's baby room:

It was really interesting trying to get into a Beatrix Potter-esque headspace. She has a really endearing way of drawing wrinkles that was difficult to replicate! It was a strange feeling doing this painting, like I had an afternoon with Potter herself and got to have a conversation with her or something. It was fun.

Also, here's a bunch of sketches of Rema characters I've done recently, some new ones that have unfortunately been cut. These were done after the second draft during our trip to Italy. Click the thumbnail to see the rest: