LIFE: A Very Productive Summer!

This summer has been so busy, with every moment of every day being spent to house hunt, plan for the wedding, and work. However, I did manage to find some time to squeeze in some fun events. Below are just a few of many things I did this summer.

JUNE

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Held a bonfire with old friends for the Summer Solstice!

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Had a date at the Cider Mill to pick fresh strawberries! Eleven pounds worth!

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Congratulations Nancy and Jay Lasky on your beautiful wedding!

JULY

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Spent the weekend with my family in Grand Rapids to celebrate my cousin’s high school graduation!

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Celebrated Eddie’s little brother’s high school graduation!

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Date night with Eddie to see Demetri Martin at Meadowbrook Amphitheater.

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Had my 24th birthday playing Dungeons & Dragons with my friends!

AUGUST

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Went to the 89X Birthday Bash with a friend from work, whose birthday was just a few days before mine!

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Work on some Youtube videos with Team Final Rush (as well as complete one of my own speed paint videos)

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Eddie and I bought our first home on August 11th! (More information on that to come once we move in later this year.)

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Had the bridal party hang out and get to know each other better in the form of a pool party!

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Went to check out a new zoo!

And lastly, we took a ton of engagement photos! You can get that I’ll be posting more of those when I get the proofs back.

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LIFE: Musical Earworms

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The Life, put on by Oakland University on October 15th, 2014.

“Gentlemen of the jury I’m curious, bear with me…”

“I used to slam on the brakes…”

“I’m hot, and pissed, and on the pill…”

“Now I’m stuck on a level and I want to move on…”

I have had a major ear worm stuck in my head for the last eight months. The rare type that isn’t just one song, but an entire collection that skips and transforms into a new melody whenever I think of a different trigger phrase or word.

Sometimes it was “satisfied” or “blue.” Other days, it was a phrase my fiance and I would share, like “now if you don’t know, now you know, Mr. President.” Then, it became “window,” and “bathroom,” followed up with “IT’S FROM JAPAAAAAAAAAAN.”

If you’re unable to tell, I’m talking about the musical quartet that has taken over the internet and filled youtube with the most amazing animatics. I’m talking about Hamilton, Heather, Dear Evan Hansen, and Be More Chill.

GOD, I wish I had the skill, to just be —

Stop.

What I mean to say is: GOD, I am in love with these musicals. So much so that I literally can not stop hearing them in my head. My fiance and I sing them constantly, to the point that we’re driving our parents nuts (although, Mom finds it charming how I now feel comfortable to do such things in public.)

I remember my first musical was Wicked. My science teacher had mentioned it to me in passing, and loaned me his CD to listen to after class. I immediately burned myself a copy of it so I could listen to it over and over and over. 

I ended up buying the book (perhaps a bit mature for an 8th grader) and read it over the course of a few days. I fondly remember him waiting patiently to let me finish the last page before starting class. Over several years, I saw Wicked at the Detroit Opera House three times, and every time I cried during For Good.

So far, my collection of musicals include (in order of how I recall being introduced):

  • Wicked
  • Chicago
  • High School Musical (yes, it counts.)
  • Hairspray
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Rent
  • Avenue Q
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Holy Musical B@man!
  • Starship
  • A Very Potter Musical
  • Twisted
  • Carrie: the Musical
  • The Life
  • She Loves Me
  • Assassins
  • Legally Blonde
  • Hamilton
  • Heathers
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Be More Chill

Many of these I have seen performed live, while others I’ve only seen the movie adaptations. Of these, the only one that I haven’t watched (because it wasn’t recorded and posted to YouTube) is Be More Chill. Maybe that’s why I can’t just seem to let this one go. Thankfully, a lovely artist on YouTube is animating the entire thing with the audio. Bless them.

In the end, what I love the most about musicals is not the catchy songs, but the craft that goes into writing them. I am in awe every time I listen to Hamilton and hear the ingenious play on words, or when the motif of trees in Dear Evan Hansen makes me cry. How can one actor put so much emotion into singing a song about sitting in a bathroom, or begging their girlfriend to take him back?

The mere idea of writing the plot and musical score is something I can’t even fathom, and I am so very honored to have the privilege of seeing so many in person. It is an art that I hope never dies out, and one that I can share with my loved ones.

And I am always looking for more! So please, leave a comment and let me know your favorite musical and productions. I would love to get to know you better by knowing what you enjoy listening and watching.

 

LIFE: House Hunting

With the wedding coming up now in LESS THAN A YEAR, Eddie and I have to start house hunting. We currently live at home with our respective parents, and while we live within a mile of each other (seriously, how had we not met sooner when we lived so close?) we would like to have a place of our own before we get hitched.

So, that’s where the stressful task of house hunting begins and all of my hopes and dreams of a perfect house are chopped into bite-sized bits.

My ultimate dream house includes:

  • A library
  • A turret
  • A basement
  • A wrap around porch
  • A nice yard
  • A third story floor
  • A safe neighborhood

Something like this:

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Look at that beauty.

Of course, this type of home is impossibly out of budget – unless it’s a fixer-upper we can’t afford to flip. (We actually did find this type of house in our price range, but it needed some serious remodeling and I’m not about that life.)

So, we have to prioritize a bit and find out what really is the most important thing for us. This shortens the list to:

  • A library
  • A turret
  • A basement
  • A wrap around porch
  • A nice yard
  • A third story floor
  • A safe neighborhood

Narrowing it down, this actually isn’t too bad of a list! We have actually found homes in our price range that have an extra bedroom that we can turn into an office/library, a nice yard that’s perfect for parties, and a basement!

However, these homes are not located the area we would prefer to live. Rather, they’re in a not so great area that my mom is 100% NOT a fan of. Knowing that she would prefer we don’t live there makes it hard for me to even consider a home, even if it looks like it might be a good fit for us.

Currently I’m very frustrated that there is nothing in a safe area that is in our price range. It feels like we’ll never find a place to call home! Of course, no one said that house hunting would be easy.

Thankfully, we’re working with a great realtor who is more than happy to do the grunt work and find us a home in  safe neighborhood that meets our preferences and our budget.

For those who have purchased a house in the past or are currently looking for a home, leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on the situation! We are always open to some good advice.

LIFE: Midwest Media Expo and #NotCon2017

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This weekend I was going to be attending Midwest Media Expo in Dearborn, MI, another anime convention near me. It would have been my first time attending, and while I’m wasn’t holding an artist alley table to sell my work, I was going to be working with YouTuber Team FinalRush as a photographer. I’ve had the pleasure of being in a few of their videos, and have done many commissions and art pieces for their channel!

Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances and we’re no longer attending. You can read more about what happened here.

However, the team at Midwest Media Expo created a Fan Appreciation Event in Farmington Hills, MI called “NotCon2017.” This was a FREE event that allowed us to still see the celebrities that we were hoping to interview and photograph at Midwest.

Below are a few photos I took from the con:

 

 

LIFE: 11 Writing Questions

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1.) How many works in progress do you currently have?

Currently I have The Art of Falling completed and in the process of publication, and I’m currently working on the sequel. I have the rest of the The Age of Mythos saga in my head, just not written down.

2.) Do you/would you write fanfiction?

I wrote fanfics when I was younger, with most of them being done when I was around 16. They were Durarara!! fics mainly, and one became very popular (and still gets new readers, which is shocking to me.)

3.) Do you prefer real books or e-books?

I prefer real books. I’m on a computer for tons of other things. I want reading to stay special.

4.) When did you start writing?

I was in elementary school when I started writing. However, I didn’t start seriously writing until high school.

5.) Do you have someone you trust that you share your work with?

I brainstorm with several of my friends, two of which helped me create the world that my novels take place in. However, my fiance is the one who reads every draft and edits.

6.) Where is your favorite place to write?

I prefer writing in my room, or on my downtime at work.

7.) Favorite childhood book?

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. And anything by Lemony Snicket.

8.) Writing for fun or writing for publication?

Both! Publication is the dream that I want to achieve so I can continue to write for a living, but I love writing for fun as well.

9.) Pen and paper or computer?

Laptops for pretty much everything. However, I love printing out and editing by hand on paper.

10.) Have you ever taken any writing classes?

I’ve taken several Creative Writing courses in college, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting.

11.) What inspires you to write?

The characters themselves. I have to write their stories. I feel empty if I don’t.

LIFE: Shuto Con Update

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Kaiden and I at our artist alley booth at Shuto Con 2017!

Last week I attended Shuto Con 2017 and had a wonderful time! Here are just a few of the highlights from the weekend:

  • FIRST: MY CAR DIDN’T BREAK DOWN!!!
  • I spent the weekend with my fiance, two closest friends, and a new friend.
  • I shared my booth with Kaiden, and had a blast selling our work, tag-teaming commissions, and sharing my book with those who stopped by! You can check out some of my favorite commissions from the weekend below.
  • While I didn’t cosplay, I saw many amazing cosplays (and didn’t take as many photos as I would have wishes, but that’s okay!)
  • Two photographers also came up to our booth and took photos of us, which was pretty awesome! (I wonder where some of the photos ended up…)
  • I went to the Mystery Skulls concert and panel, and had my print signed by both Mystery Skulls and Mystery Ben! I also had a photo with them and gave them each a print.
  • Best of all, I made quite a few new friends and had dozens of new readers sign up for my newsletter to stay updated with me novel! How exciting!

Overall it was a busy weekend that seemed to fly by, and I had a great time. I can’t wait until July where I can apply again and, hopefully, have a chance to sell my book at the booth!