Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

As my friends know, I am a giant music-lover. I have headphones practically glued to my head. When I walk into a club or a concert, I'll be dancing immediately. I usually harass the DJ to play either "Billie Jean" or "Smooth Criminal" and once he finally plays it, I instantly become ecstatic and hop all over the place and sing along.

I don't need to explain that Michael's death is tragic. We all know "Thriller" and how awesome it is. I don't have a speech about Michael.

What I will say is that I'm astounded. Here is a man that commited his whole life to music since he was a kid. He was abused...but he smiled, he danced, and sang his heart out. He changed music. Made something new out of thin air. He worked hard, not just for music, but helping others. Yet, the last few years of his life was spent hiding from the people he danced and sang for. I can't help but cringe when I hear jokes and mean comments about his death. But for the most part, it seems people are being respectful and that is good to see.

It didn't really hit me that he died until I saw the "1958-2009" banner on a website. I spent tonight looking at the concert videos. While I'm sad, I can't help but crack a smile when I see him dance or when I hear "Smooth Criminal." With his music, he is anything but dead.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Cheers, Michael!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Life Drawing - June

Last night, I went to another life drawing session, which I posted on LJ. (Blogger is not very artist-friendly...Difficult to do cuts and picture sizing. I may do some art posts there and link it from here sometimes.)

Note: Life drawing is a study of nude figures, therefore, the drawing contain nude figures. If you don't mind nude sketches of models, here is a link where you can see my studies.

In other news, as I reported on the Summer Smackdown, I am at the first draft phase for a second book. Oh yeah, the good ol' first drafts, haha. I have at least ten books on the backburner and they all compete to be the second book...("Pick me!" "No, me!") but I'm pretty sure the one I chose will be the best route. We'll see. It's definitely strange to be back in the wilderness of first drafting after all the editing.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Joe Meno

Tonight, I got to attend Joe Meno's reading at the great Elliot Bay Books.

Here's a story. Two years ago, I had a reading slump. I would walk into a bookstore hoping to find a book I'd want to read. I flipped through many books. Sentences bored me. Words were strung up like brick walls--same old, same old. I could not - NOT - find something to read! That's when I was drawn to the simple cover of "Tender as Hellfire" (shown on the very left of the picture)...The cover wasn't a screaming, advertising sort of cover--it was subtle and somehow inviting. I dunno, I picked it up...flipped through it, read some heart was snared! Gorgeous, unique, robust writing and lively dialogue. The imagery that Joe Meno created still haunts me. His work is what got me reading again, rekindling my inspiration in written words. Joe has a stylized vision for each book and isn't afraid to try different things.

In person, he was just as funny and honest as how you'd think he'd be. He read the first chapter of "The Great Perhaps" in a clear, captivating way. He was also extremely humble, genuine, and kind. He shook my hand and told me he'd visit my web page! I had a grin plastered on my face since then--I was ecstatic! Seriously, he is the nicest author ever.

Thanks, Joe, for visiting Seattle!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Inspiration - "Rooftops"

So, I apologize this post isn't book-related. I wanted to share these neat photos!

I have an infatuation with rooftops. I have so many memories of being perched on the multi-tiered rooftops in Japan...or climbing up mysterious constructions. I associate rooftops with super heroes that leap into the night. If I had to draw a depiction of success, it would be a figure on top of a building (or a mountain).

I got to climb one tonight, and my friend took photos with the phone I threw down! (She did not want to climb it.) I thought the pics came out surprisingly well!

I love Summer. Enjoy it.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Supernatural Summer Tour

I attended the Supernatural Summer event today. I got to meet fellow YA authors Aprilynne Pike, Claudia Gray, Kim Harrison, and Kelley Armstrong.

I'm always amazed with how small the YA book world is. I am bound to run into familiar faces or names. I was in-line with several other authors, and turns out one is the moderator of a blog I was looking at just last night! I met Caitlin Kittridge, Cherie Priest, and Kimberly Derting.

As for the supernatural authors...I knew Aprilynne from Absolute Write and was excited about her news. It was great to meet her. She was really adorable, funny, enthusiastic, and charming. It was particularly inspiring to see the way she interacted with the really young fans. Claudia is also from Absolute Write--another kindred spirit!

Here we are...From left to right, Aprilynne, me, and Claudia:

Currently, I'm reading "The Summoning" by Kelley Armstrong and loving it. (And got the second book at the event.)

Oh, and stories about book cover designs? Never tire of 'em.

This concludes my report! Peace out!


P.S. You can see teen blogger, Sarah Woodard's event report here...and author, Kimberly Derting's report here. Woo!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Recent Read - "Rapture"

I just finished reading the first issue of "Rapture" by Michael Oeming (my coworker at Valve) and Taki Soma.

I love the story flow--brilliant and dramatic. Shots of destruction are contrasted with romantic shots. Water-colored memories are juxtaposed with edgy reality. The story interlaces lyrics, different character angles, and snippets of sketches. This deliberate and bold unfolding makes it stand out from other comics. It's a world-tearing story about heartbreak and I can't wait to see more of it! Cheers to you, Mike and Taki!

I recommend it! Rapture can be ordered here!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cindy Pon's "Silver Phoenix"

Hey, guys and gals! I wanted to let you know that Cindy Pon's debut SILVER PHOENIX is currently out.

Check out the lovely book trailer here!

I knew Cindy when I was a lurker on Absolute Write, so wow--exciting to see her debut success! Plus, her brush art is a-maz-ing.

You can actually get a chance to win her art and a signed copy of Silver Phoenix! Go here for details.

Cheers, Cindy!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spotlighted on Summer Revision Smackdown

Hope everyone is having a fiery start to Summer! I am cracking the whip with Summer Revision Smackdown and in today's spotlight.

You can go to Holly's blog here to see my revision tip! (Hint: I compared revising to surfing. How? What? You have to go there to find out!)

Thank you for having me, Holly!