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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:54 am 
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Well, it turns out I had 49,874 words in me this month. 126 words short, but I also didn't count nearly 1,000 words of a side-story that kept wanting to be written, which I ignored to try and follow the main plotline.

It's in serious need of an editing pass.

I also simply hated the ending I pushed out today; I just wanted to have an ending, but everything just felt wrong.

I feel the world also got a little out of my control about half-way through, and one of the things I want to do as part of rewriting it is do some research (particularly about some American Indian tribes, probably the Iroquois), and compile a big world bible for myself, so that what I write about will be consistent enough to make sense.

But still, I am glad I got that much out, despite skipping out entirely on three days this month.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:21 am 
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Whew... that is quite an accomplishment, even if you don't technically feel you hit the 50k. Hopefully an enjoyable one to reach!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:41 am 
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At my university word count limits have a 10% margin in either direction, so as far as I'm concerned you did it!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:43 pm 
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Holy crap, congratz!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:27 pm 
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I recently commissioned an awesome writer+artist on Tumblr and I am stupid happy with the result! The most observant may have guessed what the subject was, but here it is in full glory:
beware the awesome

I'll probably add it to the dossier... it's SO GOOD to see her in color! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:48 pm 
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Very cool, Huey! I'm particularly fond of the eye on this one. I am always impressed with well-drawn artwork, but eyes in particular sort of fascinate me when drawn well.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:29 pm 
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I'm beginning to feel a tangible change on my grasp of Japanese.

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but sometime last year, after a slow day at work when I went brain-dead reddit-hopping, I decided to use some of my downtime to slowly learn some language that I have my eye on -- Japanese, Russian, Korean, and Toki Pona at the time, though now I'm also interested in ASL (American Sign Language) the Nordic languages (Swedish/Icelandic/Danish/Norwegian), Finnish, French and Italian. I set my goal really low: If I spent even an hour a week, that would be a decent enough start so that I might have a passing fluency in a few years. I didn't and don't want to go on some fast-course six-month cram session to try and learn everything.

I started with Japanese simply because I had an app/book that I bought years ago which I had never finished. Partly as a result of some small lifestyle changes (less time on youtube, for instance), I've found myself devoting a bit more of my time to learning Japanese than I initially planned for, and it's getting to the point where I am noticing an improvement in my fluency.

Mind you, I'm not saying I have any vocabulary of note or that I can even keep up with anime without subtitles, but there's two distinct things that I've been noticing:
  • I am capable of kind of half-following simplistic dialogue in Japanese manga, untranslated
  • I am growing capable of hearing some lines of Japanese in subtitled shows and comprehending the difference between what is actually said and what it was translated into

Like, when I talked about Weathering With You recently, I was able to do the "loose translation" of the title myself, because I understood the Japanese title perfectly. It's becoming kind of exciting.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:24 am 
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Learning languages can be a lot of fun. I'm glad you found a way to use your downtime productively too, because I'm personally terrible at that.

Also, if you ever do decide to start learning Swedish, hit me up! My wife and I are running a community for Swedish learners on Facebook.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:54 pm 
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I'd love to take you up on that offer, sometime in the future. To be utterly honest, what got me interested in Fenoscandia was reading the excellent webcomic Stand Still, Stay Silent. The "viking" cultural history is cool, sure, but two things I learned from reading SSSS are 1. that I could basically learn a Swiss army knife of languages (no pun initially intended) because of how closely related Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Dutch are -- the author even gave me the impression that they're more mutually intelligible than the Romance languages (except for maybe Dutch) -- and 2. that it would be really easy to learn a Nordic language (minus Finnish) because of how Germanic they are -- I'm half-able to understand warning signs without knowing the language due to how closely the words resemble English.

I should add an asterisk to the idea, though. I am vehemently against Facebook, from way before the Cambridge debacle last year. I have never had a Facebook account, and I don't plan to ever have one. Assuming you're still doing that in several years' time, when I can focus on other languages, I may need to talk about alternatives; at the very least, I may try striking up a pen-pal idea where I could try shooting the breeze with you in Swedish.

Relatedly, my family is starting talks about going out to Spain for a vacation, possibly next year. The idea is, as my brother suggested, for my mom to do some traveling before she gets too old to do so (remember: 15 years between my brother and I). I can speak some Spanish, but because my Spaniard father was never the teaching type -- and boy, could I blow some steam off about that some time -- what I have I mostly got from a home school Spanish class in high school.* I don't even consider myself bilingual because of how unsure I always feel speaking Spanish, even though I can understand like three times as much as I can speak (and I know very little of the written language).

So my point is that I feel the need to brush up on my Spanish right now.

I actually thought of a great strategy to try helping me with this: setting the language in the video games I'm playing to Spanish. Unfortunately, the first game I have played so far since coming up with this strategy has been Axiom Verge, which may not have been the best choice. Said game is a retro Super Metroid-like platformer, if Metroid had instead been inspired by hardcore science fiction and H. R. Giger. The point here is, besides the bulk of the story being in "texts" hidden throughout the world, the story is kind of barely comprehensible even in English.



*fun fact: I taught myself how to use my knife in my left hand specifically to spite that book, which took the stance that "in Spain, the knife never leaves the right hand"


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:22 pm 
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I got my copies of Hinges in today, and the author included some ADORABLE little doodles inside all the front covers.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:35 pm 
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So, in kind of testing myself, I seem to have about 100 kanji memorized to the point that I can write them from memory, and maybe about a dozen more that I can recognize on sight, but are complex enough that I cannot write them without a reference.

For context, because I imagine some people may not know, Japanese basically has three writing systems at once:
  • Hiragana, a syllabary which represents their natural language sounds, and can be thought of as lowercase letters
  • Katakana, which are the same as hiragana but used for foreign/borrowed words, and can be thought of as ALL CAPS or maybe italics
  • Kanji, which are Chinese characters borrowed/forced upon Japan from thousands of years ago when China's many dynasties expanded their reign and forced their language on their section of the world, much like Rome did in Europe

Kanji are ideographs -- abstract pictures representing whole words -- that tend to need wrote memorization to get down pat. There are about 2,000 "common use" kanji that are normally taught in Japanese school, which need to be memorized before one can be considered decently fluent.

Now, I've not been spending much time on the (somewhat outdated) flash-card method of just looking up individual kanji and memorizing their meanings, so a lot of these kanji have been picked up while learning in context (for instance, the kanji for "now" I picked up due to its common use, especially in compound words like "today" -- written as "now-day" in kanji), so I feel really confident in understanding their meaning rather than just being a living phrasebook.

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