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Novel Reaction Post: Warbreaker

Woah, it's been awhile since I've done one of these. I blame this on Tumblr. However, I don't like how all-text posts look on that site, so I'm on here.

Today I'm writing about Brandon Sanderson's novel Warbreaker because it holds the distinction of being the first novel I've started and actually finished in a good while. Whether or not this novel has finally broken my reading slump remains to be seen, however.

The summary (from Goodreads):
Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn’t like his job, and the immortal who’s still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.

Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery, and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.

This is Sanderson's fifth novel after Elantris, and the Mistborn trilogy, none of which I've read. However, Warbreaker is a stand-alone novel, so it's not necessary to have read his previous works.

My thoughts are below the cut. There will probably be spoilers, so be warned. Also, know that I read the version he posted online here.

She frowned as she saw that he was wearing some ridiculous frippery on his head...Collapse )

Right now, I'm reading the annotations Sanderson has on the website. It's a good chance to see why he made the decisions he did while writing his novel.

This entry was originally posted at http://rfmadison.dreamwidth.org/11802.html. No need to comment over there; I can respond to comments here, too.

Playing with DrawCast and Manga Coloring

Firstly, whoo! I'm updating this journal for once. As it turns out, I've been putting a lot of my works in progress and random graphics on my Tumblr instead of on here. Whoops.

Speaking of works in progress, I'm here to share two versions of an unfinished manga coloring, and I might as well throw in the finished piece while I'm at it. I say these are "works in progress," but they're pretty much finished. I even took the time to add random shading. (Still need to work on that, by the way) If you have't read the latest chapter of Kimi ni Todoke, this picture has potential spoilers. Beautiful spoilers depending on who you are, but potential spoilers all the same.

Here's an icon-sized sample, which I tried to keep as spoiler-free as possible:

Colored full-sized images are behind the cuts:

Version 1Collapse )

Version 2Collapse )

Here's the finished version:

Final Version (hopefully)Collapse )

I'll probably post it again if I ever get around to finishing the other manga colorings I've left alone due to my fickle nature. Or hey, there's always Tumblr.

This entry was originally posted at http://rfmadison.dreamwidth.org/11657.html. No need to comment over there; I can respond to comments here, too.

Almond Chocolates

Happy Valentine's Day! In honor of that, as well as my first sporadic post on this account on Dreamwidth, I've decided to post the results of my latest dessert making experiment. For Valentine's Day this year, I originally wanted to try making red velvet cupcakes and experiment with coloring the frosting. However, while on Tumblr earlier scrolling down the Kimi ni Todoke tag (I still need to get around to a review of that manga), I came upon this recipe from a fairly new blog focusing on anime inspired recipes. Since I had just about everything it called for (with a few substitutions), I decided to try these instead.

Recipe, pictures, and notes below cutCollapse )
Final verdict: Not bad. Not sure if being able to taste the salt is a deal breaker, but I like it. It made the chocolate less sweet than I thought it would be. And almonds make everything better. =D

This entry was originally posted at http://rfmadison.dreamwidth.org/11370.html. No need to comment over there; I can respond to comments here, too.
So, here's the thing. Despite the numerous hours I spend in front of the TV, I don't actually watch a lot of shows unless they're animated or on one of those kids channels. Very few live-action shows grab my interest from day one, and the few shows I do get interested in are either cancelled (Moonlight, Kings, Undercovers, The Cape), I drop (Royal Pains, Burn Notice, Fairly Legal, US version of Being Human), or I never get around to watching (The Good Wife, Nikita remake). In fact, White Collar is probably the only non-animated, not kid-oriented American show I'm still following right now, and it's not even on network television. I think I have horrible luck with choosing shows, I swear.

However, I don't know if it's because I'm not doing much with my life right now or what, but I've been looking up some upcoming shows for Fall 2011, and I find myself wanting to at least check out a few of them. With my luck, they'll all be cancelled after one season (or less), but it never hurts to try, right?

Note: This only lists network TV premieres. I haven't bothered to check if there were any new shows coming out on basic cable.

My List of Fall 2011 Shows to Check OutCollapse )

More notes:
- I seem to be lacking in new comedies. I'm banking on not needing to watch those from the beginning.
- A majority of the shows I'm checking out seem to be crime procedurals of some sort. Huh, looks like I have a drama type after all.
- With the exception of the two fairy tale shows, all of them take place somewhere in New York. New York, I love you, but a change of scenery would be nice, you know.

If there are any other new shows worth checking out, I'll update this list.
My new obsession! I would have never checked out the manga if I didn't hear about the live action drama. And I'm so glad I did. I read all the chapters within a week (it would have been shorter if it weren't for real life stuff), watched all the anime episodes, and am currently working through the live action series.

The summary (from Anime News Network):

Haruhi Fujioka is a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, where it turns out that the bespectacled, short-haired Haruhi is the only student from a lower-middle class family in attendance. Then, to make matters worse, one day she breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to one of the campus clubs: a mysterious outfit called the "Host Club," consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. Mistaking Haruhi for a boy at first, they force her to work for the club to pay the damages, but when she proves to be a hit with the female students who come to be charmed and entertained, the guys decide it's more fun keeping up the charade...

The series, by Bisco Hatori, originally ran from 2002 to 2010 in Japan. The series itself makes up eighteen volumes, sixteen of which are available in North America through Viz Media (The last two volumes will be available December 2011 and some time in 2012). There are also a few published after-stories; the latest is a two-part story released in the Japanese magazine LaLa commemorating the premiere of the live action drama (No clue as to whether these stories will be available in NA).

And now, my thoughts on the series. I'm going to try my best to keep this to just the manga, though I may do a comparison of everything if I feel like it.

Excuse me...what research are you doing...?Collapse )
So, before I lose my nerve, decide to color even more panels, or edit the ones I already did, I'm putting up what I've done so far. I'm still new to this whole "manga coloring" thing, so I'm hoping to improve as I (hopefully) continue to be inspired and time goes on.

Samples (can double as icons, if desired):

Various panels from Chapter 41 to the end of the manga. Warning: image heavy.Collapse )

Feedback would be much appreciated, but please don't be too harsh. I'm still learning!

More Adventures in Manga Coloring

So, remember last time when I said that, if I color manga pictures, I'd just stick to chibi/sillier poses? Well... I guess I lied. ^^'

Image in question behind the cutCollapse )

Someone send heeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!

Edit: I didn't realize that my color scheme was so Christmas-like. It was completely unintentional.

Forays into Truffle Making

So, I was in the living room while Mom was watching an episode of The Nate Berkus Show earlier this week. During that episode, he had Anne Thornton on to make Cookie Dough Truffles, which peaked my curiosity. After seeing how easy the recipe looked, I decided to look up chocolate truffle recipes (I didn't really want a cookie dough center) and clicked on this recipe from Cooking for Engineers. From there, the idea try my hand at chocolate truffles wouldn't leave my head. So yesterday, I made my way to a grocery store to buy ingredients to make the truffles, and here is the end result:

Process under the cutCollapse )

Taste-wise, they weren't bad. The truffles are really soft and will melt in your mouth quickly. The ones covered in cocoa powder were a bit bitter, but that's what I get for using unsweetened powder. And the walnuts, like I said before, were a bit burnt, so I'm trying to finish them off myself. The ones coated in almonds? My favorites of the batch, but that could be bias talking.

Future endeavors include different flavored truffles, more toppings, and dipping the truffles in chocolate. Mmmmmmmmmm.
Anyone else watch the trailer for the new mini-series The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra? No? WELL YOU SHOULD!!!

Anyway, I made a few icons and GIFs for this wonderful occasion.

[32] icons
[6] animated GIFs


Images behind the cutCollapse )

Also, I had to resort to posting this on the PC instead of my laptop. Ugh.

Official Icon Batch #1

I'm finally posting icons here. Yay!

[18] stock icons (including 1 animated GIF)
[9] White Collar icons
[5] Big Time Rush icons ("Worldwide" music video/ Big Time Breakup)
[9] Other (including City Hunter, Sailor Moon (Sailor Mercury/Mizuno Ami), The Wallflower/Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, Skip Beat!)


All behind the cutCollapse )

Why "official?" Because I already have an "Icon Batch #1" for the four icons I made for this journal... two years ago. This also probably means it'll be a long time before I post another batch of icons. XD


R. F. Madison

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