mintywolf: (waterwalk)
Sooooo against all reason and better judgement, I started writing a thing.  Not as a NaNo project but I did start it at the end of November. I haven't decided whether to post it on DeviantArt (allows images and artist's notes, bad for chaptered fics), ffn (I don't think it allows images, but I haven't been back there in years so I'm not sure, and around the time that I left author's notes were no longer allowed), or A03 (I've never been there and don't know anything about it) so I am starting off here.  But if anyone can recommend one of those as a more official home I will listen.

This came about as a mash-together of some unused plot arcs I wanted to but couldn't fit into Guardian, of which it is kind of a doom spinoff but you don't need to have read it, and an AU that occurred to me while I was doing the writeup for my Let's Play.  What would have happened to Yuna -- and everyone else -- if Braska had failed to defeat Sin?  What if she had grown up not as the beloved daughter of the High Summoner but known only as the child of the heretic summoner and an Al Bhed?

((Spoilers for the thing you are about to read that looked stupid stuck at the bottom of the page so scroll ahead and come back afterwards if you want: The design for the Lulubeast, Yuna's Final Aeon, was the very first piece of FFX fanart I ever drew way back in like 2008 after or near the end of the first time I played it.  When Lulu volunteered to become Yuna's aeon I got SUPER EXCITED, and, in the space that it takes anyone to respond during that scene, my mind had raced ahead envisioning an outcome where these two women go off, leaving the rest of the party behind, save the world, and die together after one of them becomes a giant monster.  I had a feeling that that wasn't going to happen, but I got really excited about it in the approximately three seconds I had before the scene continued.  I've never posted that picture anywhere but it is still my favorite thing I've ever drawn, for anything.  When I started writing Guardian I decided I should probably come up with a less monstery design, went through a few more humanlike concepts, and then decided fluff that, Lulubeast it is. You still can't quite see her clearly, and she probably won't be coming around again needing a full description until late in the story, but in the end I had to decide between not wanting to reveal it until its proper place in Guardian and wanting a dramatic opening here.))

Anyway, here's the beginning of a thing.

The Heretic’s Daughter



The execution was not scheduled to take place until midmorning, but a crowd had been gathering on the steps of the Palace of St. Bevelle since dawn. It was composed of a diverse assortment of clergy, off-duty warrior monks, and ordinary civilians, from the bent elderly with joints aching from the long wait to fidgety children perched on the shoulders of their parents to get a better look. Most of them were citizens of Bevelle, but some had come from as far away from Besaid. Everyone was eager to see Yevon’s most hated enemy, apart from Sin itself – of course – brought to justice.


Read more... )


mintywolf: (moogle vickie)
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Hello again!

Last time we won the Chappu Memorial Cup blitzball tournament, bringing victory to Besaid for the first time in 23 years, only to have our triumph overshadowed by a pointy-haired attention hoarder and his giant hellbeast. Afterwards we picked up a blade-toting ghost hitchhiker, because apparently creepypasta is not a thing in Spira.

So on we go. )

Next time: a horrible beastie! Will we be able to avoid being pushed off the cliff? (Probably not.)
mintywolf: (fluttershy yelling)
Last night I went into my yearly 10:00 on October 31st pre-NaNo panic, outlined a fic I've been planning for a few weeks . . . and then decided in the end not to write it. I have a lifelong bad habit of pitching story ideas to someone and then getting discouraged by their lack of interest/understanding. I know I shouldn't measure the entire worth of an unstarted project by an early lackluster response, but I do and I have abandoned so many of them because of it. It isn't the other person's fault. I just have very little confidence in my own work.

I think part of the reason I've managed to stick with Guardian for so long, despite it being a completely unreasonable thing unmarketable even to its home fandom, was that I didn't tell anyone about it or try to get anyone's opinion before I started it. There was no starry-eyed planning period of announcing "I'm going to do a thing!" I just did the thing, plunked it down in my deviantart gallery, and never looked back to see if anyone cared about the thing. It was the least discouraged I've ever been by a lackluster response, which there certainly was for the first few pages. (I was still disappointed, but I had gone in accepting that that might be the case, since I had just turned up one day like, hello, deviantwatchers! Here's a story for a fandom I've only barely alluded to in my past artwork so all of you are almost certainly watching me because of something else. Oh but it won't be returning to the plot hook introduced on the first page until the last chapter. First it's going to cover the life story of a generally-overlooked character beginning with her childhood. Some of this will be unfamiliar unless you have played the game very thoroughly. None of the really popular characters will be introduced for several weeks. Oh and it's in graphic novel format. I have never written one before and I am also fairly new to digital art.)

And then Auronlu found it, and suddenly I had an audience who was actually paying attention. I probably would have continued trudging stoically along with it otherwise, but knowing that someone is reading it who likes it and is invested in the story really gave me a renewed sense of purpose. There are now a handful of someones following it, but she's still my most diligent reader. :)

So this month my NaNo goal is to finish the first chapter, which has a few more pages to go. (I think this is the point I was trying to make when I started this entry.) There really isn't a NaNo for sequential art, probably because it's hard to quantify and also not something you can go back and easily edit if you've rushed through it. I can't really keep a word count or anything because the pagely process goes like script - panels - sketch - lines - text - color - post - repeat!

I haven't written prose in a really long time and I miss it, and I love/hate the joyous/hair-pulling frenzy of NaNo, I love the camaraderie of writing alongside everyone else, and I wanted to write a fic because I have this increasingly crowded hutch of plotbunnies for them, but I don't want to stop working on Guardian especially since I've finally managed to drag it onto a regular update schedule. And I really don't think I'll be able to keep up with both.

Sooo yes. I don't know if I can still count it as a NaNo project, since I'm still going to be boxed off in panels while everyone else is working with words, but that's my goal for the end of the month.
mintywolf: (summoner minty)
 photo ffxplaythroughtitle_zps075abc19.png

This thing must be more popular than I thought because I managed to run up against my 10GB bandwidth limit for photobucket. Granted, I have a lot of pictures, but that is a lot of bandwidth to burn up. I also realized it is probably time to move on from photobucket, because really the only reason I was staying was because I’d been using it for like ten years and it was pretty much the only option at the time. Can anyone recommend a good image host?

So last time we made our way to Luca, Blitzball capital of Spira, where Waffles made a fool of himself in front of several cameras, met a blue-haired creeper, misplaced Yuna, found Yuna, and managed not to play any blitzball.

How does he swim in those yellow boots anyway? )

Next time: little talks.
mintywolf: (summoner minty)
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On the way back to the docks I had Tidus attempt to take down a killer bee that had only 1 hp left and be nagged by Lulu when he missed. Then I pressed the wrong key and had her attack it with her mog rather than casting a spell and she missed it too. And nagged herself.

On we go. )

Next time: Sketchy guys! Horrifying monsters! Prodigious badassery! And blitzball.
mintywolf: (waterwalk)
 photo ffxplaythroughtitle_zps075abc19.png

Hello again! When we last left Waffles and Friends we had said goodbye to Besaid and set off on our way to Luca for the big blitzball tournament. But first we have to swing by Kilika for an aeon, space whale tragedy, and one very pretty cutscene.

Ten minutes into the voyage and Tidus is already bored. )

Next time: Will we finally get to Luca?
mintywolf: (lulu)
Or why I was super suspicious of Lulu at first. With bonus feminist theory analysis.

I mentioned earlier that this needed some extra backstory )

This is not even the first time I have sat down at my computer intending to do something else and ended up writing an essay about Lulu.
mintywolf: (bitty yuna)
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Hello again! When we last left Waffles he had just charged into the cryptic recesses of the Cloister of Trials with all the reserve of a feral chocobo. And this is why we love him.

One brief sphere puzzle later )

Next time: I will try to pick up the pace, haha. We just met a bunch of my favorite characters so I got a little starry-eyed there.
mintywolf: (white mage yuna)
I got some bigger pictures of that wall hanging I was puzzling over. It's a bit more legible now, but its meaning isn't any clearer.

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Trying to read this is like trying to read an eye chart and needing glasses, and unfortunately, as far as I can tell, it doesn't translate into anything. The big letters are A and Z, which show up paired at the top and bottom of things in several places throughout Spira to represent Yevon and Sin, respectively. I thought it might be the Hymn of the Fayth, given the way the characters are spaced like words if you read them vertically, but when translated it just came out as gibberish. :(

I deciphered (to the best of my ability) the top line going horizontally and then a few lines vertically and didn't get much out of it:


? ? V
- I ?
Z - Y


Here's the Yevon alphabet, if anyone else wants to try translating this.

Hopefully we'll get a clearer look at it in the HD version. Until then I'm going to assume it was meant to be a prayer or the Hymn and they developers just didn't bother putting in accurate characters because they didn't count on it actually being read.
mintywolf: (moogle vickie)
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Okay so! I got a message from Livvy on tumblr explaining how to increase the resolution and get better screencaps. Unfortunately, I had already taken about a billion screencaps of Besaid before then. I was able to revert to an earlier save with the new settings, but not all the way to end of the last recap. So for this installment, these are going to be in the native PS2 resolution. I’m sorry!

We're here! )

Next time: Waffles opens the Chamber of Secrets.
mintywolf: (waterwalk)
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I’ve been wanting to replay FFX again, and considered waiting for the HD rerelease, but 1. Nobody knows the release date for that yet and 2. I don’t have a PS3 or much hope for obtaining one in the future so I decided to go ahead. Many thanks to maclaniaspring, Livvy, and Auronlu for helping me get set up!

This is my most favorite game of all time, so I have a lot to say about it. If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you’ve played it, but I'm doing a fairly detailed recap in case it's been awhile. Also, there WILL be spoilers. One of this game's favorite storytelling devices is foreshadowing future bombshells way in advance, and I'll be discussing major plot elements when they're hinted at early, before they're actually revealed, so we can see how long and intricately woven the threads of the plot are. I’ll be providing my own observations, insights, and analysis with a focus on some characters and relationships that I feel are often overlooked. (Specifically Lulu, Lulu and Yuna, Seymour and Yuna, and Kimahri because I don’t know how everyone manages to ignore the big blue lion in the room, but even the game does this most of the time.) That doesn’t mean I’ll be leaving everybody else out though.

I will also be attempting something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but I’m not sure how feasible it is: a sphere grid swap! This basically entails doing a no sphere grid run until I have a bunch of level 1 key spheres. Then everyone breaks into Kimahri’s sphere grid and out into each other’s, resulting in Auron becoming a deft and nimble thief, Tidus wielding black magic, Lulu commanding an army of unstoppable samurai plush, etc. It’s gonna be awesome.

I’m going to be posting to Dreamwidth to allow for any discussion, but that gets crossposted to LJ, and I will be linking to tumblr. I’ll keep comments open so you can reply even if you don’t have an account. And of course feel free to message me in any of these places if you have something to say. :)

Onward to Zanarkand! )

Next time: Waffles makes a bad impression on everyone he meets at Baaj Temple (including a passing seagull).

mintywolf: (fluttershy angel)
The top of my quilt is finished!

 photo frontsmall_zpsce9d9683.jpg

I still need to do the backing, quilting, and binding but I guess this was the hard part? This is my first one so I don't know how difficult the rest of the steps are going to be.

In the whirlwind of quilting this weekend and the days leading up to it, though, my sisters' birthday kind of got overlooked and I felt bad about that. Well, we celebrated it, but I was sewing and my mom and granddad were busy making dinner and we forgot to hang the birthday flag by the mailbox. I forgot to text them a happy birthday on their actual birthday. And Katy was sad that there was no birthday cake because Laura requested birthday pie because she didn't want a store-bought cake; she said she only likes the cakes that I make, and she didn't want to ask me to bake one because she knew I wouldn't have time. :( So yesterday when I knew they were coming over for dinner I made emergency remedial cupcakes.

Of course all of this means I have gotten NO work done on Guardian in more than a week, which is really making me itchy. I don't know why I feel this project is so important, because it probably really isn't, but whenever I have to put it aside to work on something else I get anxious about it. I feel like I'm running headlong towards some invisible deadline. And I get stressed out about how long I've planned it to be and afraid of running out of time.

In my very first vague ideas I only envisioned it to be about ten pages long (a milestone I just passed), covering Lulu's first pilgrimage and ending with her arrival on Besaid, and only take me a few weeks to do. And then I was like NO ALL THE WAY TO ZANARKAND FINAL AEON GO!!!

A year later I haven't gotten nearly as far as I had hoped I would be but it is coming along. Not as quickly as I had hoped, because I discovered that drawing sequential full-page, full-colour comics is HARD. I really don't know why that was the format I decided to go with. I never really considered for it to be anything other than a graphic novel, even though I'd never drawn one before and had very little experience with comics at all. I mean, I could have written a novel-length fanfiction with chapter header illustrations as was my usual medium. That would have been a lot easier and made a lot more sense. But I literally woke up one day and started writing out the script for this thing that I had not planned to do and now here it is and I can't let it go.
mintywolf: (fus ro yuna)
Well, Quiltpocalypse Weekend is upon us! Things actually went a lot more smoothly than expected, but then again, I was expecting chaos. I got six blocks done today, which leaves me only three more to go. (And then I have to do the backing, and binding, and then the actual quilting itself.)

 photo 9blockssmall_zps9e6f3825.jpg

My sisters actually finished the fronts of their quilts today:

 photo Katysmall_zpsef96a0fa.jpg  photo Laurasmall_zpsdd17b7d5.jpg

(Seen here with miscellaneous pets.)

At some point we ended up in a conversation about "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and about how it is basically about him being mopey because he is getting old and disillusioned and women don't pay him much attention anymore. (Probably, one of my sisters posited, because he is no longer a hot young stud and, being English, has bad teeth. This on top of the early twentieth-century casual misogyny and racism, it's no wonder the ladies in the room prefer to come and go, talking of Michelangelo.) But it has some nice imagery.
mintywolf: (skyrim lucy)
Well I got three blocks done, and then I ran out of thread. :/ Apparently I am terrible at gauging how much thread there is on a spool and I keep thinking "There's plenty here!" until the spool itself is visible. So my options now are order new thread and wait for it to arrive, or use lavender thread, which I don't really want to do in case it shows through, but it is the only other colour I have that is close to matching and cotton. (I have been instructed never to use polyester thread for quilting.) I'm annoyed that I didn't think to pick up more thread at the quilt shop.

3 stars photo IMG_0027_zpsca514fcd.jpg

The first one came out fine; it was actually on the second one that I started screwing things up in every possible way. I had a feeling that the star points would be the fiddliest bits, but you would be surprised at how many different ways I could manage to fumble over such simple directions as "Mark diagonal lines on the small squares. Sew them to the small rectangles. Cut off the corners." Made more embarrassing by the fact that the reason I messed it up was because I was distracted thinking about Pokemon.

However, despite my comprehensive list of mistakes, I never made the same one twice. Which is actually the same thing my driver's ed teacher said to me in high school in an effort to be encouraging. (Incidentally, I still don't have a driver's license.)

I must say though that I am really enjoying working with small pieces and straight lines, even though fitting them together is a precise process and takes some concentration. (Meaning you cannot be at the time thinking about Pokemon, or which Pokemon certain Final Fantasy characters would be if they were Pokemon, btw Auron is totally Arcanine.) It's a nice change from the big irregular pieces I'm used to from making clothes or the tiny curves from making dolls and doll clothes. I was intimidated by quilting at first but I am finding it to be a LOT easier than dollmaking.

But I suppose I'm not going to get as much of a head start as I had hoped before the Great Quilt Weekend (of Doom) descends upon us. It took me several days to get as far as I did, counting the time it took to press, measure, and cut the fabric and lay out the squares. I don't know how in the world my mother is expecting that we'll have three individual finished quilts by the end of the weekend.
mintywolf: (moogle vickie)
So, I'm making a quilt. This is a thing that I am really doing.

A few weeks ago while my grandparents were visiting, one of my sisters asked my grandmother, who is an experienced quilter, for help making a duvet cover for her bed in her new apartment. I offered to contribute my sewing machine in case they needed an extra one, but suddenly my mother jumped all over this and thought wouldn't it be great if me and my sisters all made a quilt together with Mom-mom. Not working together on one quilt, as I was hoping she was getting at, but ALL THREE OF US each making a separate quilt. Three projects, in one house, on one weekend.

Now, I've always wanted to make a quilt, and I think this is a lovely idea in theory, but in practice I think it's going to be a huge stressful mess. I offered to help either of my sisters with their projects, since I have both a sewing machine and experience with it, but my mom got angry and accused me of not wanting to build my own memories with my grandmother. Then she started guilting me about it, stressing how much of a "memory-building experience" this would be and also how my grandmother is not going to be around forever, because the women of my family have raised passive-aggression and guilt tripping to an art form.

Unable to convince her that I do want to make a quilt and some memories with my grandmother, just not at the same time and with the same sewing machine as everyone else, I picked out some fabric and now I am making a quilt. I did get permission to get a head start, so I am trying to get as much done as I can before the Great Quilting Weekend (this weekend) arrives so I at least have the hang of it by then.

I got all the pieces cut out a few weeks ago but put it on hold to finish this and this, in an effort to cut down my number of ongoing major projects. Today I laid out and planned all the squares, a process my grandmother calls "auditioning".

layout photo IMG_0013small_zpse7834d6a.jpg

You can get a vague idea of what it's going to look like in the end. The pattern is called "Lucky Stars," which you probably can't tell right now, but the small triangle pieces are going to be the star points. Getting all the blocks organized - making sure that I didn't repeat a pattern in each square, trying not to have too many solid pieces or pieces with distinctive patterns or polka dots or what have you close together, getting the right colour balance - was very puzzly.

And then I had to pick them all up because I can't keep them laid out on my bed, haha. I took several pictures so hopefully I will be able to put them back together as perfectly as I had them laid out.

August 2017

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