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I'm opening up a few commission slots to cover some last-minute expenses before payday on the 27th! If you like to grab one, please fill in my commission form here - goo.gl/forms/ebMm8G2WEShpN7ZF2 Feel free to look around my gallery on here and over at furaffinity (www.furaffinity.net/gallery/sm…) for examples of my work. Please be aware that I will only draw General - Mature art at this time.

(Also Burmecian OCs are a plus! >.>)

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  • Listening to: Care of Night - Those Words
  • Playing: Splatoon 2
I've been neglecting DeviantArt, and both this account and my web dev career have fallen way behind since I've last been active on here. I've started doing art again for the first time in years, so... here's an effort to be more active and engage on DA as both an artist and an art fan.

Cheers.
  • Listening to: Frontline - I Don't Know
  • Drinking: Chai Tea
1.) My favorite food to snack on are peanut butter and banana sandwiches on wholemeal bread. They're packed full of energy, and they cover all of my macronutirent needs.

2.) Although I'm bisexual, I actually prefer women over men. I'm also okay with transexuals.

3.) My current man crushes are Chris Hemsworth, Kit Harrington, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Likewise, my current girl crushes are Pauline Nordin, Scarlett Johansson, and Emilia Clarke.

4.) I've only ever dated four people in my whole life - My first boyfriend I met on Second Life, which only lasted a few weeks. The second I met on Pounced.org, and that lasted for a year and a bit. The third one, a girl, also met on Second Life, and lasted for a year too. And the forth only lasted a few months. The two guys I've never met face-to-face, but I met up with the two girls on three occassions each.

5.) As much as I love 80s/Early 90s music, I actually like lesser-known bands from those periods than I do big name stars. Examples include Dare, Vixen, and Bad English.

6.) When it comes to girls, I like toned/athletic women, and -some- bodybuilders, within limits. For men, I dig muscular guys with long hair, and fembois/crossdressers.

7.) My OC Declan Tribal was first created back in 2003 as a Dante expy - originally he was going to be a Burmecian/Dragon hybrid who uses both a sword and a gun, and he could cast powerful black magic spells to augment his swordplay. Needless to say, a lot of his abilities have either been stripped out or toned down to focus more on his personality and character arc.

8.) Chronicles of Gaia was originally going to be a webcomic named CyberDragon, which took place in a more modern setting and had the protagonists face off against a private millitary company. Obviously the idea never came to light, so it ended up being turned into a Final Fantasy fanfic instead. My very first-ever OC was even going to be the main villain, too.

9.) Chronicles of Gaia itself draws inspiration from an old FF9 Role Playing board that I created and helped maintain back in 2007-2010, and uses a number of characters and plot elements from that board.

10.) I'm an abolute tea beast! On average, I drink at least 6 - 10 cups a day. My favorite blends are chai, earl grey and lemon green tea.

11.) A movie I like that everyone seems to hate? Alien Resurrection.

12.) A movie I hate that everyone seems to like? Fantastic Mr Fox.

13.) The first ever video game I've played? Mega Man 2.

14.) The first ever video game I've -completed-? Super Mario 3.

15.) My favorite gaming franchises are Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy (not counting the games post-10.) My favorite stand-alone title is Shadow of the Colossus.

16.) My childhood crushes were Freya Crescent, Misty from Pokemon, Meryl Silverburgh, and Rouge the Bat.

17.) I stopped caring about Sonic the Hedgehog after Sonic Adventure 2 on the Dreamcast. I don't even like the art style either, for that matter.

18.) I did a paper round in the mornings during my stint at high school. The pay was pretty okay, but man, I really did hate having to get up at 6 just to go to work at the time.

19.) I've worked at my current job for over ten years now. I started working in the hospital's mortuary around 2007-8, and boy, did I hate working there at first.

20.) I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when I was 4, and had to attend a specialist school before being mainstreamed near the end of Year 2 (or 2nd Grade for those who speak American.)

21.) I have a strong preference for RPG-style parties or a band of heroes than I do for a lone protagonist.

22.) I've had long hair since my second year at college. I've never had it cut shorter than neck-length ever since.

23.) Burmecians are my all-time favorite fantasy-style race, and were what drew me into becoming a furry in the first place. I find their mysterious nature to be quite alluring.

24.) I'm very fascinated by Egyptian mythology, and I love going to exhibitions based on Ancient Egypt.

25.) I became a blood donor after some urging from a friend. My blood type is A+.

26.) Serylis was never intended to become a major character in Chronicles of Gaia, let alone Declan's main love interest. She was originally going to be a minor NPC who would help start Declan off in his quest to find his father, but I was so impressed with how the DM handled her, I asked if we could keep her around for a bit longer. Then the rest snowballed not long after.

27.) My favorite all-time favorite movie is Face/Off, followed closely by Con Air, the Avengers, and the Lion King.

28.) I started getting into exercise back in 2007, when I decided I want to have abs. Nowadays I've changed my goals with more focus on living a healthy lifestyle than just getting in shape.

29.) I feel far better motivated workout out from home than I do at a local gym, because I didn't like having to compete for certain pieces of equipment all the time. I finally got around to cancelling my gym membership when I ordered P90X around christmas 2012.

30.) I lost my virginity at 27. And to a girl, believe it or not :3

31.) I avoided fruit and veg like the plague until halfway through 2013. I started experimenting by having lettuce put in my Subway sandwiches before gradually adding onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Nowadays I'll take a salad over a bowl of fries any day of the week.

32.) I like movies that have sharp, witty dialogue than I do with serious writing. I cannot stand dialogue that's dripping with clichés, no matter how good the actual story is.

33.) It took me two years to finish my Web Maestro course, because I couldn't work out how to do that fucking database assignment >.<

34.) I originally wanted to major in video game design when I got into college. However, I got easily frustrated with VB programming and couldn't even do basic collision detection. That's when I found out that I had more of a passion for coding in HTML and graphics design, and decided to pursue a career in web design instead.

35.) I -hate- traditional cardio. I prefer to burn fat by lifting weights than running or jumping on the spot for 40 minutes straight.

36.) I haven't had a single McDonald's or KFC meal since 2013. The only fast food I eat now is either from Subway, or a Meal Deal kind of lunch from Boots or some other chain store.

37.) My favorite plot type is the Myth Arc - I find myself more invested in story arcs that span across an entire series or franchise than ones that only last a couple of episodes or seasons.

38.) My -least- favorite plot type is Romance, especially when it's horribly rushed or it overtakes the main narrative, or if it involves two characters with little-to-no chemistry (*coughtwilightcough*). Granted, I think Romance arcs are okay when done right, or if the writers take their time developing a romantic subplot, but for me, it becomes a major turnoff when a story about solving a mystery or saving the world turns into a love triangle between Bob, Alice and Claire with no real explanation behind it.

39.) My favorite plot device is Chekhov's Gun. I love it when authors throw something seemingly unimportant early on in the story, only for it to turn up later at a very crucial moment late on in the story.

40.) I didn't learn how to cook until I was 28. Up until then, I was living on pizzas and microwaveable burgers and fries. How I never managed to develop type-2 diabetes or become Obese is nothing short of extreme luck.

41.) I want to play TES: Skryim again, but there's so many mods I want to add on and my system starts to chugg whenever I try to play it.

42.) I -loved- trains when I was a kid. Thomas the Tank Engine was even my childhood hero.

43.) My favorite cheat meals are cheesecake, Mini Eggs and cinnamon rolls.

44.) I'm a slow and sporadic worker, taking far longer to complete a project than what's reasonably necessary.

45.) The first ever anime I've watched was Akira, followed by Roujin Z. Before I got into Pokemon etc., I used to watch Ox Tales and the Moomins almost religiously. Nowadays I don't really bother with anime that much, unless it's something that's highly recommended by some friends.

46.) I have a cut on my left nostril that makes it look bigger than my right, and a huge scar that covers 1/3 of my lower back, both from a horrific road accident I had when I was 15.

47.) I read fanfiction more often that I read real literature.

48.) My favorite type of villain is the Well-Intentioned Extremist. As a character, they're (more than often) much more sympathetic than even the protagonists, and in the end they're simply heroes in their own right trying to make the world a better place. Even if it means committing genocide or enslaving entire civillizations in order to further their own goals.

49.) My least favorite type of hero is the Anti-Hero, especially when they're trying way too hard to be badass. That said, they're okay when done right, and there are even a few anti-heroes that I do like, including Solid Snake and Han Solo, but it's such an easy character archtype to horribly mangle, especially by Gary Stu authors.

50.) My favorite setting is the Medieval Fantasy setting, or Steampunk, or a combination of both.
  • Listening to: Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar On Me
  • Watching: Bruce Almighty
  • Drinking: Lemon Green Tea

It's no secret that this last year has been one of the most busiest I've had to endure, and the most productive. I started the year off by setting four specific goals - change to a more healthier diet, work on my personal portfolio more, restart my writing project, and be more positive.

I have succeeded on all four fronts.

I've dropped all the junk in favor of greens and healthier food choices, and in doing so dropped all that weight I've been struggling to get rid off for years. Now I'm finally getting the results I've dreamed of, and I feel the best I've felt in a long, long time. I've started work on the next versions of the Realm of Eternal Rain and my own personal site, Silver Dragon Studios, whilst promoting my business with some degree of success. And while Chronicles is still a while away from being written, I've been organizing all my notes, from characters to plot structure, and polishing everything up, now that I have a story plan I'm satisfied with.

And to top it all off, life just seems pretty damn good right now. It's amazing to know that I've accomplished so much in the space of twelve months. I still think that I've been spending the majority of my life asleep, only to have woken up around June this year. If I can get so much done in one year, imagine what else I could do in the next ten.

My goal next year is to maintain my productivity, and build up on it. Right now, I'm content and at piece with myself, but there's still so much left to do, and so many goals to accomplish. I still feel I can do better than I've done this year by taking everything I've done and improve on it. So for 2015, I plan to:

1.) Continue to get in shape. This year was all about "Laying the Foundations", dropping any excess weight and toning up, preparing my body for hard gains. Next year will be about "Building Walls"; Once this current round of P90X is done, I'll be moving on to Body Beast and start my bulk-up plan, building muscle and improving my overall strength and stamina. I'll also be continuing to eat healthily, trying out more healthier food choices and cooking fantastic food that makes me feel good.

2.) Kickstart my business. I've drummed up a bit of interest and support for Silver Dragon Studios, and I want to start building websites for clients. I would also like to add more example works to my portfolio, or at least finish up on all my outstanding projects before I start looking for clients.

3.) Start writing Chronicles of Gaia. I've been putting this off for far too long, partly due to my web development commitments, and I want to release the first few chapters as soon as possible. I've got a great cast of characters, and a great idea for an epic story. It's a shame to put all of my ideas to waste, and I want something to show off to the world, even if it's just a small niche group. I might try writing a few short stories and one-shots just to polish up my writing skill, if I need to.

4.) Continue to be happy and assertive. I've been the happiest I've been in a long time, now that I'm content with my current lifestyle and living situation. I feel more relaxed and outspoken as a result, instead of the shy, withdrawn and awkward nerd I've been these past few years. Right now, my happiness comes from living a healthy and productive life; I want to build on that by doing things and seeking new hobbies that will help keep my happiness intact. And who knows? Maybe I'll finally find that special someone too, while I'm at it? ;D

So not really a list of new years resolutions, but more like a series of objectives that will help me achieve my overall goal for the year more easily. I also have a list of smaller, low priority goals I'd like to fulfill too, such as updating my blog on a more regular basis, or to cut out diet soda completely. They might gain priority as the year progresses and I've cleared up my plate a bit, but for now, I want to focus on finishing all of my outstanding work and continue living a healthy, creative lifestyle, and of course to continue to write, document and share my life and experiences with my friends and family.

I look forward to what 2015 throws in my face.

  • Listening to: Dare - Into the Fire
  • Watching: Con Air
  • Eating: Metcalfe Skinny Topcorn - Sweet Cinnamon Spice
  • Drinking: Darjeeling Tea
'Ello! S'been a while since I've posted this, hasn't it? Well, I'll get to the more relevant bits another time and get straight to the point with this journal.

As you know, I've been working on my writing project Chronicles of Gaia for nearly two years now, give or take the occasional false start or two. Well now that I've had some free time to work on it, after several rewrites and reorganising all my notes, I can honestly say that CoG is now finally starting to get some structure to it. It's 90% finished as of writing, and the only things left to work on are just basic polishing up and organizing key plot events. After that, I can then get to work drafting out the first few chapters or so.

So that I'm not leaving anyone hanging by keeping the story a complete mystery. here's a brief synopsis of what's going to happen - Spoilers for Final Fantasy IX are inbound, you have been warned!

After the party defeated Necron at the end of FFIX, things have started to settle down again in Gaia. However, nobody took into account that after Kuja destroyed the crystal, he opened up a hole between their universe and the void. You see, the crystal wasn't just the source of life, it was also a seal that kept the void at bay. Necron's appearance was just the beginning, and his defeat was just merely delaying the inevitable, as the barriers between reality and nothingness have been slowly eroding over the course of time.

Twenty years on, a necromancer is plotting to reintroduce the mist to Gaia, with an added twist - she plans to toxify the mist so that it'll turn any living creature into the undead, effectively creating an undead utpoia on Gaia. She's not working alone however, as she's under the employ of a powerful lich who once ruled over a powerful empire long before Terra's first attempt at assimilating Gaia. It soon transpires that the undead utopia plan is a ruse, and that the villains are just laying the foundations for something even bigger - you see, this particular lich is also the last of his kind, and what he wants most is to bring back not only his empire at the height of it's glory, but also his kin. So his real plan is to become a god, ripping open the fabric of space/time at it's weakest so he can obtain a long-forgotten eidolon, absorb it's powers and then rewrite the universe to his own liking.

Not all hope is lost however, as we'll need heroes to stop this calamity from happening, won't we? Enter our lead protagonist Declan! After hearing that his father may be involved in one of the plots mentioned earlier, Declan sets off on a perilous quest to search for him in hope of answers, and possibly a solution in stopping the lich and his necromantic apprentice. Along the way he meets with some very quirky bandmates - Serylis, a heavily-muscled dragoness who likes to chop heads off; Tristan, a knightly-knight who follows his code down to the letter; Nalja, his ditzy childhood friend; Edsel, a healer who's also a bookworm; and finally Marco, a rogue who's more interested in the ladies than saving the world. Initially, the party doesn't get on well at first, but soon they realize that saving the world is far more important than their personal issues, so they band together to become an unstoppable force that nobody can beat.

So yes, it's your typical Square-Enix outing, but with less androgynous men, awkward romance and thinly-veiled Star Wars references thrown in for good measure. In fact, I'm heavily considering writing it as if it were more inspired by the Elder Scrolls and Metal Gear series, two franchises that I actually like. That means brutal, realistic violence! Torture! Quirky miniboss squads! Cardboard boxes! ...Okay, maybe not that last one. I'll release more information about the story and which direction I want to take it when I have more to work with, but it's looking to be a really fun project to work on so far, and I can't wait to get it finished this time.

Until next time, my pretties!
  • Listening to: Rhapsody - Raging Starfire
  • Reading: Pony POV Series
  • Watching: Unstoppable
  • Playing: Nehrim - At Fate's Edge
  • Eating: Soreen Malt Loaf
  • Drinking: Tea
This year has not been one of the best I've had in a while - in addition to the breakup with Ellie, my novel project failed to pick up after only a few chapters, and my father was arrested and charged with possessing and supplying firearms. There were a couple of other greiviances I had to deal with, such as putting back on all that weight I lost over the past year, but those were the big three that ruined 2013 for me.

Having said that, it hasn't been a complete waste - I did manage to achieve one of my life goals this year by crossing the Trans-Pennine Trail. Even if the journey at times was a little too perilous, I still felt a sense of accomplishment when I reached the end point in Hornsea. And of course, I got my web design business off to a start and worked with my first ever client. Haven't had any more since working with them, but it's a good start at least and I hope I can work with more this coming year.

So, it's been a mixed bag of awesome and suck this year - but mostly suck.

Now then! Onto this year's New Years Resolutions:

1. Get healthy and change my diet completely. I know this is a cliché one, but this time I really mean it. This diet of pizzas, burgers, takeaways, chocolate bars and soda has to stop. It's destroying my weight loss/muscle gains progress, and causing some serious problems with my digestive system and heart. And, my metabolsm has really slowed down significantly this year, so I can't cheat my way out anymore. I have been experimenting with vegetables towards the end of this year to rectify the problem, as Ellie suggested to me earlier this year - so far, I'm up to fresh garden peas, lettuce, rocket, spinach and red onions, so it's a good start, at least. Might also be a good idea to inform my mother to cut down on the treats whenever she goes shopping.

2. Work on my websites more frequently. The Realm of Eternal Rain fansite was completed earlier this year, as was my personal site/blog/portfolio sean-powers.com. However, they have not been pulling in as much traffic as I'd hoped they would, due to their unfinished state. My longterm plan this year is to finish -all- portfolio projects, and finish all content-related work for ROER and sean-power.com. I'm also experimenting with mobile and responsive design, and I'd like to implement those features in both those sites.

3. Resume work on Chronicles of Gaia. I had to put this on hold this year, because a.) I wasn't really sure in which direction I wanted to take it, and b.) I wasn't happy with how my story wasn't turning out. Both were a result of me trying to rush my work out of the door and not taking the time to do any prior research/planning in advance. I'm going to resolve that this year, first with an internal universe bible, followed by a story plan. I'm so fucking determined to get it right this time, because I really want to tell awesome stories about my characters instead of commissioning art of them all the time.

4. Be more positive. I've been putting myself on such a high pedestal and kicking myself for every little mistake I've made, it's seriously damaging both my confidence and my ability to assert myself when I can. Even friends are finding it difficult to tell whenever I'm putting myself down jokingly or not. So no more of the personal beatdowns - it's time I started showing people I can be confident and take charge of a situation without worrying so damn much about everything all the time.

There's also a few more things I'd want to happen, like expanding my business, moving out of my mother's home or getting a new girlthing, but those are not top priority. Right now, I want focus on getting my life back on track and put all this drama with my dad behind me. Here's hoping that 2014 will be a lot better than 2013.
  • Listening to: Richard Marx - Goodbye Hollywood
  • Watching: Pulp Fiction
  • Drinking: Jack Daniels w/ Ice
Yeeeeah, so where am I behind, and by how much? Let me count the ways:

- I haven't posted a journal entry in almost three months.
- I've been building a new website for my online portfolio sporadically for four months.
- I haven't worked on anything story-wise for nearly half a year.
- I've got a backlog of commissions that need posting.

But other than that... Oh, I haven't been exercising properly for a good portion of the year, which I've only started to fix around mid-October. I'm back on Insanity, but I've not been shifting any weight from that. And I suspect that it may have more to do with putting on muscle than actual weight-loss, which I'm hoping might be the case.

So, what have I been doing instead, then? Doing what ever other furry does - too much gaming, too much junkfood, and catching up on Breaking Bad. Already up to the last four episodes as of writing, so I'll be finishing watching that show by the end of this week. Or at least Monday night, at the earliest.

Next, plans for resuming Chronicles of Gaia (for the third time!).

First, I need to draft an overview of the story. I wasn't that impressed with how it was coming out, and I began to lose motivation halfway through working on the most recent chapter, and it shows. I'm tossing out what I've worked on so far and starting again from scratch. I've got some excellent ideas on how I want to kickstart things that'll throw Declan into the story - it seemed kind of weird for him to suddenly decide to leave Burmecia for no real reason, so I'm working on a way to introduce things that relate to the main plot. I'll try not to reveal much, but there'll be a bit of bloodshed, at least. ;)

Second, I'll need to do a lot of worldbuilding for FF9's setting. The story takes place 20 years after the game, and there's plenty of additional lore that needs to be covered - history, politics, advances in technology, etc - before I can start fleshing out the story's core plot, as they -will- come into play during the course of the story. And for those who like Burmecians as much as I do, you'll be glad to hear that Burmecia will play a much larger role in the story than it did in FF9, as the villain will have ties to it's history. Again, trying not to spoil too much, just giving enough out to whet everyone's appetite.

And finally, at some point, I'm going to have the rest of the main party's bios done. Declan, Serylis and Tristan's bios are already complete; all I need now are three more for the rest of the party - a white mage, a summoner, and a rogue - plus one more for the villain. I may need some artistic help with designing these last four characters, and I'll even pay for anyone willing to do it if needed.

I might even get around to updating the FCS while I'm at it.

Once again, I'm very sorry for the lack of updates these past few months, and I thank all you lovely watchers for your continued patience and support. I've got all these ideas in my head, and I've been doing nothing constructive with them - it's about time I changed all that.

EDIT: Oh hey, I didn't know DA lets you copypaste links directly, text and everything - that's handy!
  • Listening to: Rhapsody - Riding the Winds of Eternity
  • Watching: Grand Designs
  • Playing: Bioshock Infinite
  • Eating: Cheese sandwich
  • Drinking: Tea
...Where are you guys coming from?! o.O
  • Watching: Come Dine With Me
  • Drinking: Tea
Last week, my father was arrested and charged with posessing a gun and with intent to supply it to a local crime ring. I can't go into any specific details as I've only found out a few days ago, but I do know that he'll be looking at a minimum of 5 - 10 years in prison. I'm shocked, devastated, upset and angry, and have no idea on what to do with myself now or how me and my mother are going to live on ourselves with my paycheck alone.

Right now, we're in Limbo. My mother is considering applying for benefits to help pay for bills, but she has to wait until the bail hearing on the 28th - she's hoping my dad doesn't get released on bail, as she's made it clear she doesn't want him back in the house after what's happened. If he is denied bail, she'll file for welfare under "seperated" then. But either way, it's now clear to me more than ever that things at home will not be the same again.

I'll be doing some budgeting in the next few days and weigh out my options. I'm strongly considering a move of my own, but I need to make sure if I can survive on my current paycheck, or start getting the ball rolling for my web design business. I'm so sorry for not mentioning anything earlier, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything that's happened, and I hate having to have my hand forced because of it.

If you've got any questions concerning my current situation or any inquires about any web design, then please email me. My address is sean@sean-powers.com. It's also my paypal. Not going to ask for any financial aid, as I can't pay anyone back, But it's there anyway.
  • Watching: Come Dine With Me
  • Drinking: Tea
I'll be going on a cross-country cycling tour across the Pennines and most of Northern England, starting on the 8th. I don't know when I'll be back, but I'm hoping I'll be gone for about five days minimum - longer if I decide to go sightseeing in Leeds and Chesterfield - so I won't have have much online access while I'm away. See you folks later!
  • Listening to: Rhapsody of Fire - Triumph or Agony
  • Watching: Skyfall
Well, here we are folks! After eight months working on and off, changing the mayout midway and ignoring that crazy itch to do some last-minute tinkering, Version 8 of the Realm of Eternal Rain is finally finished at last! There's still one or two pages that haven't been done, but I've spent long enough on this update, and I believe it's time it got released. I owe it all my friends and loved ones to encourage me to keep on working and finish the site, and to tear me away from my tinkering habits :P

Obviously, it's not live yet, and the only job that's left is to truncate the database, reset all the table indexes and start filling those up with content, and then migrate it all onto the public domain. In the meantime, feel free to visit the new forum for the shrine - you can find it over at forums.eternalrain.org/

Hope to see you all there soon!

ETA 15.5.13 - And it's now released! I was planning to open the site proper on Friday, but I went and did it a few days early instead. Go over to www.eternalrain.org for your Burmecian needs!
  • Listening to: Sonata Artica - Full Moon
So after a series of unfortunate events last month, I've decided that some things are more important than dicking around post-Easter and dwelling on past mistakes. I've had some stuff sitting on the shelf of my mind for a while and I think it's time to finish them. First I need to finish writing some site content for the Realm of Eternal rain, then I can give it that much-needed spit and polish and get the next version published. What I'm saying is that it's finally nearing completion, and if all goes well, I can get it out by the end of May, if not mid-2013. Then I can get started on my portfolio site.

I'm putting Chronicles of Gaia on the back burner for a bit longer. I'm thinking that, rather than jump into a big project straight away, I'd like to do some smaller works to start with. Like, maybe a series of one-shots or headcanon articles. That kind of thing. I do, however, would like to write a short story about Declan and Serylis outside of the CoG narrative, though. Like maybe a quick adventure that summarizes two of my most prominent characters and their relationship with one another. Even if it isn't part of the main narrative, it'd be something fun to do in the meantime, and I can get some writing practice in at least.

Oh, and I started Insanity a few weeks ago! P90X was a failure, so I've gone back and decided to work on my cardio first. It's leaving me tired, sore and sweaty every day, but I've got faith that it'll be worth it in the end. Already starting to see some noticeable definition in my arms and legs, so that's a good start. The only thing I really need to watch out for is my eating habits - as long as I can get it under control, then the rest of the program shouldn't be too problematic.

So there you go, that's my life update regarding current and upcoming events. Time to get back to work!
  • Watching: Grand Designs
  • Playing: Miasmata
  • Eating: Rustlers Quarter Pounder
  • Drinking: Tea
...Or rather, something's got to change.

For a while now, I've been struggling with providing updates for my first story, Chronicles of Gaia. It's incredibly frustrating, because for most, it seems like a dream come true for any creative individual to see their ideas come to life. However, the truth of the matter is that I've been feeling less than happy with my own work in particular. While I do enjoy writing my story and fleshing out all my characters and ideas, there are definitely times where I felt some scenes just didn't feel right, or a few lines of dialogue or prose either felt too corny or too stiff, and even so, trying to write good lines felt like an uphill battle most of the time, all of which I've attributed to a lack of any solid planning or preparatory writing, such as world building and character development. In addition, I'm juggling all this with a split-shift at the hospital, a strict exercise regime, a long-distance relationship, a web design course, and finally, designing and building an actual website in my spare time.

All of this has left me stretched incredibly thin, leaving me with very little balance for all my hobbies and obligations, and unfortunately, something has got to give. So, after some careful consideration, I've decided to suspend all further updates of Chronicles of Gaia until my plate clears up a bit, and concentrate on finishing both the web course and the site instead. I've been neglecting too much important work for the sake of rushing things, and I need to find a good balance again.

I have no intention of abandonding Chronicles completely, however. I enjoy writing about my characters and would like nothing more than to see their adventures come to life. So while I'm working on the web design portion of my to-do list, I'll put aside some time to work on some world-building and to formulate a solid plan for the overall story arc, which is what I should have done at the very beginning. Running entirely on ideas from the top of my head just doesn't working.

I may have to pull Chronicles from every site it's been hosted on, since it may undergo another rewrite as I give it that much needed spit and polish. So for those who're still watching me, I really apologize for having to do this. I didn't come to this decision easily, but I hope you can appreciate why I need to do this. As I said before, I would love to see my story become a reality, and I want it to be done right, and not become the sloppy mess it currently is.
  • Watching: The Avengers
  • Playing: Second Life
This year has been far better to me than anything I've experienced in the past five years or so. In addition to getting my Web Design & Construction certificate early this year, I got back into learning PHP and MySQL on the side. Now I've resumed work on the next Realm of Eternal Rain update, having cranked out a few pages for the backend already.

I got on the right track with my weight loss this year. All it took was a registration on MyFitnessPal to see where I was going wrong, and managed to cut down on a *LOT* of junk, so now my weight's plummeted by 10 Kilos. Which is what I needed. The holidays have done a dent on that kind of progress, but once New Year's has been cleared, I can happily resume work on my regeime and keep the pounds off for good. Hopefully by mid 2013 at the earliest.

Started on my writing career, thought not to the great start I was hoping for. Despite having a general direction on where to take my first story, I keep hitting a wall far too often, and I suspect it might have to do with me not making any preparatory work beforehand. Four months without an update is just ridiculous, and I think my readerbase (what little of it) have given up on further updates. I'll be rectifying this problem within the year, though, so that it won't happen again. Or at least, as often as it did.

And finally, I'm no longer single! Squeeblegirl and I have known each other for three years now, but never really got close until around six or seven or months ago, when we started poking fun at each other's faces. That's when our relationship "unofficially" began. It didn't become official until around the beginning of this month, when she was at her lowest and needed some comfort. Yet, in spite of that, it still took time - we both made an early choice not to rush things, and let them happen as they may. It's still early days, but we're both enjoying it so far, and I can't wait to see how this relationship grows in the next year <3

So, without further adeau, here's my plans for 2013;

- Continue to lose weight/muscle up. I know it's clich้ and many a person's resolution, but this time I mean it. I've already got a long-term plan sorted out, and as long as I stick to my current diet and calorie consumption goals, I should finally get this one done next year, or get to a good start, at least.

- Finish the Realm of Eternal Rain update and get started on my web site/portfolio. Let's face it, Neocyberdragon.com was a flop - it was originally intended to be for a webcomic that never got to see the day of light, and I don't see much use for it other than a hander for my email. Besides, the name kind of sucks. The new site will act as a portfolio for any websites that I have created, as well as a blog for any other projects that I have created, plus any personal thoughts I'd like to share on the internet... as long as it doesn't involve too much drama.

- Work on Chronicles of Gaia more and update more frequently. I kind of feel bad for trying to hype this story too much, because it makes me look like yet another failing writer in the fandom. But I don't want this project to die, either, and I would very much like to finish what I started on for once. If I tried doing a bit more preparatory work beforehand like I mentioned earlier, then I might have a better chance of seeing this through.

- Be a better, more positive person and less of an asshole in general. I've been ragging on about several, uh... "interesting" individuals the past year or so, and while it may seem fun trying to drag out lulz for as much as possible, it really opened my eyes to see that I'm no better than they are. And the reason I took an interest is because most of these troglodytes were ex-members of the Realm of Eternal Rain community, who were either banned or chased out for their stupidity. Yes, they're dicks and by all means are rightly so, but it still doesn't give me any special right to try and "expose" them to the public in an effort to find validation about my own behavior. Well, I've changed my tune in that regard, and other than this post I've decided to outright ignore them entirely from now on. As the old saying goes - "Don't get into a mud wrestling match with a pig. You'll both be covered in shit, but the pig will love it."

- Pay more attention to my loved ones. I've been neglecting a lot of close friends for far too long now, and I need to stop obsessing over my ever-increasing workload and put it aside once in a while, because in the end, they're the ones who matter to me the most. You guys are amazing, and I wouldn't be the man that I am today if it weren't for you. Especially Squeebs <3

So how's everyone else's year been? Got any plans for 2013?
  • Watching: The Green Hornet
  • Playing: Second Life
  • Eating: Jaffa Cakes
  • Drinking: Tea
Doing this because everyone else I know's doing it. To be honest, I'm pretty content this year - there's nothing I really NEED, but if you wanna send me something anyway (because you guys are awesome like that) you can see my wishlist here - www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wish…

Any acquisition of Pop Tarts or Lucky Charms this christmass would be most excellent.
  • Watching: Die Hard With A Vengeance
  • Playing: Second Life
  • Eating: Muller Corner - Strawberry Shortcake
I've been looking for a new workout to try after the christmas holidays, once all the leftover turkey and assorted chocolates have all been eaten and out of the way. I originally had three choices of workout plans to go with - the first was the Chris Evans workout when he shaped up to do Captain America (weightlossandtraining.com/chri…); The second was the Men's Fitness Ultimate Workout Plan, something that I bought in 2009 and never got around to following it, but wanted to give it a shot, anyway (www.amazon.co.uk/Mens-Fitness-…); The third, and most preferable, was the HIML-4 Maximum Muscle Building Workout, a 4-week split that focuses on heavy lifting the first week, then intense the next, then medium and finally light training at the end (www.muscleandstrength.com/work…).

All those programs seem fine and dandy, but the problem with me is motivation. I start a workout all ready and raring to go, but a few weeks in and just getting to the gym starts to become a chore. Waiting to hop onto a bus into town, grabbing pre-workout and post-workout meals, and then there's issues with the gym itself. I'm the sort of person who'd prefer to be in and out of there as soon as possible, but it becomes really difficult at times - there's only a small number of stations available, and most of the time they're in use by the other gym members. Except they're not really working out, they use the equipment as lounge chairs. Eventually I'll just drop out and resume being a lazy slob. And the process repeats itself within a month or two.

Then I saw this video on Youtube a couple of days ago - youtu.be/NHcrKWs8rqM

This guy has spent two years on P90X, Insanity, Asylum and P90X2, all within the convenience and privacy of his own home, to get that shredded look he's always wanted. Seeing the results he's achieved has inspired me to look into the P90X program and work out a home on a more permanent basis. I've always had better success working out at home than the gym - all the equipment I need is available at my convenience whenever I want, I don't need to splurge out on bus tickets and gym memberships on a daily basis, and there aren't any dickheads around taking any equipment I -do- need and not use them.

I've already decided on cancelling my gym membership the next time I head into town, as I no longer have any need to visit anymore. But there's still a few things I need everyone's advice on before taking the next step and ordering the workout after the holidays;

1.) Who's had experience with the P90X program before, and is it really worth the results?
2.) Should I get P90X, P90X2, or both programs? Should I also invest in any other program while I'm at it?
  • Watching: Jingle All The Way (Yes, I like this film, okay?!)
  • Playing: Second Life
  • Eating: Banana
  • Drinking: Water
Well, the move turned out smoothly, and we've already begun to settle in, but recently, my creative streak has hit a major slump as a result. What do I mean by major? Well, progress on Chapter 4 has slowed down drastically, I haven't done any studying at all for three weeks, and I had to take an extended break from working on the next iteration of the Realm of Eternal Rain. A small break from the norm, I wouldn't mind, but nearly three weeks is just pushing it. I need to get back into the swing of things before I put everything off for too long, or else I'm going lose interest and forget everything again.

So, here's what I'm going to do, seeing as a friend is trying something similar to beat her seasonal depression - starting tomorrow, and lasting until the end of February, I'm going to impose a scoring system for each day, awarding myself points for every task that I do. Not just for my projects, but for daily tasks too. The general idea is to reinforce self improvement, as well as motivate myself to work harder, both at my hobbies, but around the house and at the gym, too.

This is how points will be distributed:

Morning Tasks - Get out of bed, get dressed, get cleaned (wash, brush teeth, put deodorant on), breakfast eaten and at my desk. All tasks completed count as one point.
Domestic Tasks - Any domestic task I can do (not counting work) – doing the dishes, clean the bathroom, shopping, etc. Each task complete counts as a point.
Exercise - At least 20 minutes of exercise a day – travelling to and from work does not count towards this. Nor does walking.
Diet - Sticking to my diet and not exceeding the daily calorie, saturated fat and sugar levels. One point awarded for going under each category.
Creative Work - Any productive project worked on for a reasonable amount of tine – 500 words or more written for Chronicles, 3 or more pages scripted for any website, and at least one hour studying. One point awarded for each task completed.
Bed Before 1am - Pretty self explanatory.

I will also deduct any points from myself for the following:

Going well over the calorie, sat. fat and sugar levels for each day. One point deducted for 500 calories over the limit, one for over 10g sat. fats, and one for over 20g sugar.
Buying any commissioned artwork exceeding $50 or more (I'm trying to save money, after losing a huge chunk of change recently - trying to cut down on arts.) Ten points deducted for this.
Going for more than two days without a shave or a shower. Body hair does not count.
No outdoor activity of any kind on a Saturday.

Once I've made enough points, I can cash them in for any treats or rewards of my choosing. Here's a list of rewards I've drafted out:

50 Points - Treat Snack – Egg and Sausage McMuffin, Ice Cream, Cinnamon Roll, Sausage Roll, etc.
100 Points - Treat Meal (Breakfast) – Any item from McDonald's breakfast menu, English fry-up, etc.
250 Points - Take Away meal – Fried chicken and chips, premium pizzas, with full-flavored fizzy drink, etc.
500 Points - Three course steak dinner from any restaurant, with a starter and dessert of choice.
1000 Points - Full-color commissioned artwork of any one character of mine, Dec, Sery, Sean, etc.

The idea of this scheme is to encourage myself to save up my points and cash them in for bigger prizes, rather than succumb to temptation too quickly, too soon. But the general idea is self-improvement first, then extravagent treats second. I'm not doing this just to win prizes, I -want- to better myself. This current lifestyle I'm leading right now isn't doing any favors, and it's seriously damaging any creative output I have. I'd much rather nip this in the bud right now than wait two years to fix everything, like I did last time.

If you're interested, I've put up a progress chart on Google Docs, so you can see where I'm up to. You can view it at docs.google.com/spreadsheet/cc…

Any comments? Suggestions? Feel free to leave a reply.
  • Watching: Event Horizon
  • Playing: Second Life
  • Eating: Cheese (Primula) Sandwich
  • Drinking: Tea
A few weeks ago, my parents were complaining about a damp, musty smell coming from my room. I wasn't sure on what it was or where it came from, even after giving it a good clean sometime that week. A few days later during a heavy storm, rain water started leaking from their ceiling and onto their bed, prompting an investigation in our attic (which, I might add, used to be my old room.) Turns out that our roof had decayed so bad that it's started leaking, allowing rain water to spill through and seep into the walls and ceiling for the past month or two.

It gets worse - apart from destroying most of the stuff we've had stored up there (including my old high school year book), the rain water had seeped into the ceiling too much, making it very structually unsafe for us to live in. In other words, we were at risk of having the attic collapse on top of us. The landlady has refused to pay for any repairs, and we can't afford any ourselves.

We've decided to move house. The living conditions around our current area is terrible, and it's inhabited by some really shady characters. (We've been living next door to a family of junkies and thieves for nearly two-three years.) We're moving to a more quiet residential area halfway across town. The conditions are much better there, and we've got access to some local amenities, but it's further away from where I work, so it means having to bike there and back every day.

I'll be going offline tomorrow to pack up my PC and help move whatever essentials we have to our new home. I won't have broadband for a few hours tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll be back online or not, as I'll be busy settling in for the next few days. I'm also having to pull out of the Extra Life marathon as a result, so I'm going to have to do a rain check on that. Maybe I'll try again and do it in a week or two. We'll see.

I'm hoping to get back to working on Chronicles once everything's been sorted and I'm settled in. Sorry if there hasn't been any updates lately, but it's been a rather hectic two weeks for me, and it's put a dampener on my creativity.
  • Watching: Grand Designs
  • Playing: Second Life
  • Drinking: Tea
I'm participating in this year's Extra Life Gaming Marathon, as part of team BPD Army, on October 20th, starting at 9AM. For those who don't what it is, Extra Life is a 24-hr marathon to help raise money for children's hospitals. For BPD Army, our goal is to raise $5,000, but we can't do that without your help.

You can go over to my donation page at www.extra-life.org/participant… and send a few bucks my way, and help me help some kids. The suggested donation is $24 ($1 per hour), but you can donate as much or as little as you want. All proceeds go to charity!

Interested in joining the BPD Army team? You can sign up to Extra Life and join the group here - www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?f…. Remember, the team goal is $5,000 minimum. Let's do what we can to raise that target!
  • Watching: Grand Designs
  • Playing: Second Life
  • Drinking: Tea
Before anyone freaks out, no, I'm not talking about changing Serylis into something other than a dragon. In fact, she was designed to be a heavily-muscled dragoness to match her fiery, boisterous attitude. However, looking through my fic, I've come to realise that calling her species a Bantam Dragon seems a little silly and juvenile, and it doesn't really fit into the FF9 universe, as far as species go. Burmecians (or Nezumi) are explicitly rats, but they've undergone some major design changes to distinguish them from regular rats, making them unique. If not, then they would've just been a normal race of demi-human rats, and "Beautiful Mice" doesn't really sound like an exotic or distinctive name for a sentient species.

So, this is what I'm proposing - I'm looking for a different name to give to Serylis' kind in Chronicles of Gaia. Like Burmecians, they are neither demi-human nor do feral dragons consider them as kin, and as such, they stand out enough to be classed as their own race. Whoever can come up with the best name will have a short cameo in an upcoming chapter. Obviously there will be some limits, but I'm sure we can work something out. :)

Have fun coming up with some creative names!
  • Playing: Second Life
  • Eating: Prawn Mayo Sandwich
  • Drinking: Maximuscle Maxi-Milk