Jan 15, 2012

Abby Online

It's been a busy 2012 so far, and we're only halfway through January. First, I was interviewed on an art & architecture podcast for Austin, Texas.  You can stream/download the interview HERE, or from iTUNES.

I'm collaborating with a programmer and some other friends to create iPhone games and apps of my own design. This is super exciting for me, since it's the first time I'm getting to work on my own games.  I'd like to pump out a lot of material and see if anything takes off.  The advantages we have: A talented team with lots of excitement and passion, and (if I say so myself) good ideas.  The disadvantages: Lack of budget, and my own inexperience in marketing.  The more I learn about marketing, the more scary it seems. Anyway, I will do my best.  I'll let everyone know when our first game comes out. If you haven't subscribed to my blog, please do so!

I'm recording tutorial videos for 3D Modeling in 3dsmax.  They're available in HD on my YouTube channel, and on the new tutorial page of my website.  I plan to add more tutorials for animation, Flash, and other art software.  This is partially just because it's fun to make videos, and relatively easy nowadays.  It's also to prepare for my first job as a teacher.  I will be teaching a 3D Animation class once per week at the local community college.

Games, contract art, teaching.  What else am I doing?  Still writing novels, of course.  Actually ... no ... I'm editing and marketing novels now.  I would like to get back to writing original material, but sadly, I've learned beyond any shadow of doubt that marketing is important if one wants to sell one's work.  I'm 3/4 through an edit of Book 2, and in the process of querying agents and publishers about Book 1.  Still getting top tier rejections for my short stories, but I haven't written any new short stories in a few years.  Participating in (and enjoying) my local novel critique group.  It's a talented bunch of writers.

I wish I could report more on my personal life, but there's not much to say.  My adorable dog says "hello."  She apparently sees the HOA (home owner's association) lady as a threat, which could be why the HOA lady got on my case a few months ago.  My dog normally loves people, but every once in a while, she goes into attack mode ... this was the first time I saw her growl at a woman, though.  Strange.  Usually she has a problem with men in uniforms wearing hats.  (I will add that I don't encourage aggression in my dog; she just has guard dog tendencies.  She might be part pitbull or akita, and I suspect she might have been abused before I got her.)

Movie Reviews:
I enjoyed HUGO, both visually wonderful and good storytelling.  I saw TINTIN in 3D, and although it was visually stunning, I thought the story was weak; predictable and beating the same joke to death.  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (American version) was really great.  I was pleasantly surprised that it followed the book closely, and managed to do it well.  There's an example of a well written screenplay adaptation.

Book Reviews:
I read the first ten books in the ANITA BLAKE, vampire hunter series.  What can I say?  GUILTY PLEASURES is aptly named.  I'm not sure I can recommend this series for everyone, but the first four or five books entertained me.  After that, there's some fall-off.  Many fans say that it devolves into weirdo erotica after the tenth book, and I can see that happening.  Dating a vampire and then dating a werewolf is fine.  Menage-a-trois sex with a werewolf and a vampire, plus bondage rape with a wereleopard, and turning into a succubus ... um, starting to cross a line there.

Then I read the Stieg Larsson series, which starts with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.  Interesting stuff.  People may scoff, but I find the books to be very feminist, despite being written by a man!  The main characters get a little ridiculous and unbelievable, especially in the second and third book, but I don't mind ridiculousness with a good story, which this had.  Salander is a cool character.  No one knows if she has Asperger's Syndrome or what, but she's a criminal mastermind who looks like a sullen Goth teenager, so who cares?

And I just finished listening to Scott Sigler's THE STARTER, a sequel to THE ROOKIE.  Yes, that's right, I don't have a clue about sports or football, yet I read two books about football.  I'm just a hopeless Sigler fan.  I guess it's weird that I like his alien voice acting and his super-weird alien universe, where humans play pro sports alongside drooling alien teammates.  What a cool idea, though.

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