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Seasons Greetings

Wed Dec 25, 2013, 5:28 PM
Hello everyone,

I've not been around in what seems like forever, but rest-assured... even if I'm barely around anymore, I am active in something and I'm still doing very well (at times better than well).  And I extend the same wish that everyone that has followed me is also enjoying themselves this time of the year, and can enjoy company with friends and family!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, from this crazy pig. ^v^

And I'm coming empty-handed here on Deviantart, but here's a little blast from the past that's worth reading again....  ^^

More Fanart!!

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 3:38 PM
Yay!  I continue to get random SDC fanart!  :D

Here's an adorable submission by my good friend :iconcayfie: who decided to pair CC, DD and The Boyfriend with her cute OC Moonchaser.  Technically the two worlds should not collide, but some dimensional rifts are to be expected, of course.

Cay is also a great traditional artist and aspiring vector artist, so give her and her works lots of love!  Thank you!!  :D

Rumors of my absence have been greatly under-exaggerated. XD

This is how I feel after the last few weeks...

Initiate Camelia Project

Sat Oct 5, 2013, 6:58 PM
Well well, it's been a while since my last update.  In between that time I've had quite a lot to do at work, and still do to some extent.  I even had to revisit Central Florida yet again, and much to my chagrin I had to stay at a far worse hotel this time in pretty much the middle of nowhere, so that was two weeks of lifeless droning away at both the local branch office and the crappy hotel room, with perhaps dinner and the occasional minecraft game to keep my sanity.

Oh, and playing around with my new Chromebook Pixel with Crouton... (how else could I play Minecraft in the middle of nowhere?).  :P

But it was shortly before this time... in fact during my last journal entry... that I started to give serious thought into reviving an old series.  It is in fact two years since our old visual novel CameliaGirls was terminated, and I started switching gears to get my mind off it for a while (ponies were a good distraction).  But even then, I never gave up on some of my characters, especially Cyllia and Kai who I developed the most of the entire cast, and it was hope that some day I could have them return in something new. And at long last perhaps that day may come.  :)

First off I will say this... the visual novel format will no longer happen as it requires lots of investment in time and energy that I've been running lower and lower on.  In contrast, the relatively light-hearted and efficient Sun-Dried Cherries has demonstrated AMAZING staying power in part because I can do a lot more with less.  And so my rebooted story... tentatively called "@CameliaProject"... will in fact be a comic, or perhaps more precisely a light novel.  

As opposed to the 4koma format of SDC, cp would consist of only one detailed illustration (of higher quality than SDC drawings, but still not over-the-top detailed), followed by about 3 or 4 paragraphs of text or dialogue.  It wouldn't follow a weekly release, but would either be released biweekly alongside SDC, or would alternate with the other comic.  And this one will adhere to a main storyline, although with lots of room for spinoffs and "filler episodes".

It will also be a complete reboot of cg, with very little retained from the original other than the 4 characters below and the school setting (which is now less central to the story, and more of a convenient background).  Whereas the original was a high school comedy drama [with an ethnic twist] that intended to parody (and parrot) the anime format, cp will be a highly-artsy, action-packed, technologically-bent, comedic superhero satire that has more in common with SDC.  (in fact, I plan to have it set in the same Sun-Dried Cherries world, so watch for cameos).  :)

As for the four characters themselves,... they've been reworked in varying degrees to suit their new purpose and personality....

The pink pineapple-haired protagonist, Kana, still hugs her original appearance, but with a darker shade of red in her hair and dichromatic eyes that have both a story and a purpose.  cp's Kana is a firey leader and self-proclaimed revolutionary with unrelenting spirit and boundless vision and imagination.  She sees nothing as unsolveable, but even so is still  haunted by a dark past that complicates her efforts to change the world.  Her new character could best be described as "Haruhi-like", only more useful.  ^^

Her mentor Cyllia is no longer a shadowy character as in cg, but is now a first-and-foremost main cast member, with a revamped quadruple pigtail appearance to make her less "Hatsune Miku"-like.  She probably will not be as young as in cg, but will certainly have been (and continue to be) a child prodigy and genius, wise and calm beyond her years, and always willing to clean-up after the antics of her more reckless friend, Kana.  However, she still continues to have zero respect for laws and customs that she doesn't feel like following, so she's unfairly viewed as a truant hooligan by the world outside her circle of friends.

Kai is also no longer just a future secret character, but now takes center stage as the impossibly-small, tech-illiterate, legendarily-adorable, and completely undetectable trap.  Similar to the original, he joins the all-girls school to fulfill a promise to his deceased sister, and unlike the original he is discovered almost right away by the Kana/Cyllia duo.  But ever the admirer of original and unusual things, Kana takes him under her protection and introduces him to a brave new world outside the confines of daily school drawl.  And being a professional tailor and non-nerd, with a unique view of the world from his vantage, he helps fill in many of the gaps left behind by the girls' erratic and quirky lifestyles.  

And finally Reina changes massively [no pun] from the original, having been the victim of an uncontrollable growth spurt that left her "too tall" to lead a normal girl's life.  Feeling hideous, manly and abandoned by friends and family alike (from her point of view), she withdraws away from society and lives her school life secluded in a state of self-imposed exile, with social networks being her only connection to the outside world where she can take any form she desires.  It's only after meeting Kana, Cyllia and Kai that a slow but fun period of social rehabilitation ensues whereby she regains a sense of self-worth and self-respect, and learns to make the most of the strengths she's blessed with.

The above describes their "normal" characters (or as normal as they get), but they also have alternate superhero personas in addition to vastly-less-exciting internet personas.  Kana becomes the dark warrior of justice[?] "Kommander Kanniving", Cyllia the hyper-intelligent "Dr. Calamari", Kai the stealthy manipulator "Little White Lie", and Reina the cute-loving juggernaut "Tall Tail".  None of the other original characters from cg will make any main appearances, although cameos are always possible (Q.U.E.E.N.'s role is now Reina's delusional internet avatar, for instance).  

And that's about all I can share right now about this new project.  I do hope it can gain traction and become something worthwhile and serious that I can do exciting things with.  ^^

Mega Nostalgia Trip!

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 10:05 PM
Hey all!

Not SDC-related, but still a nice pleasant blast down memory lane... and more relevant now given recent developments.

Anyway, good ol' :iconane-h: has decided to brush off the old source code for my former collaborative visual novel CameliaGirls and packaged it to the Android Play Store using the latest Android-compatible version of Ren'Py.  So now it is freely available to download for all Android devices:…

I even played through it just now... clearly it hasn't aged well, but it was a collaboration and it was deeply rooted in Indonesian culture with an eclectic dash of Japanese Anime-references and some technological nods.  As Ane-H noted, it is the spiritual ancestor of Sun-Dried Cherries in many ways. 

Granted its' not really a "game" in the sense it was never finished and hence has no branching storyline like most normal visual novels... and even had I finished the game completely, it still would have simply been a glorified movie.  But it was definitely a great tech demo to show off the capabilities of Ren'Py,... and although it never made it to Episode 1, Episode 2 featured the full OP intro I worked very hard to make at the time:…

Probably the first and last time I would ever make such a dynamic animated sequence, and certainly takes me back to interesting times... ^^

As for the future of CameliaGirls, I have to reiterate that at least for me -- and certainly for Haya -- it has no future.  None.  Zip.  The price one pays for being emotionally invested in a creative project. 

It is still open-source, though, so as Ane-H proved, it can still have some life to it if they're willing to use the source, even if it's just to take it apart and use it for their own project (which is fine too, it was kind of the point to the whole Creative Commons project anyway).

But as for the characters themselves...

I guess I'll get back to you... After about 2 years of my piņata and pony hiatus, I'm starting to feel like I want to work on some of these characters again.  Not through a visual novel anymore, but at least through another comic, perhaps a step up above SDC.  And seeing as it'll be just my project now, it'll be interesting to see how I can reimagine the story and characters for the new generation...

We'll see... I have some time to think this through as I'm going back to Central Florida next week. 

Sun-Dried Cherries Fan Club!!!

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 7:26 PM
Well it finally happened!  Sun-Dried Cherries has its first fan club, courtesty of the great :iconane-h: who was nice enough to set this up.  It's been suggested to me several times to create such a deviantart group, but for one reason or another I never got around to it... perhaps because I felt SDC's success was truly contingent on how much traction it could get from fan creations and initiatives.  [in other words, unless someone else does it without my intervention, I'd really just be tooting my own horn]  :P

So there we go... Thank you Ane-H and thank you all for helping my experimental side project survive and flourish in ways I never imagined possible!  ^___^

I'm listed as the co-founder for now, but because of work I haven't really sat down to learn how this and that works in this group yet (though I still have some experience from the old CameliaGirls group).  You can check up with Ane-H as far as joining, since it looks to be open for the public now.  ^^


Once it starts getting settled, I may also host a few bounties and contests for points and such, to help design new fanart, icons and banners, things that could definitely be very useful in the new group.  We'll see how it goes, but I have high hopes for its success [if for anything, because these crazy evil ponies are pretty low-maintenance, lol]!  ^^


Of Pavers and Kamados

Sun Sep 1, 2013, 10:53 PM
Hey hey,

Long time no write, I can't say as there's been a lot going on virtually as there's been way too much to handle physically.  A high-impact project at work necessitating another trip to Central Florida later this month.  More remodeling at home, the kitchen is all a big giant mess right now.  The deck's been stripped away, and I got a nasty sunburn the other day while leveling out the ground to put on some pavers.  The last remaining boxes of mine are unpacked, and in one of them I even found an old rebate card that went unactivated... thank goodness it hadn't expired yet!  :D

And soon I'll try my hand at the world of BBQ pit mastery as I wait for my lovely new Kamado to arrive, which can not only be used as a smoker and grill, but also as an improvised tandoor as well!  I'm generally VERY slow at cooking, so a slow cooking method is up my alley.  ^^

Almost nothing art-related due to the aforementioned, other than my weekly Sun-Dried Cherries (which is now something of a routine).  Even my new Minecraft server has been a bit neglected, so I'm seriously wondering whether to open it up prematurely to interested parties, or just get rid of it entirely (chalking it up to yet another failed upstart).

Either way, I've feeling pretty aimless at the moment when it comes to artwork, so expect my slow-down state to continue indefinitely until something else sparks me into action again.  Lots of you still have plenty of deviations and journals for me to check out, however, so that's one great thing to do in the meantime.  ^^


Tue Aug 6, 2013, 9:13 PM
...And I don't mean baby seals [you monster].  ;)

But being stuck in Central Florida with bad internet connection is not as bad as it seems, not when you have plenty of friends in the area.  So after work I usually go out to eat and hang out with friends, and more so over the weekend when I had an absolute blast taking a group to go see Pacific Rim in IMAX 3D, and then hitting up Universal Studio's City Walk for a long night of singing, dancing, drinking ,eating and of course clubbin'.  Compared to my first time here, I'm practically never bored.  :)

Even during off-hours, I spend my time exploring the area, hitting the gym for some long over-due strength training, catching up on some reading and music, and generally chillaxing.  Not much in the way of Minecrafting or drawing though, but the next SDC arc will be a hefty one, so a lot of preplanning is necessary.... chances are I won't release the first strip until this weekend when I'm back home.  ^^

Because ultimately as fun as this experience has been, it's hard not to miss the comfort of one's own bed or the company of close friends and family or the antics of my big fluffy dog.  And now that all major distractions and expenses from the move are over, it's definitely time to restart my social life in full force, and really see what my new home city has to offer. 

At least I had a great trial run here in Florida, and no way do I want to lose that awesome momentum...  ^^


Tue Jul 30, 2013, 10:13 PM
...a proper journal entry.  :P

Had to go to Central Florida on business again.  Internet access is spotty and time is scant, but at least I've been having some fun on the side.  ^^

Posted up an "anniversary" SDC comic, so enjoy!  ^.^

[the Pilot was first posted on 7/29/2012, although the original concept sketches for CC and DD were done on 7/23/2012, with various stories scripted up ahead of time on 7/26/2012 or so.  I wrote enough stories to cover 70 comic arcs, plus a few additional ones added since then.  :)

Monsters vs. Aliens...

Mon Jul 22, 2013, 8:23 PM
And no, not talking about the animated film by Dreamworks (which I liked too, btw... yay for Ginormica :heart: ), but rather the latest film by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim.

As I'm a person of few words [shut up, I am!! :XD: ], I'll just get straight to the point... I LOVED this movie, I HIGHLY recommend this movie, I'll PROBABLY am going to see it again.

Despite being cliche, campy, predictable, eerily similar to other movies I know (e..g, Evangelion, Independence Day), it is nevertheless ingeniously directed in a way that has you giddily excited throughout the entirety of the movie, while still treating you [the movie goer] like you actually have more than half a brain.  In other words it is highly-unconventional Hollywood that actually makes me want to give up my money (as opposed to Man of Steel which was horrors, and World War Z which really should have stuck to the book). 

The fact that the movie feels like a live-action Anime is not lost on me, and it's certainly a gamble to introduce unfamiliar aspects to Western Audiences (even the names "kaiju" and "jaeger" alone would make some minds explode).  But like MLP:FiM before it, it delivers beautifully by treating the genre with the detail, respect, realistic graphics, engaging storytelling, and strong characterization it deserves.  Throw in a good mix of action and humor, and now we're cookin' with fiya!  :)

Sure, it's often recommended to switch off your brain while watching this, but I can assure you it's not necessary... you'll voluntarily switch it off on your own, and just enjoy this damn awesome film that delivers what it promises [=real good summer fun]!  :)

And just to commemorate my old OS-tan art (which must've hit some anniversary during this time), here's a Cherno Alpha-tan just for kicks...

Mucking Around with CSS

Sun Jul 21, 2013, 11:05 PM
It's way better when you more-or-less know what you're doing.  :P

Anyway, we're not done yet by a long shot, but just testing to see what we can do here.  :)

Not much else to report... have a Minecraft screenshot to pass the time, and good luck figuring out what mods are installed based on the blocks shown....

...and yes, it's a giant kitchen.  :)

...We're not having it, sorry.  Not yet, the house is still an awful mess, and I'm spending money left and right getting things fixed ASAP.  So even though I have my room laid out more-or-less like before, and my old house sold, and my possessions all under one roof, well... life is still temporarily chaotic.  Not as bad as before, but messy nonetheless. ^^

Once it's all over, then it's time to party hardy. ^^b

Also being asked to take CSS courses for work, so it may not be long before I can FINALLY try my hand at doing custom journal skins, which should be pretty awesome.  :)

SDC continues trucking along....

I have my own minecraft server now, though I'm hogging it for the time being until I can get things sorted in there... eventually I'll arrange tours, tons of screenshots, and possibly even an Adventure Map some day.  ^^

Honourable mentions go to my buddy and long-time SDC supporter :iconane-h: for his latest SDC vectors!  Thank you so much!!!  :D

<da:thumb id="384952228"/>

[though having a famous for the Boyfriend... blasphemy, lol... XD ]
Welp, hiatus over!  We're back to our weekly schedule, with the first Sun Dried Cherries comic issued under the new CC-BY license.  ^^

Definitely felt great drawing this again,... granted my new house is FULL of stuff lying around and I'm still not back at my old desk, but slowly but surely life is settling to a new, yet familiar and comfortable pace. ^__^
Things are finally settling down here, although there's still a TON of stuff left to do around the new house.

So expect a little longer delay for SDC to restart, but restart it shall.  ^^b
Thanks to everyone who forwarded me their luck and best wishes (which is a lot of you, both here and in RL!).  Turns out I only had to be partially homeless as I could still stay at our temporary apartment yesterday (albeit with no internet access and almost everything in storage), and today we did a snap closing on my new house, thanks to an amazing job (including some begging and praying) by my realtor and attorney.  

And thus I narrowly escaped the jaws of full homelessness, although I'm still typing this from a dog-friendly hotel just because the house, while in good shape, is certainly not move-in ready.  Not at this late hour, not after we drained all our energy moving all my brother's things. XD

But I'm grateful the worst is over and tomorrow I can build life anew... more cautiously this time, since I've lived through a truly obvious example of how great things can easily go sour very fast.

Thanks again everyone!  I should be back in operational mode next weekend!  

Again, no artwork this weekend, unless you count watching paint dry (literally).   :)
Im not one to bring up personal things a lot here, but given I may be out of communication for a few days, I better just state it plain and simple.

Due to the fumbling around of a bunch of stupid people (some of whom are likely going to get sued), I will effectively be kinda/sorta/maybe homeless for the next few days.  >.>'

But all things considered, everything is still mostly under control, and there's still a good chance I can be back on my feet either Friday or Monday, so no worries.  The only thing impacted will be no uploads or a weekly SDC comic, but the girls deserve a break after their 50th anniversary anyway.  ;)

Wish me luck!  ^_^
DA seems to be having some issues generating thumbnails, causing my lastest comic to appear like a big gray broken slab, at least on my screen.  It also prevents me from loading and selecting a new image into, which in turn prevents me from enabling the Premium Content option.  Wondering if anyone else has come across this within the last day or so?  >>
Okay, well clearly I didn't reply with a "YAAAAAY!" the next day for a reason, sigh... >.>

Anyway, I'm looking forward to having the 28th of May to be the REAL day for my closing, and this time with a much more responsible lender.  >__>
Hey hey...

Will make this quick, have to sleep early...

1)  Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers out there!  :3

2)  Closing day on my new house is tomorrow, coinciding on the same day that my moving company delivers my stuff to the storage facility.  Talk about bad timing, but since they'll be at different times of the day, I'm hoping there won't be any problems... at worst, it's just gonna be pretty hectic tomorrow, what with receiving the delivery, inspecting the house, doing the closing, paying the nice people money, making TONS of calls to get utilities set up and contractors hired, and then attend some kind of dinner celebration.  ^^;

Yep, it's gonna be nuts, but if I write back on Tuesday screaming "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAH!!!", then you'll know things went well.  :3

Just can't wait to break out the champagne and Wisconsin cheddar wheel:

It's always been my dream opening one of these!  ^.^
Or more specifically, a "Closing"!
I may finally get the closing date for my new home this week, and it couldn't have come at a better time!  :D

The temporary apartment sprang several leaks in the ceiling during the horrible midwest storm that struck us about two weeks ago, and that makes apartment life even more unbearable than it already was.  XD

The sooner I can get back to a large home with space, a garden, a narrow set of bills, and overall stability, the better.  ^^

In the meantime, I'm still working on SDC, and starting to get back into 3D editing again.  Also investing some time to learn how to make my own dental hygiene products... you'd be surprised how easy it is to make some amazing toothpaste and mouthwash.  Breath mints too, though in my case I opted for a completely sugar and artificial sweetener-free formula that's based on legumes -- while it doesn't look awesome, the taste and lasting feeling in the mouth is dynamite!  ^^