I did a class with Seanan McGuire and Cat Rambo (I’m a long-time member of the Rambo Academy of Wayward Writers) last week which left me thinking.
I want to make a promise to my readers: I’m working on a series and I want to finish it. I’m trying to flesh out how many books we’re looking at (I’m thinking five plus short stories). Also, I seem to be writing from the end first, rather than the beginning.
But I want to make a promise to you. To all of you. I am writing and I will finish this series.
These were taken in April 2010, during a trip to the country, as an example of my photography skills.
I do love seeing the covers for manga I adapt. I’ve got quite a few on the roster for 2019 and Now Loading…! is first on the list. It’s a one-shot yuri title (female/female) set in the gaming industry. It’s a kouhai/sempai dynamic, with Takagi (our adorable protagonist) starting her new job maintaining a mobile game and forced to deal with her brash boss, Sakurazuki Kaori (who drinks more than I do), and also happens to be her professional idol.
The e-book/printed editions will be out on January 29th and can be obtained from all your favourite vendors by clicking here. Go check it out!!!!
I’ve not been around much for the last year mainly because of Life. You know Real Life. I dated (and am now single again), I got to know Tate (she says hi!) and I’ve been otherwise occupied adapting manga for the English-speaking market, notably some soft yuri (girl x girl) titles and the Saint Seiya spin-off magical girl series, Saintia Sho.
It doesn’t rely on me knowing or being fluent Japanese but those ten years of writing for anime magazines sure has helped. I can read Japanese (probably to JLTP 5/4), I just have shitty speaking skills (which is my project for the next twelve months or so).
The good thing is adapting isn’t translation, it’s editing.
Editing I can do. I enjoy it in this context. I work off scans or the original manga (frankly, given I’m still need a proper work machine, this is my next big purchase). I like using both. Each has their own perks: like double page spreads in print or being able to enlarge a panel to be able to make out the kanji. There’s a script, house rules, and at the end of it I get two author copies (one for my Shelf of Stuff with My Name On It, a second for reference).
Boy, are author copies shiny.
This is my part-time side-hustle and it’s fun. I get to geek out on [subject], I’m fast but thorough, I’ve got cultural knowledge (knowing what a mimikaki (耳かき) is and their role in Japanese culture came in handy recently). My autism superpower kicks in when it involves Latin and astronomy. I’ve also done battle with my deadly nemesis, the ellipse (That’s this: …).
I’m going to update this site eventually and add in my adaptations to my bibliography. Rest assured, it’s awesome when you go into Waterstones and see your titles on the shelves. I’d like to freelance a little more widely but, for now, I’ve got plenty on my plate.
This is a mirror of my GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/blind-author-needs-a-new-computer) but also includes a Paypal link (which I frankly prefer): paypal.me/ashabardonuk
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Hi, my name’s Asha.
In 2011, I bought my second iMac.
Yesterday (5/3/2018) it died. Even if I can get it fixed, it’s a patch job and the clock is officially ticking.
I started thinking about the pros and cons of what to get next–then I remembered I’m broke. I retired in 2012 due to disability (I was diagnosed with Bipolar–Type 2 and high-functioning autism spectrum disorder) and have been trying to deal with life with a chronic illnesses ever since, including long-term anaemia.
I’m registered blind and this makes buying computers interesting, even ones from Apple which have all the awesome accessibility options.
I have the other RP: retinopathy of prematurity. This means I have no depth perception and I only have one semi-working eye. It also makes me short sighted which means I need things to be super close in order to see them.
For the last few years, my computer has sat literally in front of my nose and I still have to amp up the zoom settings wherever possible.
Basically, my visual impairment is very specific, I need things BIG. 27″ of screen is no longer enough and as much as I love iMacs, once a single part goes, you’re screwed.
So I want to buy and customise a new rig around an Apple device, probably a Mac Mini or, worse case, a new iMac. I want it to be as future-proof as possible and last a good five years. I also use Apple and all my apps are based around the OS so an £800 PC tower just isn’t an option.
Getting a new rig would involve:
- A large screen (at least 30″ with really good resolution): £500+
- A maxed out Mac Mini or, if it’s not updated by the point I need it, a 27″ iMac: £1500-£3000
- A microphone and webcam: £100
- A secondary screen for using media (prob a 50″ smart TV connected to the main computer): £600
- Sundries (cables, a decent set of speakers, a lamp): £100
- Anything more will go to paying GFM’s cut which, as I understand it is, 2.5% per donation, plus 20p. See: https://www.gofundme.com/pricing
Why do I need this?
I have two passions: the first of which is writing. I was a journalist first but then made my way into fiction. I’ve published several novels, written hundreds of short stories.
Here are some of the projects I’m working on:
The second is my side-gig, a hobby I have helping adapt manga. From a practical perspective, while I have a laptop, doing this on a tiny screen is just impossible. I can do it in a pinch but not permenantly. I need to be able to see and read the Japanese scans and because of the way I need to resize them, I need more screen real estate than I have.
Because of my disabilities and my attempts at getting out of manic-induced debt, I simply don’t have the cash to replace my largest piece of kit. At nearly eight years old, my iMac has served me faithfully but now I need something more.
My income is fixed and I don’t have the six months I need to save for a new rig. I need everything sorted by May in order to be able to continue writing and my side-gig with no distruption. Because of my income, I’m hesitant to accrue more debt, especially as it’s taken me nearly four years to drag myself out of a mire as it is.
So, I want to ask for help. I need to write to stay sane, I need to so my side-gig in order to be able to earn a little extra to–as my Nanna would say–‘afford some jam to put on my bread’.
I’d appreciate any help you can give, even if it’s just a shout out.
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My new rig is also more than just more than a computer. I realised I need a new desk to put it on: my current one is a decade old and … well bowing. You can see where the weight of my old one has warmed the whatever laminated wood it was made with. A new desk, a good one from Viking Direct is just shy of £200.
The rest of my initial list is the following. This is a guideline, it will change, but I like having an idea of cost. It also includes random ephemera like a surge plug and a desk lamp (which is also kinda important as I have photophobia and need a very specific kind of light to be able to see, I also need it behind me as light in the face means an instant ‘do not pass go’ and involves migraines. Those are not fun.
Mac Mini (2011) – https://www.apple.com/uk/mac-mini/ (£1,636.00)
40″ Philips BDM4037UW/00 40-Inch 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 Curved LED Monitor – Silver –https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KUQJ414/ref=psdc_428652031_t3_B01MSYXDC7 (£558) – OR –
Samsung C32F391 32-Inch Curved LED Monitor – White Gloss – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-C32F391-32-Inch-Curved-Monitor/dp/B01DTLSQA2/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=7WW9X1F6810X9PP3WD0E (£260.73)
Logitech Z200 Multimedia Speakers/PC Speakers – Midnight Black –https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FSF2OSS/?coliid=I225PLEE5GOBMU&colid=1O8K11RBNQSUP&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it (£26.99)
Samsung UE49MU6500 49-Inch Curve TV – Silver – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y1QJC3G/?coliid=IQI9E3TX35PBS&colid=1T230OVCHQEZQ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
Desk Lamp – http://www.optimalowvision.co.uk/product.cfm?prod=369&dept=367 (£70.00)
WD 8 TB My Book Desktop Hard Drive – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LWVT81X/?coliid=I2U5ONKZJM0MTP&colid=1T230OVCHQEZQ&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it – (£179.00)
This list, which is neither final nor complete, tots up to £3250. It doesn’t include GFM’s fees or other things which may crop up. But, for the sake of transparency, I wanted to post it to give people an idea of my ideal wish list, even though it’s going to be sometime before I even think about going shopping.
I no longer have an iMac. Time of death was confirmed at 11:48am this morning. Apple are handling the funeral arrangements. Please do not send flowers, any donations should be directed to the new computer fund. https://www.paypal.me/ashabardonuk or https://www.gofundme.com/blind-author-needs-a-new-computer?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=campaign_link_t&utm_campaign=welcome
I’ve not been around much due to infections, Christmas, winter and the whole guide dog aftercare thing (Tate says ‘Hi!’). Let’s proceed with the annual bullet-proof list:
- I need to update/overhaul the site, redo my bibliography etc. I’m also anaemic so I can’t be arsed to do much right now.
- Ditto my Patreon.
- The weather sucks today.
- Tate has a box so she’s all good. We taught her to pee, y’all! Like on command, or just letting us know when she needs to go. Woot!
- Tate is also an officially trained escalator guide dog. This is super important as she finds it So. Much. Fun.
- We’re going to London next month to do the tube … and buy manga at JP Books 😀
- I got my ‘author’ copies of Saint Seiya: Santia Sho Vol. 1. I’m actually the localiser for the English edition of the series, which is really quite cool. It basically involves lots of editing and polishing of the script so that it flows but still retains the nuances of the original. This is the #sekitthing I’ve not been talking about on social media.
- I’ve seen so many movies. Black Panther is awesome.
- I’ve spent the winter mastering my slow cooker. I rock. So does stewed pork belly in gravy.
- The cats are all good: Isis is in most of the day now, Ceri is still obsessively stalking Tate and D just wants to boop her with his claws. This is not allowed.
- I am writing, it’s just slow going.
- More to come, etc.
The shift from one year to another is always weird for me.
I’ve been doing very little (aside from watching Netflix and trying to figure out how many stories I need to edit for submission in January. Oh and wine. Wine is good.) Tate is doing well, though it’s taking a while for her to get used to life. She’s now counting cats each night and curling up on me as I catch up on Reddit every morning.
I’ve been using a kakeibo (家計簿/かけいぼ), or household ledger, to try and help with my debt repayment and finances. I’ve also gotten myself a new fridge, freezer and oven which is awesome. I feel like a total adult but, at the same time, I’ve also been doing Sekrit Things (which I’ll talk about in February) that have taken a good portion of my time.
Christmas/Yule has been chilled. I had multiple guide dogs and so much chocolate. It was nice to have friends visiting, if I’m honest. Though poor Tate was exhausted from the constant activity. I cooked a lot (mainly risotto) which was nice. I like hostessing for guests.
I don’t really have a list of resolutions. I’m very anti-January but, that said, I have things I want to do in the new year, from working more on novels and Patreon, to getting myself back in the black and going to Bath/London. I watched feeds from Japan, from Ise and Tokyo, which makes me want to try and focus on my language learning.
Happy New Year, folks, and here’s hoping it’s a good one.
I’ve been AFK for a while but meet the reason why: Tate.
She’s a full Labrador with a cheeky sense of humour and a love of socks. I’ve had her nearly a month now and she’s settling beautifully. Her favourite things include cats (she, D and Ceri are bonding on a cellular level), her ragger and working. She’s a very particular, chatty dog and loves attention.
We’ve been having some issues with separation anxiety so, yesterday, I got her a bed for my room and a terry cloth whale. It worked like a charm. She’s comfy, content and sleeping right through the night where previously she’s been waking up from nightmares.
Work-wise, she really enjoys it. We’ve been doing new routes locally and Tate isn’t a people dog, so she’s focusing on her work. For a dog, she’s actually quite introverted unless it’s someone in my circle of friends and guide dogs. Even better, she’s essentially a clone of my beloved Bramble, except she’s mine and just as affectionate.
We qualified last week, which is a great feeling. I think we’re going to have a great partnership but, for now, Tate is settling in. More photos will follow, I promise. Tate has an account on Dokonoko as well as my Instagram feed.
My Limitless card is up for renewal in a few weeks and I was curious about whether it was a worthwhile investment (it was).
I wanted to document what movies I saw though this is hardly a model of the scientific method (I’m happily retired, ergo I have more time than most, and I also have access to what I’m affectionately calling the ‘CEA loophole’ where I can take in a plus one at no extra cost, again for free).
Also I’ve turned movie-going into a habit and finally gotten over my anxiety about crowded spaces. Repeat viewings are either due to boredom, someone/me wanting to go or a genuine love of the movie (Arrival, I’m looking at you because you emotionally broke me but I heart you). There were also a slew of good movies out during 2016-17 and I travelled a bit (which allowed me to see movies elsewhere, like during my trip to Bath with Shannon).
So what did I see?
- Doctor Strange: twice (+1 person at each showing)
- Storks: once (+1 person)
- Inferno: once (+1 person)
- Nocturnal Animals: once (+1 person)
- Arrival: twice (+1 person at each viewing)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: three times (+1 person at two of the three)
- Allied: once
- Moana: five times (!!!! also +1 person at two showings)
- Rogue One: twice
- Passengers: once
- Assassin’s Creed: once (+1 person)
- Sing: once (+1 person)
- The Lego Batman Movie: once (+1 person and a student)
- Logan: once (+ 1 person)
- Beauty and the Beast: twice (+1 each time)
- Life: once (+1 person)
- Ghost in the Shell: once (+1 person)
- Fast and the Furious 8: once (+1 person)
- Hidden Figures: once (+1 person)
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: twice (+1 person at one showing)
- Alien: Covenant: twice (+1 person per screening)
- La La Land: once (+1)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: once (+1 person)
- Wonder Woman: twice (+2 person at each showing)
- Despicable Me 3: once (+1)
- The Fate of the Furious: once (+1)
- Atomic Blonde: once (+1)
- IT: once (+1)
That’s 40 movies … wow. That’s around £800 worth of screenings for £205, definitely the gift which kept on giving.
renews for 2018