18 Dec 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 21

After a two-month absence, Mascot Monday is back. I skipped over two vids of the mascot chewing on a cardboard box to bring you today's ep, Volume 21: "Mantlepiece". I'd almost get a place with a fireplace just so she could play on the mantle.

In other news, the final grades are in and I can kiss this semester goodbye. You can be sure I'll never again teach six sections in a single semester. Now that the semester is behind me, I'll have time to write and will try to get the next chapter of Tico up by next week. Wish me luck and stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 01:15:45

I was too busy enriching young minds to furnish any new updates this month. Sorry, folks.

08 Oct 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 20

Four weeks ago, I complained about being too busy to get any writing done. My prolonged absence should tell you all you need to know. Oh, I've still got an insane amount of work to be done, but I'm nevertheless making the time to give everyone an episode of Mascot Monday and let you know where we stand. In the conveniently numbered Volume 20: "Saving Throw", the mascot shows off her d20 rolling skills. It's a pity I didn't have my camera out when she rolled two 20s in a row.

I've swamped with work lately. I've also devoted a lot of time to reading through the first four Song of Ice and Fire books. You may or may not be aware that Harper Voyager has opened its doors to unagented submissions for the first two weeks of this month. For those of you not following me on Twitter, my goal was to have both KoG1 and Tico1 submitted. In its current form, KoG1 is too short and I didn't make the time to expand it as needed. I will, however, get Tico1 sent off before the week's out. I'd like to finish going over the entire manuscript, but I'm only halfway there and I really can't afford to be putting off the grading of papers any longer. No matter how far I've gotten, I'll send it off Wednesday. I'm mostly just doing a spot check and getting some dialects a little more consistent, so it's not like what I'm doing would make or break the submission. I've really been getting the itch to write, though, so I can't say when, where or how, but I intend to be doing some writing. What does that mean for Chapter 6 of Tico3? I don't rightly know just yet. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 16:51:45

10 Sep 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 19

The mascot got Labor Day off, so I figured I'd make it up to you by having another video post this Mascot Monday. Volume 19: "Come and Play, Friend" has Ayame trying to convince a bug up on the ceiling to come down for some japes and gambols. The bug doesn't seem to be sold on the idea, though.

Last week proved to be busier than I was anticipating and I was rather sickly on top of it all, so I didn't make the sort of story progress I was hoping for. Though I'm feeling better, I have a lot of papers to grade, a new course on distance learning I'm taking, and yet another assignment, so I can't be all that optimistic about getting Chapter 6 of Tico3 out this week either. It's a little frustrating, but I've got to take care of the stuff that get the bills paid first. I won't make any promises, but maybe things'll turn around next week. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 17:04:15

27 Aug 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 18

After two weeks of entries in the Mascot Gallery, we're back to a video update for this week's Mascot Monday. In Volume 18: "Ayame vs. (Not Really a) Tapeworm", we get to see the mascot be a frisky, playful kitty. We also get a surprise ferret and WoW chatter in the background. Something for just about everybody.

The fall semester has started today, so I'm now going to have four classes a week keeping me busy on top of my translation work, so I really can't make any promises on getting any writing done, but, as always, I'll see what I can do. I may just decide to set aside a few hours so I can finally get Chapter 6 out there because I'm really itching to move Tico3 forward. We'll see what happens. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 17:38:38

20 Aug 12

In true feline form, the mascot is still relaxing. On this Mascot Monday, we add some more shots to "A Bold New Era for Ayame Jellybean" in the Mascot Gallery. A few of those shots even guest star the junior mascot.

I underestimated how much of my time would be consumed during my out and abouting, but I haven't accomplished a whole lot work-wise over the past couple weeks. I've got to focus on gearing up for the new semester and tackling the gargantuan assignment I've been saddled with, but Chapter 6 of Tico3 is about halfway done, so maybe I can get it squeezed out by this Friday. I'll see what I can do, at least. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 16:32:03

06 Aug 12

The mascot is taking it easy this Mascot Monday. From the start, I planned to alternate between video updates and additions to the Mascot Gallery. This is my first update of the latter variety, the debut of the new "A Bold New Era for Ayame Jellybean" section depicting the mascot's antics since my return from Japan. As I said Friday, I'm out and abouting for the next couple weeks and I'm wrapping up an assignment, so I can't make any promises on story updates. I'll see what I can do, though. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 17:57:57

03 Aug 12

The mascot takes her place on high to address her people, much like protagonist does today. We've been a while without a story update, but here's Xanthe's Chapter 1 of TTWC1. I've got yet another assignment, I need to get stuff together for this semester, and I'm going out of state, so I can't make any guarantees on updates for the next couple weeks, but I'll see what I can do. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 22:53:18

30 Jul 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 17

We missed an episode last week, but we're back in action with a new episode of Mascot Monday. In Volume 17: "The Cricket and the Muffin", the mascot plays with a cricket. Spoiler alert: It doesn't end well for the cricket, but it's totally not Ayame's fault. I know there haven't been any updates in two weeks, but with my big assignment knocked out, I should be able to catch up on my writing. I'll have Nocturne in the Moonlight beaten soon, so that won't be sapping my free time. ^_^; I should have the next chapter of TTWC1 up Friday. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 22:56:35

16 Jul 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 16

Well, today is our first episode of Mascot Monday from the States. Interestingly enough, today's episode is the first vid of the mascot taken after she first came over here from Japan. In Volume 16: "Lonesome Neko", we see her greet me after a considerably shorter absence than the current one, but it catches the spirit of things. This is one of the real gems of the archives, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. In other news, we'll have Xanthe's Chapter 1 of TTWC1 on Friday/Saturday, so be looking for that. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 17:47:58

14 Jul 12

Well, look who's here? Yes, after six months of heart-wrenching separation, the mascot is back on the scene. That or she's always been on the scene and it's me who's back. Either way, the mascot isn't the only thing back after an extended absence. We also have Chapter 5 of Tico3, bringing us back to the Tico crew after a month's absence. I'll try to see if I can't have Chapter 6 ready in two weeks. Expect the next chapter of TTWC1 coming out on schedule next week. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 05:08:25

09 Jul 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 15

As it turns out, the ryokan's Internet connection works just fine and I'm able to bring you the last episode of Mascot Monday from the Japan series. In Volume 15: "Attack from Above", the mascot gets a little taste of her own medicine. (Refer to the video description on Youtube for details.) You may or may not find yourself wanting to buy a boxed set of Gundam movies and a Check-up Mel-chan doll afterward.

I don't know if you saw my comment about it on Twitter, but I've been given yet another follow-on assignment, but this time I'm going to devote the necessary time to completing Chapter 5 of Tico3 so it'll be up at long last this Friday. It's already a good 75% finished by my estimates, so there should be no problem. Next time you hear from me, I should be back in the States. Until then.

Posted by: James
UTC 09:44:50

06 Jul 12

It would figure that after all these months of languishing, when I've finally made up my mind to return to the States, that I'd find myself swamped with one assignment after another, eating up the time I'd otherwise be devoting to writing (or at least that I ought to be devoting to writing). I hadn't even finished the last surprise assignment when yet another one was offered to me. Seeing as how I'm pretty desperate at the moment, I really couldn't refuse, so I'm working on getting that wrapped up before I hop a plane. (I'll be in a bit of a bind if the hotel Internet doesn't come through for me, but that's not so much something you guys need to worry about except insofar as it may affect next week's Mascot Monday.) Anyway, point is that I haven't even touched Chapter 5 of Tico3, so I'm going to use the last of my buffer to give you Xanthe's Prologue of TTWC1. We're switching to a new protagonist, so I hope you enjoy the change of pace. As I've noted before, the grand concept behind the Trident War Chronicles is that you get a bit of the overall story from various major characters on each of the three sides of the war, only getting the complete picture when you put it all together. We've seen Solon's contribution to the story and now it's Xanthe's turn to shine.

As I said, this is the last of the buffer I built up when I was making good progress on TTWC1 a few weeks back. After this, I'm either going to have to have new material ready or you're going to have to go without for a week. I've been doing well to keep the update schedule consistent lately. I'd hate to go back to my old unreliable ways. Once I get this assignment knocked out, I plan on giving the Tico bunch a little love, so maybe I'll have Chapter 5 ready for you all next week at long last. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 17:25:12

02 Jul 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 14

This week I'm on the ball and have the latest episode of Mascot Monday on time. In Volume 14: "Neko on a String", we see how a camera's lanyard can greatly subvert a person's intentions when it comes to filming felines, but it can also make for something cute. This one's not much longer than last week's mini-clip, I know. If I have an Internet connection next week, you'll get to see a normal length clip, the last of Ayame's Japan series. I need to buckle down so I can get Chapter 5 of Tico3 out this Friday. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 09:29:15

29 Jun 12

I feel kinda bad not having something special to send off Solon today, but you might argue that there's a measure of thematic consistency here. Anyway, here's Solon's Epilogue of TTWC1. A surprise assignment (and a fair bit of goofing off) ensured that I wasn't able to get Chapter 5 of Tico3 together this week, but I should have it ready next week. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 14:43:03

26 Jun 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 13

I know this is later than I usually post, but it's still Monday in a fair chunk of the world right now, which means it's still time for Mascot Monday. You'd almost think my haste translated to the filming, even though this clip is over four years old. In Volume 13: "Between the Toes", the mascot cleans between her toes. Kinda self-explanatory. ^_^; Anyway, I can't make any guarantees on Chapter 5 of Tico3 being ready in time, so you may be getting Solon's epilogue instead. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 02:32:26

22 Jun 12

Kazuya has apparently taken his birthday today as an opportunity to not to any work for the site. Well, I guess I'll have to let him go this time. Anyway, here's Solon's Chapter 5 of TTWC1. With the assignment I'm working on right now, I may not have Chapter 5 of Tico3 ready next week and might opt to give you another chapter of TTWC1 as I've got a bit of lead time built up there. We'll see. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 11:28:15

18 Jun 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 12

It's time once again for Mascot Monday. We get to see the soft and loving attention the mascot would show her papa in Volume 12: "Get Out of Bed". You could count on her to run me out of the loft in the mornings just as sure as you could expect her to pretend she was camouflaged by the white sheet when she'd race up ahead of me at night. I'm drawing ever closer to our heartwarming reunion and should wrap up the vids from '07 before then. In the meantime, we'll be getting Solon's Chapter 5 of TTWC1 next week. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 13:27:00

15 Jun 12

Not everyone can be a winner in life, as you'll see in Chapter 4 of Tico3. Spoiler alert. As you can see from the above, we have Kazuya pulling his weight around here for a change. :P There are a few unfamiliar faces in the crowd there. Some of that can be interpreted as vaguely spoilerish when related to the plot significance of some of the names that get thrown out there. Anyway, enjoy the chapter and we'll be back to TTWC1 next week and kick off the next mini arc of Tico3 the week after that. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 13:42:04

11 Jun 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 11

I actually almost forgot to post this, but here's your weekly Mascot Monday post. This week we've got Volume 11: 「お帰りにゃさい、パパ」, where the mascot demonstrates what a good and faithful daughter she is by dutifully greeting her papa at the door when he gets back from work. Coming up later this week is Chapter 4 of Tico3 and the end of the Tigerhawk mini-arc. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 23:07:43

08 Jun 12

We're back to the Trident War Chronicles with Solon's Chapter 4 of TTWC1. Now, Zephyr is based somewhat on the Byzantine Empire and they're known for their elaborate costumes. When I was showing some examples to Kazuya for costuming the characters for the purposes of an illustration, I got a whole lot of "murimurimuri". I'll have to see that he starts pulling his weight a little more around here. I believe there's a map project he can jump on. We go back to Tico3 next week. Also look for another favorite vid of mine for Mascot Monday. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 06:59:02

04 Jun 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 10

In this week's edition of Mascot Monday, a young mascot's training reaches new heights as the hidden power within bursts forth in a powerful new technique. Check out Volume 10: "必殺!白兎百裂脚!" and see the mascot's power revealed. In other news, I should be continuing TTWC1 this Friday. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 13:29:40

01 Jun 12

Well, it's been over a month, which I guess isn't all that bad for the Tico franchise, but here's Chapter 3 of Tico3. I was going to have Kazuya make an oblique The Hellcats reference illustration, but that was a little too obscure for him, even with me linking him to the MST3K ep on Google Video. Well, so it goes. Anyway, we should have Solon's Chapter 4 of TTWC1 next week and Chapter 4 of Tico3 should come by the week after. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 16:22:30

28 May 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 9

It's time for yet another edition of Mascot Monday. In Volume 9: "More Fun with Ayame Jellybean" we've got... more fun with Ayame Jellybean. The title's pretty self-explanatory, after all. The mascot has dominated the updates this month, but I should be getting back on schedule with story content. Chapter 3 of Tico3 should finally be ready to roll this Friday and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling for a while. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 11:06:20

25 May 12

It's been almost two years, but we return to the Trident War Chronicles today with Solon's Chapter 3 of TTWC1. Yeah, it's been a while, but it's high time we get this story back on it's feet. I'm thinking about alternating between Tico3 and TTWC1. We'll see if the plan actually works. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 11:09:30

21 May 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 8

Alright, it's time once again for Mascot Monday. Today we've got Volume 8: "Staring Contest". The mascot is about as expert a starer at four and a half months as you'd expect a kid that old to be. I apologize for not having any update for you last week, but Friday turned out to be a whirlwind once work was over and I don't even know what happened to the weekend. I'm back to being an out of work bum, so we'll see if I can't use all this extra time to finally get Chapter 3 of Tico3 done. In other news, I've sent off two query letters to agents for KoG1. I don't expect it to be that easy, of course, but at least I've started to go a-courtin'. Hopefully I'll be seeing you again Friday. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 08:29:23

14 May 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 7

It's time for Mascot Monday with Volume 7: "When Ayames Attack". Last week didn't see much actual mascot action, so I'm making up for it this week. Here we see her viciously maul a particularly hairy arm. It probably had it coming. ^_^; In other news, I apologize for the continued delays on Chapter 3 of Tico3. I doubt I'll have it ready this week either, but I'll try to have something up on Friday and, come Hell or high water, get that dang chapter out next week. That's my pledge to you guys and while any seasoned follower of this site knows that pledge isn't worth the paper it's printed on, I'm still going to try to make it happen. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 12:41:07

07 May 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 6

It's time once again for Mascot Monday, but the mascot herself is relegated to the background this week in Volume 6: "It Came from the Microwave". See for yourself what happens when mochi meets microwave. As for Chapter 3 of Tico3, I apologize for the delay. I'm having trouble getting it all wrapped up. Seeing as how I'm on a business trip for the next couple weeks, I can't promise much progress, but I'll see what I can do. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 12:52:12

01 May 12

No, I have no idea why I felt like going the creepy route to celebrate the fourth observation of International Ayame Jellybean Day, but I hope the mascot's gold-eyed stare keeps her in your hearts until she can start making appearances that aren't archival footage. A creepy GIF isn't the only way we're celebrating our girl's big day. I'm also proud to debut the Mascot Gallery. I've gone and taken all the full-size originals of the pics of the mascot that have graced the site since she started on 14 Jul 07. There's plenty more in my personal photo album, so expect to see a few Mascot Mondays that feature about 20 new pics or so instead of the usual vid.

I have quite a bit going on at the moment, but I'll still try to have Chapter 3 of Tico3 ready for you by Friday. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 11:58:26

30 Apr 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 5

It's once again time for Mascot Monday. Today we've got Volume 5: "Dangly Bits". Tomorrow we've got the debut of the Mascot Gallery to celebrate International Ayame Jellybean Day, so get ready for that. In other news I've got a business trip next week, so there may not be any updates to the site until I get back to Tokyo. I'll try to keep things going if I can. In the meantime, I need to focus on getting Chapter 3 of Tico3 ready for Friday. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 02:02:44

27 Apr 12

As a writer, it's important to place the right character on the stage to get the reaction you're going for. You'll understand what I mean when you read the Prologue of "The Case of the Striped Leopard". Chapter 3 of Tico3 is going to take a bit longer than I originally thought, so I thought I'd go ahead and give you all a first peek at TCotSL. I think the anniversary illustration will start to make a little more sense now. We'll see what reading 56 volumes of Meitantei Conan does for me as a mystery writer. Don't expect any soccer balls to the head, though. I can't give you much of a timeline, so you'll just have to wait and see how and when I continue the story. I'll see if I can't have Chapter 3 of Tico3 out next week. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 08:11:58

23 Apr 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 4

We're here with another edition of Mascot Monday. It's Volume 4: "Jumpin' Jellybean". It's a personal favorite of mine and I hope you all enjoy it too. I figure I'll keep posting videos until next week, which will be the day before International Ayame Jellybean Day, and then start alternating between vids and photo spreads. Look for the inauguration of the Mascot Gallery next Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 01:21:32

20 Apr 12

Those of you who've been following me on Twitter know that I've been sinking a lot of time into Suikoden lately in a bid to buzz through the first three games and the two gaiden. I still have an update for you guys, though (albeit without a nifty illustration from Kazuya). Here's Chapter 2 of Tico3. It's a bit on the short side, but it sets up current mini-arc. You'll get to be up to your elbows in the latest Union technology, so there's that to look forward to. I'll also see that the next update gets an illustration. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 05:37:18

16 Apr 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 3

It's time once again for Mascot Monday! Today's episode is Volume 3: "Wrappin' Balls!" Seriously, people, she loves those things. A little wrapping paper and you'll keep her entertained better than any store-bought toy you can think of. In other news, you may have noticed that I didn't get around to setting up the mascot's page last week. Going to be working on that today. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 04:52:08

13 Apr 12

I've been kinda off my game this week, but I still have something for you. Here's a little Jack-centric gaiden called "Family Ties", set during the events of Tico1, a couple weeks after Jack and Miranda's reunion in Chapter 19. I plan on doing a number of shorts like this to fill in the characters' backstories a bit more without intruding on the plotline of the main series. Hopefully you all enjoy it and I hope to have Chapter 2 of Tico3 out next week. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 07:55:10

09 Apr 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 2

Welcome to another edition of Mascot Monday! Today we've got Volume 2: "That's Not a Sandbox". It's not a sandbox, Ayame. Stop playing in it. No, that's playing more. Quit it! It's weird! ^o^ Yes, well, I'm going to be working on her page later so you can have ready access as we start to build a backlog. I think next week we'll start the Mascot Gallery. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 03:33:00

06 Apr 12

We celebrate Matt's birthday in Chapter 1 of Tico3 by embarrassing him thoroughly. No, Sean and Lydia aren't quite the affectionate drunks depicted above, but this is sure to give fuel to the slash-fic writers out there. (And, no, I probably won't want to read what they come up with.) As Sean and Lydia get rather thoroughly trashed, so too does their dialog. Two weeks in a row of confounding dialog is bound to be driving you up the walls a bit, but things should settle down a bit after this. I've let myself get wrapped up in the peripheral materials for the past several days, but hopefully I can buckle down and get next week's chapter written. If not, I may be posting a short I completed recently. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 06:43:28

02 Apr 12

Mascot Monday - Volume 1

Welcome, one and all, to Mascot Monday! Every week we're going to feature all-new mascot content in the form of either videos or entries in the soon-to-be-constructed Mascot Gallery. For now, though, enjoy Volume 1: "FRICKIN' LASERS!" Expect more to follow soon. Until then.

Posted by: James
UTC 11:49:41

30 Mar 12

Gather 'round, boys and girls, while I tell you a little story about what it means to suffer for your art. The Sheolites use a liquid breathing system. They stick a fat tube down your throat and fill your lungs with LCL--er, I mean, an oxygenated fluid. I had to transcribe dialog for a Sheolite pilot. In order to do this accurately, I fashioned the paper tube you see up above and read through the original dialog whilst rewriting it to most accurately portray the speech while still keeping it understandable for non-linguists. Funny thing about paper when it interacts with the inside of your mouth is its adhesive quality as your saliva dries up. When I was finished and sought to remove the tube, I wound up tearing out chunks of my dang lips. (That red stuff you see is a mix of dried blood and skin.) You see, kids, when you meet resistance, responding with more force isn't always the answer. I've since healed in case you were wondering. Thanks for caring, by the way. Knowing my luck, I'll have to provide a translation. Try reading the dialog with your mouth open and act like your tongue's swollen. That may help. I don't recommend the paper tube thing. -_-;

And that brings us to the main event of the day. Without further ado, I proudly present Ticonderoga - Volume III: On the Hill of Megiddo, starting with the Prologue. You may want to refer to Chapter 4 of Tico1 and Chapter 4 of Tico2 to refresh your memory on some of the details of Matt's past and how a Viper works. Keep an eye out for Chapter 1 next week. Until then.

Posted by: James
UTC 04:18:34

24 Mar 12

I've decided to give Kazuya a little prodding to present himself more as a full-fledged member of the site. I'll probably be upgrading him to Associate Contributor soon, even though he's dragging his feet over the offer. I've updated his profile in the About Us section and I've consolidated his work into his Digital Gallery and Pixel Gallery. There's more to follow, I'm sure. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 05:44:05

23 Mar 12

And that's a wrap, ladies and gentlemen! Today we bring things to a close with the Epilogue of Tico2. The appendices are also up, so feel free to peruse them as well. This day's been about two years in the making, so savor the moment. It's worth noting that Tico2 is the first of my books to have been entirely written after the founding of Palidor Media. Let's see if we can't keep the energy level up as we move forward into Tico3 and the other projects coming up.

You're probably wondering about the little animation for today's post. While, the Ticonderoga series has always been intended to rely heavily on its ensemble cast over a single protagonist, Matt was always intended to be the central character. You may have noticed that he didn't get a lot of screentime this outing. I joked to myself the Tico2 was pretty much "The Jeff and N Show" and the idea stuck, so I had to send off the book on that note. It just goes to show that a work can and will get away from its creator at times and take on a life of its own. Matt will feature more prominently in Tico3, which is good if you're a fan, maybe not so much if you preferred Jeff's antics. Of course, just because I think I know how the story's going to play out doesn't mean these characters won't surprise me, so stay tuned for what's next. I'll see if I can't have either a new chapter of TTWC1 or the prologue of Tico3 up next week. Until then.

Posted by: James
UTC 14:17:42

21 Mar 12

If you've been following along on Twitter, you know that I've been real busy lately reworking the site. It all started with the Twitter widget. The negative margins technique I was using for the right column meant I couldn't get a consistent placement for the material on the right. Thanks to Matthew James Taylor's Holy Grail layout, I was able to resolve that issue. (Now I have to deal with the loss of vertical liquidity, which is why I used the previous method. I'd rather not have to resort to Javascript, but I'm still looking into it.) I was then struck with the task of propagating the new layout across all the hundreds of files of the site. As you might imagine, I wasn't too thrilled at the prospect, so I looked into a way to have a single template and dynamically generated content without using inline frames like I had in Palidor Media 1.0. My search led me to Wolf CMS, so now the site is being generated from a database. It took a lot of time and effort to set it up, but my life's going to get pretty easy from here on out. I still have a lot to learn to make the most of the new system, but everything should be up and running just fine.

I've tried to preserve the directory structure as much as possible, but I've decided to take out the mixed case names, which will break links in some cases, but I don't have much off-site linkage except for the dialog tag lesson, and that should be fine as is. If there are any broken links or other wonkiness you discover, drop a line to admin@palidormedia.com. I'll be checking and double-checking stuff, but you can never have too many eyes out. I'll still be wrapping up Tico2 on schedule this Friday, so stay tuned for that.

Posted by: James
UTC 14:54:20

16 Mar 12

Smiling Communist children and their toothy grins have absolutely nothing to do with today's chapter except perhaps the fact that there are political shades to both. Mainly, I wanted to give Kazuya a break after last week's mess and just picked a random snapshot I'd taken recently. Anyway, here's Chapter 28 of Tico2. Next week is the grand finale. I don't know if we'll be diving right into the next book or not just yet. I need to formulate my strategy. In the meantime, those of you following me on Twitter know that I'm thinking on starting a new feature called Mascot Mondays, taking advantage of Palidor Media's Youtube account to show off the adorable antics of our very own Ayame Jellybean. Expect to see her page get developed in the coming weeks. The tentative start date is 02 Apr. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 01:33:17

15 Mar 12

We here at Palidor Media don't forget about a contributor just because they've moved on to bigger and better things. Those of you who've been with the site from the beginning should remember Steff. Palidor Media got its start as a joint project by us to promote our works. Well, she's looking to self-publish her first book, The Falling Girl - Chronicles of the Closed World, Book 1. For those of you who can spare a little, head on over to TCW1's Kickstarter page and make a donation to get the project going strong. There are a variety of incentives based on how much you're willing to donate, so by all means, show some support and get some swag while you're at it. I look forward to seeing how the story's developed and I may well make a special post in the future just so I can post a review.

In other news, I chould have Chapter 28 of Tico2 out tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 04:40:08

10 Mar 12

It was supposed to be so simple. I just wanted a text crawl to recreate the scene from the chapter. There were a lot of things we did that were inefficient, but good grief. This shouldn't have turned into an all-nighter project and then take a whole extra evening to only half-salvage. What you see is a merger courtesy of GIFMashup. It's a nifty little tool, but you can only do the merge once, it would seem. After having broken down the monster file, I had to find a way to put it back together, and when the above half-measure fell short, I resorted to what you see below.

It's all kinds of messed up and far from what I was originally hoping for, but with all the time we put into it, it deserves to be posted. If nothing else, it'll stand as a painful reminder of what happens when we miscalculate what should be a simple project. (Also, we have a YouTube channel now. Yay.) Anyway, I hope you're all enjoying the chapter. Stay tuned for next week. Just two more to go and Tico2 will be done.

Posted by: James
UTC 13:36:38

There's a tragic story to the above picture. A painful lesson for all of us. I may attempt some trickery to bring to life what you all were supposed to see. In the meantime, know that you're looking at Frame 1264 of a very ill-conceived animation. Very ill-conceived. And that's why the update is a bit late. Here's Chapter 27 of Tico2. Enjoy.

Posted by: James
UTC 01:54:08

02 Mar 12

Another one of my policies about pics of the mascot is that I take them. However, if I could break one policy last week, I can break the other this week. Her Secret Squirrel antics actually play into the sneaky stuff going on in Chapter 26 of Tico2. I'm pleased to announce that I've completed the draft of Tico2 up through the prologue, so nothing should throw me off schedule short of something entirely unrelated to my ability to make progress in the story. Just three more weeks to go and the long journey of Tico2 will come to an end. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 17:23:04

29 Feb 12

Palidor Media is finally catching up with the times. I was uploading some minor changes to a few files when I started fiddling around with HostGator's SEO tools. Among the things they look for are social media accounts. As I'd like to draw more people in, I decided I might as well stop dragging my feet and jump on the bandwagon. I've spent the day getting Palidor Media's Facebook and Twitter accounts set up and you'll note some changes to this page to better integrate these new outlets. We'll see if it has any effect. Look for Chapter 26 of Tico2 in the next couple days. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 09:44:12

25 Feb 12

The mascot doesn't want any of you forgetting about her. It's normally my policy to post a picture of the mascot from the same week as the update, but this is the last shot I took of her before my return to the Orient. Now I'm either going to have to dip into some vintage fare or lean more heavily on Kazuya for more illustrations. Anyway, here's Chapter 25 of Tico2, on time as promised. (Though I was starting to wonder there for a bit. The week was starting to get away from me.) I'm pleased to say that I've already gotten Chapter 26 written, so I may well be building up a bit of a Murphy buffer to keep me on schedule until the end. Until next week. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 03:40:36

18 Feb 12

This is relevant, I swear. Also the second Zero Wing reference I've made since I began serializing the Tico series. Anyway, at long last, here's Chapter 24 of Tico2. Again, I apologize for the delays, but you'll be happy to know that I've already gotten a head start on Chapter 25, so it should arrive on schedule and that pattern will hopefully continue for the four chapters left after that. And then we can move on to whatever's next on the horizon. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 05:16:50

15 Feb 12

You all are probably wondering where Chapter 24 is right about now. I apologize for the delay, but I got wrapped up in a load of work on the peripheral materials to better plot out how these last few chapters are going to play out. I'm finally ready to resume work on the chapter itself and will hopefully have it up by the weekend. I know you're all no stranger to delays by now, but unless I run into a brick wall along the way, I should have a fairly clear shot through the rest of Tico2. I'm going to try to pick up the pace so we can still finish the book before the end of March.

In other news, I've changed the captcha for the forum registration to a different type that will hopefully better deter all the Russian spambots. I've added a note to the footer on the forum page reminding all new users to e-mail the administrator at admin@palidormedia.com so their accounts can be activated. Inactive users get purged at the end of the week, so if you're wanting to participate in the forums and have registered an account, don't forget to send off that e-mail. Now I need to get back to writing. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 04:17:08

27 Jan 12

Happy Anniversary, Palidor Media! It's hard to believe I've been at this five years now. A lot's been going on with me and lot's been going on here (though we have had some dry spells). But let's take a moment to ponder what this picture's all about. Matt in a vintage suit? Lydia as a maid? Has Halloween come early for the Tico crew? Not quite. Maybe if you head over to the If Arc, you might be able to guess what the deal is. ^_^

And now let's take a look at what's on the plate for the site for 2012. There have been some delays lately, but Tico2 is still set to wrap up in the next two or three months. Where do we go from there? I'm actually toying with the idea of serializing multiple stories at a time and alternating from one update to the next. There are a lot of stories I really want to get working on and perhaps a little diversity in my output will broaden the audience of the site a bit. So in addition to resuming The Trident War Chronicles: Volume I, I'm thinking about starting Tico3 and Everyday Magic. And I may well be testing my chops as a mystery writer and squeeze in "The Case of the Striped Leopard" while I'm at it. This year stands to be quite promising for the site. I know I'm excited about it. Look for Chapter 24 of Tico2 sometime next week. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 11:50:34

22 Jan 12

Yeah, things have been a bit crazy for me. As I indicated in my last post, I've made my triumphant return to the Orient and I've been busy getting settled. I have managed to get some work for the site done and I've got Chapter 23 of Tico2 for you. It's worth noting that you won't be seeing a lot of the mascot over the next six months because I had to temporarily leave her in the States to satisfy quarantine requirements. I'll try to get Kazuya on some illustrations in the meantime. We've got the anniversary coming up Friday, but I can't promise any major festivities. I'll see if we can't at least have a pic to commemorate the occasion and I'll see what plans I can reveal for the year. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 13:36:47

06 Jan 12

Yes, let me apologize first for being so late. My schedule was thrown off by a combination of illness, travel, family business, and general festive behavior. Happy New Year, by the way. We can see the junior mascot in training trying to butter up the mascot, but you'll find no such pleasantry in Chapter 22 of Tico2. Things are heating up ever still. It may not be until the week after next when you see the follow-up to this, though. I'm making my triumphant return to the Orient, so things are bound be rather hectic for the next several days. We'll see how things go. Stay tuned.

Posted by: James
UTC 22:52:42