Advice for the Beginning Novelist

Writing your first novel!

When I was but a child I found myself, after every great novel that I read, promising myself that I would have a novel of my own. Since that time, I have written 25 shorts, over 60 fan-fictions, 4 “full length” soon-to-be-published novels, countless lyrics, and countless poems. I have written anything from science fiction to philosophical arguments – Psychosocial Rehabilitation Analysis, and speeches to Screen-writes, and Plays. Writing was always my favourite subject in school; I was, I suppose still am, a geek. I participated in many extracurricular activities such as the anime club where I wrote stories for our on-going manga, the drama club where I wrote plays we later performed (Yes, I am a proud thespian), I wrote lyrics for choir, and arguments for the debate team, speeches for FLA (Future Leaders of America) and many more.

At home it was no different; I was gaming, drawing, or singing, watching anime, reading, or writing. I wrote fanfics about virtually every anime I’ve ever seen. The one I wrote with InuYasha characters made my sister cry. Which really solidified my passion for it; anything that makes my sister cry – I love. I have participated in several critique groups, book clubs, writing discussion groups, and am currently a member of animeEDEN’s Writing FanClub.

Writing remains to this day one of my outlets for stress. It’s a great way for me personally; as I’m sure it is for many out there, to unwind after a demanding day or week. It helps keep me balanced. Some say, the arts IS the fountain of youth.

Maybe why I volunteered to write articles for AE? …meh, maybe I just wanted to be special. AM I SPECIAL!?

Anyway; this article is for those of you who have the same (or similar) feels for the art as I do. I believe I will make this the first of many “tips and tricks” tutorials on anything and everything I know how to do. [INSERT SMILEY FACE]

Here I will provide a basic rundown of what it takes to write the novel you have held inside, I will help you realise that dream you’ve had inside for years! My goal with this is to increase the percentage of people who actually finish their novels, and to help each and every one of you experience the mystical three tiers of writers high. But, first, I’d like to say: NO IDEA IS A BAD IDEA!

Depending on how you paint the pictures with your words will determine how “good” or “bad” your novel is. Then again, your novel may be “good” to one person, but “bad” to another. Don’t get discouraged, don’t hide it away from the world, and definitely don’t take works that don’t belong to you. Sometimes, you can get inspired by a story – I have a million times over – but becoming inspired and taking work and passing it off as your own, are not the same thing.

With all that said, let’s get to the good part shall we?

 

I. Short story or Novel?

Personally, it’s all up to you; but most people – in the beginning – start out with a short story. It’s less daunting and seemingly plausible for the first time writer. A novel could take years to complete depending on the amount of effort and time you put into it. Usually, a novel is defined by word count 70,000 to 140,000 words makes up the definition of a “full-length” novel. If you are one to “go hard or go home” and decide to begin with a novel, more power to you! The biggest challenge you will have to face is the amount of time it takes to complete. Statistically speaking, out of every 100 people who begin a novel, only three see their dream come to fruition. The first one is always the hardest, every one after that is… well… I don’t want to say a piece of cake; but for me the second, third, and fourth novel I wrote came out to be simpler than the first. It took me 3 years to complete my first novel; on a mixed full-time, part-time schedule.

 

II. When should I write?

A lot of people get up early before the house wakes and write in the wee hours of the morning; some prefer at night when the house sleeps. If you have an empty home, it’s best to write free from stress. Albeit writing is a stress reliever, you cannot begin a new journey stressed out. Say you just came home from work. The worst thing you can do is sit down at your writing desk and start a tale. You’ll hit the block and fast. Try unwinding a bit first. Take a nice steam bath, eat some delicious foods, watch an episode or two of your favourite anime, etc. Sometimes, people like to watch a movie before they write; to get the creative juices flowing and the feels to swell. I wrote a short once, based off of a poem I had entered on animeEDEN v.1 back in 2006 called, “Metal Boy and Rock Girl”. I finished it after watching Edward Scissorhands. The short made me cry when I read it. Some people travel for writing, I know a lot of professionals find secluded, beautiful areas and just spend their days writing. You have to look at your life, at your schedule, and pick the time (and place) where you will be free of interaction with others. If you’re busy during the week, spend several hours alone on the weekend writing in seclusion.

I have heard some people enjoy a glass of wine or instrumental music. Keyword here is instrumental music. The words in your story you want to come from inside your head, not the words of the songs which will happen even if you didn’t mean to. All in all, you’ve just got to be free from life’s distractions, where you can fall into your creative flow.

 

III. Where should I start?

Personally, I like to make a conceptual outline; something like this:

Where the boxes represent the ideas and the smaller circles show how they tie into each other. That isn’t specifically what I do but it’s the gist of it. I have outlined my novels before by filling the squares with beginning, middle, and end ideas and tying them together; and sometimes I have just written an idea in a circle, and supporting events etc.

What you’ve got to understand is this: most novels begin with an idea; maybe a special character, setting, conflict, or a challenge for the character. An idea is still an idea until it has conflict between characters, a change of events or relationships over time, and a resolution. In other words, it has to have a plot, not just a wonderful feeling like a daydream.

 

IV. Should I buy books to help me out?

Yes and no.

The two tools I like to have with me at all times are a Thesaurus and a Dictionary. They really are your best friends. I also have something called, “The Writer’s Little Brown Hand Book”. Clever little thing, it helps you with grammar and other formatting obstacles. Now, as I won’t argue that you can learn a lot by reading creative writing books, I find it best to travel this road with little to no structural knowledge. You can’t learn how to write fiction just by reading a ‘how to’ book. They help, yes, but to learn how to write you must WRITE.

There will come a time where you will need help, go ahead and search for some. But don’t overload yourself with buying creative writing books and trying to read all of them; you won’t get anywhere and I’m sure they will just collect dust on your shelves. I do, however, condone reading some books on the genre you are thinking of writing. This will give you a general sense of what the others did before you and what readers expect from a story within that specific genre.

Research is fine and dandy, a necessity for some novels, but don’t waste your money or too much time on ‘how to’ books.

 

V. Where do I find resources?

The same way you found this and anything else: the World Wide Web. You could also go to public libraries, but who does that anymore? *cough*me*cough*

HERE

 

VI. What about writing classes?

What about writing classes? Its common sense, if you want to jump-start your writing skills; attend some classes on creative writing! You could go online to www.coursera.org and sign up for their creative writing course. It’s free and good! Taking classes on anything really is a good idea, not only do you get valuable information from people who have been doing it longer than you, but you gain experience, quick feedback, and you meet people who could be an asset later on in life.

I’ve taken a few classes as well, just to help shape my own unique style.

 

VII. Once I have all that jambalaya, what’s next?

The first step: a character with conflict

Start with the main character, also known as your protagonist. Pick a gender, name, role in life, etc. Give him a problem, something he wants or is fighting. Create a reason why he will have great difficulty solving his problem. This could be due to circumstances beyond his control, or by characters surrounding them. I find it juicier if the protagonist has some kind of internal conflict. What is internal conflict? It’s something within him that fights his getting his cake and eating it too.

Keep in mind if you make your character GOD who is predestined to win, he will be one-dimensional and boring. He will be flatter than a cola left with the top off for days, heck that cola would have more character than an underdeveloped protagonist!

You should also keep in mind that you are going to need characters that will make your protagonists journey an interesting one; whether by direct or indirect opposition. You may want to start a note on each main character, to which you will add comments as you go along. Create a short description of how your protagonist will struggle against the others and/or against himself to reach the ending. This is the start of your plot.

 

VIII. How do I design a plot?

There are hundreds of ways for plot design. It all depends on how you want to tell your story. The two most common are the Three Act Play and the Narrative Structure. It is possible to start with one layout and switch to another. Each story is unique, as we are individually unique, so you don’t have to do what you don’t want to – you don’t have to follow a predetermined format.

Let’s look at the Narrative Structure format:

Status Quo

    – it begins with a period of Status Quo; the protagonist is introduced.

Inciting Incident

    – the inciting incident is some event that changes your protagonist’s life forever.

First Turning Point

    – the first turning point changes your protagonists thinking on how he/she/it will solve the problem(s) at hand.

Second Turning Point

    – similar to the first turning point, the second one evolves your protagonist’s way of thinking even further; another conflict in the protagonist even. This could be where they make the conscious effort to behave differently, and effectively change who they are.

Crisis

    – this is where nature’s flight or fight response makes its debut; where the pro gets to make that other life changing decision.

Climax

    – the moment of truth, the holy grail of writing. This is where the excitement is. The battle scenes, boss fights, etc. go here. Think of the word climax… yar… exactly.

Resolution

    – when everything is said and done, problem solved; whichever way you chose to solve it. A lot of writer’s like to add in a little cliff hanger here to tie in the next installment… this is of course if you’re going to write a series, epic, trilogy, etc.

I find it helpful to create a sort of timeline when I’m writing in the Narrative Structure Format. I use sticky notes to briefly describe the events. It makes it easy to rearrange the notes/events as your plot develops. One thing you will learn, in the world of story-telling things are always changing. You might be heading one way with an idea, then one day you wake up to find that’s not what you wanted at all. I change my mind so much, so, so, much. I start first with the hero and make notes to cover his story moving from left to right in time order. Then I add below his row of notes additional rows of notes, one for each main character.

KEEP ORGANISED. Make sure you put the characters’ names at the top of each note so you can keep track of who is who as you move them around with new inspirations. It helps if you line up the notes vertically to match the events in the life of the protagonist. I post my notes on my wall. I look like a madwoman when I’m coming up with a plot.

 

IX. How do I develop my characters?

For character development I use THIS

I find the more detail you have within your characters, the more believable their reactions and responses will be to situations you throw at them. Maybe for minor characters, you don’t have to go so in depth; but definitely for major ones it should be as you have written a bio on someone you actually know.

 

X. What about writing scenes?

When you are ready to write a new scene, look at your design notes. Pick a character and an event. Chose their attitude, give them a problem, and start writing what they do and say to themselves, and to others.

REMEMBER: you are not an objective viewer. Get inside their head, they are you and you are them. You must live through their minds for that scene and every one thereafter. For all your characters! Eventually you’ll experience the writer’s high, you’ll be multiple people at once. It’s brilliant.

And don’t forget to show lots of emotion in your scenes.

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
- Robert Frost

Each writer must find his own style. You get to know your characters better as you write their scenes and eventually you’ll just fall into the flow. For me personally, my characters speak to me: they will let me know what they like and don’t like. Along the way, you will get inspired and change the character’s plot, design, etc. That’s perfectly fine; this is your creative masterpiece! You can do whatever you like.

 

XI. WHAT ABOUT WRITER’S BLOCK?!

There is no use in worrying about this now, but it will come; multiple times in one night even. Every single person, writer or not, has experienced writer’s block. From children writing an essay for English class, to adults writing a dissertation for their Doctorates degree… it doesn’t pick or choose; it plagues us all! This can be easily dealt with if you don’t let it get the best of you.

“Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.” – Gene Fowler

Some people might say that it affects beginners more than experienced writers. This may be true the same way fatigue hits a normal person quicker than it would a marathon runner. When the block hits, it’s time to turn off the editor in your head and just bang some words around. Flip open the dictionary, close your eyes, blindly place your finger on one of the pages, read the word and its definition. This has helped me many a-time get something going, which in turn, gets my flow back.

“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.” – Unknown

This is also a time where the outline of the aforementioned timeline comes in handy. You can look at where you left off and see where you can go from there. Something will come to you, dive into the character, become him, feel his emotion – write his mini-story for the scene. The first draft is never the final. Maybe try that glass of wine to loosen your inhibitions. The flow will come.

 

XII. Should I join a writer’s group?

First you have to realise, writing fiction is a solitary activity; writing anything for that matter is a solitary activity. It can’t be any other way. Naturally, there will come a time when you would want to discuss your writing and maybe get some feedback; you will find that those around you who are not writers are of little to no help, save for the fact they can read what you’ve got and give some sort of general opinion. But, for deeper, more analytical results, it can only be one. This is the time to seek out other writers. You can learn from them, but be aware that creative people have creative opinions. A plethora of them; always remember: just because someone has years of experience on them, doesn’t mean they are qualified to help you write YOUR book. It’s YOUR BOOK.

Don’t spend too much time visiting writing groups. You are not writing then. You are writing when you are WRITING.

Participating in a critique group can be rewarding. They get together to read parts of their stories and get feedback from peers. I find one great benefit of critiquing the words of others is that it makes you more aware of the weaknesses in your own writing. No one is perfect, there are times you will believe your writing flawless; don’t take a critique in offense or let it scare you away. They are meant to help you get better and because of that writer’s high, often times you won’t see the error in your work. I like to save critique groups until after I’ve finished my novel/story.

Keep in mind you’ve got us here too!

 

XIII. I FINISHED! What now?

Finishing a novel that’s taken years to complete is a feeling everyone should have the pleasure of experiencing at least once in their lifetime. You are one of the three percent who actually made it to the finish line. This brings about the second tier of writer’s high: satisfaction. The satisfaction of finishing the grueling work you’ve been doing, the countless sleepless nights, countless hours locked up in your room, the countless instrumental songs you’ve been listening to – it’s all over. Never before have two little words like “The End” had such a feeling in your life.

What do you do next? Enjoy it. You’ve earned it.

Now, you may be done with the writing but you’re far from 100% finished. It’s time to re-read and re-write. Do you have to re-write? Yes, all good writers’ do. You think it’s over just because you finished your first draft? Ha. Think again.

“First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about.” – Bernard Malamud

You will believe it is the best novel ever written; every first-time novel writer does. Sorry buddy, but the real work lies ahead of you.

“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” – Justice Brandeis

“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own; it is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.” – Michael Crichton

This is where attending the critique groups, and writing groups, comes in handy as well. They will help you see something you didn’t; it’s time to get the darn thing edited. Once, twice, three times. After all is said and done, and you find your novel to be exactly what you had hoped. You are done. You have finally come to the third level of writing high.

 

XIV. This is the end?

I’m warning you now. When you finish a novel or story that’s drained you; you’re walking on air. There is nothing out there that can harm you or bring you down. You walk around with a swelled head for weeks. Eventually, the high will die down, the rush will end… what not?

Make like a crack addict and get more crack!

In other words, it’s time to start another! Keep that high going, long and strong. This time around, it’ll be simpler – you’re no longer a beginner; you’re not a veteran obviously, but you’re not a noob either.

As far as seeing your book in print, that’s another article for another time; but I will go over it briefly. Personally, I enjoy self-publishing, look into it.

    For printed work try CreateSpace or LuLu.
    For ebook’s I suggest BookBaby.

If you don’t care about publishing on Amazon, try Smashwords.

Again, this article is the basics, there are many roads less traveled you will find your calling in. I hope this helps to some degree. One day, you will find yourself as many writers do, standing in front of a window – staring. Others may ask, “What are you doing?” and you will simply reply, “Writing.”

See you in the forums~

Cheers.

 

 

Dedicated to: Exar

The Possibility of New Music

I was sitting the other day, fiddling around on my guitar, and happened upon a cool little riff. I showed it to one of my friends and he told me it reminded him of another song and showed me. Given two or three notes, the riff was basically the same. I had never heard the song before.

This got me thinking.

Why?

Why does this occur when the possibilities within the music itself is infinite? Is it infinite? There are only a few sound frequencies our ears can distinguish; and it only takes a few notes to link two musical ideas and make them sound alike, will we ever run out of new music? Why are there so many commonalities between songs? Even spanning hundreds, and hundreds, of years, how come so many songs kind of sound the same? WHO AM I?

So, I decided to do some digging.

I stumbled upon a very informative YouTube video that I will take the liberty of quoting extensively. In this video, Michael of Vsauce elaborates for us:

“… digital music is made out of “bits”. Lots, and lots, of bits. But, each individual bit exists in one of two states: a “0″ or a “1″. Now, what this means is that for any given, say, 5-minute-long audio file, the number of possibilities, mathematically speaking, is enormous, but mind-blowingly finite. A compact disk which samples music at 44.1 khz is going to need about 211 million bits to store one 5-minute song. And because a bit can exist in two states, the number of possible different ways to arrange those 211 million bits is 2 to the 211th million power. That value represents every single possible different 5-minute-long audio file. But, how big is that number? Here’s some perspective: A single drop of water contains 6 sextillion atoms. 6 sextillion is 22 digits long. That’s a long number, but the total number of atoms that make up the entire Earth is a number that is about 50 digits long. And, estimation of the total number of hydrogen atoms in our universe is a number that is 80 digits long… but “2 to the 211 millionth power,” is a number that is 63 million digits long. IT is a number larger than we can even pretend to understand. It contains every possible CD quality 5-minute audio file. Inside that amount is everything from Beethoven’s “5th” to Beck’s “Loser” – it even contains a 5 minute conversation you had with your parents when you were 3 years old. In fact, every one of them. It even contains every possible conversation you didn’t have with your parents when you were 3 years old. But, it is finite, not infinite.”

While all that jazz is pretty interesting to know, it still doesn’t answer my question. Will there ever come a time, where every possible pairing has been done? Will we ever run out of new music? How many possible songs are we capable of? Why the glob do our songs sound the same!?

…on Everything2, Ferrouslepidoptera made a calculation that involved some assumptions that help narrow the field down a bit. She took a look at the total number of possible different melodies you could create within one octave, containing any or all of the intervals we divide octaves into. Of course, sound frequencies can be divided much more granular than that, but giving ourselves more notes might mean we could make more technically different melodies, but they wouldn’t necessarily sound any different to our ears. Now, given a single measure containing any combination of whole, half, quarter, eight, sixteenth, or thirty-second notes, she calculated that there would be 123,511,210,975,209,861,511,554,928,715,787,036 possible unique measures. It is a smaller number than we had before, but, to put it in perspective, this: 432,329,886,000,000,000 to 9 significant figures is roughly how old the universe is in seconds. Another calculation by Yerricde, is even more specific. He stayed within one octave, but instead of looking at a complete measure he only considered the number of unique combinations of 8 notes. He also assumed that typical melodies, as we know them today, only contain about three different types of note length. For instance: Quarter, eighth, and sixteenth; or, whole, half, and quarter. To be sure, that will most likely not always be true. Musical tastes hundreds, thousands, of years from now will most assuredly be different. But, given melodies as we know them today, across 8 notes, over 12 intervals, there are approximately 78,364,164,096 possible combinations.

Well, that’s a little more like it! Thanks Michael! There are approximately 78,364,164,096 possible combinations… 78 billion possible combinations… so, we now know that there are in fact a limited number of combinations possible… but… that number is pretty big – why is it then that we have such commonalities in music all across the board? For instance, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” the “Alphabet Song,” and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” all have the same melody. If there are that many possible combinations, why does “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley the same as “Aura Lea”? Why does Taylor Swifts “Haunted” progression sound just like Coldplay’s “The Scientist” which in turn, both sound like “Zombie” from The Cranberries? I don’t think they are necessarily ripping each other off, though I wouldn’t completely rule that out; but there’s something going on here we aren’t seeing. I mean it’s not only that specific – an alarming number of songs just “sound” like other songs. The Spongebob Squarepants theme cadences quite similarly to “Blow the Man Down” and when it comes to chords… hah there is no variety at all. I remember my songwriting professor last semester mentioning the “4 magical chords to a successful song” which made me think why the hell would I want to use the same four chords everyone else is using? check out this interesting bit by Axis of Awesome on those “magical” 4 chords.

There is something psychologically pulling us towards these same patterns. Obviously, as we all know; we are influenced by what came before – that’s alright but with such a gargantuan number of melodic possibilities, why is it all the same? You could even look at the lyrics. Mathematically speaking, there are more possibilities than we could ever exhaust, yet in many… MANY songs… dare I say all?.. We use the poetic meter known as “Common Meter” or “Ballad Meter”

“The common meter, or ballad meter, is a poetic rhythm which is, naturally, very common. For the metrically inclined, it consists of alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter (although, especially where hymns are concerned, “iambic” is not an absolute requirement). For those of us who only speak English, it consists of alternating lines of four and three stressed syllables. Abbreviated CM. There is also Common Meter Double (CMD), which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

It’s used in a number of well-known songs and poems, and as a result, you can swap the lyrics and tunes around, often to amusing effect. Some of the best One Song To The Tune Of Another rounds on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue have done this (others have deliberately chosen songs with completely different meters to make it more difficult).”
(TvTropes)

The meter we are referring to goes as follows:
Line 1 = 8 syllables, A
Line 2 = 6 syllables, B
Line 3 = 8 syllables, iambic
Line 4 = 6 syllables, B

Is that the secret to writing a “timeless” song? Use the 4 chords, common meter, and voila. Done? There has to be more to songwriting than that…. right? The overuse of this meter is the reason you can sing the Pokemon Theme Song to the tune of Gilligan’s Island… or House of the Rising Sun… or Amazing Grace. Sure, the melodies differ, but if you don’t believe me – try it, sing along.

Now, while I don’t think that it just takes those elements to make a timeless masterpiece, it intrigues me that out of all the possibilities, human kind has chosen to use these and stick with them. Even without knowing it.

Now, many will argue that across genre’s they do not sound the same. But I’m sure with some digging you will find that they indeed do.

What is it within us that is limiting us to exploring the vastness of music? Is it that these patterns and themes discovered centuries ago, remind us of “home”? Is it our own internal laziness that stops us from venturing in to this finite, yet seemingly infinite, realm of possibilities? Or do we just enjoy these certain patterns and melodies too much to even care about what else is out there? Is it due to the fact that you have listened to these songs since you were a child, so the form of it is buried deep within your subconscious? Will there ever be a time where “new” music is made?

Feel free to leave your comments – or – post in the forum here.

The Power of Sound

We’ve all experienced that moment: you’re in the middle of an important conversation, using GPS to find your way to an important meeting of some nature, you’re bored and need some entertainment, or you just want to Shazam™ that song on the radio – but your phone is dying… and you don’t have the car charger!

I’m sure I haven’t been the only one who has experienced this issue and gotten so frustrated with the finite life of mobile phone batteries to the point where I just wanted to curse and scream at the thing.

Well, what if our curses and screams actually charged the phone?

Nokia has recently partnered with Queen Mary University of London to develop a method of charging phones using sound waves!

Standing at about 129 mm high and 70.6 mm wide, the ‘sound wave converter‘ is approximately the size of Nokia’s Lumia 925.

The brainiacs made this possible by using what’s known as the Piezoelectric Effect. Wait a second NOX… wtf is Piezowhatabaloo Effect? Here, I’ll let Wikipedia explain:

Piezoelectricity /piˌeɪzoʊˌilɛkˈtrɪsɪti/ is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure. It is derived from the Greek piezo or piezein (πιέζειν), which means to squeeze or press, and electric or electron (ήλεκτρον), which means amber, an ancient source of electric charge. Piezoelectricity was discovered in 1880 by French physicists Jacques and Pierre Curie.

The piezoelectric effect is understood as the linear electromechanical interaction between the mechanical and the electrical state in crystalline materials with no inversion symmetry. The piezoelectric effect is a reversible process in that materials exhibiting the direct piezoelectric effect (the internal generation of electrical charge resulting from an applied mechanical force) also exhibit the reverse piezoelectric effect (the internal generation of a mechanical strain resulting from an applied electrical field). For example, lead zirconate titanate crystals will generate measurable piezoelectricity when their static structure is deformed by about 0.1% of the original dimension. Conversely, those same crystals will change about 0.1% of their static dimension when an external electric field is applied to the material. The inverse piezoelectric effect is used in production of ultrasonic sound waves

In layman terms, the device uses zinc oxide nanowires to convert sound vibrations into electricity which then charges the phone’s battery. By spraying a liquid zinc oxide onto a plastic sheet, scientists then placed it into a mixture of chemicals which caused the material to grow into nanorods!

The converter device is capable of producing about five volts of electricity; which is plenty to charge a mobile phone. No plugging in, no nothing – all that is required is everyday background noise like traffic, music, and voices.

One researcher who assisted in the construction of the sound converter device hopes it will shine light and have long-term implications for technology saying, “Being able to keep mobile devices working for longer, or do away with batteries completely by tapping into the stray energy that is all around us is an exciting concept. … We hope that we have brought this technology closer to viability.”

Can you imagine? Never having to use batteries again!? Eh, not good news for battery companies I imagine.

Now, although this has made quite a splash when the news hit the world wide cesspit (a.k.a the internet) it isn’t the first of its kind, or the only one being worked on that uses sound waves to charge phones.

British mobile phone company Orange tested a t-shirt that uses a correlative method to convert sound waves to electricity in 2011. Initially intended to charge phones.

Similarly, uBeam – a small Los Angeles based company, unveiled their unique version of the sound converter Wednesday August 6, 2014. Most current wireless charging solutions require your device to be placed onto a mat, or similar object, to charge. uBeam boasts to have found a solution that eliminates the need for a mat; enabling users to move around a room with their device while it continues charging!

How is this accomplished?

They achieve this by using about the same kind of piezoelectric process only in reverse; by converting electricity to sound and sending audio over ultrawave frequencies to a receiver attached to your device that captures the sound and converts it back into electricity, you can charge your phone while making me some delicious brownies or a well-deserved sandwich doing every day household stuff.

With everything that’s going on, it looks like we are advancing further into this technological age; all the while, feeding our laziness. These devices are each in varying stages of development and have no release date for consumers yet. I for one am looking forward to the day I can sing my phone back to life!

Our childhood Hero, Comedy Legend Robin Williams has died

Robin_Williams

I wish to Give my utmost Respect to one of my childhood Hero and a legendary comedian that has always made me smile and laugh with all the movies and shows he’s has been in. The comedy Legend has died this morning at the age of 63. They suspect that he died from suicide caused by asphyxia.

 

As Many of you know, Robin Williams is a very famous Movie comedian and a legendary actor in the hearts of many fans bringing them such memories of movies he has worked on from Disney movie Aladdin, to Popeye,  Jumanji, Playing the fame president Teddy Roosevelt in Night of the museum and many more famous movie and appearing in a lot of television shows he’s worked on such as his recent Show, The Crazy One’s. Many fans cry from the news of the legend’s passing, from those who has watched his movies and television show’s, to the gamers and anime fans worldwide. Robin Happen to show his love to the game Legend of Zelda as he was also in the legend of Zelda 3ds commercials such as the one below.

He has also worked on the Skyword Sword commercials that only aired in the UK with his daughter.

 

Robin also a big fan to some anime’s such’ as Ghost in the shell, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Cowboy Bebop. He mentions Neon Genesis in one his movies One Hour photo.  He had an Ask Me Anything on Reddit where some anime fans actually happen to ask him about his favorite anime as he would give a big respond to those who ask.

 

As a big fan of Robin Williams who is my childhood hero, hearing the news has broken my heart, my family and friends who have heard about his passing. Our Hearts goes out to his family. I wish to say that he has been an inspiration in my life with the smiles he left me everyday and every night. Whenever I saw his movies and television shows.  It would also inspire me to go out and make friends giving them laughs and smiles as he for millions of others on the big screen. Robin, You are a legend and we will never forget for what you have done in the movie industry and the television industry. The anime fans, The gaming Fans, The movie fans and the television Fans will miss you dearly from the bottom of our hearts. RIP Robin Williams.

 

Before i end this story, i will also like to take some time to talk to you guys about Depression.

You are all important to those around you. Friends and family as we are there to help you. We Always want you to know that we always have and always will care about you no matter what. If you ever feel Depressed, talk it out with friends or family. There is also and suicide hotline to call if the thought of suicide comes to mind.

 

All of you matter into this world, And we would do anything we can to bring a smile on to you once again.

 

This is kazuki20 saying from the bottom of my heart, Smile, Laugh and never forget that there are those around you who love you no matter what.

On Record with Reflux: MistiQarts

On Record with Reflux:

Maskota Zenska aka Her Mascot Seti  Drawn by MistiQarts

Maskota Zenska aka Her Mascot Seti
Drawn by MistiQarts

Mistiqarts

This week I had the pleasure of getting into contact with a very special artist. She is definitely a talent like no other and has manga-ka quality skills. I hope to see her flourish in the future and become a manga writer in the future. Keeping an eye out for her and her work will now be on my top 10 artists to watch list.

Normally, I interview cosplayers, well, that’s what I’ve been doing, but this is different, I am interviewing an artist that does manga-ka quality art. Which to me is exciting to begin with. I was shown this artist by one of the page admins on the Facebook (Pixie also a forum user). I sat in amazement as I watched the first video. At first I was like, meh, another artist, then like some sort of vortex, her video had pulled me in, and I was captivated. Entranced like a child who sat down to watch Spongebob while eating cookies, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

At that point, I watched another, and another, and another. Before long I realized that each of the videos were 20+ minutes and I had been there more than two hours. Completely enraptured, I knew what I had to do. I had to get into contact with this artist. I HAD to know what made this artist tick. I just had to take a chance that I could get in contact with them and that they would accept an interview with me.  I sent out my message in hopes it would reach her. She contacted me back, and this is the awesome result of the correspondence.

An gel Drawn by MistiQarts

An gel Drawn by MistiQarts

R: What drives you to make such beautiful creations of enormous awesome? or simply put, why do you draw such great art? I mean, I know you cosplay too, but I look at your art and cannot deny this raw talent.
M: Thank you for the nice words, if you ever feel like promoting my cosplay team , I will be grateful to that too. We are climbing the top charts on World Cosplay really fast. As for the question. I guess I always had a strong need to create fantasy characters and worlds, but mostly fantasy clothes. I always loved the Japanese sense for fashion and fantasy, I am mainly influenced by the Final fantasy franchise, with twists on some of my own experiences. My art serves as an outlet for my stress, so I often catch myself just having all these ideas in need to be put on a paper.

R: What are your top 5 anime?
M: Top 5 anime: Vampire hunter D:Bloodlust, Spirited away, DRRR, FMA Brotherhood, Kill la Kill
R: Vampire Hunter D, that series is beautifully drawn and very over the top in its artistic style. Very few people have watched this, in fifteen words or less can you describe it?
M: Vampire Hunter D has inspired me by the perfect animation, and an unusually dark, yet beautiful setting.

R: what are your top 5 mangas?
M: Top 5 Manga: Trinity blood, Ludwig Kakumei, Black butler, Dogs:Bullets and carnage, Shingeki no kyojin.
R: Dogs: Bullets and Carnage, has a four episode anime, would you watch it?
M: I already watched Dogs anime, and consider it to be really good intro for anyone to go and read the manga.

R: Who are your influences?
M:I get inspired mostly by style, characters or world mechanism from these My influences are Kaori Yuki, Yana Toboso, creator of Black butler, Yoshitaka Amano, and Ayame Kojima, the main illustrator for Castlevania.
R: Ayami Kojima, oh man the visuals she does on Castlevania, Dynasty Warriors, and just over all, it sends chills down my spine. What is your favorite work of hers?
M: Ayame Kojimas work generally is inspiring, but her designs for Castlevania caught my eye first, with a special unreal and ghost like appearance.
R: who do you follow as an artist?
M: As an artist, I mostly get inspired by Yana Toboso, and her overly detailed work, she pushes me to improve myself every day, and strive to do better each time.
R: Mentioning Yana Toboso, I looked their work up and I see the influences. I am amazed, you have opened up your world in how your work is influenced and the beauty in how you work is shown. Now I see why Black Butler is in your top five mangas. Do you try to mimic any of their styles, because I see the influence, but your style is quite unique, so is there any mimicry?
M: I gladly admit the strong influence of the Yana Toboso and FF designs and styles, but I am unable to copy any style completely. I just take details I like (like the nose and eyebrow shapes and the amount of details and shades used), and merge them into the way my hand wants to draw, thus enjoying and creating something of my own. I am to stubborn and proud to be using someone elses work, but yes, influences are there for everyone, we all have to start from something we already saw before.

R: If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
M: If I had a superpower, it would either be telekinesis , so that I could fetch all the tools I need efficiently, or being able to pass through walls. Basically, to be more efficient, also I am to lazy to run around in search for tools (laughs).
R: Telekinesis, like Jean Grey, or more like Raven? My question really is Marvel or DC.
M: DC vs Marvel is my main struggle, I just can’t pick. I could never choose between my favorites: Batman and X-men franchises. I just love both universes equally, as for telekinesis, yeah, like Jeans, but id definitively not enjoy the noise from all the people’s thoughts in my head constantly.

exer suit albino circus

Albino Circus by MistiQarts

R: What is your favorite word?
M: My favorite word, that is a really interesting question. I guess it would be Tranquility, since its so mysterious and elegant.

R: What sound do you love?
M: My favorite sound is the sound of the wind rustling through the forest leaves. Reminds me of the childhoods spent at my mountain side house.

R: What sound do you hate?
M: I hate the sound of the city: cars ,and sirens, loud people, broken engines, and chaos.

R: what is your favorite swear word?
M:  Oh my, my favorite swear word! I guess the words to tease my students with, like: poopie faces, poopsters , little gremlins (all the joking endearments of course)
R: Funny enough, your favorite swear word is much like one of the page admin’s favorite term of endearment for her cat. also a term of endearment. Is it because you deal with children more or just something that you picked up?
M: I try to avoid swearing generally, except when I’m under lot of stress. And since I work with my students a lot, I like teasing them with nicknames, makes swear word just turn into a fun thing.

R: Do you have any weird stories from your experiences cosplaying/being an artist?
M: When you are a cosplayer/artist, there are a lot of different people to meet, and every one of them is an experience of their own. Meeting celebs, taking autographs, giving autographs, roleplaying, exchanging ideas etc. Basically lots of my experiences would be considered weird for a regular person on the street, like meeting and learning techniques from ninjas directly, walking in a dressing room full of almost naked sumo wrestlers, flirting with the King of Hell (Mark Sheppard,actor from “Supernatural”), Getting my posters signed by an entire team of Bioware developers, Female Sheppard voice actor getting and liking a shirt with my art printed on it. Not to mention that I have built an entire manga school out from scratch, with few friends and no government help at all, into the best manga facility outside Japan. These are just things I can think of ,on top of my head. If I dig any deeper, I guess I would need to write a book.
R: Is it odd for you to have people come up to you and ask you for your autograph? or are you used to it?
M:  I absolutely am not used to people asking for my autograph. When ever someone approaches me for an autograph, I am almost surprised, almost asking people: “What do you need my scribbled name for?” I guess it’s because I never get to meet my foreign fans (who are my main fan base) , while the local con goers don’t really ask me for them that much, since Serbia is not that big on appreciating art.
R: Also, flirting with the king of hell, oh my, I am sure you have made someone slightly jealous. ( XD ) Female Shepard’s Voice, now that must have made your day. Half naked sumo wrestlers… are there any other type?
M:  Actually, Serbia’s sumo federation has really handsome, wrestler-like sumo sportsmen. When I entered their hall, they were all cringing in their underpants, and I heard one saying in a squeaky voice: “its a girl!” I just yelled at them that they have nothing I haven’t seen before, turned and left with the biggest grin ever.

R: do you have any thing to tell a newbie starting out as an artist?
M: To a newbie in art world I have one simple, and always heard thing to say: Work until your hands bleed. We all start from zero, and need to use all our skills, time and effort to do something we love. It takes all from us, and as a beginner, you don’t need fancy tools, just a lot of research, stealing knowledge and improving for years.
R: Okay, so a poor newbie can’t afford Copic, or Flex, what would you suggest for them to pick up marker wise if they had limited funds and needed 12 colors? (read your faq, but want to see where you’d go from here if they couldn’t afford Flex)
M: I started as a poorest of poor noobs, in a devastated war stricken 3rd world country. That is why I can share my experiences with people starting from zero. You don’t need markers. Regular water colors that I inherited from my mother are the tools I have been using for 10 years for anything I needed, and if I could grow up with only one piece of equipment, and paper i scraped from anywhere I could, so can anyone else. Markers are there for intermediates and professionals. If you are a beginner, you don’t need them, you will just use them up before learning anything. As I said, one pencil, eraser, thin black marker and watercolors are all you need to create good manga art. When you decide that you are advanced enough, use your art and commissions to sell and invest into more tools. Its how I did it. Took me years, but I managed somehow, and people from better developed countries can do all of this in much shorter time.

R: Do you have any negative experiences as an artist?
M:  As an artist ,as for the negative experiences, you get the usual:people don’t get that art is another form of a job . People keep asking for free drawings, somehow forgetting that artists need to pay the bills by selling art. As for being under appreciated, jealousy might sometimes spark in people who know me. People always see a finished results, (think its done over night by a fairy unicorn sparkle magic) but keep forgetting about all the time, sacrifices and efforts put in that project.

R: My other question is what is your opinion on street art, like Banksy or Shepard Fairey, or even those that use anime in their taggings, how do you feel about them?
M: I am a person who appreciates good street art, and keep daydreaming about seeing an anime inspired graffiti while traveling to work somewhere in my city. I prefer this art way more than just plain vandalism scribbled all over the place (speaking of my local examples that is)

pawns

R: How much do your commissions cost?
M: My commissions have an entire catalogue of prices, depending on how much time and special techniques I need to implement in them, from 10$ and up.

R: If you could talk to yourself from ten years ago, what would you tell yourself (mind that you cannot tell yourself of life changing information or investments)?
M: I often think about what I would tell to my younger self, and I would tell her exactly what I tell to all my manga students: keep trying, you will one day find yourself, but what is important is to keep busy and productive.

R: Do you sell prints at conventions?
M: I am proud of all the sacrifices I made up until now, one thing I never allowed myself was to stray from a plan I was developing for years, and that plan was to succeed as my own brand.

As for conventions and prints, yes, every year I have a booth to sell prints at, but that is not the most lucrative business where I am from. I am trying to make my own print shop online, but sadly my country doesn’t allow PayPal payments to arrive into the country, which makes me unable to make my fans happy, for years now.

R: as for right now, since paypal is limited why don’t you use Skrill aka Moneylenders?
M:  Skrill takes to long get the money, takes a huge provision, and people don’t like paying with anything that isn’t paypal
R: Very true, I didn’t think about that. I suppose you have been trying to find alternatives for a while. Sadly, paypal is the most recognizable, but not every country allows money to be sent in via pay pal. just found that out today actually. Pay pal is restrictive in your country to send out is fine but not in.
M: Yup, spent years to find an alternative solution with no success, and that issue has hurt my country’s economy badly, not to mention anyone who wants to work in the field of art as a freelancer from here.
R: Horrible. The fact that your country has such potential to make money come into the country just by allowing paypal to receive. Do you think there will ever be a simple solution to this problem or do you think it will continue?
M: I sadly think that if Paypal arrives, our government will make sure to get it to be too complicated for a regular citizen to use it. I have been waiting for years for PP to arrive, and every year my optimism fades more and more. I can only pray for a solution.

R: Do you think you have succeeded as your own brand, or do you think you have a long way to go in the sense of global success?
M: In terms of global success, I am in need to dedicate my whole life, so that I can build all I want. I believe this is a fruitful start, and I feel very optimistic, especially with my manga drawing book coming out on all shelves in USA this spring.

R:  I would like to personally thank you for this, but I know Anime-Eden will want to thank you. Would you like to have any final words for fans, to promote any up coming conventions,  promote your youtube/tumblr/facebook page?

M: I am most active on my YT channel ,where I work with fans, make my art in front of the camera, make tutorials, all my information is there https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKkjDvIoqafx7TIi-A60fng , also my deviantart gallery http://mistiqarts.deviantart.com/ . I am a professional in the field of Japanese pop culture, traveling and doing lectures for the embassy of Japan in Serbia, so I always love finding out new fresh portals for pop culture,news, Japan,cosplay etc. Feel free to ask if you need any more info. Thank you for giving me a honor of this interview, please notify me the moment you publish it

Once again, I want to thank MistiQarts for being my interview today. I absolutely love her art and her cosplay, if you haven’t checked her out by now, I suggest you do. To my readers, thank you for being here for me and supporting me. To the new readers please, please, please, keep up with us, I want to be able to provide you all with a source on new cosplays, new artists, new anime, new manga. I just want to make sure you all have something new coming up on the feed. Anime-Eden will also like to thank MistiQarts and wishes her well on her upcoming success on her book and please do go give her a like on her facebook, follow on her twitter, subscribe on her youtube, and reblog a few things from her tumblr. If any of you wish to submit someone you would like to see interviewed, let me know here, on the forums, or on the facebook page.

Studio Ghibli – There is still hope.

The year 1985 brought about many historical events from South Africa invading Angola to the Food and Drug Administration approving blood tests for AIDS; and everything in between. In June of this groovin’ year, Studio Ghibli was founded by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki. Widely known and accepted as the Walt Disney of Anime; the studio has produced several classics such as Hauru no ugoku shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle), Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro), Tenkū no Shiro Rapyuta (Laputa: Castle in The Sky), and Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) winner of the Academy Award. Many of us grew up on Studio Ghibli films, as well as Walt Disney classics; so when I heard the legendary Japanese animation studio famous for bringing the works of Hayao Miyazaki to the world will shut down its animation studio this year – I knew it would be chaos. After a day of wallowing in despair and desperation for this not to be true, I decided to do a little bit of research.

Let’s begin at the source; the tale originates from a Ghibli dedicated tumblr page which simply states that the company is “closing down”. The tumblr page provides us with a series of subtitled images, originally found on the Japanese blog Someone One One, from a profile on the MBS program Jounetsu Tairiku (情熱大陸) featuring Toshio Suzuki. Amidst the discussion on the future of Studio Ghibli; comments were made that have caused anime fans across the globe to believe that Studio Ghibli is closing down its production department for good. These comments, however, were not translated correctly, and this could all be a lot smaller than what we think. Stop the tears for a minute or two and check it out. 



YELLOW: “Still, these words are somewhat harsh…”
SUZUKI: “We’re thinking about disbanding the production department and…” (Note: The language Suzuki uses here isn’t definite.)


SUZUKI: “…making a big change to the larger view of Studio Ghibli.”


YELLOW: “‘Restructure’ is called saikouchiku (再構築) in Japanese.” 

Saikouchiku means “reconstruction”. In an article by Excite News they point out Suzuki calling this, “spring cleaning” or a “major cleaning” (大掃除 or ooshouji).


SUZUKI: “Obviously, Miyazaki’s retiring was quite significant.”

Well, this goes without saying; Miyazaki is a world renowned illustrator, producer, and screenwriter known for his masterful storytelling throughout a career that spanned six decades!


SUZUKI: “After that, what should Ghibli do?”


SUZUKI: “With that, continuing to endlessly create like this…”


SUZUKI: “is not impossible, but…”


SUZUKI: “once, right about now, we will take a short rest and think about what’s next.”

(小休止 or “shoukyuushi”) can mean “pause” or “a break” or a “breather.” He does not use the more definite word “kyuushi” (休止), which means either “stop, pause or suspend.”
(Translation on: Kotaku)


Going by this translation; it leads me to believe (and others like me) the studio is considering reorganization and regrouping; it was noted Ghibli will be using the restructuring to improve the environment for the next generation. This, however, does not rule out the possibility that Studio Ghibli decides it won’t make anime films anymore, which would be devastating; but it could simply mean they are taking a small break to reorganize themselves and will continue making anime films. Furthermore, there are no major Japanese newspapers running this story. Honestly, if this national treasure did indeed decide to shut down production forever, I think there would be something more solid than a few misinterpreted blog posts.

Upon Miyazaki’s latest retirement, he mentioned the fate of Studio Ghibli’s demise is “inevitable” and today I am still swimming in the tears of my Ghibli brethren. By various counts Miyazaki has retired (and returned) somewhere between seven to ten times within the last three decades. An unverified report originating from a Japanese blogger states that Hayao Miyazaki may be revoking his plan to retire and return to animation (Chichi wa, watashitachi ni modotte kuru!). This shines some light on our parade. Then again, this could just be a hoax spawned from the wild and untamed World Wide Web. In any case, this isn’t the last we see of Miyazaki; Suzuki hinted a few months ago that Miyazaki was working on a period-piece manga. Now, taking into consideration Miyazaki’s recent health issues; this sounds a bit more manageable for our 73 year old master story-teller than an entire animated feature. I for one would have no objections if he does decide to make a stand one more time.

On Record with Reflux: April Gloria

On Record with Reflux:

April Gloria: Gamer, Cosplayer, all around awesome
person, but you already knew that.

Elizabeth Cosplay by April Gloria  photography by Hidden Treasures Photography

Elizabeth Cosplay by April Gloria
photography by Hidden Treasures Photography

     In my over zealousness I went out of my way to go straight to some of the big cosplayers. Youtubers, Facebook pages with a lot of likes, and Names that were dropped in my first few interviews. I had been following some cosplayers before I started all this, but I doubted I’d get a response from a few that have been responding. Every response I get giddy like a child being told they can choose a candy bar. It’s nice to know that among those I asked to interview, I was able to get ahold of April Gloria. Though at the time I contacted her, she was traveling out of state. So I patiently waited, and I am happy that I did.

     For those of you that don’t know April Gloria, she has cosplayed characters like Aela the Huntress  from Skyrim, Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill, and many more. She is friendly, bubbly, and quite the wonderful person that I have the pleasure of meeting. If you want to get to know her, like her page on Facebook and follow her on twitter. You will get a better idea of how she is, by your own personal experience. As always, here is my interview with the lovely April Gloria;

So, what got you introduced into the world of Cosplay, what got your motivated to start when did?
A. I started in spring 2013. I had been thinking of attending a convention but got motivated to actually put together a costume when friends told me they thought I resembled Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite with the hairstyle I had at the time.

R. What are your favorite cosplays?
A. Aela, because Skyrim is my favorite video game ever! Also, making that costume helped me to learn so many new things at once, like patterning from scratch, making armor, and sewing with leather.
R. Aela from Skyrim. That is awesome. I have been a fan of the Elder Scrolls series for some time. The cosplays you mentioned are more gaming related, do you have more gaming cosplays than anime and comics?
A. I have about the same amount of video game and comic book cosplays, two film/tv cosplays and then one anime-inspired one which is a Charmander gijinka(inspired-outfit). Video game cosplays are definitely my favorite, but there are definitely more comic and anime ones coming in the future. I have two anime cosplays planned for DragonCon actually! (Sailor Mars and Android 18)

R. I am sure there are some conventions that you attend to and frequent, which ones are they?
A. The only con I’ve gone to twice was a local one, Motor City Comic Con. It’s so close it would almost be a crime not to go! Haha. Others I’ve enjoyed going to were WizardWorld Ohio, Katsucon, C2E2, and IndyPopCon.

R. Have you competed in any of the conventions?
A. I did, as Aela at Wizard World Ohio. I did ok until my shoulder piece fell off onstage. That costume helped me learn how NOT to attach armor! I haven’t competed since, because I don’t really like contests. I would get stressed out trying to make everything perfect, and worry about other people being ‘better’ than me, and that saps the fun out of making the costume!
R. I am starting to get a running gag with this question, most of the the cosplayers do not like competitions. Most are in it for the fun. which is fine, but do you think people should attempt to compete at least once?
A. Sure! It’s an interesting experience. It’s cool to see the other competitors’ cosplays, and it is a rush going onto the stage! Maybe when I develop my skills a bit more I’ll try again. But til then, I’ll gladly watch the other cosplayers compete.

Aela The Huntress Cosplay by April Gloria

Aela The Huntress Cosplay by April Gloria

R. Would you consider conventions and cosplay addictive?
A. YES. I think most cosplayers can attest to a “post-con depression”. I get really bummed out for a few days after a convention. All I can think about is blowing my life savings on plane tickets and hotels so I can see my friends again!
R. I chuckled at your response. “PCD” or Post-Con Depression sounds horrid. Could you explain the symptoms and signs of PCD?
A. Hmm. Well I’m not sure if it’s the same for everyone, but I just felt a bit “down” in general. Nothing sounded fun to do, and my temper was a bit short. I just wanted to eat junk food and sit around the house looking at ways to attend more cons that my friends would be at!

R. Do you love all your fans/supporters?
A. Of course! I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them.
R. I doubt I need a follow up question for this, I think it’s plain as day when you answer like that.

Do you have any weird stories from cons/expos/photo shoots?
A. Well, My friends Amanda Dawn, Pretty Lush, and I saw Stan Lee at C2E2. We were about to wave to him but got embarrassed because we realized we were dressed up as DC characters. Oops…maybe next time!
R. DC characters could go up to Stan Lee, but I don’t know how he’d feel. Good call. Though, if you had known he was there, would you have “Marvel”ed your cosplay to meet him?
A. Well, I’m usually too shy to go up to celebrities! Haha. We just happened to see him walking. If I were going to an event or something where we would definitely be crossing paths, though, I would definitely wear a Marvel cosplay!

R. Any bad experiences from cosplaying/conventions?
A. No, not really. No one has ever tried to do anything inappropriate to me. I always make sure I don’t put myself in compromising situations and rehearse what I’ll do or say if something happens despite my best efforts. Some may think I’m being prudish or no fun, but my safety is top priority!
R. Good, I love when people take personal responsibility for their own personal safety. I do not think it’s prudish or not fun, it’s your personal space. Do you think conventions should have to remind people of this or should people already know?
A. They shouldn’t have to, but that’s not reality unfortunately. It might help if the attendees know that the convention is aware of the problem, and is looking out for its attendees, watching for any suspicious activity. If offenders see that there might be consequences for their actions maybe they’ll think twice before trying anything. That activity will never not be a problem but spreading awareness and letting people know that it won’t be tolerated may at least make less incidents happen.

R. Time machine time, as always you can’t warn of anything big, and you can only give advice about yourself, but nothing that changes who you are now. What would you tell yourself from ten years ago?
A. Please fill in your eyebrows!!!
R. it’s odd… you aren’t the only one to mention the eyebrows. No further questions are needed on this.

With so many people now attending conventions, there are a lot of newbies that look up to you and want to start cosplaying; What would you say to cosplay newbies starting out?
A. Youtube and Google are your absolute best friends relating to cosplay research. I look at video tutorials and photos all day long when I’m making my costumes!
R. so, cosplaying like you have, you still take tips from Youtube? If you don’t mind me asking who do you follow/watch on Youtube for such tips?
A. I watched WindoftheStars’ videos when learning about making bodysuits! Punished Props’ channel is good too if you’d like to learn more about prop making. I usually just search for whatever I am making, for example “Sailor Moon Bow Tutorial” and watch whatever pops up that looks helpful.

R. I am sure there are cosplayers that you look up too, so I have to ask, who are your favorite cosplayers?
A. So many! Kamui Cosplay makes amazing armor, Jessica LG pretty much perfected the bodysuit, and Bill Doran(Punished Props) is one of my favorite prop makers. His video tutorials are super helpful! Chubear is the first cosplayer I met in person, and she’s so fun and really talented with worbla, sewing and makeup! Friscoblondie and Yelaina May Cosplay are two girls I discovered more recently and they are amazing! They make phenomenal gaming cosplays which are always my favorite. Others include Destiny Nickelsen, Beautiful Syn, Stella Chuu, and my “wolf pack” cosplay crew Amanda Dawn, Pretty Lush, and Sweets4ASweet! There are tons more but I’ve already written more than 10. Oops!
R. Oh my! I don’t mind you going more than 10! Just gives me more of an idea who to talk to next :3 and that makes me smile. If you could choose, who would you want to do a shoot with?
A. Well, I’m shooting with many of these cosplayers at Dragoncon actually! Other than that, anyone, really. Especially those with Skyrim cosplays. :)
R. Dragon Con Again. Amazingly, they have been mentioned more than a few times by people I’ve already interviewed. (laughter)

Black Canary Cosplay by April Gloria

Black Canary Cosplay by April Gloria

Who inspires you to go further with your cosplays of those cosplayers?
A. They all do, in their own way. Whenever I see something they’ve made that I really love, it inspires me to improve my own crafting or sewing.
R. What cosplays are you working on for future conventions/shoots? Anything “top secret” you care to hint at?
A. None are really secret except the Sailor Mars will have a different twist on it and that’s all I can say. :) As for other cosplays, I’m making the Shrouded Armor from Skyrim, Android 18 from DBZ, one of the bimbos from Beauty and the Beast(the girls who liked Gaston), Nathan Explosion from Metalocalypse, and a lady Ace Ventura.

R. As a cosplayer, you go to conventions and get to be yourself dressed as another. Let’s say tomorrow you get embued with superpowers. Who’s superpower, would it be, and why?
A. The powers of Magneto would be great. (control over metal)
R. Magneto is awesome, enough was said with that answer.

What is your favorite word?
A. I’m not sure. Flower names are usually pleasant sounding.

R. What sound do you love?
A. crackling fires, birds singing, wind, rain..I love nature sounds.

R. What sound do you hate?
A. the alarm clock in the morning!! and other loud repetitive noises…dogs barking angrily, tv white noise, and those hot air hand dryers in public bathrooms!!! Haha

R. What is your favorite swear word?
A. I don’t swear but my favorite insults include things like dingleberry, dildo, turd, and knob. Those words make me laugh. My husband and I call each other those things instead of “babe” or other pet-names…we have a weird sense of humor…

R. Anime-Eden being an anime site, I of course have to ask, what anime are your favorites?
A. Dragonball Z, Deathnote, Blood+, Samurai 7, and Claymore are a few of my favorites.
R. I have been on the fence if I should watch Claymore.In 15 words or less, describe Claymore.
A. it’s a cool show; has great concepts. more ‘serious’ but I like that about it.
R. 15! right on the money. Very descriptive indeed.

What are you currently watching anime wise?
A. My husband and I have been watching Dragonball Z from the beginning…it’s awesome haha
R. Oh man, good memories for me. Any newer series on your watch list? I have recently finished up No Game No Life and laughed and laughed and laughed. Me being a gamer, I took interest. Any newer series on your watch list or to watch list?
A. I’m not really sure where to start with the newer stuff. I’ll take recommendations though! I watched the first episode of Attack on Titan and that looks pretty good. I tend to like the more serious animes w creepy vibes and limited fan service, lol. I watched Berserk and I loved the show but those scenes were a bit much for me. But I am willing to try a funny one as well!
R. No Game No Life is a bit ecchi, and weird, but once you get over the whole codependancy neet thing, it kind of works. I was caught by surprised that I liked it. I picked up Hunter X Hunter, no complaints from it yet. Very much the hard headed protagonist, much like Young Goku. I also started rewatching Magi, because I had to be sure I didn’t miss anything. It’s rather good, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I would suggest each one, not knowing your level of acceptance of certain aspects.

R. Do you read manga?/what are you reading?
A. That’s something I’ve never really tried! I would like to some time though. I must find out if InuYasha and crew ever recover all the Shikon Jewel shards!!! Since the anime ended while they still had a bunch to find! :(
R. Oh trust me, you will definitely want to read that manga. The anime cut short, I was devestated that they didn’t continue on the search for them. Let me know if you need a place to find the manga.
A. I’ve actually seen it at the comic shop near me! They have a manga section as well as comic books. I’ll pick up the first volume some time! Thank you though! :)

Burial At Sea Elizabeth Cosplay by April Gloria

Burial At Sea Elizabeth Cosplay by April Gloria
Photo by Valderana Photography

R. Any last words/conventions you want to promote?
A. I’m attending S.S. Kaizoku Con in Muskegon, Michigan on August 17th! My friend Sweets4ASweet is a guest and hosting some panels so it’ll be a good time! It’s a small con so anyone local should come hang out!
I’ll also be attending DragonCon this year in Atlanta! I’m looking forward to that a lot.
Thanks for interviewing me! And thanks to everyone who’s followed and supported me throughout the past year. It really means a lot! :)

With that my interview with the lovely April Gloria was concluded. I had a smile as we responded back and forth, knowing that what I have found was something that was making me happy. I am starting down a path to be blessed to talk to cosplayers, gamers, collectors, and so many more. This interview made me rethink a few things, but I know I want to be able to talk to more people like April. To know that they take the time for their fans to get them know a little bit better, and so their supporters find out a little more intimately. So I have this giant smile as I write this article.

     I want to thank April, and the other cosplayers I have recently interviewed. With each one, I slightly improve, and with that I become even slightly closer to my goal. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know Anime-Eden would like to also thank April Gloria, for taking the time to do the interview. I know she’s busy and getting ready for S.S. Kaizoku Con, and we would like to give them a shout out. S.S. Kaizoku Con will be held August 16th – 17th, 2014 at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts in the Hilt Building 425 W Western Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440. Here is their Facebook for more details.

On Record with Reflux: Hideyo Mochimo

On Record with Reflux:

Hideyo Mochimo:
Cosplaying Phenom. Actor. YouTube singer. Fanboy. Blogger. Super nerd.

Princess Jellyfish Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo  Photography by: Shutter Crazy Photos / Leanne Longacre

Princess Jellyfish Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo
Photography by: Shutter Crazy Photos / Leanne Longacre

In my search for many diverse interviews, I was sent to contact a cosplayer by a friend of mine. His name is OrangeAlucard but goes by Orange. He told me of a wonderful cosplayer that I just had to interview. I told him I would as soon as I can. Over the course of the past 5 days I’ve gotten to know cosplayer Hideyo Mochimo a little better than when I was first introduced, and I have not regretted it. This cosplayer has restored some faith in humanity and you should read on to see why.

R: In this wonderous world of cosplay, what got you started in such a thing, and when did you start?
HM: My friend Tom used to be really into anime. It’s funny, because I thought that anime was pretty ‘nerdy’ and that only ‘uncool people’ did it at the time. But then he got me started watching Naruto, and I was like, ‘Okay, this is alright…I’ll give this a shot.’ Then he told me about Nan Desu Kan, and convinced me to come along with him, but told me that ‘people that weren’t dressed up were often frowned upon.’ So I made my first cosplay. It wasn’t that hard to convince me, since Halloween is my favorite holiday and I love dressing up. But my first actual convention was back in 2006, so I consider that when I began my cosplay journey.

R: As a regular cosplayer, you have quite a few cosplays, but what are you absolute favorite cosplays?
HM: Depends on the day and my mood. Lately, I have been really having a good time being America/Alfred F. Jones from Hetalia. It’s funny, because I always thought Hetalia was a stupid show, and then I watched it and loved it, and he’s currently my favorite. My favorite cosplays really depend on what show I enjoy at the time. But I think Tamaki Suoh from Ouran High School Host Club will always own the most special place in my heart. He’s my spirit animal through and through.
R: Aside from Alfred from Hetalia and Tamaki Suoh, which other cosplay gets a designated nod if you are not wanting to cosplay them?
MH: Rin Matsuoka from Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. I’ve kind of grown to love people that act like cocky douche bags but really have some of the biggest hearts. I’ve also learned recently that I tend to cosplay characters that everyone in the anime wants to sleep with – ha!

R: I’ve looked at your Facebook, seems like you go to a lot of conventions, which ones did you attend?
HM: Nan Desu Kan, despite the bad reputation lately, is my absolute favorite Colorado convention, and I intend every year. Aside from that, I’ve gone to Starfest, Wasabi, Denver Comic Con, and NDK NYE. This year I’m hoping to attend Rocky Mountain Con, as well as Running of the Leaves. I’ve also gone to some out of state cons, such as Khaotic Kon, Tampa Bay Comic Con, Metrocon, Megacon, Anime Festival Orlando, and Holiday Matsuri (I lived in Florida for a year). And I got the chance to go to Dragon*Con, which was nice, because I know that’s a lot of people’s cosplay dreams.
R: Dragon Con, oh man, apparently you aren’t the only one that loves this convention. What would you say about Dragon Con that makes it different over the others?
MH: It’s just a whole different experience. I didn’t exactly *love* it. I have intense anxiety and claustrophobia, and you could barely walk in there. I called it VegasCon, because everyone was either REALLY drunk or REALLY naked. But it was a great experience. They had this huge room full of celebrities, and I stepped in and nearly fell to my knees I was so star struck. You didn’t have to pay to meet them, you could just talk to them if you wanted, and I had long talks with the cast of Buffy (my favorite show) and True Blood and Grimm and it was AMAZZZZZING. Also having it spread over five hotels (though scary at times) was really cool and made it hard to get bored.

R: These conventions have competitions and such, have you ever competed in them?
HM:  Twice. I competed as Todd Ingram at Tampa Bay Comic Con just for funsies because it was a really laid back competition and I wanted a calm contest for my first one. And then I competed as Ember McLain from Danny Phantom for this last Wasabi. I’m really not a fan of the competition aspect of cosplay, so it isn’t something I really focus on.
R: I know you don’t care for the competition aspect, but would you say that everyone should at least try to compete once in their cosplay career?
MH:  I think that’s really up to them. Some people are shy, and that’s totally okay. No one is going to force anyone to compete. and I don’t think competing makes you a better or worse cosplayer. But it is nice to hear people screaming for your cosplay and knowing that people really do appreciate it.

Nightmare Before Christmas Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo

Nightmare Before Christmas Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo

R: I like to know your opinion on cosplaying and the cosplay world, would you consider conventions and cosplay addictive?
HM: Yes. Oh my gosh, yes. It’s worse than drugs. You’re like, “I know I only have limited amounts of cash, but I’m going to throw it all towards costumes.” I have over a hundred cosplays. Most of which I’ve never worn twice. Which is badbadbad. I need to stop. But it’s so addicting.
R: Over a hundred cosplays… That is quite a few, do you mix and match to create new ones?
MH: Not really. All brand new stuff, including wigs. There’s one wig I use (my short black one) that works for like five characters, but otherwise nope! It’s a new everything for everyone.

R: I’ve noticed you have quite the following on facebook, would you say you have love your fans or supporters?
HM: I don’t really consider myself popular enough to have ‘fans’, but I do have a good support system in my friends. I’m kind of a person that loves everybody no matter what, so I would have to say yes to this question.
R: Funny enough, one of your supporters actually set this up, which I am happy to say I am a friend of his. Want to say anything to Orange?
MH: I’m going to sound like a jerk, but I really don’t know who Orange is. ;___; My friend Dannielle sent him to me, and he sent you to me, so I’m just kind of along for the ride!
R: AH! Dannielle, I think I am talking to her as well. I am back and forth with her through our Anime-Eden’s facebook messenger. I have a lot of cosplayers willing to do these interviews. Either way, we know some awesome people.

R: Sometimes things happen at photo shoots, conventions, expos and so on, so do you have any weird stories?
HM: Not really off the top of my head. Sorry, I fail there. XD
R: None at all? No cosplay mishaps? no wardrobe malfunctions or weird funny tales that can be later told in the fashion of an old fable….?
MH: I’ve actually never had a cosplay mishap, shockingly. I’m boring. I stick to my own thing, don’t really have anything funny happen. I’M BORING I’M SORRY.
R: the day it happens, you will remember me, and then you will be like, OH MAN, I need to go tell him. You will end up laughing too hard. I await that day.

R: With any community there are great experiences, the not so great experiences, and the bad experiences. Do you have any bad experiences from cosplaying?
HM: Unfortunately yes. Cosplaying comes with a lot of bad territory. Even the other day I was at a DC Villains Shoot, and we got cat called and sexually harassed and had people taking pictures of us from behind because we were dressed up. A lot of disgusting things happen. But probably the worst was when I was James Potter with my Marauders Group. We went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a photo shoot, and as we were leaving, security literally got on their radios and called in more reinforcements, and we were suddenly being followed by about seven security guards with handcuffs. We were doing NOTHING wrong, they were just threatened by people being in costume.

James Potter Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo

James Potter Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo

R: I am not shocked at the cat calling or the disrespect. Some guys take it too far though. I don’t know if you knew about the news from SDCC and that 17 year old cosplayer that was brutally attacked. (EDIT: IT WAS FOUND OUT SHE FELL AND HER INJURIES ARE FROM THE FALL) Are you fearful things like this are going to start sprouting up at other conventions? Do you think people will take precautions?
MH: Am I fearful? No. Unfortunately, that’s life. These things happen everywhere, and not just to cosplayers sadly. If we were to live our life in fear, life would be a terrible. Anything bad can happen anywhere, sad but true, and we just have to go on living rather than being scared about it. I don’t really know any people that are taking extra precautions, but I think convention security will definitely start cracking down, which has its pros and cons.
R: Also, people fear what they don’t understand… cosplayers showing up at a location without notice makes people uneasy. The Harry Potter photo shoot must of sent the park into a tizzy.
MH: Ohhhh, they were pissed. It’s funny, because at Universal (unlike Disney) you’re allowed into the park in cosplay, or at least in Hogwarts Attire. We tried to pass it off as normal Gryffindor students, but they kept saying I looked too much like Harry (since I was James). At the big Harry Potter event two weekends later they actually had a sign outside about cosplaying no longer being allowed, and my group takes half the blame for that one!

R: I have a time machine, it only allows you to talk to yourself from from ten years ago, no big investments or anything that will be life changing, because you have to end up where you are now. what would you tell yourself?
HM: Have fun while you can, I guess. Because back then (as far as cosplaying goes), there was no drama. I didn’t know everyone in the community like I do now, so I did it because I wanted to meet other nerds and have fun. Now since I know everyone, it’s a drama party every day. And I hate it.
R: I didn’t necessarily mean just cosplay, but I mean if you could talk to you from ten years ago, what would you tell yourself.
MH: Probably the same thing, really, just not in a cosplay regard. ‘Don’t let the haters get you down.’ I was bullied immensely up until college. Shoved into lockers. Told I should die. All that sort of stuff. It killed me, and I was highly suicidal. I read my diaries a few days ago, actually, and I was like, “I don’t even remember that happening, and look at how upset I wa s about it.” Just shrug off the assholes, because you’re freaking awesome and you know it!

R: what would you say to cosplay newbies starting out?
HM: Don’t let the haters get you down. Do what YOU want to do, not what others want you to do. Because cosplaying should be a hobby you do for yourself, not for anyone else. You’re the best, even if people say you aren’t, because you’re putting effort into an amazing thing.
R:  I really like that advice. Haters are everywhere. No matter if it is just in cosplay, or writing, or just everyday life. That is awesome to have that attitude and philosophy. Day made!
MH: Awwww, thank you. Lots of people tell me that they think it’s amazing that I can have that attitude. I only encourage others to have the same.

R: who are your favorite cosplayers/ who is your role model?
HM: I don’t really have any, as sad as that is to say. I don’t like holding any cosplayers up onto a higher pedastal than others, because I like to believe we are all equal in the community and all capable of doing great things. In fact, I hardly know any ‘famous cosplayers’ because I stay out of it. However, I admire Twinfools greatly. Not so much for his cosplays (though they’re amazing), but because he is FTM, and I wish I could do that, and I am so proud of him of being open with his sex change and not feeling the need to hide who he truly is. I also really love Carl Martin from Heroes of Cosplay. He’s my Facebook friend, and he posts a lot about cosplay equality and I appreciate that.
R: To me, that is awesome. TwinFools… You have now piqued my interest. Do you think I could eventually interview him? or even Carl Martin? Sorry, but my interest was piqued. I am glad there are cosplayers like you with such an open heart, it restores my faith in humanity just ever so slightly.
MH: I don’t really know how to get in contact with TwinFools, other than his DeviantArt. But I know Carl Martin will message anyone back on Facebook assuming he has time. Just look him up in the search, you should be able to find him easily!
R: I see, time to do some research

R: Cosplay is filled with the thought of being a superhero/villian so I have to ask, if you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
HM: Shape shifting. Like Mystique. Because then I could actually be the characters I want to be (like, well, being a male…since I can’t do that…) and it would be glorious and I would be so happy.
R: Mystique…. oh my, that shape shifter. Question: Comic Book Mystique, X-Men 90′s TV Show Mystique, Rebecca Romijn Mystique, OR Jennifer Lawerence Mystique? You can choose TWO.
MH: Oh gosh. Ummmm. Jennifer Lawrence Mystique for sure, because….it’s JLaw and she’s just amazing in so many ways. Other than that, probably Comic Book Mystique honestly.

Ember McLain - Danny Phantom Series; Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo

Ember McLain – Danny Phantom Series; Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo

R: What is your favorite word?
HM: Catacombs. Not sure why. It’s just a fun word.

R: What sound do you love?
HM: The rain. I love the rain. It reminds me of Halloween weather.
R: The rain… do you love the smell of the rain or after the rain? Reason I went from sound to smell, is because I live in the desert and I love the smell during the rain.
MH:  It’s one of my favorite smells. I will open up the door and just sit and watch it and listen to it and smell it and ahhhh it’s my favorite. It actually rained for two straight days here in Colorado, and I was so damn excited.

R: What sound do you hate?
HM: Anything grinding. Like when you go to the dentist and the toothbrush makes that annoying drill sound? That.

R: what is your favorite swear word?
HM: The ‘f’ word. I use it a lot. For everything. I’m terrible, I know.
R: LOL Yeah I use that word quite a bit too. I tried to stop, simply because I worked in sales, and that was hard. Have you tried to quit?
MH: I really don’t say it *that* often. I work at Disney World, so I have to be careful with my language anyways, and it’s kind of trained me not to. But dang, do I say it a lot in cosplay!

R: Anime-Eden being an anime site, I have to ask, what anime are your favorites?
HM: Oh gosh, I knew this question would be coming. I’m so bad at this game, because I love a whole lot of anime. A WHOLE lot of anime. But, if I HAD to choose…and in no particular order here. Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, Uta no Prince Sama, Soul Eater, Ouran High School Host Club, and Black Butler.
R: In 15 words or less explain FREE! to me. I am on the fence about it and don’t know if I should watch.
MH: Gay. Swimming. Boys. It honestly probably wouldn’t be your style. It’s a whole lot of fanservice, and I adore my gay men, so that’s why I watch. But the plot is cool, too, I guess. XD
R: YOU DON’T KNOW ME, OR WHAT I WATCH…. lol but yeah, not big on fan service, or boys. So… maybe you do know me slightly.

what are you currently watching anime wise?
HM: Currently I’m keeping up with the latest episodes of Free! Eternal Summer since they’re released every Wednesday. I’m also currently watching Baka and Test Season 2, since I loved Season 1, and I am (and everyone’s going to be shocked by this) halfway through Attack on Titan. I’m waiting for the rest of the dub to be released.
R: Attack on Titan Dub? I’m shocked, why not subbed?
MH: Call me crazy, but I hate subs. I like to really be able to dedicate my attention to the anime, and I feel like when I’m reading the subtitles I can’t focus as much on the action. if there’s an anime I really enjoy that isn’t dubbed yet (such as Free! or Uta No Prince Sama) then I’ll make myself suffer, but I attempt subs at all costs.
R: Reasonable answer. I won’t call you Crazy though.

Ariel Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo

Ariel Cosplay by Hideyo Mochimo

do you read manga?/what are you reading?
HM: Sorry, I’m not a manga fan. I feel like if there’s an anime for it, I might as well just watch that. And from what I’ve heard from a lot of my favorite series, the manga would just make me upset.
R: What do you mean? as in you’d be angry in what they left out of the anime? or just how different the animators went in certain aspects of direction that the manga-ka would have done differently?
MH: More the latter. I guess I could give an example. Ouran High School Host Club. I know in the manga (spoiler alert here), he ends up marrying Haruhi. In the anime, it’s left open-ended and Haruhi doesn’t end up with anybody. I prefer the anime ending. I just like how the anime does things, so to read the manga and have it be done differently would throw me off.

R: Any last words/conventions you want to promote?
MH: NAN DESU KAN IS THE SHIT THAT IS ALL.

At this point, I want to thank Hideyo Mochimo  for accepting the interview and responding in such a timely manner. I am finding the cosplayers that are responding are quite the treat to talk to, and quite fun to converse with. I know Anime-Eden would also like to thank her for her time and putting up with my craziness. I also want to thank my loyal readers, I know I’m gaining a small following. If you have any suggestions or want to see me get in contact with a cosplayer you can message me here, on facebook, or on the Forums, just private message me @Reflux on there. I am happy to say this project, as slow as it is going, it is the most enjoyable project i have been apart of. Keep an eye out for what more is to come. I may be having a contest soon.

If you want to follow more of Hideyo’s cosplays you can give her page a like on facebook . If you want to find out about Nan Desu Kan, it is going to be held at  The Marriott DTC , September 12 – 14th. The exact location is 4900 S. Syracuse St., Denver, CO 80237 call for more details by phone 303-779-1100 or go online to NDKDenver.org. If you do go, be sure to have fun, because remember that is what this is all about. Fun.

On Record with Reflux: Maressa Fox

On Record with Reflux:

Maressa Fox – Burlesque dancer, model, cosplayer, costumer, artist, mythical creature

Fallout Vault Dweller

Fallout Vault Dweller Cosplay by Maressa Fox
photography by Weapon Outfitters

Today, I have a the pleasure of interviewing another cosplayer, but not just any cosplayer, it’s Ms. Maressa Fox. A self described eccentric, who is all-over-the-place, and is nearly 6-foot, and a bumbly girl who wishes to inspire others. She loves lace, pearls, rhinestones, and gowns, but also loves climbing trees, building things, or going to the shooting range. She also loves “hunkering down for some vidja games”, and in this interview it reflects. So as always, let’s jump right in;

Hi, I’m Reflux, and I represent Anime-Eden, and I am glad you responded with interest in the interview. So I would love to know what got you started into the world of Cosplay and when did you start cosplaying on a regular basis?

M: I got started when I decided I wanted to go to Sakura Con in Seattle (where I grew up) when I was 19. I’ve always been a bit of a nurd*. I wanted to dress up, because if there’s an option to dress up for anything I’m gonna do it! I was really into Silent Hill at the time (and didn’t know much about cosplay oversaturation), so I went with a friend as a Nurse and he as Pyramid Head. It was really fun. I like to be in character, so I walked around the con dragging my legs and bent in half with my hands all tensed up. I was really surprised when everybody wanted pictures. After that, I’ve had a Model Mayhem account for quite a while, and Weapon Outfitters found me when they were just starting out and asked me to make and model some cosplay costumes for their company- I did Sniper Wolf and a Vault Dweller, and with WO’s encouragement I started a fan page and started getting serious.

R: If you were in the fallout series, which part of the series would you be from, and which vault?
M: Probably New Vegas, and Vault 34 of course!
R:  The Boomers came from 34. This, explains a lot about your personality. (insert laughter)

In cosplay today what would you say are your absolute favorite cosplays?
M: I really REALLY love Kevin Mosley. My favorite cosplay of his is his Ruby Rhod from 5th Element- he usually has an entourage of leopard-clad minions and gives out prints which he signs with a paintbrush and red paint. It’s brilliant. I love good humor more than anything!
R: I was… you know what, Yes, I will accept this answer. Brilliant!

In your cosplay career/lifetime, I want to know which conventions have you attended?
M: A lot less than I’d like to, unfortunately. Sakura Con, Megacon, and that’s the grand list so far. Most of my cosplays are done for photo shoots. It’s on my bucket list to meet Patrick Stewart though!

R: During your cosplay career have you ever decided to compete in any of the cons?
M: Not really, the kind of cosplay I do is not usually the kind that wins awards… I don’t make giant costumes or intricate armor. I don’t see the point in competing in something if you don’t intend to win, but I love seeing what the contestants have done!

R: What conventions would you love to attend?
M: I’d LOVE to go to Dragoncon this year… it’s a life goal to meet Patrick Stewart

R: I know SDCC just ended and everyone was posting that they couldn’t be there or wish they were, would you want to make it to SDCC next year?
M: SDCC is cool, but PAX Prime is my true love. If I’m going to shoot for a big con next year, that’d be the one! I do it because as a public personality and an entertainer, I’m here for just that.

Maressa Fox Cosplaying Tank Girl Photography by Weapon Outfitters

Maressa Fox Cosplaying Tank Girl
also featuring Ethereal Rose
Photography by Weapon Outfitters

R: I usually ask if you as a cosplayer would consider conventions and cosplaying addictive?
M: I do love cosplay but it’s not my main thing, I’m mainly a costumer with costumes of my own original design and a stage performer. What is addictive is seeing a really great design and thinking, WOW, I’d love the make that. The challenge is the addictive part, especially because as many nice people as there are at cons, there seem to be just as many who want to come up and nitpick your costume to your face. I think that’s silly. We’re all having fun here!
R: I guess, I should have asked if you think the fun could be addictive. mental note. (more laughter)

By far, I have interviewed quite a few people that are cosplayers and everyone sees their fans differently.  Would you say you love having fans and supporters?
M: So far YES! I’m very lucky to have great followers on my page. They always leave kind and respectful comments on my work, encourage me on my sad days, they donated to a Go Fund Me I had for a costume, and they keep me laughing. It’s really nice to know that a huge group of strangers from all walks of life think what you’re doing is cool and take the time of day to tell you so. I’m really grateful for them.
R: On Facebook, I like how you interact with all of your supporters/fans, you actually take the time to respond to replies to your posts, and I think that is awesome. Is there a reason why you do this?
M: Entertaining. I really do love my fans, I love the cheeky stuff they post and the silly reaction videos, and the nice things they say after my live shows. I wrote an email to Amanda Palmer one time and she actually responded, and I thought that was the COOLEST THING EVER. If people think I’m cool, I hope that by responding to them they feel good, you know?
R: That is awesome. I was surprised when you answered me, so I’m glad this happened.

Do you have any weird stories from conventions/expos/photo shoots?
M: My favorite experience at a con was a man dressed as a Katamari- only his head and legs were sticking out and he was covered in a giant ball with houses, mountains, little people and sheep and random stuff stuck to the ball. He was standing at the entrance to the con and as I walked up he said “Can I take a picture of you?” I said sure, and his head popped into the ball and a few seconds later it popped out of the side of the ball with two hand holding a camera. He took the picture then disappeared again, then his head popped back out the top and he thanked me. I think I was cracking up in the picture XD
R: As in life, there are good experiences and bad experiences, and I’m sure you have plenty great experiences from cosplaying. What I want to know is are there any bad experiences from cosplaying that you have come across?
M: Sometimes people are just annoying. I have a realistic Vault Dweller (which means it looks grungy and nasty and beat all to hell) that I wore to Megacon, and some dude walked up to me and started telling me how the paint job was flaky and looked badly done. I told him it was SUPPOSED to look ratchet and he just scoffed at me and walked off. BYE FELICIA.

Maressa Fox Cosplaying Tank Girl  Photography by Weapon Outfitters

Maressa Fox Cosplaying Tank GirlPhotography by Weapon Outfitters 

R: Okay, I have a time machine that doesn’t cause any major damage to the future, but you can only talk to yourself from ten years ago, mind you, you cannot warn about major disasters or investments, that would change too much, what would you tell yourself?
M: Please for the love of God learn how to dress yourself like a human being and do something about the squirrels living on your face calling themselves eyebrows.

R: There are a lot of newbies out there watching seasoned cosplayers through their social media. What would you say to those newbies starting out in cosplay?
M: Don’t give up! Take a lot of pictures! Your first costume may not be the greatest thing you’ve ever made/will make, but it’s fun to grow. Work hard, pay attention to detail and most of all HAVE FUN. If you forget that last, and most important part, then why bother?

R: Who are your favorite cosplayers and/or who is your role model?
M: Still Kevin Mosley, just because everything he does makes me smile. Dahlia Thomas is one of my best friends, and I’ve known her since she first started cosplaying and it’s been very inspirational and awesome watching her grow, work hard, improve, and do her very best to help others who are interested in getting into cosplay. She’s a very kind person who cares deeply about what she does and will do her best to lift others up. My role model is Zoe Jakes- that woman is amazing! Incredible style, incredible dancer, great composer- she has it all.
R: Zoe Jakes, as in the belly dancer/Beats Antique artist, Zoe Jakes? How does she influence you, I know you are a Burlesque artist, do you try and embody her in some form?
M: Yes, the belly dance artist. I always thought belly dance was an incredibly beautiful art form, and Zoe is actually a great fan dancer, too. I try not to mix belly dance and Burlesque because I don’t want confused audience members to think that belly dancers should also strip, I know a lot of girls in that art form struggle with their art being taken sexually. Her art style influences me a lot, she has incredible taste in costuming and the way she styles herself. Her live shows are amazing, if you ever get a chance to see Beats Antique you won’t be disappointed. She’s also always had her own unique brand of vintage/goth/sideshow/Burlesque flavor that I really admire. I don’t try to embody her, because she is an original and I hope I am, too- I just look up to her and respect her.
R: Still cool to know this though. Not many know of Zoe Jakes. Will have to look her up some more.

In the land of comic book heroes and anime characters, there are quite a few with super powers. If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
M: Gah, tough question. Umm. Probably being able to transform into a mermaid. Hey, stop laughing, childhood dream.
R: Mermaid is an interesting choice. No hate, just wondering, what you would do as a mermaid?
M:  I’ve wanted to be a mermaid since I was a wee bitty one. As soon as I learned they made realistic swim-able silicone tails, I started saving for one one right away from Finfolk Productions. There is actually a large international mermaid community, a lot of them talk via mernetwork.com. As a mermaid you can appear at children’s parties, at Renaissance festivals, and I plan to convert it into a stage performance with some sort of prop I can suspend from since I’m a classically trained singer and I’d love to do a vocal mermaid act.

R: What is your favorite word?
M: Turnip! I have no idea why.
R: Turnip, reminds me of Super Mario Brothers 2 and Kids Next Door, I don’t know why, but that’s weird isn’t it?
M: Not really weird! I love Super Mario Bros. I’ll kick most anyone’s butt at Mario Kart
R: whoa there, not a challenge. XD

What sound do you love?
M: Being underwater. Everything’s so quiet. Whenever I’m stressed out or need to get some calm into my brain, I run a full bath and put my head under and lie there.

R: What sound do you hate?
M: METAL ON METAL. Nope nope nope. Like when you use a can opener then you did it badly so you have to use a knife to get the lid out? NOPE.

R: What is your favorite swear word?
M: Fucky. Not fuck, fucky. As in “I thought I’d go outside today and interact with people today, but my brain’s all fucky so I’m just gonna watch Star Trek instead.”

Maressa Fox Cosplaying Zoey from Left for Dead series photography by Weapon Outfitters

Maressa Fox Cosplaying Zoey from Left for Dead series
photography by Weapon Outfitters

R: What anime are your favorites (top 5)?
M: Oh man. Kinda depends on how I’m feeling, but I really love Samurai Champloo, Noein, Gankutsuou, Squid Girl, and the first couple seasons of Naruto before it all turned into filler.
R: Naruto did become quite a bit of filler, didn’t it. What other Anime other than this one would you consider a lot of filler?
M: I haven’t watched it, but I’ve been wary of watching Bleach because even though I love the art style, all I hear about is all the filler. Maybe I’ll give it a go anyway.

R: What are you currently watching anime wise?
M: Princess Jellyfish! It’s pretty off the wall but it’s cute.
R: Princess Jellyfish?! oh man, how far are you? I don’t want to be the one to spoil anything, but yes, I agree, it’s real good. Who is your favorite character of this anime?
M:On PJ I’m only 5 episodes in So far I like the jellyfish herself, Clara. KAWAIIIIIIIIII
R: I am hoping for a season 2. I have completed it and I watched it with a good friend of mine and we both laughed so hard at all the antics. You should continue, it gets really good. I also agree, Clara is quite the cute character.

Do you read manga?/what are you reading?
M: Haven’t read much of anything lately (bad! Very bad!) but I really enjoyed the Hellsing manga… so much black ink. So much.
R: Oh my, I loved Hellsing. It is so good in manga form. Have you read anything else that makes you feel good that you read it in manga as well as watched in anime?
M:  D Gray Man was a pretty beautiful manga, I didn’t read much, my high school boyfriend was just really into it and I thought the art was lovely. Haven’t watched any of the animu, though.

At this point, I have no more questions, and would love to thank you for this interview. You were a pleasure to interview. I hope to see more of your cosplay in the future. Hopefully maybe a Princess Jellyfish Cosplay? hmmm? I kid, I kid. Now, I know the people of Anime-Eden would love to thank you for your time and over all thank you for putting up with my questions. If anyone wants to book Maressa Fox you can do so by going to her website maressafox.com you can follow her on facebook on her fanpage or twitter. A Special shoutout to Dragon Con, in which Maressa really wants to go to, because she would love to meet Patrick Stewart. So, give them a look and if you are in that area, go to it. Dragon Con 2014 will be held Labor Day  weekend, August 29 – September 1, 2014 and will be held at Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, 30303. To contact them you can either go to http://www.dragoncon.org or to give them a call 404-669-0773 (M-F 9am-5pm EST). Dragon Con’s facebook can be found here, so go give them a like as well.

To the readers, I hope you all enjoyed reading this and if you are a cosplayer, and you want to be interviewed, please contact me via facebook at www.facebook.com/Anime-Eden or on the forums under the user name Reflux. If you are a Convention planner, or event planner with future conventions, or know of someone who is, let them know that I am going to be putting a calendar up soon with all future conventions in all different areas. I would love to know which conventions are nearest you so we can get the word out. Anime-Eden wants to support all conventions, big and small.

Cosplay Interview: Jazzmin Jolly

On Record with Reflux:

Jazzmin Jolly

Dead Fantasy Namine  Cosplay by Jazzmine Jolly  Photographed by: Elysiam Entertainment

Dead Fantasy Namine
Cosplay by Jazzmine Jolly
Photographed by: Elysiam Entertainment

Continuing my series of cosplay interviews, I went to my Facebook news feed. In a daze I saw a very awesome cosplayer that I’ve been following for a while now. Jazzmin Jolly, a cosplayer / model from Philadelphia, that has been doing cosplay/modeling since 2009, and has quite the following. I was honored she agreed on the first time I contacted her. This interview actually was a lot more than the previous because this interview lent itself to expand as we corresponded between each other.

As always I start off with:

Reflux: Hey, how are you I’m Reflux and let’s just jump right into this, Can you say what got you started into the world of Cosplay and when did you start?
Jazzmin Jolly: Hi Reflux, of course you know I’m Jazzmin Jolly. I started about… maybeee 5 years ago? (2009) I had some friends invite me to Ichibancon in Charlotte and they explained to me what a convention was and that people dressed up sometimes, and so I took it very seriously and went as Tifa from Advent Children. It hit pretty instantly that I LOVED conventions!!!

R: what are your favorite cosplays?
JJ: My favorite? That’s tough. Every cosplay has it’s ups and downs. I almost want to say Namine because I made her keyblade and I was SO proud of it, but I was petrified to bring it to cons because it was so fragile! AndrAIa and Starfire are both awesome, but latex and lube and… there are those problems…Belle is awesome, but my dress is so big that I feel like an island and I can’t use my phone with the gloves…

Should I just say,… all of them? Yes. Let’s do that!
R: Sure, we can, who says we can’t? (insert my laughter here)

What conventions have you gone too?
JJ: I’ve gone to Ichibancon, Animazement, Anime Mid Atlantic, Anime Weekend Atlanta, EXP Con, Otakon, Katsucon, Colossalcon, and Philadelphia Wizard World!
R: From the conventions that you have gone to, which is the most memorable?
JJ:COLOSSALCONNNNN is amazing. I love it SOO much, there’s an arcade, and a zoo with tigers and sting rays, and ostriches and kangaroos, and a zip line that goes past everyone’s balconies, and an indoor water park, and an outdoor water park, and EVERYTHING! OMG, I love it so much!!!
R: Sounds amazing.
There are competitions at conventions, have you competed in any of them?
JJ: Ooh, no… I think that would give me anxiety… Lol!

Princess Jasmine Cosplay by Jazzmine Jolly Photographed by: Emily McGonigle Photography

Princess Jasmine
Cosplay by Jazzmine Jolly
Photographed by: Emily McGonigle Photography

R: Would you consider conventions and cosplay to be addictive?
JJ: OMG, yes! SO addictive! I need therapy! They try to make me go to rehab, and I say- …

Okay sorry… but seriously, it’s so much fun! I have several people that DON’T do cosplay write me and ask how to get started because we all always look like we’re having so much fun!
R: I was going to sing along to that…. (Laughter)

You have quite a few likes on Facebook and quite the following on Instagram, do you love all your fans/supporters?
JJ: OMGYES! It’s still so weird to think that I have fans/supporters, but their messages and comments make me smile and their support means the world to me!
R: I ask, because the fans like knowing they are cared about, so I am glad you said that. *Cough*beingafanandall*cough*

Do you have any weird stories?
JJ: Hmm… I’m sure I do.. lemme think!

When I shot my Ariel cosplay, we shot it at National Harbor (we actually got about 12 shots in before we got kicked out because “I wasn’t wearing enough clothes” which was dumb. Because I had on my seashell bra, green leggings and shorts OVER the leggings. I had on more than an average swimsuit, but whatevs… I’m not bitter.) But, while we were shooting EVERYONE stopped and stared. Like, everyone. Like 40 people. And it is SO hard to pose and keep your focus when right behind your photographer is 40 people just staring at you.
R: During your Ariel shoot, it didn’t occur to you that perhaps someone complained, and that’s why you were kicked out? (Laughter)
JJ: We weren’t even there long enough for someone TO complain. A random guard lady was walking around and around shot 12 came up to us. Which was cool, but she was so rude about it, you know? And what could people complain about? “This girl looks like she’s wearing a swimsuit top and leggings.” I mean… people wear bandeaus and leggings to the mall nowadays! Lol!
R: Bravo, you made me Google bandeaus… (laughter)

With all the good out there and  a lot of people loving the cosplay scene, have you encountered any bad experiences from cosplaying?
JJ: I mean, I occasionally get the “Buttttt… you shouldn’t cosplay this because you’re black” people and the people that come up to you and promptly begin to critique your outfit… sometimes the online people that feel gutsy because they’re behind a computer screen and say things like “OMG, SHE’S HOLDING HER HANDS THE WRONG WAY IN THIS PHOTO” or “I think you should have done the picture THIS way, I would have preferred it that way.” But, overall, I still absolutely LOVE it, and people are always going to try to bring you down. Just gotta shrug it off, I guess!
R: Do you encounter a lot of trolls/racists as a cosplayer of another color?
JJ: Not a WHOLE bunch, but I guess enough to the point where whenever a picture gets shared beyond my page I always get nervous to see if someone is going to say something. It’s become such a thing now that people will instantly jump on the person’s case that said it. The last one happened on my Belle pictures, and by the time she was done, a blog article had been written about her, many people got on the picture and replied to her, and the picture had gotten about 50 more likes just from the traffic and debate alone!

Gender bender Swimsuit Super Saiyan Goku  Cosplay by Jazzmine Jolly  Photographed by: @Gestalt Photographs

Gender bender Swimsuit Super Saiyan Goku
Cosplay by Jazzmine Jolly
Photographed by: @Gestalt Photographs

R: Let’s say a time vortex allowed you to contact yourself from ten years ago, and no repercussions could come of it, what would you tell yourself?
JJ: GET STARTED ON COSPLAYING AND MODELING NOW! OMG, sometimes I wonder how far I would be now if I had started forever ago. I’m so late to the party! (*cries forever*)

R: There are a lot of  new cosplayers or people wanting to go and do cosplay. what would you say like to say to cosplay newbies starting out?
JJ: DO IT! Have fun! Do exactly what YOU want to do and don’t let anyone talk you out of it or discourage you!

R: In the world of conventions and cosplayers there are a ton of  people who are well known in the cosplay community. who are some of your personal favorite cosplayers?
JJ: I’m inspired by pretty much every cosplayer that I meet! They all put time and effort into their cosplays and it’s so inspiring! Kamui cosplay is of course, amazing, and I love Vickibunnyangel cosplay and Melting Mirror! I LOVE that Yaya Han gets into character for her cosplays! That’s something I need to do better at! I’m awful at serious faces, or growling faces or (as my mom calls it) “I’m going to kick your butt” faces. She inspires me when I see her in videos because I need to work on my serious faces to be like that!!!

R: Anime-eden used to be an anime download site, a lot of the members on the forum are huge anime and manga fans, so my next question is what anime are your favorites?
JJ: I feel so bad because I haven’t had a lot of time to watch many recently! I loved Sailor Moon, Outlaw Star, Dragonball Z, and Bleach before it got 40,000 characters. Ouran High School club was cute too! I don’t watch tv that much anymore… I’m mostly into video games now!
R:Video games, which video games are you currently playing then?
JJ: Just got done with Lightning Returns, and trying to re-play through FFX and X-s remastered. Then of course, Mario Kart came out and that took up a good bit of time. I was at a friend’s house last night and we all player Super Smash Brothers and I completely forgot how intense I get when playing games with other people. I kept screaming and throwing the controller down… I am currently (now that I’m away from the game) ashamed of my own behavior… But I know if we played it again I’d go right back into it. Lol!

R:Aside from that, what are you currently watching anime wise?
JJ: Nothing really. (*cries at own loserdom*) I was watching a Korean drama while working on a cosplay prop the other day though!
R: K-Dramas! I was only interested in this one cooking K-drama, Feast of the Gods, I couldn’t stop watching, and I’m not one to watch K-Dramas. Which K-dramas are the ones that you are currently watching now?
JJ: Flower Boy Next Door! SOOOO Fricken cute! One of my friends recommended “You’re Beautiful” to me, so that’s the one I was watching yesterday!
R: (laughter) I don’t normally watch them, but Pixie, from the forums always gets me to try to watch. Only reason I had much interest in Feast of the Gods, was the food. Yes, I know that sounds fat, but yeah, the food.

I have to ask, since Anime-Eden we also used to have manga, do you read any manga? If so, what are you currently reading?
JJ: Not so much. I read them if I find them about, but I’m SUPER into fanfiction. Like, I’m so serious. OMG. I will stay up ALL NIGHT to read a 35 chapter fanfiction and then complain that there weren’t more chapters. Like, I LOVE reading fanficiton. Love. LOVE.
R: Fanfiction? I find those tend to go to weird places with characters that a lot of people hold dear to their hearts. why do you read fanfics vs. manga?
JJ: If the fanfic starts to go somewhere I don’t want it to, I X out of it immediately. Lol! I’m very picky about my fanfics. Also, I’m a grammar and English nazi, so if there’s a typo on the first page of the story I can’t even read it. (I feel like such a snob) But I love the creativity or imagination that goes into it! And the rules can be broken- for example if it’s a “kiddie show” the subject matters can’t be as intense, but like, if you take Teen Titans, you can make the story darker, or deal with things that can’t actually happen on the show! I LOVE that! Also, I guess with manga, the pics are already there for you. I have a pretty intense imagination. I can create the world in the fanfiction story in my own head and see what’s going on from all angles. I don’t need pics to tell me the story.. I can envision it myself!

…I’m… pretty intense when I read. (*embarrassed*)
R: That’s a good explanation as to the fan fiction reading. It actually makes sense on that part. Never apologize for being an intense person or someone with an awesome imagination. It’s needed. Especially in cosplayers.

 

Starfire  Cosplay by Jazzmine Jolly  Photographed by :Gestalt Photographs

Starfire
Cosplay by Jazzmine Jolly
Photographed by :Gestalt Photographs

R: Well, that’s it from me, any final words to share with your fans?
JJ: To my fans, I thank them SOOO much just for being awesome and for frequently inspiring me to do better and be better! I love them all to pieces!!!!  <3

Well then, I want to personally give you a huge thank you for the experience of having this interview. I am sure you had as much fun as I did! I hope to see more cosplay from you in the future. Anime-eden would also love to thank Jazzmine Jolly for being a sport and doing this interview. They appreciate the time you took to answer all my questions. Even though I think you would do this just for fans anyway. To the readers, I hope you all enjoyed reading this and if you are a cosplayer, and you want to be interviewed, please contact me via facebook at www.facebook.com/Anime-Eden or on the forums under the user name Reflux. Jazzmine, it’s been a pleasure, I await to see what cosplay you choose to do next, and I wish the very best.

You can check out Jazzmine Jolly on her facebook fan page, and on her instagram under the user name disneyprincess1313. She also wanted to give a shout out to Colossalcon I am not sure on the dates but you can go to their website or their facebook. She also wanted to mention KatsuCon 2015, Katsucon 2015 will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD from February 13th-February 15th, 2015. Register here. You can find Katsucon’s FaceBook on that link to give them a like as well.