I’m alive…? Sort of?

Hey hey hey everyone. My, it’s been about 6 months since I “left”. And it is probably time for me to give some semblance of an update. Things might be changing around the blog as well to reflect this.

To be honest, the hiatus from blogging hadn’t been intentional. I had meant to study for my architectural exams, but its already September, and those plans fell through. So, what has Zel been up to and what has she been doing?

FanFiction

Long story short, I got very invested in my fic writing, and even created an alt-persona/twitter to handle my content. Will I be sharing it here? I have in my previous update in the beginning of the year, but I’m thinking I may keep it separate for the time being; unless I decide to fully adopt the alt-name. Mostly because honestly, I’m not sure how my followers on this blog will be receptive to the content, and I’d rather not deal with the backlash (as some of the fics have turned ‘problematic’). But if you’re that interested, let me know ūüėÄ

I got heavily invested in the BnHA fandom, and have met and befriended a lot of fic writers and fanartists along the way. The last time I updated, I wrote that I was focusing on two fics, that has definitely changed. Both of those fics have been sitting on the backburner as other storylines invaded my brain and those feel the need to get out faster than the previous two I had.

Art

I made it 2 months of my new years resolution before life caught up to me and I just didn’t have time to do more BnHA portraits. I’ve had some sketches and other art pieces I’ve done, but again it’s fallen under my alt-name. I’m about to pick it up again.

Career

Yeah, I swear. I’ll get around to these national exams. It’s hard to get motivated to study again when you’ve been out of school for so long. Maybe in 2020 I’ll get better at it. lol. Work has been especially hectic this summer, with two people leaving the firm and having to pick up the slack for lack of manpower. I still love what I do, and am very devoted and loyal to my firm. Hopefully they see my efforts by the time yearly reviews come around

General Housekeeping

I did pick up photography a bit when I went on vacation for Japan (a completely random trip my parents and I planned!) I’ll probably post those photos soon.

Some other wonderful things happened this year! I got to meet my blog bestie finally! MelinAnimeland came out to visit for Fanime 2019! We got to spend a whole weekend together and even got to explore a bit of San Francisco! I had a blast with her and hope to get to see her again soon!

I went to CRX again this year, I’ll try to write another “review” of my experience. I got to meet up with LynLyn for half a day! And that’s always fun!

Overall, I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a limbo; 2019 was suppose to be the year of creation and getting back on track, but a lot of things happened this year, the good and the bad. I’m hoping it turns around by time time 2020 rolls around.

I’ll try to be a bit more active here, and may end up downgrading my site back to wordpress.heyitszel.com. I don’t have the same drive as I used to as my anime intake took a huge nosedive this year compared to previous years. But I’m not abandoning this blog at all. I blame reading and writing wholeheartedly. I do love my blog and I miss interacting with you all!

Till next time!

‚̧ Zel

Happy 2019! Goals and Updates

Happy 2019 everyone! As you all know, I’ve been MIA for most of 2018. I’ll get more into some of the details, and it looks like “Where in the World is Zel?” might become the replacement of my Sunday Salutations post. It’ll be more of a quarterly update.

Looking back at my last post like this, I was obsessed with My Hero Academia. I’m still very clearly NOT over this phase, as I’m still very very active in keeping up with it. I also was heavily invested in¬†Hakuouki. Unfortunately, I have yet to finish all the routes of the both of the games, but I plan on getting into it again, but I have been invested in some things as of late….more on that soon.

FanFiction

Since my fall into¬†My Hero Academia I’ve actually delved deeper into the fanfiction fanbase and am also in contact with a lot of content creators in that regard as well. I was also very heavily into¬†Hakuouki.¬†I haven’t finished those games, but I have written quick one-shot stories based on routes I’ve finished.

I have mainly tried to stay anonymous with my fics due to their¬†very NSFW¬†content. But you know, the more I get involved with the fic community, the more I’ve realized it’s hard to make the correlation between my work due to use of username. I’m in a debate to keep pushing this pen-name or creating a pseudonym from that main account. I shouldn’t feel ashamed of the content I create. I like what I like, and really, no one in real life knows much about this blog much less my interests outside of architecture.

I really love creating stories, even if they’re not original characters of mines, taking those personalities and placing them in different situations and finding out how they react in in these alternate settings has been so fun to create and explore. This and my Hakuouki writing has really shown me, that I LOVE to write stories. That my mind is full of these alternate worlds that just want to be written. Even when I’m listening to music, songs will pop up and I’ll imagine a scene unfold, or an entire story. So I write. I’m always coming up with ideas; but sitting down to write them. That’s something I really want to do this year.

You can find my Hakuouki fic here on the otogehanami website: (I’ll be posting it to my ao3 account soon as well)

“With You There is Only Spring” by Zel

My latest fic, is actually about BakuDeku (NSFW) and has by-far been my most popular of the three that I’ve posted regarding my favorite ship from the series. If anyone is really that interested, it’s called “Sober” and can be found here:

“Sober” by erza_mikazuki

I’m currently in process of writing two multi-chapter fics that I want to focus on this year featuring BakuDeku while the other focuses on KiriDeku. The stories are so different and the world building has honestly been interesting to say the least.

It All Leads Back to You

The moment Izuku Midoriya’s name fell from Tomura Shigaraki’s lips, Katsuki’s urge to protect kicked into overdrive. Protecting the love of his life was non-negotiable, even if it meant breaking both of their hearts.

For every action there is a reaction. As the two live lives in parallel, everything Katsuki does in life is in correlation to Izuku’s. At the core of everything Katsuki is: it has and will always lead back to Izuku.

Basically an alternate universe in which Izuku remained quirkless and Katsuki learned what it really meant to be a hero. It’s got a lot of angst and heartbreak in it, as I’ve found myself crying over certain scenes.

Under the Shadow of the Sun

In the midst of war and political unrest, samurai Eijirou Kirishima serves as Daimyo Overhaul’s retainer. Eijirou could not be more unhappy with where his life has taken him. But that all changes when the most beautiful and most rare of Geisha’s appears and leaves him breathless.

I’m collaborating with a friend on this because I wanted this story to be more than just a love story. We’re still trying to figure out where to pull our historical references from but it’ll obviously have its own BnHA spin to it.

Art

Over the summer of 2018, I had started doing a sketch a day as many of you saw on my twitter feed. I’ve decided to carry that on in 2019. I’d really like to get better at my skills, so I’ve decided to take on at least one fully realized digital drawing per month. Since my friend and I have been really invested in our Geisha AU, we thought it’d be a good exercise for me to draw our BnHA boys this year in some form of a geisha. So, that being said, I hope to create some great portraits, paintings that do our boys some justice.

Career

I have a lot going on in terms of content creation, and trying to be more active on my blog again. But once again, I may be off and on here just because I really need to spend more time studying and passing these exams. I had promised myself to get licensed before the age of 35, and honestly I’ve only gone 2 years to go. So, wish me luck in that regard, geez.

Otherwise, I’m going to try to get one post a week out somehow or other, somehow schedule some things in advance. I will have to really try to stick to some kind of schedule.

Other General Housekeeping

Otherwise, life’s been good. I’ve been working on my health since last summer and can officially say I’ve lost 20+ pounds since I’ve embarked on my weight loss journey. I don’t think it’ll be something I account for on the blog, but last year I just felt really really shitty about my appearance and how I felt in general. It’s gotten better, and the doing something about my weight was definitely a key factor.

I’ve also started up a new bulletjournal for the year, so I may just have a follow-up post regarding those layouts? Don’t really know if anyone would be that interested.

My cousin and I are also picking up photography together, trying to master and really get the most use out of our fancy camera’s.

And another cousin and I literally just signed up for Japanese classes today, so that’s another thing I’ll be looking forward to doing this year!

Looks like there’s lots to do in 2019. It’s another busy one, and I hope I accomplish half the things I’ve written here. I figure by speaking it into existence it should happen.

Looking forward to another great year with all of you, and thank you so much for sticking around!! ‚̧

Where in the World is Zel?

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering. It almost feels like I dropped off the face of the planet with the blog. Especially when I was hyped up about my trip to Japan and was prepping to write about it and share all the fun things I got to experience. But alas, I disappeared. So again, I’m sure it’s been a question that’s been on your mind (haha I hope so anyways).¬†So, what the heck happened to Zel?

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, obviously. After the trip, I got overloaded with work. Like 50-60 hour weeks + coming in on weekends. So yeah, having to deal with that right after coming back from my vacation was just draining. It was like I couldn’t breathe let alone relax and recuperate. I’ve also started to notice this gnawing feeling of anxiety in the pit of my stomach about stuff – but I won’t get into that too much. But for some reason it’s left we feeling weirdly insecure about my writing for no good reason.

April was maelstrom of events, and feelings. It was just completely overwhelming, and now I’m dealing with the aftermath with a bit of self-care.

I couldn’t find it in myself to write anything for the last few weeks. Was it writer’s block? Maybe. Maybe it was because I’m surrounded by so many talented writers via the Podcast and the OWLS group, that me stepping away meant that I could no longer keep up with those that I consider my friends. I’m not one for competition, but the more amazing content people came up with the more I started to doubt my own self-worth and resentment started to build. Like I said, I got wildly insecure for absolutely no reason, it’s like all confidence went out the window.¬† How does that happen in a span of two weeks? Hell if I know. Next thing I know, that pressure kept building and building and that led to some anxiety, and the more I dreaded to look at my blog. Honestly, I’m still feeling some type of way, but it’s getting better.

I decided that I should just let it be. Forget the pressure of those weekly posts I was doing and just really relax. Just take my time and do whatever the heck I wanted. The blog will be there, it will always be there. I just needed some time and space to clear my head. And when I was ready to come back, I’d come back. Simple as that.

It’s so easy to forget I started this for fun. The pressure I was putting on myself to produce consistently, and the pressure to compare myself was really no one’s fault but my own. So, I’ll be abandoning the “schedule” thing for the time being and just go with the flow, until I feel better about myself and writing.

But, fear not. The comeback is on the rise. Lately, I’ve been inspired to start writing again. While I was on hiatus, I found renewed inspiration for writing because I got hooked into a few things that just gave me the itch to write.

Boku no Hero Academia

BNHA.png
image source

I’ve already been a huge fan of the series. But ever since I came back from Japan and decided to step away from the blog, I’ve been 100% engrossed and¬†immersed¬†in every aspect that is¬†Boku no Hero Academia. I’ve watched Seasons 1 & 2 repeatedly the last month, with the weekly updates of Season 3 sprinkled in (honestly, I don’t think I’ve watched anything outside of BnHA the last few weeks).¬† I’ve read every single chapter of the manga, and have gone over a few arcs several times. I’ve listened to the OST tons over the course of the day sporadically.¬† Now, I’ve gone over to the dark side and have been completely submerged in fan fiction territory and have been stuck here ever since. I also may have started my own fanfic in this time frame.

It’s literally an obsession as of right now.¬†I think it might be a sickness. How can someone be completely submerged in everything that a series has to offer? All day, everyday no less? For an entire month? The only time I’ve ever felt like this was with¬†Free! but even then it wasn’t to this level of involvement; not to this drastic extent. My obsession cycles in phases that only lasts a few days or a few weeks (okay, that might change once season three of¬†Free! starts, but we’ll see).¬† Do I have a problem? Maybe…? It’s not necessarily a bad thing (I hope). I don’t know what kind of funk has left me stuck in the world of Heroes, but I don’t see myself snapping out of this anytime soon. I can’t turn away.

There’s something great here in¬†BnHA, and I’ll try my damnedest to hopefully express the amount of joy this series has given me; whether that be in character studies, or writing reviews. Heck, I don’t know, but I’ll start somewhere, and by somewhere, I mean this quick little blurb of just talking about it.

This series has given me everything I needed on hiatus: laughter, drama, and angst. It’s given me hope, and given me despair but most importantly it’s given me inspiration. There are quite a few episodes I can’t make it through without shedding a damn tear, or being overwhelmed with raw emotion. Am I over-hyping the series? Possibly.¬† But I’m speaking from the heart and how¬†Hero Academia has¬†personally affected me during this anxiety filled phase.

(I actually wrote a lot more about BnHA, but have since redacted this post in favor of a spin-off post to talk about my obsession before I get too carried away and go off tangent on this update.)

 

Hakuoki

hakuoki_edo_blossoms.jpg
image source

For those of you that don’t know, I do tend to dabble in writing fan fiction. I have one piece up on¬†Archive of Our Own under another name, which surprisingly has done fairly well since it went up. But I digress.

What about Hakuouki has helped me during this time?

I love otome. I love romance. I love a good story. I love angst. I love history. I love fantasy. I love crying over mopey shit. I guess I am a masochist for loving a good cry over anything that could be so emotionally touching. Otome in general gets my maiden heart going, it gives me that release I need emotionally.

I’ve played Hakuouki before, on my iPad. It was the second otome I played from IdeaFactory/Otomate (first being Amnesia). But having it on my PSVita, it became a whole new ballgame. With all the new routes, I was excited to dive in again.

yamazaki_susumu
image source

I started with¬†Kyoto Winds, the first half of the¬†Hakuoki¬†PSVita game. I chose Susumu Yamazaki because he was a new character, and he had definitely caught my eye, but wasn’t completely invested in his character in terms of anticipation. I wanted to go with Shinpachi Nagakura at first, but because he was one of the first guys I thought deserved a route from the original Hakuoki; I had to contain my hype. I didn’t want to blow through his route out of sheer excitement. So I opted for Yamazaki first, I thought his route would be harmless, and boy was I ever wrong.

Yamazaki’s route was such a great route for me to break into¬†Kyoto Winds with. I got so attached to him, and was fully immersed in his story. I ended his game feeling a bit melancholic. Those feelings I had for this route were so utterly strong, I had to write. I¬†needed to write.¬† The urge to write about a route had never been like this. Of all the otome games I’ve played, and been immersed with, Yamazaki for some reason struck me to my core.

I didn’t want to just write. I wanted to write with the same feeling, the same sentiment that I felt when playing this route. The original intent had been to write a review of his route, but thankfully it evolved into something more. I ended up writing a short fan fiction based on the events of¬†Kyoto Winds. I wanted to experiment with my writing style. I wanted to try my hand at flowery language.¬†I wanted to express my attachment to his route the way that Chizuru (the heroine) felt. Yamazaki’s route had inspired me to be a different writer, to be more creative. So I did.

I wrote brief snippets about Yamazaki, and in the end I’ve created a story based on those snippets. I now have a running document called¬†Hakuouki Vignettes, which are¬†a collection of short stories, in the heroines Point of View (or Chizuru) and her leading man. It started with Yamazaki, but it grows as I complete each route of¬†Kyoto Winds.¬†

Which leads me to my latest project.  In the midst of my writing crisis, anxiety and self-doubt, I went out on a limb and decided to sign-up for this project called otogehanami. A website that hosts a collaborative project for fans of otoge to come together and express their love in either art or written form. And with some encouragement from eversodearest shoujothoughts, I decided to put myself out there and submit a piece, and who better to submit than Yamazaki, the man who started this all.

Granted though,¬† the piece I had started in my vignettes cannot be submitted to otogehanami, so I’m in the process of crafting something else, and hopefully it’ll be strong since I’ve completed his route 100% in both¬†Kyoto Winds and¬†the second half in¬†Edo Blossoms.¬†

Recovery?

Am I making a full recovery back to the blog? Yes and No. As stated earlier, I think I’m going to lay off the whole weekly bit thing for a while. I want to craft my posts and writing a bit more. I’ve said it before, in my OWLS post about Barakamon and in my Milestone post: “Through trial and error, we find ourselves and our passions. Through trial and error we find what works and what doesn‚Äôt work.”

Am I going through another Renaissance of sorts? Nah, not that extreme. But I am experimenting with my writing right now. I want to write more reviews, but with my own spin on it. I want to write about the things I love without feeling the backlash of the ‘unpopular opinion’.

The blog is supposed to be my outlet from my stressful work life, but I often felt like running the blog was just as stressful as my job. Coming up with content consistently, and keeping up with weekly themes pretty much overran the purpose of the blog. Honestly, I just want to go back to having fun.

Anyways, thanks for reading. The tone of the post seems daunting if not depressive, but I assure you it’s just a slight bump in the road. Yes, I’m struggling, but I’m working through it.

I’ve been feeling more like myself lately. So thank you everyone for your continued patience and your support. Especially you Mel, for having stuck by my side and consistently talking to me daily, it really helped my mood, more than you know.

But if any of you need to find me, you can find me stuck in¬†Boku no Hero Academia¬†Abyss, and Hakuoki Hell, for the time being. lol. ‚̧

~Zel

makoto_smile

Another Announcement

Good morning everyone! I have a bit of an announcement to make a.k.a. Shameless Self-Promotion. I’m making some moves around¬†here at Archi-Anime. I’ll be adding some stuff to the page as soon as I finally have time to do it.

But, aside from that; as you guys know I’m part of the PR team for the OWLS blog group and run our FB page.¬†Due to my activity on FB and realizing I don’t¬†want my blog to cross with my real life I’ve decided to launch a facebook page of my own!

Archi-Anime’s Facebook Page

ARCHI-ANIME_FB

It’d be great if you guys would like and follow me there as well! ūüôā I’ll be posting a lot more anime content that’s not necessarily blog related there. Like links to articles, images, among other things! ūüôā

Another outlet for us to connect outside of the blog! ūüôā

Anyways, thanks of listening and hopefully I’ll see you on Facebook! ‚̧