Featured image: “Magical Girl She-Ra” by weremole.

I’m way behind where I want to be on reviews, but I’m struggling to adjust to a new schedule. The little spare time I have, I want to devote mostly to Jake and the Dynamo.

The site’s also due for an overhaul. I might go rearranging things this weekend. Nothing too drastic, but some improvements in organization. I’m still mulling over changing the theme, but the ones I would want cost money I don’t have right now, and the present one is fairly versatile, if unadorned.

Choose Your Girl … and Choose Your Destiny!

Over at the site Royal Road, which also hosts Jake and the Dynamo, we have a poll up where you can select Best Girl from amongst the magical girls in the story (or ship Jake, if you’re so inclined).

See it here. Be sure to leave a comment defending your choice, and your choice’s honor.






The cluster of twenty girls, like some kind of giant amoeba with T.B. as its nucleus, oozed through the front door of the arcade. Leaning on his counter, Tim blanched. The girls hadn’t bothered him when they had remained out under the awning, but now he apparently didn’t know what to do once they’d invaded the male-dominated space of the arcade’s interior.

There was an unspoken rule at the arcade: girls, if they came in significant numbers, were to remain near the front end where the merchandisers and ice cream were. Girls were not to enter the arcade’s inner sanctum except singularly, and preferably in male company. Cavalierly violating this unspoken rule, T.B.’s band of jabbering females now threatened the purity of this haven for luckless and socially awkward boys. Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 21”

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Will Update Monday

Featured Image: “Magical Girl Marisa (Miss America)” by PencilTales.

Crazy week for me. Sorry for the absence.

Chapter 21 of Jake and the Dynamo is almost ready to go. Dana and Chelsea finally square off in Magical Girl Rumble, and the winner in the contest will get a kiss from T.B., the effete yet rakish idol of Juban High!

If Dana wins, will her short-lived magical girl career end in unrelieved pining? After all, they say a lot of girls are wasting away because of T.B. And what of Chelsea? Will this destroy her relationship with Jake? They say once you’ve had T.B., you never really get over it.

Y’know, I don’t think I realized when I started writing this that Dana was going to pick a fight with everyone she met. Jake really can’t take her anywhere.

Editing … Editing …

Artwork from the official Sugar Sugar Rune website, by Moyoco Anno.

I wanted to get up another review today, but I have to spend what time is left editing both my own work and another guy’s. I have chapter 21 of Jake and the Dynamo drafted, but it’s not yet ready to go.

I’m starting my new job tomorrow, which is good, but there’s no telling at the moment what that will mean for the schedule around here. Come January, my schedule will definitely get a lot tighter.

There’s a few shows I’d like to discuss this season, but I don’t think I’ll be doing episode-by-episode reviews, as I’m already doing that for two.

I also managed to track down a few volumes of Sugar Sugar Rune, sometimes cited as one of the all-time best cute witch magical girl stories. There was also an anime adaptation that I hear is good, though different in several respects with additional side stories and more magical girl cliches like transformations sequences. The anime broadcast in the U.S., but as far as I have been able to discern, it was never collected on DVD and is not on any legal streaming sites.

The manga is out of print; what I’ve read of it so far lives up to the hype, and it must continue to be good, since people selling it have figured out that they can charge reasonable prices for most of the series and then charge sixty dollars or more for the final volume. The penultimate volume must have one heck of a cliffhanger if they can get anyone to pay that.

“That’s outrageous! … Ah, but I’ll never sleep again if I don’t find out what happens to the broody ten-year-old goth girl with the magic powers!  Fine, here’s eighty bucks, you bastard, and to hell with you!”

Also, the series is being loaded, legally, to the interwebs in full color! But only in Japanese. This series came out in English from Del Rey Manga, and though I never bothered to learn what the story was behind them changing their name to Kodansha Comics, I did notice that they reprinted some of their catalog afterwards. Maybe there’s a chance they’ll reprint this one. I would say, from what I’ve seen, it deserves it.

But anyway, all of this is why the Moon Princess made interlibrary loan. We’ll see if I can manage to get them to loan me the whole series. The bad part of reading it this way is that, even if I can get the whole series, I likely won’t get it in order. I probably should have ordered one volume at a time, but instead I requested the first four … and I got volumes one and three. Volume three, of course, is the one that’s due back first.

Damn you, public library.

NaNoWriMo Is This Month!

Featured image: “Magical Girl Tessa” by Primantis.

Just as a reminder, November is National Novel Writing Month. If you’ve ever wanted to write a whole novel in a single month, now is the time. There is an official website, linked above, where you can get pep talks, track your progress, and so forth.

I am reliably informed that if you hit writer’s block during a NaNoWriMo marathon, “just add ninjas” is a good way to get out of it. This is known as Chandler’s Law, formulated by pulp writer Raymond Chandler, who once said, When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.”

This technique has worked for me in the past. Jake and the Dynamo is a story very amenable to Chandler’s Law: I am unashamed to admit that I “just added robot dinosaurs from space” because I didn’t know how else to save Jake’s bacon.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that, after the next two chapters are up, I believe Jake and the Dynamo will have hit the 100,000-word mark. Depending on who you ask, 40,000 is your basic novel length.

‘Magical Girl Raising Project,’ Episode 4

Magical Girl Raising Project, episode 4, “Add More Friends!” Directed by Hiroyuki Hashimoto. Studio Lerche. Produced by Genco (2016). Approx. 24 minutes. Rated PG-13. Available on Crunchyroll.

This episode continues where we left off in episode 3, with magical girls Snow White and La Pucelle getting bum-rushed by Ruler and her minions, who hope to swipe Snow White’s Magical Candies in order to avoid death at the hands of Fav’s sadistic elimination game.

You got that right.
You got that right.

Continue reading “‘Magical Girl Raising Project,’ Episode 4”

The How Not to Write a Novel Quiz

Featured image: “Magical Girl Art” by Chrysolith.

I recently stumbled upon this, a quiz designed, supposedly, to see if you have any clue how to write a novel. It was designed by the writers of How Not to Write a Novel, which I have not had the pleasure of reading, but which purports to show by example how to avoid the mistakes of book-writing.

I got a perfect score, I guess. If I may say so, the score doesn’t surprise me: I have no pretensions of being the next Shakespeare, but I can at least turn out a workmanlike product when I’m halfway sober. However, I think a few of the questions are unfair.

For example, when asking what is a good sentence, it first gives the final line from The Great Gatsby as the “correct” answer, and then gives sentences with obvious typos, and then gives this:

Ever back, to the chthonic quagmire of yesterdays that ate yesterdays in monarchic succession, like crocodiles held vassal to a Pharaoh of loss.

That’s purple, but not horrific. I would accept it, depending on the context. It would be at home in a story by Lovecraft. After all, not everything is The Great Gatsby, nor should it be.