Thursday, December 27, 2018

Year In Review

Happy holidays! I don't normally do one of these "Year In Review"-type posts, but 2018 was such an eventful year that I just had to recap it - not to boast, but to demonstrate what's possible if you work hard and really put your mind to something. Anyway, let's begin!
I finally signed up for Netflix. I know, I know, not exactly earth-shattering, but it was a big step for me, because after a while of finding my footing (i.e. having so many choices of what to watch that I ended up not watching much of anything) I eventually discovered that holy moly, do I love anime. This discovery not only led to healthier daily habits (I like to work out while watching TV, so watching more TV led to more working out), but it also gave the upcoming Second Player Score concept album/graphic novel project a new and exciting direction (it would be in an anime/manga style).

The aforementioned Second Player Score released our first scripted video, and I served as a mentor for SCBWI Oregon's Great Critique.

I traveled to sunny Tampa, Florida to be a panelist at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs' 18th annual conference.

Second Player Score opened for Jonathan Davis at the Crystal Ballroom, our biggest show to date.

I was the special guest author at Shahala Middle School's READCON book fair (on May the Fourth, no less).

I participated in Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy's first annual It Takes A Village conference and had an interview (about March's AWP Conference) published in the Summer 2018 issue of Spectrum Life Magazine. Also, Second Player Score recorded three more songs for our upcoming album. And finally, I started and finished writing my first screenplay.

I started and finished writing my second screenplay.

I finished writing my third screenplay, and I also wrote four short films.

I finished writing my fourth screenplay.

The SPSU was born. Also, I participated in the annual Words and Pictures Festival at Cascade Park Community Library. And finally, a 29-page script + storyboards for the first issue of the Glorified manga - remember what I said about what happened in January? - was completed.

Something called "Joel Suzuki, Volume Four: Fable of the Fatewave" was launched into the world.

The screenplay adaptation of Joel Suzuki, Volume One was finally finished, along with teleplays for the pilot episodes of two new projects (so, since June, I guess you could say that - roughly to the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas" - I've written five feature-length screenplays, four short films, recorded three new tracks, written two teleplays and a partridge in a - I mean, one manga script). Also, another interview was published in Spectrum Life Magazine.

Whew! So, yeah, it's been quite the year. And like I said, the purpose of this post was not to brag, but to reflect on a set of events that I believe anyone can accomplish with hard work, perseverance, and a positive mindset that includes a strong belief in oneself. In other words, if I can do it, then so can you.

Thank you so much for following along with my journey, and here's to an awesome 2019 for all of us!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Autism Empowerment Tween & Teen Social Club

As a fitting wrap-up to the flurry of launch activities surrounding Volume Four, I had the awesome opportunity to share Joel and Felicity's story with a great group of parents at last Saturday's Autism Empowerment Tween and Teen Social Club.
As R.E.M. would say, "that's me in the corner."

The Autism Empowerment Tween and Teen Social Club (or "AETTSC", as I like to call it - I love acronyms) is just one of the many super-cool programs and services that the good folks at Autism Empowerment (full disclosure - of which I am one) provides for the community. Once a month, kids get to come and hang out with each other, play video games, do arts & crafts, and basically just have a lot of fun in a safe, positive, accepting environment. While they're off doing that, their parents have their own separate support group meeting which usually features guest speakers like that guy in the green sweater you see above.

Like with all of our programs, the AETTSC wouldn't be possible without the help of amazing volunteers, wonderful mentors, and everyone who supports Autism Empowerment via donations of time and/or money. Most of the peer mentors are young adults who are on the autism spectrum themselves, and on this night my son was one of them. Although we've both been attending this event for years, it was his first time mentoring, and he did a great job!

If you live in the SW Washington/Portland metro area and have been looking for an event like this, it happens on the 3rd Saturday of each month (unless otherwise specified) from 6-9pm at 305 NE 192nd Ave, Vancouver WA 98684. We had 85 attendees this past Saturday and are always welcoming more. For more information, you can check out the event's Facebook page here.

And with that, nine consecutive weeks of non-stop Volume Four hype comes to an official close. Tune in next week when I'll be doing a Year In Review post, which will include me talking about, well, Volume Four. See you then!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Launch Party #2 Recap

Joel, Felicity and I had a rockin' good time at the second Launch Party for Volume Four this past Saturday! (Joel and Felicity used their over-21-year-old personas in order to attend.)
Oh, those two people in the picture with me aren't Joel and Felicity, by the way - they're Daniel Downs and Kyle Gilbert of Second Player Score, one of three awesome bands that played at the party. The other two were STAB in the DARK:
and Old Cross:
Big thanks to Matt Danger of No Pants Records for booking the show, Gil's Speakeasy for hosting us, and everyone who came out. It was a lot of fun.
There will be one more post about Volume Four next week, and then that will be it, I swear!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Spectrum Life Magazine: Volume Four Article

Big thanks to everyone who came out to the family-friendly Volume Four - I love that there's a link for that now - Launch Party at Kazoodles this past Saturday! And don't forget, if you're into loud rock 'n' roll and cold adult beverages, Launch Party #2 (the non-family-friendly one) is taking place this coming Saturday at Gil's Speakeasy in Portland from 7-11pm.
Oh, and just in case you're not hyped up enough about Volume Four yet (despite my having blogged about it for the last six weeks in a row), you should check out this cool interview in the latest issue of Spectrum Life Magazine! In it, I reveal which is my favorite of the four Joel Suzuki books so far (or maybe I just dance around the question), offer a handy little writing tip, tell you where I would go if I could time travel, and lots more. And after you're done reading that, the issue has many other great articles as well!