Feralia.net blog. episode 132: My ideal laptop for writing (finally!)

A few years back I made entry about my search for a good laptop for writing. Unfortunatley the model I went with ended up being a bad choice. Fast forward to today, I’ve finally found one that I’m really happy with. I actually ended up finding it when shopping for a laptop for my daughter to use for online school during the pandemic, and fell in love with it. It’s the HP Pavilion x360. It’s been perfect for her schooling, but has also been an amazing writing laptop as well.

Here are a few of the specs for my Pavilion x360:
14″ touch screen
10th gen Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G1 processor
Hard drive: 512GB SSD

Another big plus for me is that the laptop is convertable into a tablet, so you have options for how you’d like to write.

As a writing laptop it’s been amazing and super-fast. The hardware is more than powerful enough for writing and other every day work.

Here are a list of pros and cons I’ve experienced so far.


  • Starts up extremely fast when powering on and restarting.
  • Runs fast in general in every application I’ve used so far.
  • Windows 10 has run totally smooth with no hangups so far.
  • The solid state dard drive means no moving parts (which to me means: less to break!)
  • It’s so light! Weighs in at a little over 3 pounds.
  • The display is really nice and the touch screen works well.
  • More than enough power for writing.
  • Works well and fast with Photoshop Elements, in case you use that program for light designing like myself.
  • Backing up your writing is super easy and automatic with One Drive (I’ll have more on that in an upcoming entry.)
  • The battery life has been outstanding so far.
  • The ability to convert to a tablet is super convenient, and if you like to type on the touch screen, is another option for writing.
  • While I haven’t had the laptop long, so far the construction has seemed durable.


  • While it’s nowhere near the most expensive laptops out there, it isn’t cheap.
  • It may be a little more than what you need if only using it for writing.

In conclusion, the x360 has been amazing for me. Is it overkill? Perhaps. But after my last experience I’m finding that you get what you pay for, so it’s been more than worth it for me personally. If the x360 is more than you’re looking to spend (which is totally understandable), I’d recommend avoiding super cheap laptops, and try to get something that has better specs than that of my last experience, which ended up being pretty much useless. You may be able to strike a balance and find something reliable that works for you. If you can spring for the x360 however, I highly reccomend it.

What do you use for writing? Has it been a good or bad experience? Let me know in the comments here or on Facebook!


Next up: Backing up your writing

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Feralia.net blog. episode 131: Featured Artist/Vendor: Xander & Olive Handmade Jewelry

Logo © Xander & Olive Jewelry

It’s been a while since I’ve done a feature on an artist or vendor, so I’m finally going to stop procrastinating and do the next one! I love giving shout-outs to my hard working creator friends. (Look for a new list with all of them in one place, which I’ll post soon.) In this entry I’d like to spotlight our friend Xander & Olive Handmade Jewelry. Created by our friend Antoinette, Xander & Olive is a small business featuring an array of romantic handmade and vintage jewelry. The pieces you’ll find there are elegant and lovingly crafted, and there is plenty to choose from!

Below are just a few examples of Antoinette’s work…

© Xander & Olive Handmade Jewelry
© Xander & Olive Handmade Jewelry
© Xander & Olive Handmade Jewelry

You can find them on Etsy, as well as in person events, which Antoinette announces on social media.

Find Xander & Olive Handmade Jewelry here:



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Feralia.net blog. episode 130: My first anime

This entry is cross posted with my other blog at https://www.aliciasanime.com/blogs/blog/anime

When I was a teenager I was into Star Wars and X-Men comics. But I was always on the lookout for something new. Late one night while browsing satellite TV (I lived in an area so remot that there is still no cable TV there), I ran across a station called Network One which was playing their block whose tagline was something along the lines of ‘Japanimation – the ultimate in Japanese Animation.’ (That’s as close as I can remember it, anyway.) I had never even heard the term, but it seemed interesting. The feature that night was a movie called Vampire Hunter D.

I’d never seen anything like it, especially the character design. The animation was amazing and the whole movie just had a different feel tham anything I’d ever experience. I was captivated, and thus began my trip down the rabbit hole of anime.

Set in the distant post-apocalyptic  future (the year 12,090 AD), the story tells the tale of D, a dhampir (or half vampire) hunter. It has a truly immersive sci-fi and horror feel. It was originally released in 1985, although I didn’t discover it until about 12 years later. I won’t get into the story to avoid any potential spoilers, but I loved at, and it’s been not only one of my favorite films, but my gateway into the world of anime (and eventually Alicia’s Anime).

The anime is based on the first story in the series of novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi, which were illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano (who I’m sure many of you will recognize as the character designer for Final Fantasy games among his many other works).

In 2000 there was a second movie, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. This one is also special to me because my wife and I (who were dating at the time) got to see it’s limited theatrical release at a really cool, small theater in Washington DC which played lesser known movies. Bloodlust was an amazing experience as well, with absolutely beautiful art, animation and music along with a great story. I need to find the name of the theater so I can give them a shout-out!

What was your first anime? How did it it influence or inspire you? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook!

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Feralia.net blog. episode 129: Remembering

As much as it hurts to lose someone, it’s always cool to run across things that remind me of them and make me smile.

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Feralia.net blog. episode 128: My first foray into Fire Emblem

There are so many great games out there that it’s really hard to keep up with all of them, and a bunch of popular games and series that I’ve just never got around to playing. Fire Emblem was one such example until recently.

After playing some desktop campaigns with friends (and a ongoing Pathfinder campaign with my daughter), I’ve wanted to find a similar experience for single player. The closest I could really find in years past would be RPG video games like Final Fantasy, and more recently games like Pathfinder Adventure Card Game a desktop, card and dice game which I’ve had a blast with. A couple more fantasy video games I’ve gotten into more recently are Pathfinder: Kingmaker (which I’d like to get into in a future entry) and the Fire Emblem series.

Fire Emblem features turn-based grid combat, not unlike popular tabletop RPGs. My only major experience with these had been Final Fantasy Tactics (Playstation 1, 1997 Japan and 1998 US). While many of the Fire Emblem games of the past were notoriously brutal, featuring permadeath (if a character dies in battle, they’re gone for good). Some players are eager for the challenge. Me, nowadays, not so much with the limited time I have to play. I’d rather enjoy the story and other features.

Cover art for Fire Emblem Awakening, © Nintendo. You can’t tell from this picture, but the background is a really cool reflective paper.

Fire Emblem: Awakening was the perfect introduction to the series for me, including both the hard modes and more forgiving options. What I loved about it most was the combat. Sure, it isn’t a replacement for the tabletop games you love playing with friends, but it works well and is fun while you’re playing alone.

Another major thing for me were the music, and story. Fans of fantasy video game soundtracks will love it. The variety of soothing tracks and rousing themes will ensure that you’ll want to have your headphones ready.

The characters are likable too, and easy to get attached to. The main protagonist, Robin (unless you choose to rename him of her) has a pretty cool backstory that is told along the way.

You can choose the gender of the main character Robin, and rename him or her if you like. © Nintendo

While I’m nerding out about the game, I have to mention my ‘best girl’ from Fire Emblem Awakening, Tharja.

Tharja © Nintendo

Despite her attempts to come across as a dark and possibly evil person, her true colors are shown as her character is developed, revealing a funny and sweet person beneath the façade.

In conclusion, I loved this game, and I think that fans of turn based combat and fantasy stories will too!


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Feralia.net blog. episode 127: Ewe Got This!

So at Awesome Con this past weekend our company Alicia’s Anime was part of the Pin Bazaar! We had an exclusive pin featuring art by my amazing wife, Alicia Cassa! (She also did the artwork for Feralia & Feralia Revised Edition.)

You can get one of these adorable pins HERE. They’re limited to 300 pieces, so grab one while you can!


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Feralia.net blog. episode 126: My kid’s favorite games

[Reposting from my entry on the Alicia’s Anime & Video Games Blog. https://www.aliciasanime.com/blogs/blog/alicias-anime-blog-episode-6-ivys-top-20-video-games ]

Our daughter was born into a family of nerds, and pretty much immediately got into anime, video games and cosplay. Here are the top 20 games from the youngest of the Alicia’s Anime Crew.

In no particular order…

So that’s it from a kid’s point of view. What are the favorite games of the kids in your life? Drop a comment here or on Facebook!

Stay safe everyone!

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Feralia.net blog. episode 125: I believe

Just a few things that feel strongly about and needed to share…

I believe that we as human beings should follow the principle to love your neighbor. And to me, neighbor means any person you come in contact with, regardless of any difference. I believe in kindness, in love, for every type of person, regardless of race or color, religion, social status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, body type, disability and every other special attribute that makes each of us unique. I believe in equal rights, that all of the aforementioned people should have the right to the same care, opportunities, respect and salary (to name but a few).

And that is all for now. There are other details, issues, that I could get into, but that is enough for this writing. I could discuss differences of opinion, but it’s not necessary for what I’m feeling.

What matters is kindness and love.

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Feralia.net blog. episode 124: Featured Artist: Alicia’s Anime & Video Games [….us! ;)]

Our booth at MAGFest 2020
Another view of our MAGFest 2020 booth.

So if you’ve spent any time here on the website, you’ve likely heard me mention Alicia’s Anime & Video Games, or Alicia’s Anime for short. Alicia’s Anime is a small created and operated by my wife and I (with lots of help from our beloved con-crew-family!). We carry anime video game merch and accessories as such as t-shirts, keychains, lanyards, pins, bags and backpacks, as well as other cute stuff like bento boxes, imported by us directly from Japan! We even sell a few retro games as well, which we’ll be working on adding more to over time.

We got started in 2004 and normally attend around 30 to 35 conventions/festivals/events per year while selling online as well.

Alicia’s Anime has been the perfect place to distribute the Feralia novels and merch and also feature the books at conventions as well and I love that they’ve been able to go hand in hand.

Check out our site here, and check out Conventions Page to see if we’ll be attending an event near you!

Stay safe!


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Feralia.net blog. episode 123: Other blogging activities!

Things are back in full swing at the moment, and hopefully will remain safe enough to stay that way! We’re in the middle of a 4 week stretch of back to back conventions at Alicia’s Anime, and it’s been amazing seeing con friends and fam, staffers, attendees and even our own con crew!

Once things slow down in a few weeks I’ll be getting back to working on Feralia: Book 3 at a better pace again. I’ll also be trying to keep updating here, as well as the new blog on AliciasAnime.com which can be found here:


There we’ll update as often as we can with convention news, featured products and other stuff we love in the world of anime and video games. Hope to see you there as well as here!


Next up I’ll write a bit about what it is we do at Alicia’s Anime & Video Games.

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