a few Youtube selections

Here is a new (to me) Vlogger who is now participating in VEDS. That is vlogging, or videos every day in September. And here he is talking about a topic near and dear to my heart. Jeffery Guion with the channel, Jeffery Guion. ^_^

 

 

Another VEDS vlogger, and in fact the only one that did VEDS every year since its beginning, posted about the podcast he and Mat Guion make. Check it out. It is fun.

 

Lastly, I put up a song that really resonated with me. Yeah, I had to deal with this kind of thing. And being this random. Also, it is a fun song, that ends on a surprisingly triumphant not. Oh, and I love those deep notes. 😛

 

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An Awkward Post

Well, I had obviously not been following my schedule like I planned. I am sorry. I had a lot of things going wrong this summer, including a heat wave! Heat waves are evil. I found out that when temperatures go past a certain point, my brain goes into hibernation. This made me sad. Nothing creative came out of my brain in the last two month. But on the up side, I been reading on a fairly steady clip, so as soon as I settle down to the task, I should have plenty of reviews, and finished the first season to a theme I wanted to review for this month! YAY!!! So…kinda productive??

Anyway, I will most likely get back in gear this Thursday/Wednesday. Expect a post no later than then, and have an awesome day!

Let It Go

A poem I first wrote for a contest on Writing.com back in 2010! I hope you like it.

 

 

 

“Let it go” The radio sang,
It’s notes of acceptance rang,
In every corner of my mind.
I wondered as I listened.
What will letting go do?
And what needed to go from me?

An answer rang soft and low.
“I think you already know.
Let go of the shame in your way,
The disappointments of the day.
Of the fears that hold you back,
Of the worry of what you lack.”

“Turn instead to me again.
Turn in faith and you will win,
You place, your purpose,
Your peace at last.
Granted only if you rest
At the feet of my cross.”

A Birthday Bear

An early attempt at writing a children’s story. Was first posted on Writing.com on 2010. I hope you like it.

 

 

 

The giant stuffed bear had never spoken to her before, but today…it did. Alice was not sure she heard right, but there was no denying it. She saw her lips move. Which was weird, because she could have sworn that Rainbow did not have lips when her Mommy gave it to her for her birthday last year?

“Hello, dear friend.”

“Who, do you mean me?” Alice sputtered, after making sure that it was indeed the bear who had said it.

“Yes, you’re my friend.” The bear, Rainbow, nodded. Then cocking her head to the side, she added gravely. “I guess you’re my Mum too since you take care of me.”

“But I have a Mommy. I’m only seven!” The girl said, surprise getting the better of shock.

“And you are one. Besides, I’m a year old.”

Alice thought for a moment and smiled. “Okay, I’ll be the best Mommy I can be then!”

“That’s good. I don’t want a bad Mum.”

“You talk funny.”

“I was made in England.”

“Oh.”

There was a short, tense silence, broken only by the sound of the family kitty meowing outside to be let in. Alice wondered idly why he didn’t just ask to be let in. If a stuffed bear could talk, a talking cat would be nothing!

“Are you mad at me?” Rainbow asked at last.

“No! Don’t be silly.” Alice protested quickly. “Why do you ask that?”

“You were quiet, and I know that is not how you act.”

“I was just thinking.”

“Is it about how I can talk?”

“How did you know?”

“I was told to expect it.” Rainbow explained, and there was an air about him that suggested he would have folded his arms over his belly had they been longer. “When I was first made, I knew nothing of the world at all. But I befriended an older toy who could not be sold because of a lame paw. She and I talked about many things before I was sent to the store, you see. One thing she told me was this. On the day of my creation, I can talk to my owner.”

“Wow! Like a birthday present!”

Rainbow thought gravely for a moment. Then He nodded, smiling. “Yes, I guess that is what you can call it, a birthday gift.”

“Are you going to be able to talk all day?” Alice demanded.

“Yes.”

“Then let’s not waste a moment!”

That day was more fun than Alice could ever remember. They had tea. They went exploring the park with Mommy. They hid in the tree house with baby sister Carrie and told secrets. Rainbow let her know where she preferred to sleep and all the details that made a bear’s life more comfortable. Long before the day was over; Alice was already looking forward to next year, planning Teddy Rainbow’s birthday.

Book Review-A Summer to Die

A Summer to Die Written by Lois Lowry

Unlike the other books by Lois Lowry, I read this one when I was actually a teenager. I was in love with it back then, and it was one of a handful that I manage to read to pieces. Some of the books I did that to was not as good, but I had a shortage of good books at the time. So when I did get a good book, I would read it till I had to tape the pages together.

A Summer to Die was surprisingly fun to read, despite the dark title. It follows a family, who goes to the country for a year so that the Father, who is an English Professor, can write a book on Irony. No joke. And along the year, the various members of the family live life and some of the life was not that good. The main character is the youngest, Meg. And she is a creative, highly intelligent, but moody thirteen-year-old who loves art and photography. She does not know what she wants from life, she just knows she wants to do something important with it. She has a fifteen-year-old sister, who is very sure of what she wants. To be Mrs. Somebody else, and have at least six babies.

As the title suggests, Someone dies. But I like how this is not obvious at first. It kind of creeps in on the family, unawares. Mixed in with making new friends, and finding boyfriends, with days of the sound of pounding typewriter keys, and quilt-piecing. Just like it happens in real life. And like real life, the more serious the situation gets, the more it consumes the whole family. Even Meg, who is left out of the loop on most of it, feels it slowly take over and change her family. And how it changes her sister most of all The book is just about perfect, in my mind. Though to be fair, it is the only one where I’m not sure I’m looking at it with clear eyes.

Nostalgia might be clouding my judgment. But every time I read it, I feel totally emersed in the world of a family who goes through some serious ups and downs, but continues to be a family, for better or worst. And you get the feeling at the end that, it may be a bit strained at the end of the year, that family would continue and endure and move past the trauma. Maybe even learn something from it, especially Meg.

I give it, like the other Lowry books, an Ultimate Recommendation, and strongly urge you to give it a good read. Check it out, and see if it is worth some serious fuss. And, by the by, this is Lowry’s first book. Just to let you know.

What if you don’t want to write?

What do you write when you don’t feel like writing? Well, I guess you just write a bunch of meaningless sentences until they form something like an idea. Then you just keep writing anyway and hope that idea takes some kind of clear shape and purpose. Here I write to show that writing when you are not in the mood to write is possible.
Not only possible, it is mandatory. Why would you call yourself a writer if you don’t write? If you only write when the mood hits, your productivity would be really low. Let’s look at this another way. Imagine what would happen if a doctor does not feel like treating people that day? Well, several things happen. They would not have a job for very long for one, and there will be a lot of sick, maybe dying people who are not getting the treatment they need. And they and/or their relatives would not be happy. That is leading to a very high likelihood that someone is going to sue that Doctor with the lack of sense. Especially if they live in America. Hey, it’s what we do. Not happy with something, sue it.

I could bring up other examples, but I think I made my point. But anyone trying to get into the creative skills has some expectations placed on them. That they would be moody, and hard to work with. Maybe people expect them to be drunks or oddballs of some kind. And they would expect some kind of temperamental treatment from them. And one of those expectations is that they don’t always work when they are not properly inspired. Well, as a creative person trying to get into a field that would actually pay, I found this kind of thinking really distracting. And as a lazy person, I find it incredibly easy to fall into this kind of, must be inspired trap. It really is insidious.
The way I look at it, you got to see your writing, or your crafting or your artwork or whatever it is you want to turn into a professional job, as your job. Even when it’s not yet paying anything. You have to give yourself goals to reach. Such as, I’m going to write five hundred words today, or I’m going to finish this picture today. Or I’m going to research markets to sell my work in. Stuff like that. Then you plan how this work with being done, plan a timetable to get it done in and then commit to getting it done. Don’t let yourself dilly-dally once you got the plan in place. Stick to it, or find something else to do.

At the very least, you will soon learn if this is something you can do, by how often you have to force yourself to do it. Sure there are days where you won’t want to. Everyone gets those. Sure, there are times when you are more tired than normal or are not feeling well. On those days, don’t be as strict with yourself. Don’t give yourself a free pass though, unless you are really sick. Like, can’t lift your head from the pillow without making a mess somewhere sick. Those days are clearly free pass days. But on those blah days, don’t allow yourself to chunk the who idea away. You’re not at your best, and it is coloring your perceptions. But keep track of those days, and see if they come more and more often. They might mean you are trying to put yourself in a job that you are not a good fit for, and use that self-awareness to tweak the plan to something you can gain more satisfaction from. But don’t stop!

Always have goals to reach. You don’t have a boss to tell you when and how to work, most of the time, so you have to be that boss. Plan the work, maybe plan a contingency for those off day. Research and learn what the experts have to say about what you are doing to make your own efforts more time effective. Plan little reward to help motivate you. Plan for those annoying paperwork things that a boss would normally do that you would need to do, no matter how much you hate it. And be ready, once you start earning money, to hire someone who is much better at some of the things than you. Such as managing a schedule or paying taxes.

But the main theme I want to harp on is this. No matter what, no matter what you been told, or what you feel like or whatever is going on in your head, heart or life, just do the work. This is your dream, after all. Right? Besides, I just showed how this works by forcing myself to write one simple sentence. And it led to me writing a whole blog post. Thank you, and have a great day!

Book Review-Wuthering Heights

Book Review-Halftime report!

Wuthering Heights

 

I am currently halfway through Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte. I will be honest here. I dreaded reading this book for months now. But I gritted my teeth and started to read. And was pleasantly surprised. It was not as bad as I feared. In fact, it is pretty good.

That is not to say that I think it’s great, or anything I will read often. But I was hit by two things so far. One, this is an incredibly dense body of writing. I mean, there is not a single wasted sentence so far in the whole thing. The plot is fairly simple to follow, but the characters are not so easy to follow. And there are a whole lot of them.

And speaking of characters, not all of them are easy to understand when they speak. A few of them speak with a really strong Yorkshire accent. I loved this part, it helps maintain an authentic feel of the story. That leads to two.

Two. For a story that feels so grounded in reality it somehow also takes on the feel of a soap opera. I can see why so many Victorians had a big problem with this novel. Also, as a side note, the reactions to Anne’s novel, printed in the same book as her sister’s, received so little notice. Wuthering Heights with all its passion and drama must have made her own Agnes Grey seem as exciting as a weather report by comparison.

How Emily managed to mix the fantastical gothic elements with this strangely gritty, realistic element. I find it kind of distracting, but in a really good way. I look forward to finishing this book. Now, if you excuse me, I got some reading to do!

Art Work

Hello again. I just wanted to share another passion of mine real quick. My art. This is only two of my works, and though I am not as happy with them as I could be, I learned that I am often a poor judge of my art. I hope you like them. Let me know what you think.

 

nora

This sad-eyed girl was inspired by a game I once played. I like some of how she came out. I was trying something new with her, combining marker with colored pencil.

fieryfaevintageThis fiery lady was all marker, and I still don’t like her nose or mouth. I give it a pass, however, because I was trying to make her otherworldly. And that certainly came across, at least.

Live it before you write it

Live it before you write it

 

Ever had an idea tickle your brain? Is it dying to get out and on paper? How can you get it to come out with power and conviction? If it’s fiction or something you are writing just to amuse, then grab that paper or keyboard and get on it. But if it’s meant to help motivate someone to do something or change something or anything like that, then live it before you write it.

 

What does that mean? Well, at first, I didn’t know either. I thought a good idea can just be brainstormed and written down. Easy peasy, eggs and cheesy. With bacon. And grits. Mmmm, grits. Sorry, I’m back. Well, now I know that in other to really know what you are talking about, then live the advice before you write about it.

 

Want to write about a new diet or lifestyle change, then try it out. Live it for a week or two at least, then you can write about it with a strong body of experience behind your words. And you will write them with compassion as well. It is easy to get critical and self-righteous from a body of data that you agree with. But if you had bitten into the burger of experience, then you are far more understanding of the possible difficulties and rewards that subject can give.

 

You want to get someone to do something new. Anything new. That person is far more likely to follow your footsteps if they realize that you already been down that trail before. Nobody wants to follow a blind guide. They want someone who has experience and can keep them safe from possible pitfalls. While everyone will have their own struggles as they go down their own journey, having a rough idea of what to expect will help your reader trust that you got their backs.

 

Lastly, living out what you want to advise or write about enriches your own life. Who wants to let life pass by? Who wants to look up from your writing and realize that a would of experience and adventure had just passed you by? Nobody wants to live only in their head. Trust me, I tried. It is not fun. So live a little. Go on adventures. Dare to push your limits a bit. Challenge your fears a bit. Don’t worry, you can write about it later. In fact, your work will thank you for it by being more insightful, varied and verbose than it would have been otherwise.
Now, if you excuse me. I have to go back to practice what I preach.