Monthly Archives: May 2015

Genres, Locked Gates, and the Conspiracies of Dogs

I am 25 years old, but I still enjoy my YA and Teen Fiction books. Simply put, I just adore Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure stories and I find that usually the best stories are found in the younger books. Really, I see no problem with this, because it’s what I enjoy. So, my latest book escapade brings me to: “The Tail of Emily Windsnap” by Liz Kessler. Oh, and I’ve just noticed now on the binding of the book that it’s “Book 1” which means this is a series. Huh. I thought it was a standalone. Since this was a free book, if I end up liking it, I wonder if I’ll put money into buy the other books in the series. Ah, because that’s what I do with the little money I end up making. If I’m not spending it on bills, food, or gas for my car, it’s on art supplies and books. Lots of books. Oh, well. At least books keep me occupied.

Well, anyway, it’s definitely a YA book, you can tell just by the cover and the writing style. It’s like one of those chapter books they ask you to read in middle school. It’s about Emily, whose mother has never let her take swimming lessons, let alone go in the water (they live on a boat in a bay but her mother has a fear of the water) and then, when she’s in 7th grade, her gym class includes swimming classes, and Emily finds out that she’s a natural swimmer. This is because she’s a mermaid, apparently. I’m only 3 chapters in, but it’s very easy reading so I’ll get through it quickly.

I did a lot today. Maybe not much in terms of productivity, but I did go running with Jae. It took us three tries and three different schools until we finally found one with an open track. For some reason, the first two schools we tried had the track gates locked. Our college was one of the ones locked (and, yes, we go to the same college. Both my brothers and I go to the same college. Three kids all at the same college! Unfortunately, there is no family discount. Wouldn’t that be nice?). Anyway, since Jae is a pole vaulter, he has to keep in shape even though it’s the off-season. He has so many sets and reps of different exercises and runs that he has to do each day and he always asks me to tag along. Since I have a gym membership, I don’t mind bringing him along as my guest so he can do his weight training and, in return, he takes me running. Not that I want to go running, I really don’t like it, but I also know how boring it can get just running by yourself. So, I sympathize with him. Haha, aren’t I a great older sister?

On the track, today I learned that if I had to run for my life, I probably wouldn’t get very far. It’s not that I’m out of shape, but my endurance seems to be lacking. I did a mile on the track (which is 4 laps around, for those you who may not know that). The first 3 laps I ran the curves and walked the straights. By the 4th lap, I just walked it. Although, I did walk high-knees around the curves, on tip toes for the first straight, and then regular walking for the second straight. Then, while Jae finished up his sets and reps of 200m’s, I sat off in the quarter section of the track doing some stretches.

Afterwards, we were starving and went to Taco Bell. I think that defeats the purpose a bit, but it was delicious, so I’m not complaining (not too much anyway). Our Dad also called us on our way there and we ended up bringing some food home for him and our Mom, too.

I started a bonfire around 9 PM and just sat outside, trying to read my book, then gave up. The flashlight on my phone was attracting too many beetles and I didn’t like that they were landing on me. I’m totally fine with bugs, by the way, so long as they aren’t on me. Though there are some exceptions, like crickets and fireflies. They’re fun to hold.

Anyway, my Dad came out, followed by my Mom, and then my other brother and his girlfriend. I ended up laying on the wood bench and staring up at the stars until it was just me and my Dad outside (the other three went back in not after long). I closed my eyes for a bit, just listening to the wind dancing through the leaves, and when I opened my eyes back up, I swear I saw a streak of yellow across the sky. But, it was so sudden, and literally in the blink of an eye, that I wonder if I saw it at all, or if it was just my imagination. I did see one of the satellites go by overhead not too long after that, though. I thought that was amazing! I’m not sure that I’ve seen one of the satellites go by before. Though, I’m not sure that I’ve ever looked for one to watch before.

Dad wanted to wait until the fire died down before we went back inside. Since we had used a Duraflame log to get the fire going, we still had about another hour, so I ran inside and grabbed my iPad and then returned to our bench. We watched the next episode of TURN together. I must say that after that first confusing episode where you’re trying to figure out who’s who and who’s on which side, it does get pretty interesting. I won’t rate it, yet, though, until we’ve finished the first season. Starting episode 5 next puts us at the middle of the season, since there are only 10 episodes in the 1st. At about 45 minutes each episode, though, it takes a bit longer to get through each episode. …Especially when the dogs decide it’s time to start barking at whatever is or isn’t outside the window during the quietest parts of the show and you constantly have to rewind to hear what they’ve just said. Don’t you just hate that. I think dogs plan to bark when you’re watching something quiet on TV. It’s like a secret dog club thing.

Well, that’s that. It’s late and the clock ticking is all that I hear. The windows are closed but it’s late enough that the tree frogs are quiet. Oh, and the air conditioner kicks on once in a while, too. I think it’s on Power-Save mode, or something.

Tomorrow, I want to attempt to make rice porridge. I love Asian cuisine and to try and make it is always interesting. I once made melon bread with my friend, Kel. It was really good!

Please look for my words again soon.

-Soleil

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It’s Just an Update

If you’ll remember from my very first post here, my sleeping schedule is a bit out of whack for my current time zone since quitting my job two weeks ago. Despite this, I have volunteered myself to babysit for a family friend from 5 AM to 9AM to wake up her three children, feed them, and get them ready and on the bus for school in the mornings since she has to start work early. I start Monday. …Ah, I think this will be a rough week that is approaching. Luckily, though, it is only for two weeks until school is finished for the summer. That being said, since I need an income, even if a slight one, I don’t mind doing this favor for her.

Also, as of yet, I have not heard anything back from the Disney Professional Internship that I applied to, except a “Do-Not-Reply” email stating that they received my submission and that my info will be looked over soon. This, I suppose, is good news, since no news is good news, or so they say. I really want this internship position. It would be such a great oppourtunity for me. Plus, I’m already practically living in California’s time zone anyway what with my sleeping pattern (ah, yes, back on that again.)

Oh, and I finished “24 girls in 7 days” last night. I think if I rated it on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 7. It really kept you guessing until the end, which was nice. Plus, it had a sweet ending. So, I would recommend it. Also, the author, Alex Bradley, is a man, not a girl. Since I previously hadn’t been sure and had been too tired/lazy at the time to check, I figured I’d fill you guys in now and let you know. Now, I need to pick my next book to read. I have a stack to chose from, so I’ll let you know.

Look for my words soon.

-Soleil

When Writing is a Problem….

You know that feeling, the one where you really want to write, but then you have no idea what to write? Yeah, I’ve had that feeling for quite a while now. Not for here, in my blog, but in a book I’ve been trying to write. To be honest, I started it back in 2005. It has evolved quite a bit from that first draft. Ah…the good old days, when a story could be simple and easy. But, as time went on, I managed to improve my grammar, my punctuation, my way of wording things to find my own writing style. Now, I’m on draft I-Don’t-Know-What-Number-Anymore and I feel stuck. Really, it’s because a part of me wonders just how much of the story is mine anymore. Throughout the past 10 years I have shared my drafts with two of my very closest friends to edit for me once each draft was complete. With both saying things like “Develop these characters more. They’re too flat.” to “These plot threads here aren’t connected anywhere.” and “You need to focus on your climax and falling actions. They’re weak.” and so on, I wonder if I’ve “over-edited” and now am stuck wallowing in despair over how to continue.

So, while I desparately want to work on my latest draft (and please, oh please, call it the “Final Draft” (ah, what an alluring and evasive title….)), I am struggling to figure out what to type. Since I never had a problem just sitting down and writing what came to mind when I first started 10 years ago, I find that now, this small problem is very annoying. It’s like I’m on permanent writer’s block and I can’t quite figure out how to break the dam to get things flowing again. So, in the end, I type a few words and sentences here and there when I really feel like I have to do something to feel productive about it, but then I wonder, “Hey, is this really the way I want this part to go, or am I just typing drabble here?” I’ve become so fed up that I have re-started from scratch and only have a few pages of a Chapter One in progress. But, still, I feel like something’s lacking. I think it’s inspiration. I’m not sure where to find it. She’s an elusive muse and she’s very good at skirting away from me just when I think I’ve found her. Ah….aish. I hope to meet her one day soon.

Please look for my words again soon.

-Soleil

Two Takes and an Internship Submission

Uggghhhhhh…………

I literally want to slump my head down over my keyboard and cry a little. -sigh- I unfortuantely made the mistake of trying to reload this page after typing all I had typed and now it’s all gone. I have to retype it. Blah.

RETAKE:

I am exhausted. I wish I was in bed. However, I promised a second entry for today and I’m here to fulfill that promise. It never rained again after the first storm. I think that’s a shame. I wish it was raining at least now. I like to fall asleep to the sound of the rain on the roof. It’s relaxing. Instead, the nocturnal tree frogs are croaking their ballad, so that will have to do for now. I’m not complaining.

Currently, I’m reading a book titled “24 girls in 7 days” by Alex Bradley. I’m too tired to look up whether the author is male or female so I’ll do that later and leave it to your imagination or curiosity for now. Here’s the description on the back cover:

“So when his friends take it upon themselves to get him a date to the prom by placing an intensely humiliating ad in the school paper, they think they are doing him a favor. Jack doesn’t agree. But then the most amazing thing happens: Responses to the ad are overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that Jack must narrow the list down. A lot. Not an easy task. Turns out, the girls at City High are quite the competitive bunch. From drive-by flashings to breaking and entering to cellphone stalkers, these potential prom dates will stop at nothing to snag the suddenly popular Jack. How will he ever choose just one?”

To be honest, I picked this book up (originally from a FREE BOOKS box outside of a house I was passing one afternoon on my way home from work, along with a few others) because of the description on the back. It’s written in 1st person point-of-view, which I don’t usually read (I can’t get into 1st person POVS. I relate the “I” in the book to me instead of the character and then have trouble getting into the story because the “I” in the book is doing, saying, and encountering things that I never would. Does that make sense? Anyway….), and the writing style is, for lack of better words, dry and sardonic (again, not a typical style I would read), but I found that despite the style of writing and the POV, it’s interesting enough that I want to keep reading and see what happens at the end. So, kudos to the author! I half contemplated putting it down after the first chapter, at first, but then decided to give it a second chance and read a few more chapters. I’m now halfway. I plan to finish it, if not tomorrow, then before the weekend is done. An easy task. It only has 31 chapters and 265 pages.

This Just In!: My younger brother has finally returned home and delivered to me that green tea lemonade I asked for hours ago. Since it’s too late for tea now (although, I did steal a few sips), I’ll save it for the morning…er…later in the morning. Now that he’s home, we were just discussing a test that he has on determining who he dates. An interesting concept. Mine is a bit different from his, but there are similarities.

Of my two brothers, I think I relate the most well to my youngest brother, but I think that’s because he actually spends time with me and talks with me (actual discussions), whereas my other brother (the middle child), I think, finds me annoying and he really only chats or holds conversations with me when he’s feeling chipper. Other than that, he spends a majority of his time with his girlfriend. That’s another subject.

Anyway, back to the rest of the “This Just In!” news. After our discussion of his dating test, I told Jae (that’s my youngest brother) that I recently found an application for Disney Interactive, to take part in their internship for Concept Artists. I told him I was considering it for next summer, but he talked me into applying for this summer. The program would start next month sometime and end in September, or December, depending on which program length I decide to partake in. I’m not too sure about flying all the way to California for the program and living there away from my family (while I did the Disney College Program twice in Orlando, FL before, Glendale, CA is much, much farther away). Anyway, I applied. Jae is always supporting me and telling me to try new things. I do the same for him, supporting him in his endeavors and sharing my advice and know-how when he requires and asks for it. We’re a good support team, I think. I look up to him, even though he’s five years younger than me. I wonder if he realizes just how much I admire his confidence, passion, strength, and knowledge.

Anyway, now Jae is playing away on our new Wii U (Super Smash Bros. Wii U) and it’s almost 2 AM. I’m so tired. Please bear with me. Also, I typed this entire thing (twice, by the way) without my glasses on. I feel a slight headache starting. Ah, good night all! Look for my words again soon.

-Soleil

Rainstorms and Tea

It started to downpour as I finished the Pilot episode of AMC’s TURN. So, I’ve shut off the air conditioner and televsion and opened the door to listen to the rain. It really is a lovely sound. I like the way the raindrops patter off the maple leaves of the tree just outside the windows. Plus, there is always the refreshing scent of moist earth after a storm. Supposedly, the forecast warns of thunderstorms off and on for the next three hours. It’s funny. I used to be terrified of thunderstorms when I was little, but after spending a year down in Florida and experiencing their thunderstorms, I find the ones here at home much more simple and kind. That being said, I think that I enjoy them now. Although, the occasional unsuspecting clap of thunder does startle me and send my heart racing.

Haha, now the tree frogs have started to croak. Guess they like the rain, too. Anyway, I want to talk about this Pilot episode a bit. AMC’s TURN just started last year, apparently, but I’ve only just recently come across it on Netflix (can you tell that I’m a Netflix enthusiast, yet?). It really took me until midway to 3/4 of the way through the hour-long episode to figure out who was who and their relations to one another. I’m not saying that it’s not interesting, and I’ll definitely be trying the second episode soon, just that it was a bit confusing at the start. It built up ground, though, as it went.

In other news, I started my commission yesterday. After buying the supplies this past weekend, I sat down last night and sketched out the two dogs I’ll be painting onto a 16×20 canvas. I had planned to start painting it today, but after blood-work yesterday, resulting in a bruised left arm today, and a trip to the dermatologist (which I listened to the Siriusly Sinatra channel on my way there) and having an incision made into my right arm, both are rather sore and I don’t want to put them to the constant up and down and sideways strokings that paintbrushes require. But, I’ll probably attempt it tomorrow for a bit and see how it goes…. I’d love to share the finished product with you all once I’ve finished it. In fact, I would post the progress photos I have already taken, but since this is a piece for a customer, I want to ask their permission to share the images. After all, I’m painting a portrait of her two dogs. Maybe she won’t want it to be shared? I will ask.

Hm, the rain seems to have stopped for now. I hope it picks back up, though. In the meantime, maybe my younger brother will return home from Starbucks with that green tea lemonade I asked for earlier. Since he went to Starbucks originally to meet a friend of his, I doubt I’ll get my drink any time soon, haha!

I might write more later tonight. In fact, I’m thinking that I most likely will. So, look for my words again soon.

-Soleil

Oh, P.S.. On a side note, I had the sudden thought last night while watching Naruto, that Lord Orochimaru could well be the original Lord Voldemort, what with his affixation on snakes, his pale skin, and dangerous demeanor. That is all.

A Variety of Shows

Currently, Naruto is playing on Netflix while I type. I’m only on the first season at the moment, though I have watched this season before, years back. I’m re-watching to refresh my memory a bit before skipping back to where I had been. My younger brother watches with me, but he’s gotten ahead of me to Season 2, watching Naruto episodes while I was watching my Korean shows. Hah, speaking of which, I just finished “Coffee Prince” last night. I will take a small break from these shows to catch up on the movies that I have been collecting onto my List. My tastes range from French movies and shows like “Populaire” (as I’m a French minor, it’s good for audio comprehension, and I highly recommend this particular movie), to “Daddy Long Legs” with Frank Sinatra (I love Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby! -insert heartfelt sigh here-), to anime shows like “Ouran High School Host Club” and “My Bride is a Mermaid”, to documentaries like “Myths in the Museum”, “Egypt”, and “Spy in the Den” animal shows. Plus, I enjoy historical fictions, like “Downton Abbey”, “TURN: Washington’s Spies”, and so on. All in all, I enjoy a variety of show themes and genres, except Horror and Suspense. Oh, and I absolutely am in love with the reboot of BBC’s “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock”!

I want to say more, but I’m not sure what else to type at the moment. Please give me some time. I’ll post again. Look for my words soon!

-Soleil

 

A Good Title Should Go Here….

Good afternoon to one and all. Already, I have received warm welcomes from the wordpress blogoverse. Thank you so much for your kind words and greetings. They are so sweet! =) Now, if you are celebrating Memorial Day, also, then I wish you a good holiday! My Pepere, uncle and aunt, just left, wrapping up our little cookout. It was very nice.

A small update on my early morning struggles: I decided to try and get some sleep. I went back to bed listening to the morning birds awaken and chirp their greetings to one another and the jackdaw widow finally quiet down. It was so nice to hear, that I turned off my fan and opened both windows in my room to listen to them as I curled back up under my covers. It was so peaceful. Even the dog slumbering at my feet was a warm comfort. Ah….so nice. However, I did make sure to drag myself up and out of bed again only a few hours later at 11:30 AM so that, hopefully, I can find a much easier sleep tonight.

Would you like to know my current thoughts now, since that is the point of my blog here? I have always considered myself a bit of a tomboy, but there are those rare moments where I really feel girly and cute. Growing up, we spent a majority of our time with my mother’s family. I was the only girl out of the children for twelve years until my youngest cousin was born a girl, too. So, I grew up with two younger brothers, and two younger boy cousins, as well. I think I have always gotten along better with boys than I have girls. But, then, sometimes I’m afraid that I act too boyish and that is why the boys I like never feel the same about me. It is these times that I most wish I was a girly girl who wore makeup every day and cared about styling my hair and looking pretty. But, then I realize I can’t function that way. As an artist, I find it pointless to put makeup on when I’ll just end up with graphite, ink, or paint on my face, or do my hair pretty, since I’ll just tie it up or shove it under a cap to keep out of my way, or wear nice clothes that might get ruined and stained by the oil and acrylic paints I use. Hum, hum, hm…this is just my current contemplation.

Look for my words again!

-Soleil