Tag Archives: Books

What I’ve Been Up To (An Update)

Guys! I have totally failed in my upkeeping this “daily entry” thing for you on my blog here. It’s just…I’ve had a busy few past couple of days.

With school starting next week (-gasp!-), I’ve had to get my school supplies and text books. I’m taking some pretty interesting classes, yay!

  1. Anatomy for the Artist
  2. Elementary Japanese
  3. Public Speaking
  4. Intro to Astronomy (Online!)

I’m still trying to figure out how I’m supposed to take an Astronomy class online, but I did sign up for it myself, and it is a college course (since I’m in University and all), but I’m curious how they’re going to structure it. For example, will I have to meet on campus some nights to go to the observatory and look at certain stars and planets and such? I don’t mind, I’m just curious if that will be a thing.

Ah...DW quotes...and Van Gogh! -sigh-

Ah…DW quotes…and Van Gogh! -sigh-

Oh, um, also, I hurt my ankle.

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Yeah…. You see, I was babysitting a 4-year old. Well, I let the family dog outside and when I heard him barking, I thought maybe there was a gate in the fence in the backyard that might have been open, so I went to check while the 4-year old watched “Spiderman”! So, I ran after the dog, and there was apparently this hole in the yard…that I didn’t see, and my foot went into it…and my ankle went POP! Yeah…it hurt a lot after that. So to the ER I went (after babysitting of course), dun dun daa! I was there until 2AM!

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This was my result:

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My poor ankle and leg, all wrapped up and held together with a stirrup splint. Woe is me! Well, I mean, it could have been way worse! The good news is that it’s not broken and there were no fractures in the bones. The bad news is that I may have torn a ligament, tendon, or muscle. The doctor at the ER told me to keep off my foot for the next week, use the crutches they gave to me, and keep my foot wrapped. Keep it elevated, stay off of it, nurse it, be kind to it. Basically, (don’t) run. -wink wink there, Whovians-

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Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

P.S. This has secretly really been a big Doctor Who-themed post, hahaha!

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Beni’s Walk, Emma, and ED Baker

Good afternoon world!

Day Six of our family vacation is in full swing! While my parents and brother and his girlfriend and her two sisters are at the beach (see, we only have 6 beach tags, so one of us had to stay behind…. Side Rant: I think it’s quite incredulous that you need to buy tags to go onto a beach. A beach should be public property where families and friends can go to relax. But, no, some towns and cities actually charge you to use their beaches! How demanding! What is this world coming to?). Ahem, anyway. I decided to walk Beni around town while they enjoy the sun and surf. I’m pretty beached out anyway and could use a day to relax from the surf, sand, and sun.

Beni and I made plenty of friends on our walk today. She is an ever-popular dog. I guess it helps that she’s super adorable and very socialable and friendly. I walked her 10 blocks to Starbucks. Once there, the lady at the window where I placed my order for iced green tea gave me a treat for Beni. That was nice. She asked if I was a dog walker, because when I went to this same Starbucks and this same girl was my server earlier in the week, I had been walking Leila, then. I told her no, I just have different dogs, haha! Beni and I then sat at a table outside and relaxed in the shade of the awning over the building while I drank my tea. I have a portable dog bowl that folds up, so I undid that and gave Beni some fresh, cool water to drink, too.

While I sat there, I met two men who are here on vacation from Albania! I thought at first that they were speaking French, and when I said that, the one guy snorted into his drink. I guess he found it funny. But they were speaking Albanian! I’m just glad they weren’t speaking French because I thought for a moment that maybe I forgot all that I’ve learned and practiced when I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying.

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Well, that being said, once Beni and I were done with our drinks and our break, I walked her 10 blocks back to our shore house. Now, she’s passed out on our couch, sleeping. What a cutie.

I found a new webcomic! It’s called “Emma”! Well, actually, DeviantArt introduced me to it, but that’s beside the point (or is it? Hm….). Here’s the link, so check it out: Emma: The Online Comic.

I think that’s it for now? Other than that, I’m reading E.D. Baker’s “The Frog Princess” series. Did you know that her book is what Disney’s “The Frog Princess” was based off of? It was written back in the early 2000s. Since I have to wait for October for the other book in her newer series to come out, I figured I’d re-read her first series since I:

  1. Can’t quite remember it. And….
  2. Am not quite sure that I ever finished the whole series.

I’m off to do some more reading (and writing probably). I’ll post some more pictures from my vacation later.

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

An Unanswerable Question, Perhaps, and the Problem With The “Fairest of All”

Hello! Good evening! Good morning! Which is it, huh? It says AM because it’s past midnight, but it’s still dark out, therefore still night time. So, so, which is it? Which is it, I demand to know!

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Yeah, me either.

So, anyway, I finished “Fairest of All” a few hours ago. The book I mentioned in my last post. You know the one. Well, you know the one I mentioned if you actually read my last post. (You guys aren’t slacking and just skimming through, right? -poignant stare-

Ahem, ahem, digressing again. Back to the topic on hand (dun dun DA!)!

The book is about 200 pages, a bit more or so, and tells the tragic backstory of the Wicked Queen from the fairytale of Snow White. Ah, but it’s apparently Disney’s version of her backstory, as written by Serena Valentino and published by Disney Hyperion. It seems that Disney has a sort of “Backstory Bug” nowadays. Serena Valentino has even published the next book I’m reading: “The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince”, which is the prelude to Beauty and the Beast’s story and how Prince Adam became a Beast in the first place. Because the simply wonderful prologue at the beginning movie (narrated by the enchantingly lovely voice of David Ogden Stiers -sighs appreciatively (ah, but you might know him better as the voice of Cogsworth, or Ratcliffe in “Pocahontas“, as Jumba in “Lilo & Stitch“, or as Kamaji in “Spirited Away“!)) apparently wasn’t enough justice to his story. Ah, but I can’t really knock the book until after I’ve read it, right?

That being said, that means I can give way to my opinion about Fairest of All at least. The tale itself was fine, but I felt it dragged on a bit too much at times. The Queen spiraled and there was a lot of unnecessary dialogue and descriptions that felt as if they were there to lengthen the story but not enhance it. Of course, they are trying to sell the reason of why the Queen became Wicked and wanted to kill her stepdaughter, Snow White for being Fairest in the Land over herself. It’s not a far-fetched concept, mind you, for why she grew to loathe her daughter…no, that’s not the right word because she kept saying she was doing it out of love. Really, basically, the Queen had convinced herself that what she was doing to Snow White was out of love and she was trying to protect the girl from the pain that love could bring and blah, blah, blah and other selfish nonsense.

So, as far as I’m concerned, this story can go in the same pile of rubbish that I placed the recent “Maleficent” movie into (you know the one, it just came out, with Angelina Jolie as the title character):

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And no, I didn’t like the movie. I thought it was silly. I didn’t like how Disney tried to make Maleficent more “humanized”, how they tried to make you feel sad for her and want to side with her. No! She is supposed to be the “Misstress of ALL Evil” here, folks! Personally, in my own opinion, Disney is starting a terrible trek down a road that is ruining their Villains Franchise. They’re called Villains for a reason.

Ahem, that is all about that topic. However, I am sort of hoping that Ms. Valentino’s next book which I will start tonight/this morning (still not clear on that one. XD), “The Beast Within” will be a better concept. Also, there are WAY more links in this post than in any of my others! Whew! XD

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

Hello! I’m a Renaissance Girl!

Being a chauffeur is very interesting. To be honest, I only drive the same lady around once a week, on Tuesdays. She gave up her license awhile ago for vision problems and recently asked me to drive her around. So, I complied. After all, I had posted on my community forum that I was available for odd jobs. Plus, I get to catch up on a lot of reading and writing between her errands. For example, right now she’s in a salon getting a mani/pedi and I’m sitting in the parking lot, mooching off of McDonald’s free Wi-Fi to post to you guys. But, just prior to logging on here, I was reading “Fairest of All” by Serena Valentino. It’s a book published by Disney Hyperion and it’s the backstory of the Evil Queen from Snow White. So far, it’s interesting, but more on that later….

To be honest, I really like to work on odd jobs like this. I consider myself a sort of Renaissance girl. “Renaissance” being used in the same way Da Vinci is described as a Renaissance man. Someone who is capable and knowledgeable in more than one field. I love to learn new things, from needlepoint, to cross-stitching, to baking and cooking, to fixing the plumbing for a sink, to tiling a roof! I find it all interesting! I’d like to learn as much as I can!

If you ever asked me, I could easily help you to throw a pot (that means make one on a spin-disc), fire it in the kiln, and glaze it for you. I could make teacups or tea pots or plates or bowls. I can make vases, and busts and statues. From wood, I can make you picture frames, or chairs, or tables, or even a bookcase or bedframe! Want something carved or etched out of wood or stone? I can do that, too! My next endeavor is to take a class on stained glass making and glass-blowing. My Aunt and Uncle in Massachusetts own a stained glass shop where they make everything they sell and they have offered to teach me all they know if I stay with them for a summer. As for glass-blowing, well, I live near a village that does all of that, including making bottles, lamps, china, etc. all from glass! They have regular classes on how to do make all sorts of things from glass.

I like to work outside and with flowers and plants. I like to fish and swim and kayak and canoe. I can sail a boat (though I really should renew my boating license for verifiability’s verifiability’s (is that even a word?) sake), and I can teach you how to camp. I can whistle with my hands like an owl (and a few other bird calls), I can drive a manual or automatic vehicle.

If I don’t know how to do something and someone asks me for help, I teach myself how to do it. Like I said, I find odd jobs and work like this entertaining.

Actually, I was just telling my mother last night how happy I am to be not working in the car dealership industry any more. I worked in two different dealerships in the past year and I didn’t realize how unhappy I was there in those environments until now while looking for a new job. Of course, now I have a new job in Interior Design (which is way more up my alley with my art degree), but I’ll continue my odd job escapades.

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Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

What’s In A Name?: A Custom Design Commission!

Today I finished painting the name onto the boat, as I had planned. So….TA-DA:

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Since the sailboat is a Western White Potter sailboat, they decided to name it Harry’s Potter, you know, after the Harry Potter books and movies. I’m pretty sure that I said that in my previous post…. XD

Anyway, that’s my design and they love it! So, yay! Got a portion of my payment today and picking up the rest tomorrow. I’m also going to Red Robin tomorrow to see if they had a chance to review my application and to hand in my resume. It would be nice to have a steady job again instead of side jobs. -fingers crossed here- Not that I mind side jobs. They’re fun!

For finishing my commission today, I treated myself to ramen at the ramen bar “Hiro’s Ramen” in Philadelphia again. I took my youngest brother, Jae, with me. We got there a half hour before they closed, but they were kind enough to let us come in and order. We ate as quickly as we could so as not to hinder them too long. It was delicious!

Philadelphia is pretty at nighttime because everything is lit up! Also, there isn’t as much traffic at night.

Ah, home now and it’s nice and relaxing. Mom has HGTV on and it’s one of those “International House Hunters” shows. The couple in the show is looking for a home in Warwick, England. It looks so pretty! I love those thatched roof homes with the timber-styled woodwork. -sigh- It’s so pretty.

Look for my words again soon, I’m going to do some writing.

-Soleil

Between Errands

Yesterday morning and this morning, I woke to find that our youngest dog (she’ll be 2 in October) had piled all of her toys on top of me in my bed. She then sat down next to my bed staring at me until I sat up. Obviously, it was time to play. So, I collected her toys, set them aside momentarily to go through my morning routine of getting dressed and feeding myself (she’d already been fed so that was one less thing to do) and then commenced a lovely play session. Her favorite thing to do is to play fetch.

Then I went out to begin working on a sailboat. I’ve been commissioned to paint the name onto the port and lee sides of the hull at the stern of the boat. Since it’s a Western Potter sailboat, the family has decided to name it “Harry’s Potter” since they enjoy the Harry Potter books and movies so much. I managed to draw the design onto both sides before it began to grow dark, so my plan is to return to the boatyard and paint the designs today. Once it’s done, I’ll be sure to take pictures and share them with you all! I really do like the design I came up with for them. They wanted it to have Harry Potter and Nautical influences and they really love the design I drew. So, as soon as it’s painted, I’ll share the completed project with you all!

Right now, I’m sitting in my car, waiting. On Tuesdays, I drive around an old schoolmate’s stepmother so that she can do her errands. She can’t drive anymore and gave up her license a bit ago, so I help out and take her out on Tuesdays. It’s a nice little break in my schedule. Anyway, I’m waiting because she went into a shop and I have time to waste before she needs me to pick her up. Although, I never go far. Since I don’t have any errands to do myself today (aside from go paint a name on a boat), I decided to wait in the parking lot and play on my laptop. =)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day! It’s very hot here today. I have my windows down but the fact that my laptop is burning my legs doesn’t help with the whole heat factor. This post is done. It’s too hot to keep my laptop here. Haha!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

Playing With Fire: A Writer’s Life for Me!

For anyone who would like to get to know me better, know this: I like bonfires.

Not those massively large ones that people of yore (or maybe they still do?) dance around, but a nice simple campfire-sized bonfire. Like the one I’ve made tonight:

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I made it myself, I’m so proud! I spent an hour prior to this accomplishment, walking around my yard (my 2.5 acre yard…so exhausting! whew!) collecting twigs and sticks to use as fodder and feed so as to keep my fire burning well after dark.

I like to sit outside on my patio furniture, which I set up in the small courtyard out of my back door, because I don’t have a patio to use. So, I sit at my iron-wrought table and on a wooden chair (with matching benches and footrests) that my Pepere made for me and my family a few years back, and I write. I love to write outside, with a fresh pad of paper or an already in-use notebook, and a pen with ink (I’ve come to find that over time and multiple presses of pencil on paper, that pencil fades quickly and by the time I’m finished filling my notebook, the words I wrote at the start are much fainter than the ones I just finished).

I often struggle between my two passions of art and writing. Both are vying to be dominant in my life and I’m not sure which I want to make a career of, yet. I’m 25, I really should get the ball moving here….

Oh, Richard Hammond seems confused. Yes, yes, 25, still attending college (3 semesters left, but hey! I’ve been paying out of pocket, no loans please (although, I had to break down and take out a small loan a year ago…BUT, only $7,000 in debt! I can’t say I don’t pity those students who have racked up $70,000+ in student loans) …of course, that makes it take longer….)

Anyway, I like to write. I write a lot…A LOT! I prefer to write fiction, fantasy, and adventure, although, I’ve been dabbling in some sci-fi lately. My favorite things to write about are myths and legends and fables and fairytales, like fractured fairytales! Actually, fractured fairytales are some of my favorite reads nowadays! E.D. Baker is an exquisite fractured fairytale writer and my favorite, if anyone is interested in looking into the genre….

Let’s see, I really do write a lot. I always have a notebook and pen with me (one that can fit in my bag. (I usually have a backpack, though). I write while I’m standing in line at the store, or when I’m riding the bus, or am a passenger in a car. I write when I’m exercising on a stationary bike, during TV commercials, and the list really does go on from there.

Someday, I hope to be a well-established author, like E.D. Baker, Brian Jacques, or the guy who writes those “Game of Throne” books, uh…George R.R. Martin (and yes, I had to Google his name, and no, I have not read the books, nor do I watch the TV series that airs on HBO). There are other books and shows on my list that I’m trying to catch up with, so “Game of Thrones” is currently on the backburner. No worries, I’ll catch up eventually and give it a chance.

Of course, it would be nice to be as successful as J.K. Rowling and have a book I write (or a series, which I am currently working on) become a movie. Really, I think that would be thrilling! I’d want to work with the screen writer’s, though. I’ve taken classes on script writing for movies, TV, and theater. I think that’d be interesting, too.

Well, there you have it, I like to write. AND, you know a few more things about me now:

1. I’m 25 and still in college (going for a B.A. (Bachelor’s in Art. I already have an A.F.A.: an Associates in Fine Art) And I’m Minoring in French.)

2. I’ve just slipped that je parle française. Mon famille est Canadienne-Française! La plupart de la famille de ma mère parle français. J’aime parler avec eux. (Maybe I’ll do some posts in French!)

3. I like to have bonfires and write.

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil