Monday, April 5, 2021

Writing Jack.

To my dearest friends and followers,

I had two recent goals in my journal that I'd like to share with you. First, I'd like to say, you can get the journal I have and others (which I handmade) from my Ko-fi shop for yourself or for the perfect Mother's Day (May 9th) gift!! Anyhow, one of my goals is that I finish reading The Golden Fleece by Robert Graves by or on March 31st. The other is that I begin writing my novel again.

I am proud to say that I finished reading the book exactly on schedule!! The Golden Fleece is an amazing piece of literature, published in the 1940's. It is both beautiful and tragic, funny at times, and a bit dull at times too. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, it really honors the epics that came before it, and if you enjoy The Odyssey and The Iliad half as much as I do, I think you'll really enjoy The Golden Fleece

With that wonderful distraction of a book out of my way, I feel like I am ready to start writing again!! In September last year, I began working on my second novel, The Death of Jack. I wrote only a few thousand words, and then in November, I partook in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and finished with over 50k words written!! I took a little break, and then my sister came for Christmas, and then she stayed for 22 days instead of the 9 days we planned for, and then I began working on a few other projects, and then I really wanted to finish the book I was reading before I began working on my own, and now here am I. 
For those of you who don't know, The Death of Jack is the sequel to my first novel, The Story of Hollyhocks. The story isn't going to pick up directly where the first book left off, but instead, it is going to serve as a prequel almost, the first half of the book takes place in a time long before the Hollyhocks's story is told, while the second half of the book will eventually lead us to what happens after the events of the first book. I hope to have the story completed by the end of May, if not sooner. I'll definitely be keeping you up to date on how my progress is going. To learn more about The Death of Jack, click here: My NaNoWriMo Project.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Check out the Journals in my shop!!

Peter Pan and Me.

To my dearest friends and followers,

So many of us, as small children, dreamt about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I remember wanting to be a singer and an artist.
Sadly, when we grow up, many of us don't live those dreams and instead feel lost, spending so much time wondering what we want to do. I have personally known people who have said to me, "I always wanted to do _____ (fill in the blank)," or "I always wanted to be a _____ (fill in the blank)." It's so sad to me. Why didn't they spend their time doing what they always wanted to do instead of working so hard at something they didn't like? There was always a reason of course, and it's always one of these 3 reasons: "I needed to make money" or "I didn't have the time" or "I needed to get a real job."

I wish these people had someone in their life to tell them it was ok to pursue their dreams. I wish someone had encouraged them to work hard at what they wanted, not at what they didn't want. I would rather live my life knowing I tried my best, whether I succeeded or not, than to live with regrets, forever wishing I had done that one thing, or worked a different job, etc. I firmly believe if you truly want something, you have to go for it. Don't spend the rest of your life wishing you had.

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was about 12 years old. And so I became a writer. I wrote my first ever novella, which ended up being just under 20k words. I then went on to write 3 more novellas, a bunch of flash fiction and short stories, and 1 novel. I only recently became a published author, but I became a writer the moment I began writing.
 
Some of you may know, I knew I wanted to be a writer when I read Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. I remember after I finished the book, I had a bizarre dream which inspired my first novella, The Enchanted Island

There were so many reasons I loved Peter Pan as much as I did and still love it to this day. I think the reasons I loved it back then were a lot simpler than the understanding I have for it now.
Wendy, John, and Michael, were all very fun characters. Getting to see the dreams of the children was always such a memorable image: one child dreaming that the island had birds flying over it, the other child dreaming that the bird had islands flying over it.

I loved the first interaction with Peter and Wendy, as it was both very telling of who these characters were, but also quite humorous to me at the time. Peter is obviously crying because he cannot get his shadow to stick, but when Wendy wakes up and asks, "Boy, why are you crying?" Peter instead asks her what her name is, and the conversation shifts away from the topic Wendy asked about. Only when Wendy learns that Peter has no mother, she says to him, "No wonder you were crying." Peter denies it of course.
And there was always something so enchanting about the line "come away, come away," leading the children to the adventures Neverland had to offer. I remember being nearly equally as excited to read about the fairies and mermaids and pirates and native Indians as the children were to see them!! I remember well the little house built for Wendy when the Lost Boys think she is dead (after they shot at her under Tinker Bell's orders). I remember the narrator taking an entire chapter to decide which of the children's adventures to tell us, because there were too many to tell them all. I remember the 20 questions "played" between Hook and Peter. I remember the lines, "Pan, who and what art thou?" he [Hook] cried huskily, to which Peter replies, "I am youth, I am joy!" That answer still gives me shivers.

I remember thinking Peter Pan was the first book to ever evoke a certain feeling in me. It made me feel...I'm not sure. Alive. Infinite. I remember so many lines that were beautifully and poetically written. It made me appreciate the little moments both in the book and in my daily life. I remember thinking to myself, "I want to write something like that. I want to write something as good as that."

Looking at the story now, I see it very differently, though my love for it remains the same. 
I love the childhood innocence it brings. The first line of the book is, "All children, except one, grow up." It sets the stage, almost seeming to state that it is sad that all children grow up. Peter is different though. I think that's a sad thing as well as beautiful. As I got older, I began to think that even though Peter says he doesn't want to grow up, I think he is scared to. He's afraid of feelings, he's afraid of abandonment.

The book we know as Peter Pan started out as a novelette titled The Little White Bird. Though this original version written by J.M. Barrie portrayed Peter as much younger than he would later become, the story itself was much darker. Much like in Peter Pan, Peter was a baby when he ran away from home to live in Kensington Gardens (I don't know how babies run away from home, but he did). However, in the original version, he never ages past babyhood. He never doubts that his mother will love him, and so he assumes the window will always be open to him, should he ever wish to return. Eventually he does decide to go home, but finds he cannot enter, as the window is closed. He perceives his mother has forgotten him and moved on.

We see this theme in the version that would later become popularized. Wendy and her brothers leave home to go to Neverland with Peter. Wendy's mother, Mrs. Darling, leaves the window open for them to return. Peter is selfish and wishes for Wendy to stay with him and thus flies back to Wendy's house to close the window, hoping Wendy will think her mother has forgotten her and have no reason to return home. However, Mrs. Darling opens it again. I also noticed how Peter wants Wendy to be his and the Lost Boys' "mother". Maybe this is because he secretly does wish for that affection, to be loved as any child does.

I have also noticed some other dark themes in the book. Like the fact that Peter kills the Lost Boys without any hesitancy, as well as the pirates and anyone else he sees fit to. One of the things that always stuck out to me as being disturbing though is when we learn that Peter would alter the boys, not the tree, if they could no longer fit into the tree that served as the door to their underground dwelling-place. He also kills the boys who start to grow up. We see that Tinker Bell wanted to kill Wendy because she was jealous. We see the mermaids trying to drown Wendy, again jealous that Peter has brought a girl to the island. And the scary thing? No one seems to have remorse. No one comes to the realization that what they are doing is not ok.

At one point in the book, we see Peter and Wendy and the boys playing pretend - even carrying it as far as to pretend to eat. They do this because Peter tells them to. And they don't dare tell Peter that they're still hungry. Why? Maybe he would kill them. But this shows us a Peter who is so disconnected from reality, that he doesn't seem to even be aware that they can't always play pretend when it comes to eating. I remember thinking as a child, "Wouldn't he get hungry too and then the game would be over?" But that question is never answered, at least not that I am aware of.

Peter has many bad qualities, some of which Wendy even takes notice of. In the first chapter, it says, "...he is rather cocky," Wendy admitted with regret. And later, she hides in her bed after he impudently takes credit for the work she did in getting his shadow to stick. The narrator tells us he is "a sly one" and that he became "frightfully cunning." Mind you, this is all the while he is trying to convince Wendy to go to Neverland with him. But he is also filled with a sense of childlike wonder at the world around him, has a great sense of adventure, and can be quite charming when the moment suits him, such as the time he said Wendy's name in "a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist." It is even said, as we learn in the first chapter, that he cares for the children who have died and accompanies them halfway to the other side, so they won't be scared.
Oddly enough, I think it is the bad qualities as well as the good ones that make him likable and memorable. He will be your best friend so long as you are a child at heart and want to have fun. He will fight for what he believes is right, and do everything he can to protect those he cares about.

I think Peter Pan is the embodiment of all of our desires to be a child again, but perhaps the darkness in him is also the darkness in us as adults, like he is a man and a boy all at once - who we are and who we want to be.
I think we would all like to be taken back to a time when our lives were easier, and when we had that sense of wonder, like anything were possible and we believed in everything.

As someone who very much holds on to my past, this book is so good and so beloved and so special to me for many reasons.
I think you can see the inspirations from it in my own novel, The Story of Hollyhocks. While I wrote about my own experiences, I masked them in a medieval fantasy setting. I wrote about a child seeing the darkness in the world for the first time, and coming to terms with that, that it's not as beautiful and perfect as she thought. She's trying to find herself, trying to find happiness again, and seeking to hold on to that childlike innocence and trying to believe that there is still good in the world. This is a theme that runs throughout my first book and my second book (which I am still writing). It's something I really hold on to - the idea of there being beauty in childhood and never losing that, or "never losing the light," as my character would say.

Thank you so much for reading.

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Check out my favorite movie adaptations of Peter Pan:
Peter Pan (2003)
Neverland (2011)
Here are the books I own/want to own:
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
The Little White Bird - illustrated by Arthur Rackham 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Greek Literature (and why it matters).

 To my dearest friends and followers,

Last week I shared on my blog my love for Greek mythology and Greek literature. Today, as someone who has appreciated both for over a decade, I'm here to explain why I think they matter and how the Greeks have influenced the modern Western world.

While the people of ancient Sumer (a region in Mesopotamia, or modern-day Iraq) were the first known civilization to have a written language in a script known as cuneiform, and the Chinese were the first to have invented a complex writing system, the Greeks were the first European civilization to create complex literature, including history, philosophy, comedy, and poetry.
In fact, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) wrote mostly comedies, tragedies, and poetry, and further popularized the writing style heavily influenced by the Greeks. Until the mid 1800's, most literature produced in the Western world was written by writers who were extremely familiar with Greek traditions and Greek literature. 

Epic poetry is believed to be the oldest form of literature and is verse which tells a long story about a hero.
The oldest known epics are The Iliad and The Odyssey, believed to have been written by Homer around 800 BC. Both of Homer's works are some of the most read books today, as they set the standards for storytelling, such as the characteristics of a heroes journey and how we still tell stories to this day.

Around 1990, American professor of literature, Joseph Campbell, recognized the patterns in Greek storytelling and defined what he called "the hero's journey," the path that every hero takes. The basic stages of the hero's journey are: ordinary life, call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting the mentor, crossing the threshold, trials and enemies, approach the inmost cave, the ordeal, the reward, the road back, resurrection, return from the unknown, and coming full circle again, ordinary life. It was this formula or template which made every story interesting and memorable. This pattern is seen over and over again in modern storytelling, whether it be on screen or in a book, and it almost always guarantees a satisfying story to the consumer. Just a few examples of stories which follow the hero's journey include The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Star Wars, Sam Raimi's Spider Man movies, The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, Kung Fu Panda, Finding Nemo, and Mulan.

The Greeks have influenced the Western world in more ways than just through storytelling though.
They contributed heavily to modern mathematics and geometry. 
Hippocrates established a medical school and had an empirical-ethical viewpoint. He is still considered the founder of modern medicine. 
Hipparchus of Nicaea, who was an early Greek astronomer, "discovered" the earth's axis, and claimed that the sun was at the center of the solar system.

Plays had been around for a long time, though they were primarily tragedies performed at religious ceremonies and festivals. Aeschylus introduced the then foreign idea of having multiple characters on a stage at once, interacting with dialogue, thus changing the way plays were performed forever. Sophocles and Aristophanes then introduced other types of plays to the already popular tragedies, such as comedies and satire.

The court system and trial by jury was invented by the early Greeks.
Architecture invented by them can still be seen today, such as the capital buildings in the United States, and the British Museum in London. Even the design of modern theaters dates back to ancient Greece. 
The English alphabet is largely influenced by the Greeks. 
The popular Olympic games originated in Greece around 770 BC. The period of 4 years in between games was called an "olympiad" and was used to measure the time rather than years. The games were named after Mount Olympus, where the Greeks believed the Olympian gods ruled from. Originally, the Olympic games were held every 4 years to honor the gods, Zeus in particular.

Greek influence is found everywhere. Look at the logo for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. It's a sandal with wings on it, the shoes worn by the Greek god Hermes (Roman equivalent, Mercury), who was the swift messenger of the gods. Think of the medical symbol with a snake (or two snakes) wrapped around a rod or staff. The staff with two snakes and wings on the top, Caduceus, was held by Hermes. The rod with a single snake, the Rod of Asclepius, was held by the god of healing, Asclepius. Starbucks Coffee uses the twin tailed siren from Greek mythology as their logo. Nike, Inc. is named after Nike, the goddess of speed, strength, and victory. Dove soap is named after the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, whose symbol and sacred animal was the dove. Venus razors for women are also named after the goddess Aphrodite, whose Roman equivalent is Venus.

As I said, Greek influence is everywhere in the modern Western world. I believe, to better understand where that comes from, and to understand how storytelling came to be what it is today, Greek literature is a great place to start.
Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Check out my Ko-fi shop where you can get my YA fantasy novel or handmade fairy journals!!

Friday, March 5, 2021

It's All Greek To Me.

To my dearest friends and followers,

Today I want to talk about something I haven't brought up in several blog posts, and that is books - or more specifically, the books I've read.
As some of you may know, I love Greek mythology and have for the past 10 years.
My first introduction to Greek literature / mythology was when I was taking an English college course (while I was still in high-school), and one of the assigned books was The Odyssey. For the same course, I then had to read Oedipus Rex, and The Aeneid. Later, for my own pleasure-reading, I read The Iliad.

At the end of the course, I was glad I had taken it!! While it was extremely stressful at times, it was also the best course I believe I ever took. So many of the books I read for that class (and there were 18 of them) were, in my opinion, just awful (based on the extremely disturbing content only), while some changed my life. Of those, were Shakespeare's writings, and of course, The Odyssey.

The protagonist is Odysseus, from where we literally get the word "odyssey", and the story tells of his travels home to Ithaca after the fall of Troy. The story is filled with every human emotion, evoking those same feelings into the reader. Every moment in the story is memorable, from Penelope weaving and unweaving a shroud to delay a marriage to one of the many suitors waiting for her that she might wait for the return of her husband, to Odysseus filling his crew's ears with beeswax that he might hear the song of the sirens, to his crew being turned into pigs, to his arrival home dressed as a beggar.

My all time favorite part of the book was when Odysseus encounters the cyclopes, Polyphemus. It is just one look at how Odysseus changes throughout the story. Odysseus, who could before say, "I am Odysseus" and strike fear in to his enemies, says, "I am nobody" to avoid being captured by the cyclopes. It always stuck with me to see how much the man had been through, and how much he was being humbled in a way - it was still a humorous scene to me though.

During the same year I took the course, the Percy Jackson movie came out. I watched it, didn't like it, but felt there was potential there. So I asked my mom for the box set of books, and I read them all in about 2 weeks. They were AMAZING!! Filled with all of the Greek charm that captivated me in The Odyssey, but told through the eyes of a modern character, only a couple years younger than me at the time. It was silly and funny, but also filled with roots in Greek mythology, memorable characters, heart-wrenching backstories, and just plain good story telling. It also shows very plainly how much the Greeks influenced modern western civilization. Over the span of 15 years, the author, Rick Riordan, wrote a total of 15 novels which told the story of Percy Jackson and other characters from the universe. Sadly, in 2020, the final book was released, but I'm excited about the series the author and his wife are working on with the team at Disney+.

Somewhat recently, I discovered who Robert Graves was. For those of you who are unsure, he was an English writer, born in 1895, and died in 1985. He is author of circa 140 different works, including Hercules, My Shipmate, A.K.A., The Golden Fleece.
I am currently reading it and listening to it on Audible. It's a little bit of a heavy read due to 1. the time it was written, and 2. the fact that it heavily echoes the writing style of Homer. It's really good and to anyone who likes any of the books I've been talking about, I think you'll like it too!! 
My only complaint is that, while the story is set in the mythological Greece, the character Hercules is called, well, Hercules. Are you confused yet? Let me explain.

In Greek mythology, Zeus had a child with a mortal woman and named the child Heracles, in honor of Zeus' wife, Hera. The name literally meant "Hera's glory" or "glory to Hera".
The Roman equivalent of Heracles was Hercules. Zeus became Jupiter and Hera became Juno. Therefore, the Latin name Hercules no longer held the same Greek meaning. So the fact that Robert Graves set the book in Greece and still called the character by his Roman name is a pet peeve of mine if you couldn't tell. XD

I suppose this post was a long way for me to tell you what book I'm reading right now. XD
I think next week I'll write a post about why Greek Literature is so good and why it is important and still relevant.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Make sure you check out my Ko-fi shop where you can support me, buy handmade fairy journals, or check out the YA fantasy novel I wrote!!
What I'm currently reading: The Golden Fleece by Robert Graves
There's a new "Shop" button on the tab bar. Check it out!!
Did you notice? I have a new "Support me" button on my blog that moves with the page (on the bottom left). How cool is that?!

Friday, February 26, 2021

Fairy Journals.

    

To my dearest friends and followers,

Towards the end of 2020, I released a revised edition of my novel. Due to the screwed-up system that is Amazon, I had to find another way for people to buy said revised edition in time for Christmas. So I opened a shop on Ko-fi, where my book could be purchased directly from me.

For a while now, I've wanted to sell handmade journals or bookmarks or drawings - long before I ever heard of Ko-fi. In fact, I think it was in 2015-ish that I first began thinking of starting a shop.
For those of you who don't know, I love crafting and making things, from drawing and painting, writing books and short stories, to making my own bookmarks, journals, and 3-dimensional boxes from patterns.
Since about 2008, I have been making myself a journal every year, my "year book" as I call it. I doodle in it, I write down ideas and notes and tear pages out if I need a scrap piece for something. It's made to use and I use it to its fullest potential. Earlier this year, I made a journal with one of these fairy designs on the cover. I also promised that "very soon I'll be sharing more about my journals, and quite possibly, you can get one for yourself too..."
Well now that time has come. I'm finally going to be selling handmade journals!!

This Monday, I will have 4 different fairy journal designs available for purchase in my Ko-fi shop!! I will not be doing pre-orders, but all 4 journals will be available for purchase on Monday, March 1st!!

Some of these designs might look familiar to you, and that's because you've probably seen them before. In August of 2019, I shared on my blog that I was drawing fairies in a slightly different style than what I was used to. Now, I have featured 4 of those drawings on the cover of the journals!! My husband also contributed a little something to each journal as well!!
Be sure to check my social media on Monday, I'll be posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when the journals are live in my Ko-fi shop!! I'll also be adding a new "shop" tab on the cross-column near the "About Me" tab on my blog!!

Until then, thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Friday, February 12, 2021

My Trip To The American Girl Place.


To my dearest friends and followers,

2006 was a big year. I remember little about the year as a whole, but I do remember there was something big - something to look forward to. It was the year the American Girl company opened their third brick and mortar store, the American Girl Place. Their first ever store opened in Chicago in 1998, just after Mattel purchased Pleasant Company (American Girl). In 2003, another American Girl Place opened in New York City. In 2006, a third store opened in Los Angeles.
And my parents took my sister and I for our birthday.

Thinking back, I remember how grand it all was! There was so much to take in: the doll shop, the cafe, the doll hair salon, the book store. It was so surreal. It was everything we had seen only in the catalogue. It was every little girl's dream (well, at least, it was mine). There were huge cases with all of the Just Like You Dolls, display upon display of all the dolls wearing their modern outfits, from Sunday best, to daily/weekly activities, such as baking cookies, going to school, or playing outside. There were outfits targeted towards different sports, such as horse riding gear, swimwear, basketball, ballet, and ice skating. There were fancy dresses for holiday gatherings, recital dresses, and costumes for Halloween, such as a cat, a Flapper girl from the 1920's, or princess dresses. There was lounge wear, and little pajamas to put the doll to bed in. There were even beds and bedding, pets and pet accessories. There was everything!
And then there were the Historical Dolls. That's where it was at. Seeing each of the historical dolls in her time appropriate attire (ranging from 1774, all the way to 1944) with beautiful detail to her entire wardrobe and collection of accessories and furniture. It was an amazing experience, with so much to see on the two levels that was the American Girl Place.
This past week, I got to go to the American Girl Place in Los Angeles once again, only this time, I went with my husband.
It was so much fun to go! There were plenty of things I didn't remember, and plenty of new things that I'm pretty sure weren't there before. American Girl has changed so much since I was a child, and I daresay, they have lost some of their charm. But that's another thought for a different day. American Girl will always be special to me. It was very exciting to look at everything, see all the new things, and marvel at some of the changes.

I brought my Kirsten doll with me and admitted her to the
Doll Hospital
for some limb tightening. I did not leave empty-handed though. I bought a new outfit for my dolls, the Japan outfit from the new World Traveler Collection. And I bought a pair of glasses for the doll, a doll hairbrush, and a set of accessories that included a backpack for the doll, and a tiny cellphone!!
It was really fun to go and spend the day in LA. I've spent the last few days making little things for my dolls, getting Jess dressed in the new outfit, and yeah. XD
Check out my Twitter to see what crafts I worked on this week!!
As always, thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Check out my book on my Ko-fi shop!!
Explore The American Girl Company!!
Follow me on Twitter!!

Friday, February 5, 2021

Acrylic Painting - Trying A New Art Medium.

Click to enlarge
 To my dearest friends and followers,

While I have yet to get back in to the swing of writing (I will soon though, I promise!), I have been doing something else which has been quite fun and relaxing in a way - acrylic painting!

Last year, I believe it was around this time, I began learning how to use watercolors. It was something I really wanted to do and had had an interest in for a little while. I decided to take it up when I did for the purpose of designing the cover for my book (which you can buy from my Ko-fi shop here).

This year, taking up acrylic paint was entirely unexpected. Basically, as I wrote in my blog post 2 weeks ago, I began going through my American Girl stuff. I got rid of some things and bought some new things and yeah - it's been great fun!
Anyhow, I decided I wanted a tiny little box to store my doll's things in, such as hair ribbons, necklaces, and the like. So I bought a paper maché box at the craft store and borrowed some acrylic paint and paint brushes from my mother-in-law and I painted the box to look like the American Girl Kirsten's furniture set. XD
I spent the entirety of 1 evening painting it and I love how it came out!
Click to enlarge

After that, I realized I had a lot of fun painting it, so I decided I wanted to paint something else. But what? It didn't take long to decide. I wanted to paint a box for my American Girl doll shoes. So I found a Schwan's box I had on hand, bought my own paint brushes for this project, and painted the box to look like the American Girl Coconut Stationary Kit box. The Stationary Kit was something I wanted as a kid and never got, so it came to me easily what I wanted this new project to look like. It took me about 4 days to complete it. Turned out super cute in my opinion. XD

So yeah, that's what I've been up to mostly this week. I hope you have a great week ahead! Be sure to keep an eye out on my blog and my social media for upcoming projects I'll be working on! As always, thank you so much for reading!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Check out my book on my Ko-fi shop!
Contact me about the rare and retired American Girl items I'm selling!!

Friday, January 22, 2021

A Child At Heart.

We are all just a puddle jump away from our youth.
~ Atticus 
To my dearest friends and followers,

click to enlarge
I hope you have been well. Personally, I've had a lot of fun this last week!

My sister, who had been staying with me since Christmas, went home. It was wonderful seeing her, but it left me tired - no, exhausted for a few days, as is expected when one is a host or hostess. 
Once I was able to catch my breath again, I went to work setting up my studio, since that room had been temporarily converted into a guest room. I set it up quite a bit different than it was before though, and I love it! It's snug, though comfortable, and cute! I feel like everything is organized nicely. I even decided to get rid of several things!

Which leads me in to my next exciting adventure. XD
I began an account on Offer-Up. It's pretty addicting. In case any of you aren't familiar with it, it's basically a platform like ebay, where you can sell your old things - except way cooler. It's just set up a lot different than ebay and has a clean fresh look to it.
Anyhow, I decided I should get rid of some of my old toys, specifically some of my cherished American Girl dolls and clothes. So I did. And they sold within a couple of hours of me posting them. I was pretty happy!
click to enlarge
But before then, I was looking at buying a few things as well. Sort of a trade as it were. Get rid of some toys to replace them with new toys. Yes. I got more toys. I can't help it. I love toys. I love going to small toyshops in malls or downtown. I don't usually buy anything, but they're so exciting to look at! So I posted several dolls and several boxes of doll clothes and a somewhat large canopy bed for said dolls and I used the money to buy a smaller bed for the dolls I kept - a bed that is easy to store, I might add.

And then I went looking for the American Girl Of The Year 2006, Jess. I remember I wanted her so bad when I was a kid. But I also wanted another doll, one which would not be retired after 2006. So I asked for both of them for Christmas, and I remember being slightly disappointed when I got the one doll, but not the other, not the Girl Of The Year. I never expressed that disappointment to my Mom, since I was grateful to have at least one of the dolls I had asked for.
But I felt like now was the time. Now was the time to fulfill that childish dream. So I found her on Offer-Up for a decent price, original box and book included. And I bought her. Jess McConnell 2006. She's everything I ever hoped for as a kid.
So yes, I bought 1 doll and 1 bed. I now own 3 dolls instead of 6: Kirsten, Mia, and Jess. I'm still a child at heart. You know you envy me.
click to enlarge

In addition to that, I also ordered chipboard a week or so ago and was finally able to make my new journal for 2021!! I'm in love with how it turned out. XD
Very very soon I'll be sharing more about my journals and quite possibly, you can get one for yourself too...
Until then, make sure you check out my book on my very own shop, my Ko-fi shop! If you enjoy what I do, that is the best way to support me! I have included the widget for my shop at the top of my blog page as well.
Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Story of You (Wizard101).

To my dearest friends and followers,

Have you ever heard of the First World? It was an interesting place to be sure, but let us go back even farther. Before anything else, there was the Tree. He was very old and very wise, one eye looking to the past and the other looking at what was yet to happen.
The Tree had a sister too, the Raven. Aside from them, there was also the Spider.

Now, with the Raven's help, the Tree sang the song of creation and thus brought the First World into existence. In it, he made the Titans, the Giants, and the Dragons.
To the Titans, the Tree gave the magic of Storm. To the Giants, he gave Ice magic, and to the Dragons he gave Fire magic. Each of the beings were good and created to be a source of light in the new world.

Unfortunately, the Raven wanted to control the world and take away free-will. The Spider, however, disagreed with this. He gave the Titans, Giants, and Dragons the ability to freely govern themselves and break away from the Tree and the Raven. Soon the created beings began to fight against each other. From the spark of Storm magic and the warmth of Fire magic, a new magic was created; Life magic. And from the dark and cold shadows of Storm magic and Ice magic, Death magic was born. From the wonder and mystery of the opposites, Fire magic and Ice magic, Myth magic came to be.
Sadly, with the created beings all fighting one another, the First World was torn apart. The Tree and the Raven did their best to hold all the fragments together and created a new world called the Spiral. But things were different. The world was imperfect because the Spider, one of the original three beings, was not a part of it. The Raven, though she loved him, blamed him for destroying the First World and came to resent him. So she locked him away, and though his heart was the source of the dark and chaos, she took it from him and hid it away in the Spiral, that it might make the new world complete.

The Raven was the embodiment of good, while the Spider was the embodiment of evil. It was the Raven's desire to end the Spider once and for all, but because of her goodness, she was unable to. So she created a child for herself, Mellori (Latin roots, corvus mellori, meaning "Little Raven"). The Raven then extracted the good from herself and placed it in her daughter. Thus, Mellori became a source of light and good, and the Raven was free to kill the Spider. However, doing so would destroy the Spiral. 
While the Spider was locked away, three beings were born from his dark nightmares and dreams, the Rat, the Scorpion, and the Bat. The Spider called these beings his sons and wanted to use them for his benefit, to free himself and unleash chaos and shadow into all the Spiral.

The Tree saw all that was to happen and thus made plans of his own, wanting to have a child as well. So he looked past the Spiral, into another galaxy and found Earth. It was an odd place, filled with creatures who did not believe in magic. But he saw potential. And he found you. You. To be his Scion. To Learn magic and to be a bridge between light and shadow, to bring harmony, and to save the Spiral.

This storyline is from a MMORPG, Wizard101 by Kingsisle. I've been playing it for several years, though I've been playing it a lot with my sister these past couple weeks (since my sister came to spend Christmas with us and stay a few weeks).
Disclaimer, this is not a sponsorship or anything like that, I'm not getting payed to write this, I just really enjoy the game and the storyline.
In the next couple of weeks I will get back into writing my second novel and focusing more on my Ko-fi shop, etc.
Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Check out my book on Ko-fi!!
Check out Wizard101!! (Let me know if you create and account, I'd love to add you as a friend!)

Friday, January 1, 2021

My Year of Accomplishments.

 To my dearest friends and followers,

I can only imagine how excited many of you are that 2020 is finally over!!
Initially I planned to write this post last week (December 25th) as sort of a list of highlights of my year and things I want to accomplish in 2021, but I had other things to do and I hope you did to.
It was a weird year, a scary year, and a difficult year for many. There were definitely difficult times for me as well, though I wish to keep my blog clear of personal family matters. Still though, there are a lot of things I feel grateful for and a lot of things I accomplished last year.

In January, I received my manuscript back from each of my beta readers!! I then began to go through them, making the necessary changes. After several more editing steps, I finally published my novel with IngramSpark!! That was HUGE to me, since it had been my dream to be a published author since I was around 12 years old.

Before that though, I had to have a cover for my book. So after being rejected several times by artists I admired to illustrate my book cover, I decided to design and illustrated the cover art myself. I got a lot of new art supplies this year and learned how to paint with watercolor!!

This isn't really an accomplishment, I just want to add that we (my husband and I) fostered several kittens in the spring and ended up adopting one. XD

During the summer, my husband and I read a bit of Marie Kondo's book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. We went through pretty much all of my possessions and got rid of A LOT of stuff!! I hated doing that, but I also loved it. It was so freeing. I feel so much lighter with so much less.

Toward the end of summer, I began to set up my own little studio where I could write and draw in my own space. I then published my novel as an ebook.
In November I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and wrote a big portion of my next novel, a sequel to the first.

Just last month, I set up my own shop on Ko-fi!! The best way to support me and what I do is to purchase my book, and now you can buy it directly from me!!

I then ended the year having read a total of 36 books, and nearly 11k pages according to Goodreads.
Some of you probably accomplished more things, or bigger things, but I'm pretty happy with my list and what I've done, even though there were several things I had planned and hoped for that didn't happen.

This year, there are 2 big things I can think of at the moment that I want to accomplish: 1. Finish writing the sequel. 2. Begin selling homemade journals on my Ko-fi shop. I think I can manage that. I like to start small, make a list I know I can accomplish. Once I've completed that, I'll add to it. XD

Let's hope 2021 is a better year for everyone!!
Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me