Tag Archives: Blogging

That Great and Powerful Beast

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Senioritis. It is real. In high school, I didn’t believe it existed, and then about halfway through my senior year in high school I felt something like nothing I had never experienced before. Boredom in its rawest form. I had already decided that I was done with school. I love school and learning, but after senioritis kicked in, everything felt monotonous. I think it was the promise of adventure in the future. In high school, I had college to look forward to.

Now, I have the real world to look forward to. That is equally exciting and terrifying. In a few short days, I’ll know if I’ll be teaching in Japan this fall.

But until then, I have more than enough homework to keep me occupied. Actually, I have a big presentation at an academic conference coming up. So I’m going to keep this post short and sweet so I can focus on other items of importance. (Or procrastinate my way through Easter Break by playing video games to ease the pain of my senioritis.) Don’t think this is a goodbye post.

I’m a little late on the draw, but I would like to officially announce my theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I missed the official theme reveal because of a particularly rough week at school, but better late than never, right?

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A big part of my life was and always has been my online life. I’ve decided to talk a little bit about my personal writing. In this 26 day challenge, I plan to introduce 26 of my retired roleplaying characters; maybe I’ll even make an effort to revamp them after this. I really like the idea of revisiting characters from my past.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Spring Break/Easter Break. For all my fellow students, power through until the end.

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Meet the Wanderer: Chapter 1

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A resolution I have this year is to keep my blog on track by writing a few different series. Allow me to introduce the first.

Discovering Yourself as a Writer

I found the image linked above on one of my many Pinterest adventures which aren’t half as glorious as they sound. I like this set of prompts because they allow me to introduce myself in a series of stories. I hope answering a few of these questions makes me seem a bit more human. To most of you out there, I’m a wall of text behind a computer screen. I swear there’s a plucky young bespectacled ginger behind all these words!

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Branding: What single word describes your personality? How does it affect you as a writer? Are you whimsical, gregarious, or fierce?

You know what I’ve always hated? Word limitations. “This essay must be at least 1200 words” or “please don’t write more than 500 characters for this statement of purpose.” I know guidelines are important, but seriously…one little word to describe myself? I’m an incredibly diverse person. I’ll watch gory action films while hugging Percival (my purple unicorn pillow pet). I’ll go shopping…and then pop into the GameStop to see if Dragon Age or Assassin’s Creed is on sale. I’ll wear over-sized sweaters and slinky evening dresses in the same day!

However, recently I completed a job application for a program that allows me to teach English in Japan once I graduate from college. It has been my dream for several years now to teach in a foreign country, and I finally got the application in my hand. I filled almost all of it out in one day…except for the statement of purpose–the most important part. I didn’t write that part the next day either. Or the day after. Or the next week. You can see where this is going…

I waited until the night before I needed to mail it out to even start on it. I wrote a draft and thought I was done. But then I woke up the next day. Hated it. Trashed it. Panicked. Cried in my adviser’s office for about fifteen minutes. Finally, I proceeded to write a new statement and revise it about five times that day with the help of one of my English professors, a career counselor, and a pep-talk from my roommate.

I always say I’ll stop procrastinating, but I don’t. Why  wait? Because I hate writing about myself. (Funny…considering that this is a blog about…me. But I’m not trying to get a job or scholarship from you guys!) I’m always looking for a single word that makes me (of all the people in the world) stick out. There are hundreds of funny, creative, sarcastic, or cat-loving individuals. How can I describe myself in one word or even 500?

(Just so you know, I haven’t heard back from that job yet. They’ll be calling about in two weeks. Here’s praying.)

My writing is as diverse as my personality.

I can’t exactly describe myself as whimsical all the time. Sometimes I write incredibly…dark things. I also can’t describe myself as sarcastic. If I were witty and sarcastic all the time, my readers might not take me seriously or think that I’m not as believable as I should be. I certainly don’t want to become my own unreliable narrator. Saying I’m “creative” would be a cop-out. Writing, no matter what it is, requires a little bit of creativity.

You’re probably thinking…why not go with “diverse?” You just said it yourself about a hundred times, you silly goose!  Well…the answer to that is: even that word doesn’t seem to accurately describe myself or my writing the way I want it to. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with a single word because I’m always going to be a huge combination of words. I’m not sure anyone out there would count awkward-imaginative-sparkle-tastic as a single word. Any takers? But if someone put a gun to my head and told me that I absolutely had to choose…

Experimental. I always try new things, go on adventures, and jump into the middle of battles. My writing is still experimental. I want to try new forms, new ways of characterization, new plot devices. I want to take concepts that have been done and redo them. My personality is constantly shifting, making room for a better balance of social awkwardness and professionalism. In a way, I’m still finding myself, and maybe I’ll never be that one word.

Or maybe I’m just over-complicating things!

What about you? What’s your “branding?”

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 10

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Okay…. So, I was a little late (like a whole day) getting this up, but…shhhhhhh. But, I’m going to pretend I didn’t skip it. So here we go. On to the next day!!!

Write about something for which you feel strongly.

I already mentioned in another post that I don’t really feel strongly about many issues. Once again, I could write about something silly. “I strongly feel that more people should believe in unicorns.” I could also take a political stance on something, but wouldn’t that just end in bloodshed in the comment section unless it was the popular opinion? Who am I kidding?!  There would be bloodshed in the comments regardless.

So instead…here’s a little food for thought.

Should athletes in America receive as much praise as they do?

Perhaps I’m a bit biased. I came to school on an academic scholarship. I’ve never been in sports (except for a little soccer when I was younger). I’ve been in choir, art, theatre, and band instead. I see the usefulness in these things, but I also see the usefulness in an active lifestyle. However, since coming to Japan, I’ve changed my stance on athletics. My college in Japan does not have sports teams. They have sports clubs which compete every once in a while, but it’s purely for fun. Students can enjoy the sport they love without being forced to miss class for long tournaments or practice. It’s not exclusive. Someone like me could hang out with the volleyball club if I wanted to.

I know athletics provide scholarship opportunities for many students, which is wonderful, but I’ve seen a lot of athletes struggle to balance classes, workouts, games, and practice. Their grades suffer and for what? Many of them don’t want to become professional athletes. They want an education. For the school itself, athletics is a means of recognition. I’ve also heard more than enough of my fair share of stories about athletes “getting it easy” in classes just so they can play in games.

Am I alone on this? I wish I had a good solution. I know college athletics are a huge source of entertainment as well as scholarship opportunities, but does it really work out in the end?

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 2

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My Feet

Here I am getting to places with Day 2. (Day 1 is HERE if you’re interested.) I’m surprised I’ve made it this far, but I underestimated how much these prompts would make me think.

Write something that someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget.

I’m sitting in front of my computer screen, staring at those words, trying to think of anything.

I’m sure people have told me all sorts of things about myself ranging from the good to the bad to the obvious. The other day one of my friends told me, “Wow. You’re sunburned.” As if my singed flesh needed a reminder! I haven’t forgotten that yet. I’ve had people tell me I’m talented or fortunate. I’ve had bullies tell me I’m fat or ugly. But none of these moments are particularly memorable. I’ve either forgotten them or moved on. Except for the sunburn. I’m still living the sunburn right now.

But the more I think about it, I’m drawn to my first relationship. Well…”relationship.” I was in high school. We met in Robotics Club, went to the movies once, and then I asked him to prom after we broke up because I didn’t want to go alone. It wasn’t exactly a story book romance. Actually there wasn’t really any romance involved. We held hands once or twice. I blushed, maybe giggled. He was the first guy to ever find me mildly interesting or pretty. I had spent my life wishing day and night for some boy somewhere to think I’m special. And then it happened. I had a boyfriend.

I remember one time he went shopping with me as I prepared for a trip to Washington D.C. My mom wanted to see how he would live up to her expectations, and my little brother was grateful to have someone to take him to GameStop. Before we separated though, he watched me trying on candidates for a new pair of heels. I would walk around in a pair, determine the comfort level, and move on to another pair to see how they compared. He watched as if I were comparing the color of soil samples. And then he said it.

“Wow, you have ugly feet.”

Now, I’m aware I have big feet. I have my father’s feet, and my family likes to talk about it, so I’ve heard it all. “You have fingers for toes.” Or “I bet you never have to rent skis.” I’ve even been compared to Godzilla a few times, but that one was new. I know he wasn’t trying to be mean. It was a nervous, off-hand comment that slipped from his mouth. I laughed a little too loudly and ushered him off to babysit my kid brother.

But I was just as nervous. I was just as unsure. And I was beyond shocked that I didn’t say, “You too!” and limp away in my stilettos, snorting with laughter to try and fix my faux pas. I didn’t realize how young I was until that moment. I was a kid, literally trying to wear my big girl shoes and failing miserably. Did I need to jump into a relationship just because I was excited about attention?

Well, clearly I found my answer. We didn’t last long, and now we’ve both gone our separate ways. I couldn’t tell you what he’s doing now, but I do know that I’m looking forward and not looking back. As for my feet, I like to think that they fit in my stilettos a little better now.

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 1

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I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I wanted to do a 30 Day Writing Challenge (which I found on Sudrobelle’s blog) to help myself get in the swing of blogging. I could wait for a new month or a new week to start, but why? If I don’t do it now while the thought is fresh on my mind, I may just continue to delay it. I forced myself to do NaNoWriMo a few years ago. If I can do that, I can take a little time out of my day to write a bit more.

So here goes nothing!

30 Day Writing Challenge

List 10 Things That Make You Really Happy

I’m honestly an easy person to please; when I get happy, I get really happy, and it’s usually because of the simplest of things.

1.) Sweaters, but more specifically cardigans.

Recently, I fell in love with sweaters of all kinds. Heavy wool ones with big blocky patterns; light, hipster cardigans; baggy Walmart sweatshirts… My wardrobe consists primarily of sweaters stolen from my mother. Falling asleep in my favorite sweatshirt during the dead of winter or enjoying the perfect spring day in my gray cat-patterned cardigan brings a smile to my face.

2.) My Cat – Miss Theodora Epsilonia Darcy

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I love my cat. She can be a jerk, but I love her. She’s a princess. She’s lazy. She’s pear-shaped. But when her tiny face bumps against my forehead or her big ol’ rump plops down on my computer, and I can feel her vibrating with happiness, those are the moments I explode with happiness.

3.) Sweet Potatoes

This is my favorite food. Hands down. Ask anyone, but there are only two foods in the world that make me happy enough to sing: sweet potatoes and ice cream. If you think about it, potatoes are the perfect food. You can do anything with them. Fry them. Stew them. Boil them. Mash them. Smother them in bacon and cheese. They’re a meal, a side, and a dessert. Cover sweet potatoes in butter and brown sugar or maybe marshmallows or just eat them plain. I can’t be sad when I have a sweet potato.

4.) Josh Groban and Benedict Cumberbatch

Okay. I had to combine these two guys, because I fangirl over them equally as much. Josh Groban is my favorite singer, and Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite actor. I think I were to meet either of them, my heart might stop beating. I can’t be sad when I hear their voices.

5.) Reading an artfully written story

Ever since I started college, I’ve found it almost impossible to enjoy a movie or a book because my professors have trained me to point out flaws in creative content. It sucks. I used to love reading young adult fiction as a guilty pleasure, but now I can’t get over the insane love triangles, dystopian societies, zombie angel vampires… I can’t even remember what the new fad is. But every once in a while, I find a beautiful book that still appreciates language, and it makes me happy. I recently read a book called The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The language captivated me, and even though the story was simple, I enjoyed myself a lot more than I usually could.

6.) Hearing the words “well done” or “good job”

I’m a hard worker. I want to get stuff done. I usually don’t care for recognition, but sometimes, I’ve poured hours into a project. I’ve thrown my soul into an essay. I’ve broken my back to pull off an event. Nothing makes me happier than hearing those simple words from even one person.

7.) Warm showers

I’ve mentioned this before. My “me” time at the end of the day always consists of a warm shower. My day is never complete until I’ve spent at least ten minutes standing under warm water, scrubbing away the rest of my day. It always chases off any worries or headaches I might have.

8.) Lunch/Dinner conversations

You might think my list is devoid of anything super personal to me. Well, this is probably the most personal. For me, my family revolves around meals. Our lives are so different, but they intersect at meal times. The conversations we share are the most memorable and beautiful. I will always remember my grandma throwing ice at me at Mimi’s on my 18th birthday and hitting a nearby waiter instead. I’ll remember listening to four different stories at once and retaining every detail. I’ll remember diving into the platter of fajitas and talking with my mouth half-full of meat after a day at work. Every meal time memory is full of laughter.

9.) The color purple

No. Not the book. I fully believe that the color purple (at least one shade) looks good on anyone. Every time I see someone wearing anything in that color, I tell them they look wonderful, because they do. Purple makes me happy, and I think everyone should be happy wearing that color.

10.) Acting

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Peter Quince from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’m not a professional by any means, but I’ve had plenty of time on stage. Performing on a theatrical stage is wonderful. I get terrible stage fright anywhere else but the theatre. I get to become anyone but myself. I get to make people laugh or cry. Every show is different. Sometimes you have to be a theatre kid to understand the happiness we get from performances.