October 27, 2015

Creative Tuesdays: Black Cat

click on image for a larger view
closeups
This week's Creative Tuesdays' theme is 'Black Cat.' There's no title for this piece nor a story, just a costume idea for halloween or some other event where cats. I really wanted her to have red hair but somehow purple just came up and then it just took over but the cat-shaped head on her nails was very intentional plus the theme is 'black cat, so I had to have something black there.

For more of this week's Creative Tuesdays' participants, go here

October 22, 2015

Mini Thoughts on Films Watched: Mostly Bette Davis

Aside from books, I love a good film now and then. Like books, I do not write reviews so these are mini thoughts. And yes, there are spoilers.
01/ Cinderella
Cinderella is a gorgeous film and the special effects are made to good use but it has not become one of my favorite. You have two people following their dying parents' advices and that already seems kind of lame to me, as if Ella and Kit (the prince) could do nothing else but follow the advices given. Maybe they're a little too similiar - both lost their parents and both kind of don't have much plan about their life. Ella has her stepmother Lady Tremaine who somewhat controls her life and Kit has Count What's-his-face (sorry, can't remember the name) making plans behind his back. Ella and Kit do look good together but I still think Kit fell for Ella because of her beauty first and then her brain later, which I suppose that is how it is with fairytales because the characters rarely spend time together.

Lady Tremaine's sob story hardly make a dent to her character. At least to me. I don't even know why it's in the film. And I could not see her reasons for being cruel to Ella except maybe jealousy? But I suppose we have to have a villain and I guess she fits.

There are two things I'm still wondering about:
(A) If Ella wanted to stay in her house because her parents loved it so much, then why did she ended up in the castle and not live in her house? Or why there was no mention of what happened to the house? I suppose if you marry a prince, it's probably best not to go live in your old house where you've been nothing much but a slave and also it's plagued with painful memories. I guess Ella just wanted to move on?

(B) Why did Ella gave her name as Cinderella to the prince when it is clearly a degrading name made up by her stepsisters? Is she agreeing that she is ash and a servant? Shouldn't she said her name is Ella? I'm sorry, if someone gave me a name that not only degrades me but make me feel like a piece of trash, I don't think I want to own up to the name.

The character that I really like is not Ella but the godmother. She is such a fun lady and the little humor that is in the film mostly comes from her. To be honest, I would rather watch a movie about the godmother than Cinderella but the movie title is not 'Godmother' so...


02/ Twinsters
This is a documentary about two women finding each other. I'm not a fan of documentaries and would not even think to watch this but I saw the poster and watched the trailer and it was just one of those films that you get interest in but you're uncertain of why until you watch it. I don't know, I just find it amazing how two people could look so much alike. And isn't it just like the modern world for these two to find each other through the net?  I won't ever understand how it really feels to be adopted but I guess that's why these films gets made. This is definitely worth watching if you're a fan of twins. I would retitle this to 'the laughing twins' because they laughed a lot.

October 17, 2015

The Waitress

short fiction
Stop noticing, that's what she'd always says. If you don't see it, then it isn't really there. Time is only in your head, she gently reminds me as she wipes a small coffee stain off the table with a soft white cloth. Then she pours more coffee into my still-full cup.

The waitress has a gentle face with a hard-earned victory wore like a coat, vivid with bright shadows that can be easily hidden behind a smile.  She has a name tag on her shirt but the name is partially faded, leaving only a 'na' visible. I wonder about her name each time I visit the cafe. But I never thought to ask. She doesn't seem to mind and always responds to 'waitress' or 'miss' whenever people shout for her.

Often, the waitress does not smile while she takes your orders but she will do so after she finishes writing them down in a small notepad. She keeps a straight line across her lips which is always painted in either red or pale pink. It always makes me think of the ocean's horizon, straight but weaving in the wind. The lines underneath her sea-green eyes has their own frown lines, each mirroring the other. Her reddish, copper hair which she told me is dyed, would sometimes fall into her eyes and she would always brush them behind her ears with the tip of her pen. The scent of clean soap and peppermint always fills my nose whenever she comes by my table. I have never noticed her chewing any gum so I can never place how the peppermint scent came to be.

October 13, 2015

Seven Things: rereading unlikable books & blogging schedules

'she reads books'
01/ On impulse, I purchased the Anne of Green Gables trilogy, read it and liked it. When I read the first book a few years ago, I didn't like it but for some one reason or another, I like it now. I'm not certain as to why but perhaps age has something to do with it and perhaps my judgement of people and things has changed. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I've read it and maybe I'll reread some of those books that I've read and didn't like.

02/ I am almost convinced I'll get run over by a car someday. Just this morning, this woman sped down her driveway without even looking or rather she drove like a mad woman as if running for her life. Is it not the driver's responsibility to slow down and stop and look both ways before speeding out of their driveway so that they won't run down pedestrians and the pedestrians won't sue them for running them over? I guess that is the hazard of living in the city.

03/ Sign I would like to make for today:
"My brain has left for the day (and the perhaps the rest of the year). I don't know where it went, perhaps it went on a long vacation to Paris or Rome or some untraveled part of the world but if you happen to see it, please be kind and send it my way or better yet, buy it a plane ticket home."

04/ Why is it that every time I like a tv show character, they just up and killed them off? And the death is sometimes so insensible, so unjustified. I guess that's one reason I've stopped watching tv. Of course, movies are just as bad. I just saw one recently where they killed off a main character far too early, I think. I guess the film maker wanted to get to the end sooner which does make sense but I see no reason whatsoever why the character could've live a bit longer and died just the same way. After all, the message of the film is that we should live even if death is all around us but to cut a life short when he is just about to live it? Well, I guess I'm just a sucker for happy endings. 

05/ Whenever I see that my (current) blog have reached 100 posts, I have an to urge to change url. I don't know why but it does feel like I've completed something and that I should be moving on.

06/ I have a terrible habit of picking hobbies and not complete them. I went to the trouble of getting all the supplies needed, all the tutorial books and then I try doing it but then a week later or more, I would loose interest. It is as if whatever excitement I had in the beginning just dissipated. Just the other week I wanted to try weaving when I read about it on a blog. I was already to purchase the supplies but wisely, I waited and now I'm not quite sure I want to take up weaving.

07/ I have no blogging schedule, never did. I just post whenever I want and whenever I feel there is too much time in between posts. But I think this kind of random posting is a little too... random. I sometimes envy those bloggers who post every day. So I'm thinking of trying that out in November - post something every day. It's still undecided. Anyone willing to join me in posting every day in November? We can decide on themes or topics or anything that will make it easier. Let me know if you're interest.

Extra: 8/ I have consolidated all the pages (about, feed, bloglovin, blogroll, etc.) into one page over here. I just thought the menu was getting a little crowded.

October 11, 2015

Revisions

As with any normal person, the need to perfect something is always there. So I am almost always wanting to redo a piece even though I am certain it is finished. I do all my final versions - mainly the colors - in Adobe Photoshop. The good thing about using software is that, you can make changes easily and the bad thing about it is that, you can make changes easily but also, you'll likely ended up doing more than you intended to do.  I suppose I could go on and on and keep on perfecting a piece but for some reason, I always seem to know when to stop. Well, some of the time anyway.

Here's a few pieces that has been redo a couple of times (click on the image for a larger view).

'duo' (at left), 'gift of three' (pencil drawing at center) and at right the final color version
For this piece, I've always thought the hands were a little too small for their bodies and I think the hands at the bottom didn't quite look right. So the new version is reversed and added something extra - presents. I think this version is the better one since it has more of a purpose though I think the hands are a little too small but that doesn't bother me much.

'rose wings' (first and second at left), 'not the rain girl' (third and at right)
The first version (rose wings) is slightly changed - the nose a little shorter, the hair a little longer, the body a slightly rounder. I think some people did not see the roses behind her as wings and so I made another version without them and renamed it 'not the rain girl,' which I dearly loved but then it occurred to me that I could redo it and so the last version is done in Adobe Illustrator with the original as the model. With Illustrator, I can make all the curves better and everything more refined. I changed the faces a little bit, perhaps she appeared a little less sad? I don't know. I like it.

'peacock girl'
For "peacock girl', this is drawn with a pencil and colored with water soluble color pencils and watercolors and edited in Photoshop.  I didn't really do much to change the original but a little erasing to reveal the shoulders and brighten of her face and hands. As I like to think she is changing into a peacock, there should be some part of her aside from her face, that is human.  I don't even know why I like this piece but I do and I think this is the only piece that I don't have any desire to redo.

October 9, 2015

Some dialogues from my unfinished novels

Nothing exciting but a few tidbits from my unfinished novels. Perhaps it's a bit self-serving to post them? I hope you'll enjoy them and if you didn't enjoy them, well, you can forget you've read them.

01/ Heroine
"Have you ever try to think things through before doing it?"

"I try all the time but my head gets all cloudy and I have to stop and think of something dumb to set it right again."

02/ Slipper's Dream
"Well, I really do not have friends. At least none that disagrees with me. Do you know how hard it is to find someone that does not obey you and agree with everything you say and do?"

"I imagine it is not so hard. I have many people in my life disagreeing with me every hour of the day."

"Then perhaps you should introduce me to them?"

"I wish not to depart these people on you. They will agree with you quite easily."

"And why is that?"

"Because you are the prince."

"Oh. Then why do they disagree with you?"

"Because I am a ser--- because they do not like me."

"And why do they not like you?"

"Because I like disagreeing with them."

03/ Beast
"Then give me what I want: your life."

"My life? You want my life? Why not? I have a wife that ran away because she could not stand the sight of me. I have a girl imprisoned in my mansion who wanted to pay off her father's debt to me and is only staying because of the debt. She has no desire to love me nor to marry me. My mansion, the grand place of my own prison home, housed gold and splendor treasures that are useless to me. And the only person who does not fear the sight of me is a blind and mute servant. And not to mention that I am cursed to be this beast for several lifetimes without love or companionship. You want my life? Then take it!"

04/ Emily's Ghost
"Miss Anne, I am Emily. I am pleased to make your acquaintance." She held out her hand.

"Miss Emily," I said and I slowly reached out to shake her hand but my fingers went right through hers.

"Oh!" she said as she let her hand fell to her side. "I am sorry. I must remember I am not corporeal. Please forgive me."  Her thin lips pursed into a half smile. I smiled and wondered how she could have moved the books if I could not even touch her.

As if reading my mind, she said, "I can move things with my mind and sometimes with my hands but I don't really touch anything, not really. It is as new to me as it was about 100 years ago when I changed into this form that you see me now. I do not know how it happened nor why it happened, only that, I am alive. Well, almost." She let out a small giggle.  "As much alive as one could be after having died and lost all sense of reality."

05/ Sea Children
The wall of the tidal wave can been seen not far from where they stood on the rooftop. They could make out the wave very well. It has not reached the city but from the looks of it, it may as well be twice as high as the nearest building which is at least fifty stories high.

"Okay, I'm going have to panic. I mean, really panic like screaming and running like a little child kind of panic." Alex turns to Taeya. Her face is calm, almost serene like she is ready to take a nap. "Should we be leaving?"

"Where to?" Taeya looks at him with a gleam in her eyes. Daylight has been slowing creeping up the horizon. Everything now look so crisp, so real. Taeya wishes it is a dream but the reality of what she is seeing at the moment is too close to her to be a dream. She can even smell the salty air.

"Where to?" Alex wants to scream at her but he calms down.  "I...I don't know. Isn't there somewhere safe we can go?"

"How do you suppose we get there in time?" Taeya turns her gaze to the coming tidal wave.

"I don't know, you're the seer. Don't you have some kind of backup plan? Maybe some magical machine?" Alex is ready for anything even if it might be hard for him to believe.

"Sure, why not. Let me go and get our imaginary flying machine. I'm sure I have it here somewhere. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. I've sent it out for repair. So sorry."  Taeya shakes her head. There is a hint of a grin on the corner of her lips.

October 7, 2015

Somewhere

The boy beside her is in a hurry and she hurries along with him. They move together in duplicate strides with their faces forward.  She has grown quite tall this summer and can now match his steps with ease. But she keeps a firm grip on his arm for fear of lagging behind.

As the pair move, the temperature begins to drop. Cold wind sweeps across their faces but they hardly notice. They pause for a red light at the corner of an old deli with 'Closed for Business' sign hanging on the glass door. She remembers buying ham there once and being a dollar short. The owner was kind enough to let her go without paying the rest. She has been too embarrassed to return to the deli.

She turns to the boy beside her but he is busy studying the traffic light so intensely that he might just change them with his mind. She wants to ask where they are heading but she does not dare to even whisper a single word. The wind seems content to keep them in its cool folds. She tightens her grip on his arm. He doesn't seem to notice. The light changes. He starts to move. She follows half hesitatingly.

They stop again at another traffic light. She takes another look at him. His face and ears are red from the cold. His eyes are steady and straight. She dares herself to speak. She asks him where they are going. The light changes and he pulls her along.

October 3, 2015

Are you my twin?

I love the idea that people are alike in so many ways so this quiz was created behind this idea. I've done this quiz before so I revised it for this time around though maybe some of these are a bit typical? I don't know but they are all true for me. For today anyway.

Answer from 1 - 10. 10 being absolutely true. 0 being not true at all.  
A. You're a thinker, not a talker.
B. You don't do swimwear.
C. You don't like the idea of driving a car.
D. You can't remember phone numbers or really any set of long numbers.
E. You like to organize things just to organize.
F. You eat a lot of the same food because you don't like trying new food.
G. You have a habit of doing something over and over just to get it right.
H. You're an optimist half of the time and the other half, you hope things that would go wrong wouldn't be to too hard to get over.
I. You're near-sighted.
J. You are born under the water sign Aquarius.

Add up your score. If your score is:

76 — 100: you're my long lost twin. hello sis/bro!

51 — 75: you're the half-sibling that I always wanted. may I borrow some money?

26 — 50: you're my siamese friend. you may borrow my books & other precious items that I have.

11 — 25: you're my friend but only on christmas and other major holidays. I'm sending you a christmas card & I might even use an actual paper card instead of email.

0 — 10: I don't know who you are but you better stay away from me. okay, just kidding.

October 2, 2015

Seven Things: Just some thoughts and nonsense

'pocket things'
01/ Above is a drawing a did awhile back for an Q&A at Katrin's blog. (You can read it here.) The items drawn here are things I carry in my bag, not altogether at once of course. Here's what is in the drawing: an umbrella, a couple of pens (I do carry a few just in case one of them runs out of ink), a blank notebook, wallet, phone, mints, eyeglasses, camera and camera memory cards, keys with gadgets, tissue pack, lip balm, and a book (usually one I'm reading at the moment). The leaves and flowers I don't actually carry but I once collected leaves because I like them, usually the colorful kind.

02/ When one thing worries me, it keeps worrying me until it's over or until I forget about it.

03/ It annoys me sometimes that I'm such a prude. I really cannot watch or read about zombies or vampires or anything that is classifed as horror. I get scare easily but I suppose my tolerance level has gone up in recent years because I just read a somewhat scary book (Jackaby by Willilam Ritter) and I wasn't freaked out, maybe just a little gross out but that's about it.

04/ I was asked once by a friend what I would do in an emergency if something happens to her, like if she suddenly falls ill right on the spot, would I know what to do? I didn't have an answer. I don't think I would do well during an emergency and certaintly even if I did know what to do, I would proably mess up. I am slow to react and quick to worry about messing up.

05/ Does everyone have a smartphone but me? Seriously, I hear about apps for this, apps for that, what happens to people like me who have no smartphone? Does that mean I will stay dumb with my not-so-smart-phone?

06/ I'm starting to dislike my email address. I get a couple of sniggers sometimes when I tell people my email. I didn't even think about how it sounded when I chose the name and also because the name I wanted is already chosen, in fact of all the names that I wanted to use, none of them were available. It's too late to change now since I've been using this same address for many years.

07/ I could never decide if I truly am like other people or it just seems like I am like others simply because we share the same interest.