Monthly Archives: August 2013

A History of My Life as Told by Books – The Early Years

I’ve wanted to do another post for a while now, but I recently caught a cold that has left me quite angry at the way my immune system is running things.  You’d think after more than twenty years of practice it would’ve gotten its act together, but no.  So here I am, kinda feeling crappy and wanting to write a blog post, so I’m going to take the easy way out.  I’m going to give you a brief history of my life using the books that I remember most fondly.  We’ll be starting, obviously, with my early childhood.

My younger years were populated with picture books like any other kid’s.  I grew up with the company of such characters as Amelia Bedelia and Aunt Isabel.

I learned to bake bread…

…well, maybe not.  I don’t think we ever did try any of the recipes included in the book, but boy did they sound tasty!  That’s got to count for something.

The most vivid memories I have are of Bill Peet’s wonderful stories, namely No Such Things and The Whingdingdilly, though How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head was later thrown into the mix.

I was a huge horse fan (as you will see in one of my next posts).  Still am.  The horse-things on the cover of No Such Things appear later in the book, and my mother used to make black-and-white copies of their pages so we could color them in with our own designs and patterns.  I’m sure she even has some of those pictures saved somewhere.

I have another memory of when I was first learning to read.  There was a picture book about two sisters that I was reading to my mom.  I don’t remember the title or even what happened in it, but I remember coming to the word “any” and guessing correctly that the “a” was pronounced like the “e” in “pet” and not like the “a” in “cat.”  Which sort of leads me to something else…

I think the point of children’s books is that you are supposed to learn a lesson from them.  And maybe I did, without even realizing it.  I certainly learned to love reading.  And maybe Stephanie’s Ponytail did teach me that I should be proud to be my own, unique self.

I don’t remember what Elizabeth and Larry taught me, but it did make me laugh.

I even read it out loud to my first grade class.  They laughed, too.

These books didn’t necessarily shape my childhood, but they were an important part of it.  I could really go on for hours about all the ones I read and loved.

Winnie the Witch taught me that you shouldn’t try to change others, and that thinking outside the box can help solve your problems…

I read my brother’s Magic School Bus books…

It took us two nights, but my mom and I loved every minute and every page of The Best Loved Doll

These books will stay with me for a long time.  And I hope to be able to read them to my own children one day.  So that maybe when they’re all grown up they can blog about it.  Or whatever futuristic equivalent they’ll have.

It makes me very happy to share these with you.  Below I am pasting some more covers of books I remember and love, just because I believe they deserve to be recognized.  If you think I left out any good ones, you should let me know.

Word of the Day: Inchoate (adj) – Not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary.

I have some ideas for comics, but they are inchoate, and I am infirm.  So comics will resume when both of these setbacks are overcome.

P.S. Yeah, I know it wasn’t quite a history of my life, but it is a history of my literary life.  That has to count for something.

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Filed under books, Humor, writing

A Short Story/Photo Essay

Before we begin, I would like to bring your attention to this: http://writerightforstudents.webstarts.com/

That link will bring you to the website of one of my friends.  The site is for students who need their papers edited.  For a very affordable rate.  Remember how I used to intern for a literary agency?  The founder of this site was a fellow intern, so I can vouch for her editorial prowess.  So if you or someone you know needs help with their essays and other such projects, give that link a click.  It will help a budding businesswoman and your life will be blessed with good fortune or something.  Probably just that first one will happen, but the law of numbers says that someone who clicks on that link will also have a life of good fortune.

Anyway!  On to this little writing project of mine.

[Begin writing project]

I buy earrings the way some people drink alcohol – often and religiously, as if each pair has the potential to save my life and cure me of all my ills.  I have so many earrings that I could probably coat my dog in them.  I tried, but he got confused after the first pair…

Radar confused

Though he eventually accepted his fate…

Radar with earrings

…I decided to stop trying.

What I get a lot from people is that I have too many earrings.  And that may be true.  Every now and then I do get rid of a few pairs.  But what people fail to understand is that almost all of my earrings have stories.  And I cherish those stories as much as the jewelry.  They hold memories, not just of the time they were purchased, but of all the subsequent times they were worn, too.  They also hold feelings – many were gifts.  I understand when a person offers me a new pair that they are saying, “I care enough about you to know that this is the only kind of jewelry you wear,” or…

“I thought of you when I saw these.”

Feather earrings

Some earrings hold memories of places I’ve been.  Even if it was just an Old Navy…

Owls

…I still remember that it was the Old Navy on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.  I went there with my two best friends and bought a pair of cute owl earrings.  Before we left, one friend lent me a shirt that I ended up keeping (with her permission, of course).  I still have it to this day, even though this was years ago.

Beyond the 3rd Street Promenade, there was the Corning Museum of Glass…

Corning

The Museum of Science and Technology (MoST) in Syracuse, New York…

MoST

Evansville, Wisconsin…

Evansville

Mexico…

Mexico

My stepmom was trying to haggle with the guy selling us these earrings.  She told him all we had was forty dollars to spend, and I stupidly corrected her, saying, “Actually we have forty-one.”  He made us pay forty-one dollars for the earrings.  I still feel guilty about that, but I also remember the cruise that got us to these earrings, the dolphin encounter where the instructor told us we could pet the dolphins, but to avoid touching their genitals.  I have a picture of me getting a “kiss” from a dolphin, my untamable hair swallowing up the over-extended hair-tie that was desperately trying to do its job.  The smile on my face was genuine.  It is one of the few pictures of myself I actually like.

There was also London…

London

And Greenwich, which is still in England but is not London.  Or maybe it is since we could take the Tube there.  Maybe London just is England.  I don’t know.

Greenwich

Granted I do buy some just because they’re pretty…

Pretty

And others just let people know what foods I like to eat…

ice cream

Other earrings are special to me because they were handmade.  Like these, which my mother made for me…

Mom-Made

One pair is special to me because it reminds me of my passion for writing by representing the subject matter of my first book…

Dreamcatchers

Sometimes I feel empowered when I wear a particular pair of earrings.  Sometimes I feel silly (but in a good way).  This pair says…

Jack Skellington

“Yes I know everyone and their mother has something with Jack Skellington’s face on it.  I don’t care.  That movie was awesome!”

No matter what the earrings say, where they came from, or how much they cost, every pair I own makes me happy.  Wearing them makes me feel beautiful.  When people say I have too many, I smile and laugh and agree, but inwardly I tell myself that these are more than just earrings.  They are memories.  Places.  People.  Feelings.  They have value to me, and I keep and wear them with that in mind.

My earrings are me.  And I love them all.

Me and earrings

[End whatever that was]

Just a short vanity piece.  It was fun to write and photograph.  I didn’t originally intend to have Radar in the last picture, but he decided he needed to be there.  The earrings I’m wearing in that picture I made myself.

That’s all!  Don’t forget to check out my friend’s website for all your essay editing needs!

Word of the Day: Indolent (adj) – Having or showing a disposition to avoid exertion; slothful

Speaking of which, while I am usually an indolent person, I actually put in the effort to draw a comic for today’s post!  Here you go:

Writer's-Block-Strip-37

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Filed under Comic, Humor, writing

Kanji-mation

This post has nothing to do with writing.  Today I decided I wanted to practice my animating/GIF-making skills, and I thought I would do so using Japanese Kanji.  As you may recall, I am a huge fan of learning languages, so I thought I’d incorporate that into my animations.  A little background before we start: Kanji make up one of the three alphabets used in Japan (the other two are Hiragana and Katakana).  Kanji are actually borrowed from Chinese characters.  Most are drawn exactly the same and have the exact same meaning, though some have taken on different meanings and/or are drawn differently.  I’m only telling you this so you don’t think you’re learning Chinese from me.  Even if it looks like you are, you’re not.  It’s Japanese.  Anyway, enjoy!

Sun-Kanji

Sun-Kanji-Shines

Wind-and-Clouds

Rain

Flower-Kanji

Bowing-Mini-Bex

Kanji-Translations

That’s all!  Hope those were as fun to look at as they were to make.  I even have a comic and random Word of the Day for you!

Word of the Day: Fusillade (n) – 1. A simultaneous or continuous discharge of firearms.  2. A general discharge or outpouring of anything.

Writer's-Block-Strip-36

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Filed under Animation, Comic, Humor, Language