"I am out with lanterns looking for myself."— Emily Dickinson
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December 6, 2016

Books read recently

I used to make list of books that I have read (I read a lot in those days) because making the list seems like I've accomplished something good. But these days I don't read all that much but I still managed to finish a few books. Here are the ones that I read and would recommend.

The girl of ink & stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
01/ The girl of ink & stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
I mostly got interested in the book because of the gorgeous cover. It was a good read though I guess I expected something a little more. [Spoilers ahead] Perhaps there should have been more details about the mystery of the island and one character's death I didn't like. I mean sacrifice has to be make and all but really, it just seems if you've gone through hell to rescue someone, they should at least live a little longer at the end, just saying. [Spoilers ends] The writing is beautifully crafted and not to mention the cover.

Favorite passage: "The night was hauntingly clear. The stars revealed their places in constellations and the moon's pull felt physical on my short hair. Something was happening to the very air we walked through. It was tense, alive and threatening, the island in the grip of forces shifting imperceptibly beneath my feet."

My grandmother sends her regards & apologies by Fredrik Backman, translated from the Swedish by Henning Koch aka My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry
02/ My grandmother sends her regards & apologies by Fredrik Backman, translated from the Swedish by Henning Koch aka My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry
A book full of eccentric characters especially the Granny and her seven-year-old granddaughter Elsa who likes Harry Potter and thinks they are the only books worth reading. She wears a Gryffindor scarf also which is mentioned a lot. There are mysterious behind all the eccentric characters and each one unfolds with each letter Elsa delivers. Occasionaly there are some Swedish terms that I didn't quite get but overall, quite an easy, fun read. 

Favorite passage: "Death's greatest power is not that it can make people die, but that it can make people want to stop living."

Ella and Ella's Will by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee03/ Ella / Ella's Will by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee
Ella: Ella is the Cinderella story made longer and with more of a backstory. I actually like this ending a whole lot better. To me, it makes a whole lot of sense because I think no one really falls in love with someone in just one short meeting or even with just one kiss. Plus Ella didn't just sit around waiting for the prince, she actually lived and did things and made hard decisions - I think that's what I like about this Cinderella.

Ella's Will: I suppose I got a bit biased toward Will because he is such a good person. He is someone who actually thinks before he acts, someone who understands people and the kind of someone who we all hope our prince charming would be like. In other words, he is the nice guy. I can't find fault in him although like everyone else, he can't always control his anger - he did punched one fellow for badmouthing Ella but that fellow deserves it. I suppose it makes no difference which book you read first but I do recommend reading Will first because to me, Will's side of the story has details that I think seems to be missing or lacking from Ella's story.

Favorite passage: "She had to be the one to take her fate into her own hands, without waiting to be rescued. She had always been this way, but I had thought that surely this last trial would be the one where she would finally need a rescuer. Only this time, in her own hour of deepest desperations, when I had come to save her, she had already saved herself." (from Ella's Will)

 The complete Sherlock Holmes volume I & II by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
04/ The complete Sherlock Holmes volume I & II by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Barnes & Nobles Classics editions)
The stories are pretty well told but I think some of the longer ones are not as interesting as the shorter ones. Not to say they're boring but some back stories are long explanations that are best being summarized or shortened somehow.

Favorite passage: "A man should keep his little brain-attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use and the rest he can put away in the lumberroom of his library, where he can get it if he wants it."

The fault in our starts by John Green
05/ The fault in our starts by John Green
Yep, I took a whole year to read this little book. I did like it but I guess I prefer a happier ending. Augustus Waters aka Gus is a wonderfully, quirky guy and I like his character a whole lot. I kind of wished it was his story that is being told as I find him more intriguing than Hazel. Not to say Hazel wasn't interesting but somehow Gus is just a way better character. It's just ashamed we do not get more of his story because a one-legged boy who drives erratically and dangles a unlit cigarette at the corner of his mouth deserves some real back story instead of him just being sick and then meeting Hazel.

Favorite passage:  "I couldn't be mad at him for even a moment, and only now that I loved a grenade did I understand the foolishness of trying to save others from my own impending fragmentations: I couldn't unlove Augustus Waters. And I didn't want to."

Adulthood is a myth by Sarah Andersen 06/ Adulthood is a myth by Sarah Andersen
This is a comic but oh-so-fun comic. Every scenio is right on target, exactly how many of us feels during those situations.

Favorite passage:

07/ Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
The beginning is oh-so-wonderful but I didn't quite like the end. It didn't feel complete. Perhaps I missed something in the reading or perhaps I expected too much. It is a short book. I suppose it would have been better if it was a bit longer or perhaps not having too long an explanation for the end is better so that the reader can add some of their thoughts into it.

Favorite passage: "I had heard tales of scholars who said the stars were really great suns, but so far away they appeared as pinpoints of lights. Everyone knew that it was impossible and laughed at the scholars.

But now, as I gazed upward, I hoped it was true - hoped that the cold, empty sky cold be filled with such heat and light, that the universe could be something impossible, something beyond my eyes and imagination, something unholdable."

Read any good book lately that you would recommend?

December 3, 2016

Right now, I'm practicing extreme sport

'rose dream'
No, I'm not really practicing extreme sport but I really like saying that I am because saying that I'm sitting still doesn't sound quite as fun.

How long has it been since my last post? Two weeks - which might seem short but somehow feels longer. The distance between my posts has been getting longer and yet, I don't do anything about it. It's not that I don't want to blog, it's just that I couldn't come up with anything that I like to blog about. And also because I have the excuse of the holidays and also work excuse and also under the weather excuse and they are real excuses whether people accept them or not.

No one says you have to post every day. I don't make money for blogging so there is no reason to post every day. But I sort of feel a bit like a slacker whenever I don't post for a week. I still want to keep my readers and offer new content but in reality, it's not something I can control or fix. I can only amend by posting and offer my readers what little that I can share.

Some people said targeting your audience and going with a niche is the way to blog successfully but that's for other bloggers. For me, I couldn't find a niche even if it smack me in the face. Of course now, it may appear this blog, my blog, might be call an art blog because that's all I seem to post - drawings and lists of things - nothing to phone home about or even to write a cliche about. But I'm grateful that I can still post once in a while and share a little bit of myself or at least my artwork.

I am grateful for the comments that I get from readers. I'm happy that someone is willing to pass through my little blog and leave a little note. I'm also glad I can offer some of my little words for other people as well. They may not mean much but I'm glad all the same.

November 20, 2016

Blogging & changes

'sleepless in blue'
You may have noticed I only post for certain memes/co-ops/challenges, ie, creative tuesdays, top ten thursday, the occasional new challenge - nothing particularly my own. Blog challenges are what I called 'lazy blogging' and I do a lot of 'lazy blogging' because it's easy and I don't have to think too much. Okay, so the actual post is my own but when you think about it, without those challenges, there would hardly be any content on this blog.

I have written tons of drafts but as with many things I do, I abandoned them thinking no one wants to read them which for most of my ideas, is probably true.

In all my blogs (about dozens of them), I have been posting my drawings, photography and fiction writings. I have since quit photography so there are no more sky photos. I can't seem to make any progress on my writings and I have stopped writing new pieces without knowing why.  So the only thing left is my drawings and the random post about my little universe which probably adds up to barely 2 posts per week but that doesn't sound so bad when compare to no blogging.

You may have also noticed I no longer have a name for my blog.  I've 'rainswept' as the title when you go to the homepage but I really don't know if I like it so I don't add it to the header graphic. I'm considering changing it to 'The orphan blogger' which fits me a little bit. I'm always looking for a new home, ie, a new url. I guess I still want that perfect name. But it's kind of useless since all the good ones are taken. I don't want to go back to my older blogs and use those names even though I kind of want to. I've done that and it wasn't a good idea at all. The urge to renew at an old place is sort of lacking and you can't really go back to what you were or what you used to do because things are different whether you want to admit it or not.

I think I should always go forward and not backward - that's what most normal people do. It's just so easy to do the same old thing, say the same old words and walk the same path. Things change and I don't always want to accept them. I suppose not wanting to change is a habit in itself. It's just that my lazy brain sometimes really do not want to change or even to shift a little toward something new.

With all that said, I'm not changing urls anytime soon. As much as I want to bring you new content and new ideas, I doubt I'll be able to, so, this blog will remind unchanged even if my posting schedule is erratic and changeable.

I'm not really saying much here but I just want to get these thoughts out of my head. It's already a messy world as it is and I don't want to point out how much I hate the new change that's been spreading all over the news. I expect and hope there are people out there doing good changes to lessen the worry.

What do you think about changes? Do you go with the flow or stay stubborn to your old/own ways?

November 7, 2016

Oddlane Road Revised

'oddlane road' revised
closeups - click on image for larger view
The above is not really a revised but rather a different but finished version. I added a few things here and there. You can see the first version here. Open them in two browser windows and see if you can spot the difference.

This week's Creative Tuesdays' theme is "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."  For more of this week's Creative Tuesdays' participants, go here.

November 4, 2016

Top Ten Clothing Items

these are the ones I wish I have:

01/ a simple dress  — that fits every time according to my mood/weight/shape

02/ pants that are not low cut — it seems to me all pants they sell are low cut below the belly as if the waist is no longer a factor in pants making, seriously who thinks that is a good look unless you happen to have a flat stomach, how many of us do?

03/ dress shirts/blouses that are not low cut — apparently this is an issue with me and low cut clothes, seriously, some of us are not comfortable wearing shirts that reveals too much of the chest area, perhaps I'm the only one but I find the buttons are always placed either too low or too high

04/ socks — ones doesn't itch and made where there are no heels, no turn to indicate where your heel is suppose to be since they never quite fit anyway

& these are the ones love:

05/ hoodies — wear them like my second skin, really great for winter nights, I do prefer the ones with the front zipper and two side pockets

06/ boots  —  I like the ones that are not too high or too low, for some reason, whenever I go shopping for long boots, all they have are the ones that go up and over my thigh, I suppose that is the one disadvantage of being short, also I don't understand why boots has zipper closures when they also have laces, so perhaps it's easy to just use the zippers but I quite prefer to have one option

07/ sneakers  —  I like the simple ones that doesn't have crazy patterns or too thick heels, still looking for that perfect pair

08/ hats —  I have many hats that boyish-cut style hats but they're quite comfortable and I feel kind of lacking when I don't have a hat on when I'm outside

09/ pajama pants  —  never quite got into wearing the top only the bottom

10/ scarves —  love them, I would wear all the time if I could