Laughter and books make life a little easier

etc.

Happy Bloggiversary to… uh, me!

Today this blog is one year old! Yay!

So how about right now for a time to go down memory lane?

Today one year ago, I wrote my first post on here about how much I hated that security gate in the library. I still hate that security gate, but it’s a new one now, so it hasn’t given me problems yet. That doesn’t stop me from feeling nervous every time I have to walk through it.

I wrote and drew that very first post when I should have been studying for a test. But I decided that this was way more fun. (I failed that test by the way.) My habits in blogging have not changed much in a year. Actually I should be sleeping at the moment. 😉

I didn’t get any views on the blog that day, but the next day I got two. Goodness knows where those two came from. I didn’t get any comments either, until I asked my friend to come and read. Now I have neither shortage of commenters or viewers. Everyday this still amazes me. This blog started as a little diversion, a little cure for boredom and a big factor in procrastination. Now just look how it has grown. Today, it lies at over 52,000 hits all time. And hundreds upon hundreds of comments.

The day that I signed up for my WordPress account (my old account, for my previous blog), I said to myself, while viewing the homepage: one day I want to write something that will end up on here as well. A girl can dream, can’t she? 😛 But it proved to be more than a dream, because on 17 January this year my blog was indeed Freshly Pressed. When it was only 7 months old. I was so completely overwhelmed by this. The reaction, the comments, the stats going haywire… I didn’t know how to handle this dream come true. But is it not often like this? You dream and dream, but when it becomes reality, it scares you. This happened to me when going to  university for the first time. I’d dreamt of going for years, but when I finally got there, I was scared stiff. By evening, I was sick from nerves. The same thing happened with FP. I was scared stiff by the email notifications streaming in about one or two per minute. I didn’t know what to do with it all!

Fun fact:

This blog started off under the name “Cartoon Dramas”, the same as the URL. It was only for cartoons. I was not interested at that stage in publishing any of my creative writing on it, because I knew what a commitment that was. But then… I started following Mara’s blog (eccentricowl.com). At that time, she ran Weekly Writing Challenges. I wanted to participate, so I needed to publish a story on my blog. So I did. And later decided to change my blog name to suit the new content. Today… I pretty much blog beyond the content designated by the title all the time. Like now. And last time. This state of affairs will probably still be continuing for a while, because exams start next week. Of course, I cannot escape without a nasty timetable either. I write three papers in one week. Most excellent.

So I’m sorry for the lack of cartoons. Or, for that matter any kind of content. I have just finished with my assignments for this semester (and, my word, it was an extravaganza) and handed in the last of the little bastards today. Next week, exams start. I don’t think I will be around much for a while then. I would have queued posts so that the blog could keep running, but I didn’t have time to make any. Heck, I didn’t even finish drawing this week’s cartoon, and I really wanted to. It was a good one, I thought, but it will just have to wait. That’s something to look forward to.

Well, well, this was a strange post for me. The shortage of visuals and whatnot… I’m not quite used to this Just Writing. And… I think I just forgot what I was going to say. That just shows you what my concentration levels are like at the end of a semester. I think I should just stop now with this post, before it all goes completely down the drain.

Oh yes, just one more thing. Seeing that the blog is now one y/o and everything… Can y’all please complete this poll? Especially if you’re a regular reader, I’d really appreciate it.

I’m not going to do anything with this info – it’s just for me. I’m just interested in finding out where my readership lies. From the comments, I’m getting the idea that it is in the younger generation… but you can never really tell. Thanks in advance! 😀

PS. I celebrated my bloggiversary by downloading a million (okay, about 70) Lord of the Rings screencaps. For… you know… making graphics once the exams are over. 😉

Gah… I want to do a vlog again. Actually I should, seeing that I still have a few announcements and things to make. I’ll have to see what I can do.

Expect me when you see me!

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This is a bit ranty… Also, The Hunger Games

Well…

I’m so ridiculously tired right now. If I sit for too long, I fall asleep. This week has been too long. And it only gets worse after this. For the rest of the month, I have at least one assignment to hand in per week. And then at the end, the exams start. Yay. Things are always this crazy just before the end of a semester, because all the deadlines just start heaping up and everyone tries to fit everything in before term’s over. Oh, and of course every lecturer lives alone in their world. No other subjects or work exist. “Why can’t you do three assignments for me? It’s not as though you have anyone else to also give you three assignments, do you?” Bleh.

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This has been my position for the past few weeks. Keeping my head down, scribbling as fast as possible. I usually end up working at the dining room table, because there are less distractions and the constant traffic past the table keeps me working, instead of dreaming, drawing or staring. Also, it is easier to work there than clear space on my desk. It’s kinda full… of stuff… not work.

My paranoia over assignments is not helping during this time, either. Every time we get written work back, I fear failure. This comes with me from school-days. I’m the kid who goes all wobbly-kneed when I spot the stack of assignments on the lecturer’s table. It doesn’t matter if I know the quality of writing I did, I still doubt it. I have only once failed an assignment and that was way back in first year. It doesn’t stop the paranoia. Tests? Oh yes, I’ve failed a few of those. Mainly French literature. I hardly ever knew what page we were on, much less what the story was about. Anyway, tests are much more salvageable if you fail them. They usually don’t count as much as assignments. So yes, what I meant to say was that I live in constant paranoia at the moment with this stream of assignments. Seriously, I hand in one of the little bastards and then go straight back to the library to start on the research for the next one. I’d rather write this amount of tests in the place of the written work to be honest. I hate analytical essays. All that quoting and referencing and comparing stuff drives me crazy.

 

Anyhow, I don’t really know why I just subjected you to my complaining over my work. I wouldn’t blame you if you just skipped over the above two paragraphs. Nobody is interested, probably. However I haven’t anything blog-worthy to say this week. I haven’t drawn anything and nothing except work has happened. But I feel guilty about not posting and stats have already fallen through rock-bottom a while back and I don’t like that much. Winking smile So… what I’m going to do is…

I’m going to review The Hunger Games movie. Someone (hmm… no, I don’t know who it was anymore, sorry) suggested in the comments last time that I write what I thought about the movie. I’m calling it a review, but this is mostly my opinion. I’m not going to do all that fancy stuff with the technical details and the actors’ names. If you want to know, look it up. And there are going to be spoilers and spoilers of other movies and books*, because I can never talk about one movie without comparing it to other movies. Right. Everyone still awake? Here we go.

*Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Artemis Fowl and Mistborn, if you must know upfront.

 

Thoughts I had in the theatre (in approximate order):

  • Why does someone have to sit in front of me!? You be stealin’ mah footrest! I can be very uncharitable about my footrest in theatres. Smile with tongue out
  • Ooh, the score is beautiful. (I knew this beforehand, actually. Because I downloaded the score before seeing the movie.) James Newton Howard is a master.
  • Hmm, District 12 does not look at all like I imagined it. Hmm.
  • Aww, no drunk scene for Haymitch. That was hilarious in the book and I was disappointed not to see it.
  • “Mahogany!” Hehehehe!
  • Peeta is cute.
  • Wow, the Capitol! Also, Cinna!! And his gold eyeliner!
  • Girl on fire! Eep!
  • Caesar Flickerman! (Have I spelled that right?) Oh my, my, my, my, what a treat. He was so exactly like I imagined him, so perfect, that I was quite overwhelmed. I couldn’t stop staring at this blue apparition. In fact, I was compelled to say “He looks like a huge, blue peacock on that stage!” Not loudly mind, I’m not that person who comments loudly in theatres.
  • The fire dress! O-O
  • Well, the training is fun to watch.
  • Katniss, haven’t you got another top to wear?
  • “Thank you for your consideration.” Hehehehe!
  • Ah, finally it is starting.
  • I really hate bees. Wasps. Tracker jackers. Whatever. This entire scene made me feel very queasy because I can’t stand swarms of buzzing insects.
  • Rue! Eep!

And… and then all thoughts went out of my mind as Rue was hit by that spear.

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The girl in front of me gasped so hard and started crying that I felt quite sorry for her. Obviously she did not see that one coming. I knew it was coming and it still hurt. I knew it before I read the book, in fact. Stupid internet. Spoiling that one for me. I had to be rather strict with myself not to join in the general teariness that was going on in that theatre. I never cry over movies or books.

Then came the scene of rebellion in District 11, one of my personal favourite moments. I’m a sucker for scenes like that…

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I told myself, “Seriously Elana, you’re 20 years old and you’re crying about a picture on a screen. It’s not real.”

Then Katniss started crying. And I decided…

It's real

And I joined in.

 

That’s it, mostly, for my thoughts. After Rue’s death, I mostly stopped thinking and just sat staring. Though I have to say, I’m glad I was waiting for the muttation to appear when it did, because there was some more general screaming and gasping in the theatre when it did.

Other things:

  • I think they did a really great job with the cast. Everyone looked and acted more or less like described. I hate it when moviemakers take a character and, for example, change the hair colour all the way from brown to blond. I always want to ask, “So, why was hair dye invented?” I’m glad it didn’t happen in this movie.
  • I really loved how we got to see the Games Room, or whatever it is called. And also the other districts.
  • At first I didn’t like how they portrayed Haymitch and then he got kind of endearing.
  • Have I said yet that Rue’s death now falls under my category of “Most Painful Partings In Movies”? It now joins the ranks of the deaths of Dobby (In Harry Potter 7), Dumbledore (Harry Potter 6), Root (Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception), Kelsier (Mistborn 1), and the ending of Lord of the Rings. I tear up every time I see Sam’s face there at the Grey Havens. It never gets any less tragic.

 

So, in conclusion, I really liked The Hunger Games movie. I couldn’t find anything that seriously bothered me in the adaption and that is quite rare for me. It was a treat mostly and Jennifer Lawrence made a great Katniss.

 

Aaaaaaaaand… now my words are all used up. Now for a nap… sleep and perchance to dream. (Shakespeare is probably turning in his grave over that mangled quote.)
Winking smile

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It’s Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday quote


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To all those of you who celebrate Easter…

Good Friday quote


More literal sayings and other things

Well, hello! I hope everyone had a great week!

After my previous post on portraying the literal meanings of words turned out quite popular, I thought I might as well draw a few more. This time it is…

Taking Sayings Literally.

Enjoy!

 

Don't fly off the handle!

 

Don't lose your temper!

 

Keep your hair on!

 

And that’s it for drawings today! But I still have a few more things up my sleeve! Or rather, up my computer fingers!

 

Seeing that it is (almost) the last day of March, I wanted to make a graphic representation of what my month looked like. Let me introduce…

Homework Extravaganza

March

Really, that 23rd truly was a nightmare day. And the 27th was not much better. Now I just want to go to sleep, but I can’t. I’ve got a few more assignments and stacks of homework waiting for me. Blargh!

 

However, I should hope that I was still able to laugh as I struggled through the 3rd week of March. This is what made me laugh:

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Yes, those are sticky notes all round my laptop screen. It’s my references for said HUGE assignment. I stuck them there because I kept forgetting which author wrote what article and in what year. And then I had to page through everything again when I wanted to quote. That got annoying.

 

Lastly, I recently saw some bloggers making typography images with all the fonts that they regularly use and I thought it was a very good idea. I try to use only a handful of signature fonts in my cartoons, but if you’ve been around for a while you’d know I have a slight font obsession. So… this is mostly only for my own benefit to remember which fonts when/how/what, but maybe someone could find it useful. So I’m sharing it!

All these fonts are available as free downloads (obviously). Actually I don’t use Elven Common Speak or Lime Glory Caps in my cartoons as they are too hard to read, but I only included them because I use them in my blog signature.

Fonts.png

 

Have a great weekend!

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Too many things to fit in this title

Well yes, it’s true. There’s so much I want to post about! Sorry that it’s a bit discombobulated.

Earlier today, I posted this on Twitter, but I may as well ask here too:

So, what did you other Tolkien fans (I know you’re out there!) do for this special day? For those of you who don’t know Lord of the Rings / haven’t figured it out yet, the 25th of March is the day on which the happenings in Lord of the Rings culminate, making it a special day for the fandom. Apart from the Hobbits’ birthday (22 September) and Christmas Day (the day the Quest set out), of course.

Beth from Hear a Snippet Here wants me to say my ABCs. So, in the words of Monsieur Hercule Poirot, my ABCs, they shall be said.* Bethie is probably also the first person to ever call me cool. 😉

(*M. Poirot didn’t say exactly that. I improvised a bit. However, can’t you just here David’s Suchet’s voice in your head if you read that? 😛 )

First for passing it on:

Because I’m fed up of thinking of people to pass these things on to, I’m opening up the rules and saying: Go on, take it. This is a free for all. If you want this, grab the picture, post me a link and make your own list. All of my followers are awesome and I’d love to read your lists! Have fun! 😀

I decided to make my list on book characters, to fit in with Beth’s list of books. So here follows an alphabetical list of characters that I love. I just went on the first names and I included the books where you can find these ink-and-paper people. Sorry if there are any spoilers!

Artemis Fowl – This one was a tough choice between Allanon of the Shannara-series, and the main character of the Artemis Fowl-series by Eoin Colfer. But there are many wise-wizard characters in fantasy (even though Allanon is pretty awesome among them), while there is only one Artemis Fowl.

Bilbo Baggins – How could I not mention Bilbo here? He’s wonderful. Be prepared to meet many more Lord of the Rings characters in this list. Just look, how could you not love him?

Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci) – He’s arrogant, intimidating, cares way too much about his clothes, generally annoying and brave. I love him. Find him in the Chrestomanci-series by Diana Wynne Jones.

Damson Rhee – If there is one thing that I really admire about Terry Brooks’s writing, it is his strong female characters. Damson is strong, independent and resourceful. Find her in the Heritage of Shannara-quartet.

Eowyn – According to me, Eowyn of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is one of the earliest, most feministic characters ever written. I love her strength.

I agree with you, my lady.

Frodo Baggins – How could I leave out Lord of the Rings’ main character!? I love hobbits, incase you haven’t noticed yet. Actually, I’d love to include Sam here with Frodo, because they go together in my mind. Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam…

Gandalf – This is so obvious. I’m not saying anything more.

Harry Potter – And this as well. I’m just glad that J.K. Rowling made him not only a hero, but also a very human character. He has his flaws and faults, just like everyone else.

Igor – Actually I didn’t know who to add here, because I couldn’t actually think of anything favourite characters with an I-name. So I’m just adding the Igor-characters from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld-series. Yes, there’s a whole family of them and they all have the same name, because it saves confusion. If they say so… They are pretty entertaining however!

Jane Marple – I love Miss Marple. I love her way more than Agatha Christie’s other sleuth, Hercule Poirot. She is just such a sweet old lady, but she has a mind of steel. It is impossible to put one over her. I love her for her sweetness and for her hidden fire…

Kelsier – This one was another tough choice. I wanted to put Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games here as well as Kelsier, but in the end, Kelsier won. He has wonderful charisma that makes him a great leader, but he is also a flawed, broken human being. He’s arrogant, but a great friend. He tends to walk over everyone else, but he cares intensely about people. He’s one of my all-time favourite characters and you can find him in The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

Luna Lovegood – Ah Luna. What can I say about her that has not already been said? I guess all I can say is that she is my second-favourite Harry Potter-character, and probably the single character that has had the greatest influence on me.

Moist von Lipwig – Ah, Moist! Conman who has to turn civil servant, or else he gets hanged – again. He’s hilarious, always moving fast unless what is chasing him catches up and the most insane ideas seem to sprout from him. He is also a very close contender for the honoured position of my favourite Discworld-character. Moist makes his first appearance in Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.

Neville Longbottom – Neville! Here it comes: Neville Longbottom is my favourite Harry Potter-character. Yes, I loved him from the very start in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I can write a whole post just about Neville – and actually I already have. I’ll publish it sometime!

Oliver Twist – I read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens some time ago. At times it was torturous going and at other times I loved it. Oliver is just such an endearing character that I had to include him in this list.

Pe Ell – I think Pe Ell is one of the most interesting characters in Terry Brooks’s Shannara, probably because his path is not set from the beginning, unlike many of the other characters. I love his conflict and his character development – always a surprise. Find him in The Heritage of Shannara-quartet.

Quentin Leah – Ah! Another one from Shannara. I can’t even promise it’s the last. Well, it is such a mammoth series after all… Mostly Quentin is just here because of the letter his name starts on. Let’s just say he is here as representative of the rest of his Leah-family. And make that the Ohmsford-family as well. I couldn’t think of any other character that has a Q-name, except for Quirrel from Harry Potter and he always annoyed me, so Quentin it is! I like him well enough, he’s just not that special.

Rincewind – The first Discworld character (close enough anyway), so he deserves a place on this list. Actually, Rincewind can annoy me a lot with his cowardice, but at the end of the day, he is just such an endearing character. I think there is a little Rincewind in all of us, to tell the truth. We all probably know that the “right” thing to do is to be brave and stand and fight, but when the guys with swords approach you, all you want to do is run away so that your flip-flops fly through the air. The eternal coward…

Sherlock Holmes – No, not the BBC’s version, but the original created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And of course, Dr John Watson deserves an honourable mention too. What is it about these two characters that have made them so popular throughout the ages?

Tiffany Aching – I love young witch Tiffany. She is one of the few characters that I can really identify with, even though I’m double her age. She makes her first appearance in The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett.

Uhl Belk – Okay, he’s basically here because of his name and nothing else, because I seriously could not think of any other character with a U-name. However, I can’t deny that he is interesting and I love it if we get a bit of back-story for an evil Dark Lord so that we are not just forced to accept his evilness for a fact. Find him in The Heritage of Shannara-quartet.

Vimes (a.k.a. His Grace, the Duke of Ankh, Commander of the City Watch, Sir Samuel Vimes. There’s also a Blackboard Monitor in there somewhere, but I’ve forgotten where now.) Okay, I’m cheating by going on the surname, but who cares. Between Vimes and Lord Vetinari a great battle is going on for my fav Pratchett character. And I can only have one here, because  there’s only one V! 😦 However, I’m choosing to put Vimes here, because he is a way more accessible character, other than Vetinari, who is miles away on an icy throne, even though he is awesome. I don’t even know what to fit in about Vimes here, so I think I’ll have to write a whole post about him too! 😉 He makes his first appearance in Guards! Guards!, so go read it yourself and make up your mind!

William de Worde – Here comes another Discworld character! William is the world’s first journalist and I always find myself giggling at him, because he is always correcting everyone else’s spelling and grammar, just like I do. You can mainly find him in The Truth.

Xeno – Okay, last Pratchett character, promise! He’s mostly here just because of his name as well, but he is quite funny in the books. He is a parody on the Greek philosopher Zeno who was famous for thinking of paradoxes, and you can find him in Pyramids.

Yavanna – Another hard one. I didn’t really know who to put here, so I just picked her out of Tolkien’s Silmarillion, even though I have not read the whole of that yet. Another contender for this letter was rebel-leader Yeden from Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire, but he was not that kind of exceptional character. I’ll just stay with Tolkien, thanks. 😛

Zoroastro – Last one picked by name. Last one in general as well, obviously. Zoroastro is a character in Theresa Breslin’s The Medici Seal. He provides a nice contrast to the other characters who are most Catholic, whereas Zoroastro still keeps to traditional beliefs and rituals.

And there you have it! Sorry it got so long. I always talk too much when it comes to books and everything related to them. Now I have to read some more of King Lear. I gave up reading from my book, because it’s just too hard to follow and now I’m reading the “dual-language” version on Sparknotes. The bonus is that, with their new background, I get to look at Katniss Everdeen whilst I’m reading. And at Peeta and Gale too, of course.  😉

Have a great week!