2014 has really not been my year. It contained way more lows than highs. Actually it’s even hard for me to think of a high for the year. It’s a lot easier to think of a lot of lows, though I’m not sure if that’s due to a complete lack of highs or just due to my general grumpiness.
But just because it’s been a sucky year that doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything. That’s what it’s about in the end, right? Every year, whether good or bad, we learn new things and, hopefully, become better people.
So here is my list of things I learnt this year. I promise it doesn’t include “don’t sweat the small stuff”. 😉
Have you ever noticed how smelling a certain smell can sweep you head over heels down memory lane? How the smell of chalk dust can have you sitting back in school? How the smell of your favourite dinner as a kid can have you feeling like a child in your mother’s house again? It might be nice to feel like a kid again, but not so much fun to be back in school. That’s the thing with nasal memory. It takes you back to both good places and bad places without discrimination.
I had this work for me both ways recently, but I don’t think I want either back again.
Today it is exactly 15 years since I went to school for the very first time. I can always place this date very exactly because I started school on my grandmother’s 80th birthday. She would have been 95 today, but she is dead just over four years now. So this date, the 13th of January, isn’t really important to me because I went to school, or because of my grandmother’s birthday, for I didn’t actually have much contact or a connection with her. It is important to me because it marks the anniversary of me finding out I was different.
It’s been fifteen years that I’ve known I’m weird. When you’re six years old it is a terrible revelation knowing that you will never be normal. You will never fit in. You know, when you’re little you are not aware that other people’s lives are different from yours. It was only when I went to school for the first time that I found out that other people’s parents weren’t “old”. When I got to school for the first time I found out it was not normal to have parents who were already middle-aged and grey when you are only six years and two months. I wasn’t aware how weird it was to grow up without any influence from pop-culture, to hardly watch any TV at all and to not listen to modern music. But most of all, I didn’t know how big of an issue all of this would be to the other kids. (more…)
Here follows the final batch from the “Capturing December” challenge and then some reminiscence about the year 2012.
Sooo… It’s still the third week of NaNoWriMo. My little colourful calendar there in the sidebar is starting to look increasingly like a game of Tetris and I’m still winning the word count. I haven’t been behind yet, except for the second day where I was technically a few hundred words behind when midnight came, but I continued writing beyond midnight and by the end of day 3 I was all caught up again. So, this is the week of the 30,000’s. And the great and scary thing at the moment? My week-threes haven’t turned up yet. You know how I said that other people suffer during week 2, they hit a block, etc., but that I suffer during week 3, because that is usually when I run out of steam? I did run out of steam a bit in week one. Well, actually I started low on steam, but now I’m pretty
chilled chirpy. We’ll see what the rest of this week holds. I’m trying to study for English Lit and doing an assignment at the same time and it’s a bit stressful. I write English on Saturday (yes, Saturday, sometimes I hate my university) and I also have to hit 40,000 words that day. And the 3,000 word assignment is due next week. I just want to curl up on the couch and watch How to Train Your Dragon, but all of that will have to wait for December.
We’ll see. But that is not all that happened this week. I found a couple of things that are just yelling at me to hold on and keep writing and studying and creating. One of them was this tweet that appeared on my Twitter dashboard:
Jennifer Persinger (@jp0473) November 12, 2012
It came at the right time. I need to continue writing, even though the odds aren’t in my favour this week. Then… (more…)
Wow, is it really that late? I might as well add “story of my life to this”, because feeling like this is pretty normal for me. I’d been watching videos on YouTube and never noticed where the time went. So, I hope it is still Monday! And here’s a new cartoon! (I’m relegating all the “so, what happened last week-stuff to the bottom of the post, so we can get to the important stuff first.)
The moral of the story, kids? Just cough when you need to; it’s less disturbing than trying to be polite.
So… what happened in the last two weeks when I didn’t post? What happened was assignments. I had assignments to hand in on the 19th, the 20th, the 21st and the 28th. All of them essays. I hate it when it happens like this and it happens Every Single Year just before the recess because everyone wants to fit their stuff before the holiday. Anyway, it is now recess this week and I am slightly less tired than last week. I thought I’d try to draw some posts ahead of time to prevent these silences because things are going to be rough from now until final exams, but I think all of us know that is not going to happen because I have a stack of books to read in this week. And I do mean a stack. I am reading A Portrait of a Lady at the moment. (Which, very fittingly is on the frequently challenged-books list for Banned Books Week this week. I only found that out tonight. I’m not sure what about this book could make anyone want to ban it – so far it’s only been a lot of dry conversation – but then I’m only on page 100 [yay, that’s almost 1/6 done!] so I can’t speak.) And I have several more to read when that one is done. In between, Tumblr, blogs and making graphics distract my attention.
[By the way, I changed my Tumblr url. I am no longer cartoonsandcreativewriting|tumblr, but I am now hobbitofunseenhogwarts|tumblr. I am just trying to spread this news as wide as possible, because I feel bad about abandoning the old url just like that.]
Okay then, I’ll see y’all again next week! Or maybe sooner, if I can get a vlog made. I want to make a video again and I can only do so if I get the house to myself. For some or other stupid reason I can’t make these things if I think someone can hear me, which is kind of really stupid, seeing that I then put it on the internet for all to hear. Anyway… If I don’t make a video, until next Monday then!
I will now undertake a nocturnal excursion through the house and hope it doesn’t lead to another disaster…
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!
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!
First of all, I’d like to sincerely thank all of those of you who liked or commented on my previous post. Maybe I always appear chirpy and positive, but I am actually extremely insecure about my own writing. Many days I believe that I cannot write one word of sense. Many days I believe that I will never become a writer. So, thank you for the positive feedback. You’re helping to keep my dream alive. This means incredibly much to me, so here’s a picture of a cat to say thank you. A cat wearing a top hat. And it is indeed sitting on a mat.
It took me hours, because I’m so useless at Photoshop. Let me work in GIMP and I’ll have it done in a jiffy, but, oh my, Photoshop is hard to learn.
I have absolutely no athletic talent. I am completely useless at anything physical. The only kind of sport that I was vaguely good at school was the long distances running, and even that was not because I was good at it. I was just too stubborn to give in when I was tired and everybody else was super bad at it. Do not even ask me to run a block these days. That is what you get for working in the library all day.
Anyway, this is what happened the first time that I had athletics trials in school, when I had just started school.
We had to run the hundred metres and sit down beyond the finish line when we got there. I proved to be so slow that my whole group were already seated when I was still approaching the finishing line. That I had to run in the under 7 years group (the youngest possible) and I was only 6 and 2 months at that stage probably did not help, now that I think of it, because some of the other people were already 7, or almost 7.
And I had to go through this every year, because the school held trials every year, probably hoping that some late-blooming talent would reveal itself. After all, you’re only worth something to the school if you can bring in prizes. If not, just go keep yourself busy somewhere. I had to try everything: javelin – I nearly poked someone’s eye out; high-jump – I landed on the beam, ouch; long-jump – I got my shorts full of sand from skidding on my bum, but that was all; shot put – I nearly broke a toe. In the end, I concluded that I had the athletic ability of a tree.
Actually, most trees would have done better at soccer than I did. (That’s football to all you weird people.) In my final year of high school, they constantly made us play soccer for Physical Exercise.
(Most) trees do not fall over if they get hit by a soccer ball. Elana, however, proved that she does fall over when hit with a soccer ball. This is no great effort for me, as I have the ability to fall over my own feet while standing still.
This was not my only fail at soccer, however. If I ever got the ball and managed to dribble it, I quite often forgot which one was my team’s goal. But seeing that our goals were often represented by two schoolbags and a tin can, I consider it understandable that I got confused. I also sometimes forgot which people were in my team and then I passed the ball to the wrong people. Oh dear, sorry.
I also quite often ran up to the ball, meaning to kick it and then completely missing it, running right past it and kicking empty air. Clearly, I have no aim.
But the best fail-moment of all… Oh, that embarrassing day…
I’ll let the pictures speak for me:
Yes, I tried kicking the ball, actually aiming straight this time, and ended tripping over it. Ouch. It was my class’s entertainment for the day. The girl who could trip over a soccer ball. It’s like the new version of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
Now it is rather funny, but it really wasn’t funny when it happened. Ah well, that’s what school is for, isn’t it? Making embarrassing memories that you can laugh about in a few years’ time.
And… that’s my story for today.
Tomorrow I’m finally going to go see The Hunger Games. I know, I’m the last person in the world on the bandwagon. Anyway, when I checked before release to see when it was coming out, I saw that it was rated 16 for violence. And I was thinking that simply meant that my 15-year-old-face and I were going to have trouble at the ticket office again. As usual. They always give me trouble. Why would I ask for an adult ticket if I was a teenager? So that I could pay more? Not likely. One of these days, if they doubt my age again, I should just toss my driver’s license on the counter and say “Read my birthdate. Read it!” Um… what I meant to say was that I see the rating has now been dropped to only 13V. Hopefully, they won’t give me trouble now, but then again, I’d believe anything.
(The Versatile Blogger, that is, not my birthday. I know when my birthday is, thank’ee ver’much!)
Anyhow, I’m 20 today! I’m so glad. I’ve been ready to be out of my teens for so long!
Obligatory (slightly blurry, mostly horrible) birthday pic:
Look! I’m wearing my origami earrings! I made and designed them myself and then wrote a how-to on wikiHow to share it with others. You can read it, and see them more clearly here: How to Make Origami Earrings. Oh, and that’s my Eine Kleine Nachtmusik printed T-shirt. I bought it a long while ago in Saltzburg, in Mozart’s birthplace house. Then for years I never wore it, but recently, I wear it just about every week. And I twisted up my très Coco Chanel outfit with flowers. Much less boring, hein?
The other news is that the Idiotphotographer has passed on the Versatile Blogger award to me. Thank you very much! It came as a huge surprise, because at first I thought “But I’m not versatile! I just go along!” But then I though that I do post on lots of different topics and styles, so perhaps I am eligible. You can just look at my tag cloud to see the random, diverse stuff I ramble about! Okay… thank you, I accept and I appreciate it very much!
So, now I am apparently supposed to share 7 random things about myself. (Why is it always so hard to think of anything to say when someone says… “So… tell me about yourself.”?)
1.) I’m the only child of parents who had me when they were already middle-aged. No, I’m not spoiled. Well, I don’t think so anyway. My parents did not do nearly as spoiling as many people I knew did to their kids. Being this long-awaited only baby is just more pressure on you to perform. Well… I did get loads more attention and time that most kids who had to share got… Wow, this fact turned into a long preach!
2.) My best friend and I share a birthday. I know. It’s weird. Happy birthday, friend! *big hug*
3.) I can and do write with both hands. I’ve never tried at the same time before, though. I mostly write left these days (it just feels more “right” [no pun intended]), but then today was one of my odd days and I wrote my entire three-essay exam right-handed.
4.) I don’t Facebook, and I stubbornly refuse to succumb to it!
5.) I have a huge fear of dogs. It’s almost like a phobia. People are constantly telling me it is silly, but I simply can’t help it. I know it is silly myself, but if I see a dog I go ice-cold all over and I just want to run and hide. The dog doesn’t even need to bark and look aggressive, I go bonkers anyway. Ha! I’m a cat person!
6.) I play RuneScape. Yeah, I’m a girl nerd.
7.) I once had to kick a soccer (football to those of you who use weird terms…) ball for PE in school. Well, I aimed and kicked at it, but then tripped over the ball and fell. That was entertaining my class for the rest of the day I can tell you! That’s how clumsy I am. I fall up stairs and down stairs and also over my own feet while standing still…
Now, the passing on of the baton…
Why is this so difficult? Apparently I am supposed to nominate up to 15 people. But I only read about 15 blogs, and… not all of those qualify as versatile in my book. Or they have had this award like several times before… Hmm…
Well, I’ll know what I can do. I’ve seen other people send out a call for nominations, because they simply have not enough people to nominate. So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll nominate those that I want to now, and then if anyone wants to nominate someone else as well, leave it in the comments down below and I’ll consider adding them!
Bethie, over at Hear a Snippet Here. She writes about anything from letters to fiction, and then she still manages to add ramblings on hairstyles and strange quirks. Check her stuff out – one day she’ll be a famous author and then you’ll be glad you knew her in her blog days!
The Stressed Out Student over at Stressing Out College. I can always laugh at this blog – probably because all of it sounds so familiar to me. Yep, it’s versatile, ‘cause college is versatile.
Hmm… was that all? I could swear I thought of a third person that I wanted to include here… Well, I’ll update that in as well when I remember… if…
I do not know anyone who was affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks personally. I am not even American. But this does not mean I cannot cry about what happened that day. I’m sorry, but there is nothing funny about this post. If you were expecting humour, or wit, or a degrading of those who planned and executed the attack, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. What ever my tagline says, I can be serious and melancholic as well.
All I can remember about that day is…
I was 9 years old and in Grade 4. It was afternoon here already and I was home from school, unaware of what Fate was planned for that day. I almost think my mother and I were in the kitchen, preparing food, when my dad frantically called from work and told us to put the TV on. He had seen what had happened on the internet. I think it was about 3 o’ clock in the afternoon and this was in the days before we had cell phones or internet at home. We switched the TV on and we were just in time to see the plane crash into one of the Twin Towers. This was the news, replaying the event and interrupting the daily cartoons. 9/11 was no day to watch cartoons. We were nailed in front of the TV, watching that same footage replay again and again. Then about an hour or two later, Dad came home, and we heard all the details he had already read. I could not understand. I could not understand how someone could purposefully crash a plane and knowingly cause so many people to die. “How could they not care about all those innocent people?” I asked myself again and again. It took me years, but today I think I understand.
I remember how the tragedy was all over the papers next day, and in school and on the news. Yes, again and again the news. I remember how I got chills every time we heard that they had found another person alive under the rubble, every time we heard of another incredible survival story, every time we heard of an individual’s tragic decease. I remember wanting to cry every time I saw family members cry at Ground Zero, family members holding bouquets and photographs. I also wanted to cry every time I saw someone’s grief drive them to fury, every time I saw someone shout exhortations at those guilty for this attack. “This is not the way it should be,” I remember thinking.
Tonight I watched the memorial service on the television, and again I wanted to cry with those affected by the attack. Everywhere the message “Never forget” is plastered. I wish I could forget. I wish I did not remember everything so vividly. But I cannot. And everyone who can remember owes those who cannot and those who died this: do not forget. This is about more than you. This is not about whether you want to hide from the pain, but it is about the well-being of the world. We must not forget, because we must help the world remember so that this will never happen again. As long as we can remember the mistakes from the past, we can try to prevent them happening again in the future. And this may never happen again.
That is all. I don’t have anything heroic to say about freedom and rebirth. All I can do is offer up a tribute to 9/11. To the victims, the survivors and the perpetrators – God Bless. All I have is this poem by Kelly Strong, called “Freedom Is Not Free”, which I decorated in the American colours.
It’s a decade later. All we have is memories. And a responsibility.
That is all. I just wanted to put that out there.