LA Adventure Photo Book

Last call to participate in my Q&A! I would love to get a few more questions check out the post and leave a comment with any questions you have! Thanks guys <3

I recently took a little adventure down the coast to the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles with my grandparents. I thought it might be fun to compile a little photo post for all you readers. Enjoy!

Sword of Summer Book Review

A book review for you guys- but also be sure to check out my Q&A-- comment on the post with any questions for me which I will answer soon! Thanks guys!

Summary: The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan, is an action adventure book based on Norse mythology. It follows sixteen year old Magnus Chase as he discovers he is a son of Frey, the Norse god of abundance, temperate weather, and equilibrium, and embarks on a quest to save everyone from an evil power that is rising. Unfortunately, nobody but his two friends, a dwarf and an elf, an a Valkyrie girl named Samirah believe him.

I have been a fan of Riordan's books since I first read The Lightning Thief, which was around fifth grade. My enthusiasm for his books skyrocketed when the Heroes of Olympus series came out. I have reread all the books several times (I've probably read Mark of Athena twenty times) and in addition did my best to memorize every character, plot twist, everything. In addition I read The Kane Chronicles which I also loved.

So when this new book about Magnus Chase came out, I went and bought it pretty quickly. But I knew there was not going to be any of the greek/roman gang that I loved, and it was unlikely our egyptian friends would show up. So it took me a while to pick up this book. I tried to convince myself I was over the series, this book wouldn't affect me, all these books are merely a fond memory and when I read it it would be like reliving the past or something.

Yeah I was wrong. I'm sorry but I'm still totally obsessed with these books.

So let's be honest with ourselves, every Rick Riordan book has the exact same plot line. Kid finds out he's related to gods has magical powers meets cool sidekick friends oh no imminent apocalypse only you can save it destined to be a hero embark on a quest YOU HAVE THREE DAYS LEFT yada yada yada.

Unfortunately for me, this plot line is totally effective in ensnaring me every single time. Thanks Uncle Rick.

Magnus himself is snarky, sassy, and everything you want in a main character. Riordan deploys his usual assortment of witty jokes throughout the novel which kept me laughing and looking around desperately for someone to share the humor with until I finally had to settle with my dogs (they were laughing on the inside I'm sure of it). I was also pleasantly surprised to find lots of easter eggs to the other series throughout the novel. There was a wisecrack about a pen sword (hahah Percy) and also a comment about how many times Jason passes out (so true).

On a similar note, the appearance of Annabeth was exciting for me, and it was thrilling to find out she was Magnus's cousin. All this has lead me to believe there may be a series with all the characters... aka my dream come true.

The gods in this book were represented alright I guess. I got what they were supposed to be, and they were pretty funny. I am not super attached to the mythology like I am the Greek and Roman and Egyptian, but I think I will be once the rest of the series comes out.

I enjoyed the characters in this book, Hearthstone probably being my favorite. Blitzen is hilarious, and reminds me a little of Coach Hedge. I feel they would get along if Blitzen made him some outrageous fashion. Samirah was great, although I felt like I didn't fully get to know her character as much as I had hoped. Although I hope that Magnus gets a love interest in the future (I have heard a rumor she may be related to Reyna - !! - my favorite PJHO character) I appreciated that this book was romance free on the most part. This is very refreshing to have in a YA book. I also am always happy about the large amount of diversity presented in all of Riordans's books. It is so great that all these differences are represented, and that they are all represented equally. I hope that he continues to place such an emphasis on diversity, it makes reading that much more interesting and fulfilling. And really, the world is a diverse place, so it only makes sense that novels placed in the world would be diverse as well.

Overall this book was a good read, especially if you have been enjoying Riordan's work for a long time. It simply never gets old in my opinion.

What did you think of The Sword of Summer? How did it compare with the rest of Riordan's work? Comment below!


Q & A

Hey there readers-
So some other bloggers have been doing Q&As recently (Ava and Vanessa- check them out they are amazing) and I decided to borrow their idea and do the same. I actually really like answering questions so please ask away! Plus, I realize I don't really post that much about myself or my everyday life on here, so it will help you all to get to know me a little better. So anyways, comment below with as many questions as you can think of. I look forward to answering them!

Rising Authors Tag

Hello! Today I have a tag post (yay!!!). It has been a while since I've done a tag and I am super excited about this one. Thank you Noor from A Little Bit of Sunshine for posting about this tag- I am going to take her offer of anyone participating. Thank you! So, the rules are:

1) Write a post thanking the person who tagged you: include the tag, the 11 questions asked, your answers, and, in reply to the request for a small piece of prose or poetry, share a 150-word story.
2) At the end of the post, provide 11 new questions.
3) Request a brief 150-word story from the people you tagged.
4) Tag at least one person, and include a link to their blog.

1) Write on paper or on the computer?
I write on both to be honest. I do my brainstorming and research usually on paper, and I write poetry on paper almost always, but for my longer stories I prefer the computer.

2) On average, how many words do you write in one session?

Mmm.. I'm not sure. It really depends on the day and how well my words are flowing.

3) Fanfiction: yay or nay?

I don't really have a strong opinion about fanfic. I enjoy reading it every now and then, but only if it is for a book that I felt was incomplete or lacking, or just wasn't my favorite. I'm super nit-picky about details when I'm reading, so fanfic sometimes throws me off because it has new details. I don't know I'm just weird about knowing all the specifics. As for writing, I don't really ever write fanfic because I feel like I'm adding to an already finished story? I don't know I think it all ties back to my crazy detail obsession. But I have nothing against fan fiction or people who enjoy fanfiction- I think it is a great writing form and super cool- I often wish I could get more into it!

4) Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? If so, did you win, and did you like or dislike it?
I have not done it yet but I am doing it this year! I am really excited- I have heard lots of good stuff about it, and I'm already doing some preliminary research for my story!

5) Do you share your writing with your family/close friends?
I used to, but I sort of stopped after I realized every time I talked about a story I stopped writing it. Now I don't give any details about the story or even mention it much until I'm done with the first draft. It is really hard for me though, I constantly want to blab about my story to my good friend who's also a writer.

6) What are some of the most helpful pieces of writing advice you've heard?
One of the most helpful thing's I've ever read that has sort of become my writing mantra is this quote from Shannon Hale:

“I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

This is so encouraging for me because I often feel like whatever I'm working on is terrible and want to just stop and throw it away, but this quote keeps me writing even when I think everything is garbage.

7) Do you write poetry?
YES!! I love poetry so much and write a ton- I often process events big and small that occur in my life through poetry, so my journal is full of it.

8) Describe 3 characters from stories that you've written.
So these are some characters from an old short story that I wrote that you can find under my library tab- it's called The Chosen One (cliche I know forgive me, it was a couple years ago).

Marya is a dark wizard. She is very pale with moonbeam hair that has a single streak of pure black. She keeps it braided down her back. Her chosen weapon is daggers and of course her staff. She is very powerful, and dabbles in dark magic that is mysterious and deadly. Even though she appears cold and emotionless, deep down she has a pure heart and wants to do the right thing. Her crescent moon tattoo identifies her as a dark wizard.

Kellin is a light wizard with dark skin and curly hair. He wears white breeches and vests, and fights with an elaborate sword and his staff. Unlike Marya, his magic is more straight forward and offensive- fireballs, forcefields and the like. He is more open, and is the only person who is able to get past Marya's walls and hear what she's really thinking. His eight pointed star tattoo identifies him as a light wizard.

Pierre is the Chosen One, and has come to take his place as a god. He is tall, surly, and wears over the top clothes. Annoying, stuck-up, and greedy, he drives Marya and Kellin crazy.

9) What called you to writing?
I don't know exactly, I have wanted to write as long as I can remember. I actually have stories I wrote back in first and second grade. I guess I've been wanting to write my whole life.

10) Do you like killing off your characters?
No! I'm such a softy I know but I love all my characters so much it really hurts me to kill them off. I postpone it as long as I can and then do it really gently. It's not a good strategy because then I have to go back and make it more intense.

11) Have you gotten published?
I wish. I will be someday!

And here is a snippet of my writing:

As soon as they reached the bank, Pierre quickly jumped off his horse and rushed toward the canoe.
“I shall ride in this. The Chosen One should not be wet, for fear of catching cold. The rest of you can take the horses.”
“I don’t think it will do you much good against the water.” Marya said with a bemused smile. “The gaping hole at the bottom won’t exactly keep you above the surface.
Pierre looked down at the canoe in dismay as he noticed the large gap in the wooden planks. He trudged back over to them and took his horse's reins.
“Well, you probably wouldn’t have made it across without me to guide you anyway.” he sniffed.
Kellin rolled his eyes and dismounted, gesturing for the others to follow suite. He led them to the edge of the bank, where he scanned the bed, looking for a safe place to cross.
“Here should be good.” he called back to them. “The water is choppy but there aren’t too many rocks. Just be careful not to be swept away by the current.”

The group nodded their understanding and Kellin pulled gently on the reins of his horse, leading it into the water. His boots sloshed and splashed as their soles hit the slippery mud, and his feet almost slid out from under him. Digging his heels into the loam he began walking, getting deeper and deeper into the water. The icy cold liquid caused him to shiver as it crept higher and higher, his breeches absorbing it until his legs were soaked. The rest of the party joined him in the water, cringing as the stream rose up to meet them. The horses plodded behind them, picking their way through the slippery stones and patches of mud.

So there's a tiny bit of my story The Chosen One. Feel free to read it- there's a link to it on my library page.

So now I'm supposed to tag people but, like Noor, I feel like everyone has already done this tag. So I'm just going to tag everyone!

As for my questions, I also am going to use the same questions as before, becauseI feel like those were good questions and fun to answer. So just use those ones if you decide to do this tag.

Ok, that about wraps it up! Tell me if you agree with my answers in the comments, and feel free to participate as well!

Sketchbook Stuff

It has been a while since I've posted any sketchbook stuff, sorry about the wait. I have been really getting inspired (and distracted) by sketchbook flip-throughs on YouTube, so my art may reflect that a little. Also, I've been working a lot on folds in fabric as well as creating interesting expressions. Enjoy these pieces, and let me know what you think o f them in the comments!

some art journaling

a self portrait

my good friend amanda <3

lady of the lake

some trees- used an art book to paint these, credits to the artist

P.S.-- thank you all so much for 50 followers! you are all truly amazing <3

New Design

SO, what do you guys think? Like my new design? I bought this new template off Etsy, and I think it really neatens up my layout and gives it much more aesthetic. Let me know what you guys think about the new look!

July 4th & Baseball

Happy Independence Day to all my American friends! To celebrate, I have some photos of a Dodger game I went to this past weekend- a classic American sport. It was a super fun night, and Dodgers won to the Rockies, which was awesome. Before the game there was also an Old Timers game with past Dodger players, which was really a neat thing to see. My sisters, decked out in our Dodger blue of course, munched on hotdogs and sunflower seeds and peanuts, and tried to catch foul balls (unfortunately we weren't able to catch any this time). It was an exciting night, and a wonderful summer memory. Go LA!

Do you follow baseball? Which team is your favorite?

Summer Night - - Mini Story

I exhaled heavily into the warm night and leaned back on my arms, stretching my legs out in front of me and gazing out onto the highway. It had been balmy all day, and the darkness seemed only to enhance it, the smell of exhaust and blooming flowers drifted lazily on the humid air. It was dark, the sun just setting over the horizon and the moon not yet full. The ranch house upon whose roof I was sitting was the only source of light for miles around. Close to the edge of the world you could see the warm, comforting glow of the town, and I imagined the lights were small lamps in children's rooms where mothers and fathers were gently tucking little ones under fluffy quilts.


I started, turning to see the silhouette of a lanky boy clambering up the side of the roof towards me. He slipped on a shingle, righted himself, and then pulled himself up onto the ledge I was reclining on, scarily close to the edge. He sat down next to me, mirroring my position.

“What the heck are you doing here?”

“Coming to see you.” He unzipped his backpack and procured two cans of supermarket iced tea, still cold from the freezer. He popped the lid on his and then passed another to me. I took it, noticing the condensation forming on the chilled aluminum. I opened it and took a swig, wiping my wet hand on my dusty blue jeans.

“How'd you get here so fast? The can’s still cold. Did you come all the way from town?” The nearest civilization, Barcell, was a thirty minute drive at best, and I knew for a fact that Mitchell’s ancient Toyota truck hadn't had functioning air conditioning since the nineteen hundreds.

“I might've gone a little faster than I should've on the highway. It was empty anyways, and I couldn't help myself.”

I sighed. Mitchell had always had a weakness for speeding. Destined to be a race car driver, one of his favorite pastimes was hurling himself down deserted highways with the windows rolled down and old school rock blaring. Normally, I would've reprimanded him for being so reckless, but tonight I just let it go. Plus, I had been on a few of his highway Indie 500s, and I had to say I could see the appeal if the highway truly was deserted, especially on a night like this.

We sat in silence for a few seconds, and then Mitchell reached again for the backpack. Mitchell's backpack was like a magician's hat, you never knew what he was going to pull out.

Tonight, it was his ukelele.

I had given him the ukulele a year ago, after finding it at a garage sale and taking it home. I had spent the whole afternoon painting it with designs and song lyrics and sunbursts and trees and skateboards and truck tires, and then proudly presented it to him for his half birthday. We had made a pact to never celebrate regular birthdays, only halfs. It was like an encouragement, a sort of 'you’ve made it this far, you might as well keep going' holiday.

I could dimly see the hand painted patterns on the wood as he strummed a song, humming along. I hummed with him.

We sat like that, humming and strumming and watching the glowing lights in the distance, and I relaxed onto the warm shingles and let the rhythm and the candle-like lights drift me away.