First Day

I whisper gently to the morning beginning outside my window
hello
what have you in store for me today?
the mist doesn't reply
I pull on brand new green sneakers
still uncomfortably clean
a navy blue backpack
who knows where I'm going
I kiss my red front door on the way out with the tips of my fingers
see ya
so many kids
all so different
I find myself back in plastic desk chairs
how did I end up here again?
I shrug
decide to enjoy the ride
I like my sharp yellow pencils
with pink erasers
and that green thing around the end that nobody knows the name of
graph paper also makes me happy
and a little distracted
I create a checkerboard in the boxes
people say I walk funny
I don't really mind
as long as I go places
it heats up too fast- summer is still here even if everyone wants to ignore it
I miss you
I still remember you
she kisses me on the cheek
and blazes down my back as I run
thanks girl
a fire burns on the horizon
turning the sky to ash
I still try to breath deeply
even though it hurts my throat
on the other side of the sky puffy clouds wave to me lazily
lucky you, still on vacation
I wave back
people ask who I'm waving to
why should I tell you
but I'm not that sassy
I wear my first day of school outfit on the second day
to make up for the blue shirt
that tells people where I am
talk to me!
They walk on by
I smile anyways
because why not
Hey school
can't say I missed you
but I guess it's good to see you

**

how was your first day of school? miss summer already? same. but I like planners and paper stuff so I'm ok XD

Looking Back: Summer

It's very bittersweet for me, watching this summer come to an end. To be honest, I didn't really do much, if you are thinking big trips or plans. I guess I just enjoyed living day to day. Embracing that feeling of not being sure what day of the week it is and not quite caring. I have to say though, the amount of nothing on my schedule really allowed me to do a lot of things I needed to do, not just to check them off, but to get a chance to enjoy them. Here's a little list and some photo highlights to close this summer off on a sweet, albeit melancholy, note <3

what I did:
visited my grandparents
watched One Upon a Time with my sister
DREW SO MUCH--finished my art journal and started a new one
read some Rainbow Rowell and Sarah J. Maas
volunteered (a lot)
wrote 100 pages!!!!!!!
texted my friend
wrote to my Pen Pal
blogged
dreamt
saw a shooting star
talked about deep stuff with my small group
listened to Stand by You by Rachel Platten and a lot of Twenty-One Pilots
prayed
snuggled my pups
beached/pooled
enjoyed California sunshine
jammed in the car
I DROVE A CAR GUYS-- got my permit :)
ran
had my friends from NY come to visit
cleaned out my room
rode my bike to the beach

I had so much fun sharing my summer with all of you <3


















Fangirl Book Review

SUMMARY: Cather and Wren used to be inseparable. Now, faced with college, they seem to be going in completely different directions. Cath was perfectly happy with the way things were, and is reluctant to start a new life that is without the comforts of her old world, especially her sister. Wren, on the other hand, can't wait to get out of the house- and into the party scene. Wren and her new roommate Courtney hit as many frat houses as they can while Cath quietly writes fan fiction and deals with her tough but secretly compassionate roommate. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a realistic fiction novel about one quiet girl struggling to find her voice in the world, even if her voice is lodged deep in fan fiction.

REVIEW:
I loved this book a lot. To be honest, it made me want to hurry up and get to college so I could take fiction writing. This book essentially sealed the deal for me that I wanted to be a writer. If you are thinking of going into a writing career, read this book.

As for the characters, I loved Cath. I found her relatable, funny, and realistic. She was sassy and witty and I felt that I could connect well with her throughout the book. Also, her introversion and nervousness was easy to understand, and gives a good perspective on what it can feel like in new situations. Levi was also funny, and a nice clash, the extroversion for her introversion. I have to say, I was able to relate a lot more to Cath, but I think that could be different depending on the reader. Wren broke my heart, but I also understood what it was like for Cath to go through that. Although I don't personally fully understand the reasons for Wren's break-away, the book did a good job of demonstrating how she shrugged off all her old titles, mainly for the worse. Cath's roommate, Reagan, was probably one of my favorite characters in the book. She was so fun to read, and her toughness but good heart made her such a dynamic character.

I feel like this book did really really well portraying real life. The fact that Cath was nervous in social situations, that the boy that she thought might like her just used her for her smarts, that even though she was in college she'd never really been in a serious relationship (I'm not counting Abel they didn't really even like each other) and that she had healthy boundaries set for herself differentiated this book from other YA novels. I also loved the representation of fandoms, which is truly a much bigger part of lots of teen's lives than authors seem to realize, and should be acknowledged more in realistic fiction. This book also gave me a new idea of fan fiction. I had never really been personally interested in fanfic, and even though I don't think I'll ever be as into it as Cath was, it gave me a better understanding about what it's all about.

Another good part of this book was Cath's relationship with her mother and father. She was extremely caring and protective of her father, whereas she wanted nothing to do with her mother. I thought that Cath' experience dealing with these complicated emotions and trying to form an opinion about her mother was very interesting and added a lot to the story.

The only thing I didn't really like were the Simon Snow snippets in the middle of the book. Although it helped me understand the storyline, I found them a little annoying. I'm going to read Carry On though, and I'm hoping I'll enjoy it more with the entire story.

In total, this book was a fun read. It was such a cute but dynamic story, and I highly recommend it.


What did you think of Fangirl? Did you like it? What character do you most relate to? Comment below!

Sketchbook Work

As a follow up to my last post, I thought it was high time I did a post of some recent sketchbook work. I have done a lot of drawing this summer, so I have a whole bunch of artwork to share with you! Enjoy, and let me know which are your favorites!

hippie <3

punky pixie plus a portrait

surfer (I did this one on my new Wacom Tablet too- still learning how to use it so it wasn't my best piece ever but I think it was ok)

thinking of doing this on digitally too

silence

doodle page XD

little collage

satyr girl (not sure if satyrs are ever girls but whatever)

good morning!



some random OCs

reading

Everything About My Art Journal


I recently finished my last art journal and am currently starting a new one, and I thought that now is the best time to do a master post essentially describing my journaling process and covering what exactly it is you are seeing snippets of while looking at sketchbook posts. I'm going to try to explain my journaling process as thoroughly as possible, recommend techniques, materials, and inspiration, and hopefully help you jumpstart (or continue) your journaling to create a more successful, happier life. Because everyone knows that a beautiful journal is the answer to all life's problems! XD

--Before you start, keep this in mind: Your art journaling process may be very different than mine. You may not want to journal the same things. You may think that everything I'm doing is ridiculous. That's great, awesome in fact. Don't let someone else tell you how to art! You do what feels best for YOU! I'm simply posting this to inspire, NOT to instruct. ((also please comment if you have a different technique because I love hearing about people's creative process. ok I'm going to focus now))


So what exactly is an art journal Vivian? To be completely honest with you, my idea of an art journal may be very different or exactly the same or somewhere in between other artist's ideas of an art journal. And that is ok, amazing even. Everyone's artistic process is different. But here is my personal definition of an art journal:

a journal or other paper-holder-type-thing devoted to recording the creative experience of an individual

So as you can see, my definition is pretty open. Here are what go in my personal art journals:

-quotes
-story/art/writing ideas
-drawings
-paintings
-doodles
-collage
-papers that I thought looked cool
-ranting about my life
-prayers
-wishes
-poems
-daydreams

I sort of consider my art journal my most safe place, a place where I can be completely myself and express myself wholly. I also consider it an ongoing conversation between myself and God, where I'm being honest with myself and sharing it with him. I do this through all sorts of media- drawing, writing, etc.

When you see sketches on my blog, you are seeing a very edited version of my journal- the parts I liked enough (and felt comfortable enough) to share. Obviously, I have a whole lot of crash and burn pieces. And I don't mind (ok I mind a little because artists are perfectionists) because they help me see my growth (however painful it may be).



What your art journal should never ever be:
-Perfect
-Edited
-Something you judge yourself with
-Something you let other people use to judge you
-Something you feel bad about

Your art journal is YOURS. Treasure it. I like to think of my journal as like an extension of my mind- practically a part of me. This means it holds a LOT of power, and you could really hurt yourself if you try to criticize it. When you start to journal you might not think you are amazing. You might think every page sucks, even for a couple journals. I know I did. I still do sometimes. But in order to grow in your artistic ability, you have to make the conscious decision to not let it stop you. To keep practicing. You WILL get better. You just have to keep doing it.


Where do I start? With an empty journal. I would recommend a Strathmore Mixed Media Sketchbook if you have no idea where to start, as they have fairly heavy paper which can hold all sorts of medias as you experiment and find your niche (if you even decide to have one), plus they are fairly cheap. If you know for sure that you are only going to write song lyrics and tape photos in your art journal, then a pretty lined notebook may be the way to go. Some artists even use planners, either to bullet journal or to do a sketch-a-day type thing. I recommend looking on Pinterest or another site that inspires you to find images of journals that you personally find attractive, and then look at what sorts of journals those artists use.

I also find it very difficult to switch techniques in the middle of a journal, so if you are feeling like your work in the other journal is getting a little stale, start fresh. I always feel a little uncomfortable with my new journal, almost like it's a new house I'm still getting used too. That's normal, and it will go away soon as long as you keep working in it.

Then just START. I've made the mistake of waiting until it felt like the perfect day to start, but the truth is there is never a perfect day. Really, all you need to do is grab a pencil and start scratching. I always get all picky about my first page, so if you are like me you may want to save the first page and start on the second, or tape of photo of something that really inspires you on the first page. I also always put my email and phone number so that someone could contact me if I were (my worst nightmare) to loose it.


What does a typical art journal page look like? My art journal pages usually have the date over any writing, so that I can keep track of when I wrote all this stuff. I try to intersperse drawings with collage with writing, and sometimes I mix them all on one page. But really it just looks like a mess-- albeit a very aesthetic mess.


How do I stay motivated and keep doing it? This can be a really tough obstacle for a lot of people. I struggled with this a lot before I started consistently journaling, and have a lot of half finished journals to show for it. And nothing is more disappointing than an unfinished journal.

My best piece of advice is just to force yourself to do it every day. When I started, I made myself a rule that I couldn't go to bed without writing/drawing SOMETHING. It could be one word, but it had to get on the page. Eventually this turned into less of a discipline more of a priority, until I reached the point where I literally cannot fall asleep without journaling.

What if I'm having artist's block? This sounds harsh but all I can say to you is bummer. It happens. But you can't get through it without doing something to get through it. Just draw, write, paint, etc. until it goes away. You'll be happy you did. If it is really really bad, log onto your Pinterest and look at your art boards, or watch some sketchbook flip throughs on YouTube, or look at other blogger's journals. But be careful, it is super easy to procrastinate with those methods


So there's my journal. I hope this was helpful and inspiring. I would love to hear if you are thinking of starting, or already do, an art journal. I would also love to hear any advice or different techniques you have. I'm always looking for ways to improve my own journaling process. Also, if you have any questions about my journal, or if I left anything out, comment with those too. I would love to answer them!

Thanks guys <3 Keep being awesome!

Eleanor and Park Book Review

SUMMARY: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is a YA romance book about two misfit teenagers, each trying to get through their own lives. Eleanor has just moved back in with her family, and is trying to juggle school and bullies and her abusive step-father. It doesn't help that her shock of red hair and eclectic fashion sense lends itself to teasing- from all parties. Park is short, and the only Asian person in school. He try to lie low, not get too much attention. If his dad would only stop telling him to man up and let him drive an automatic shift, his life would be ten times better. When Eleanor boards the bus on her first day of school, Park cusses at her then moves over to let her sit next to him. This turn of events begins a friendship that spirals from wordlessly sharing comic books to kissing behind Park's grandparent's RV.

REVIEW:

This book pleased me in a lot of ways. The style was wonderfully eclectic and genuine. I loved how all the imperfect, supposedly ugly features of the characters were portrayed along with their good ones. It really makes the story have that much more quality when authors don't try to create glazed, perfect characters with cliche' love stories. I also loved the formatting of this book- it added a lot of dimension to have the characters switch perspectives often and whenever the story best landed itself to it instead of the classic every other chapter switch. Moreover, the font and layout of my copy was gorgeous and fit perfectly with the story, enhancing the mood.

The characters were both excellent. I loved Eleanor and felt so much compassion for her. I also loved her description- her hair and style and every detail about her. All the small things added up to make such a vivid character, it was awesome to read. Park was also awesome- his clean and trimmed life clashed wonderfully with Eleanor's mess. I also liked his transformation half-way through the book- where he decided to be himself, no matter his parent's or anyone else's opinions. I thought it was an interesting part how the girl didn't wear makeup but the boy did. It was such a good representation of the fact that boys and girls should be able to express themselves however they want, disregarding gender stereotypes.

The families in the book were also very dynamic and real. I didn't have them all figured out by the end of the book, which was best because real life families are hard to figure out too. My opinions of the characters also changed throughout the book- blatant dislike becoming grudging sympathy, and even in some cases respect, as I saw their background and the heart of who they truly were.

The plot of this book was more simple than the rest of the book I would say. All the details made the otherwise simple plot work better for the whole. It covered all the usual romance book plot points- meeting each other, first time holding hands, first kiss, first time calling girlfriend/boyfriend, a fight, the moment he says I love you, and then the heartbreaking ending. Seriously, the heartbreaking ending is the worst. Why can't romance books never end happily??

This particular ending was not only sad, it also didn't make a lot of sense. I mean, the part about her needing to move made sense. But I didn't understand why Eleanor didn't write or call or anything. It seemed cruel, harsh, and pointless. It wasn't like he was dead- she still had lots of chances of reconnecting, even getting married to him in the future. Why she decided to cease all connection I wasn't sure. It seemed a ploy to make sure that the reader experienced heart wrenching grief, but I supposed it could be plausible since sometimes people who have had a hard time keeping healthy relationships with the past feel the need to break it off.

The post card at the end was the most minimal shred of hope, apparently there so that the reader would have a tiny grasp of sanity to cling to. That's exactly what it was for me.

Overall, this book was wonderful, and horrible in the fact that it might ruin your heart. In my opinion it was well worth the read- but read at your own risk. :)


What did you think of Eleanor and Park? Did it break your heart? Comment below!

Blogging Olympics Tag

What with the Olympics going on, I had to take the opportunity to create and Olympics themed tag to celebrate! Here are the (extremely simple) rules:

-Use the Blogging Olympics image (or make your own)
-Thank the person who tagged you and list the rules
-Answer the Olympics themed questions (feel free to add your own)
-Tag others!

So now that we've covered that, let's dive in!

Team? Team USA!!!!!!!!

If you could compete in an event, what would it be? Probably running. I wish I was super fast like that. It would also be cool to do speed skating in the winter Olympics. Skating that fast would be a dream.

Favorite event to watch? I really like watching gymnastics with my sisters. We used to take gymnastics classes so we have a lot of fun watching the professionals.

Olympian you most admire? Gabby Douglas of course! She is amazing. Even though she didn't qualify for the All-Around this year, she still had a positive attitude and was proud of her teammates. That kind of sportsmanships is what makes her such an awesome athlete. 

What sports do you currently play? I run cross country with my high school.

Summer or Winter Olympics? I think I prefer summer, just because I feel like most of the sports are more interesting. I don't know though, I really love winter too.

Ever been to see the Olympics in person? I wish. I definitely want to someday. It sounds amazing.

A sport that should be in the Olympics? Double dutch jump roping. That would be so rad.

What do you think would be going through your head right before you were about to compete in the Olympics? I think I would be totally terrified, and would be praying so hard that I would do well. I don't think I would really enjoy the pressure though. I mean, I already get super stressed when I'm about to run a cross country race, and that's against a couple schools and I'm nowhere near a scoring runner so....

I tag:
Vanessa from Simply Me
Poppy and Mop from Poppy and Mop
Grace Anne from Totally Graced
Ellie from On the Other Side of Reality
Nicole from Florrall

Thanks for reading <3





Fiesta

is it just me or is the word fiesta so much more fun to say than the english version, party?
I don't know I just really love the word fiesta.

 confetti eggs, electric guitar, and churros.
and a friend to enjoy it with

remembering history with a city-wide party
or a fiesta





Q&A-- Answers!

Hello hello! I am back with the answers to my Q&A! Although I didn't get very many questions, the questions I did get were super good and I am really excited to answer them! Thank you to Michaila, Grace Anne, and Vanessa for your awesome questions <3.



Favorite characters/things/animals to draw?: MERMAIDS!!! Mermaids have been my trademark for forever- I love drawing them so much. But besides that I go through phases- right now I'm pretty into drawing just regular old people, but that will probably shift in a month. I've had moments where I've liked drawing fairies, flowers, swords, etc.

Favorite facial feature? (to draw I am assuming): Does hair count because I absolutely love drawing hair.

Favorite book?: It's SO HARD for me to choose my favorite book. To be honest it's really just whatever book I'm reading at the moment. But my top five are probably Falling Kingdoms, To Kill a Mockingbird, Sherlock Holmes, Eragon, and Lord of the Rings.

Best Memory?: Probably snorkeling in Hawaii. Being the mermaid freak I am (read first question), as well as the marine biology nerd I also am, I was in heaven.

If you could be any flower what would you be?: This is so hard! I think I would like to be a California poppy because they are so gorgeous and pop up every year all around my town, in between cracks in the sidewalk, on people's yards, and in the elementary school playground, and nobody can pick them so everyone just has to appreciate their beauty and respect them for who they are and where they choose to grow. And they truly are beautiful.

What is your horoscope? Do you read it sometimes?: Haha I'm a scorpio and I am so far from any of the scorpio traits it's hilarious. I guess I read it whenever I see it somewhere, but I don't really seek it out and I don't take it seriously at all personally. I guess it's because everything about my horoscope is so not me, which is kind of disappointing to be honest. (Do you guys think I'm a scorpio?)

What's something you want to see in the next three days?: A dragon but that's not going to happen so probably my friend with whom I've been wanting to hang out with for a while.

Favorite planet?: Earth of course. But besides that I like Planet Nine. It's a hypothetical planet they have been investigating and think may exist because of the way it's gravitational pull is affecting other celestial bodies. It is SUPER big and SUPER far away. I think it is so interesting.

So those are my questions! I hope you enjoyed my answers! Thanks for reading everyone <3