“I am out with lanterns looking for myself.” ― Emily Dickinson
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June 14, 2018

Some thoughts on blogging

just blog
This week's Top Ten Thursday prompt is blogging. Our host Tamara, have a six year blogversary coming up so she would like us to blog about blogging. What are the top ten things that come to your mind reflecting on your blogging journey: what prompted you to start, what obstacles did you or do you still have to overcome, what have been your major learnings, what plans do you have...?

So what can I say about blogging after 12 years of it? Nothing new so there might be a repeated thought or two but these are what I thought about blogging now.

01/ I'm more of a slacker blogger now. When I started blogging, I used to post a lot, comment a lot, join a lot of challenges and memes, add my blog to a lot of directories and such. Now I just blog at a slower pace, my pace, which is really very slow.

02/ I still like to have an audience. You don't put your blog out there to keep people away, you do it do get people to come to you, isn't it true? I can't deny that I like having readers - they're one of many reasons that keeps me blogging.

03/ I do a lot of mental blogging. I think about things to blog a lot but not much gets posted because most of the time, I just don't think whatever idea I have, is interesting or good enough to post. So if it seems like I haven't posted in a long while, it just means I haven't find anything good enough to post.

04/ Sometimes I feel I should be on a blogging break every few days. It is possible to be a normal person with no thoughts of blogging what so ever but ever since I started blogging, I cannot not remember I have a blog that needs to be updated. (Occasionally I really do forget.) I envy those who can put up a post every day and not be bored with their blog. I can't do the same. So, what's a blogger to do? Well, I try to post whenever possible but mostly, I try not fret about it.

05/ Successful blogging is when you have at least, made one reader respond to your post or so I tell myself. Whenever you send a post out there, you hope for a respond, right? I think if one reader gives a (nice or not nice) respond, then you've succeeded as a blogger. I'm always grateful for those few readers who visit my blog and I'm glad I can at least, post something interesting once in a while.

06/ I still have no blog niche and I'm okay with that. This blog, my blog, is considered a personal blog which pretty much means it's a 'anything goes' blog but I mostly post about the same things - books, movies, fiction writings, drawings and everything else. But I guess it's still a bit random and lacking some forms of cohesiveness but I'm okay with that.

07/ I have no blogging schedule. I just post whenever I want and whenever I feel there is too much time in between posts. I have said several times how nice it would be to have a schedule but it's hard to have a schedule when you have no content to plan around so like my blog's random content, my schedule continues to be random too. But every now and then, I participate in challenges and memes (like this one you're reading right now) and in a certain way, this is a scheduled post.

08/ I've always dislike the two/three column blog template. I've no problems with other bloggers having one or even two sidebars, I just have a problem if it's my own blog. So my blog has returned to one column. I just find all that sidebar items to be too much chaos, too much distractions from the content and sometimes I think I'm too much of an organize freak to have a sidebar because I would keep moving items around to get them to look organized.

09/ I still have secret hopes that some of my favorite bloggers will return to blogging one day. It's just ashamed how so many bloggers just disappeared on you. They're not gone, they're just elsewhere, just not on their blog. I know they have lives and blogging is not number one on their to-do list but still, I just wish they would come back even for brief periods. Even though I have removed them from my blogroll, I still sometimes check their blogs for updates.

10/ I am a anti-social-media blogger. Okay, not entirely true since blogging is a form of social media. But I've avoided joining Facebook. I've quitted Twitter and Pinterest a long time ago. I just don't have any interest in social media. I prefer blogs more than all other medias so I guess that makes me old fashion.

Visit Tamara for more Top Ten Thursday here.

What are your thoughts on blogging these days?

June 6, 2018

leia in wonderland

'leia in wonderland'  unfinished - closeup
This week's Scribble Picnic theme is 'Classic'. I wasn't going to post since I didn't finish this piece. Can you tell which two classic themes are in this piece?

The scans are hard to see since there's no color so click on the images for larger views.

'leia in wonderland'  unfinished
For more Scribble Picnic go here.

May 20, 2018

Books Read in March & April - Part 2

art by lb
More books read in March & April continued. Part 1 over here.

08/ The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus > link
Ignoring the violence, sex or the very violent deaths, this would be a love story except I sort of think it's more of a one-sided love story - Elisa's story. We also get the points of view from other people but we only get a tiny glimpse from the creature toward the end. But I guess a love story doesn't have to have both sides but my problem with this is that, I really don't understand the creature and there isn't much we know about him. He doesn't even have a name. Does he love Elisa the same way she loves him? I mean, his side might not be love at all. We don't know. At least, I don't know. It would have been nice to know what he was thinking or feeling or what he thought of Elisa and the people he encountered. Maybe I missed something but I just don't see how Elisa and the creature could even have  bonded. I guess this could be called instant love, the kind that you can't describe with words? I don't know. I do like the bits about the creature changing colors due to his mood/state of mind.  ~ Spoilers ~ And And the ending? Does this mean she is one of his kind or did the creature made her one of his kind? I like to think she is like the creature and now she is going to where she belongs - in the water and with the creature. ~ End of Spoilers ~

The Shape of Water - the movie > link
I wish I haven't seen this movie. I simply didn't want to see Sally Hawkins (as Elisa) in the nude. It's a bit shocking to me because I have always think of Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot in Persuasion and I like that character she plays there and I didn't want to see that character naked. So I really shouldn't get stuck thinking an actress being only in one role but I can't help it.

I like to say the movie is like the book but it's not quite the same, at least the larger part of the story is exactly like the book. But I find the characters a bit lacking in terms of motivation and back story. It's nice to visually see all the characters as a living beings on screen but, I don't see the bond between Elisa and the creature. We don't know much about the creature - where he comes from, what he is or why he seems to have strange healing powers? I question his motives. ~ Spoilers ~ He seems to have powers so I don't know how he got captured in the first place. But I have a theory that he let himself be captured so he can searched for his mate. Either Elisa is one of his kind all along (since she has dreams about being in water) and he's just taking her back with him or he made her one of his kind. It's the same end as the book. ~ End of Spoilers ~

Anyway, this is just an okay movie to me. Perhaps the shock of seeing Sally Hawkins naked ruined my enjoyment of the movie or perhaps I really didn't like it. But I did enjoy some of the humors in the movie such as the ones involving Zelda and there are some beautiful imaginary but I do think the book is slightly better.

09/ The Polar Bear Explorers' Club by Alex Bell and Illustrated by Tomislav Tomic > link
I do like the book but I didn't like Stella's origin story. I guess I was hoping something a little better, something more original. Magic in this world is accepted as normal though not much magic is actually shown, well, at least, not according to me. I wish there is more fun to the story, like all the club rules at the end of the book but none of those are in the story except for the 'polar bear club.' It would have been fun if the four children each belong to four different clubs and that they fight about it somehow but they mostly got along and there really isn't much conflict between them. I think of this an adventure book and deeper conflicts would weigh it down. There are some laugh-out moments mostly relating to Ethan. Overall, it's a good, adventurous book and the illustrations are wonderful.

10/ The Gates of Sorrows by Miyuki Miyabe, Translated by Jim Hubbert > link
The original language is Japanese so I suppose the translation is a bit off. There are some bits that seems off and the writing is a bit cliche. And then there are the names. Sometimes they used the first name instead of the last or use the last name instead of the first. I just think they should stick to one or the other. It's confusing enough that some of the names sound so similar. I didn't like any of the characters which usually make me not like a book. But I do like the fantasy elements and I do like the story idea. Certainly the combination of murder and fantasy is nothing new but the fantasy part is not something I have read before. I guess I sort of have a higher expectation after reading all those glowing reviews. I didn't think it's a bad book but it's not great either. But it probably reads better in the original Japanese.
Cover Note: The gargoyle is a central part of the story so that's correct. The main characters is a college student and a retired detective and there are some girl side characters but that girl on the cover is a little misleading.

Favorite Quote: "Maybe I'm on a wild goose chase, or I'm so bored with life that I'm having a strange dream."

Read any good book lately? Share them in the comments.
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