Art, Life, Thoughts

A Conglomeration Of Half-Post-Ideas

a conglomeration of half-post-ideas

Last post, we talked about goals.

Ya know, those things we all make, but I never seem to keep up with. Even though I have a chronic inability to complete my goals, I still want to make some. But instead of doing it by month (I’ve learned that I’m not the kind of person who pays attention to dates), we’re going to do it by Macro – Mecro – Micro.

I also was nominated for the Liebster Award, so we’re going to do that. How do you even say Liebster? Leeb-stir? Lib-stair? Lie-b-stehr?

And finally, I want to talk about improvement. Again. I know I talked about it during APADO, but that was 31 posts ago, so I think it deserves another post. Improvement is big deal with me.

*clap clap* let’s just get into it

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The Liebster Award

I’m so glad that Jewel nominated me for the Liebster Award! Jewel is one of my good friends, and I love both of her blogs to death. Thanks, Jewel!

liebster award rules

So, with acknowledgements made, here we go.

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The Questions

What do you want to accomplish by your next birthday? Gah, I can’t spill my goals yet! But I want to accomplish surviving for an entire year. Hehe, just kidding. I’d like to be more fluent in Hebrew. טס עדיין לא טובה בדיבור עברית.

What needs to be invented that has not been invented yet? A bed with spikes that makes getting up in the morning significantly easier…>:)

What is your favorite song? DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE. Can I make a top ten? Hello Future (tobyMac), Take On Me (a-ha), Wolf Bite (Owl City), Love Song (Royal Tailor), Right On Time (Aaron Cole), WaveWalker (Citizen Way), Pompeii (Bastille), The Wolf (SIAMES), Get Down Get Down (KJ-52) and Transformed (Shonlock). And like, thirty million more.

What is your favorite movie? The original Thor. But my favorite thing to watch is Batman: The Animated Series. Like, I’ll pick a few episodes of that over a movie anyday.

When people are told to guess a number between 1 and 10, which do you think is the most common answer? I think…7. I can’t really say why. This is a cool question!

Do you have a bad habit? If so, what? Shhh…I bite my nails. And use the eraser on the end of the pencil when I’m drawing. *cowers*

Soft Pretzels or Hard Pretzels? SOFT PRETZELSSS they always make me think of Six Flags. And they’re amazing.

Would you rather own a fish or a snake? Definitely a snake. They’re way more interesting, and wouldn’t it be neat to own a potentially deadly creature?

What is something you know how to do that you could teach? I feel like I could teach anyone how to be socially awkward, but I don’t think anyone would want to know how to do that. 9_9 So let’s just stick to beginner horseback riding skills, because I do teach those on a regular basis.

If you could be famous for 1 thing, what would it be? I’d want to be famous for making a circumnavigation, possibly because I want an excuse to buy a campervan.

What are the 3 most important qualities in a friend? Loyal (because who wants friends who never back them up?), sensitive (able to tell when others are having a problem), and fun (wanting to do fun stuff instead of just sitting and talking).

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11 Facts About Me

(that realistically no one wants to read but i mUsT fOlLoW tHe rUlEs)

  • I have a bunch of Assorted Unstable Jobs: babysitting, cleaning my dad’s work, mowing lawns in the summer, and professional weirdo.
  • I only drink diet sodas – not because of health reasons, but for some reason I find regular soda really bitter…?
  • I have a really strange obsession with commercials. They fascinate me.
  • I have touched a human brain, and I think I can still smell the formaldehyde.
  • I can’t do monkey bars because I have Chicken Arms™.
  • I have four sisters and two brothers.
  • I really, really, really love peaches. I’m not kidding. Get me a peach and I will squeal.
  • I don’t like documentaries. They’re kinda boring.
  • I can’t stand it when someone is raking leaves and they scrape the tines of the rake on the concrete. It’s like the sound of nails on a chalkboard except three bazillion times worse.
  • I have a lot of t-shirts, but most of them are black.
  • I used to want to be a doctor when I grew up. Now I’m leaning toward illustrator…but who knows, I may still do medical work. Or culinary arts. I’d really love to have a food truck. The only problem is, I can’t cook to save my life.
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Tagging Some Fwiends:

Ava
Bella
Christiana
Enni
Jo
Laura
Mya
NC Stokes
Sam
Sapphire
Serene

(i put it alphabetically, stop squabbling)

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Y’all’s Questions:

(i am texan, i can say y’all)

What was your favorite TV show/movie when you were a kid?
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
What do you think is the best way to start the day?
What is one of your favorite smells?
If you were suddenly put on a stage and told to deliver a speech, what would you talk about?
Do you think Wikipedia is a reliable source?
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?
What age would you like to live to?
What do you want carved on your gravestone?
Have you ever saved someone’s life?
Opinion on chow mein?

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Okay, realistically, that took much more than I thought and I could honestly make a post with just that. But I feel obliged to actually fulfill one of my promises. For once.

*clap* next topic *clap*

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The Stuff I Need To Do And Get Better At (2019 Edition)

As I start to think about goals, I’m wondering if it’s too late to talk about goals, seeing as we’re already a week into January…but let’s say that it’s for the next year. So I’ll open these…next January 7th?

Macro Goals

(translation: goals that are really huge and untangible)

  • Get better at managing my time. Work with, not against, myself. Use the precious days I have in this season of life wisely.
  • Unlock the motivation I know I have and banish the laziness that cripples me.
  • Be unafraid to speak my mind and talk about important, serious things in all my mediums (writing, art, blogging, etc.)

Mecro Goals

(translation: goals that are still huge, but actually physically achievable)

  • Write three 50k novels in April, July, and November (Nanowrimo ftw!)
  • Come up with a good comic concept and illustrate ten pages of it.
  • Relaunch Steeplechase (!!!)
  • Post at least twice monthly on both of my blogs.

Micro Goals

(translation: very achievable, given I don’t procrastinate too much)

  • Get more practice making graphics.
  • Finish the MAP part I’m still working on.
  • Be more active on the Story Embers forums.
  • Make a post explaining MBTI!
  • Keep up with all my awesome friends over email.
  • Buy a copy of Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.
  • Stay on top of schoolwork.
  • Make myself like photography. Ugh.

It may not as complicated as last year’s goals post, but considering how many I failed, I think simple is best.

I feel like this blog is a never-ending Hallmark drama. Will Tess ever do anything she promises she’ll do? This year might be the year, but that’s what I thought last year, and what I think every time I make a promise…

*exits stage left with an existential breakdown in tow*

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I Talk About Art For 500 Words And You Inevidably Scroll Past

I go through a specific cycle with all my work, but particularly with my art. I’ll get semi-okay at something, and be proud of it for approximately three days. Then I’ll realize it needs improvement. But as that realization turns into bitterness and I try and try over and over again without seeing change, I get to a point where I wonder if I’m ever going to get better.

Then, right as I think I should just stop doing what I love to do – clink! The penny drops, as Richard Williams would say.

And then, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, the cycle repeats itself.

It’s no secret that I battle self-esteem issues, that I feel inadequate a lot of the time, and that my depression takes over my motivation if I let it. I think this happens to all creative people, to be honest. Without the right kind of encouragement, it becomes a monster that controls both your creativity and your confidence.

Every time I get to that part of the cycle, I have to force myself to keep pushing. To keep trying. To make one more crappy drawing in hopes of making a good one next time.

And then, after too much headache and heartbreak, I finally get through it.

In this particular episode of Tess’ Life Gets A Little Bit Better, it all got started with an Action Bible. I got one because I am completely in love with the art. It’s so dynamic and detailed and the shading and it’s pretty much a Masterclass on drawing cloth.

I wouldn’t say I felt inspired, because the feeling is closer to jealousy, but I decided to copy some of the pictures.

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In past, I’ve discounted copywork as a viable form of learning to draw. I had previously thought it was cheating. Or something. Or maybe it’s just that I never found anything that was what I wanted to draw.

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But after doing some copywork, I’ve seen drastic improvement in my artwork. I’ve since branched off from copying again, after these studies I did. But the lines I made, the shading I did, all that – it stuck.

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Here’s a little redraw of the piece I made for an APADO post in October.

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I’ve even been drawing in my journal before bed. I think I’m back on the right track.

So if you’re feeling down – if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel – if your feet are dragging in whatever it is you do…

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…don’t give up. Relief is coming. Give it one more push, even though you think there’s no hope for you. Try just one more time. And one more time after that. And still one more time after that.

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If everything was easy to learn, there’d be no value in it, right?

So prove that you have what it takes. Go give it one more try.

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You’ve got this.

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Thus endeth the Conglomeration Of Half-Post Ideas.

Although it changed gears faster than a 21-speed bicycle, I hope you enjoyed. I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment! Pretty please?

Sayonara for now,

{Tess}

APADO

The Personal Library Awards™ {APADO #2}

(yep we’re going from dead-serious to mostly-living-not-so-serious in 2.5 seconds)
(also I know that this is posted at the very end of day 2…I had camera complications and then the pictures still look horrible and I feel like I wasted a bunch of time and effort for nothing but EH)
(was this post even worth it?)
(yes. yes it was. *deep breaths*)

APADO 2

I’ve wanted to talk about my library for a while now. It’s three shelves of variety that I’ve collected and bought over the years – some fiction, some non-fiction, and some stuff that’s only remotely book-like that I don’t know where else to put.

I could just take some pictures, gush about how they look remotely aesthetic when they’re all sitting together, and call it a night. But I like to think I’m a little more creative than that. Because what are you supposed to do with that information besides immediately forgetting it?

So I decided to come up with some awards. And “some” turned into 25. And the awards turned into a challenge, should you choose to accept it. Turn down the lights, grab some popcorn, and let’s give it up for The Personal Library Awards™!

(okay it’s not actually trademarked, I just learned the alt code for a ™ and wanted to use it for effect.)

Newest: The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart

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warning: photo quality in this post is -2

Straight out of 2016. This book was…okay. I don’t exactly regret it, but it wasn’t the best thing I have ever read. Which was kind of disappointing, because I bought it brand new and I sort of feel like I wasted my money? Oh well.

Oldest: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

This award is for my physically oldest book – this first-edition copy of my favorite hist-fict that I got in an antique shop. It’s from 1943. As in, this book is 75 years old. They don’t bind them like they used to.

Childhood Favorite: Album of Horses by Marguerite Henry

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Even when I was a little horse potato and knew nothing about them, I loved this book to death. It’s basically some nice paintings and some fun little anecdotal stories about the different breeeds of horses. And it was actually successful in extending my woefully poor attention span.

Most Loathsome: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Ugh. Okay, classics are usually the best. They’re usually rolemodels that inspire me to write stories as great as they are. I’m not going to go so far as to say that Great Expectations isn’t a great story, but I can’t stand it. It’s way too wordy, the characters are all jerkfaces with absolutely nothing to stand behind, and it has an unsettling tone I can’t put a finger on. It’s the last Charles Dickens novel I’ll finish (because yes, I finished it).

Most Obscure: At Agincourt by G. A. Henty

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I’m going to guess you’ve never heard of this book. That’s okay! I’m still not sure if I like the resolution of it, but it definitely kept me reading, even though the type in this edition is ribosomically tiny. Also I accidentally slammed the backseat of an SUV down on top of it and I actually cried about it.

Biggest Surprise: The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba

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Going into this, I was thinking I was going to yawn the whole way through. I ended up finishing it in one sitting and realized that I had actually been really riveted the whole time! Who knew windmills were so interesting.

Biggest Disappointment: Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Tarzan is my favorite Disney movie. So that means I’ll love the books, right? Correction: I would have loved the books if they weren’t so horribly cliched and just…ugh. I only keep this one around because its format is so gloriously beautiful. But the pretty cover is honestly the only good thing about it. ALL 800 PAGES OF IT. Okay, I’ll stop ranting.

Longest: Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson

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Non-fiction homemaking encyclopedia. It’s more interesting than you’d think and weighs in at 884 pages. Lots of information and useful stuff that I’ll probably need later.

Shortest: Felicity Learns A Lesson by Valerie Tripp

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yep, it’s the pleasant company edition ^w^

Fun fact: this book got me into AG dolls. It’s only 67 pages, but it certainly talks about a lot in that time frame – bullying, disloyalty, the Boston Tea Party, and not knowing what to do when your values are called into question. These American Girl books are seriously underrated.

Prettiest: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Firstly: this book’s a classic and if you haven’t read it, you should. Secondly: I’m in love with the way this book looks. The colors are so well coordinated and the beautiful design carries over into the pages, too. Yes, I do judge books by their covers. And I hate myself for it. But don’t we all?

Ugliest: The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

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I actually don’t think I finished this one? I think I forgot about it. Even though I’m not sure how I forgot the mustard yellow, bright orange, and strange circus animal motif. THERE AREN’T EVEN ANY CIRCUS ANIMALS IN THIS STORY. Who even designed this cover? It’s ancient, and I got it for free, so I can’t complain…but still.

Largest: The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams

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I can’t get over how amazing the information in this book is. I also can’t get over how physically big it is. It’s about nine by eleven inches and I think it must weigh five pounds. It feels like fifteen when I’m hauling it around, though.

Smallest: Pocket Horses by DK

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This is another book I lived by as a kid! And it’s really really small – about four by five inches. And apparently you can get it on Amazon for literally a dime? I can’t tell if that’s amazing or sad. Maybe it’s amazingly sad. I liked it.

Most Abused: CHA Composite Horsemanship Manual by the Certified Horsemanship Association

If you want to learn to ride, seek out and devour this book. It’s chock full of actually useful information, not just the stuff that sounds good on paper. I have used it so much that the pages are falling out of the binding.

Most Read: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I think I’ve read this one (both parts!) at least ten times. It doesn’t get old, though! I’m surprised I like this book so much, seeing as I’m not usually a fan of the genre, but I grew up on this one and still love it. No movie adaptation can beat it. =u=

First To Be Hypothetically Donated: The Complete Encyclopedia of Horses by Josee Hermsen

I’ll give this one credit that it’s trying to be a horse encyclopedia. That’s not an easy feat. But the editing in this book is really weird. Miscaptioned photos, poor grammar….I can’t even.

Last To Be Hypothetically Donated: Freehand Figure Drawing For Illustrators by David H. Ross

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This book is amazing. Enlightening. Game-changing, if you’re an artist. And there is SO MUCH information in it, I think it’ll probably take a lifetime to learn it all. I need it. *protectively shields it*

Funniest: The Watsons Go To Birmingham: 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

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I don’t want to admit it, but I read Christopher Paul Curtis’ books when I want to laugh my head off. Yes, they have themes and plots, but honestly the humor in them trumps everything else.

Most Boring: Wings by Tom D. Crouch

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I bought this book at a Goodwill just because the cover was pretty. (Back on this again…) It looks great, but it’s pretty much a four hundred page research paper on flight. Not that I don’t like research papers, I just lost interest. Maybe I’ll pick it back up again. In ten years.

Most Useful: Scouting for Girls by The GSA

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Yep, the original. Survival tactics, star maps, instructions for cooking a three-course dinner. And doesn’t everyone need to know how to cut perfect stars from cloth? (I still can’t seem to get it to work…)

Least Useful: A Healthy Horse: The Natural Way by Catherine Bird

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I inherited this book and it’s 150 pages of herbal remedies? Yeah it’s not really useful to me, seeing as I don’t own a horse. It’s also kind of fruity – I always expect to see yoga poses suggested to enhance the cures, even though it doesn’t touch on that. Can horses even do yoga? Hm.

Most Powerful: The Giver by Lois Lowry and The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

I had to split this award. I had to. I couldn’t decide which was more important: The Giver‘s thoughts on the worth of human life, or The Bronze Bow‘s emphasis on the power of hate – and forgiveness. Both are excellent and you should go read them the first chance you get (if you haven’t already).

Most Frustrating: When London Burned by G. A. Henty

This is a reprint of a very old book. I have nothing against it plot-wise – actually it was pretty solid…once I got through the forest of typographical errors. Did they even give it a read-through? IT’S AWFUL AND IT DISTURBS ME.

Honorable Mention: Wolves At Our Door by Jim and Jamie Dutcher

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Wolves At Our Door is a memoir about a couple who lived near a pack of wolves in order to make a documentary about them. The end result is much more interesting than it sounds and than I expected. Definitely one of my favorite true stories.

and…

Favorite: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Annnnnd….time for my favorite book. I always come back to Treasure Island. Something about the aesthetic, or the story, or the characters just keeps dragging me in. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it – or dreaming about being on the open seas, with all the danger and glory and….gahhh. I love this book. Fight me.

*applause*

Did I just decide which of my books was my favorite? Wow.

I’m really glad I decided to do it this way instead of just listing them off. These twenty-five aren’t my entire collection, but they’re a good sampling of it. (We didn’t even get to Counting by 7s…!)

I had a lot of fun making this post, and I hope you do too.

That is, if you accept my challenge.

I would love to see your own versions of The Personal Library Awards™!

I don’t really consider myself a “bookish” person, so I’d be interested in what spins you guys would put on this idea. Would you add awards? Take some away? And, of course, which of your books would win the awards? Honestly, I’d love it if some of you more competent book bloggers would take this idea and run with it!

Do you dare to undertake a round of The Personal Library Awards™?

Sayonara for now,

{Tess}