April 22, 2015

Imagination, of course, can open any door - turn the key and let terror walk right in.

I'm a huge sucker for those real-life crime shows: Cops. 48 Hours. Cold Case. Forensic Files. Documentaries and movies based on unsolved murders, serial killers, and strange tales of almost unbelievable villainy pique my interest: Zodiac. The Imposter. I Survived BTK.

This obviously comes from my mother. We frequently sit up together until late at night on weekends to watch the newest episode of Dateline or The First 48 or whatever else is on, both of us equally engrossed.

The horrifying stories of people who seem to have no soul are so intensely interesting to me. I prefer not to hear the interviews with the police, but the interviews with the cold-blooded individuals in orange jumpsuits.

I want to understand them. I want to find a piece of them that I can relate to; something in them that is in me, too.  These people were knit together by the same Creator as I. We both have some semblance of a soul within us. We are both human.  What makes us different?

Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood is an account of the events that led to the capture of the men who senselessly murdered the Clutter family in 1959. Capote spent six years working on this book, interviewing witnesses, neighbors, friends, and detectives. Then he filled in the blanks with so much detail that it is not simply a retelling of a horrific crime, but a story.

Two things I have taken away from it:

1. A deep, profound encounter with murderers that satisfies in me the desire for understanding the mind and intimate thoughts of souls in the dark.

“There’s got to be something wrong with us. To do what we did. ” – Perry Smith

2. An understanding of what a story is. This account emphasizes how life really works. A murder doesn't simply affect those who kill and those who die. The wingspan of the whole situation touch parts of the human existence outside of life and death. Capote includes seemingly arbitrary dialogues and details that express the reality that no man is an island. There are references and conversations that cover so many topics and induce a multitude of emotions: chilling or heart-warming or thought-provoking.

“Sometimes, when I come home from work – well, I’m tired. But there’s always coffee on the stove, and sometimes a steak in the icebox. The boys make a fire to cook the steak, and we talk, and tell each other our day, and by the time supper’s ready I know we have good cause to be happy and grateful. So I say, Thank you, Lord. Not just because I should – because I want to.” – Mrs. Alvin Dewey

Whether or not Capote maintained complete accuracy in every exchange and process, he captured the essence of non-fiction writing.  This will be added to my bookshelf as a reference to how influential the talented telling of a true story can be.

April 21, 2015

Dude, this thing claims I have been nominated for an award.

Kelpie at C'est La Vie totally just nominated me for a Liebster Award and I'm not even gonna lie, I'm so excited.

1. What other blogger inspired/inspires you to blog? 

No one really; I kind of took it upon myself to blog and I think I stay quite independent of outside influences.

2. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?

So I took the test and I'm an ISFP, "The Artist," and it is so awesome to see how right the description is.

3. Do you have any traits that do not fit your personality type?

Really everything applies to me except for maybe the part about being serious - but I probably come off as more serious than I am.  I'm also iffy on this page that says ISFPs are "extremely perceptive and aware of people... gather information about people and seek to discover what it means."  I'm not sure that I have that trait.

4. What is the biggest lesson you have learned during the past year?

To simply be and let God do (as opposed to searching the Bible for rules to follow, etc.)

5. What is your favorite subject of study?

This semester, the history of modern art.  I could look at Impressionism/Post-Impressionism paintings alllll day.



6. What is your favorite non fiction book? Why?

Right now it's Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung.  "Hyper-spiritual approaches to finding God's will don't work. It's time to try something new: Give up.  Pastor and bestselling author Kevin DeYoung counsels Christians to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through. Too often, he writes, God's people tinker around with churches, jobs, and relationships, worrying that they haven't found God's perfect will for their lives. Or-even worse-they do absolutely nothing, stuck in a frustrated state of paralyzed indecision, waiting... waiting... waiting for clear, direct, unmistakable direction.  But God doesn't need to tell us what to do at each fork in the road. He's already revealed His plan for our lives: to love Him with our whole hearts, to obey His Word, and after that, to do what we like.  No need for hocus-pocus. No reason to be directionally challenged. Just do something."

7. If you could chose any era of time in which to live, what would it be?

Anytime before Internet but after indoor plumbing.

8. Do you play an instrument (may include voice)?

Piano, guitar, and I have participated in many choirs.

9.What is your #1 hobby?

Tie between reading and drawing!

10. How do you prefer to spend your free time?

Reading and drawing.

11. How many times have you done this award? ;)

I've only been nominated this one time!

~

Thanks, Kelpie!

April 20, 2015

Who will write book reviews for my charmingly helpless husband when I'm gone?


Before I Go by Colleen Oakley (Fiction/Romance/Chick Lit) was a suggestion that came up for me on Goodreads.  The premise sounded really interesting to me – Daisy, recently diagnosed with breast cancer, seeks out her husband Jack’s next wife.

What we read on the back cover is the description of Jack as “brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless.”  Charmingly helpless?  What does that mean?

WELL.

Daisy needs to find Jack a new wife because she is worried about what will happen to him when she passes away and isn’t around to take care of him.  To take care of him.  I’ll paraphrase her reasoning here: “Who will pick up his socks from the floor when I’m gone?  Who will make sure he eats a balanced meal?!  Jack doesn’t know how to cook, clean, or function without a woman to slave for him!” Chill, girl.

Anyway apparently he is a man-child.  Then why not seek a new mother instead?  Or a maid?  Or a therapist?

Honestly, I really wanted to like this book.  It has a cute premise.  But when the story began to develop – Daisy worrying about Jack and concluding that she must find him a wife - I was not convinced by the plot, and I think that killed the story for me.

As I was reading it all was seeming weirder and more bizarre and I was expecting a really dramatic ending.  I was so disappointed when it all added up to a big misunderstanding.  It was resolved in like… One page.  “Oh, Jack, I was foolish for not trusting you!  (Even though you have been ignoring me and hanging out with a hot chick who doesn’t have cancer that I have been trying to set you up with!)  Silly me!”

That is not how it probably would have gone, realistically, and I felt like it was a cop-out.  If Jack had at least admitted attraction to this other woman, I would have been happily unsatisfied with the ending (tension!).  But nope, Other Woman is quickly forgotten, and *spoiler alert* Daisy dies and that is our ending.  (But is it really a spoiler if you know that she has a couple months to live after reading the back cover?)  And I really didn’t have any emotional connection to the characters, since I couldn’t justify neither Jack nor Daisy’s actions at all in my own mind.

I didn’t know much about Oakley when I finished the book, so I looked her up to see what else she’s written.  She is a journalist and this is her first novel!  I thought that was super cool.  It’s possible that she is still finding her voice as a creative writer, or she has little personal experience with the topics dealt with in this book.  I will probably read her next novel out of fairness to her.  :)

April 15, 2015

The Great Gatsby TL;DR



I like these blogs so I answered their questions.

Since I have a few posts in the works right now, I don't want to post anything that will take a lot of effort, but this week 2 of my favorite bloggers were nominated for Liebster Awards and they said that anyone could answer the questions they posted.  I liked getting to hear a little about them, and I thought maybe you all would like to hear a little about me, so here we go - I picked 5 questions from each blog!

TEXT HERE

Caitlin at Daughter of Destiny

I love this blog because Caitlin always has an anecdote to connect an inspiring and encouraging message to real life.  Be sure to press play on her playlist to hear some calming, uplifting hymns and worship music!

What type of church do you go to?
I go to a Calvary Chapel!  Calvary Chapels are nondenominational and take a "come as you are" approach to services (casual and comfortable for people from all walks of life to come to).  At least, the one I go to is.

Do you play any instruments? Why or why not?
I play the piano and the guitar.

What interesting studies have you done that you find fascinating?
Ok, this semester I am taking an English class in which we are studying popular culture and it's definitely one of the most interesting classes I've taken.
We are studying a lot of different things: McDonalds, outlet malls, the TV show The Wire, illegally downloaded music, advertising, clothing factories abroad, etc.  It's been very eye-opening.

What's your favorite kind of music? Why?
I love so many kinds of music, but right now I'm obsessed with Spanish worship bands, such as En Espiritu y En Verdad.

Coffee or tea? Hot or cold?
Cold coffee in the morning, hot tea at night.


Sunday Best and All the Rest

Paige at Sunday Best and All the Rest

I've been following Paige for a little while for the fashion inspo and consistent outfit posts!  If you have "four eyes", don't miss here two posts titled "All About Glasses" for some tips on choosing the right frames and how to use your makeup to compliment your specs!

What movie have you seen more than any other?
The Princess Bride.  I've also read it more times than any other book.  I also want to marry Westley.

If you could be in a costume drama, what era would it be from?
The 1920's

Do you feel more at home in front of a camera, behind the camera or far away from any camera?
Behind the camera for sure!

What are you feelings on exercise?
Exercise is insanely important, but my feeling is "I don't want to exercise."

Would you rather plan your own party or have someone throw a surprise party for you?
I would rather never, ever be the center of attention at any kind of party. I would rather throw one for someone else instead.

April 12, 2015

It's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine, it's summertime!

We're not even halfway through April yet, but it's finally nice enough that I could spend the day outside after church and I'm just SO EXCITED about the summer!

I'm already planning a list of ideas for things I want to do when school lets out...


A good mix of long-term goals for the entire summer and goals that can be completed in a day.  :)

April 8, 2015

Dogs can't sit still for very long.

Right?  Dogs just don't have it in them to sit still.  Everyone knows this, I think.  It's one of their most endearing qualities as a species.  I love dogs.  If you ever need a model for gesture drawings, look no further than a dog.  The other day it was really nice outside, so I tied my dog, Mika, to a big tree with her super-long leash and let her enjoy the sunshine and smells and grass while I knocked out some sketches of her antics.


Forget 30 second gesture drawings or even 15 seconds - I don't think she stayed in the same pose for more than 3!  It was challenging, but it forced me to grab the most important details quickly; after she moved, I had to flesh it out a little more without the reference.  Quick drawings like these are important to practice.  It's easy to obsess over getting perfect shapes and outlines, but being all perfectionist like that is a really tough way to work.

April 5, 2015

Here in the love of Christ I stand.

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

I've made up a playlist of songs that I feel describe Easter perfectly.  Some of them I added because we sang them in church this morning.  :)

Enjoy the joyful music!