Excuses are reasons for not blogging for an entire month in disguise! (gif post)

Table of contents:

  1. Talk of life
    1. School
    2. MAPS
    3. Nano
  2. October Goals
    1. Complete/Incomplete
  3. November Goals

LIFE

When I was still in sixth grade, I thought high school would be an amazing, epic adventure with a bunch of new stuff to learn. Now that I’m pretty deep in it, I’m finding out that it’s an amazing, epic adventure with a bunch of new stuff to learn and a truckload of homework.

(My brother’s like, “Where did you get the idea that it would be fun?”)

Every morning, I wake up and take about an hour to do what I want to do. Then I get cracking on my schoolwork.

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From left to right: History, Government, Economics

I am literally crazy for attempting all three of these courses this semester. But it has been fun. In fact, they all seem to kind of blend together. Kind of like a three-headed monster named Histgovecon (hist-GUV-ee-con).

And while I do this, I will be animating something actually real….I’M IN A MAP GUYS ASDFGHJKL THIS IS IT REAL DEAL AAAAAAA.

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Ahem. A Multi-Animator-Project, or M.A.P., is an event where lots of animators get together, and animate little ‘parts’. Once strung together, they make a full video (in this case a music video). And I have twelve seconds to animate. Which is much much much harder than it looks.

And then, there is the all-important thing all of us will be doing this November

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Yup, I’m doing a full 50k. And it will be tough, as always.

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IDK why I put this one in. I don’t even watch Muppets. Maybe it was the donuts.

If you have been following me for a little while, you will note that I started a little club. Go join! We will rock this Nano!

So, between Histgovecon, MAPs and Nano, I’m going to be really busy this November.

OCTOBER GOALS RECAP

1. Write an “October Goals” post. Done! That was so easy LOL
2. Make that post a GIF post. Done! Hehe this one was so easy too.
3. Finish planning my Nanowrimo novel. Half-done. I kinda know what I’m doing but there’s this one part I need to find out what’s going on. In like, two days. :O
4. Get going in animation. Done! I got Cedric and Flash MX2004.
5. Word War with Ava Half-done. We worked on it tho.
6. Get a Wreck This Journal. Done! I bought one and started doing stuff in it.
7. Finish all the books I need to read for school. Half-done. I’m about halfway through all of them. Makes sense right?
8. Learn some new jokes. Done! Here’s an example: What did the pirate say when he put his wooden leg in the freezer?  Shiver me timbers!
9. Write out all the posts that I’ve been meaning to post for a long time. Umm…Not done. I still have five unpublished drafts.
10. Fufill all these goals. Half-done. 7/10 complete.

NOVEMBER GOALS

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Yeah, I’m feeling like this right now:

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ROGERS! FALL IN!!!

So really, I won’t be blogging, neither here nor on SSD, for all of November. Something has to give.

I’m sure when I come back it’ll be like this:

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“What have they been doing while I was gone?”

See you in a month!

{Tess}

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Zielle’s Questions & ‘Stuf’

This is that post that comes in between all of everyone’s exciting posts that no one will probably read because everyone else is making much more awesome posts. Oh well, here goes.

Zielle gave me some questions as part of her “Guest Interviews” thang, and so that’s the first order of business. Who doesn’t love to answer questions about oneself?

Zielle: What brought you to name your blog ‘Steeplechase’?

Tess: Oh wow, these questions are personalized! Epic. I had always loved the word, and I thought it reflected the random nature of my blog without being “Tessie’s Random Crazy Stuff Blog!!”

Zielle: How was your blog born? Who/what inspired you to start one?

Tess: Well, I had already made an AG doll blog (still running, btdubs), but I found a bunch of posts that weren’t AG related were falling through the cracks, so I bucked up and made a PB. And now I love it.

Zielle: What quote do you live by if any?

Tess: Literally anything that Winston Churchill said. In particular:

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”


“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”


“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”


“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
(used in the literal sense of the word, btw)

Okay, that wasn’t one quote. That was five. Bad Tess. *spanks hand*

Zielle: Who are some bloggers you look up to or who inspire you?

Tess: I look up to anyone who’s been blogging longer than I have – Madi and Hayley in particular. As for inspiration, my inspiration comes from all of my followers, all of the people I follow, any random visitors that stop by – in short, every blogger is an inspiration to me.

Zielle: What are some of your blogging goals for the year 2018?

Tess: Finish what I start XD. I have five random drafts in my folder right now and I need to get better at that. Make a two-minute animation for you guys to enjoy. I also want to get to one hundred followers. But that’s just a selfish wish. I don’t even have 50 :P.

Zielle: Are you just naturally good at drawing, or did you have to learn?

Tess: *thinks*
Big Important Drawing Rule One: There is no such thing as natural talent. There is such thing as extensive practice. I’ve been actively drawing since I could scribble. My mom always nurtured me by providing clean paper to draw on and good tools to draw with.

Big Important Drawing Rule Two: Copy. Hold it! There’s a difference between copying and plagiarism. Go to Google, search what you want to draw, and pull up an image. Now draw it as best you can. Think about what it would look like as a coloring page. Also, try to draw from life as much as possible. If you can’t draw from life, then watch someone else draw what you want to draw. Steer clear of ‘drawing tutorials’, though, because those will teach you how to draw that thing in the creator’s style. Not good. You want your own style.

Big Important Drawing Rule Three: Be unique. Do things your way, not someone else’s. That’s the only way your drawings will look like YOU.

Big Important Drawing Rule Four: Block. If you want to be able to draw something from every angle, learn to block. Go look it up. Art Ala Carte is a great Youtube channel for learning how to block.

Big Important Drawing Rule Five: Don’t buy expensive stuff until you’re sure you’re serious.

(This was an essay. Sorry. :P)

Zielle: How many times have you flown in a plane? (#random)

Tess: Only once. I didn’t get a window seat though. So that kind of stunk.

Zielle: Do you stall reading until you’re in bed, or do you read whenever you can?

Tess: It all depends on what I’m reading. If a book is meh or average or not really that interesting, I wait till bed. But if it’s so enthralling that I can’t wait to see what happens next and can’t put it down, then I read it whenever I can (including while getting dressed).

Zielle: How old were you when you wrote your first story? (if you’re okay sharing)

Tess: I was nine. I wrote out a story about bunnies that now, remembering it, sounds mysteriously like Alice in Wonderland…even though I hadn’t read it at the time. I sadly don’t have it anymore. 😦

Zielle: Do you have a book in progress that I can beta read and devour???!! ;P

Tess: Almost. Once I make my Julynowrimo Brother Robin cohesive (not perfect, mind you), you’ll be the first on the list of beta readers!

In speaking of which, I am hiring beta readers! I need some useful crit on the aforementioned story.

Beta Reader Information

– The story is fifty thousand words long and falls under the heading of sci-fi histfict.
– The content is appropriate for ages 8+. There is mention of death, some people in love, and an injury, which is not described in great detail. (EDIT: There is also mention of alchoholic beverages. Not a horrible lot but they are present. This is 1876, guys.)
– The story is a DRAFT. It is not my best work. It is not even close to my best work. It’s complete rubbish, drivel and garbage. But I don’t want to waste a bunch of time editing and fixing a story that will need more fixing later.
– I’ll be sending out the story in December of this year, after I’ve made it cohesive (going back and fixing things that don’t make sense.
– I really don’t want grammar criticism. I’ll fix that m’self, thanks. If something’s not clear, then tell me, but if I use the wrong form of ‘there’, don’t correct me, please.

I’m looking for at least five readers, so jump on it!

And now…the ‘stuf’…the reason why I haven’t been blogging…there’s so much interesting stuff to do and so little time! I’ve gotten some new things that I can’t wait to show you guys.

Books!

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One trip to Barnes and Noble later…I got some books! The money was worth it.

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Wreck This Journal. Guys. This is so so so so so awesome! I’m not going to show any pages until I’m done. Then I’ll do a #rekt tour!

And F nish Th s B  k. I am not going to say anything about this one. You have to go get it yourself. Not being lazy, it’s just that you have to see it to believe it.

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle is a crazy book that takes itself really seriously. Like it’s completely normal to shave yourself with a broken bottle, Doctor! But it’s a ton of fun and really lighthearted in comparison to a lot of fiction.

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The best part, though, is that my collection of aesthetically pleasing Sterling edition classics is growing!

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Ahhhhh….the spectrum….it’s so……

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SATISFYING.

*wipes brow*

Art Stufs

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Alright, I broke down and bought a sketchbook. I haven’t drawn anything in it yet, but that will change as soon as I finish this post. 🙂 I also got some new pencils, as I wore my others down to nubs…

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And they are also fun to photograph. This is the 6B (not like anyone cares).

And now….

…the grand finale…

…the thing you’ve been waiting for…

…please welcome…

…the newest member of my entourage…

…the one who will help me realize my dreams…

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This is Cedric! He is a Monoprice 10″ x 6.25″ Drawing Tablet and is a real amazing guy (though he can be tempermental). Don’t tell him I said that, though. I got some old Flash MX2004 and am making some babystep animations. But that topic’s for another post.

What’s your favorite thing to do (besides blogging)? Did you sign up to beta read?

Sayanora,

Tess

October Goals

1. Write an “October Goals” post.

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Huh.

2. Make that post a GIF post.

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Okay…

3. Finish planning my Nanowrimo novel.

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I know some people say that planning doesn’t work or blah blah blah…but as someone who can never decide what to write about, I find it helpful. So far, things are going okay, but I need to iron out a couple of details and pick theme music for each part. (I know that sounds incredibly OCD but 1) I think I have a minor form of OCD so it’s normal for me and 2) it saves time so that you don’t spend an hour finding the perfect music. I’m busy this year.)

4. Get going in animation.

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If you want to know how traditional Disney animation worked, here’s an epic video. It will help the following paragraph make sense.

Theoretically, I could continue forever in my physical pencil and paper state, but here’s the thing. I can only do so much. With a drawing tablet and some Adobe CC Animate, though, the inking, painting, backgrounds and all that will become SOOO much easier. I’ll be able to start work on the projects I’ve been thinking about.

5. Word War with Ava

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Ava and some other blogfriends and I were going to do a Word War, but it kind of fell through, so we just decided to do a collab story. Anyone is still welcome to join, though.

6. Get a Wreck This Journal.

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These look like so much fun. And I have always wanted one.

7. Finish all the books I need to read for school.

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I made this one.

Silas Marner, Mornings on Horseback, Treasure Island, The Wealth of Nations….yeah I’m busy.

8. Learn some new jokes.

 

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Does anyone else watch AlpacaHawk or am I the only weirdo?

‘Nuff said.

9. Write out all the posts that I’ve been meaning to post for a long time.

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Procrastination is the only option, Li Sheng. The only option.

10. Fufill all these goals.

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“You just wanted ten, didn’t you…”

What are some goals you’re striving for this October?

{Tess}

 

 

 

The Completed Picture {Thanks, beans}

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blogfriends (pl. n.) – Friends made through the blogosphere that become far more than entities as time progresses.

I’ve met some awesome people in the fourteen months that I’ve been blogging. Every single one of my followers is special to me, and there’s nothing that cheers me up better than when one of them leaves me a comment or a like.

I wanted to try to find a way to thank some of my best blogfriends ever; namely, Mya, Enni, Miles, Sam, Clara, Zielle and Ava. Everyone has been super-supportive, but these seven in particular have really helped me along. I could not write enough to suffice for the inspiration I’ve gotten from them.

I shall now go through each one separately, both telling them how awesome they are and critiquing my rendition (because this can’t get too mushy).

(DISCLAIMER: Distance to or from Tess does not indicate frenship status. If I could have put all you beans right next to me, I would have.)

(DISCLAIMER: Randomness ahead.)

Mya (Life From Behind A Camera)

Mya, you’re an underdog of the blogging world, and you’re totally okay with that. You’re still under 100 followers, but you put together beautiful photos and excellent writing. The result? Posts I always look forward to reading. You’re a bit soft-spoken in comparison to others, but that’s one of the reasons I like you so much. Keep peacing out the world.

(Art critique: I wish I had made her smile a little less wide. Less like this: ) and more like this: >. Other than that, Mya turned out pretty good!)

Enni (Hooves and Pens)

Enni, you horse nerd, we have so much in common! It’s so refreshing to see a blogger who loves her older brothers as much as I love mine. And our horsiness…we should not have coffee together. Caffiene and geeking may have adverse effects upon our riding posture. But it might be worth it. Keep dreaming – we will ship Bristy soon enough.

(Art critique: I only had a rather blurred-out photo to work with, so hopefully my imagination filled in adaquately.)

Miles (Art Style)

Miles miles miles miles miles….remember when we were at the Pottery and I was voted the weirdest girl because of my evil scientist impression? If we were to compete again, you would take the cake, you silly jelly bean. But hey, are you really complaining about that? I can see you doing all kinds of awesome stuff. You hack it out, bubble.

(Miles and I are IRL frens, so this makes no sense to anyone but her and I. :P)

(Art critique: How do you put a crazy unicorn like Miles into a drawing? Hot pink shirt, emoji hat, orange Toms and weird socks, of course. My original design had her giving me bunny ears. Though it would have been more accurate, it was causing problems relating to arm length. I mean, she’s cray, but not stretchy…)

(And we respectfully skip Tess because this is not the time for a session of heavy self-lauding. :P)

Sam (Redhead With A Book)

Sammy, you’re so smol it’s hard to not smile when I see one of your posts. You’re one of the few real booknerds I trust to know the difference between a good book and kindling. And your doll blog. INSANE. How do you do that? You’re epically awesome and you should keep being epically awesome. Finis.

(And…I tried include your swanfriend but his inflatable feathers would have been too hard to draw. And it would have looked really, REALLY weird.)

(Art critique: Sam is probably the most interesting to look at out of all the beans, considering she’s the only one not looking a the cam…I know your hair isn’t THAT red but I wanted it to be more red than – shall I dare say it? – ORANGE.)

Clara (Clara & Co.)

Clara! My first follower! The one I addressed all this drivel to for the first few weeks! I’ve been following you ever since I started ‘pressing, so this frenship wins the Longevity Award. Don’t ever stop being that frendly, sweet, colorful bean you are. Just don’t.

(Art critique: If only I could capture Clara’s frenliness in a drawing…*sighs* The panda is a reference to what was her profile picture for a long, long, long, LONG time. I wanted to give Constance a nametag but there wasn’t enough room!)

Zielle (My Homeschool Notebook)

Zielle, Zielle, I always wished my name had started with an awesome letter like Z. But not Zebedee. Your blog is so awesome! I love your photos and writing, and since those translate to your soul, I love your soul you so much! I know that my chances of meeting you in person are really, REALLY slim, but we can dream across the Pacific, right? Keep it up!

(Art critique: I love the way Zielle turned out. Except for her skin. I had intended to make it only a bit darker, because she said she was epically Filipino, but…I think I went overkill. Let’s just say she got a lot of sun this summer. :/)

Ava (Elysian Artiste)

Ava, you and I were born under the same star. Yes, talking to characters is normal. Yes, feeling that your characters are real is normal. Yes, developing crushes on historical fiction characters is normal (even though people say that they aren’t real, and even if they were, they’d be dead). We could do this all day. Continue writing histfict, continue getting in deep with your characters…continue being Ava, because you are awesome awesome awesome.

(Art critique: I took a gander with Ava’s clothes. Hopefully they match her character. But I thought daydreaming required daydreamy clothes. Tess, what do you know about fashion? You wear your jeans until they turn grey and get holes in the rear. You wear your T-shirts until they get so nasty no one can tell what’s on them. You wear Target sneakers that kind of look like Converse but not really. And you own a pair of corduroy pants. Be ashamed for ever thinking you knew anything about fashion. Ahem. Ava, show all of us sneaker-wearing hoodlums how to wear flats, please?)

And this concludes my 1,000-word epic on you guys. Even if you were not mentioned, I love you so much. Thanks for the great year so far, and let’s hope for lots more epic years!

Lots of tea,

{Tess}

 

AG Create-Your-Own: Nanowrimo Edition

I had no idea whether to put this on my doll blog or here on Steeplechase, but I decided that since it involved the characters of my past Nanowrimos, I should post it here.

Anyways, today I’ll be trying to duplicate some of my past Nanowrimo characters (and probably ranting about them in the process ;)) with the AG Create-Your-Own maker. Enjoy.

Sybil Glasscock
A Falcon Of Gold, 2015 (40k)

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Ahh, Sybil, you extremely pessimistic bean, your clothes are completely period innacurate but they’re more to reflect your character than your actual costume. I apologize for shipping you at the last minute. That was unfair.

(Sybil was part islander and part English. But the islander was more dominant. She was a really big jerk though.)

Kat McKittrick
A Charger In Command, 2016 (50k)

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(The picture size changed for some reason. Sorry for triggering your severe OCD.)

Kat was a more sedate Sybil. Maybe it was the horses; maybe it was the fact that she wasn’t an orphan. (There are really too many orphans in today’s literary world.) Whatever it was, she was more stable. But I shipped her at the last minute too. *ducks as people throw tomatoes*.

I’m fine with shipping characters, it’s just when it’s last minute that makes it bad. Instantly.

Kaori Sasaki (sound familiar?)
The Taiso Senshu, 2017 (15k)

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It was after I wrote Kaori’s story in April that I realized that I wrote almost exclusively about dark-haired, pessimistic girls. Nevertheless, she was my favourite out of the three, only because she was Japanese and Japan is awesome. (Well, because I didn’t want to do any research, I made it a Japan-like society called Pseudo-Japan in my notes. I’m lazy.)

(So much from her story was borrowed for my doll stories, so I can’t share much more. :P)

Millicent Blair
Brother Robin, 2017 (50k)

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Millicent, you refreshing change to the norm! It’s a pity you were an underexplored side character. At least the MC of Brother Robin was a light-haired, blue-eyed British man. He was still pessimistic though. Maybe you’ll be a good influence for him. As I did ship the two of you. (sorrynotsorry).

Honorable mentions, also from Brother Robin:

And one more honorable mention: Kseniya, a she-wolf, from my novel in preparation about canine culture, reimagined as a human.

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“Where are my ears?”

And finally, from my upcoming story for Nanowrimo 2017…

Sasha Sokolovsky
Project Orion (50k)

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Part Russian. Part naïve. All nerd. I’m going to have so much with you this November, despite that you’re only a side character!

Time for…

Secrets

The answer to this question is the password to the Secrets page, which holds a bonus picture for you to enjoy! (It will be all lowercase.)

What is the ship name of my OTP?
(hint: it’s in a caption)

What kinds of characters do you tend to write about? Do they all follow a pattern or are they different? Are you going to do this on your blog? If you are, then link it back and I’ll read it!

Sayonara!

{Tess}

 

The helter-skelter GIF-filled post that everyone makes once in their blog history!

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This, ladies and gentlemen (do I even have any male followers?), is best described above. I’m going to try not to ramble and actually cover the information I’ve been meaning to cover for a while now.

Ready?

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From Studio C. Btdubs.

Upcoming posts

I have a lot of things on my ‘to blog’ list, and though I can’t share everything, here’s a sampling.

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First up, a review of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.

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The Bookish Pair Up Tag is next! I can’t wait to do this!

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I hope to give a tour of my new school materials and all the subjects I’ll be doing in this exciting year of education.

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A miniature art dump and an animation preview come after that.

I doubt I’ll follow this order without adding in some other posts, because Tess is as unpredictable as the West Texan weather.

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Also from Studio C.

In speaking of Texan Weather, I hope that you guys are out of Hurricane Harvey’s way and are praying for those who are. I won’t go into very much detail because so much has already been said on the matter, but considering that I was in Houston very recently, it kind of hits home. May God be with those who are floating about right now.

*Amen-amen-amen*

Making an ‘about me’ page

I’m planning to do that. Right now all you know about me is that I’m obsessed with TTTE.

Which I still am, by the way! Just watched Journey Beyond Sodor. How do they make these movies so awesome, guys?

This is actually from Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure. Shhhh

Enjoyable TTTE films aside, I hope to add just a bit more info about me, like what my favorite Disney film is. See if you can guess it in the comments. Just to amuse me? Please?

Aaannnddd…

I’m going to try to find more blogging time by staying off of Youtube. I always have such good intentions and then end up watching “We Are Number One” renditions.

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This is really the best video on Youtube though. Tied with Yee of course.

So yeah, you should see a bit more of me this year!

Let’s chat!

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Not like that, Tarzan.

Do I have any gentlemen following this blog?

Which post are you most excited for? Can you guess my favorite Disney movie? What’s the weirdest Youtube video you’ve ever seen?

(shamelessly begging for people to comment)

Sayonara,

Tess

How do I get rid of this stupid thing at the bottom here???? GAAHHHH

Summer Goals

Ahhh….summer. Which, here where I live, translates to Saharan temperatures and hurricanal winds. Nevertheless, I have goals for summer, just like every other blogger in the world, and I’m sharing them so that you can keep me accountable. Ready?

1. Consistently wake up at 6:00 am.

I love sunrises. Especially West Texan sunrises. Maybe that’ll get me out of bed.

 

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2. Write 30,000 words of The Vagabond.

Yes, this is the dog story. Yes, I have made changes on it. Yes, I’ve added wolves. No, I haven’t started yet.

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3. Learn a little bit of piano.

I’ve got some piano-teacher software laying about to be used with a USB keyboard (great for people with space issues!). So hopefully I’ll be able to use it this summer. Disclaimer: I am not especially musically inclined, but still, it’s good to know the basics.

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4. Ride my bike twice weekly.

Biking is one of the best ways to get exercise, and I love how you can get about quickly on it. So let’s get Traveller out and ride him more often. (Who doesn’t name their bicycle?) Haha, I lucked upon a picture of my exact bike!

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5. Blog more often.

“More often” is somewhat indefinite, but still, it’s a start. I need to blog more often this summer.

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6. Animate.

I want to do more animations like the ones I did in this post. Who knows? If I get good enough, I could make an entire movie….. (I didn’t draw this photo!)

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Aaaand that really is it. Because I’m lazy and want to have a good summer just the way it is.

What kinds of things are you doing this summer?

{Tess}

International Women’s Day

(NOTE: This short essay is not meant to be confrontational; this is just my musings on feminism, really. If you disagree with me, please be polite.)

Today is International Women’s Day, yet another “girl power” event that has left me chagrined as to the purpose of it. For years, people have been chasing after the bone-on-a-stick called “Gender Equality”. Yet what they don’t realise is that unless there is a change in their attitude, they’re never going to reach that goal. Let me explain.

Our society has made us think that women a minority, yet somehow, they have become more powerful than men. For example, Paw Patrol, the Nick Jr. TV show, was given several reviews like this one:

…However, my goodness, how on earth did a show get out of development that suffers from the Smurfette Principle on a major children’s network in 2013?? For a while, there was only one female pup: Skye. Now, she is pretty awesome. She can fly! She’s my 3 year-old boy’s favorite character. But in terms of gender equity, this show is stuck firmly in 1952. If you’re a boy, you can be anything you want, but if you’re a girl, you have to be the “pink one”. We know a lot of preschool girls who love this show too, and there is no reason on earth that any of the other pups couldn’t have been a girl. They added another girl pup in a later season, but she is a snow dog in what seems to be a southern California setting. I’m sure she’s really super useful and all, but come on. Couldn’t she at least have been a paramedic pup, which the crew is obviously missing? No doubt they will add another boy pup to do that job… Ugh.

Yet somehow, shows like My Little Pony, Barbie In The Dreamhouse, Doc McStuffins, and numerous others, have mostly and sometimes entirely female casts, but aren’t called sexist. And even when boys do exist in those shows, they are mostly: a) dates/crushes; b) dads; or c) random shopkeepers or staff.

I have also noticed that in the little boy TV shows, when they add a girl, she is light-years more likeable than when they add a boy into a little girl’s TV show. Take Ashima, from Thomas and Friends‘ newest movie, The Great Race.

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She’s motivated, polite, hard-working, and friendly (and actually sort of attractive for being a talking train). That’s a big contrast from Ken, who, as far as I know, is just there to give Barbie a date.

I think that if girls want to be equal with boys, let them be equal, not favoured because they’re girls.

Let me quote a spokesperson from HIT entertainment, who said this when he was confronted about the ratio of male engines to female engines in Thomas and Friends:

“Every engine has a job to do whether that’s hauling materials around the Island of Sodor or pulling passengers – gender is irrelevant.”

Or, translated: Everyone has a job to do, whether it’s a desk job or an active job – gender shouldn’t be a tool in the hands of the media to make a big pity party.

This is why I won’t be participating in any of the big festivities held on this day for women.

{Tess}