Amateur Art Update

(Before we begin: why is it that just when I get used to how the WordPress post editor is, Automattic changes it? 8-| )

It has been epochs since I’ve posted some amateur art, though I have been drawing prolifically. But to ease your worries, I’ve picked only my best sixteen to show. Not all of them.

Also, I read the survey results, and although I can’t draw cats (sorry, whoever that was) for a hill of beans, I have been trying to diversify. Slightly.

We’ll begin with the sketchy, not-so-great stuff.

animals

(Lions are cats, right?)

animals2

more huskies

The copper husky turned out better than the grey. The grey’s head almost looks too small. Oh well.

(Side note: I have been studying Pirkei Avot with a friend, so naturally, you’ll see some interesting quotes on some of these drawings, like this one. More on Pirkei Avot here.)

horses30001

I already edited it so that line A is level. 😛 I accidentally drew the horse over-jumping, so I just altered the angle. 🙂

stillmore horses

Here’s another jumper.

evenmore horses

More Pirkei Avot. I like the rider’s posture.

more horses

Still more Pirkei Avot. I like the horse’s big, pretty eyes. I tried to give the chestnut a wall eye, but it was too late, and it just ended up looking odd.

horses3

More Pirkei Avot. The quality is getting slightly better…

horses2

(Sorry for the high exposure.) Better?

horses1

Better….

wolves (2)

This is intended to be a female wolf. Better….

wolves

From that same sketch. Better!

pongo

Pongo from 101 Dalmatians.

lady_and_the_tramp

Lady and Tramp. Do I actually need to tell you where this is from?

andevenmore horses

I had considered entering this in the Western Horseman Youth Art contest. Any encouragement?

I saved the best for last.

wolf

I JUST drew that this morning, copying from an online picture. I love it. The mouth looks just right! Hooray!

That just about wraps things up. I hope you enjoyed the more diverse selection of drawings.

{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.

image_update_img

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}

The crickets are chirping….

Well, apparently my last post didn’t go over very well. Either that, or everyone’s so stinking ready for spring break that it flew under the radar. Whichever it was, I’m trying not to take it personally and hoping that some writing might appease my readers.

When Penney first came to 8100 Brampton Road, she didn’t know what a catovit was. Now she wondered how she’d ever gotten on without them.

Every afternoon, just around teatime, she’d get down from the attic, down the hall, down the staircase, and down the other hall to the ashwood door on the end. And she’d knock – once for purpose, once for luck, and once more for good measure. Then the door would swing open, almost by itself, and the strangely refined voice of the formerly adventurous gentleman would beckon, “Come in, Penney, you’re three minutes late.”

She’d laugh, the same laugh she utilised when she wrote something humourous (for everything is more humourous when one writes it oneself) and take a deep breath of the fresh, bracing air Sir Dawson kept about his room. The chessboard was always there, with all the pieces laid out. He’d always ask her if she wanted to be black or white. She’d always answer that black was best.

And then they’d talk as they played. They’d talk about everything, from the most important political argument that had been on the radio the night before, to whether the Falcons or the Harlequins would win at the next rugby match, to the coming issue in the school system. But the one thing they’d never talk about was themselves. Penney already knew enough about Dawson, just from the room he lived in.

He had a lot of windows in his room, and every one was always open, bringing just enough of a breeze to ruffle the sail of the little model schooner on the bookcase. Souveniers of his life were all about him, each in a precise place of honour – an leather aviator’s hat, goggles and all, sagged atop a slender golden candlestick; a Brown Bess musket, probably not touched since the Revolution, reposed lazily on the mantle, along with three smaller pieces that were really only good for knocking houseflies out of their wits; various rocks and mineral deposits littered the tables and shelves, but not really in an artful way; and, plastered with travelling stickers as it was, a big locking cabinet oversaw everything.

Penney loved to imagine what could be in the cabinet. She did not think it was a gun safe, for if the fellow believed in keepings his weapons secure, the ancient Brown Bess (which was only valuable because of its age) would have been stowed within. It wasn’t full of books, because she’d heard Dawson say that books were of best use when one could reach them easily, and locking them in a cabinet did not constitute easy access. After much thought, she realised, to her great disappointment, that it was probably a wardrobe, as there was not a closet in his room. But rather than believe the obvious (and spoil her musing fun), she liked to let it remain a mystery, and to keep wondering what was inside it.

And so it was: every afternoon, Penney Woodlawn would be in David Dawson’s room from three o’clock to four o’clock, day in, day out. They found a name for their tradition, one rainy afternoon when Dawson was teetering on losing yet again.

“You know, Dawson,” said Penney, nonchalantly swiping her rook to the left, “I think we ought to find a name for this.”

“For trumping me at chess?” He sighed at the move that put him in check-mate. “There already is one. It’s called, ‘thrashing’.”

Penney laughed. “Not that. For this.” She waved a flourishing hand around the room. “Our tradition.”

“Hmm.” Dawson stroked the grey whiskers that climbed his sharply defined jawbone. “How about, ‘catovit’.”

“That’s a funny word.”

“Indeed. ‘Tisn’t a word at all.”

She cocked her head. “What is it, then?”

“It’s a vocalised acronym. Stands for, ‘chess and talk of very important things’.”

She chuckled. “But sometimes, the things we talk about aren’t so important, Dawson.”

“Why d’you say that?”

“I don’t think the comparison of coffee and tea amounts to much. Especially when we’re in agreement on the subject.”

He shook his head, smiling. “Well, perhaps, but the ‘i’ in ‘catovit’ could also stand for ‘inane’.”

“Alright, then,” she laughed. “‘Catovit’ it is.”

I had this snippet on my mind for some time. If I still like it tomorrow, then I’ll make it a full-fledged story someday. But for now my mind wanders in pawprints….just in case you didn’t notice….

Is anyone interested in an Amateur Art update? I’ve just gotten over my drawing slump, and I just drew a pretty good Lady and Tramp that I’ve wanted to post.

And, could you give about .3487 of a second of your time to answer this poll?

Stay cool,

Tess

Tess is not dead

I have some very delicious bread rising on my stovetop right now, and as it will be taking care of itself for thirty minutes, I spanked myself over to the computer to write a post – FOR THE ENTIRE TIME.

I cannot give an elaborate excuse for my posting lapse, save sheer laziness. And the fact that I am about to start my first outside of Nanowrimo NOVEL. That has been an interesting development, particularly because this tale is unlike anything I have ever thought of, let alone attempted to immortalise.

It all started with a story I wrote for a writing course last semester entitled The Long Way Home. Basically the gist of the story was that I was walking home and was attacked by a pack of stray dogs, and that one of them ended up sticking up for me, so I brought him home. Little did I know that this had begun a new fascination.

A few weeks later, I was sitting on my couch – it was a Thursday afternoon, I believe – frustrated with my writing and ready for a change. So pen went to paper, and I came up with the following paragraphs:

This story begins with a farmer cultivating his pumpkin field. The farmer was a dog, which may sound strange to us, but you must understand, the land of Sanskratoon is fully inhabited by dogs. So farmer dogs cultivating their pumpkin fields is perfectly normal in this story.

The farmer’s name was Arrow. His uncle had recently given him the pumpkin farm; it was something that made a very good birthday present to Arrow, because he didn’t have a penny to his name. But now, with every pumpkin he sold, he was slowly saving enough money to buy food for the coming winter. This meant, of course, that he had pumpkin every night for supper. It was a good thing his father had taught him one hundred ways to cook a pumpkin.

And so a tale I had intended to read to my six-year-old little sister turned into something much more than that. After completely changing my story, turning farming to sledding (and realising that dogs don’t eat pumpkins), I am now beginning a brand-new novel (with a goal of 100,000 words) starting this Monday. I’m hopefully going to find some kind of widget that’ll keep track of that wordcout.

FAQ (well, more like expected FAQ):

Why not horses? You’re horse-mad.
My reasoning for this doesn’t really make sense. But I will say this – I know too much about horses. If I tried to make up a world for them to live in like I have done for the dogs, then I would be hindered by my own knowledge. Honestly, the less I know about something, the better my imagination is fueled (and the more distant it becomes from human culture and Erin Hunter.)

Does your story have magic in it?
No. I don’t believe magicking is something to be toyed around with in books.

If evil magic exists, which, as shown from The Witch of Endor, I Samuel 28:3-25 and Simon the Sorceror, Acts 8:9-24, it does, then it isn’t something I want to writing about.

I also believe that if good magic is real, and powered by God, then it’s too holy to be used in fiction, just like I wouldn’t make someone use God’s name in vain in one of my stories.

So this means no wizards or witches or magical stones or anything.

When will your story be complete?
That depends on how complete you’re looking at. I’m hoping to have the first draft done by November 2017. Then, after Nanowrimo, I’ll begin editing with my mum, who has graciously volunteered her services. If it does turn out to be anything good, then you can expect it to be sold by 2020.

Do you want to hear some of my story ideas?
Sure! I’ll at least give an ear to what you have to say, and who knows, you may see it in the book.

Can I have a cameo appearnce?
If you want. All you need to do is tell me the following:

1) what name you would like to use (no screenames please! It would sound weird to say, “Hi, my name is DogLover5521. What’s yours?”)

2) which of the following four breeds you would like to be:

German Shepherd,gsd_hero

Golden Retriever,goldenretriever_hero_-_copy

Siberian Husky (I prefer blue-eyed ones but this one is still pretty cute),siberianhusky_hero2

or Border Collie.bordercollie_hero

(Hopefully these photos melted your cute-o-meter.)

It has to be one of these four, because it’s kind of a major plot point. 🙂

3) optional – any hat or accesory you like. My dogs don’t really wear anything besides hats and neckwear.

I figured this would be a fun way to involve you guys in my tale. So don’t be shy, there will be a place for your cameo!

That pretty much sums up my story. Now, onto actual news: I have been volunteering at a barn, and earned my very first riding lesson there on Wednesday! It was a ton of fun. I’ll write up my experiences there in another post.

Well, this ramble took longer than thirty minutes. At least I posted. 😛

Yours truly,

Tess

Crazy Russian Hacker, Updates, and Some Other Nonsense

First of all: Have you heard of Crazy Russian Hacker? Because if you haven’t, I need to redirect you to his Youtube channel: Crazy Russian Hacker

I love this fellow’s videos (or, as he says them, veedyos). When he announced that he was taking fan mail, I considered a lot of things I could send him, but I eventually decided on a drawing…SO this means more amateur art! Variety lovers rejoice!

crhbetter.jpg

I just learned how to draw huskies, which is perfect. After all, he has two. I’m quite happy with the way this turned out…I’m going to make a photocopy to keep.

Now, for travel plans and other stuff…I’m going to Louisiana for the holidays, and besides my doll stuff, which we will not discuss at the present moment, I’m undertaking something that sounds like fun – The Plastic Challenge.

The rules of this game are simple.

  1. Gather up about twenty little plastic Chuck E. Cheese guys (like army men, cowboys, horses, whatever. I’m using ninjas.).
  2. Set a time period (mine is the week I’ll be gone).
  3. See how many you can leave in interesting places (with notes telling to pass it on).

I have these twenty plastic ninjas I got at Gattiland that I’ve been trying to get rid of, and I finally developed this challenge to get rid of them. Hopefully I’ll get a picture of each one and its note. The note is IMPORTANT.

If you feel like doing this challenge, let me know – maybe we can compete to see how many we can do.

I’m leaving on the 23rd and won’t be back till the 2nd, but I will have lots of interesting nonsense to share. 🙂

Where are you going this holiday season?

{Tess}

 

A Proposition for My Readers

How. Does. The. Time. Fly. By?

It seems like just a couple of weeks ago, it was my birthday, and my two awesome brothers were gigging me with a bunch of stuff that annoys me (like Yo-Kai Watch and Star Wars Rebels). Now, it’s December, my birthday is next month and I feel like it hasn’t been long enough to make a year.

Maybe that’s a sign of my brain trying to mature but my six-year-old “it takes a million years to have your birthday again!” thing fighting dirty. XD

But on less depressing topics than aging (I did that on purpose), the actual reason for this post is….

I NEED AN EDITOR.

Well, sort of. I could carve out mountains of time to try and edit my 2015 or 2016 novels, but I’m so ca-hooting sick of this year’s novel, and feel that I might chirp my chips trying to edit last year’s. So the idea came to me like a clap of thunder, a flash of lightning and Martin’s outdated flash – why don’t I cajole one of my readers into doing it for me?

Well, not exactly. You would be paid…in compliments, virtual boot shining and erecting virtual monuments. (Which is another way of saying that I’m dead broke and the best I can do is give you a guest post. Not exactly like my blog is an amazing epoch of the blogosphere that would be worth lowering yourself to post on, but whatever. More publicity!)

All I’d need edited are problems with story (as in, you said it was winter but now it’s fall, what happened???). I can do all the grammatical stuff, but I need an outside, trustworthy source to tell me that the ending was cheesy or that this character changed drastically without explanation.

If you’re interested in being the nicest person in the world (and laughing hysterically at my farbiness in some areas), just let me know, and I would let you read over the novel of your choice and BE RUTHLESS.Just kidding. But do let yourself go and, in the words of the Nanowrimo handbook, WIELD THY MIGHTY RED PEN.

Cheerio!

Tess

(PS: I will be going out of town this weekend for the holidays and won’t be back until January 2nd. Perhaps that can be an excuse for not posting the rest of this week? But I promise lots of photos. :))

 

An absurd assortment.

Do you have that feeling, dear Nanowrimo participants, that you’ve been under a rock all of last month, but you rather enjoyed being under there? Of course, now you have time to do the things you like and look up funny horse memes on the internet,

mud

but it was nice having a story to work on.

I suppose my problem is that now I’m not in a mad scramble for words, I feel like I can’t devote time to writing something crummy. But there is a line between crummy and first draft. I just can’t seem to find the sweet spot. Someone tell me to sheq it and show this funny picture.

revising-meme

I know, right?

I’m probably not even going to be editing this Nano project. It’s just too awful. Bleh. When you change equine main characters halfway for no purpose other than you thought your other equine character was more handsome, WITHOUT EXPLANATION, you’ve got problems.

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However, my little partner in crime, the one that made me so obsessed with Thomas The Tank Engine, is having a birthday on Thursday, so I bought:

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plus the five other books that come directly after it, because she’s turning six.

That’s right. She’s my little sis.

Her even being here is an amazing miracle. I was four when I started asking God for a baby sister. I was the youngest of six and wanted to play “older sister” desperately (so much that I used to boss my baby dolls around). Four years later, she was born…and we’ve been buds since. Of course, life isn’t perfect between her and I, but it is most of the time.

Tonight’s movie night. We’re watching The Great Race (the newest Thomas movie).

Gahh! How did I get to talking about Thomas again?!?!?

Do you have a movie night?

{Tess}