"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream." ― Vincent van Gogh
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May 19, 2019

Seven Things: random ramblings & some stuff

the reading tree (click on the image for a larger view)

01/ See how many things you can find by looking at the above art.
Click on the image for a better view.

02/ I've finished the April A-Z challenge so now I can slack off from posting... that's what my brain seems to think. I don't seen to be as active or as creative during the rest of the other months as I am during April. I think something about completing a certain task all at once makes me more likely to do it then when I just randomly think up random things to do. Maybe the rise in temperature is making me think less. Or maybe I'm just lazy.

03/ I've offically quitted instagram or rather, I have stopped posting there and now I have no desire to go near it. For reasons that I just don't get, everyone's there. It's a shame because instead of posting on their blogs, some of my favorite bloggers now just post at instagram which pretty much means I wouldn't really be enjoying their posts because, well, I just don't go there anymore. I was thinking of deleting my instagram page (? not even sure what to call it) and then I thought I might go there one of these days so it's still there if you can find it. Also, because instagram is more of a phone oriented type of media, I suppose that makes me more oppse to it as I really don't like using phones at all.

04/ I just read yet another bloggers or rather a pair of bloggers switching from their Blogger blog to a Wordpress blog. One of the reason they stated was that they didn't think Blogger is stable which is pure nonsense because Wordpress might not be stable either. When you try to find fault in something, you will usually find it or at least, it seems that way to me. So I thought that was a lame excuse to switch. Couldn't they just say they were lured to the dark side and wished to go there? Or that they just don't like Blogger anymore? Is it so hard to be honest about that? (I like to think Wordpress is like the dark side and Blogger is like the force and I'm more for the force.) I've never liked Wordpress (& yes I have blogged there briefly & found their interface a bit on the unfriendly side) so I guess I just don't understand the urge to switch there. So maybe I'm so used to Blogger that I really see no reason to change. Plus when I think about it, my switching to Wordpress means I have to relearn everything because I have not been keeping up and don't know how to use wordpress anymore. Honestly, I'm too lazy to relearn it.

05/ Why do I feel old for not doing new things? Sometimes I just feel like I'm behind everyone because I don't like trying new things. I mean, I do try new things but it just takes me longer to get to them. And sometimes I quit too easily but I'm also one of those people who does the same things again just because I think I might like that thing again if only I try it again.

06/ TV Shows Watched:
Naked Fireman (more info here) – an unfortunate title (and no, there's no naked man here except for some shirtless scenes) but it's a good mystery that is only four episodes long. Though I really hate the fake-out ending in which they make you think something happened but didn't, honestly a straight-forward ending would have been better but at least, we got a happy ending.

Signal (more info here) – this is the Japanese remake of the Korean version and it feels like I'm watching a duplicated of the original but with less humor and faster storylines. There are some little differences but I think it's too exact. They could have changed something but no. I think the actors are much too emotional at times as if they are trying too hard or maybe I'm just not used to waching Japanese shows. It's a decent show but the original is still better.

Books Read:
Scarlet in the Snow by Sophie Masson – the beginning is a little like Beauty & the Beast (which is really the only reason I read this book), the middle is just someone running around, the ending is like Snow White except in reverse. I really like the beginning of this book but then it became kind of dull and the ending cheated the reader somehow with explanations instead of actual happenings. They could have switched narrator and I wouldn't have minded that. I suppose when you tell a story using the first person and only show that person's point of view, it means you get a one-sided story and if the person is not awake to events, they can't tell the happenings in their sleep, can they? This is not a bad book but it could have been better. I don't hate it but I don't like it that much. Perhaps I just hate endings in which all the happenings happen while the lead character is sleeping.

Second Kingdom: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling by Rebecca Reddell – this is another that I got into reading because it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I don't like the synopsis - they gave the whole story away. The cover is beautifully designed and yet, I think they should change the title because the kingdom that the story is set in is in the first kingdom if I remember correctly so I don't get this title.

The first part of the book is full of conversations that gave a lot of expositions so it's hard to get to know characters when all they do is talk and they even talk out loud to themselves. What's wrong with internal dialogues? - they used that also. But mostly I just think the first part of the book is a little bland. It does get better but only when we are with Beast or the beast or Erza, somehow the names get switched here and there and that bothered me a lot. There are some outburst from Beast (which I will call him) but basically, he's a calm beast. And I don't like the way he is described like a vampire. I mean, blue skin, fangs, red eyes? What the hell? But I suppose he is not suppose to be likeable at first glance but I didn't find anything to like about him though. Technically speaking, he's over 100 years over and she's just 17. To think someone would wait 100 years to cure their curse just for a 17-year-old is pretty lame and yet I accept this because destiny and all that crap. But Beauty aka Roz is nothing special - a little stubborn but nothing to really stand out. There are some fun dialogues between Beast and Roz but I just don't see how they could have fallen for each other at all. And also, he basically stalks her through a magic mirror and they clearly states he can't watch her during private moments like when she's inside her house, only in public places which is just weird anyway.

< Spolier >
And the ending kind of sucks because it simply returns everything to the beginning, to 100 years ago and if that is so, then Roz doesn't exist. They are basically not in the same time period and don't tell me Beast gets his 100 years again until Roz gets born because that's stupid logic unless they say Beast is an immortal which nowhere does it says that. If he haven't been cursed, then 100 years wouldn't have passed and I can keep on going in circles but basically, when you returned a character back in time, some things and people shouldn't exist. Nothing have been solved instead they have been erased and we didn't get any explanation for the sickness or how the people's lives changed. Not an ending I want and certainly, I do feel it's a bit like an easy way out and I have seen this done in other books and movies and tv shows and they all sucked according to me because you're basically resetting everything so whatever happened, didn't happen so this story doesn't even existed and I have not wasted days reading this book. < Spoiler Ends >

Silver Woven in My Hair by Shirley Rousseau Murphy – a Cinderella story that is slightly ordinary and slightly charming. There are good things in this book most of which I have forgotten since I read this in January. I only want to read this because a few people (book reviewers) gushed about it and I thought to check it out and see what the fuss is about. I didn't really like it all that much. I found it a bit dull and unsatisfying and I guessed what would happened at the end without much effort. I would have appreciated and enjoyed this book much more if I was still ten or twelve.

Great Expectation by Charles Dickens – the words 'great expectation' gets repeated a lot and it irritated me so much each time it gets used together or separately. There are a bit of humor in the beginning which I thought there would be more of throughout the book but no, it's all seriousness all the way to the end. I didn't even care if Pip ends up with Estella or not, I believe they will make each other unhappy since they both seems to have different ways of thinking and I don't know, no matter how pitiful Estella or Pip's lives had been, I just find myself not caring. I did enjoy reading this just not the whole book.

Middlemarch by George Eliot – I tried to read this several years ago but somehow I didn't think I got it. Read this just a month ago and I find all the references to greek gods, events and such is a little too much since I really do not know most of them. I think this is a book for the smarter people which to say I am not one of them because I don't completely understand this book even this second time reading it. The long writing weighted it all down and made my mind drifted away because I find some of the writing quite boring and if I'm the editor, I would cut them all out and the book wouldn't be over 800 pages long. But I'm still glad I read it because, well, it's 800 pages long and I don't usually read such long books.

07/ New art at my society6 shop:
After all my promises to myself to promote the shop more, I didn't do much. I suck at promoting it and I just don't have the motivation to do much and I'm always thinking of deleting/removing the shop but I'll keep it open for now. I only posted one new art which you might have seen it if you read my blog but I have changed it a little bit. Go here to check out the shop or click on 'buy me tea' at the top of the blog.

So what are you doing these days?

May 11, 2019

Fiction: The tavern at the end of the ocean

This month's Words for Wednesday are provided by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue Fulton and is hosted at Elephant's Child's blog here. This week's prompts are familiar phrases: Sun over the yardarm And/ or Going commando

Fiction: The tavern at the end of the ocean

Sun down is the best time for a drink at Sunny's Yard Den. Just walk down the road toward the ocean and at the end is what used to be a pirate ship and on the deck of this ship is the tavern.

On a Friday night, Arabella the owner, sits on a chair at the far end behind the counter. Her black-gray hair loosely plait hang down her back. An opened book lays on the countertop in front of her. She keeps her eyes on the book.

In the corner of the tavern, there is a tank on a platform all nailed down. The tank takes up almost half of the space where Arabella have placed a sign: Beware of Sharks. Do not stick your hand into the water. And indeed, the tank has two sharks in it - Jammy and Mushy though neither one of them are bigger than four feet wide. Arabella had gotten them as a payment after one of the patrons had too much brandy and redecorated the place with his fist. Since then, Jammy and Mushy became the main attraction for the tavern.

The bell at the door dings and Arabella looks up. Two men and a lady enters. One of the taller man laughs at the sign in front of the tank and then he takes a seat. Tourist. They get then now and then because of the sharks.

Jo serves the men and lady. Arabella returns to her book. She scarcely ever have to do any work but she likes to be there to keep an eye on everything and everyone. Her other employees Pat and Jingle, like Jo, serves the patrons. In the back Emily, Grant and Gilbert tends to the kitchen. Twins Quentin and Quirky takes care of everything else. But these people are not just her employees but lifelong friends.

Every now and then, Arabella would have to get up from her seat and talk sense into men daring each other to stick their hands into the shark tank. There have been a few bloody incidents but no one died. The authorities are never called but now and then, a patron would complain but nothing to fuss over.

The bell dings again and Arabella lifts her eyes. A tall man enters. He have black hair slicked back, a blue-gray coat with black boots that appears far too clean to be in this tavern. Arabella have never seen this man before and she knew almost everyone who comes into her tavern. This newcomer could be law enforcement or worse - a hunter. Arabella have always hated hunters. They would capture anyone dead or alive that would yield them a reward. Arabella listens as the newcomer takes a seat at the counter to her right and orders a beer. He gives her a nod when he turns her way. She returns a small nod and then turns back to her book.

The usual crowd enters and brings in the noise that Arabella is grateful for. Arabella waves at three old men in gray uniforms - Bob, Bobby and Robert - three brothers that have been regular patrons since the opening of the tavern.

Four men approaches the tank and one taps a finger at the cloudy glass. They laugh and joke with each other. A tall, skinny fellow with straw-color hair poking out of his head picks up a chair and places it down in front of the tank. He climbs up on the chair and starts rolling back his shirt sleeves.

Arabella sighs. Maybe having the sharks here is a terrible idea. But the tavern have become famous for them and removing them might mean less business and Arabella cannot have that. "Quentin! Quirky!" Arabella calls. Quentin and Quirky appears from the kitchen. They tower over everyone at almost eight feet tall. Arabella tilts her head at the tank.

May 2, 2019

April Gale 13: A wolf in the garden, sort of

words for wed
This month's Words for Wednesday are provided by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue Fulton and is hosted at Elephant's Child's blog here. This weeks words are: scuttle, rapper, drop, machine, flowery, button and/ or cashback, tipping, pizza, energy, unsubstantiated, clear.

Read previous parts of April Gale:
Part 1 >
Part 2 >
Part 3 > 
Part 4 > 
Part 5 > 
Part 6 >
Part 7 > 
Part 8 >
Part 9 > 
Part 10 >
Part 11 >
Part 12 >

Summary of what had happened so far: April Gales comes to Windy Shadows with her Aunt, Josephine Tyler, meets her grandfather Harry Tyler, a few ghosts, a few odd servants, gets dropped onto the roof by a dragon named Tim, got healed by Grandfather Tyler, now has recovered. New visitors came to Windy Shadows - Winifred/Wini, cousin to April, and Vincent/Vincy who came with Wini.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

April Gale 13: A wolf in the garden, sort of

April sits cross-legged on her bed as she quietly turns the pages of a spell book spread in front of her. A howl breaks the silence. But she thought maybe it's Howl the cat but another howl tells her it's no lion's howl. She rushes to the windows, pulls at the curtains and peeks down to see a large creature moving about on four legs in the garden below. Since April isn't sleepy, she might as well have a look. She quickly pulls on her boots, takes out a shawl from her closet, wraps it around her and races down to the garden.

April spots the wolf quickly as he, it seems like a he to April, is the only moving thing in the garden.The wolf stops to peer at every rose, behind every shrubbery, and now he heads toward the back of the garden. Above, the full moon's light touches here and there upon the East Garden. Long shadows fall where anyone or anything can easily hide.

When the wolf stands on two legs to check the trees, he is almost as tall as them. His black furs and black eyes make him almost invisible when he is in the shadows. If it isn't for the moon, April would not have seen him all that well though the wolf doesn't seem to have a problem seeing in the dark. April ducks behind one of the trees.

Just that afternoon, April had taken Wini and Vincy to the East Garden and then the West Garden and at both places, Wine could not stop talking about how neglectful the gardens are. Even the roses that appeared so alive looked dull to Wini. Vincy had said nothing but his eyes kept wandering here and there as if he was looking for a certain something. Thank goodness Mrs. Summers appeared to announce dinner was ready. Dinner was a quiet affair. Wini talked and Vincy and April listened. Mrs. Summers appeared now and then to serve them but other than that April was left alone with Wini and Vincy. Only after April had seen them off into the West Wing guest quarters did she felt she can relax. April sighs. Relatives are hard.

The wolf sags down in front of a tree as if he lacks energy. He is almost in full darkness aside from the slant of moonlight on one of his paw. For a while, he stays quite still.

But as April watches the wolf, he starts to move. When he stands up, he seems to be looking straight at her. April quickly spins about looking for a place to hide. The wolf growls. She turns around and immediately freezes. The wolf stands on two legs and towers over April. Drool drips from his long fangs. His black eyes flickers as if he remembers something but then it flickers again and he raises his hand or rather his claw toward her. April holds up her arm to block the strike but the force knocks her down onto the ground. She feels the sting from her arm and wonders at the ripped sleeve of her gown. Aunt Josephine wouldn't have liked that since it is a new gown that she had made for April just last week. The wolf comes at her again. She wishes he would just fall asleep. "Sleep!" she shouts and the wolf's eyes roll back and then he falls to the ground with a loud thud.

May 1, 2019

A-Z 2019 Challenge Reflections

A-Z 2019 alpahbet collage

Some thoughts before, during and after the A-Z 2019 challenge:

01/ I didn't sign up for the master list. I don't know. I just didn't care. When I tried to think up excuses for doing this, I find none other than the fact that the master is a long list that requires more patience than I have to go through. I think there are way too many stuff on both lists. All I need is a name, a blog link and whether they post adult content or not (I don't visit any blog with adult content). What do I care about facebook or twitter or other things that really are no use to me? If I'm interested in a blogger, I can find these info myself. These extra info just makes the lists longer and not easy to navigate. I hate spread sheets so much that I'm forced to use the pdf format.

02/ But I did visited the almost 600 blogs on the master list minus the adult content to just to see if there are any interesting blogs. When I went through the master list, I found people have already quitted early and some didn't even start posting at all and I was visiting late like letter L or something.

03/ I used the theme list to make my own list of blogs to visit because you know those people are going to post. The master list is more about people signing up but not necessarily follow through with actually posting, at least that is what I think.

04/ I have no theme this year nor last year nor any year that I did the A-Z challenge. I find themes are a bit conforming plus we all know that xyz letters often ends up being like extra letters and never get used properly. So I honestly think using the alphabet is enough. Themes are okay but they sometimes drives me away because there are certain things I simply aren't interested in reading.

05/ My list of blogs to visit (that I usually make after I have seen most blogs) is very low this year – at about ten or more. I usually have less than twenty but even that is low. The numbers keeps going down each year and yet the participants stayed almost the same. It is a bit of a off year for me as I find most things dull.

06/ I did not prepare any of the posts in advance. They are written the day before or the same day I posted them. Most of them are last minute ideas which I thought were pretty good. Toward the end, I ended up with some repeated ideas that I have used in previous years but I think it's not so terrible to use old idea but with new content.

07/ I must admit, I didn't make as great as an effort as I did last year. It's not just that I only have a few hours to write each post, but that my brain seems to work a little slower than usual. Maybe I should have prepared all the posts in advance which would save me some nerve-racking moments. Maybe it's why some of my posts are kind of lackluster.

08/ I like to have more fun & entertaining posts which is my goal for the A-Z posts but I don't know, I think something just tilted toward the wrong way and my posts aren't as entertaining. I think I should have struck with just short stories. Any posts that aren't short stories, people don't seem to get. Maybe my humor is either too subtle or my posts are not as fun as I thought.

09/ I'm not sure I'll be doing this again next year. I did the challenge in 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018 (no idea what happened in 2014 and 2015). Somehow the excitement is no longer there. It seems a bit like people are uninvolved, passive almost. I, too, felt a bit lackluster and didn't feel like visiting people as much as I usually do. Though I still like the idea of the challenge because in a way, I do learn more about words since I do a lot searching and finding definition for words I would not normally used.

10/ Of course just because I said I wouldn't do it again, it doesn't mean I wouldn't do it again because you never know what might provoke people to do what they admit they wouldn't do.


My List of A-Z 2019 Posts
• anecdotes
• breakdown
• compliment
• dog
• excuses
• flowers
• ghost
• horoscope
• idol
• joyous
• kindred
• lines
• musings
• news
• observations
• perpetual
• quotes
• reading
• strange
• three
• unruly
• vanished
• walking
• x words
• yada yada
• zephyrs
• theme post

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 30, 2019

Zephyrs, Fogs and Dreams

'in the fog'
Fiction: Zephyrs, Fogs and Dreams

The morning fog weaves through the sky and earth. It clings to the air gently like a child holding on. A turn here, a turn there, the fog is there, ever so slightly clouding all views.

The clouds too choose to commit to the fate of darkening the day. Though if you look up, you would not see them, only the thin veil of the fog.

A small girl walks with a flashlight in her hand and her school bag on her back. She smiles at the fog and the streetlights that had to be turned on here and there.

The path to school is always long and dull but today, the girl delights in the fog. She have never seen the streets like this before. Perhaps a fairy has decided to cover the city in this cloud of dreams, she thought. People around her moves with a slight languid but the girl doesn't notice.

The winter zephyr softly brushes against her cheeks. Her excitement grows and she imagines there must be a castle or a land of wonder beyond the fog. Perhaps if she walks far enough, she will find it just around the corner. She pauses at the red light with her eyes upward and a smile on her lips.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 29, 2019

Yada Yada

The Yada Yada : an episode of Seinfeld where the phrase, "yada yada" is used in place of actual words.
The Internet Movie Database (The IMDb)

Here's a story — what do you think the 'yada yada' is about?

Jane was walking to work when she bumped into a mother and her little boy. He had one arm tightly wrapped around two boxes of chocolate chip cookies while his other hand is being held by his mother. Jane apologized and the mother nodded with an absent air and as she went away with her child, she muttered something Jane could not hear. Jane walked on and yada yada, she was in the emergency room with a concussion and two slightly smashed boxes of chocolate chip cookies.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 28, 2019

April Gale 12: An Unexpected Visitor

Read previous parts:
Part 1 >
Part 2 >
Part 3 > 
Part 4 > 
Part 5 > 
Part 6 >
Part 7 > 
Part 8 >
Part 9 > 
Part 10 >
Part 11 >

A summary of what had happened so far: April Gales comes to Windy Shadows with her Aunt Josephine, meets her grandfather Harry Tyler, a few ghosts, a few odd servants, gets dropped onto the roof by a dragon named Tim, got healed by Grandfather Tyler, now is fully recovered.


April Gale 12: An Unexpected Visitor

The afternoon sunlight shines through the curtainless windows. April sits beside the table with a cup of tea and the pink and white curtains draped around her. She pushes the needle into the fabric and stabs her finger. "Ow!" She pulls out her left hand to check but there is no blood but it throbs. She curses at her lack of skill. Why they have to mend curtains, April have no clue. She hates sewing and not only because she is bad at it but because it's a chore she simply felt isn't for her.

Last week, Aunt Josephine had April started on potion making and various forms of which April calls 'witch schooling' but Aunt Josephine just calls it 'education.' April turns to the piles of books on the floor on both sides of her bed. Old textbooks and spellbooks and books on ancient creatures and rituals. April has yet to finish reading them. But Aunt Josephine have only allowed four days a week for study and three days for chores. Perhaps she can take a walk in the garden. It has been such a busy morning and the curtains are almost done. She stands up and gathers the curtains into a fold but a soft knock makes her stop. She quickly drops the curtains and picks up the needle which she stabs her palm but she shouts, "Come in!"

Mrs. Summers appears with a grim face. "Miss April, Miss Winifred is here. I have placed her in the sitting room. Will you see her now?"

"Who? I do not know such person."

"Miss Winifred Caroline Elizabeth Hayter is your first cousin."

What a bunch of names, April thought. "And..."

"And she is here. Will you see her?"

"Why I do I have to see her? Aunt Josephine can do that."

"Miss Tyler is indisposed. She has asked me to tell you you are on duty until farther notice."

"What does that mean?"

"That means, you will see to Miss Winifred and any other guests that may come." Mrs. Summers pauses to look at the curtain in April's hand, probably noting the crooked lines of April's sewing. "And Miss Winifred has a gentleman with her. You will meet them both in the sitting room."

"Aunt Josephine really cannot do it?"

"As I said Miss Tyler is indisposed."

"What exactly does that mean?" April glares up at Mrs. Summers.

Mrs. Summers returns the glare for a moment and then she says, "Miss Tyler is not at Windy Shadow right now."

"Where did she go?" Aunt Josephine certainly would have said something if she have left April all by herself and in charge of this place.

"I do not know. All she said was she will be away for a week."

"A week? Why didn't she tell me?"

"I do not know the reason. Shall I made tea for the guests? And what should I tell Miss Winifred?"

"Yes, make tea, Mrs. Summers and tell Miss Winifred I shall be there shortly."

"Very good, Miss." Mrs Summers leaves the room shutting the door behind her with a loud thud.

April stands up and drops the curtain and needle onto the chair. There is no use avoiding entertaining relatives even if she have never heard of them. Aunt Josephine would have made her meet them if she is here.


April 27, 2019

Makeup X words

I couldn't find any X words that I was enthusiastic about nor any word that inspire something so I thought I make some up. Of course these are for fun but I hope they sort of make some sense and if not, forget you read them.

xenogymphobia: fear of gyms or gym equipments

xpernapper: an expert on napping

xinfulspoonenthusiac: someone who have an unusual love for desserts that require a spoon

xincessantlyread: the need to read any book that comes along

xerfall: a fall caused by wearing shoes too high or too tall

xycobblerhopperlist: someone who moves quickly from place to place on foot

xperblabber: someone who is good at talking nonsense

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 26, 2019

Walking By The Sea

Summer Evening at Skagen Beach by Peder Severin Krøyer
Fiction: Walking By The Sea

He was hesitant about taking a walk by the sea in the twilight. Evenings had been rather cold that summer and the wind blew wildly by the water. But she insisted and he had never denied her anything that she wanted.

She was walking calmly beside him. Hardly a word was spoken between them. Her eyes, he had noticed, was always toward the sea. Their dog, Mister, followed them closely.

Was it only half a year ago she had decided to leave her home and come here? She could not think of what might have happened if she had stayed put. Perhaps nothing would have changed or perhaps everything would have changed. She walked slowly as to linger. She didn't want to go home yet. Home, she had often thought, is a place she can breathes easily but home now is unfamiliar and hard to fit herself in.

She sighed at the sight of a boat so late in this hour. The half moon shone brightly and dripped down the water as if trying to climb down. She paused to look at the glimmering sea. It soothed her. She wished she was on that boat going somewhere. She felt his hand around her arm — gentle and firm. Mister whined as if he knew her feeling. But she stared out at the sea longing for something that she had not thought to crave until this moment.

He heard her sighed — quiet, small, a little muffled. He was certain he was the cause, at least, a little bit of it. If he had not made her leave her home, perhaps she would have been happier. But her family was saved - that much he knew she was glad for. It was not a small sum but not too large that she would be grateful to him endlessly. And yet, the amount comes to him in his dreams and she was there as well to declare he had brought her for cheap. Her face twisted in anger and dismay. But then he woke and opened his eyes. He turned to her beside him in bed. Doubt hovered over him. She had made her choice and had accepted him but he often wondered if it was enough that he was kind and allowed her to do as she wished.

She bended a little to rub Mister's head and then said, "Let us go home." She turned about and let his hand slipped from her arm. She started walking and he followed her, letting his hand stayed at his side close to hers. Mister yelped as he followed them.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 25, 2019


Seascape near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer by Vincent van Gogh
Fiction: Vanished

He had vanished at sea. But he left things behind. One letter of farewell to his parents and a second one to his brother. A pair of wore out black boots was left in the closet. A white shirt gown that he slept in laid on the bed that had been made. A dying cactus was on the window sill. And a book of poems by E. Vincent Millay was left on his desk. But none of these things said where he went or why he left.

A few people saw a man by the sea. He was dressed in a long gray coat with his black hair covered by a tweed cap and he carried a small, pale brown valise. A young woman said she saw the man looking at the boats passing back and forth. Another said he was interested in the waves and had even walked close to the edge and gotten his coat wet. And a third said the man had cried and kicked at the sand with his boots. No one saw him walked away, only that he was there one moment and the next he was gone.

Days, weeks, months and then years went by but no signs of the man. If he had been anywhere, no one had seen him.

Some nearly fifteen years later, on a cold morning with the winter sun weakly shining down, a man wearing a gray coat with a tweed cap over his head and carrying a brown valise appeared at the sea. One old woman was walking by as she usually did on weekday mornings. She saw the man and stopped. It was unusual to see anyone there at this early hour.

But when she saw his face, she thought of the time when she was questioned about a man gone missing at this same spot. But the old woman's eyes had been troubling her for a while now so she was not certain if this was the same man.

The man came closer and spoke with a gentle voice. "Will the boats be passing by soon?" he asked.

"Not anymore. They have closed the border. No more boats pass through here," the old woman replied.

The man's thin lips quivered but it formed a smile. His face was lined with years and yet, his eyes were bright and young. He nodded and switched the handle of his valise to his other hand. Then he turned his attention back to the sea. The old woman noted the torn corner in the fabric of his valise. His coat had a frayed edge at the hem. A few strands of his hair peeking out of his cap were white.

A sudden wind blew with a furious motion and caused the old woman to cover her eyes. When she dropped her hand, the man was gone.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 24, 2019


I tried to find a quote for this piece but couldn't find one that fits so no quote. I have shown this piece before but this version is slightly different from the previous. This is one of my favorite piece that I did because I scribbled until there is a lot of hair and didn't try for a pattern or anything and I really enjoyed creating this piece.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 23, 2019

Three Women

Three Women at the Table by the Lamp by August Macke
Fiction: Three Women

The women sat at their work, each in their own minds, each thinking not of each other but other people and other times.

Gillian, the youngest, calmly stitches stitch after stitch at the handkerchief that she will never give to the man she truly loves.

Jill, the eldest, pushes and pulls at the needle never really trying to produce any actual work but she likes the motion and keeping busy is her relief from the every day.

Maria, the middle one, wonders how long it takes to make a gown. She agonizes over the same ten stitches and keeps adding and removing them as they are not as straight as she wants them to be.

The plate of cookies baked by Maria just this morning is left untouched. The bottle of wine unopened remains on the table as a reminder of George, their neighbor. He has often appeared now and then to give them a bottle of wine that he makes and that he knows they would never drink. But the gesture is always accepted with gratitude.

The rain outside is muffled but they can hear how harsh it falls by the knocks on their window panes.

The sisters speaks not a word as each thought it best to say nothing. But Maria often wonders why they don't go their separate ways. She have sometimes thought about what it would be like to be on her own.

Gillian smoothes out her stitches and admires her neat work. This one, she will give to Jenny, the little girl who is not too bright but she is sweet. Gillian wonders what it would be like to have a family of her own but she fears she will never do well as someone's wife or mother.

Jill ponders the future. Her two sisters will leave some day and yet, she herself have no thoughts of leaving.

The kerosene lantern lights the room and keeps them in their occupations as the night wears on. Now and then, the three women would pause, look around and at each other and then they would continue with their work until it is time for bed.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 22, 2019

Some Silly & Strange Questions

Here are seven questions for you to answer or not.

01/ What fictional character or characters would you like to be friends with?

02/ What is the first question you ask when you wake up in the future 500 years later after you have been put into a coma?

03/ Can you name a book in which you remember the author's name without having to look it up?

04/ If you suddenly wake up as the opposite gender (for example, if you're a woman and you woke up as a man), what would be the first thing you do?

05/ Would you rather read one favorite book for 50 years or read 500 really bad books for a year?

06/ What bad habits you have that you actually rather not change?

07/ If you can have your own island anywhere on earth, where would you like it be?

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 20, 2019


'she reads books'
"A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy."
— Edward P. Morgan

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 19, 2019

Random Life Quotes

These aren't my words but I agreed with them.

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." — Albert Einstein

"The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive." — Coco Chanel

You can't buy happiness but you can buy books and that's pretty close.

"Please don’t expect me to always be good and kind and loving. There are times when I will be cold and thoughtless and hard to understand." — Sylvia Plath

"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence." — Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 I wake up everyday planning to be productive and then a voice in my head says "Haha good one!" and we laugh and laugh and take a nap.

 "Embrace the glorious mess that you are." — Elizabeth Gilbert

Note: I don't have sources for Number 3 and 6 as I forgot to bookmark but they seem to be found everywhere.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 18, 2019

The perpetual night

Fiction: The perpetual night

When the streetlights flicker on, when the long shadows fall, he would come out from some hole or corner where he have been sleeping. Up and down the avenues, across pavements and over many finite things here and there, he would walk with a restless heart and perpetual steps. The tall buildings block the sky, the thin trees overcrowd his views but he hardly notice.

Nothing of importance happens to him and yet, he sometimes thought he felt the rushing of excitement from the happy creatures, the lingering sadness from the lonely ones, the distress of existence flying here and there. And yet, none of these feelings are his nor do they last. Even as he crosses a street, even as he takes in the sounds, even as he wanders through cluster of feet, he cannot really say he is one of them or that he knows how they feel.

His sight has not been what it once was. Daylight holds no views for him. It is night that he can see everything. Perhaps it is in his descending ways that he should be able to see what lurks in the darkness. What he sees is not always what he cares to see especially not the cruelty.

He sometimes takes his meals from trash cans, sometimes from the butcher's back shop and now and then, the humans would give him food though he finds them very disagreeable to his palette. But always, he roams with a idleness that he sometimes wishes he can leave behind.

But he is weary of the night, of what it might never bring him. His heart speeds up now and then at the sight of something new but then it slows down when he finds it is the same old thing. Nevertheless he carries on, hoping each and every night, he would find someone to take him home.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 17, 2019

Observations from Mars & other uninhabited places

Just some fictional books I would probably, maybe read because I have nothing better to do:

The secret diary of Jane Austen and how she got men to act like children with a few choice words by June Austen, a very distance cousin several times removed to Jane Austen

The encyclopedia of unrealized fears and how to ignore them by Dr. Who Fear Bees

How to create the perfect husband without really trying except maybe feeding him biscuits and milk by an English lady who likes biscuits and milk

My best friend, the anatomically correct male robot who used to be a tv remote and other studies into the male brain by Janet Cantwin

Observations from Mars & other uninhabited places: a most fascinating tale of how a man went to Mars and other places and found nothing by Astronaut No.7

The nine habits of very unorganized people and how they became famous by tweeting about their pet rabbits and other unnecessarily sharing of things nobody cares about by nine women who likes to talk a lot

True confessions of the most fascinating girl in the world: Maddie Mox, the savior of school lunches, the leader of serious education, the one who always punches first and asks questions later and not to mention saving the world from an alien invasion using only her pinky and her brain by Maddie 'Mad' Mox

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 16, 2019

News from the weird wide world

News from the weird wide world
News from the weird wide world that may or may not be true.

New Colonization on Mars
Reports has been varied on the numbers but there is now a bunch of people living on Mars. One daring reporter actually found her way inside the small structure. She reported that people are just as bored on Mars as they are at home on earth, only now they have to deal with not being able to go on vacation due to the spaceship taking twenty-six years to get the engine to start and so people would rather like to be doing other things. Our reporter, sadly, cannot return to earth as of yet but she is enjoying her twenty-six year vacation.

Woman Saved By A Cat-Dog
Mary Ann Bashful was at her usual morning walk at the park when a Rottweiler came out of nowhere and took a bite at her but the Rottweiler caught only a corner of her shirt sleeve. Suddenly, a blue-eyed siamese cat with white fur appeared and struck at the Rottweiler until it let Miss Bashful go. The cat then chased the Rottweiler away. It was then that Miss Bashful knew this was no ordinary cat. After all, he fought a dog twice his size. She was not only grateful but felt it was kismet and so she took the cat home. She named him Pappy after her father who was always stronger than he looks.

Miss Bashful lives in Blue Tabby, Alaska, where cats are abundant and dogs are rare. She soon found Pappy is more of a dog than a cat but she is very happy with him for she always wanted a dog but her parents wouldn't let her. Now her dream of owing a dog has come true through Pappy. Though Miss Bashful must admit, she feels a little silly sometimes walking Pappy with a leash but she loves Pappy way too much to give him up.

Girl Invented Device to Always Find Keys
A new device invented by 11-year-old Kitty Whatnottodo have made it possible for people to find their keys. Miss Whatnottodo, who resides in Melancholy, Massachusetts, invented the device when she saw her father spilled coffee on the newspaper and the bits of coffee covered the word 'here.' That's when she thought why not use words to keep things where you want them to be? As her father keeps losing his car keys, Miss Whatnottodo thought it would work very well for keys. All you do is place the easy-to-peel-and-stick 'Put your keys here' device on the spot where you usually put your keys and then you put your keys there. Miss Whatnottodo's father have used the device in their home and in his office and she said her father have yet to loose his keys. She hopes the device will help others who also forgets where they have placed their keys. 'Put your keys here' devices are available at www.iforgotmykeys.com.

Two Mermaids Stole a Dip in Neighbor's Pool
On a very hot Thursday in June in Blue Blaze, Wyoming, two mermaids who wished to remain anonymous, climbed over the fence and into their neighbor's yard and jumped into his king-size pool. The mermaids were caught when Mr. Fred came home early and heard the sound of laughter from his backyard. He was surprised by the sound since he was a bachelor and he lived alone. He was even more surprised to find the two mermaids naked in his pool. Mr. Fred immediately called the police.

When the police arrived, the mermaids sobbed and confessed they had to do it or else they would die for lack of water. The two mermaids had been fired from their recent job and could not pay their water bills nor get a ride to the beach. The neighbor's pool had been so tempting that the two mermaids could not help it. Mr. Fred, upon hearing the mermaids' confession, dropped all charges and now have allowed the mermaids to swim in his pool whenever they like provided they give him advance notice and keep their clothes on.

Man Reads While Sleeping
In Somewhere, Kansas, Joseph 'Papa' Tiny, a man in his late fifties, can read while he sleeps. Mr. Tiny found out his talent when he fell asleep while reading 'Gone with the wind' and when he woke up, he realized he had finished reading the book but have only the memory of reading half of it. When questioned, Mr. Tiny thought the novel is a waste of his time and offended his senses but now he can tell his wife to give him another book to read whenever she likes. He will read them in his sleep.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 15, 2019

Musings in the summer rain

'summer rain'
Fiction: Musings in the summer rain

She knew she should have brought her other umbrella but the sky this morning appeared so bright and the weather man pronounced a warm day with zero chance of rain. She had her usual umbrella with her but only because she had been too lazy to take it out of her bag.

Her cart is getting soaked. She should have resisted buying so many books but at least, they gave her a plastic bag to put them in. She dislikes plastic bags but in this instance, they keep her books dry.

The guy in front of her looks so relaxed, pulling at his shirt, walking with such jovial ease. Those three people with their plastic rain coats looks even more at ease than the guy. Why, she can see their smiling faces as they pass her.

The cool rain does make the day less hot but she wishes again she have brought her other umbrella. That one at least would have been large enough to keep her arms from getting wet. She should have wore pants as well but the temperature has been high and there is also the problem of laundry. Time and time again, she just forgets to do them. Perhaps wearing the same dress shirt for weeks isn't so bad. Who sees her but her cat?

That tourist lady is looking at me with a quivering smile. She must wonder why I am taking off both of my shirts. This undershirt is so itchy. I don't even know why I brought it. Oh yes, I remember. I got a discount from Jess. That fella knows his clothes. He have never looked bad in anything. But he is a sneak. He sells me these cheap stuff and keeps the goods for himself. I wonder if I can return these shirts. I only worn this one and there is eleven that I haven't wore. Jess have better return my money or else, I'll never shop at his place again. Why is it raining now of all time? The sun is out and is bloody too bright to have rain falling. But at least, it makes my skin itch less.

She should never have listened to Sally and come on this trip. A divorced woman traveling with a bunch of tourist? She should have laughed at this. Just because Sally had said it did her good does not mean it will do her good. Why is that young man taking off his shirts? At least someone's enjoying the rain.

She wishes she had wore that shirt dress. It looks way more comfortable than these old shorts and shirt. She wishes She is not wearing this ridiculous piece of plastic. Her hair is getting wet and her face is getting a good second wash since this morning. Oh why didn't she buy one of those umbrellas from one of the street vendors instead of this silly thing they call a rain coat? So what if it comes with the travel package? The cool rain makes her just a little dizzy. If this continues, she might even take off this stupid rain coat and get soaked like the young man.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 14, 2019

Tiny Art

Mini art prints and framed mini art prints are now available. So they are more like postcards sized at 4"x3" and 4" x4" but we will not call them postcards. Most of my art don't quite fit these dimensions without cropping out a lot so I only made three. Visit my s6 shop here to check out these mini arts.

April 13, 2019

Favorite Movie Lines

Just a few of my favorite movie lines but not necessarily from favorite movies.

"Oh never resist an impulse, Sabrina. Especially if it's terrible."
— Sabrina

"I think we forget things if we have no one to tell them to."
— The Lunchbox

Dr. Jasquith: "I thought you said you came here to have a nervous breakdown."
Charlotte: "About that, I've decided not to have one."
— Now Voyager

"Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."
— Dead Poet Society

"To hell with jewlery, let's put my book in here."
— Airport 1975

"Hey, would you mind putting that gun away? My wife doesn't care, but I'm a very timid fellow."
— The Thin Man

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement."
— Joe Versus the Volcano

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 12, 2019

Fiction: Kindred Spirit

Room in Brooklyn by Edward Hopper
~ This is a sort of sequel to this other story here ~

Fiction: Kindred Spirit

At first, she ignores it and stays in the room downstairs where it rarely goes to. 'It' is the ghost that she had discovered while looking about for a broom in the upper corner room where she was told it was used for storage. Since then, she has locked the room and put the key in a drawer in the kitchen cabinet.

But it does not stay silent. A soft thud here, a small cry there but always the noise is barely audible but then the house is always silent since the neighbors are far off and she hardly does anything loudly. She has no reason to believe anything but that this is normal but then she have always been able to ignore anything. At night, she hears it shifting about, almost as if it is pacing back and forth. But she shuts her thoughts to the noise.

One sunny morning, she decides to clean the house. Having only lightly dusted the few rooms she has been occupying since she moved in two months ago, she thought it is time to fully clean the whole place.

When she reaches the upper corner room, she digs out the key that she have put into her pocket just a while ago while cleaning the kitchen. The thin round key hardly needs turning.

Inside, brilliant sunlight flooded the room. There is no need to clean here as there are no dirt nor stains anywhere. It is as if the room has never been touched. The heavy shadows shift and moves languidly twice as if it has a twin. She closes the door but does not lock it.

Down in her room, she settles down on a chair in front of the wide windows. The scent of the azaleas she has brought from the market fills the room. She has not sit down long before she hears a thud behind her. She stands up and turns around.

There is a figure standing in the doorway. She cannot tell if it's a man or a woman. Its tall form seems frail and limp. It does not speak. Its mouth curves into a half smile. It reminds her of someone she once knew. Someone long gone.

It moves closer toward her. A story appears in her mind - a dark figure living and then dying and then being stuck here without knowing why. It wants to know its identity. But she have no answers to give. It seems to sigh. Its shadow quiver as if chilled. She smiles. The ghost is not a ghost but a shadow of something belonging to the past.

She sits down in her chair again and looks out at the rooftops. So many people and yet... She turns her head slightly to look upon it and says, 'You and I are alike. We are both forgotten. A memory forgotten.' But she have lived and will continue to live - to do otherwise would be to cease to exist. The ghost must learn this or else it would never move on. It gives a respond with a nod of its head and repeated by its shadow. But she turns back toward the windows and wonders if it will rain today.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 11, 2019

The joyous night walker

'the booklyn bridge, winter 2014'
Fiction: The joyous night walker

When the night comes and when the lights dance like orbs against the sky, a man appears and walks down the long path of the bridge. He blends into the night like a shadow, moving ever so leisurely. First he covers the solid ground, then the wooden panels that shakes as if they might just give way.

He watches the night sky with a small smile. The cold wind caress his face, gently blowing his once black now almost snow-white hair. He listens to the night: the traffics below, the voices here and there, the snow as it drizzles down ever so steadily but with a soft force. They all sound like distance dreams to him. He moves ever so easily like one with a quiet and settled heart. If he is solitary, he does not show it.

He hardly takes notice when a crowd appear and move around and behind him. Still, he walks just as before - not too fast, not too slow, just steady steps to get to the end and then retracing his steps before returning home.

April A-Z Challenge 2019

April 10, 2019

Name That Idol

Can you name these idols by their eyes (eye, idol, get it?)? Hint: these are all actors/actresses from 1940's, 1950's and maybe 1960's. If you ever seen a classic film, you might have seen them. Click on the word & number (ie, Idol 1) for answers.

April A-Z Challenge 2019