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February 25, 2019

rain heart

'rain heart'
'rain heart'

This piece is titled 'rain heart.' I wouldn't say this piece is a 'personal' one but it might be. Rain is a running theme in almost all of my artworks. I wouldn't say rain is my most favorite thing but it is a favorite theme and this piece is sort of saying that. The previous title for this piece is 'the girl who rain' which I think might have made sense back then but now I don't quite know. But I do love this piece more than most but I seem to have said that a few dozen times about every piece but I think it's better that the artist like her work rather than not.

This is a redo of an earlier version (see below, first version) that is not as good, well, it's not terrible but I guess my perception of my art has shifted so now I see them not as well done as I thought back then and it's why I wanted to redo this piece.

'Rain heart' is hand drawn on paper, scanned into the computer and colored entirely digitally. You can see this is paper because of the paper texture (look at the face on the color version above, you can see the textures better there). When a piece is completely digital, there is no texture. (See this piece here). Of course I can add paper texture but I see no reason to unless the piece needs it.

original drawing

Working digitally means I have the option of changing things and even perfecting lines that aren't quite straight or make things look balance or remove little things that I don't like. For this piece, I did smooth out some parts at the bottom because this is actually two pieces of paper. There is some slight mending to blend the two pieces into one. So you might ask why I didn't draw the whole thing in one piece of paper? It's because the paper wasn't large enough. Then you might ask why I didn't use a larger paper? It's because I don't know I need the extra paper until after I've worked on it for a while and then it's too late to start on a larger paper. I could never pre-determine the paper size even if I tried. There are a quite few art pieces of mine that are like that though you may not notice it since I remove the paper break lines (See this piece here where I have kept the lines).

first version compare with new version

Color is an entirely different affair. On occasions, I would spend hours testing out different colors. And with digital, color choices are almost infinite but I have learned to use less or so I believe. I don't know why, I have often leaned toward using some shade of blue. You can see in this piece, it's more blue compared to the previous version.

I wish I can say there is some deep meaning to this piece or some radical or great idea behind it but the truth is, I have none of those things. There were no thought process. There were some thoughts but none that I can remember. I don't think much when I work on a piece, I just work through them and ideas come up and that is why some of my pieces have so much things in them and others like these are very spare. I guess it would be nice to have some form of real thoughts to explain or tell you what it all means - like why is she holding her hands like that or why does she have a long braid? I don't know. I have no explanation what any of it means except that I drew them that way and I like them that way.

I have not placed 'rain heart' in my shop but if you like to purchased a print, let me know and I'll put it up.

February 23, 2019

Fiction: For Rent

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: bathroom, parasol, furniture, duck, phone, puzzle and/or wade, grim, barge, sporadic, pizza, burial

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Fiction: For Rent

The place smells like a medicine cabinet with the scent of incense and leftover cheese. Jesse looks up at the white parasol-shaped light fixture dangling up there on a thin wire and wonders if it will fall on her. The furniture are all black and grey with white sprinkles that may be dust. She wades through the shelves of black skull sculptures here and there, piles of hardcover books about death and destruction, small black boxes marked with 'RIP' in white lines the floor around the room, pizza boxes that has oil stains are stacked beside the grey couch that appears almost new and unidentified lumps that may have once been plant life on the window sills. The black curtains however appears to be silk and quite nice. The view through all four windows are of bricks, bricks, bricks and some bits of blue sky if you tilt your head slightly to the left. The center wall has a painting that looks like a giant black hole where lost childhoods and socks go.

In the small corner is a white stove. Above it hangs two shelves with neatly organized glass jars with white labels with inscriptions such as 'a drop of sunlight; dust from a queen; a bear's breath,' but they are empty. Beside the stove is a tall block of gray-black wood and on this wood sits a white rubber duck and a white phone that has a torn core. Jesse puzzles over all these things as she heads toward the bedroom.

The bedroom is small with white walls and a single oval window that looks out to the sky which at the moment is dark when it has been bright blue a moment ago. There is a large bed with white bedding. The ceiling however, is black. Jesse wonders why all the black and white. She have not seen a single color except for the pizza boxes with the red pepperoni drawing and that strange photo of a yellow bell near the door. On the floor is a small globe that glows blue. Jesse reaches out a hand to touch it but then Mrs. Hatch, the landlady, suddenly speaks as if standing very close. "All the furnishings and fixtures are included, no charge." Jesse turns around and smiles at Mrs. Hatch and then turns toward the other door.

The bathroom is immaculate. Not a hair or dust or dirt to be seen. It's all white with a silver shower head. Even the white towels hanging there looks brand new. There is no sign anyone has used the place aside from the single black toothbrush inside a clear glass and a rolled up toothpaste on the sink.

Jesse steps out of the bathroom and is surprised to see Mrs. Hatch standing near the front door. "Everything's included in the rent including gas, electricity and water." Her smile has been sporadic. Each time Jesse looks up at her as Mrs. Hatch is a rather tall lady, Jesse would find a smile or a frown as if the lady couldn't decide which to use.

The front door opens and a tall figure in a black robe and hood barges in. He holds a scythe in his left hand and a slice of pizza in his right. He pushes his hood off with his pizza hand. His long black hair falls onto his shoulders in clumps and looks as if it has not been washed in days. His ashen face is lined and thin. She can almost make out the bones of his cheeks. Looking into his eyes, Jesse shivers as if she has seen something unpleasant but whatever it was, it had immediately left her mind. The gray shadows beneath his eyes seems to have been there for years.

He winks at Jesse. Jesse looks toward Mrs. Hatch. Mrs. Hatch half-smiles and says, "This is Mr. Grim. He will be vacating by the end of the week. Shall we draw up the contract now, Miss Angel?"

George Edward Grim leans his scythe right beside the door. Then he gobbles the last bit of pizza and swallows. "Mrs. Hatch, let's be reasonable. Give me another week and you will have your rent." His voice is a bit strained and yet strong.

Mrs. Hatch's lips twitches. "Mr. Grim, I have enough of your...your mucking. You have been given notice." She turns to Jesse. "Miss Angel, I must have your decision today."

Jesse wonders maybe she should just bury the bucket with Dave and move back in. At least his place isn't decorated by a grim reaper. She lets out a breath. "Very well, Mrs. Hatch. I am not going to rent this...this abomination." She half runs out the door which George have not bothered to close.

'There goes another one,' George thought though he is not surprised.

Mrs. Hatch huffs. "Mr. Grim, please vacate the premise at the end of the week."

"Mrs. Hatch, you do not mean that. I swear to you, you will get your rent next week." George has been used to Mrs. Hatch's threats. She has shown the apartment to sixteen people including Miss Angel and all of them had ran out of the apartment either abhorred or slightly confused but none would rent the place.

Mrs. Hatch keeps her eyes forward as she opens the door and lets herself out. Six seconds later, she opens it again and leans her head in, "Mr. Grim, if I don't have your rent by the end of next week, I really must insist on your leaving." She smiles and then slams the door shut shaking the framed photograph of the yellow bell hanging next to the door. It swings for a bit and then falls onto the floor and shatters.

George glances at the mess and then turns away. He suddenly doesn't feel as upbeat. He removes his robe, drops it where he stands and sits down on the couch. He runs a hair through his long blond hair and lets out a long breath. Miss Angel has looked horrified by his appearance no doubt like every human. For once, he would like someone to see him as he is. But only his family or his kind would see his true self. He sighs.

The black hole on the wall begins to whirl with hints of white reminding him of his job. He stares at the hole with a sudden hatred. This business of dealing with souls is not exactly his choice. If he isn't the oldest, he might have escaped this fate. Then George might have been a vacuum salesman or a gardener but plants and flowers tend to die when he's around. Anything, even an undertaker, would have been better than this. At least, he has his own place. That is, when he can pay the rent.

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For more Words for Wednesday, visit River at Drifting through life

February 22, 2019

April Gale 6

April Gale 6

April is about to ask for more but then Aunt Josephine says, "Father, I think it's time we all retire for the day."

April turns back to Grandfather Tyler. His amber eyes appear dull and downcast. His skin has lost its glow. His white hair hangs limply. April is surprised. When have Grandfather became so old?

"Yes, yes. We must." He stands up. "Goodnight, my darlings." He gives April a sombre smile and leaves them.

Aunt Josephine stands up, smooths out her dress and turns to April. "Good night, April."

April replies, "Good night, Aunt Josephine." Aunt Josephine doesn't look all that great herself. April hates seeing that expression on her face - somewhere between tired and agitated - April has felt it often but seeing it in front of her, is a little too jarring for her.

Outside, darkness has taken over. April is surprised by how quickly time has passed. She turns back to ask Aunt Josephine where her room will be but then Aunt Josephine has vanished.

Mrs. Summers' voice cuts in as if from nowhere. "Frederick will show you to your room in the East Wing, Miss April. Frederick!"

Frederick appears from behind Mrs. Summers. April thinks she must try to get used to how people just appear and disappear around her. She haven't seen Grandmother Emma again.

"East wing? How many are there? How big is this place?" April wonders out loud.

"There are two wings. The West Wing is slightly larger. But to really tell you how large this place is, I would have to get you a map," Mrs. Summers says almost as if she has said if before.

"That would be helpful, Mrs. Summers." April would like to explore every single space in this house.

"I'll have Frederick get you a map later. Now Frederick, take Miss April to her room." Mrs. Summers stands and watches April.

Frederick with a lantern in his hand, gives April a glance and turns and walks off. April follows him out the room, down the wide hallway, a turn to the left and into an open space where there is a long flight of stairs against a wall where beneath the stairs is a table topped with a vase full of yellow bluebells. The whole room is lighted by a chandelier that seems to be floating above them.

The rain above April has subsided to little drippings that hardly makes much noise that April almost forgets its existence. Only when she catches a droplet or two falling on the red carpet stairs did she remembers.

Frederick begins to climb the stairs. April follows behind him. A scent of burnt wood and porridge fills her nose. April pauses to look at a painting that took up the whole of the wall all the way to the top of the stairs. The painting is of a wood scene with tall trees in front of a darkling sky. She swears some of the trees swing as if blown by a wind.

Frederick pauses and turns around. "Follow. Miss," he says. April is awed by how clear and how robust his voice sounds and yet, there is hesitation in each words.

"Yes, I'm coming!" April replies and starts running up the stairs. A face pale and transparent appears and shouts, "Leave at once!" April shrieks and misses a step. Frederick grabs her arm before she can fall. It would be hard to explain dying falling down a flight of stairs to Aunt Josephine. April laughs lightly. An ache forms on her upper back. Aunt Josephine's body is not young. April should not have run.

Frederick's grip is tight but as soon as she is on solid footing, he lets her arm go. "Thank you, Frederick." Raindrops has already soaked part of his shirt sleeve. She hasn't noticed it before but Frederick is dressed much like her grandfather but he is entirely in black except aside from the white shirt. "Who is that just then?" April asks.

Frederick looks her in the eye but then quickly turns away. "Mona."

"Mona? Who is she?"

"Daughter Summers's Mr. late the is she." Frederick replies.

April thinks for a moment and then, "Mona is the late Mr. Summers's daughter?"

Frederick nods.

"So you talk backwards then?"

He nods again.

"Why do you talk backwards, Frederick?" April has not heard of such things but then again, she is new to all this magic and weirdness.

"To..Toby. Toby me call." Frederick, that is, Toby gives her a crooked grin and then turns around and hurries the last few steps to the top.

April wonders if she could stand talking backwards. She would be frustrated all the time and wouldn't utter a single word. The rain above falls heavier and April wonders if perhaps her emotions is in the rain. The white umbrella shields her but she is certain there are puddles everywhere that she has stepped. Toby will have to do a lot of cleaning after her.

The short hallway at the top of the stairs is beautifully decorated just like the rest of the house. The two paintings on the wall are of a garden and a view of an ocean. There are two doors on each side. Toby stops at the door on the left.

Toby opens the door, went inside and returns a few seconds later. He gives her a glance and then is half running down the stairs.

April enters the room and quietly closes the door behind her. Toby had lit a candle and left it on the small table. The room is expensively decorated just like all the other rooms in the house but this one seems be decorated to her taste. There's the dark wood wardrobe taking almost half of the room with branches for handles. A small fireplace just like the ones in the parlor and dinning room on the right of the wardrobe. April supposes this is what will keep her warm during winter days. The four poster bed in the center of the room is all dark woods with white curtains and a white canopy. The velvet drapes on the windows are dark pink on one side and white on the other. The wallpaper is white with pale pink floral pattern. The large rug under the bed is white with pale blue criss-cross lines. There's a little sitting area on one side of the room with a small round table covered with a white cloth where Toby had placed the candle and surrounded by armchairs. On the other side is a mahogany desk with a wooden chair. Sitting on the desk are stacks of her notebooks and boxes of fountain pens. Beside that is a framed painting of April's mother and father on their wedding date where her mother wore a white dress and her father wore a deep blue suit. Her father looked a bit grim because he hates having his image or anything of him captured. Next to the painting is a wooden clock shaped like an elephant that her father had made for April when she was six. And it seem as April checks everything, all her little possessions has been unpacked and put away.

April lays on the bed. The umbrella above her shifts to hover over the bed, out of April's sight. She is to live here in her grandfather's house until something that would make her leave. Aunt Josephine has been clear on this. Her father had only the farm and that had been sold to pay for the funeral, her father's burial and other expenses. Her father's side of the family had disowned him for marrying against their wishes which leaves April with no inheritance and no home. Aunt Josephine hasn't said if she will be staying but April hopes that she does. And Grandfather - he hasn't look well. What is April to do if she is left by herself? It is only due to Aunt Josephine's strong will that got April through the days and now if she is to be without her... April turns over and stares in between the drapes at the small bit of dark sky.

February 21, 2019

bunny love

bunny love
This week's Scribble Picnic prompt is 'hearts.' This is my portrait of my fake bunny named 'Ding-Ding,' who incidently shreds a lot but he's very soft and gentle will only eats carrots of very small sizes. (click on the image for a larger view)

February 16, 2019

April Gale 5: April Gale Smiles

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: 1. shutdown, 2. wreck, 3. hairclipm 4. marked, 5. old school, 6. brewery and/or: 1. release, 2. hell-no!, 3. cherries, 4. insignificant, 5. coffee, 6. almost

April Gale 5: April Gale Smiles

The rain outside has stopped which is no comfort to April but at least there's no one from home that can see her like this.

Grandfather Tyler snaps his fingers and the three white umbrellas starts to move as they all get up from the table and head toward the door. April follows the two but then pauses. The rain seems only to follow her. Grandfather Tyler and Aunt Josephine has no need for umbrellas. "Wait!" April shouts.

Grandfather Tyler and Aunt Josephine stops and turns around to face her. April looks up.

They both lift their heads and look up and then down at April. Grandfather Tyler snaps his fingers and the umbrellas disappears leaving only one hovering above April. "Don't worry, it will stop eventually," Grandfather Tyler says grinning and then turns to continue his way toward the parlor. Aunt Josephine merely gives her a glance but there is a hint of a smile on her lips which makes April the more eager to get out of Aunt Josephine's body.

A slight sigh makes April look down. There Frederick, the boy from before, is mopping up the puddles with a white rag and carrying a bucket. He peers up at her with eyes wide and yet, as April looks upon him a bit longer, his face seems to shift into a more of an oval shape, his eyes squeezes into a smaller size, his nose shrinks and elongates and a tangled of blonde curls appears on his head but in a few seconds, it all disappears. He is the long arms, short legs, hairless, wide-eyed boy again. He lowers his head and moves around her and then back toward where she has come from all the while mopping at the floor and dragging his bucket.

April turns back and follows the other two down the wide hallway. Her head aches. She looks up and finds the umbrella's interior has painted gold stars on them. It makes her smile.


The yellow cake is banana vanilla flavor which is April's favorite. How Mrs. Summers knows this April isn't sure. Mrs. Summers has smiled at April when she handed her the slice of cake. With the white umbrella hovering above her, sitting in an armchair that Frederick has brought in and placed appropriately far from the couch where Grandfather Tyler and Aunt Josephine are sitting, April leans back and takes a bite of her cake. It tastes just like the cakes her father made for her birthday every year. She sighs. He won't be around this year. She watches as Howl the cat seemingly annoyed by the crowd in the room, jumps off the window sill and disappears out of the room. Mrs. Summers begins to serve coffee but April lets her cup sit on the small table beside her which Frederick has also brought in. She doesn't care much for coffee. It had been her father that drinks it.

"Now, where has Emma gone to?" Grandfather Tyler says looking around the room. Grandmother Emma seems to have disappeared. April has not noticed her leaving but then how does a ghost leave the room except to disappear?

April sighs again but then she straightens up as Aunt Josephine glares at her. She have often scolded April for slouching. April takes another bite of the cake. There is a slight pressure at the base of her neck. She reaches around with her hand and pulls out a black hairpin and drops it into one of her dress pocket. Her head feels a little less tight. Aunt Josephine must have used a dozen hairpins on her hair. April reaches out again to take another one out but then stops when she spots Aunt Josephine giving her a look that if April interprets it correctly could mean 'Hell – no!' April returns to eating cake while admiring the red carpet that is getting soaked.

April starts to think there is more to Aunt Josephine. She wishes Aunt Josephine would try to enjoy herself while in April's body. Even if she doesn't want to relive her youth, she should enjoy being young again. April imagines Aunt Josephine must have enjoyed something other then sitting prim and proper in her seat. Perhaps jumping rope or climbing trees or riding horses. No. Those are April's favorite things. She curls and uncurls her hand – Aunt Josephine's hand. They aren't weak nor too strong. They are long and thin with the nails trimmed close to the edge with smooth backs. Perhaps she used to do cartwheels with them.

Then before April's eyes, Aunt Josephine puts her cup down and moves to a spot away from the tables and drops to the floor. She plants her hands on the floor, legs up in the air and turns sideways. Once, twice and then a third time in perfect maneuvers. This makes April laugh out loud and that usually meant her eyes get squeezed shut and when she opens them, she realizes she has imagined it.

Aunt Josephine is sitting in their place quietly sipping coffee and chewing on cake. Grandfather Tyler has his eyebrows a little bent, eyes toward her. "April, are you alright?" Grandfather Tyler asks. She smiles at him and replies, "Yes, quite alright, Grandfather."

Grandfather Tyler relaxes his eyebrows. He leans back on the couch. "April, do you know Josey used to beat up the boys whenever they picked on your mother? She would come home all bruised but with a smile on her face. And Lizzie, your mother, would mirror Josey. She was so proud of her big sister. Those old school days." He sighs.

Aunt Josephine beating up boys? April could not believe it. Her lips curve into a smile and she couldn't help but wish she had known Aunt Josephine as a little girl. April looks down at her hands - Aunt Josephine's hands - these hands had beaten up boys. What else has these hands done?

For more Words for Wednesday, visit River at Drifting through life

February 12, 2019

Lovely Blog Party | Favorite Fictional Couples II

Cordy at Any Merry Little Thought is hosting a 'Lovely Blog Party' this month. It's all about gushing and praising favorite fictional couples. Read about the party here. This week's Top Ten Tuesday is Favorite Couples In Books so I'll be joining that also.

Here are some more of my favorite fictional couples this time from books. My list only consisted of books I actually read so it may be a bit bias.  (My other favorite fictional couples list is here.)

01/ Molly Gibson & Roger Hamley (Wives and daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell) — so we really don't get their story much as Roger isn't around for most of the book and also, the book is not finished. Gaskell didn't get to finish it but I imagine a happy ending for them.

Favorite Quote:
"She felt that he did her good, she did not know why or how; but after a talk with him, she always fancied that she had got the clue to goodness and peace, whatever befell."
(Molly referring to Roger)

02/ Harry Potter & Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling) — not an actual couple even in the fictional world but I really like them together. I'm not going to say how much I dislike Harry and the other girl only that I just think they are wrong for each other. I like to think in another fictional universe, Harry and Luna got together and they lived happily ever after.

Favorite Quotes:
“Promise me you’ll look after yourself … stay out of trouble …’
‘I always do, Mrs Weasley,’ said Harry. ‘I like a quiet life, you know me.”
– Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“I think they think I’m a bit odd, you know. Some people call me ‘Loony’ Lovegood, actually.”
– Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

03/ Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables by by L.M. Montgomery) — in the books, I honestly didn't see much romance between them but the bits that they are together is wonderful. When they first met, she hit him over the head with a slate board so that's kind of cute.

Favorite Quote:
“I don’t want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want you. You see I'm quite as shameless as Phil about it. Sunbursts and marble halls may be all very well, but there is more 'scope for imagination' without them. And as for the waiting, that doesn't matter. We’ll just be happy, waiting and working for each other — and dreaming. Oh, dreams will be very sweet now.”
– Anne of the Island

04/ Beauty Tremain & James Hightower aka Beast (Beast Charming by Jenniffer Wardell) — I like their bantering and they do seem perfect for each other.

Favorite Quote:
"I've been rejected by thirteen princes, nine dukes, four counts, and seven earls. No matter what my father thinks, I tried with at least half of them." She hesitated, jaw tightening. "I actually thought I was in love with one of them."

After a moment, James's expression softened. "If I remember correctly, there's a 'build your own torture chamber' kit up here somewhere. I'm pretty sure we could find it if we looked together."

Slowly, Beauty started to smile. "Have I mentioned how much I like the way you think?"

05/ Amy & Peregrine (The ordinary princess by M.M. Kaye) — I like their ease being in each other's company and they do like each other right away

Favorite Quote:
"But it's not my fault, Perry! I can't help being a princess. And anyway it doesn't make any difference, does it?" she added anxiously.

"No," said Peregrine, and he smiled his nice smile. "It won't make any difference to me. But what about you? You are a Royal Highness, and I...I'm only a man-of-all-work."

"What does that matter? I should like you every bit as much if you'd turned out to be a—a coal heaver!" said the Ordinary Princess hotly. "So there!"

"I'll remember that when I'm a coal heaver," promised Peregrine.

06/ Valancy Stirling & Barney Snaith (The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery) — in my opinion, Barney seems far too perfect for any individual, that is, for an eligible bachelor and it would have been nice if he is a little more flawed but Valancy still deserves him.

Favorite Quote:
“Just to love! She did not ask to be loved. It was rapture enough just to sit there beside him in silence, alone in the summer night in the white splendor of moonshine, with the wind blowing down on them out of the pine woods.”

07/ Agnes Grey & Edward Weston (Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte) — since the book's focus is Agnes, we don't get to know much about Weston but the parts they did showed, he sounds like a good man and he and Agnes make a good match

Favorite Quote:
"I have omitted to give a detail of his words from a notion that they would not interest the reader as they did me, and not because I have forgotten them. No; I remember them well; for I thought them over and over again in the course of that day and many succeeding ones, I know not how often, and recalled every intonation of his deep, clear voice, every flash of his quick, brown eye, and every gleam of his pleasant, but too transient smile. Such a confession will look very absurd I fear — but no matter — I have written it; and they that read it will not know the writer."

08/ Jane Austen CouplesAnne Elliot & Frederick Wentworth (Persuasion); Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice); Catherine Morland & Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey); Elinor Dashwood & Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility); Emma Woodhouse & George Knightley (Emma) — I used to have favorites but now I think I favored them equally with the exception of Fanny Price & Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park) because I don't like that book much.

Favorite Quotes:
"To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of twenty-six and eighteen, is to do pretty well; and professing myself moreover convinced, that the General's unjust interference, so far from being really injurious to their felicity, was perhaps rather conducive to it, by improving their knowledge of each other, and adding strength to their attachment, I leave it to be settled by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience."
– Northanger Abbey

“All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!”
– Persuasion

09/ Buttercup & Westley (The Princess Bride by William Goldman) — I always re-read up to the same point as the movie because I really don't like how the ending imply a darker second ending after the happy moment.

Favorite Quote:
“I've been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn't listen. Every time you said 'Farm Boy do this' you thought I was answering 'As you wish' but that's only because you were hearing wrong. 'I love you' was what it was, but you never heard.”

10/ Cimorene & Mendanbar (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede) — I like Cimorene and Mendanbar as individuals and so together, they are pretty good as a couple but I think Cimorene is the stronger one of the two and probably braver.

Favorite Quotes:
"Kazul's not my dragon," Cimorene said sharply. "I'm her princess. You'll never have any luck dealing with dragons if you don't get these things straight."
– Dealing With Dragons

"Mendanbar stared at her in utter bafflement. If this was a princess, she was like no princess he had ever seen, and he had seen dozens. True, she had a small gold crown pinned into her hair, and she was very pretty – beautiful, in fact – but she was wearing a blue-and-white checked apron with large pockets. Mendanbar had never seen a princess in an apron before. The dress under the apron was rust-colored and practical-looking, and she had the sleeves rolled up above her elbows. He had never seen a princess with her sleeves rolled up, either. Her jet black hair hung in plain braids almost to her knees, instead of making a cloud of curls around her face. Her eyes were black, too, and she was as tall as Mendanbar."
– Searching For Dragons

Join Cordy at her Lovely Blog Party here > 

For more Top Ten Tuesday, visit That Artsy Reader Girl >

[ Font used - Invitation Script Limited Free Version by Intellecta Design ]

February 9, 2019

April Gale 4: April and the Endless Rain

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: 1. consternation, 2. tourist, 3. attached, 4. fresh, 5. specific, 6. memory And/or: 1. advantages, 2. amount, 3. spray, 4. reef, 5. ouch, 6. living

April Gale 4: April and the Endless Rain

"April, meet your grandmother Emma. You will not remember her. She passed away just one day after you were born." Grandfather Tyler looks directly ahead toward the far end of the table about 25 chairs away. The three of them are now in the dinning room for afternoon tea. Grandfather Tyler is seated at the head of the table with Aunt Josephine on his left and April on his right. The rain rattles outside as if wanting to join them. The fireplace on the far end of the room is lit and keeps the large room quite warm.

April turns to her right to look at the end of the table. A white blur starts to sharpen and shape into a woman. Black hair in a bun with white stripes on either sides appears, then the face and then the rest of her. She is quite solid unlike Mrs. Winters. "Josey Dear, you look quite changed."

"Emma Dear, Josey is on this side." Grandfather Tyler holds a hand out at Aunt Josephine on his left.

"What is this?" Grandmother Emma turns to April and then to Aunt Josephine. "My, my, this is a surprise, Josey. You have never looked prettier."

"Mother, you know it is only temporary. I am, after all, quite attached to my body. I do not wished to trade." Aunt Josephine lifts the corner of her lips, April's lips, while looking directly at April. April hunches down a little in her chair.

"Well, Josey, you must take this opportunity to enjoy your youth again. April has given you quite a good chance." Grandmother Emma seems to be smiling but it's hard to tell where April is sitting and her eyes are Aunt Josephine's eyes. They are not strong.

"Mother, I do not want to relive my youth. Not now. Not ever." Aunt Josephine picks up her cup and takes a sip.

"This coming from a living, breathing being." Grandmother Emma shakes her head. "Josey, don't you have any good memory of your youth?" She smiles at April or rather Aunt Josephine in April's body.

Aunt Josephine grunts, keeps her eyes down and sips her tea again.

"Do not mind her, April. Josey has always have a way of her own. You must forgive her if she does anything you do not understand." Grandfather Tyler smiles. "Emma Dear, you must sit closer. I can hardly hear you from here."

"But this is my place. I have always sat here," Grandmother Emma replies. "Oh, alright." She blurs and disappears and reappears beside April. She veers her head to Aunt Josephine and back to April. "April, you look just like your mother at her age. Except for the black hair. You got that from me."

Grandfather Tyler chuckles. "She got that from her father. Do you not remember William? All his family members had thick black hair."

"Oh, I forgot. He was such a darling. And he was always so good with Lizzie." Grandmother Emma pats April's hand and sighs. A chill runs through April. "I just cannot get over how you have grown." Her eyes veer toward Aunt Josephine again. "I only saw you as a baby before my death. You have become quite an enchanting lady."

April smiles. "Thank you Grandmother Emma."

"Oh, call me Emma. Grandmother Emma sound so... old. I know I'm old but... Oh, nevermind." She shakes her head. "How long will you be staying, dear?"

April turns to Aunt Josephine and then to Grandfather Tyler.

Grandfather Tyler answers for her. "April will stay here until she is married. That is what William had wanted. Poor fellow, he had worried so much toward the end."

April had been alone the day her father died. It had been swift. The horse he had been training fell on him. April had been distracted by an injured bird. When she finally saw her father on the ground, it was too late. He looked up at her and smiled and then was gone. Why he thought to tame a wild horse, April didn't know. All she knew, he shouldn't have left her alone. He should have thought of what might happen. She wraps her hands around the cup. She hasn't realized she has been cold. The heat from the cup travels into her fingers.

Grandmother Emma pats her hand again. April looks up at her. She can see where Josephine got her looks but Grandmother Emma looks so pleasant and Aunt Josephine, well, not quite as pleasant.

"Josey, will you be home for good this time? I think it's time you came home. It has been over 30 years. I miss my daughters. Now that Lizzie is gone, it just seems ashamed to lose you too." Grandfather Tyler says and looks down as he sips his tea.

Outside, thunder claps. Grandfather Tyler puts his cup down. "This weather — Josey — it's about time you stop it."

Aunt Josephine peers up at her father. "I doubt I can do much. My body is over there. Ask her to do something about it." She turns to April.

April looks up at Aunt Josephine and then to Grandmother Emma and then at Grandfather Tyler. "Me? What can I do? I don't have the power."

"My dear, most magic abilities stays with the soul but sometimes it unties itself from the soul and stays in the body especially if the owner no longer uses it." Grandfather Tyler glances over at Aunt Josephine. She shrugs. "Right now, you might have power in that body. I cannot say if it will work as I have never experienced it before but you can try." Grandfather Tyler pats her arm lightly.

"Just think of the rain leaving the sky outside." Aunt Josephine offers. But April doesn't find her words helpful. Her head aches. Her body aches. Everything aches. April lets out a breath and then closes her eyes. Go away rain. She chants inside her head. Go away rain, stop bothering us. Then she wonders what is like to see an actual cloud up close.

For a moment, April can hear the rain subsiding outside. But then there is a cold liquid falling on her. She opens her eyes and looks up. Rain is dripping down from the ceiling. If she can see into the darkness of the ceiling, she might see a cloud there.

Through the noise, April can hear the tinkling of the cups and saucers as rain hit them — a chorus of tapping, tinkling and some smothered half laughers.

Grandfather Tyler grins April and then snaps his fingers and three white umbrellas appears above them. They open promptly temporary keeping the rain from falling over them. But the table cloth, the chairs, the candles, the floor, the cups and everyone sitting in that space are soaked. Except for Grandmother Emma. April hears Aunt Josephine muttering something but she couldn't make out what she said.

Mrs. Summers appears carrying a yellow cake. Her lips are buttoned tight and her eyes are enlarged and looking quite wild. "Mr. Tyler, I cannot..." She pauses and then glances up at the umbrellas and the rain dripping from the ceiling. She lowers her head. She lifts up one eyebrow at April and there is a slight tilt to the corner of her lips as if she might be smiling but then her lips relaxes and she starts again, "Mr. Tyler, I believe when you hired me, you said I am to be the only housekeeper but that Mrs. Winters is trying my patience. She has re-arranged the kitchen again and even moved my pan up onto the ceiling beams so now I am obligated to cook with the beat-up pan. Would you talk to her again? Or banish her somehow?"

"Not now, Mrs. Summers," Grandfather Tyler replies.

"What about the cake? I baked it for Miss April." Mrs. Summers smiles and April thought she looks rather pretty like that.

"Mrs. Summers, I think we shall have the cake in the parlor," Grandfather Tyler says.

"Very well, Sir." Mrs. Summers disappears out the door.

"Maybe we should go on a rainy day picnic?" Grandmother Emma shouts over the rain. She has a wide grin and sparkles in her eyes.

Grandfather Tyler chuckles. Aunt Josephine seems to be half smiling. The tap, tap, tap of the rain on the umbrellas reminds April of their train ride and how it rained and rained. April sighs.

For more Words for Wednesday, visit River at Drifting through life

February 5, 2019

Shop Promo #41,207

city girl
The #41,207 is makeup but it might be accurated since I mentioned my art shop @society6 about a few thousand times and there are two links above and below on this blog and I did promised myself I would promote it more. The new piece is 'city girl' which I have posted previously. I love this piece. Okay I might have said that about every piece but if you like your own work, there's nothing wrong with that.

Below is a cropped version and if you hover your mouse over the image, you can see how the finish version is compared with the unfinished. I did change a few things, shift them a little to the left or right to get them to the way I wanted.

city girl unfinished and finished Unfinished Finished

This piece is completely digital and it's all done Adobe Illustrator and then finished up in Photoshop. It has all my favorite things in it: umbrellas, stars, books, trees/flowers (I'm a big fan of cherry blossoms. I only get to see them at the parks because all the trees around the city mostly produces leaves), scraves, hats, and eyeglasses. If you want to know, the book in her pocket would be or is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - one of my favorite books.

'City girl' didn't start with a sketch or idea rather it started with another piece (see below) that I have done a while back with a similar theme but I didn't quite like that one all that much and I've wanted to make a new version.

blue  night
In the old version, you can't see the city shapes in the back so I remove some of the colors and elements. I might redo this one later because I really like the curvy/floral lamp and a girl listening to music right in the middle of the city.

I have a habit (bad or good, I'm not sure yet) of doing over a piece either by changing a few elements or redo the whole thing. I believe no piece is ever finished no matter how many times you declared it's finished. Since most of my art is digital, I can redo them. If you're an aritst, do you redo your work after it's finished or do you prefer to just leave it alone?

Buy prints at my S6 shop by clicking on the image below.

February 4, 2019

Lovely Blog Party | Favorite Fictional Couples

Cordy at Any Merry Little Thought is hosting a 'Lovely Blog Party' this month. It's all about gushing and praising favorite fictional couples. Read about the party here.

Favorite Fictional Couples
I thought I list some of my favorite fictional couples, some as I do have tons of favorites. I picked these not for how romantic they are but how fun they can be as a couple or a would-be couple.

01/ Belle & the Beast (Beauty and the Beast) — I was going to include both French version and the tv show version and some book version but I think the Disney animated version is the most fun to watch and I like how to they interact with each other

Favorite Quote:
(Belle is washing the Beast's wounds)
Beast: [roars] That hurts!
Belle: If you'd hold still, it wouldn't hurt as much!
Beast: Well, if you hadn't have run away, this wouldn't have happened!
Belle: If you hadn't frightened me, I wouldn't have run away! [Belle folds her arms in anger]
Beast: [pause] Well you shouldn't have been in the West Wing!
Belle: Well, you should learn to control your temper! [pause]
Belle: [the Beast's servants glare at him in agreement] Now, hold still. This might sting a little. [presses cloth to wound; the beast growls in pain]
Belle: By the way, thank you for saving my life.
Beast: [stops growling] You're welcome.

02/ Steve Austin & Jaime Sommers (The Bionic Woman and The Six Million Dollar Man) — They are the perfect pair in abilities and thought and bionic parts and also, they both are humorous though I do think Jaime Sommers is more fun to watch because she's not as serious.

Favorite Quotes:
Man: "How are you able to do that?" (Steve tore apart a chain by stretching his arm)
Steve Austin: "Vitamins."
- The Six Million Dollar Man

Jaime Sommers: [looking down from many floors up] I'm not THAT bionic!
- The Bionic woman

image from here
03/ Ned and Charlotte 'Chuck' Charles (Pushing Daisies)Not your average couple as one of them is kind of dead but not in a zombie way which I would hate but they are cute together (apparently Ned has no last name, at least, it is not revealed as the series was cancelled before we can found out.)

Favorite Quote:
Ned: You're the only one for me.
Chuck: I know you feel that now, but there are things you want. There're things we both want.
Ned: So? Everyone wants stuff, we wake up every day with list of wishes a mile long and maybe we spend our lives trying to make those wishes come true, but just because we want them doesn’t mean we need them to be happy.
Chuck: What do you need to be happy?
Ned: You

04/ Guo Jing & Huang Rong (The Legend of the Condor Heroes - the 2008 version with Hu Ge and Ariel Lin) One is sort of dumb but very honest and kind and the other is a bit conning, I think they learned from each other the things they lack. They first met when she pretended to be a beggar and he, being such a honest and kind man, gave her all his money.

Favorite Quote:
(Here Huang Rong is still disguised as a man and a beggar.)
Guo Jing: Brother Huang, in the future, I will treat you well.
Huang Rong: Really?
Guo Jing: Before, didn't you say you like me? The fact is I like you too.
Huang Rong: Do you know you can't just say those words so casually?
Guo Jing: I am serious.
Huang Rong: I am troublesome. Do you know?
Guo Jing: I know. Every time I see you, I get into a lot of trouble.
Huang Rong: I don't care. You listen, from now on you should not speak up/fight for others.
Guo Jing: But if it's you that is in trouble?
Huang Rong: Then you have to see what the occasion and situation is. You lack experience and there are many masters in this world, such as Ou Yang Ke. You can't defeat him. In case you get hurt again, what should I do?
Guo Jing: I don't care. If someone bullies you, I won't just stand by and watch. If friends are in trouble, you have to help them. My mother and masters taught me that.
Huang Rong: I said you are not allow so don't do it!
Guo Jing: Alright, whatever you say, you are my dear brother.

image from here
05/ Nicole Bonnet & Simon Dermott (How to steal a million) — I like how they talk to each other and it's fun to see how they react to each other

Favorite Quote:
Nicole Bonnet: For a burglar you're not very brave, are you?
Simon Dermott: I'm a society burglar. I don't expect people to rush about shooting me!

06/ Lois Lane & Clark Kent (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman ) — not Superman and Lois Lane but Lois and Clark. I just think they fit better and it's fun to see what excuses he uses whenever he has to go and be superman.

Favorite Quote:
Clark: So what are you saying? That I should go crawling back on my hands and knees?
Martha: No, honey, fly back, it's faster.

Lois Lane: [to Clark] All right, maybe, somewhere very deep inside me is some eensy-weensy, microcosmic - although highly unlikely - possibility that I feel some sort of unmotivated, completely unrealistic attraction to you.

image from here

07/ Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man Movies) — separate or together, they are just so much fun to watch

Favorite Quote:
Nora Charles: You know, that sounds like an interesting case. Why don't you take it?
Nick Charles: I haven't the time. I'm much too busy seeing that you don't lose any of the money I married you for.

Join Cordy at her Lovely Blog Party here

[ Font used - Invitation Script Limited Free Version by Intellecta Design ]

February 3, 2019

Help with your blog

Maybe you need help on resizing your header or move some stuff around or change color or change template or whatever and have nowhere to turn (except for the internet), then ask me. Simply make a request in the comments. And if you need me to get into your template and make the actual changes, I might do that if you really need help. But Blogger's Blogspot blogs only. I have not used Wordpress for years and do not know what updates they have made so I don't want to blindly tell you what to do but if it's something simple and if I can answer it, then I'll tell you.

Why am I doing this? I want to help people with their blogs and make them work properly. I'm not saying anyone's blog needs fixing or changing, only that sometimes, blogs don't look or work the way they should. And perhaps my graphic design side also wants to make blogs look better. I can't say I'm an expert in blogs and templates and such but I have done this for years. I'll try this for a month or two as a sort of test. I may regret this but if people don't try new things, they won't know if they can do it. So this is like my new thing for this year.

Make a request in the comments and I'll see if I can help. Remember, Blogspot blogs only.

February 1, 2019

Seven Things : some lazy and completely random thoughts

I guess you can consider these (each list) as mini posts because most of the time, I come up with ideas for posts and then not do them or I simply can't finish them and somehow I still want to share them but I didn't want to post short snippets that doesn't say much and so I make list like these.  

01/ I still haven't gotten into the habit of putting my name/signature/mark on my artwork. I think it's because I don't sign my work. I digitally placed the mark so that makes me forget to do it. If you look at any art that are in my posts (see above), you will see a mark on the bottom right corner (sometimes I put it elsewhere if it interfere with the art) there is a YK in a box mark. YK stands for my pen name - YK Faith. YK stands for a character in a tv show but now I'm thinking it doesn't have to stand for anything. Faith is a translated word from one of my Chinese name. (Yes, it seems I have a lot of names.) I used YK because YKF just looks odd to me. I thought up that quote today and I do think that.

02/ I brought a lamp for my birthday and I was really excited about it and yes, I'm someone who gets excited over a lamp because I have no life. I thought it would be good to buy something useful instead of something I want and then realize later on I don't really want it. The lamp was pretty and it gives off a bright light good enough to read under which is really the purpose of getting this lamp. But... I have to return it because it uses LED lightbulbs and for some odd reason, I get headaches reading under these lights. Now there is no proof that LED lights gives anyone headaches and I only tested it twice but for some reason the light just makes me uncomfortable and so rather than take the chance, I decided to return it.

03/ I wish they would change Blogger's autosave. When I lose a blog post (which I did just a week ago) when the whole post becomes a blank page and then it autosaves the post which means it saves a blank post. I usually saved the post in html in a word doc on my computer to preserve the formating but I don't remember all the time and so I lose posts. It's not that I can't reformat the post again, it's just that, why we are not given a choice to turn autosave on and off? It's a bit strange. There are some suggested work around but they all sound kind of cumbersome to me so I don't bother. I just try to write my post in a word doc and not directly on the post but I do format the post directly because you can't style/format anything in a word doc and move it over to the post. It just doesn't work that way.

04/ Do you know Google is shutting down Google+? (I'll use G+ in place of Google+) Anything related to G+ is being deleted on April 2nd. I've got an email about it because I have a separate account that uses it but that one is mostly to leave comments on those blogs that uses G+ comment system which amounts to exactly one person on my blog list. I've never liked G+ so this is no big deal to me. I really just don't get why they even started G+ in the first place. I've never been enticed to use it.

05/ There is this challenge that PJ at A 'lil Hoohaa runs every January called 20 Days of Chill. You just write whatever to the prompts/themes given. I have participated before and it's good writing exercise even if you're writing nonsense. But I didn't participate this year because I sort of forgot. But I did write a little bit for one prompt: Milk money but I kind of forgot to post. Oops. So maybe I didn't really forget, maybe I just kind of got distracted by something else. But this is what I wrote:

Whenever I smell something like bleach (not quite sure if that is what it is but they have a distinct scent that pretty much makes you want to run away), when I smell that, I'm reminded of school and the cafeteria. (Actually I had to rewatch an episode of Monk (Mr. Monk takes a vacation) just to find that word out - bleach - because my brain doesn't seem to want to remember that.) I haven't been inside a public school in a long while but do they still clean the cafeteria with that stinky bleach?

I went to public schools and they served free lunches. I didn't get milk money for extra food or snacks or anything. Honestly, waiting in line for free lunches is pretty much something no kid wants to do even if there's like a hundred kids ahead of you doing the same thing. But strangely, the school lunches tasted good or is that just me?

There was this one time at the cafeteria when I spotted a girl wearing the same exact floral pattern shirt as I was and it surprised me but I don't remember what I did then. I mean, what can you do if you see someone wearing the same thing as you? Do you fight with them, ask them to change their shirt or just pretend nothing happens? I had probably just pretended I didn't see her because there's nothing to be done. 

06/ I'm trying to buy less things which means I might get a e-reader soon because one of those things I keep buying are books. They did come out with a new Kindle last November but I don't know. The transition to e-books is just weird. I have tried it last year but that Kindle died three times even before I read a single book. It wasn't terrible but I honestly really just like holding an actual paper book in my hand. Of course e-books can never replace paper books and I wouldn't actually replace my books for them but I might just get paper copies of books that I truly love and will read again.

I usually get paperbacks (or softcover as it is sometimes known) because they are cheaper and smaller which means they take up less space. I really wish they would release paperbacks and hardcovers at the same time so that I can compare which is better as the paperback sometimes have terrible covers and vice versa. Whatever happen to matching hardcover art to paperback art? I actually miss that. So paperbacks nowadays do have better covers but I'm not convinced that's a good thing - why couldn't they have the good covers in the first place? They should just make all the artworks the same for hardcovers and paperbacks.

07/ Do you remember what people post on their blog? I do sometimes and sometimes I really just read posts and forget them but it's not terrible if someone doesn't remember what I posted. But I do sort of hate it when someone says something like 'you have not done that before' and even though I did, I just get an odd feeling and then move on because lingering on things like this is silly and petty. But there are some posts I read that I really do remember and maybe not the whole thing but some bits. It's a good thing that blogs archive your blog posts so you can go and look back and see what you have posted. In my case, that is hard because I have moved blogs a lot and I usually delete the posts but I didn't delete anything on my last blog 'rainswept' which you can still browse here if you like.

What's on your mind today?