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March 31, 2019

April Gale 10

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: television 


Summary of what happened so far (spoilers if you have not read the earlier parts): April Gale comes to Windy Shadows with her aunt, Josephine Tyler, meets her grandfather Harry Tyler, a few ghosts and a few odd servants. Then she met a young dragon named Tim who dropped her on the roof.

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April Gale 10

Harrison Tyler should have been prepared for any emergency but when it comes to his family, he can only do what he can. When he heard Tim's roar, he had rushed out of his room but at the door, he stopped. Josephine can handle it, he thought. It is her responsibility now. His time is coming to an end. He must allow Josephine to do what she can and yet, when Mrs. Summers rushed up to his door telling him Josephine wanted him on the roof, he knew he had to go.

Harry fears what he might see and yet, when he is on the roof, the sight of his daughter cradling his granddaughter, makes him want to break down and sob. But he keeps his face placid. It has only been one day of his silent excursion but he must break it.

Josephine wants to tell him he should not use his power but he gives her a nod. Harry smiles at Josephine's sorrowful face and the bits of blood on her fingers. He lays a hand over April's forehead. A shot of electric shivers runs from her to his hand and over his body. He closes his eyes and allow all of April's pain to seep into him. He opens his eyes and removes his hand from her forehead. "Take April to her room." He waves a hand at them.

Josephine and April appears in April's room. Josephine is not surprised to see Mrs. Summers there. Josephine's father always hires the right kind of help. Mrs. Summers lifts April out of Josephine's arms and onto the bed.

-------------

"Help me!" April screams and she opens her eyes to the round face of Mrs. Summers looking down at her with a half amused grin. April shift into a sitting position as Mrs. Summers props up the pillows. April looks down at her hands and pets her arms and legs. "I'm alive," she says. Mrs. Summers stands there still looking amused. "Yes, dear, you're alive."

April looks around her. She is in her room in bed surrounded by the semi darkness. The curtains are closed and and the only source of light is a single candle on the table far from April's bed.

"But how? I remember the roof was coming up very fast and then I blocked out." April tries to think of the moment after but all she remembers is Josephine's blurred face.

"Master saved you. I knew he would." Mrs. Summers purses her lips into a straight line with eyebrows a little drawn down.

"Master? Do you mean grandfather?"

"Yes." Mrs. Summers walks to the windowas and pushes the curtains apart allowing daylight to fill the room. Then she blows out the candle. "Miss Josephine has instructed me to keep you in your room for a couple of days."

April sticks her feet out from under the covers all ready to get up but Mrs. Summers is quick and is instantly by her side. She eases April back into bed. April leans against the pillows. She has never felt so weak before.

"Now, Miss April, you must stay put until your aunt deems it is alright to leave your bed."

"Alright." April wants to ague but she feels much too tired and weak. Her head aches terribly. She rubs at the sides of her forehead.

"I will fetch your breakfast. Do not go anywhere." Mrs. Summers gives April a small but kind smile and leaves April to herself.

Why her head is pounding away, April isn't sure. But she did fall from a great height. She remember hitting the hard surface but she had not felt any pain then. It must be serious if Aunt Josephine allows her to sleep this late.

-------------

Josephine remembers her mother's vision from years ago but today it came true. Her mother has always had visions but they almost always happens years or even decades later. Josephine could not understand how such a gift would be useful but at the moment, just thinking about it makes her weary. It is not always a good thing to have her mother's vision come true for she always had visions of terrible futures. But April was hurt like her mother's vision. But Josephine had forgotten it until today.

She sighs. It is no use trying to justify what cannot be changed. She had witnessed yesterday's disaster and yet, if she had not given up the dumb notion of not using her powers, then April would have been saved. Yes, she is fine now but the consequence is too great. Her father's lost of his vital energy will not be gained back as before. She have noticed his fatigued face when he appeared on the roof.

"My dear Josey, how is April?" Emma appears as if she have been there always, standing close and almost solid and yet, she is not alive, not the way Josephine would have liked.

"She needs time to recover. Mother, do not disturb her now. I have asked all the servants and Father to keep out of her room aside from Mrs. Summers. Father said she used to be a nurse. She can take care of April better than either one of us."

Emma nods. "I had hoped I was wrong but now this..." She presses a hand on Josephine's shoulder. Josephine wishes her mother is alive. She cannot find comfort in cold hands but she smiles at her mother.

March 28, 2019

blogging without coffee since 2006

'blogging without coffee'
This April, it will be 13 years since I started blogging which is a really, really, really long time by my standard. To celebrate, here are 13 thoughts on blogging:

01/ I do not remember the first 10+ years of what I blogged. Honestly, all I remember is writing a lot of ramblings, a lot of lists, some poetry/prose, some fiction and occasionally there were some rainy day photos and in the latter years, a lot of my artworks and a whole lot of memes and blogging events but mostly, very plain and scattered blogging.

02/ My tagline will always be 'unpopular since 2006' or 'blogging without coffee since 2006' which is crazy true because I've never liked coffee and have rarely drank it.

03/ I've enjoyed all the years of blogging, at least, I remember being happy that I got to blog even if my audience consisted of 3 readers which is mostly my fault since I moved to new urls like crazy.

04/ I started a blog because:
(a) I wanted a place of my own even if this place is actually just a web page
(b) I wanted to express myself with art and writing and other things even if I sometimes misspelled and misused words
(c) I wanted to make as many possible connections as I can without doing a lot
(d) I really just wanted to be part of the world (wide web) with my little pocketed universe where I'm sure, I don't dust much and my little assistant refused to do anything I tell her mostly because she's a ceramic pig.
(e) I didn't have anything better to do.
Honest answer: e - I had none of the above thoughts, it is just a whim to start a blog and the other stuff came later

05/ Once in a science class, the teacher passed around a bucket of unknown liquid and each person can choose to take a dip with their finger if they want to. Almost all dipped their fingers in the bucket. Me? No, I didn't. Turns out it was liquid nitrogen which definitely not something you want to touch with your bare hands. So why am I bringing this up? You see the students who dipped their finger into the unknown liquid are the daring ones and there's me, the meek individual who usually follows other people but for some reason, that day, I did not. What I'm saying is that, starting a blog have made me a little daring, probably at about 0.2% out of 100% – a very small percentage but for me, it's quite big. (If I was to do it again, I still wouldn't dip my finger into that bucket - who thought it's good idea to do so in the first place?)

06/ I had a couple blogs before this one. Okay, maybe about 50 blogs. Not to say I've actively posted on all of them but maybe at probably 30 of them. Having had all these blogs might say I'm one indecisive blogger which is probably true. I usually quit a blog because I didn't like the blog itself anymore or that I've been in a such a slump that I needed a new start. But mostly it's because I couldn't settle on a blog name that suits me. And besides, it's so easy to start a new blog but so darn hard to continue. This blog you're reading (the memory of rain) is actually an old blog and this is the third time I've blogged here so maybe this is my final home? I wouldn't say it's true but seeing how I have returned here a second time, that must be the reason or else I have ran out of names with rain in them.

07/ Seven names that I have used for my previous blogs:
(1) a pity I'm an Aquarius – named after a song and most fitting as my first blog

(2) a chance of sunshine – named after a book, sort of my reverse way of straying from rain names

(3) postcards from the clouds – I used to posts mostly photos of skies and bits of rain shots so the name fits well but after awhile, I lost interest in photography

(4) just writing words – and my lost interest in photography is eaten up by my interest in fiction writing hence this name

(5) sleepwalking in ny (new york) – I am in nyc so this makes sense

(6) postcards from the rain – I really did loved the name but somehow just don't quite like it enough to stay with it

(7) don't rain on Mondays – from a very sad song but the name is perfect although I don't know why I stopped using that one

08/ I think blogging is showing yourself on a daily or a weekly bases and with each new post, you share something that maybe has a little part of you and hope someone out there respond to it. I think I would quit blogging altogether if there's no one to tell me I did something nice or if no one says hello at all.

09/ Sometimes it occurs to me that a certain post is not interesting or that I really rather not share it or something and I would take it down. I even occasionally delete entire years of blogging content just because I feel like it. I do think every blogger have a right to delete anything they've posted. Who says we have to keep what we posted for eternity? I see a lot of bloggers who kept up their blogs even when they no longer update but let's be honest, no one visits what's not being updated, me included so I'm thinking I should move the posts from my previous blog (rainswept) to here and delete that blog.

10/ I've teamed up with other bloggers for group blogs. Those are wonderful experiments and I enjoyed blogging with other people. But these experiments tells me I'm not quite suited for group blogs. Not really. Sometimes I ended up being bossy but doesn't know it. And then sometimes I think of ideas that the others simply just don't get. These group blogs are short-lived because either me or them just stop blogging on that group blog. In any case, I like to thank those who had partnered with me on blogging. I won't name names because most of them are no longer online. I beg your pardon on being rather bossy to you but thank you for co-blogging with me.

11/ I change my blog template about a million times a month. A million is an exaggerated number but it sounds about right. I don't know what it is but I like to keep my blog nice and fresh so I do a lot of changing but these days, I make small changes which aren't easily notice. I really do prefer the one-column look because I just think sidebars are a bit cluttered even if you keep it neat so most of the time I don't have a sidebar. But I would sometimes have a sidebar like now I have a temporary sidebar with all my April A—Z posts links.

12/ Blogging has an effect on my motivations. Sometimes it makes me move a little faster and gets me to actually do something – a tiny little something but it's something. And sometimes it makes me lazy because I would sometimes not post for weeks thinking I'll post something later. I slack off and sometimes for no real reason at all and I'm fine with that.

13/ Thank you to those who stuck with me all these years and hopefully will continue to support me. Your visits and comments keeps me from quitting blogging, okay, most of the time. But it really is mostly you, readers, because without readers, I would be blogging for myself which would be fine but honestly, talking to myself has never been all that fun. It really is nice to have someone read my blog, so thank you readers!

To celebrate farther, I usually host a giveaway but this year I have a piece of artwork for you. You may download it for your personal use — enjoy.

I read your blog and all I got is this lousy art

March 25, 2019

April Gale 9

Words for Wednesday
This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: blasted, withered, derelict, broken, chained, and ground and/or fresh, growing, alive, active, hope, and dreams.

For more Words for Wednesday, visit Delores






April Gale 9

April enters her room and heads toward the closet. A crack-like noise makes her turn around. A small rock hits the window pane. She walks toward the window and pushes back the shutters. She peers down at the garden full of roses and dark trees. A gentle wind brushes pass her and before she could blink, a large claw grabs April by the waist and pulls her out the window.

"Hello," he says with a voice deep and smooth. April squeaks and tries to pry herself free but when she looks down, she stops. She is several feet above the ground and the fall would be painful. She looks up at Tim, the dragon. His head is half her size. The two horns on either corner of his forehead reminds her of bulls. He seems friendly enough with his blue-grey eyes but there is something cunning by the way he grins showing his long teeth. "Put me down, please Tim," she says as she forces her lips into a tight line so she would not scream.

"You know my name. How nice. Would you like to play with me?" Tim smiles again showing his teeth.

April tries to cross her arms but then thought better not. She shakes her head. "No. I don't want to play with you."

"Please?" he begs still showing his teeth.

"No. Please put me down," she says with a smile. She keeps picturing him putting her down or shrinking but nothing happens. It's just like her to not able to use her powers when she needs it most. "Blasted!" April mutters under her breath. She purses her lips tightly. If only she can transport herself to another place. Why hasn't she ask Aunt Josephine how to do that?

"Nah, let's play." Tim turns his head looking about as if for a place to take April.

April glances down and spots a man dressed in a dark gown secured by a rope. He sweeps the ground nonchalantly. She turns her head about trying to see his face but it is hidden behind a curtain of gray-black hair. He doesn't seem to be paying much attention to Tim or her. Why doesn't he do something? April thought. Then she hears Aunt Josephine's voice.

"Put her down this instant, Tim." Josephine stares up at Tim with a rather stern look of a parent trying not to scold her child.

"But I want to play with her," Tim replies.

Josephine puts her hands on the sides of her hips. "You stop this nonsense this instant! She does not want to play right now. Put her down!" She half shouts the last bit.

Tim fires flames from his mouth at the roses. "No! We will play." More flames and a few trees lit up with little sparks and three branches fall to the ground.

The man dressed in the dark gown continues to sweep but now he douses the flames with his broom here and there and muttering something April couldn't hear very well but she did catch a few words like 'Again' and 'Damm' and the shaking of his head. The rest of the fires, Josephine puts out with bits of rain.

Josephine sighs. The morning hasn't even left yet and here is this dragon destroying the garden because he wants to play. "Mr. Neighbors, can you not do something? The garden is under your care."

The man dressed in the dark gown pauses in his sweeping and looks up at Josephine. "Mistress, I am a gardener, not a dragon slayer. Aside from the fact that I cannot see Mr. Tim, he is not my responsibility." He turns toward the other side of the garden.

Josephine wants to scold Mr. Neighbors for this but after all, she is the one responsible for Tim now, not Mr. Neighbors or anyone else.

Tim hovers just above Josephine. He glares down at Josephine as if waiting for her to do something. Does he think this is a game? Josephine dares not think how her father had managed Tim all these years. Her gray eyes meet his and they refuse to look away or be frightened.

Josephine drops her arms to her side and sighs. She should have remembered Tim is still young even at a little over fifty. Why Tim has to behave this way of all the days that she had known him. He had always listened to her even when her ideas were not all that sound. Father had mentioned that Tim is especially slow for a dragon. Josephine wonders if it might have been better if there have been no guardian at all. The Tim lines has always guarded Windy Shadows from one generation to the next but as dragons are scarce, it seems a rather foolish idea to have them as guardians.

Tim flies upward toward the sky. April catches Mrs. Summers wiping the glass in one of the windows. She waves at her. Mrs. Summers raises an eyebrow but doesn't seem surprised. They fly pass the roof of the house.

Thunder claps and the sky darkens. It begins to rain. "Make it stop!" Tim shouts. His voice echoes as Tim repeats himself. Tim swipes at the rain above him. He lets out a thunderous roar and flames oozes out of his mouth and nostrils but the rain falls harder putting everything out. April wipes at her face and wishes she have more than a nightgown on. More thunder and rain comes. "Make it stop!" Tim shouts. He loosens his grip and April slips out of his claws. Screams rush from her mouth as she falls. She lands on something a bit wobbly. She looks down at the blob of rain she sits on. She runs a hand over the surface - cool and hard as ice and yet she doesn't quite feel like she is on solid ground. She peers down at the whole of the house in its T shape. It is so much larger than she thought. The water beneath her begins to shift and shake. Then it collapse and April begins another descend.

The sky clears but there is no Tim in sight. Below, Josephine looks up with a frown and contracted eyebrows. April is falling rapidly but Josephine cannot bring back the rain. She tries a transport spell but April lands on the roof before she could finish. Josephine curses herself for not practicing her powers. She rushes inside the house where she passes Mrs. Summers. "Call Father to the roof at once," she commands. She runs down the hall toward the end corner where she walks through the wall and appears on the roof.

March 18, 2019

A-Z Challenge 2019

It's almost time for the April A-Z Challenge where you post every day for the month of April (except Sundays) using the guide of the alphabets. For instance, the first post would be something starting with A like apple or anything that you like. The posts almost writes themselves. Sort of.

So why do the challenge even when I really do not have to? I like the challenge of posting every day which I don't do. And sometimes I just like to participate in blogging challenges/memes/prompts so I don't feel like I'm blogging alone. To me, any challenge is a chance to do something different or just do something.

Theme reveal — I don't have one
Today we are to reveal our theme but I don't have a theme, I have formats. This year, like last year, I'll be writing short stories and random stuff. Random as in whatever my lazy mind finds suitable to post. I don't plan posts, I write them the day before I post or sometimes on the same day. So it might be a bit scattered or it might just be nothing to be amused about.

Master listwho cares?
This year, there's no daily link list and I'm guessing no need to leave a direct link to your post of the day either. It doesn't say anything about that on the A-Z blog.

In the post that I read in the A-Z blog, people complain about spending 36 seconds to get on the daily list (that is, add their direct post link onto a list for that day's post) which seems rather short and it makes me wonder how lazy we are that even spending 36 seconds on something is a chore. I really did liked it when people have to post their direct link in the comments. That just seems much more interactive, like people are actively participating instead of passively just leaving their link on a master list which doesn't take much efforts and probably takes more than 36 seconds.

I do not like the master list. It looks a bit like a massive madness of names and links that just sits there in their neat little rows and driving me crazy with their various categories of things I don't care to know, other than the bit about whether someone's blog is adult content (I don't visit those blogs). I usually make my own list of people to visit from the master list which is really the only thing the master list is good for. I've tried using the master list to visit people but it's utter chaos because there are too many links, too many categories and I hate spreadsheets. They seem neat and orderly but to me, there's something very messy about them.

Sign up or don't sign up
I didn't sign up. I'm still doing the challenge but I just don't know if I should officially sign up because if you sign up, you'll just end up on the master list. I really just don't want to be in that chaos anymore. Is there any rule that says I have to sign up in order to participate? If there is, I don't care.

I know the master list is so that people who might not have visited your blog can find you but honestly, I doubt that what's with the thousands of blogs on the list, I would be surprised if someone actually find my blog through that massive list. I don't like to think about any of this stuff so I'm not signing up. I may regret this and sign up tomorrow. The sign up window closes on April 6. For more info about the A-Z Challenge, go here.

Are you joining in on the April A-Z Challenge this year or are you more sane than me and have stayed away?

March 17, 2019

April Gale 8

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: despair, frizzy hair, hot air, impair, repair, midair

For more Words for Wednesday, visit Delores







April Gale 8

April opens her eyes to the sound of snorts. A large blue-grey eye appear at the window and April tries to run but the shawl around her shoulders keeps her bound. She starts to untangle herself. The shadow that has been covering her moves and the morning light seeps through and falls on her. But then the light is blocked and the large blue-grey eye seems to have grown larger and is still staring at April. April opens her mouth to scream but no sound comes out.

The eye shifts and now there are two eyes staring at April. Tiny flames blow out of its twin nostrils. There is a wide thin line beneath the nose that might resemble a smile but April can't think much at the moment. She pulls the shawl off her and throws it aside. She gets onto her feet but her legs bend and she falls to the floor.

The creature leans back as if trying to get a fuller view of April. April screams again - this time her voice work. The creature is a dragon or what looks like to be a dragon. April has only seen them in books. This one has green-scaled skin, large eyes like slits, nose like a horse and it seems to be a few stories tall. Its long neck twists downward as if it has finished sizing April up and is now wanting to either eat her or greet her. The dragon's nostril flares and April swears she can feel the hot air coming out of it even through the windows and walls.

April runs out the bedroom door, down the hall, down the flights of stairs, turn right, down another hall, swerves to a stop at the end and then turns back to the opened door where Aunt Josephine and Grandfather Tyler are sitting in the dinning room eating breakfast.

"I've forgotten how loud Tim can be in the morning..." Aunt Josephine pauses and looks up at April.

April stares at them unable to make herself move.

"Well, do not just stand there, sit down. Your tea is getting cold," Aunt Josephine takes a sip from her cup. She notices April's wild hair, unbound.

April pats down her frizzy hair and puts on a calm face. She sits down on the seat opposite Aunt Josephine. The smell of toasted bread sneaks up her nose. But she can feel the eyes of Aunt Josephine and Grandfather Tyler still on her. She lifts her head.

Aunt Josephine bends her head while Grandfather Tyler smiles at April and then starts to butter a slice of bread.

"What has happened? You should have woken hours ago. I was going to send Mrs. Summers to get you." Aunt Josephine puts down her teacup. She has been sipping tea all morning wondering if she should go and wake April. Josephine has thought about being more gentle now that she realizes she will have to stay as April's guardian but thought it is best not to. She must make the girl learn discipline.

"I..." April starts but then couldn't finish. What is she to say? That she saw a dragon from her bedroom window? Wait. "Who's Tim?"

Aunt Josephine, without looking up, replies, "Tim is our guardian. He protects Windy Shadows and us."

"Where is he? I like to meet him." April picks up the bread that Grandfather had buttered and placed on her plate. She bites into it. It tastes a lot better then when she made it back home.

"Well, you must have met him. I heard you scream just now. Tim usually makes everyone screams when he appears. But he is invisible to everyone but persons with Tyler blood. I am surprised you have not seen him last night. He was roaming around in the garden."

"Tim is a dragon? You mean I wasn't hallucinating just then?" April lets out a relief sigh.

Aunt Josephine and Grandfather chuckles almost at the same time. "April, there is nothing to fear. Tim is harmless. As I said, he is our guardian." Aunt Josephine says rather casually.

Grandfather Tyler places another piece of bread on April's plate. He picks up his teacup and holds it up with both hands and stares into space.

"But he's a dragon. What about getting burn? He has flames coming out of his nostrils. I saw it." April picks up the second piece of bread. Getting scared makes her hungry. She takes a sip of her tea. It is cold.

"Tim is harmless. You will only get burn if you get in his way. What happened to your hair? It looks a bit more...loose than usual." Aunt Josephine looks at April with a small smile on her lips. April notices that Aunt Josephine's usual hair is in a bun but somehow loose strands has fallen around her face making her appear soft and pretty. She wears a light-blue gown instead of her usual black.

"Humidity," April replies though it's not entirely the truth. She sometimes does wake up with frizzy hair like a ball of yarn only sometimes a few strands pokes out like rebellious creatures wanting to fly away.

Aunt Josephine nods as if understanding. She hasn't known April long but somehow she has gotten used to April's undisciplined moments. It reminds so much of herself. Sometimes she wishes to get that old self back and other times, watching April, she is glad she couldn't be that person anymore.

April starts on her fourth piece of bread. Grandfather Tyler hasn't said a word but he smiles at April. His amber eyes has dark shadows beneath them. He seems so much older than yesterday afternoon. Then she notices the wallpaper has changed since she first saw it. It was a tan shade but now there is more of a pink hue to them. She hears a roar and turns behind her to catch Howl entering the room with her tail up and walking quite like a queen. She jumps up onto Grandfather's lap. Grandfather begins to caress the cat almost absentmindedly.

"Where does Tim usually sleeps?" April wants to know so she can avoid him.

"Why, in the garden of course. He has his own little house there." Aunt Josephine says almost as if it's a fact that April should have known.

"But I haven't seen any houses in the garden."

"It is quite small, almost the size of a shed."

"What? How does he get inside?"

Josephine is tired of these questions but they must be answered. Father cannot do it. It is up to her. "He shrinks before he goes inside."

"He can shrink? How?"

"How do you think? Magic of course." Josephine shifts a few of her loose strands of hair from her face.

"But why does he appear at my window today?"

"I guess he wanted to meet you. You are the newest member of the family." Aunt Josephine dabbles the napkin around her mouth. "It is time we go and meet everyone. Father, would you please keep Howl with you? I would prefer no interruptions today."

Grandfather Tyler nods. He stands up holding Howl in his arms. He smiles at April before leaving the room.

"Why can't he go with us?"

"Father starts his silent excursion today."

"Weren't you talking to him just now?"

"Yes."

"But how do you understand him if he doesn't speak?"

"I can read minds." Aunt Josephine raises an eyebrow.

"Really?"

Aunt Josephine sighs lightly almost like a giggle. "Of course not. I was doing the talking and he was just listening."

"How long does this excursion last?"

"He stays silent in his study for seven days every spring."

"Why does he take them?"

"I cannot said. It has always been done. Mother said it is a tradition of his even before she married him but he had never explained to her either."

"But why does he..."

"Would you rather spend the morning asking me questions or would you rather meet the rest of the family?"

"Family first. Give me a few moments to get dressed and fix my hair." April gobbles up the last piece of bread and runs off.

March 11, 2019

just some old work

Just thought I shared a few pieces that I might not have shared before but probably did but I can't remember so here they are anyway.


01/ mint moon — reading on a mint moon? that used to be cat but was turned into a bunny which I think it's more of my style


02/ ink girl — perhaps too many colors?


03/ dive — no idea what I was thinking


04/ cotton candy hair — drew it on a whim and that's it, not really sure what that flower is suppose to be but I really like her hair


05/ bike angel — not quite sure about the background now. Her outfit – white shirt, dark skirt, strip necktie/scarf is sort of a tribute to Ann's outfit in Roman Holiday.


06/ moon boots — there was a story but all I can remember is the girl is about to go on a trip to the moon with her purple alien friend


07/ peacock girl — don't know why she's crying but maybe she's happy?


08/ phoenix queen — too many colors? I seem to always either use too many or too little


09/ soapie — soapie is the dog's name, apparently he likes to wash his mouth with soap or maybe he likes to eat soap?


10/ splinter — not a clue what I was thinking but I must meant this to be abstract or something.

March 6, 2019

seven things : thank you for being social

"I would always rather be happy than dignified." - Charlotte Bronte

01/ My occasional thought about blogging is why do I still bother blogging? Why not take the easy way out and quit? I do sort of quit about several times a week because I feel like a slacker when I don't post often but I just can't make myself actually quit... And sometimes it just seems like there's no point in blogging anymore. And yet, I carry on because I like blogging. I like having a place to talk about stuff or show off my art or just to say I'm still around. I have joined in more memes and blog events and prompts and I think that's really the easiest way to blog when you don't feel like it.

02/ I admit I'm not a very social person and social media is about being social so I guess it's why I'm so bad at it. So I have given up on Instagram it seems. I haven't posted since January. I just don't know anymore. I don't even know like to respond to comments because they are not separated and I hate doing that @person'sname and reply to a message. Okay, I've been a bit lazy about responding and reciprocating but I suppose this is why I can't do social media all that well and then I sort of thought...meh, I've already been forgotten so why bother responding? I will have to rethink on this but in the meantime — there are no instagram updates (& I even move the link to the hello page).  (For those of you who have left me lovely comments on my Instagram page, thank you and I hope you aren't mad at me for not responding.)

03/
Firefox (which I use as my main browser) keeps asking me to update. There is no setting to make it not check for updates which you used to be able to do. So now every time it asks if I want to update, I just click no because it makes me angry and my rebel mind doesn't want to update like some strange revenge. I'm sure I'll have to update eventually but I just see no reason whatsoever.

So now I don't bother to update anything because every time I update something, they remove useful features. I mean why would I update just to get something removed? I know some features nobody uses but it just seems kind of stupid to remove features people use a lot. So maybe I'm the only one stuck in my ways but shouldn't you improve instead of remove?

04/ Not that I used Flickr now but it's still a shame that you are set a limited of free storage for your photos and if you want more storage, you have to pay for it. My one and only experience with Flickr is when I sort of stored some images there just to test it out. I got some people following me and I went and stupidly clicked on any link of my followers and one of them is some dude posting some, well, someone's very private body part. The prude in me quickly try to close the page and escape from it and click on some suggested kitty photos. Even in life drawing class, I was at least prepared to see a naked man but this is just some very grossly in your face closeups of one man's whatever and it totally freaked me out. I turned off the images in my browser (which you can do back then without fail but these days, it seems impossible) and I reported it or at least I clicked on some option about reporting about inappropriate mages but I doubt it did anything. And it's not like I want to go back and check. This of course makes me believe no one is monitoring what people are posting and I'm sure it's still the same thing now even when they make you pay to store/post your images.

05/ If you don't know, my daytime job is being a graphic designer which means I make things look good which is my usual respond to what I actually do - it is somewhat half accurate. But it's a very frustrating job because the designs I come with gets rejected or changed or mutated to the point that if I wasn't involved in the project, it wouldn't have made much difference. Unless you are a very patient person and can follow dumb directions, it's not a very worthy career choice. My other choice was advertising which I didn't go for because it would be ten times as frustrating.

Pleasing people is more the accurate description of being a graphic designer because even if you're the one who thought up the design, the client's input, however stupid, is more important and whatever changes they want, it will be done even if you don't agree. Most of the time, most designs turned out somewhat halfway decent and halfway to being the other way around because in a way, there's not just one designer (ie, you), there's two, there's you and there's the client. But it's not all bad. It can be really nice because you kind of make something presentable and they can be sometimes considered quite a lovely piece of art but those instances are very rare. Whatever you do, don't ask a graphic designer (me, mostly) to design something using Word application.

06/ I'm not a minimalist but I like to live simply with less. I've stopped buying clothes, well, not really. More like, I have stopped buying clothes that I don't need. I think having less clothes is better and I also realized I do not wear what I have been purchasing. And I have stopped buying a lot of other stuff as well. I suppose since most of my favorite shops are closed, it's really quite easy but then again, there is online shopping which is quite hard to resist because it's a very nice thing to have your stuff deliver to you rather you going to get them. I suppose my lazy self really like that.

07/ I still don't like comment moderation. The idea of having my comments being approved as if I, as a reader, don't quite have the permission to speak freely. So it's not about freedom of speech but about controlling spam. If I see spams in my comment sections, I would just delete them but since my blog is not that popular, I rarely have spam problems but I have noticed that wordpress gets more spam or at least, some people's blog has those little notice where they list how much spam is blocked.

Maybe it's just a silly thing to complain about comment moderation but I really just like to see my comment so I can see if I need to make corrections because I don't like seeing mistakes in my comments and to correct it a week later sort of defeats the purpose of commenting. I don't always remember what I wrote or even where I post comments. Of course, there is such thing as previewing your comment but that only works for some blogs. But the one thing I dislike most is when I click on the submit button, the page refreshes but I don't know if the comment got through or not because there is no notice. (And some blogs does not tell you if they are moderating comments.) So most of the time, you really do not know if your comments are sitting in some void waiting to being moderated or they just disappeared into thin air.

What's on your mind today?

March 1, 2019

April Gale 7

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: passport, movies, puffed, complete, transport, bleach and/or avenue, helicopter, fair, clearly, foolishness, ability  

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





April Gale 7

Bright sunlight fills her vision but as she walks holding the hand of a woman. April is delighted even though she have no idea where the woman is taking her only that the warmth of the woman's hand is reassuring enough for April. The gray sky booms. April looks up but when she looks back down, the woman is gone. Another booming sound and she opens her eyes.

In the darkness, April listens to the rain above lightly tapping the canopy of her bed. She has been dreaming of her mother - she is certain of that. And yet April have never seen her mother's face and even if she did, she would have been only a few minutes old. April have always imagined her mother with red hair like the painting but she can't imagine her face. She looks around her at the darkness. A strip of moonlight peeks in between the dark drapes and landing on the wooden floor.

A moan echoes around her. Perhaps a woman. Then April remembers Mrs. Winters. It could be her. But then there's also Grandmother Emma but she seems like someone who haunts people in the day time. Is it Mona from before? No, this moaning is different, one that is very close by. 

A voice all at once delicate and strained shouts, "Get out!" April shoots out of bed and turns on the lamp on the side table. She surveys the room. Shadows are everywhere but there are no movements.

Another moan seeps out. It seems to be coming from the wardrobe this time. April walks toward it. She pauses for a moment and lets out a slow breath. She wraps her hands around the branch handles which are smooth and soft and pulls the doors open. Inside there are her old clothes — mostly wornout gowns and a few faded coats and a white shirt that once belonged to her father — but nothing stirs there. In the half light, she catches a slight movement in between the clothes. She shoves them aside and gasps. But there's nothing there. She laughs at her own foolishness.

A thump sound makes her turn around. The canopy has collapsed onto the bed probably due to the excessive rain that it had been accumulating all night. The white umbrella that has been hovering had fallen on top of the canopy. April shrieks. Then she looks up but there's nothing dripping down. The rain is gone. She laughs silently. Then she remembers the wardrobe. She rushes over there and looks through it once more but there's nothing there. Her back aches. Aunt Josephine's back aches. Why hasn't Aunt Josephine complained about it? She lightly bangs a fist at her back.

April remembers Aunt Josephine has been placed right across from her. The bedroom door bursts open and Aunt Josephine in April's body wanders in wearing a long white gown with a pink shawl wrapped around her shoulders.

"I heard a noise..." Aunt Josephine pauses beside April and studies the bed. "Well, at least now, the rain has stopped." She smiles and April hates seeing her own face smiling back at her. She wants her body back. She refuses to stay in Aunt Josephine's body. Her back aches and she clearly have no idea how to be a woman of nearly 50. April cannot imagine staying as Aunt Josephine forever.

An ache begins to form at the side of her forehead. She rubs at it and drops down on one of the armchairs nearby. Then she sees her body begins to fall to the floor. She reaches out a hand but she couldn't keep her eyes open.

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

April opens her eyes to the dark ceiling. She sits up. Her hair is pulled too tight. She reaches behind her and slides her hand down the long braid and over and under her head where there are several haipins keeping her hair up. She pulls each one out and drops them on the table nearby and weaves a hand through her hair and lets out a breath. April usually wears a short gown so she can kick at the sheets if she gets too warm. But the gown she is wearing is long, much too long. Then it dawns on her – she is in her body again! She starts to stand up but then drops down. Her left foot is pinning down the edge of the shawl. She moves her foot and adjusts the shawl up and over her shoulders and gets up again.

Aunt Josephine slumps on the chair with her head back, eyes closed, white hair loose around her. Just before bed, April had seen Aunt Josephine's reflection in the bathroom mirror but she had not thought to study it. Seeing Aunt Josephine now with her hair loose and face relaxed, April couldn't help but lean close to take a better look. There are a few lines under her eyes but mostly her face is smooth. Her eyes have long black eyelashes. Her mouth almost looks like a smile. Aunt Josephine is still quite a beauty. April wonders if she had many suitors. Aunt Josephine stirs and opens her eyes. April quickly backs away.

"What are you doing? Where..." Aunt Josephine pauses. "I am myself again!" She laughs lightly and touches her chest, arms and legs and then stops when she realizes April is watching. "It's about time." She reaches a hand to her hair and frowns. "Don't you know I do not like to sleep with my hair down? It's uncivilized and it creates a mess in the morning."

"I like messes," April says while trying to stop herself from grinning unsuccessfully. She remembers how Aunt Josephine pointed out all her bad habits when they first met. Aunt Josephine had managed to straighten out a few of them but not April's wild habit with her hair.

"It is why you get yourself into a lot of them."

April nods. "Why did we switch back and not before?"

"Perhaps you didn't desire it before."

"How can that be? I don't even like being you." April immediately regrets saying that. "What I mean is..."

"I have not much enjoyed being you either. Your undisciplined body keeps me awake almost constantly." She half smiles and pulls at the hem of her gown which shows a lot more leg than Aunt Josephine might have been used to. Suprisingly, April's gown has fitted Aunt Josephine well although just a little too short. "But I did sort of like being young again. And my back has not ached as much."

April sits down on the other chair opposite Aunt Josephine. "What happened to your back?" April had noticed a long scar down Aunt Josephine's left side of her back when she changed into her gown.

"My lover's wife tried to kill me," Aunt Josephine says with a slight raise of one of her thin eyebrows.

April's mouth falls open. "Really?"

"Is that what you think?" Aunt Josephine lowers her gaze at April. "That is not what happened."

"Tell me." April wants to know.

"Another time."

"Tell me now, please?" April grins and leans over and presses a hand on Aunt Josephine's arm.

Aunt Josephine shakes her head. "Not now but I will say, it was my own doing."

"And?"

"Another time." Aunt Josephine stands up and pauses at the collapsed bed for a moment.

"Alright." April would have preferred to hear it now.

Aunt Josephine lets out a small sigh. She walks toward the door but pauses with her hand on the door handle. "April, do not be like me. Stray a little, play a little, enjoy what is in front of you. Time will pass quicker than you think."

April doesn't quite know what Aunt Josephine meant. But she is quite certain Aunt Josephine must mean well. "I'm sorry that I've caused you so much trouble. I know you are only trying to help me. And you have been very fair. But I'm not you. I have not the discipline you have. My father had spoiled me so much. But I do think making rain fall is pretty amazing."

"It was amazing. I remember I had to carry an umbrella everywhere I go the first few years." She pulls the door open. "I will return to bed now. You should try to rest as well." Aunt Josephine steps out and quietly closes the door.

April sighs and stares at the small strip of moonlight on the floor. Perhaps it isn't so bad being Aunt Josephine. At least, no one tells her what to do.