Wishing you all the best in 2016.
My 8-year-old got a Mine Craft Legos set from her aunt for Christmas and put it together herself. A couple of days ago I was up in the loft and saw it and asked her who helped her with it. She said, “No one.” Later in the evening, her dad helped her with putting the spider together, but otherwise, she had no other help. I’m very impressed with her for following directions and find her curiously interesting for not mentioning it to anyone (me especially but she’s always been that way…so I shouldn’t be surprised) that she put this together.
Earlier this year I stumbled upon this music from Ryan Taubert and found it difficult to stop listening to it. I’ve been trying to write a fantasy novel about a type of fairy going extinct and this song playing in the background helped moved the story along. This song also got me hooked on Assassin’s Creed clips on Youtube. I’m not a gamer so I had no clue what this video game was about but I did some looking around and found that the stories to the game(s) are intriguing. Here is the song set to clips from Assassin’s Creed made by a fan. It’s a bit gory so if you can’t stomach it, don’t watch it. I like it for the art and graphics and music.
This year, my goal was to read 25 books. I ended up reading 51 books. I thought reading 101 books in 2014 was going to burn me out this year but it didn’t. Here are my top 3 favorite reads this year:
- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I read all 5 books but the first book was finished in 2014 so really I read 4 of the books this year. The series is simply fantastic. I liked them all very much but my most favorite is book 3 because Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen were fabulous in this book. In brief (throughout all the books), Jon Snow comes across quiet and brave and wants to learn everything he can to be the best on the Wall. He is also very good with his sword. His life was an unfortunate one because he was born to a lord but his mother was a peasant or commoner (or maybe a whore) so that makes him a bastard. His father’s wife (his step-mother), Catelyn Stark, hates him. I believe all bastards are given the surname Snow so that they don’t get mistaken for royalty. Tyrion Lannister is a dwarf who’s father detests him. The Lannister’s are the sneakiest and most powerful people in power and they make sure everyone knows it. Tyrion on the other hand doesn’t come across like the rest of the Lannister’s. He is cool with a sense of humor and kindness and he’s humble too, but because he is a Lannister, and they have a history of doing harm to others for their own greed, he is automatically seen just as greedy and cruel even though he has never partaken in any of those things. He does a lot of good things and it all gets overlooked because he’s a Lannister. Plus, because his father hates him, he doesn’t get any special treatment as his twin siblings and grand kids do. Daenerys Targaryen and her brother were the only two dragon people who survived the destruction of their people, allegedly. Her brother forced her to marry a horse lord at a very young age so that he (her brother) could somehow become king. Her story is heartbreaking and she won my heart with her intelligent tactics and bravery. Those are my favorite characters but there are so many different characters who’s stories come to life in the chapters. I’m not sure I can explain exactly what this series is about (there is no main story) because it is complex with many characters and many stories intertwining. Some stories and characters never cross paths like the one between Jon Snow and Daenerys. Tyrion crosses paths with both Jon Snow and Daenerys but when he is with Daenerys he is on the opposite end of the hierarchy, meaning, he was taken as a slave and ended up in an act/show with another slave dwarf as entertainment for Daenerys and her people. Daenerys does not like the Lannisters and wants to take back Westeros (the seven kingdoms) because the Lannisters took Westeros away from her ancestors. Tyrion wants to meet Daenerys because gossip/news flies fast but he didn’t want to meet her in the way he did. And, he has no idea that she does not like the Lannisters nor does he know she wants to take back Westeros.
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This book was intense. It’s set in post-apocalyptic United States and is about testing a cure for a pandemic called the flare. The story wraps around the main character, Thomas. Thomas can’t remember anything when he ends up in the maze and has to figure out who he is, why he’s there, and how to get out. The story is a trilogy but I didn’t think the other two books were very good.
- Alice Adams by Tooth Tarkington. This is one great classic. The story takes place in the early 1920’s and is about a young girl named Alice who tries hard to fit in/remain with her high society friends but eventually learns and accepts that things have changed. Her family was middle class and she grew up with her middle class friends and neighbors, but when they began to make a lot more money, her family didn’t. They remained unmoving financially. These were the people she knew and went to school with and played with as kids. As her family became poorer and poorer, her friends began to turn their backs on her, whispered/gossiped, and just simply ignored her because she was no longer at their status. It was also difficult for her to find a bachelor because in those days, the men (wealthy and non-wealthy-with-status) only dated and married young ladies who had wealthy parents. Women in those days were looked down upon if they worked and Alice did just that. She went against the grain. This is an amazingly well written book that embodies the culture of that era.
A couple of creative things I did last month.
Sketched a girl with the idea that she fell upon an island of pig-nosed humans. They took her and converted her nose to one of theirs because it benefited her in that she would be able to smell danger and poison and such much easier and quicker then a tiny human nose. I definitely need more practice because it’s not exactly the way I like it.
The composite above was done for a contest in which I didn’t win but I enjoyed making it because I realized how much I’ve missed working on my computer and with the Wacom tablet and pen. Took me about 5 hours to complete, which included looking for stock photos. The face and arms are actually me. I had taken a set of photos of myself a couple months ahead with plans to use them for concept. I’m really glad I was able to use one for this.