A Look on the Hunger Games Trilogy

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I just finished the series on my Kindle, and I had the original intent to write individual reviews for each of them. However, I thought it would be better to address the books as a whole rather than individually.

When I first started reading The Hunger Games, I wasn’t entirely sold on the writing. First person point of views often make me cringe as a reader mostly because it is a very narrow view and, if done wrong, sounds very childish. However, the story quickly sped up and became addicting regardless of the point of view. I also wasn’t too pleased with the grammar at times, yet, I also chalk that up to simply bad editing.

Otherwise, the series was addicting! There were times during the books that you as the reader could feel what Katniss was feeling. That may sound like a simple feat for a writer, however, it is easier just to make that character easy to sympathize with. Feeling? Now that is something that hasn’t happened to me as an avid reader of fiction and fantasy in a long while. For instance, in Catching Fire, when she talks about her feelings torwards the post-Hunger Games life, the description leads you to feeling the actual frustration without saying “She was frustrated”. Mockingjay‘s ending, along those same lines, even brought me to tears but I will not hazard spoilers there.

The post-apocalyptic world of Panam and, in all, pure concept of the series was fantastic. It was an easy read in the best possible way.

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Game of Thrones: A Somewhat Comparative Review

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I was quite hesitant to read this book when I found it in a second hand store’s fantasy book rack. However, it was in such good condition that I couldn’t help but take it home. Halfway through the book, I have found that I developed a surprising opinion about the book already…

The Book is Better

It is so much better than the show on HBO. Martin’s writing is quite pleasing to me, as a person who reads fantasy novels like some read the newspaper, and to the fans that I have spoken to. The story also has differences from its show counterpart that I found to be much better than what I saw from the show. You are, as a reader, immediately thrown into the story line with out time spent on long descriptions. Some would say that that is a downfall, however, I think in this case it works for the story. I also was taken with the organization of the book. Instead of it being by chapter, instead it is organized by what characters are playing at that time. So a couple chapters are named “Bran” and others are named “Daenerys”. I found this to be interesting compared to what I am personally accustomed to. Aside from the structure of the book, I found that the characters were much more interesting compared to what I saw in the show. As the reader, you are given more of an understanding of the characters as the story progresses. In the show it is a little more black and white.

All in all, I think it is worth the read even if you didn’t like the show version.

My Amazing Friend

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What do I have to share with you on this hot summer day? Well, my best friend is currently on a plane to Egypt again. She is an aspiring archaeologist and Egyptologist and we have been friends since our days in high school. The last time she came back from Egypt, she brought me this wonderful little scarab and shared all of her amazing stories with me. I am so proud of this friend of mine. Before she left this time around I made a point to tell her that because we didn’t get the chance to catch up after our semesters at our respective colleges ended. Even though we barely get to meet up, we always know we are there for each other. Which, as I have found since I started college, is a hard thing to come by. She is one friend I can make plans with for the future without pressure on either end. I cannot wait to hear the stories she has this time and I, one day, hope to visit her in Egypt on one of her digs in the future.

I am also going to make this scarab into a necklace, which I drew an idea for today. It is a rough sketch (and blurry photo) but I think it will look good when it is done. The design will use a metal finding and a cut head pin for the toggle and the chain will be either wire crocheting or a mix of chains.  Keeping it simple as to not take away from the scarab.

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My Thoughts on Syfy’s Defiance

Syfy’s newest baby, Defiance, brings a new life to post-apocalyptic media plots. Defiance takes place 30 years after the terraforming of Earth by an alien planet. They, an entire planet’s races from across the galaxy, inhabited Earth. Furthermore, the story follows a man with his alien daughter’s dealings with the town of Defiance. It is interesting to see the interactions and relationships between the two of them as well as other characters form.

Defiance, to me, has become a quick favorite among my many. Terraforming, for example, has been something that science has explored before and has considered the possibility of humans terraforming another planet in the event that the Earth becomes too dangerous. The situation is reversed in the case of this show. This adds an interesting fictionalized look on the what if’s of terraforming a planet and how it would affect humans if it was done to our planet. The alien races are another aspect of this show that l find particularly interesting. They all seem to have their own systems of belief and systems of rule, however, this makes them more human than they seem to realize.

Yet, this show isn’t only an interesting show but also an apparently beautiful and exciting video game. I personally lack the system to play it right now, but from what I have seen I am definitely keeping it on my list.

All in all, Defiance has earned a spot as one of my favorite television shows. I think it is worth watching.

Fun fact: Defiance was given a B+ in a TV Review next to Doctor Who and Orphan Black.

Smashbook 1.

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So today, I am going to share some pages in my smashbook. I love this version of scrapbooking so much. It appeals to the artistic/creative side and helps me organize memories and thoughts. The above page for example are the random assortment of things I have gotten from Conventions and Festivals, such as business cards, flyers, and badges. It is definitely a fun little assortment for the first pages of the smashbook.

The second set of pages are more simple. I decided to do a list from a challenge that prompts you for “When you are at your best.” I guess it was good to make a note of that. These pages also were fun to do regardless~

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Homeland by R.A.Salvatore: An absolute favorite

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I feel bad that my copy looks like this, however, it has been well loved. Today I felt like sharing one of the biggest inspirations to me in my blog on this rainy day (at least in New York). This is a book of which I make a point to re-read at least part of every summer.

R.A.Salvatore’s book Homeland follows the beginning of one of the most iconic fantasy character’s life. Drizzt is a drow, a dark elf, that rebels against the ideals of the society that he was born into. This book is beautifully written. He gives the reader a story that is dark and often tragic, however, it can immediately give an air of comedy or lightness in return. It is full of fight scenes as well that will hook you until the end. It is also filled with hatred, vengeance and a pinch of love.

Something that I loved about the book aside from the plot line was the interaction between the characters in the book, especially the interaction between Drizzt and Zaknafein (my personal favorite aside from Drizzt). You could feel the tension between the characters as if you were in the room with them at times. It, in my opinion, is an engaging book that I recommend to anyone who loves the fantasy genre. This particular book – even though I have read the series – sticks with me. It inspired me to write about the drow and even to start drawing my own characters that I have created. It is my absolute favorite book and I just had to share that.

Activism

WARNING: Below I will be addressing environmental conservation and the wrongs of an organization in my eyes. I do not ask you to believe in what I speak, but I do ask for respect that this is a post on my personal blog and not intended for anything but speaking my mind and views. Thank you.

“It is sad when you look at environmental conservation organizations and see that at least 80-90% of them are eco-terrorists. Yes, I oppose whaling, shark finning, and a whole other assortment of animal rights standpoints. However, I am not going to call an entire country (and ones that I love dearly aside from my own at that) monsters or support an organization that endangers their lives.”

I said this recently because once summer hits I have more time to focus on what I like to do (crafting) and also focus on – as this quote suggests – activism. Environmental Conservation, Animal Rights, and Human Rights (including Expression through art) are very dear “soap box” discussions that I often play a part in.

Now, here is where the quote above – taken from my facebook – comes into play. While in college, I met many Japanese students obviously. They were very kind to me and spent a lot of time teaching me how to speak Japanese. One of these students was even able to talk to me about the Sea Shepherd Conservation Organization. Now, Sea Shepherd is painted as heroes of whales and the rest of the oceanic environmental conservation, however, I learned from this friend of mine that their tactics are actually hurting the people of Japan that are on these whaling vessels. Do not get me wrong here in saying this, because I am very against whaling of any sort, but I do not believe that harming humans is the way to get things done. That, my friend, is why it is called eco-terrorism. For example, I was given information that the bottles that Sea Shepherd uses to throw Butyric Acid are in fact made of glass. Are we missing the obvious threat to human life that broken glass can cause on a slippery ocean vessel? One cut from broken glass can cause infection on a vessel that is exposed to the elements. Nothing is going to get done about these issues if you do not respect the people on the other end of the issue to some degree. These sailors are only trying to make money for their families back home in any way they can. They are not monsters.

Another target of aggression is the Faeroe Islands for their mass murder of pilot whales. I personally can see, just like Inuit countries, why they whale. I may not agree with it and I do want it stopped, however, it has been in their culture since the time of the Vikings. They do respect the whales even if they kill them, because without the whales a big part of their culture would die off. They too need to be respected and understood, not treated like baby eating monsters.

Is it really too much to ask to peacefully try and end the dangers to our oceans together at least with a tiny bit of respect towards one another?

Crafting for Summer

So this summer, I am most likely going to be either working at the Burger Shack where I have worked or have a job as a website designer (co-op). I dunno how I feel about either one of those options at the moment, so I guess it is time to find a new perspective. What does that have to do with crafting, you ask? Well, I intend to spend this summer trying new crafts and projects.

The List

to be continued… However, the point still stands that I will be giving myself plenty of hands on projects to keep me moving and creating. That, I think, will help with gaining a new perspective on the future. I also will be tackling two other more essential skills; driving and cooking. I have driven in the past, but I do not have my licence. My goal is to be able to get over my phobia of cars to learn. I have cooked in the past, but it was mostly dorm room kitchen experiments. I actually want to cook things that are actual meals, not boxed pasta.

I am going to end this goal rambling here, but I am looking forward to these things.

Artistic Aspirations and Troubles

Sometimes it is hard to be creative by nature, because sometimes you are not where your standards lie. I have been thinking about art a lot lately. In the past two years I have made plenty of breakthroughs in my opinion. I have seen two of my pieces in the Roz Stiener Gallery of GCC, pulled off painting some pieces that I am very proud of, and am able to draw humanoid figures which I have never been able to do before. However, I still feel like such a child when it comes to art. I feel like I myself am not up to my own standards and that my goals are too high. Nevertheless, I will find a way to reach them one day.

My point in writing this is wondering what other creative folk do to progress in their work? Is it wrong to feel this way? I know I am often too hard on myself and that in itself kills my muse, but venting helps sometimes. Any advice is welcomed.

On a positive note, this sketch of an original character turned out very well for still being a work in progress.

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Welcome to the Blog

Hello there. The gist of this blog is as simple as stating that this is me. Here you will find anything from art, web design, and even personal posts on my life. Bland, but therapeutic for a struggling/hobbyist artist and aspiring website designer such as myself.

I hope you as the reader find something of interest to you on this blog.