That Time Leftover Thai Food Almost Made Me Cry

Life, the last couple of weeks, has been stressful. I am at the tail-end of moving residences, which has been one expense after another, I’ve got two medical bills and reoccurring prescriptions hitting soon, and I know my car isn’t going to pass it’s safety inspection next month, it’s just a question of how much the repairs are going to cost. Some time soon, I need to replace at lease two pairs of shoes if I want to be able to walk without hobbling (thank you, heel spur. You are definitely a welcome addition to my medical issues) and as much as I love my new home, I’m lacking in a lot of things I need (here’s looking at you, cooking utensils.)

Honestly, guys, I was making a mental list of all the expenses I’m facing in the next two months as I was driving home from work, and I broke down crying. This has been a fairly common occurrence this last year; for as much as I have been totally blessed by so many people, it has been a long string of financial strain and career disappoints for the last year and a half. And that’s okay. My life was never promised to be easy, but though the waves crashed around me, my God kept me afloat. Every time I faced an obstacle I did not know how to surmount, He pulled me through. I know He will do the same this time, too.

I know He has a plan, and I trust that He will see me through this season. I don’t need reassurances- my past experiences and the Bible should be sufficient- yet God still saw fit to remind me that He has everything under control. In just this weekend alone, I have been showered with His providence in so many different little ways; from having friends randomly (and generously) treating me to dinner, to a sister who bought me my favourite coffee, to those friends and family who gave up sleeping in to help me move all my things early Saturday morning, to my grocery bill coming in a good $10 less than I thought it would, to a well-timed hug and conversation from a friend I hadn’t seen for a while, to friends who encouraged/helped me to learn how to do winged eyeliner. I was gifted a full spice rack (spices included) just minutes after unpacking what spiced I already had, and wondering when I was going to be able to afford a spice rack. (This was given to me by the mother of the family I am now subleasing from- they alone have been so incredibly kind and generous and welcoming to me since I met them over two years ago, and for their extended family to be just as kind has utterly blown me away.) Later, that same family invited me to dinner, and then sent home at least two meals worth of food with me. So as I sat there, looking at the boxes of food, and listening to them chatter around me, I very nearly started crying; not from heartache or worry, but (for the first time in a very, very long time) from happiness.

Despite this very long winded post, I do not have the words to express the depth of my gratitude for these people, or how utterly unworthy I am of them, but most of all, how blown away I am by a God who care so much about the little troubles I my life. I can rest in the knowledge that if He cares so much about the small things, I can trust that the large problems will also be taken care of. I may not be able to find a more financially secure job, and I probably won’t be getting a new car any time soon (the two solutions I can think of for my current issues), but I am not alone, I am not forgotten, and I will be okay.

And that, dear friends, if how leftover Thai food very nearly made me cry.


Never Re-read Favourite Childhood Books

Well, that’s a bit harsh. Maybe I should’ve said “Never re-read favourite childhood books, unless you’ve prepared your heart for disappointment.”

But, in my life, considering all the dreams lost and plans foiled, the most disappointing moments have been when I decided to re-read a past favourite book/series.

This doesn’t happen often, my choosing to re-read something, and when it does, it is almost always at least two years between reads. Most books, to me, aren’t “alive”, so to speak; creations that manage to change, be different and new, with each read. Those books are, very, very rare in my life. I usually need about a 2-3 year buffer between reads to forget the details that made it interesting. (I’ve yet to fully forget the main plot of any book I’ve read, so the details are what I need to keep my interest.) Some books, I need closer to a decade.

In my youth, there were some books I read every year, I loved them that much; I loved the story, the prose, everything. Some, like Edding’s Belgariad and Mallorean, I can still read with just as much enjoyment as I did in my youth. Other favourites, unfortunately, did not fair so well. Surprisingly, it was not the stories that pushed me away, but the prose that I once loved so much.

The first series I experienced this with was Terry Brook’s Shannara Chronicles; I loved these as child. I loved the plot, the characters, the works. But I especially loved how it was written. To my ten year old mind, it was the epitome of descriptive works, and after which I strove to model my own writings. So, in the last year of university, I decided to reread them, and bought the first book as incentive to go to the gym. (Telling myself I could only read it while on an exercise bike.) This worked precisely once, and that was when I learned that one’s taste for prose can change drastically over the course of a dozen years. I faced this again with Pier’s Anthony’s Apprentice Adept series. Descriptive passages I once marveled at now set my teeth on edge. It’s rather depressing, actually. I still love the idea of the books, the story and characters, but I can’t get two pages in without my fingers itching to rewrite it all. (Not, mind you, that I think I could do better, or that I would if I could; these stories deserve to be told in the voice of the one doing to the telling, not in mine.)

There are a great many books I read and loved as I child that could/would not read now, and the idea I am probably denying myself a great story based solely on matters of style preferences is concerning.

All this jabber to say, I’m careful now to choose what I reread carefully, lest I taint fond memories with new sensibilities.

Who I Am: Writer Edition

Okay, so after writing the Artist-me post, I realized that I could still introduce Writer-me, since I am still working on the ‘writing blog posts without third party prompts’ thing. (Whether I should write this must be determined by a jury of my peers at a later date.)

So again, I present the duality of my self-as-writer: Non-fiction vs Fiction.

The non-fiction writing I do is very much me, in that when I am writing, when it is my voice and information being imparted, I write like I think. Literally. This is my train of thought, here on this page. I don’t sit down and bullet point each segment, I don’t craft a thesis, I don’t worry about the conclusion. I fix on a topic, and type. (This is great, usually, for word count, but grammar often gets left behind, and I have a tendency to ramble in parentheses and commas. [I even find the need to do parentheses within parentheses, because I have issues.] It means I always did well in English, but I didn’t get straight-As.) What you see on this blog and any other social media is me, talking to you, via ink and pixel.

Fiction me is another beast entirely. When writing a story, I’m not really the one telling the story; I’m more like a conduit than a crafter. (Don’t get me wrong, it is my story, and I am the one writing it, but for me writing is more like uncovering a story that is already out there, fully formed, and less like building a story brick by brick) Therefore, how I tell a story- the tone, the rhythm, the flavour, if you will- differs wildly depending on who and what it’s about. For example, one of my stories is a third person narration, wherein the narrator is invisible, while another might still be third person, but the narrator has much more personality (without being a straight up character, or first person.)

And that’s me.

Who I Am: Artist Edition

Well, guys, it’s been a week since I finished the blogging challenge, and while it was fun, I think I will be cutting back to once a week posts. Probably.

Anyway, we are now solidly in the first week of April, and let me tell you, this is going to be a busy month. My dad and brother are in-state, so I’ve been able to see them on the weekends, and this weekend is their last one on the mainland. Next week, I’m moving to a new place (all to myself, no less!) and then a week and a half after that, t’will be my birthday, and hopefully I’ll be doing a lot of art pieces to sell before then.

Right. So, I thought today, I could introduce ‘Myself-as-Artist’ (to be read in snooty accents) since you’ve got a taste of ‘Me-as-Writer’ (rambling, random, bit weird) over the last month.

Generally speaking, I gravitate to bold colors and interesting textures, complex minimalism (yay oxymorons), and clean line work. How stringently I stick to that in my own work depends on the medium I’m using at the time.

For digital art, I mostly stick to vector art, and it’s almost always a heavily stylized look. I use pencil, paper, and Adobe Illustrator almost exclusively for this. I mostly do portraits/character design, but I have been known to dabble in logos and landscapes.

For studio art, I like painting and sketching, but mostly painting. While I have painted with oils (in class) and I enjoyed it, I actually prefer painting with coffee. Until recently, I only painted world maps with coffee, but I have started to branch out some. Though I think my will always be stylistic as opposed to realistic, my ‘traditional art’ is usually much less cartoony than the vector art.

Finally, I deeply enjoy folding paper cranes. You put disable object near me, I will attempt to make it into a crane. I don’t put this under the traditional art yet, because while it is an art form in and of itself, but I’ve always looked at it as a part of something else I want to make. I know I want to do sculptures/wall art with them, things you can decorate a home or a gallery with, but I don’t really know what that is, yet.