Sunday, September 30, 2012

Creative Writing Prompt

I'm taking an awesome Creative Writing class right now called "Good Hemingway, Bad Hemingway." If you didn't guess, the class is about Ernest Hemingway. We've been reading "In Our Time," but the entire class isn't just about Hemingway specifically - It's about developing creative writing skills.  We've been given some quick little prompts in class to help us with this undertaking. The professor gave us a sentence that tells something. Our assignment was to take that sentence and show what's happening through our writing.

For Example,
Our first prompt was "The old man was tired." We are supposed to describe a scene (about a paragraph in length) without using the phrase in our text. There was a five minute time limit as well.

It's a good exercise for any aspiring writer out there. Good writers are able to show the audience what is happening rather than telling them (and without using many...or any adverbs).

If any of you readers would like to post a response to the prompt, feel free. You can comment or link to a post. If you don't like the prompt above, feel free to make one of your own (but don't make it too easy).

Here's my response if you'd like to read:

 The splintered wood creaks in intervals as the ski of a rocking chair runs over the same spot. Back and forth, it never ceases. The setting sun casts an orangish glow on the leather-skinned man resting in his rocker. Like canyons are the creases on his face, splintering out from his cloudy slit-eyes and down from his shriveled lips. He never moves from his spot, except occasionally reaching over to spit tobacco-yellowed slime into a rusted old bean can. Every day, he rocks in the same spot, staring out as if waiting for something. Every day, nothing happens. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Oakland Cemetery

My brother's spending his last days in Georgia since he's leaving for Thailand very soon. We went for pho at lunch in Atlanta. After that, we visited my favorite cemetery in the area, Oakland.
My handsome brother. Taken at Dua Pho in Atlanta.
Oakland is a very unique cemetery. This is where the elite of Atlanta (including Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind) are buried, so tombs and gravestones are very elaborate. The cemetery is very well taken care of, and the landscaping is fantastic. With all the varied plant life, it's like a cemetery garden. This place even has it's very own gift shop, guided tours, and special events  (Tunes from the Tombs, a music festival, and Run Like Hell 5k).


I have no idea...but I like it.
 I hope everyone gets the chance to visit this lovely place.

Until then, here's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson.

Because I could not stop for Death – 
He kindly stopped for me –  
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –  
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility – 

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –  
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –  
We passed the Setting Sun – 

Or rather – He passed us – 
The Dews drew quivering and chill – 
For only Gossamer, my Gown – 
My Tippet – only Tulle – 

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground – 
The Roof was scarcely visible – 
The Cornice – in the Ground – 

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads 
Were toward Eternity – 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Aunt's Victorian House

I spent this weekend at my Aunt's house. I figured since I had a school assignment at an observatory near her house, that I'd spend the night while I was out there. She lives in a lovely Victorian house that is filled with antiques and Halloween decorations. They even say it's haunted. (They had me sleep in the "haunted" room, but I didn't see any ghosts. :/). I took some pictures of the house while I was there.

Below, is just a portion of the Halloween decorations they keep. Around Halloween time, they go all out to decorate. I'm not kidding. My Aunt was even born on Halloween, and she's the one who really fueled my love of spooky things during my childhood.

 This is an antique baby carriage they keep in front of my cousin's room.

 This table is in the front parlor. I thought it was beautiful, and the witchy sign is a nice touch.

This beauty is probably my favorite thing in the house. It was an antique organ that came from a very old church. My aunt and uncle had it restored, and it's just so lovely. I've always wanted one of these in my home.

This is the view as you walk through their front door.

Below is a petticoat table. Back when most women wore petticoats, they would be able to see in the mirror below if it needed adjusting.

My uncle built this cannon as a prop for their pirate-themed spooktacular one Halloween. (They usually decorate to a theme each year. Their house is the talk of the town.)

 This is a gazeebo in the side yard. I thought it was pictureworthy.

 Well there you have it, people. I have some interesting family members with an awesome house. Hopefully, I'll be able to live in a house as nice as their's one day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dead Can Dance 2012

I'm a little late in posting this as the concert was September 5th, but I suppose It's better late than never!

Months ago, I found out that Dead Can Dance was touring in North America, and they were going to Atlanta. This news gave me a fluttery feeling, as I routinely burn incense and sing and dance badly to Dead Can Dance alone in my room. I never thought I would get the chance to see them. I was incredibly excited, buying the most expensive tickets I could afford. I would not miss out on this experience since the group had just recently reunited! I purchased two tickets, and I had some trouble finding anyone to go with me. I gladly decided to take my best buddy, Justean. I wasn't sure if she would enjoy it, but she definitely did. It turns out, we both had a great time. Justean even found a new love that evening...her name is Lisa Gerrard. ;)

The concert was amazing. The whole show was a spiritual experience. There was a beautiful light show in the background, and all of the studio musicians were very talented. I'm happy to say that Dead Can Dance is even better live. My eyes watered, and the hair on my arms stood up at a few points. The only issues I had were that I was slightly disappointed the show didn't last as long as I had hoped. Also, they didn't play many of my favorite songs. However, Justean and I made up for it by blasting those songs at top volume on the way home.  Overall, The concert was so surreal, and the only sentence Lisa uttered the whole night was, "Good night, good Atlantians." Lisa and Brendan make a brilliant team, and it is very rare, I think impossible, to find a music group so unique and talented as Dead Can Dance.

I bought a t-shirt with this on the front!

Origin of The Jack-O-Lantern

Have you ever wondered why people tend to display carved pumpkins during the Halloween season? If you really take a step back to think about the tradition, it seems a little random and perhaps odd to carve out a gourd for the sake of decoration. Like many traditions and legends, It's steeped in folklore and the supernatural. The origin of the Jack-O-Lantern comes from an Irish Folktale about "Stingy Jack," aka Jack of the Lantern (hence the name, Jack-O-Lantern).


As the story goes, there was a man named Jack in Ireland who happened to be a drunkard and a trickster. One night (some say Hallow's Eve), he happened to meet the Devil at a pub. Jack and the Devil had some drinks. When it was time for last call, "Stingy Jack" lived up to his name by not wanting to pay for his alcohol. Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a sixpence to pay for the exchange for Jack's soul, that was. When the Devil did so, Jack put the sixpence in his pocket along with his crucifix. At that point, the crucifix rendered the devil unable to morph back.  Jack offered to let the Devil go, but only if the Devil agreed not to claim his soul for ten years. After ten years, Jack ran into the Devil again. This time, he asked for an apple before his Journey into Hell. The Devil obliged, climbing into the apple tree nearby. To the Devil's surprise, Jack had laid crucifixes around the tree trunk, trapping him once more. Jack demanded his soul back in exchange for the devil's freedom. Frustrated, the Devil agreed. Jack lived a hard life, and he died soon after to no one's surprise. Upon Jack's arrival to heaven's gates, St. Peter refused him. He was turned back because of his stinginess and deceitfulness in life. Jack had no choice but to trek to the gates of hell. When he arrived, the devil refused him too. Jack, not knowing where else to go, desperately asked the devil for an ember to find his way through the darkness. The devil willingly gave Jack an ember, which he placed in a hollowed-out turnip. It is said that Jack still wanders with his turnip lantern, trying to find his way through the dark.

When Irish immigrants came over to America, they brought the tradition with them. Instead of using turnips, which were plentiful in Ireland, pumpkins became the designated lanterns. So, readers, as we carve our pumpkins this year, keep in mind that we are lighting the way for Jack's journey through the afterlife.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Dragon Con 2012

This year was my first time going to Dragon Con. Although it was exhausting, I had a great time. I definitely plan on going again next year.
Me and Justean

She's feeling zombified. Justean, I think you need medical attention.

Getting strangled by my demon friend. 

I had to. haha

I tried on two authentic steel boned corsets. I originally wanted the underbust (since they're versatile), but the overbust looks really good too.  I'd like to order one for birthday or Christmas. Which one do you guys like better on me?

I did a lot of shopping, but I didn't actually buy anything. :(  However, I did get some cool pictures.
The Goblin King!  

Dr. Rockzos (Metalocalypse)

I'm not sure who it's supposed to be, but I thought it was very interesting.

Guess What! I shook Nelsan Ellis' (Lafeyette from Trueblood's hand)! I love the show (I've only watched up to the 3rd season so far), and Lafayette is my favorite character. 

 While I was roaming around, I happened to see Voltaire and Rogue (Cruxshadows) just walking around. I also talked to a guy who gave me his band's EP, "If Only Boris Karloff Was My Dad" I listened to it, and it's really good! The Long Losts has a page on Facebook, so go check it out and hit the 'Like' button.


While I was there, I wanted to donate blood. So Justean begrudgingly did it with me. :D  We both donated a pint. Afterwards we got free t-shirts, free snacks, and a pin that says, "I fed a Vampyre Baby."
 Vamplets sponsored the blood drive. They also had a booth were they were selling their dolls. You can visit their website here.

After leaving, Justean and I got terribly lost on the way home before I figured out The GPS was still in the car...-facepalm- We picked up my friend Jessica and roasted hot dogs and s'mores over the fire pit in my backyard. This is one of my favorite activities (especially in the Fall). Well, that's that. ;)