Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going

Here's a picture of our Christmas tree, just in
case you're interested.
It's been a few months. The last post that I wrote outlined how we moved out books into our new apartment. Then I just sort of dropped off the map. There's a few reasons for that.

Let's talk about the most obvious, the move. At first we were so consumed with setting up home in our first-time apartment. Although I had more time, because I'm living closer to school, I had much more on my plate. It's not like I didn't do my fair share of cooking and housework when I lived at home, but it became different when it was my own place. Suddenly there was a different type of ownership involved. I wanted to make sure my apartment was clean, and I wanted to cook well-balanced meals. And all of the sudden I had complete control over how I did those things. I could put the spices wherever I wanted, I could vacuum my floor and know that no one else would come along and mess it up in the next fifteen minutes. Keeping house was fun satisfying; it is satisfying. But sometimes it's exhausting and time consuming. So the blog got pushed to the back burner.

I'm sure you know what happens once you get out of a habit, and that's what happened with me. I used to post, fairly religiously, once a week, but then I missed a week, two weeks, a month. Suddenly it didn't seem as important as it used to.

There was the usual business of school, but that's never stopped me before. What was different about school this semester was that I'm taking a Creative Poetry Writing course. Being a part of this course helped kick-start some of my creative energy again; it validated me as a creative writer.

I knew I wanted to make good on my creative writing identity. I was surrounded by people who were accomplishing creative things, and I wondered why I wasn't doing that too. Then I began thinking about my creative writing, taking my project more seriously, and it started to fill my spare "creative time." I wanted to finish the project that I've been picking at for years now.

Along with some of my writer friends, we formed a writing circle, and writing became real again. Not just some silly pastime that was a teenage phase. But I was a feeling creatively frustrated. Too many things that I didn't care about where filling my time, preventing me from writing. Often these things where self-inflicted (*cough* excessive Youtube *cough*). I realized that if I wanted to jump into writing again, some things had to be put on hold.

What solidified my blogging absence was a deadline of sorts. I was talking about my project with a professor of mine, and she offered to read it over her sabbatical next semester. So that means that the draft needs to be done by the end of December. I'm about half-way through.

At some point over the last few months, I made the conscious decision to put blogging on hold to pursue my own creative writing project. It's not forever, I hope. I still love the community of blogging, but I just have to take a break.

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and concerns about my absence. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Reading: Unless by Carol Shields
Listening: Cleopatra, The Lumineers Album
Watching: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Art and Science of Moving Books (Also, BOOKSHELF PICTURES!)

I am officially back from my unofficial hiatus due to moving. Thank you for all your kind comments that you left on my last post.

This past month, my sister and I moved out of our parents house. As we both love read and both work at libraries, we had a lot of books. You know what's not fun? Moving books. You know what is fun? Setting up new bookshelves. So this post will have a bit of both.

On Moving Books: 
As you know, books can really heavy really fast. The classic way to move books is in small, sturdy boxes. This method is fine, but I feel like we stumbled upon a much, much better way to move books. It all started when we realized that we didn't have any boxes, and were too lazy to track some down, so we started packing stuff into re-usable bags. They say laziness leads to innovation. The reusable bags turned out to be a great solution for us because you can carry a bag in each hand, which is way more books than one box. Since we were moving in the same city we would fill up all of our bags, empty them at the apartment and then fill them up again. We probably filled up about thirty bags, overall.
Some of the bags we used to move books. 

Tips for Using Reusable Bags for Moving:

  • Get the sturdy bags that can hold two piles beside each other in the bag
  • Periodically test the weight of the bag as you're filling it. Stop before it gets too heavy. 
  • Mix light books (e.g. paperbacks) and heavy books (e.g. hardcovers) in bags for maximum fill-age 
  • Tie the handles together once you've filled a bag, so they don't spill during transportation
  • If it's raining use a regular plastic bag to cover the books that could be exposed
On Setting up Bookshelves:
Between my sister and I, we had seven bookshelves. By the end of the move, we had 6.5 bookshelves. I'm not going to give any tips on moving bookshelves because we clearly are not experts. During our move we had a bookshelf snap in half. It was getting old and it was just a cheap Canadian Tire shelf that I built incorrectly in the first place. Ahem. Luckily, it split at a natural joint in the shelf, so it's now been made into a half bookshelf. A blessing in disguise really, because we now use it as a place to throw our keys/mail/other junk on when we come in our door. 

Moral of the story: Build things properly and be careful when you move them. 

Now, let's look at how we set everything up!

We decided to put the majority of our fiction in our dining area. Then we added a little gallery wall and a few other decorations, and of course our dining set that I painted. 

We originally were going to have all of our books in this area, but we though that it looked a little crowded. Here's a picture of how it was going to look: 
We nixed this idea because of how unbalanced it looked from the other part of the room with the bookshelves sticking out from the wall. This plan also required us to buy another skinny bookshelf to fill in the gap on the back wall. I glad that we changed to what we have now, because it feels a bit more modern and way more open (also, we didn't have to buy ANOTHER piece of furniture for the apartment). 

So where did the other 1.5 bookshelves end up? Right here:

This is along the wall in the our living room. To the right of the picture is our bedrooms and our front door; to the left is our kitchen and behind is the actual living area. We decided to incorporate my sister's desk into the setup, because it blended in so well. It was narrow enough that it didn't stick way out from the shelves and the colour matched perfectly! We added a few prints over the desk and a mirror over the half shelf and now it's all balanced out. No one would ever know that the shelf was supposed to be the same height as the other, haha. 

I had to include this picture that I took at night, because I love how cozy it looks with the lamp on the desk like that. And finally, a few other detail pictures:
My sister and I are so grateful to be in a position where we could move out of our parents house, and we're really enjoying our new space. If you have any ideas tips (or horror stories) on moving books, you should definetly leave them in the comments. Let me know what you think of our new digs! Also, how was the end of your Summer? I was away for that last month, so I'm anxious to get caught up with everything. 

Reading: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Listening: The Lumineers
Watching: Scandal season 2

Friday, August 19, 2016

I'm Moving!

Hello Everyone,

Long time, no blog. I've had a not-so-secret project going on since the beginning of August. I'm moving! Not on the internet, but in actual, real life. The time has come to move out of my parents' house.

My sister and I had been casually searching all the Kijiji ads for a place to live, not with any urgency, when we stumbled across a lovely little apartment. Within a week we had seen the place, put an application in and got accepted! We signed the lease starting August 1. It was a bit of a whirl wind, but we're knew something good when we saw it. So over the month of August, we've been packing and moving and packing and moving some more. Every spare minute has went into the moving project. Luckily, we're in the same city as my parents, so we've had the luxury of moving slowly gradually. However, that's left very little time for blogging.

Now, with our move winding down (hopefully done by Monday!), I wanted to drop everyone a line and give you a little peek into my life outside of the internet. I will be back within the next few weeks with a post all about the enormous task of moving books and probably other chronicles about the move.

Here's a little sneak peak of our moving process: 

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Be sure to leave me any last minute moving tips in the comments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What Do Your Bookshelves Say About You?

Photo of where we camped last week.
Last week I was up in Manitoulin Island area working at a children's day camp on a First Nation's reserve. The week was wonderful, and when we weren't running camp we had the opportunity to explore the reserve, which was beautiful. One afternoon we went into the second hand store of the reserve and of course I looked at the books.

If you've read SOI for awhile, you'll know that I'm in love with used books. Practically, I love them because they're cheap, but on a more romantic level, I love reading a book that has a history to it. Someone else has owned the book, maybe someone gave it to them, maybe they read it on a  vacation, who knows! I especially love it when some of that story peeks through. Maybe it's an inscription or some underlining, but whatever trace of the previous owner, that's left in the book, creates that history that I find so interesting and meaningful.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Handle Books that You Disagree With (Satire)

1. Don't read the book
Other people's reviews and opinions are more than enough to inform your rock solid stance on the issue. If you're stance starts to waver, get far away from the book and go read another blog post.

2. Steel your defenses
If you really cannot resist the temptation to read the book, make sure you go into it with your opinions already formed. This is the best way to make sure that the book does not force you to re-evaluate your standpoints. The person who said "if your opinion is truly correct than it can stand up to any questions" has clearly never been in a Twitter battle before.

3. Keep the controversy front and center
Now that you've got your opinions fortified for battle, don't lose sight of your enemy. Characters may be charming and the writing may be poetic, but don't let those features distract you from the purpose of your reading. By all means, do not let yourself get emotionally involved; boarding a ship will only sail you away on a sea of feels away from that controversy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Spring Recap: Why I've Been Reading Realistic Fiction

Tonight, I was talking to some friends about what types of entertainment that we enjoy (basically books and movies). One of my friends said that she loves the escapism of the Fast and the Furious movies (if you're reading this, you know who you are, haha). Another friend said that she loved dumb humor in sitcoms. We definetly bashed a few books that we had read and been disappointed with, which I took part in (but would never post about so openly online). What I do want to post very openly online, was my answer to which types of entertainment that I prefer. In particular, I want to talk about which genre of books that I've been enjoying lately.

That genre (spoiler alert, the title says it) is realistic fiction and memoirs. A few YA contemporaries, but mostly fiction that's about everyday people's lives and how they live them. There's just something that I find so beautiful about the simplicity of everyday relationships. Good realistic fiction has a way of exploring the human condition through some of the most mundane, yet complex character relationships and scenarios.

I'm in a phase right now where I crave books that strip away the melodramatics and extra fluff. Of course books should have high concepts and extreme stakes, but sometimes the most extra stake can be whether or not a friendship will weather through a period in someone's life. I think I'm so attracted to these books because they feel authentic and relevant to how I understand my own life and friendships. These "slice of life" books definetly underscore the idea of books helping to extend the reader's range of empathy.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Reviewing Books by YouTubers: Make Up by Michelle Phan

It's time for another edition of reviewing YouTuber books! Last time I reviewed Grace Helbig's satirical style book, and this week I'm reviewing Michelle Phan's real style book, Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success -Online and Off. What a nice coincidence that this book came in for me at the library right after Grace's book.

I'm not going to repeat my big intro that I've used for the last few reviews, because I'm getting tired of writing it, so I'm sure you're getting tired of reading it. If you're new, or missed the last few reviews, feel free to check out the entire series here

A Brief Introduction to Michelle Phan
In lieu of an explanation of the series, I've decided to expand my introduction to each book to include some information about the YouTuber.

My familiarity with the Youtuber: Not subscribed, had not watched any videos until reading this book.
Michelle Phan's subscriber count at the time of this post: 8, 601, 841
YouTube Genre: Beauty Guru (obviously)
Sample video:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sunny's Reading Habits (Tag)

Thanks for tagging me Victoria!
A long long time ago (Oct. 2015), Victoria Grace Howell tagged me in the Day and Night Reading Tag. I saved the link ages ago, and only just saw it again today #bloggershame. Since I'm always interested in hearing about people's reading habits, I thought I would share mine via this tag. Be sure to check out Victoria's post on her blog, Wanderer's Pen, here.

Onto the questions!

Do you read more in the morning or at night?
I definetly read more at night than in the morning. I pretty much have a built in reading time right before I go to sleep at night. I am not a morning person, at all, so I can't really imagine reading a novel right after I wake up and before I start my day. The only time I read in the morning is if I need to read something for a class that I'm on my way to, haha. I do listen to audio-books when I take the bus to work and school, so if that counts than I do read in the morning.

Are there any books that changed the way you thought about things?
This is a tough question, because I feel like books do that all the time to me. I'm not going to go into detail here, because I want to write an entire post on this. However, I will center out a few:
A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jared Brock
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Some of these books made me think about life differently and some of them made me think about literature differently. Stay tuned for an entire post on this.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Top 7 Tips for Selling Used Books

The stack of books I sold.
Last weekend I thought it was about time to clean out my bookshelves. I've been holding onto a lot of children's books that really didn't hold much significance to me, and I had a pile of new books that needed room. It was time.

Normally, I just donate my unwanted books that I just don't love as much. Usually if I can't remember what happened in the book, or if I have no intention of ever reading it, it has to go. However, this week I decided to go out of my comfort zone and try to sell some of my books to the second hand bookstore. To my surprise, it actually worked out really well. I ended up selling nine books and making twenty dollars in cash or thirty dollars in store credit.

The man behind the counter, buying the books, was incredibly kind. He said that he acknowledges that the books are important to seller, even if they aren't store-worthy, so he treats them with respect. He didn't imply that you were wasting his time with the unworthy books he had to look through. Plus, he was obviously a booklover, because he mentioned how much fun he had looking through all the books people bring in. This experience was so great, and so much more enjoyable than whenever I attempt to sell clothes at Plato's Closet, haha.

During this process, I learned a few things that I wanted to share with you!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Reviewing Books by YouTubers: Grace & Style by Grace Helbig

A few weeks ago I announced that I was going to be reading books written by professional YouTubers and reviewing them on A Splash of Ink. I'm interested to see if these books have merit outside of their built in audience (and thus, built in paycheck). If you want to read the first review on Tyler Oakley's Binge and hear a little bit more about my summer project, you can read it here.

Today's book is Grace and Style: The Art of Pretending You Have it by Grace Helbig. The order of the reviews in this series is mostly based on how quickly my holds at the library come in, so unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to read Grace Helbig's first book Grace's Guide. However, these are separate books, so it shouldn't matter. Onto the review!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Finding the Balance Between Blogging and Writing

I find it incredibly difficult to balance my blog writing with my personal writing. I love working on my blog, but I feel like I'm missing something when I'm not writing my personal project. Like I'm cheating myself. I know that blogging and working on my personal project aren't mutually exclusive, tons of you guys do it, but in my brain, I've created that divide.

I tell myself that I have to pick between them. Either work on my project or write on my blog. I remember hearing someone say "every word you write on your blog is a word you're not writing in your book" or something along those lines. I think I really took that to heart somewhere along the lines.

This struggle to find balance between projects is something that I've expressed before. In particular today I want to explore the balance between blogging and writing.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Receipt Holder into Idea Saver: How I Keep Track of Ideas

A few months ago...after looking in my archive, I should revise that statement to over a year ago (time flies apparently), I wrote a post talking about how I keep track of my ideas. You can read it here, if you so desire. Essentially, I got myself a receipt holder to keep tracks of the slips of paper where I write down my ideas. I was never good at keeping a notebook to jot ideas down, so instead I just use whatever paper's available and consolidate everything into my receipt holder folder. There's been way too many ideas that I've lost because I didn't write them down. This is a sentiment that I'm sure you can relate to.

Although I had high hopes for my idea saving method last year, it was a bit rough around the edges (literally), so I thought it was time to introduce my new idea saver.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Reviewing Books by YouTubers: Binge by Tyler Oakley

This summer I created a little reading challenge for myself. I'm going to read a bunch of books written by professional YouTubers. For the past few years, I've really really liked the YouTube platform. I like that the videos are shorter than T.V. episodes or movies, and I like the idea that anyone can do them. Obviously, I'm not the only one who feels this way because people have been able to make YouTube a career and have fanbases of millions of people. Cue the book deals.

Being the skeptic that I am, I was suspicious when all the big YouTubers started writing books. Clearly this is another way to make money, but I was curious if these books have any merit on their own. Since we'll never know if these books "would ever have existed without the lure of a huge cheque" (The Guardian), we are left to review them based only on what is published and not on how pure their original intentions were. So, I set out to see if books by YouTubers could stand up as books, without the huge internet backing.

The first book up for review is Binge by Tyler Oakley. 
My familiarity with the YouTuber: Not subscribed, but have seen a few of his videos. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sunny Smith's Guide to Using Your Camera: ISO

It has been way too long since I wrote a post for the series that helps you understand how to use your camera. Bloggers often struggle to understand how to make the most of their camera, so this series is my attempt to promote some camera literacy by breaking the camera down. Previously we've talked about Shutter Speed, Aperture and today we're talking about ISO, next we'll be talking about white balance! If you haven't read my previous posts, I'd highly recommend it as the different sections build off of each other. Let's get to it!

The ISO (Internal Standards Organization) setting controls the how sensitive your camera is to light. The higher you set your ISO the more sensitive your camera will be resulting in a brighter image. The lower you set your ISO, the darker the picture.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

How Bookstores Can Reclaim the Online Shopper (AKA Me)

"Support your local bookstore!"

It's a phrase that we hear often. It's a phrase that we like to print on buttons. It's a phrase that bookworms like to pull out and agree upon. 

However, I must confess. I do not do a very good job of supporting my local bookstores. 

I don't buy everything I read, because I love borrowing books from the library (it's free). But when I want to a buy a book, I do one of two things: I buy it online or I look for a used copy. If I don't mind waiting around, then I settle in for the long haul of searching through the thrift stores and second hand bookstores. In most cases, the convenience of Amazon or Book Depository is just too alluring and cost effective for me to deny when I'm buying a book. I'm ashamed to admit that, but it's the truth.

Unfortunately, I'm not the only one who feels this way, and as a result independent bookstores are closing. Even though I admit that I don't support local bookstores as much as I should, it saddens me to think of them closing. So I asked myself what I value about a brick and mortar store that I don't have with my online shopping. Ultimately, I asked myself what it would take to make me a loyal independent bookstore customer. With the risk of sounding like a hopeless consumer, I wanted to share what I came up with:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How to Make the Essay Writing Process Easier

As you've probably noticed, I've been away for a few weeks. I've been madly writing papers for the end of the semester. During this time, I picked up a few tips and tricks that can make the essay writing process easier for anyone. These aren't tips on how to write the different sections of the paper per-se, instead these are tips to make the whole process smoother. These tips have definetly saved my grade a few times and maybe they'll be your saving academic grace as well!

I should probably preface this by saying that I mostly write papers for English and History courses, although I think these tips can be applied all the disciplines.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Woolf, AnzaldĂșa and Writing Rituals

I'm not a scheduled writer. I don't write at the same time everyday. Actually, I don't write everyday. Okay, well I write something (i.e. notes for class, does that count?) everyday, but I don't work on my fiction project everyday. I've never been good at writing rituals, but I've always wondered if I having a little ritual might help me produce more work and write more often.

Let's look at the pros of having a ritual, shall we?
  • By completing your writing ritual you prepare yourself mentally and narrow your focus to your work
  • It signals to other people around you that you're on do-not-distract-me writing time
  • It makes you look like a cool, real writer 
Let's look at the cons now...
  • By not being able to complete your writing ritual, you can't get any writing done
  • It can become more of a show of being a writer than actually writing, especially if you announce it on your social media constantly (I swear that this is not a passive aggressive statement, honest!)
Okay, that was not a very comprehensive pro/con list, but it highlights the main issue that I want to point out. A writing ritual can be a great way to focus yourself, but that same way of focusing yourself can be extremely crippling. What happens when you can't make that cup of coffee or have perfect silence? You don't, maybe you tell yourself that you can't write. Its greatest strength is also it's greatest weakness (how typical). 

Friday, February 26, 2016

RE: How I Write a Post

Before I get to the regular post, I want to remind everyone that there's a few more days to enter in my 5 year anniversary giveaway. Read about it here!

This semester I'm taking a class that focuses on the creative process that different authors have and how it effects the final piece of writing. It's very interesting and making me think about drafting and brainstorming more than I ever have before. As readers, we tend to focus on the finished product (i.e. the book), because that's all that we really see, but there's so much more going on behind the scenes that can give major insight into the writer and by extension, the writer's work.

I had all those thoughts about the behind-the-scenes work that happens rolling around in my head when I saw a post that Katie Grace did on her blog A Writer's Faith. The post outlines how she writes her blog posts, which is essentially her creative process. At the end of her post, she said that she was curious to see how other people write their posts, and since I found her post fascinating, I'm going to discuss my own blog posting process.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Holy Hotcakes Batman! A Splash of Ink is Five!

I was enjoying my family day stat holiday (thanks Canada) when I looked up at my calendar and saw that it was my blog anniversary today!  I also saw that A Splash of Ink is turning five today! That's shocking and amazing all at the same time. At first, I was just going do a measly recap post, but I said to myself Sunny, this is five years!!!! More celebration must happen! And so, I added in a giveaway...which you will have to read through all my regular recapping, before you get the details!

In the first few years of blogging it's easy to play the numbers game and compare yourself to other bloggers, but by now, I've settled in. There's still times when I cringe a bit seeing the blogs who have only been around for a year that have already surpassed my follower count, but honestly I'm happy with A Splash of Ink. I've found, especially this past year, that the more often I write posts that I think are meaningful and quality content, instead of just writing a post for the sake of writing a post, the better I feel about SOI.

Friday, February 12, 2016

In which I talk about Pie and come up with no Solution

I tend to have my fingers in a lot of different pies.

Let me explain that strange statement. I like to do a lot of different things and I have a lot of different hobbies. I (obviously) like to blog, I like to write creatively, I like to take pictures, I like to paint, I like to read, I like learning about computer-y stuff, I like history. I like learning. And these interests translate into pies (aka work, school, and volunteer commitments) that I've "put my fingers in". I like to think of myself as a jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none. I'm interested in a lot of different things, and I pursue a lot of different things, but I'm not really a master of any of my crafts. I know how to do a lot of different things well, not excellent, but well. And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Reflections from Behind the Podium (AKA Sunny has an Identity Crisis)

Today I did something for the first time that made me more nervous than I've been for a long time.

I read my creative writing out loud, to strangers. 

There's a few things you should know before I launch into my story (haha, pun intended).

Thing One:
As many of your know, I'm pursuing a double major in English and Medieval Studies at university right now. Every semester the English department does a little colloquium where alumni come and basically the department boasts promotes how awesome it is. It's all good fun; usually we get excused from class to go. This semester featured a session dedicated to student writers.

Thing Two:
In first year I took a Creative Writing class that was perfectly lovely and challenging and oh-so-good for me as a writer. I wrote some really strong pieces for that course (if I do say so myself), and I also began working on my current project during that semester. The same prof that taught that course is teaching another English course that I'm taking right now. This prof was also one of the organizers for this colloquium.

Okay. Background over. Let's get to the good stuff. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blogger Spotlight: Devanshi from Elephantess

I am happy to bring you another edition of Blogger Spotlight where I turn the virtual "spotlight" to other bloggers and hear a little bit about their lives behind their blog. I'm currently deciding on the future of Blogger Spotlight, so I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments. Do you want more detailed questions? Should things go on as they are? Let me know. But before you get down to the comments, let me introduce you to Devanshi who blogs over at Elephantess. I'm a fairly new reader of her blog, but I've really been enjoying the personal content. Plus, I love the name of her blog! I won't bore you any longer, let's get onto the interview!

Where do you blog and what is your blog about?
I blog over at Elephantess (elephantess.blogspot.com). Mostly, I post photography from when I'm out and about, and recently, I've been diving into DIYs. I'm far from being an expert (in fact, call me an amateur camera holder), so this year I hope to learn more about taking photos and seeing the world differently.

What got you started with blogging?
I started blogging one boring summer in Mumbai, while I was on vacation, when one of my friends created her first blog. I'd been on Tumblr for a bit, but reblogging photos was slowly losing its purpose.

What is your motivation to blog?
My readers. I know that my blog hasn't grown to its full potential quite yet, but each person that leaves a comment inspires me to watch more videos about photography on youtube and flip through my camera manual even more.

What is your biggest challenge/fear when it comes to blogging and how do you overcome it?
I don't think I really can put my finger on one particular fear that I have. Sometimes, before I post blog posts, I worry that it won't make sense, but I don't just blog for my readers, I blog for myself, too.

What is your biggest reward from blogging?
Learning, exploring, then discovering, and growing more than I ever thought I could.

And to end the interview off on a fun note, what is one random or interesting fact about yourself?
Roller coasters never fail to put a smile on my face.

Thank you so much Devanshi for being on SOI! Make sure you go check out Elephantess and give her lots of love as she pursues her blog. I'm not sure if Blogger Spotlight will continue to be a thing in 2016, but if you really want to be a part of this series, please shoot me an email at sunny.smith@hotmail.ca. If you have any questions for Devanshi, feel free to leave a comment!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Story Drawings and Other Ways my Friends Helped Me

Over the Christmas break I made my way to Ikea and bought myself a new desk (which I love). After I went through the way-too-long process of building my new desk, I went through the even-longer process of cleaning out my old desk. It's amazing how much crap stuff I had accumulated. Most of it went into the trash, but I found something that certainly was not trash. 

I found an envelope that had over 25 pictures that my friend Rachel from Secret Scribblings had drawn for me. These pictures were all of characters that I had created for the first story that I ever wrote (and finished!). The story may not have been top-notch quality, but Rachel read every bit of it and gave me generally positive feedback. Part of her support for my writing was drawing these literal character sketches. I almost (and I mean almost) feel bad for abandoning that story. Regardless of the fate of that story, these pictures are too good to go to waste!

 Just look at them all! They're so amazing and colourful! You should totally click to enlarge the photo and take a good look at all of them individually. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Era of Nostalgia: Are We in It?

Post-Modernism began post-World War II, which was over fifty years ago now. Culture and literature has changed enormously since then, so naturally stories have taken on a new style. This isn’t something that I normally talk about on SOI, but I’ve been thinking about the quality of the stories we create today. Now, I’m not claiming to be some great cultural scholar or even that the style of Post-Modernism is dead, but I have noticed a trend among stories (both books, T.V. shows and movies) that have been published in the last few years that I wanted to point out and explore a bit in this blog post. 

This trend is the overwhelming emergence of nostalgia in story-telling. Story tellers and audiences seem to be yearning for the past; not the distant “historical” past, but the more recent, closer past that is less than a lifetime away. Perhaps more accurately, the past without the Internet and less technology. That being said, we seem to be longing for the past, while using modern technology to recreate it. There’s a strange tension that many of us have within ourselves between wanting the current advancements and also yearning for a simpler time.
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