There Was a Fence Between Me and the Tree

•11:03 pm, Tuesday, December 29, 2009 • 1 Comment

I’m only just getting around to scanning photos I took in June. More to come. Maybe.

there was a fence between me and the tree

[June 2009, Film, There Was a Fence Between Me and the Tree]

I Really Like…

•1:21 am, Monday, December 28, 2009 • 1 Comment

… taking pictures.

[Chicago, Summer 2009, Film]

Thoughts, and Nothing More

•10:29 am, Sunday, December 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s amazing that in less than a week, I will be on my way back to school. Back to massive piles of work (problem set, problem set, essay, problem set, problem set). Back to sleep deprivation (well, hopefully not too much). Back to trying to juggle a social life without sacrificing academics. That sounds absolutely horrendous, but in actuality, I really do love school. I’ll be taking pretty nifty courses this upcoming term, so that’s exciting, and hanging out with friends is always wonderful.

As far as break goes, it’s been pretty nice. My family and I have been vacationing for the last week, which means that I have finally tried to do this thing people call “relaxing.” Haha. At home, I always feel like I should be doing something productive, but in a hotel room, it is almost like that obligation is relieved from me. Instead of sitting down at a computer and doing work of some sort, I’ve been thinking more and consequently returning to my journaling habits.

re: NaNoWriMo. I had this vision at the beginning of November that I was going to write some sort of masterpiece. At the pace of 2,000 words per day. Ha. Only now do I realize how delusional I was. In a perfect world, I would have written a beautiful novel that would mark the beginning of my JCO-esque career, I would travel the country (and later the world!) to do book readings, and I would be holding highly coveted book-signings. But alas! this is reality. And at the end of November, I was left not with a 50,000-word masterpiece, but a 50,000-word manuscript that can only be called a “draft” is one is being ridiculously generous with one’s words. So it is that I sit here now, at the end of December, not wondering which publisher I should go to, but rather wondering whether I should give it a thorough edit or not. Truth be told, I don’t know if the “draft” deserves anything more than the recycle bin.

In any case. One more week at home, and then another busy, busy quarter will start up again. I love school and all, but really, I wouldn’t mind another week or so of vacation.

Sometimes I’m Scared

•12:35 am, Sunday, December 20, 2009 • 2 Comments

I’m scared of a lot of things. The future, for one, seems quite frightening to me. I try to tell myself over and over again that things will work themselves out. But sometimes, it’s not quite enough. Sometimes I stay up late in a wild panic-driven workaholic mode, planning things out like a madwoman in an attempt to alleviate my fears. But other times, there is so much fear that I don’t even know where to begin. I feel like that now and it is hard even to find words to write down here.

I think I am scared of my writing. It is hard for me to read what I write and I think that it is because I am scared of what I will read. I think that sometimes, I write like I am scared of what I am writing. It is like I skirt around the story instead of sticking my head inside it. I don’t want to be scared of the stories in my head and I don’t want to be scared to feel things for the characters that have lives waiting to be put on paper.

I have a question. Or maybe a few. How do you know that what you write is good or bad? How do you know it was worth writing down? How do you know that it deserves to be read?

I should just stick to writing for myself.

Last-Minute Holiday Crocheting? Here’s a Pencil Case Pattern FOR FREE!

•4:05 pm, Thursday, December 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Several people have requested the crochet pattern for the pencil case I whipped up a while back. So here it is! I’ve never actually written down a pattern before, so please let me know if these directions are incomprehensible.

Step 1: The Base

  1. Make a slip knot. Chain several stitches until your chain is about as long as a typical pencil (I had 27 stitches using an F/G hook).
  2. Chain 1 and turn. Single crochet in each chain stitch.
  3. Chain 1 and turn. Single crochet across.
  4. Repeat (3) several times until you have your desired width (I had six total rows as my base).

Step 2: The Pouch Bit

  1. Chain 1 and turn. Single crochet across.
  2. When you are at the end of the row, put 3 single crochets in the last stitch. This will serve as one corner of your pencil case.
  3. Single crochet in the stitches extending off from each row of the base (I had 5-6 stitches).
  4. At the next corner, put 3 single crochets in the last stitch. This will serve as another corner.
  5. Keep single crocheting around the work. By now you should be single crocheting in the chain stitches that you started with in Step 1 (1). Single crochet across.
  6. At the corner, again put 3 single crochets in the last stitch. This will serve as yet another corner.
  7. Continue single crocheting around the work.
  8. You have just crocheted all the way around the base. Finish off this row by joining the last stitch to the first stitch using a slip knot.
  9. Chain 1 and turn. Single crochet in every stitch and join this row as in (8). A tutorial for joined rows can be found here.
  10. Repeat step 9 until the pencil case is of the desired length (I had 11 rows here).

Step 3: The Flap

  1. Chain 1 and turn. Single crochet only halfway across. This will be the width of your pencil case flap.
  2. Chain 1 and turn. Single crochet across.
  3. Repeat (2) three more times. Take note of where you want to put in buttons and how many stitches a button will take up. On average, a button is usually 3-4 stitches.
  4. Chain 1 and turn. Single crochet across until you reach a place where you want to put a button. Chain 3 to make the button hole, skipping 3 stitches. Then continue single crocheting across until you reach another button location. Continue doing this until you are at the end of the row.
  5. Chain 1 and turn. Single crochet across.
  6. Repeat (5) two more times and then tie off.

Step 4: Embellishments

  1. Sew buttons in appropriate places so that it matches where you put the button holes in the flap.
  2. Have fun jazzing up your new pencil case!

Please let me know if there is any confusion! :)

    Home for the Holidays

    •7:16 pm, Wednesday, December 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

    It’s been a while, I know, and I’m not quite sure I know how I came to get off on such a long hiatus. I hope it won’t happen again.

    This last quarter has been quite a ride, and now that I’ve finally gotten a chance to sit down, to breathe, to think about the last eleven weeks that went by in a whirlwind of work, work, and more work, I can actually reflect back on this quarter. Sort of. To be honest, most of this last quarter has gone by too quickly. One moment I was struggling to write a thesis for my first English paper. And then before I knew it, I was thanking my math professor, handing him my final exam, and opening the door of the math department to let in the cold winter air. I breathed in the mist and let out that breath in warm, cloudy white puffs. Winter break.

    I flew home a few days ago, and it’s been wonderful spending time with family and a couple friends, though many are only just starting to fly in from various parts of the country. In a few days, most of us will be reunited, exhausted from finals but glad to be home, where our friendships first began. Yes, I love school, and when I am there, it is home for me. But Home will always be here, where my family is. Home. It is wonderful to be home for the holidays.

    I should apologize here for the incohesiveness of this post… perhaps holiday-induced intellectual debilitation has already begun. Or perhaps my brain decided to take a holiday also. In either case, I think it would be best if I stopped writing in paragraphs and made a list. Here is a list of things I have thought about recently. Some involve the past. Some involve the future. Others are in-betweeners.

    1. I think this quarter has been the most intellectually fulfilling quarter yet. I hope next quarter will be just as amazing as this quarter has been.

    2. My schedule next term sounds a bit like a high schooler’s schedule… English, Geometry, Algebra II, Music, Chinese. I am quite looking forward to it.

    3. I miss taking pictures. I will try to do that more over break. And maybe next quarter also.

    4. I’d like to exercise more. Maybe I’ll start walking in the mornings.

    5. The world’s a beautiful place. I love the mountains. And here, the sunrises are beautiful. I would like to go hiking sometime. Soon, if possible.

    6. Reading list for winter break only has a few books on it. Atkinson, Oates, Styron. Then I can head to the used bookstore and not feel to guilty about picking up a couple more books to add to my winter list.

    7. I love Pandora.

    8. I can’t believe that this decade is coming to a close.

    9. New Year’s Resolution: Keep all new year’s resolutions.

    10. This song is beautiful: Song for You by Alexi Murdoch.

    24 Hours Until the Clock Chimes Midnight and the Insanity of NaNoWriMo and All Its Lovely Wonders Begin

    •12:40 am, Saturday, October 31, 2009 • 2 Comments

    Goal? 50,000 words. By: 11:59 pm, November 30. Why? Because it’s NaNoWriMo and it’s going to be insane and, most importantly, why not? Oh, right. Sleep. Ha. But! NaNoWriMo! Yay! :D