Category Archives: Challenges

August Notebook Challenge: Everything Goes Composition

I hope this August started off well for everyone, and that you’re all enjoying the weekend outside. (My neighbor’s definitely are. I’m watching their driveway tennis match as I write this.) Well, for many of us this month marks the beginning of the school year, and the begrudging farewell to summer break. Luckily, I still have another month! So, do you think me stupid for giving myself some homework? (Okay, maybe insane, more than stupid.)

August always reminds me of high school, and especially of a few writing courses I took in the college across the street. My professor was post-modernist poet Catherine Webster, and I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t a little strange. I loved her classes, and since this was still in the early 2000s, many high schools in my area were exposed to the whole Freedom Writers movement. Ms. Webster then thought it only right that we do a similar project, and so, handed all of us our very own composition notebooks. (We even sent the finished anthology to the foundation.) Sadly, Ms. Webster passed away a few years ago, may she rest in peace. Now, every time I see a composition notebook (or Moleskine, since she gave me my first one . . . which I still have), I think of her and of the pure excitement and fun my classmates and I had working on them, and working together to complete our collaborative anthology. Because of this professor, I can honestly say that high school wasn’t so bad. And don’t get me wrong, I’m as socially awkward as they come, and even now I still find it hard to be in large groups of people, let alone talk to people one-on-one.

And so, to shorten this increasingly long post, I meant to let you all know that I will be challenging myself this month. By its end, I hope to have completed an entire composition notebook, and I invite you all to join me as well. (Why the hell not, right?) I plan to use it as a personal journal, and fill it with thoughts, ideas, transcriptions of songs and poems, original works, collages, drawings, notes, lists, and whatever else comes to mind. Not only is this a great way to get the creative motor running every morning, but it’s a great therapy. Composition books are cheap and readily available, and so there’s no fear of ruining the paper. After all, it isn’t a PaperBlanks, Moleskine, Rhodia, or any other more expensive notebook.

I plan to keep you updated on my progress, and if anyone else wishes to join (Please do! It’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear!), please let me know so I can follow you. If you have a blog, or some kinds of social media to follow, send me a link. It’s never too late.

Well, have a great night guys. Here’s a picture of my cover page to send you off.

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Global Changes

Hello Everyone,

     Now that the final day of the Hero to Zero Challenge has come, I am left thinking about all the improvements I have made over the past month. Now, some of you might be thinking that I write about this challenge as if it were a godsend, as if it were the best thing to happen to me in my entire life. No? Well, I’m thinking it. But I’m also thinking that that might not be too far from the truth. Sure, it might not have been a major godsend, but it was an interesting challenge nonetheless. Through it, I not only improved my blog but also improved myself as a blogger, and above all, as a writer. I learned how important it is to remain diligent to my blog, the importance of constant maintenance, and above all, the importance of interacting with my fellow bloggers.

     Sorry. I’ll move on before this becomes a “moral-of-the-story” post.

     As I was saying, now that the challenge has reached its end, I am left wondering of what new improvements to make, new gimmicks (for the lack of a better word) to implement, challenges to join (or even create!), etc., etc.. I’ve been thinking about this for days, and finally came to the conclusion that global changes throughout my blogs are still necessary. Therefore, over the next month, I will be editing, condensing, and introducing new material to my blogs. (Not just this one, but my snail mail and writing blog as well.) One major change I will tell you about now is that I plan to delete one of my blogs. (Don’t worry, not this one!) I am going to delete To Believe In Mermaids at the end of February, and combine it with Snailmail Is Still In Fashion so it becomes a snail mail and craft blog. This will lighten my workload because it’s easier to maintain three blogs instead of four, and this way I won’t leave one forgotten for a long period of time.

     This will also help me with Day 29’s challenge, where we’re supposed to come up with a serial post to maintain in our blogs. I’ve thought up of several, and by organizing my blogs, I will be able to organize my posts in a way that is easy for me, and spaced out enough so it doesn’t feel like homework. (Especially when combined with the homework load I have already!)

     Well, wish me luck. I wish youth same and thank you infinitely for sticking with me throughout the month.

     Have a wonderful weekend!

When Inspiration Strikes, I Get What I Want

Good evening everyone!

Can you  believe we’re already at Day 27? Well, for today I chose to return to the tasks where we were asked to modify our blogs, play with our themes, and practically personalize them the best we could. At first glance, the biggest modification you see is that I finally changed my header. After looking at a few blogs, the stylistic element that I noticed the most were the personalized banners and headers of the blogs. I wanted my own, so I made it. Taking one of the pictures I’ve taken in the last week, I edited it on Fotor, and this is what was created:

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What do you guys think? And what did you chose to do for today’s challenge?

My Inner Critic Has a Mean Kick

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Day 23: Join a new challenge.

I have to admit, finding a new challenge to join was a lot harder than I thought. This also made me realize just how lazy I am. There was a challenge that required a poem a day. Nope, thanks. A daily phone photography challenge, nope again. But then my mental critic jumped in and roundhouse kicked me in the brain, screaming “stop being such a lazy ass” as it did. So I’m listening to it and joining Dancing with Fireflies’ weekly writing challenge and hoping for the best. What challenges did you guys decide to join?

Way Ahead of Day 18

A few trial shots with the Canon Powershot N’s “creative shot” feature:

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You know, sometimes I’m real proud of myself for being ahead of the game. (Or super far back, depending on your stand point.) Today we were supposed to open a few social media accounts and link them to our blog, which (drumroll please) I HAVE ALREADY DONE!!! (Yes, I am this proud at getting out of doing blogging homework.) But yes, for a while now I have had my Tumblr Blog (The Dreamer) linked to this, or, more like I have a link to it on the left. Also, over the last couple weeks, I also added a feed to my Instagram account, created a Twitter account (which I am seriously trying to use more) and most recently a Goodreads account. Please check them out when you can and I will follow you back!

What social media are you using on your blog?

Keeping it Real

Do I have a reputation? Hmm, I sort of do in the professional(ish) sense. I’m known as a pretty decent writing tutor, and as a hardworking employee at work.

But this isn’t the kind of reputation I want to have. I  want to be known as a “real” girl.

(Smother the Pinocchio jokes before they leave your mouths.)

What I mean by this is that I dislike fake people, people who pretend to be something else in front of you for various reasons. (Of course I’m not saying that it’s bad to pretend to be something you are not, if it helps your self esteem and doesn’t hurt anyone in the process, then by all means, go ahead.) What I am writing about are the kind of people that present a certain image because they want to make themselves feel better than others, or because they want to be liked by others so they morph themselves into whole new people. But why do I find this wrong? To me, friendship (and any kind of positive relationship) is based on honesty. Also, if a person presents a brave front to everyone and then, when the shit hits the fan, freezes up, we’ve got a problem.

So, to keep this short, the kind of reputation I want to have is of being a real person. I also know that I am not perfect myself, and that I also put up a front around strangers. (And have a work persona that has been cultivated for years.) However, to the people that matter (all of you included), I have gradually started disclosing the real dour, sarcastic, darkly humored Mary. I understand too that some people might not like this, and that’s okay, because at least I am still being real.

It’s sad that I don’t read as much as I used to!

Hello Everyone!

So, what widgets did you decide to put up on your blog? I chose to put the Top Posts & Pages widget on the left sidebar, and the Goodreads widget on the right bar. Man, guess this means I can’t slack off on my reading anymore. New New Years Resolution: finish at least ten books by the end of the year! (Excluding textbooks.)

How are your new years resolutions going?