Tag Archives: stories

August Notebook Challenge Update

Good afternoon everyone, 

Well, seems like summer is coming to a close, what with August up and school already begun (or about to begin, in my case). At the beginning of last month, I started a challenge called the August Composition Notebook Challenge. I haven’t used a compo journal in a long time, since high school actually, and so, I wanted to see if I could finish a notebook in one month. Now, here are a few pictures of the results. For more, you can check out my previous update post: Week One Update. (Obviously, I forgot the remaining three weeks.) 

photo 1

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I wish I could say that I was able to finish the entire notebook, but I didn’t. I got close though, and then I realized that the notebook I’d chosen wasn’t normal. It’s a 3 subject kind with extra pages. (Yes, that’s my excuse.) However, throughout the month, I discovered some great things: 

1. Mead Compo Journals actually have better paper quality than your basic Moleskine. Yep, I used fountain pens, Prismacolor markers, felt tip markers, and of course the occasional pencil. No bleed through, that is, unless I went over something several times and then of course the ink would eventually seep through the paper. 

2. It was a great place to store pen-pal letters I received throughout the month. 

3. They are also handy for drafting, as you can see in one of the pictures. I wrote a couple chapters of a story I am currently working on. 

Yes folks, for one month, this notebook became my life. Everything went in it. I won’t lie either and say that it was super easy to do, because some parts weren’t. While it’s simple enough to throw the occasional picture and letter inside, the actual written portions were the toughest. Writing always is hard. Do I regret putting myself through this? Absolutely not. However, I did learn that hoping to finish this with all the craziness in my life was a bit much, so my next journal will be paced throughout these following months. In fact, the latest one has quickly become my go to place for logging different fonts and designs used for hand lettering (one of my most recent hobbies). I thought about starting a pocket notebook for the month, and even purchased a Moleskine, but sadly the paper quality is so poor that almost any pen I use bleeds through. Thus, the little book will become the place where I draft ideas. For this month, I will be using an Eccolo notebook that a friend gave me. The paper is nice (though certain fountain pen inks do leak a bit), and the notebook is small without being too small for on the go writing. 

Well, thank you for making it through this with me. Till next time! 

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Daily Routine

Just wanted to share with you my morning (or night) routine: listening to the latest episodes of Real Ghost Stories Online. I know I wrote about this show before, but here it is again. If you’re into the paranormal, and love hearing personal ghost stories, please give it a listen. It’s that awesome. Have a great day folks!

Real Ghost Stories Online

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Good Evening Everyone,

After watching The Conjuring several weeks ago, I did a quick Google search and found an interview between the host of Real Ghost Stories, Tony Brueski, and Andrea Perron on Youtube. Intrigued, I listened to both parts of this interview and soon found myself listening to all the other videos on Brueski’s channel. Now I’m a regular listener and always look forward to the newest episode, especially since, as a writer, they can also serve as a means to further inspiration (especially during those horrible dead times–otherwise known as periods of writer’s block). Real Ghost Stories Online covers all kinds of paranormal topics, from your classic demon and ghost possession to doppelgängers and the Goatman. Therefore, I hope you guys give this awesome show a look (or listen) and have a wonderful weekend while doing so!

Best, Mary

Note: Photo taken from the Real Ghost Stories Online Website

Real Ghost Stories Online is an internet radio show about the paranormal (no duh, we can read the title Mary). I originally ran into it after watching The Conjuring (2013), and doing a quick Google search on

What Is a Dreamer?

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
~Oscar Wilde~

     There are two reasons why I posted this quote by Wilde: 1) I love his fairy tales, and 2) this particular quote resonates with me.
Walking up to Mrs. Jaramillo one day in fourth grade (or was it fifth?), I stood before her desk and stared past her shoulder, out through the window beyond. In my hand is Victoria Henley’s The Seer and the Sword, my favorite novel at the time.
“Mary,” she says, staring up at me from a chair that occasionally liked to fall apart. (My fellow classmates may be to blame for this.) “You’re a dreamer.”
“Oh, ok.” I said, and returned to my seat. But why did she call me that, I thought. I wasn’t sure if I should feel insulted or proud. But, I never forgot.
I am a dreamer. It’s not because I can come up with stories, am a writer, or because I like to sleep a lot. It’s because I see possibility. I think ahead of myself, at what I can be, of what anything can become. I see the world outside my door and am amazed, terrified, excited, breathless, and hopeful.
But, even now, I am still working on my definition of “a dreamer.” I am not completely sure of my interpretation.
Now, why did I choose Oscar Wilde to quote as my post?
If I asked you, “what story do you remember most from when you were a kid?”, what would you say? What story comes to mind the moment you flash back to childhood?
For me, it is Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant.” It is about a giant who returns home after seven years, and finds that children have made his garden their playground. Angered, he builds a wall and puts up a sign for them not to trespass, which plummets his garden into a never ending winter. However, the children soon find a way back into the garden, and he sees that trees that were once frozen were starting to bloom, and realizes that these children are meant to be there. At that moment, he becomes friends with one child in particular, which he helps climb a tree,  but he never sees him again after that day. Years pass and he ages. One day, he finds the child in his garden, resting beneath a strange white tree. He sees that he is hurt, bearing injuries in his hands and feet, and becomes enraged. But the child calms him, and reminds him of the day he allowed him to play in his garden. The child then tells him that it is the giant’s turn to play in his garden, and takes him to Paradise. In the morning, the giant’s body is found under the tree, covered in flower blossoms.
On the few nights she didn’t work, my mother read this story to my sister and I from an old university textbook. We loved it when she read to us because it was “our time”, time when we had our mother to ourselves.
And now that I think about it, my mother came to America with many wishes for the future. She still carries them, and works hard to make them a reality. So, if she is a dreamer, of course I’d be one too.

Post-Holiday Inspiration, the Magic of Six Words.

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your friends and loved ones. I just got back to the Bay Area myself, and I have to admit, leaving home was hard. One look at my mother’s tearing eyes and I felt like I’d just kicked a puppy. (Safe to say, my mother wins every guilt trip. And I mean EVERY single one.) Good thing I still have Christmas to look forward to.

Anyway, a few days ago I reblogged a post from Rachael Stanford’s blog titled “What can you say in 6 words?” As a writer myself, this post gave me the kickstart of inspiration that I’ve been looking for recently, and last night (as I lay stuffed with Dad’s once a year turkey and brandy sauce sandwiches, and a glass of coke and Kahlua) I started writing my own 6 word short stories. Here are the revised versions:

Christmas. Present from mom barks. Friend. 

Ripped and burned photos. Past relationships. 

Best friends. Car ride. Estranged silence.

Vodka shots: lots. Morning: first tattoo.

Facebook:Friend request-friend. “Benifits?”-Unfriend.

Well, I hope you enjoyed these and if you have any ideas for others please let me know! Also, what was your favorite Thanksgiving dish this year?

3AM

My sister is listening to a Disney station on Spotify (or Pandora, I’m not sure) and the Little Mermaid’s song “Part of that World” just played. This song always evokes a bittersweet ache in my chest, along with a sense of nostalgia. I used to love this movie as a kid, but now it can be a bit painful to watch. In the Disney version, Ariel lives happily ever after with her prince, but in Andersen’s original fairy tale she (Marina in the old cartoon adaptation) is unable to make the prince love her and so dies, becomes foam on the sea’s waves as angels take her soul to heaven. To me, these two versions of the Little Mermaid’s tale are like life, childhood and adulthood, a dreamer exposed to reality. Of course, I don’t hate the story, in fact I love it. I admire Marina. She killed herself so she wouldn’t have to kill the one she loved, she chose to die so he could be happy with another. I don’t know that kind of love, I sometimes don’t believe in love at all, but I’d like to believe in it. I’d like to know it.