Posted in The Going Ons Of Thegirlnamedjack's Life

Long Time No Write

Actually, that’s not true. It’s NaNoWriMo right now, and this is the first year that I’m going for that big 50,000 word goal, so it’s been writewritewritewritewrite everyday.
As for my blog… Not so much.

The past few months have been very eventful. Far too much for one post to hold, unless you enjoy reading things the length of Les Miserables.
So, where to begin… Wow.

We moved to South Asia, and it’s been one hectic ride. There’s been monkeys, and a whoooole new bathroom situation, and for about a week there was a leopard on our roof. I’m going to a language school with my mom, which was also a huge adjustment (for me) because as a homeschooler, waking up early in the morning is a sin. Also, studying is a pain. (Thankfully we have the two latest morning classes now so I don’t have to wake up quite so early anymore.)

On the way to South Asia, we got to stop in London for several hours. We missed the big tourist-y monuments like Big Ben, but we did get to ride the London Underground! (I saw very few people on their phones. Everybody had an actual book, or were just talking to each other. In America, everybody is on their phone 24/7 and it’s very distracting when you’re trying to have an actual conversation with someone. So, it was nice to see so many people just… Not playing Angry Birds. Also, the accents were amazing.)

We have an ayah, which is like a maid, or house-help. They’re very common here, whereas in America you have to be pretty wealthy to hire one. (Also, people here seem more… Kinder, to their helpers? I mean, they still call them ‘ji’ which means ‘ma’me’ or ‘sir’. And they just seem to treat them a lot more like family.)
My nine-year-old brother talks her ear off while she’s cooking. She talks just enough English to get her point across, but constantly flits back and forth between Hindi. Nine-year-old mostly just talks about Anime shows he likes to her. She smiles and laughs when he does, and it’s entertaining to overhear because I don’t think she understands him… At all.

But our ayah (I’ll spare her name) is very nice, and an excellent cook. She worked at a nice restaurant for quite awhile, so not only can she make amazing South Asian food, but lots of Western food. She tries to prove this to us, I think, because occasionally she asks for specific things on the grocery list, so she can make pizza. Or burritos. (No way am I complaining!)

Yesterday we went to her house for a Diwali dinner! Her house is one room, plus a tiny kitchen, behind a bunch of stores. She lives there with her husband (all kids and grandkids gone), and she was very happy to have company. We looked at a couple photo albums of her daughters weddings (which were more colorful than American weddings by far) and enjoyed very nice, Diwali-seasonal food! (Fun fact: her husband paints local scenery.)

Going back to several weeks ago–I was bitten by a dog. (This jumps all over the place, I’m trying to cram around four months of living into one post… Mostly for laziness reasons.) To reach our house, we have to take a trail. There’s more than one way to reach the house, but it’s all by trail one way or another (literally).

Everyday my mom and I had been walking past this mama dog with her puppies on the way to and from school. She lived underneath somebody’s house, and never bothered us. Ever. We would stop, see how the puppies were doing (never leaving the trail or touching any of the puppies/Mama Dog), and proceed whichever way we were going.

Then one day while walking home, Mama dog came tearing around a blind corner and bit me on the knee. No growling, barking, snarling—no warning whatsoever. After biting me, she backed away and played off the typical crazy-angry-dog display. Head down, teeth looking really scary, you know.

Well, I was surprised so at first I didn’t move. Then my mom yelled something, and we both ran back up the steps, and headed down a much steeper part of the trail that was out of the dog’s way.

My dad and his friend (who was apparently at our house at the time) were waiting at the bottom, and our ayah was waiting in the yard. (I put this detail in because for some reason it was really weird to have people worrying about the dog bite. I mean, it was worth worrying about. But I was shocked, and my knee hurt, and for some reason one of the most vivid details I remember is everybody looking concerned.)

My dad took me to the hospital (which is just down from our house. We live on a mountain, so there is no ‘a few blocks over’), and they cleaned the bite/put a bandage on it. To be honest, I was just kind of normal the whole time. I mean, shaky. But it didn’t feel like anything bad had happened.
Day one was a like like: “Nah man, I’m okay.”

Then I got a rabies shot. The first in a series of five. And the next day, I… Did not have rabies. Thank you, God. But I kept crying, and laughing, and laugh-crying, and crying. And sobbing. And snotting. And my knee hurt. And I couldn’t move my leg to even sit down or lay down, because the slightest movement made the knee burn like crazy.
Day two was a lot like: “I’M CRYING AND I DON’T KNOW WHY AND I’M LAUGHING AT EVERYTHING BUT IT MAKES ME CRY MORE AND ALL I WANT IS TO SIT DOWN BUT ONCE I DO THAT I’LL EVENTUALLY HAVE TO GET BACK UP AND THAT’LL HURT TOO AND ALL I WANT IS TEA AND I’M CRYING AGAIN AND I’M CRYING DURING CLASS AND I LOVE BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER AND I’M CRYING AGAIN AND NOW I’M DRAWING BUT I’M STILL CRYING AND MY MOM MADE A JOKE SO NOW I FEEL SAD AND I’M MAKING LAUGHING NOISES BUT I’M CRYING—”

More or less.

Onto more nicer things… Copic markers.

A very, very nice person bought me very, very expensive markers and mailed them to me. Along with very, very nice paper for said very, very nice markers. (Very nice.) And candy corn, because Halloween was coming up and they don’t sell the American seasonal candies here. And rat-traps, because we (had) a rat problem.

For those who don’t know what Copic markers are, they’re the modern day artist-nerd’s dream come true. I about cried when I got the package, and almost didn’t use them because I was/am afraid of wasting the precious ink. (Although they are refillable, I’m not sure where I can refill them…)

Not only are they refillable, but they blend together like the smoothest paint you’ve ever seen, have a chisel tip on one end and a brush tip on the other, can shade with one color alone if applied lightly, and just in general are beautiful.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Trevor, Sunstreak2000 (on deviantART)’s character.
A Langur (local type of monkey), drawn for my grandpa.

Thank you, very, very kind person.

There’s plenty more to be said, but I think I’ll save those for future blog posts.

-Jack

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Posted in Random

Charcoal Fingerprints – My Art Blog!

Drawn by me, please do not use without my permission.

Hello!

I recently created an art blog, Charcoal Fingerprints. (Title inspired by how smudged my papers gets when I draw. :P) I update it whenever I draw something new, which is very often–much more often than when I post here, anyways.

I’m using it as my second deviantART, in a way. See, I’ll be moving very soon. And I’m worried that the country I’m moving to will be one of those that has websites like dA, blocked. Just in case this is–well–the case, I’ve created a second go-to. Hopefully I won’t have to fully depend on the art blog. I already have a small community built up on dA–which is the perfect platform for an artist to start on. A personal website is much less mainstream, and people just don’t comment on blogs as often.

So although I am afraid that I’ll lose contact with some people, hopefully that won’t happen.

Please, if you’re interested in seeing some art, go check out Charcoal Fingerprints!

Thanks for reading. 😉

Posted in The Going Ons Of Thegirlnamedjack's Life

Jack the Dog, a Salamander Named Dipper, and a Musical.

Hello there! I dropped my habit of posting every Monday, but starting today that should be back on schedule. At least I’m not short of topics.

First, my grandparents got a little dog, Jack (not named after me), and he’s staying with us for a couple of weeks. He’s the sweetest little dog! His hair is short so it doesn’t get everywhere, he rarely barks, is house-trained, cuddles with you, etc. He’s the ideal small dog.

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Second, I got the movie Les Miserables! It’s a fantastic movie–my favorite, actually. Everything about it is amazing, from the touching story to the great characters, to the amazing music. I first got to see it when it came into theaters in 2012, back when we still lived in Canada. Since then I’ve seen it three times, and now I finally own it!

The first time I saw it I had never heard of the story, and was very confused about what was happening in it. I’m not sure why I was confused… But I couldn’t keep any of the characters straight at the time.

I forgot Javert’s name. After he sang-screamed for the audience to remember it, I still forgot his name.

Third, our move is coming closer and closer. Soon, very soon, I’ll be in South Asia. Learning a new language, the rules of a new place and the ideas of a new culture. To describe how I feel right now… The calm before the storm. Everything is peaceful right now, nothing has been packed yet, I still have a lot of time to see my best friend and do things. But there’s this excited, nervous, fidgety sense that a really big storm is coming, or I’m about to get onto a roller-coaster.

Fourth, we found a salamander! My dad was cleaning out his friend’s shed, and they bug-bombed the salamander on accident. They rescued him and my dad brought him home to me in a Tupperware container. (Don’t worry, the container had some water/grass in it, and holes poked in the top.) I named him Dipper (after Dipper from Gravity Falls) and after some research, learned that he is a Woodland Salamander.

He lived eating off of small slugs for longer than a week, until one day I woke up and he was gone! He had a cover over his bowl, and we looked underneath of everything in the tank/around the tank, but he’s gone… Maybe he buried himself, but I don’t know why. That was a few days ago and I’ve assumed that he’s dead. 😦

Fifth, my youngest brother turned seven, and he had a The Legend of Zelda themed birthday party. OH, speaking of Zelda… I bought a Wii U! I’ve saved up for a really long time, and I had just enough money for a crazy cheap Wii U! So now we can finally replay The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker. 😀 My brothers were so happy when it came in the mail (it was a surprise), the oldest one started to cry.

Last, my great grandma stopped by yesterday. She brought stuff from Dairy Queen (as she does every visit, it’s almost a tradition now), and some stuff from the Smoky Mountains. (She went on a trip with my great uncle, and came back with souvenirs.)DSCN1065

Posted in The Going Ons Of Thegirlnamedjack's Life

A Variety of Things Consisting of Sea-Life and Birds

So… It’s been awhile. Too long, actually. Which is why the first half of this post is about a week late.

We went to visit some relatives in North Georgia, and we went to the Georgia Aquarium! It was amazing, and I took a load of photos and videos. I might put the videos together into one big video, but my laptop is too full, so it probably won’t let me put most of them on it. :/ In the meantime, here’s some of the best photos!

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I was using my video camera instead of my mom’s, so the photos aren’t the best. Believe me, these are the best photos of the bunch. 😉

Annnd, today is my dad’s birthday! Now, like a bad little daughter I forgot his birthday until about two days before the day of said birth. It’s kind of reassuring that he forgot about his birthday too, though.

So today I thought: “Darn, I don’t have anything for him.” I know he’s a grown man who doesn’t expect anything, but I still felt like I should make something.

“Draw a bird,” my brain said as I plopped down in front of my laptop. “Like one of those Steller’s Jays we saw all the time in Canada.”

But some other part of my brain, a deeper, darker area, said that drawing a bird worthy enough for today was going to be tough. And I have… Very little practice when it comes to birds.

Thus, this was born!HAPPY BIRD-DAI copy

Luckily my dad has a sense of humor, AND a love for birds/nature just in general!

That’s all for now! Post to you later. 😀

Posted in Uncategorized

Tumblr and Valentines Day

Hello there world of WordPress! It’s been a couple weeks since I last posted. My every-Monday routine was cut short by nothing less than laziness.

So to start off with–Valentine’s Day. I had big plans for Valentine’s Day, but those too were cut short by laziness.

“I’ll get up early in the morning and make breakfast!” I said. (Early for me being anywhere under 8:30. It’s a Homeschooler thing I think.) But what I didn’t know, was that we would be staying until around Midnight at someone’s house the night prior. Playing board games, playing music, eating food and drinking tea–we had a good time. BUT, it didn’t exactly help me get up the next morning at a reasonable time.

Long story short, I didn’t make breakfast. But we still had a great Valentine’s Day. 😉

There was lots of candy. LOTS.

I got Squishy (code name for my best friend) a giant Reece’s peanut-butter heart, and she didn’t even realize it was for her. I had her close her eyes before I set it in her hand, and she had no reaction. Zero. So I just assumed she wasn’t all that impressed, which was kind of a let down, honestly.

It wasn’t until thirty minutes later that it finally dawned on her that the heart was for HER, and than she started to hug me and eat some of it.

On a new topic, I made a Tumblr account today. I had a Tumblr once before a few years ago, but all I did was post captioned screenshots of Transformers. And then I started an Ask-Blog for a couple of my characters, but that never took off. So now I’ve finally started a personal blog! I just post sketches and WIP’s of drawings, and random stuff probably only I find funny.

I’m Teen-Traveler on there.

That’s all for now, post to you later! 😉

Posted in Uncategorized

Tree-Moles and Cat-Lamps

Sounds like a book title, come to think of it.

Well, this past week was good. I spent all Sunday out and about doing church-y things, and Squishy–my best friend–was with me. So we did a lot of doodling in my sketchbook and laughing about stupid stuff. 🙂 My ideal day.

Last night when I was going to bed, I was all ready for bed and everything. But my brain was still active, I had all of these ideas for a story swirling around like crazy. And if I’ve learned anything about that, it’s not something I should sleep on. Because–well–it makes it hard for me to sleep. And I have a tendency to procrastinate, so if I don’t seize the inspiration of a new idea at THAT moment, I won’t care as much later.

And so I re-opened my laptop and started to type. Tap tap tap went the keys (actually I type rather loudly, so it was more like TAP TAP TAP) and ‘Write moooooooore’ went my brain. Until finally my body forced Brain to quiet, because it was Midnight and I was definitely tired.

Satisfied with the two or so pages I had managed to type down, I went to bed… And dreamed about toads. This is where tree-moles come in.

In my dream, I walked into my room. It was laid out differently for some reason, kind of like how my room looked the last time we lived in this house. Accept unlike anytime that I’ve changed my room around, there were shelves full of tanks–and the tanks were full of toads/frogs. Apparently my mom had caught them all for me, which is… Strange. But I love animals so I just went with it.

There outside of a tank, sitting still as a statue, was a toad. Large, gnarly, he didn’t try to move until I picked him up. Then he squirmed around and kicked his legs like toads do as he tried to escape–and I soon found that there was no room in any of the tanks for him.

So taking him outside, I walked over to a big oak tree that’s in our yard. I’m not sure what I was going to do with him, but I guess it wasn’t letting him go–because when he jumped out of my hands I started scuttling around trying to scoop him back up.

That was about the time my servant popped up–dream logic told me I had one–and he just sort of stood there, not helping. Kind of like a dumb Skyrim companion. Or any NPC from any game, ever.

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Suddenly the toad BURROWS into the tree, and that’s when I realize that the tree is no tree, it’s a rotten dirt tree. I can sift my hands through it like sandy, finely grained up wood-chips. Watching his little shape move around through the wood-chips, another movement catches my eye from the left. So I dig my hand in and pull out a freakish mole. Not a normal mole. something with a pointy nose, sleek, peach-fuzz fur, and other qualities that sound more mole-ish and less cat. It started to writhe in my hands, trying to snap at me with these needly little teeth, and I commenced to freak out.

My servant just stood there. And that was the end of that dream.

BUT, it did inspire me to put tree-moles and dirt-trees into my book, so once I awoke I drew one!

DSCN0559

And as for cat-lamps, that’s just a character I came up with, based on my cat-lamp. He will probably be in my story too. 🙂

wally_castleburry___ref_sheet_by_authorjack-d8g5jdd

Posted in The Going Ons Of Thegirlnamedjack's Life

Betta, Youth Group, Friends

_MG_0506 Meet Jazz, my new Betta fish. He (I’m calling it a he, but I don’t know this for sure) is my only pet, currently. Some of you might remember, I used to have a lot of pets. A box turtle, a dog, a goldfish, and various small critters–such as minnows. But when I moved up to Canada I had to give them all away, and then while we were up in Canada Jake–my dog–died. So even when we moved back I couldn’t visit him anymore, even though his new family is just down the road. We’ve taken care of a couple cats since then, but that was several months ago. Sooo, I’ve been really wanting a pet lately. Something inside me always wants an animal friend to take care of, and the only thing we can get right now is a fish. Not something I can play with and cuddle, but better than nothing. So hello, fish!

Other than that, I made a couple of new friends at youth group, and although I still struggle to remember names, they’re friendly and like some stuff that I do. I introduced ‘Once Upon a Time’ to one of them and she staid up until 3:00 AM watching it, apparently… I need to up my game and finish the newest season so I can still talk to her about it without dodging spoilers. 😛

My best friend had her Birthday a couple days ago, which was on the same day that I was at my little cousin’s Birthday party, face-painting. So I went straight from one party to another! Squishy (her DeviantART username is Squishy-pony-13, so online I call her Squishy. Safety.) had two of her friends from school come, and we all had a blast! Ate junk food, stayed up late watching YouTube and talking/laughing over all kinds of stuff. I forgot to get her a Birthday present (call me a bad best friend, but I did) so today I found some stuff at The Dollar tree for her… I’m still working on decorating the gift bag, but it’s stuff she’ll like, not just cheap candy and junk. (I love having a friend who is easy to please. Candles and nail polish.)

I also sent something to one of my best friends, an on-line friend from Scotland. This is our first time exchanging stuff through mail, so I’m really hyped about it. 😀

We also went to my great grandpa’s Birthday party yesterday, which is a big Southern get-together with soul food and Southern accents hitting my ears from all directions. I love the food and the family–well, those who I know anyway–and it’s a tradition for him to host a big gathering like this every year.

That’s all for now. Post to you next Monday!

P.S. I’m reading ‘Ender’s Game’, and it’s really great. I’ll try to post a review of it when I’m done.

Posted in Uncategorized

This and That, But Mostly About a Writers’ Guild

I’ll start with the lesser stuff, and lead up to the finale.

A lot of small things are going on. Not exciting enough to devote a post to, but stuff like art projects–both personal and collaborative–and youth group. It’s the one day a week I get to spend with other kids my age, even if the loud music and Middleschoolers/Highschoolers can be overwhelming, I have a great time. But I tend to forget about it until it’s too late, so I’ve finally set a weekly alarm on my iPod. Also I watched ‘Over the Garden Wall’ (which is amazing. The style is unique and beautiful, and the storytelling is the same).

OtGW WIP
WIP of some ‘Over the Garden Wall’ fan-art. 😀

Now, the big thing that I’ve been putting off actually happened at youth group. Or right after it. It ended, everyone was slowly walking out, chatting, laughing, praying, doing whatever they were. I walked up to my mom–who was talking with someone else–and two adults came up to me. One of them introduced herself as the new president of the writers’ guild that I submitted ‘The Scribe’ to. Apparently she’s read my story and really liked it! She then went on to say that they were having a youth thing where they usually meet, and asked me to join them.

Guys. I was asked to join them. That’s a pretty big step-upward in my mind! I mean, when I was younger I always wanted to be a super famous author. Now, not so much. I’m content to write for myself and for friends, for the sheer fun of pouring out stories. But being asked to join a group of people who are just as nerdy/geeky and–um–authory as I am, is awesome!

So, wish me luck. 😀

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Merry Christmas and a Happy 2015!

This Christmas–well, last Christmas–was a great one. I’ve never had a bad Christmas, but I always feel the need to say that. It was great–not only because of the gifts, as per usual. But the family, which isn’t always as usual. What with my family and I moving around so much, not every Christmas is spent with our extended family–grandparents and aunts and uncles, the like. And knowing last year’s Christmas will be my last in America with all of them for a few years, that made it all the more to cherish.

I had three Christmas gatherings. One with a group of my family, one with my main family on Christmas day (well that was a stay-at-home-and-open-presents thing like normal, not a gathering), and one with another group of my family–on New Years Eve. So I basically had three Christmases. All of which were great. 😀

To name some stuff I got: a notebook/colored pens/flowery and tie-dye duct tape, a Dalek mug (EXTERMINATE!), Doctor Who – The Official Miscellany, Kre-O Transformers, a Lego Onesie and more. But the two golden trophies of the bunch were Bayformers (Micheal Bay Transformers, for those who don’t speak Cybertronian) Bumblebee merchandise!

Taken with our new camera. :D
Taken with our new camera. 😀
Bumblebee Head
As dorky as I am, I still find this creepy. Cool in a way, but creepy.

Soooo, yeah. This has been the dorkiest, geekiest Christmas I’ve ever had. And I loved it. 😀

Also–happy late new year! My only resolutions are to practice drawing Transformers, learn of the lyrics to Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire‘ and practice my voice acting. Audition for more things on-line and whatever I have to do. 🙂

What about you, any resolutions?

Posted in The Going Ons Of Thegirlnamedjack's Life

Christmas, The Hobbit, and Painting–Oh My!

This year has passed by so quickly. Little over a year ago, we drove down from Canada to park–once again–in our little hometown in the Deep South. Since then we have reunited with friends and family, settled into more than one house more than one time, visited hundreds of different places, and just have generally been busy. My life seems to be a constant flow of packing and unpacking, getting comfortable and then throwing myself into the blue like Bilbo running off on his adventure. An Unexpected Journey? Don’t get me started. I am mostly Took, but still a Baggins.

The point is–or at least, what I was trying to lead up to–is that I suddenly find myself celebrating Christmas again. Every year I sense it coming, as the air chills and the “what do you want for Christmas?” questions start poking up. So I make big plans to make something for every member of my family and friends. Make a list of who I want to make gifts for, and grow excited over what I’ll do. This is how it works…

I need to work on that gift, but first I’ll watch an episode of Doctor Who. BOOM–where did the day go?

I’ll do it now, but first I’ll just do this other thing–BOOM BOOM–two days have passed. I’d better hurry, I still need to make six gifts!

This list is way too long, I can’t make these in a week! BOOM BOOM BOOM, Father Time is waking up, and I still haven’t done anything!

That’s how it goes every year. Every. Year. Until now. Which I say every year, accept that this time–please ignore my record–I have actually completed my plan. I have made gifts. Actually–take a seat, this might come as a shock to you–I bought a gift for somebody. TWO gifts. Yes ladies and gentleman, I didn’t just paint a tree and give it to them, I spent money. Like a big girl.

I’ve been practicing traditional painting with acrylics so that I can make decent looking paintings that aren’t digital–so yes, some people may still get a tree. But it’s a better looking tree than last year’s tree so ssssshhhhh…

And I’m making t-shirts for my brothers of each Pikachu evolution. Pichu = youngest boy, Pikachu = middle boy (who loves Pikachu), and Raichu = oldest boy.

PicMonkey Collage
I plan on changing the bubble around Pichu to fit the others. 😀

 

 

That’s all for now. Other than that, we’re going to go see the hobbit in a couple of days (a bit jealous of one of my friends–who’s Scottish, so she’s already gotten to see it) and overall have a very merry Christmas. 😀

Merry (early) Christmas!