February and March Anime!

I missed my post for February because I was lazy/ busy/ whatever, so I’m just gonna throw in what I watched from then in this post as well.

So let’s see… I watched the rest of Fate/Zero, Fantasia Doll, started Cowboy Bebop, and watched the available Nyanbo episodes. I’ve let Trickster episodes pile up so I can watch them all at once, I’ll get around to that once I finish Cowboy Bebop.

Fate/Zero was pretty amazing. I watched it kind of a while ago now so I can’t recall all of the details, but the animation was gorgeous, the magic was really cool, the characters were great, and the story was pretty good. It’s basically about some preset magical war that begins between a couple magical houses. They get to summon these cool “avatars” based off of historical figures that fight on their behalf. It ended a lot differently than I expected, but looking back on it, I think that may have been because I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t see the hints.

Fantasia Doll was alright, but it was a little too cutesy and cliche for my tastes. It reminded me of Cardcaptor Sakura (in a good way) and though they kind of used the card aspect a little differently than most card game animes, it still feels weird to watch an anime about people playing a card game.

Cowboy Bebop is great so far, but I’m only a couple episodes in so I’ll talk about that once I’m done or at least further through.

I’ve saved talking about Nyanbo for last because I love, love, love this show. It is most definitely a kids cartoon and the episodes are only five minutes long, but it’s just so loveable. From what I can tell, the actual plot is very minimal. The characters are these box-looking “alien” not-cats that act like cats and have strange powers. They don’t know why or how they came to Earth, but one of the main characters is set on them rebuilding their UFO so they can get back into space. And they actually do find UFO pieces throughout the show. I don’t know, it’s just adorable and funny and super easy to get into, so I guess that’s why I like it. 🙂

Well, that’s all I’ve watched for now!

~Erynn

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Wahoo!

Yesterday was my last day of classes for the second semester. I suppose the year isn’t officially over since there are still exams, but without classes left, I feel like it’s close enough to the end to start celebrating.

It feels pretty good to have made it through the whole year. I mean yeah, I’m still taking summer classes, but that’s a little different. I was expecting to make it to the end and absolutely dread the coming year, but it didn’t end up like that at all.

Okay, so kind of a funny story. Last summer when I was deciding what classes I was going to take this year, there was this creative writing class (the second year one I took this semester) that I really wanted to take. The pre-requisite on it was two completed English courses, though, and since I really don’t like English, I was most definitely not going to take two in my first ever semester.

I ended up emailing the prof, she’s pretty great and said I could register without the credits, I just needed to sign a prereq waiver. After that, it was all said and done and I didn’t think about it again until a couple of weeks ago when I started thinking about what classes I want to take next year. Cue absolute panic.

Let’s take a few steps back for a moment. I wanted to take my second English class over the summer, but no first-year classes were being offered. I was kind of upset about this at first, but in the end, I decided it was fine and that I could just take the second English in the first semester of my second year. But the reason I was trying to take the second English over the summer was because I assumed that I needed two in order to take any second-year Creative Writing classes, and I’ve taken all of the first-year ones already. So because I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to take any Creative Writing classes in my first semester next year, I was really, really upset.

But of course, I’m just a fucking idiot. After about a week of worrying, there was one night that I couldn’t go to sleep because I was super stressed about this. I ended up logging into the university website and browsing the course catalogue, which is where I discovered my idiocy. Only some classes had two English courses as prereqs, there were many with one or none. And the two that I would want to take next year only required the completion of the corresponding poetry or fiction first-year class, both of which I’ve completed. So all that panic for nothing.

Now, I’m really looking forward to next year. I can’t wait to get into some intermediate workshops and work on some new short stories or continue with my novel. I suspect that with this to look forward to, the summer will be long, but enjoyable. I’ll get into more detail about that in another post, but for now, let’s just say I’ve got a couple writing goals in mind for over the next couple of months.

~Erynn

Learning to Draw

I’ve always loved drawing. There’s something about taking a pen or pencil or something and just letting the lines flow, kind of like I do with words. It’s a different kind of creative work… but it’s one that sometimes works the same, in the sense that every now and then stuff just comes out.

I’m not very good at drawing. I used to be pretty okay, back in high school, but since then I eventually stopped because I opted to pursue other interests. Now, though, at least over the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to pick it up again, although this time approaching it from a technical perspective. By that, I mean I’m trying to learn and master the skills I need to make consistently good drawings. Of course, it will take a long while and a lot of work before I’ll draw anything “good,” but I feel like I’m learning some valuable stuff…

It’s a really slow process, learning to draw. That’s probably because I don’t have the time or patience to dedicate multiple hours to it a week, but I digress. It is one of those things I’d like to be able to do without too much thought, eventually. I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

Right now, I’m just using online tutorials to learn stuff, but in the summer I’ll be taking a formal course at the university. Oddly enough, a drawing class is one of the requirements for my degree, so I guess it works out?

Maybe I’ll post a couple drawings sometime– once I’ve drawn something I’m happy with. 🙂

~Erynn

Nevernight

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff was such a good book that I ended up writing an essay on it for my second-year creative writing class. A quick look at the blurb and you immediately think “super cliche” (female assassin bent on vengeance, school of assassins, etc) and I thought this too when I first saw it, but I picked it up anyway because I loved the cover.

Honestly, my essay was probably garbage (it hasn’t been graded yet…) but I went into a lot of detail about the characterization of Mia Corvere, the protagonist, and her experiences. I thought the detail that went into her development was astounding (even more so that I was able to identify a lot of it) and that’s what sparked the idea for my essay.

I’d suggest the book to anyone who likes fantasy, specifically in the young adult/ grimdark subgenre. For most advanced readers you might see a lot of the plot mechanics clicking about as the story progresses, but I found the writing itself very good, so it’s still worth the read.

I hope someone else decides to pick it up. It’s definitely one of my new favourites. 🙂

~Erynn

A Japanese Journal

I’ve been considering for a while getting a journal for me to write exclusively in Japanese since I want to get into using the language regularly and improving upon my use of grammar, kanji, etc. When I first had this idea, I was pretty sure I had an extra notebook laying around and went to go look for it, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find it. So, for the last couple weeks, I’ve been thinking about buying a nice cute one that’s actually Japanese and uses Japanese inside the notebook.

What I ended up getting was a Hobonichi Techo, a planner, not a notebook, but one that has note pages. Since I was considering getting a handwritten planner anyway, I figured this would be a really good in-between and guarantee that I’ll actually use it. I’ll post pictures of the one I got on Instagram once it arrives– it should be here in the next couple of days. 🙂

~Erynn

Summer Classes

So I guess it’s official that I’m taking summer classes.

I decided a couple of months ago that it makes more sense for me to go to school for as much of the year as possible. As much as I love writing, when I’m writing for work I’m more focused on writing for other people than for myself, even if I do make time for my own writing. But so far this year with school, even through all my classes and assignments and other bullshit, I’ve made quite a bit of progress without any additional stress. That’s actually because in one of my creative writing classes I haven’t really had to write anything new, but rather I’ve been able to work on Desolace and flesh out scenes I’ve already got in my head. I’m not sure how much more of that I’ll be able to do, but I think that as I get into the higher level creative writing classes, things will become more focused like this, rather than super generalised like both of the first-year creative writing classes I’ve taken. Fingers crossed!

But on top of that, school, overall, has kept me productive and active. I’ve been working on a bunch of stuff– writing (personal and for school), drawing (personal and for school), I’ve been actively studying Japanese — rather than playing lots of videogames. You know, I would like to have time to play games every now and then when I want to, but right now about 80% of my time is devoted to school related activities– mostly because Japanese is a pain in the ass.

The summer, though, will be pretty light on class time, so I’ll be able to get lots of writing done on the side and (if I want to) even some work. I’ll probably make time for both. I’m planning on taking a history and two arts classes– one drawing, the other digital media. I’m not really sure what the second one entails, but it’s required for my degree, so I figured it would be good to get that out of the way over the summer. The history I’ll be in is about the ancient world, like Egypt and Rome and a couple other places. Pretty generalised, but I’m still looking forward to it, nonetheless.

~Erynn

The Lesser Blessed

I’ve actually been dreading writing this post… because I really don’t know what to say about this book. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I thought it was kind of interesting, but I guess I can only expend so much energy thinking about a book before I just run out of ways to say things.

The Lesser Blessed is the last book I read for my creative writing class this semester. It took place in Northern Canada, I don’t remember the exact location, but somewhere in the Yukon. So, if you know anything about the Yukon, and anything about YA novels, you probably already have an idea of where this is going.

Rebellious children, drugs, lots of sex, fighting, bad parenting, and the like. Personally, I knew about all this being an issue in the North because that’s where my boyfriend and his family are from. But while they’ve experienced it first hand, I haven’t, so I still thought it was amazing to see knowledge like that confirmed through completely unrelated means.

Otherwise, I guess the book was pretty typical. A boy tries to figure out his life, as a young teen, in high school. The only real difference compared to other stories I’ve read is that the protagonist is Native American, and so many aspects of that are incorporated into the narrative through the language used by the character, as well as by their experiences.

~Erynn

 

About: My Poem “Purity”

I decided that whenever I post a poem here on my blog that I’ll write a follow-up post the next day. This’ll be so I can talk a bit about the poem itself, why I wrote it, inspiration, and all that. I don’t think I’ll post poems all that often (most of the stuff I’ve been writing is garbage, or I’m not really comfortable sharing it), maybe once or twice a month depending on how well writing has been going.

So, this is about Purity.

Purity is one of the first poems I wrote this year. It came to me after my second Poetry writing class, sometime in the first couple days I started practising poetry for the upcoming assignment, as I had no idea what I was doing. Poetry was never really my thing, see. Usually, poems take me multiple sittings to sort out– I write a bunch of lines, I think it’s garbage, then I come back and sort through it to find the relevant stuff, putting the rest aside for later.However, Purity was an exception to that ritual. The poem came to me in one sitting, almost perfect.

However, Purity was an exception to that ritual. The poem came to me in one sitting, almost perfect. Well, I mean, the poem is far from perfect, but it’s served its purpose, and I don’t desire to edit it further or alter it in any way. It captures exactly what I want it to, as I needed it when I wrote it, and as I need it now. When I wrote it, of course, I made a couple alterations, but that was just switching a couple words around here and there to make it sound better or to get the meaning right.

Overall, the writing process for this one was simple because of all that. So maybe if I ever post one of the harder poems I write some day here on my blog, I’ll talk a bit more about the detailed process of how I write them.

The meaning behind this poem and the inspiration for it go hand in hand. While I had no visual inspiration (such as a picture or what-have-you), I used a couple events that occurred around that time to build the story behind it. Actually, you could say that I wrote the poem to help cope with and better understand what was going on.Essentially, the poem is

Essentially, the poem is about a dear friend of mine, someone who has gone through a lot of shit and has a lot of shit in their future just because of how their life is set up. It’s an unfortunate situation overall. But because of how much I care about this person, I wanted to be there to help them through it all, to steer them away from the path of destruction they’d set themselves on, and in general just protect them from the demons of the world. Unfortunately, people usually only accept help when they’re ready, and my friend wasn’t ready, so they felt like I was imposing on them. I was devastated when our friendship fell apart. In the end, I think it was mostly my fault, but I’ve accepted that, and have a better idea of what to do to prevent this from happening again in the future.

I struggled a lot with whether or not I should give up on this friend, or stick around and be supportive in the background so I could be there if they ever needed me, even if it proved to be an emotional burden. It came down to whether or not I was able to stop caring, which I so far haven’t been able or even wanted to. I’m also too afraid that if I step away completely, I won’t be there if something bad happens. And even if it’s paranoid to think like that, nothing so devastatingly wrong has happened that this friendship can’t be repaired somehow if I just stick around.

So Purity ended up being my acceptance of the situation. The first half is my acknowledgement of the good, and the bad in my friend (lines 1-4), while the last half of the poem (lines 5-8) is about my decision to be there for them, even if it ultimately means that we can’t be friends anymore. There’s obviously more to it than that, but this is the simplest explanation of how the poem came to be and my interpretation of it. Everyone, of course, is welcome to interpret it as they like. In fact, if anyone has a different interpretation, I’d love to hear it!

Here’s the poem again, for reference:

Purity

Within you rests a sanctuary,

not for the broken or the free

but for the demons you harbour

in your heart.

Silence would kill most

and when I want to think

I’m one of them

I decide to ride it out together

even if our ends are far apart.

~Erynn