A Collection of Haikus on Burn Out

I’m afraid we’re reaching that point in the semester! Winter break is right around the corner and I’m very ready to welcome it with open arms. Until then, however, enjoy a collection of a few choice haikus that I have written over the past couple of weeks. I generally recover from semester burn out after Thanksgiving as I can just see the light at the end of the tunnel. Finals are oh-so-close but regardless, maybe a few tired adults (or even teens) out there can relate as to my mood in recent days.

Busy Bee

Buzz Buzz Buzz

Do you think bees can burn out?

I’m sick of honey

Assigned Readings

Way too many books

Reading should not be a chore

Thank you, dear college

Sunrise

The sky is orange

It always is this early

I’m tired of orange

Two more years

Senioritis? No.

Junioritis. Just halfway.

Five more minutes please?

I Haven’t a Dime nor a Penny

Burn out. Burn out. Spent.

I am so completely spent.

I haven’t a cent.

If Polaroids Could Talk

No, it wasn’t better then.

It was only different.

Nostalgia,

You are liar

Who insists things were better before.

And I’m tired of listening to you.

You can keep your sepia filters,

Your polaroid’s,

Your cassette tapes,

Your photo albums,

And your yesterdays.

I left them for a reason.

And the reality is,

If I were asked,

“Do you want to go back?”

I would most certainly shake my head.

It’s amazing what flaws you miss

When you apply that tinted brown filter.

To be a child is magical, yes.

But growing up is rarely painless.

Fox Writing Prompts

★The Slyest of them All

A battle of wits is held every 3 years in the Kingdom of Foxes. The goal is simple- win each test and beat your competitors. The Fox that reigns supreme is named Slyest of them all and is to rule the next 3 years. However, if all the participants fail, the currently residing Fox King remains for another 3 years.

The current King is a tyrant and you will do everything in your poem to dethrone him.

★Fox Detective

A pompous Detective wrongs the wrong person. A witch, enraged, curses him to turn into a fox every time the sunrises. The only way he can lift this curse from himself is if he helps the witch and solves her case. It’s Swan Lake but with a twist in this fractured fairytale!

★Fairy Foxes

This prompt is a little more vague. I just want you to imagine a world where Fairy Foxes exist- little flying creatures that are always out to cause trouble. What do you think this world would look like?

★Revenge in the Forest

The other forest animals are sick of being terrorized by the local fox. He comes at night causing trouble and sometimes even killing some of the forest residents for food (none of the other animals have been able to catch him red-handed though). Secretly, they hatch a plan and plot their revenge.

★ To Err is to Fox

In some sort of magical mix-up, a fox gets turned into a human and must figure out how to pass as one, all while trying to figure out how to revert to his normal, animal form. Hijinks as I’m sure you expect, ensue.

★Outfox or Befriend?

A fox has no friends. At least, that’s how it’s always been. However, a certain fox is starting to rethink this. A fox is given a task to steal or fool someone else but, in the process, becomes too attached and begins forming bonds with the one they are supposed to fool and begins having second thoughts.

★The White Fox

Legend has it that white foxes are magical creatures that grant wishes upon being caught. You always chalked this up as a myth- after all, you’ve never even seen a white fox! However, you begin to rethink this as you found that you have accidentally snared a white fox in one of your hunting traps. And it’s still alive.

Ways to Brighten up Your Writing Space

Got a writing space that you’re uncertain how to spruce up? Well, I’ve got you friend! I spend way too much time on pinterest and am ready spill my favorite decor ideas geared specifically towards writer’s and decorating their little writing nooks. Honestly though, the first and main thing you need to know when decorating your writing space is that it should be a place where you feel comfortable. You should want to be there, and feel at home in it. Whether this means hanging up your gaudy posters or having a little of little knick knacks all over your desk or that you’re surrounded by piles of loose paper, then so be it. At the end of the day, this is all about making a space that you’re comfortable in and, consequently, write in more freely.

Suggestions are as follows:

Candles.

Pictures (family, pets, memes… it really doesn’t matter. Whatever you want really).

Posters of things you love,

A cup or mug of coffee or tea (adds to the cozy vibes),

A Quill Pen (For decorative purposes but also fits the writing theme).

Decorative Glass Bottles.

Fairy Lights.

Succulents.

Drawings.

Colored Pens.

Coffee mugs that are cute.

Paintings.

Flowers (both live ones or pressed/dry ones).

Journals from which you can grab inspiration from.

Cute Lamps.

Cute stuffed desk animals.

A Blue tooth speaker for playing whatever ambiance music you desire.

Desk Stationary Organizer.

Sticky Notes

A Pet (preferably a cute cat that will sleep at the end of your bed or at your feet and make a nice rumble-y purring sound).

A cute rug.

And that’s it I think! Hopefully these suggestions are enough to trigger your inner Joanna Gaines and get you into your decorating mode. I bet it’s gonna be a space worth writing a book in!

Bets of luck to you!

35 Journaling Prompts for Writers

I’m a big believer in the power of journaling. I say this as someone with like a gazillion empty journals around the house. Collecting them and writing in them are entirely different hobbies I believe (I’m sorry! They’re just so pretty I don’t want to mess them up!). However, I do think its important to have a place to dump your thoughts every now and then, especially if you’re a writer with a loud brain like mine. I may not do it as routinely as I probably should but I still think its good for everyone to sit for a moment and reflect whether its about the day, one’s identity, your loved ones, goals, or random intrusive thoughts. In summary, I think it’s a great way to process your feelings, work through tough times, and explore new ideas.

So I made a list. I love lists.

Now, to be clear, I wrote these prompts with writer’s in mind, however, the vast majority of them could apply to pretty much everyone so if you’re a non-writer and you’re looking for some prompts, feel free to steal some from the list below because they will probably work just as well for you. I give you permission to cherry-pick.

  1. What is your favorite part about writing?
  2. Why do you write?
  3. What do you like most about writing?
  4. Do you have any favorite characters or literary topics that you enjoy?
  5. Make a list of your favorite authors.
  6. Think about the things that make you happy. What might those be?
  7. Write about your favorite places to go.
  8. What is your most ideal writing space? How could you change your current one to reflect that?
  9. What’s your ideal writing schedule?
  10. Do you have a pre-writing ritual?
  11. Write about what you’ve learned from a difficult situation, or how you’ve grown from it—even if it was just a little bit.
  12. Write about something that’s bothering you, but is also good for you—maybe even give yourself some advice on how to get past it.
  13. What are some of your favorite quotes or sayings?
  14. Describe where you are in your life right now, and what you’re doing there—wherever that may be!
  15. Write about your favorite memories with your parents
  16. Describe your life in a few sentences
  17. What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this week?
  18. What are you thankful for in your life right now?
  19. What’s one thing that makes you feel good about yourself?
  20. What did you learn today?
  21. What’s something you need to let go of?
  22. What are your goals for the coming year?
  23. What are you scared of?
  24. What’s your favorite day of the week?
  25. Write about a dream you had last night/this morning.
  26. Do you ever wish you could go back and change the things that have happened in your life?
  27. What is one thing that makes you feel fulfilled?
  28. Write about the things that make you angry.
  29. Write a letter in your journal to someone who hurt you. What would you say?
  30. Write a letter to your favorite book character.
  31. Write a letter to your favorite author.
  32. How do you want to inspire someone else? How do you want your work to inspire others?
  33. Write about your favorite movie/book scene. Why was it good?
  34. How do you feel about your work overall? Are you proud of it?
  35. What is a piece of advice you’d give to a new writer?

Alrighty! I think that’s it for now! Happy journaling!

Columbus’s Stars

My small feet pattered up the steps as I made my down the stairs of my Grandparents’ rickety steps that led to a wide kitchen. The screen door creaked open, then snapped shut behind me as I continued to join my Grandfather on the porch.

Peeling paint pricked my toes and a chilly breeze nipped at my small ears. A perfect night for soup, as my mother would often say. Mother always loved soup.

 “Could you not sleep?” The lilting voice of my grandfather broke the night. There leaned against the railing, slightly bent, bearded, tan, and plump, my grandfather beckoned me over to lean with him. I accepted of course.

“You told me I could stay up late!” I accused. Surely, he hadn’t forgotten. Did he?

“Are you sure?” Grandfather leaned his head back and stroked in his beard as if he were deep in thought. “I don’t recall…”

“You said at dinner that I could come out and see the stars fall!” I informed him. Adults always thought they were so funny. And Grandfather often was but he didn’t need to know that.

Grandfather smiled at me and even though it was dark, I could still tell that his eyes are sparkling in amusement. I could hear it in his voice.

“Well, you did.” I finally concluded. Grandfather seemed satisfied with this and returned his gaze to the sky.

 All around, light streaked the sky. Mom often described stars “like diamonds on tapestry”. But these stars were not diamonds. They moved and danced across the sky, leaving a glowing pathway behind.

“What are they?” I found myself asking aloud. “Why can they go so fast?”

“Because they’re ships, Molly.”

My 10-year old self was aghast. “I thought they were fire? Burning fire and chemicals and stuff. I remember from our astronomy class at school.”

Grandfather shrugged. “That’s the boring answer. You already get a bunch of boring answers at school. Wouldn’t you like to hear a fun one for a change?”

“Even if its not true?” I was very concerned with the truth, even as a 10-year old.

“Good stories often aren’t.”

I was fortunately intrigued. “Tell me about the ships then.”

Grandfather’s eyes shut as he began to imagine. “Ships often travel in big groups. You’ve learned that in school, right?”

“Of course!” I responded, eager to demonstrate my knowledge on the matter. “They’re called fleets. The Pilgrims traveled in one to America.”

Grandfather seemed entertained by the Pilgrims remark, half smiling as I came to the end of my sentence, but he would not be sidetracked. “Look out then, M. What you see is a fleet. Ship after ship passing by.”

I still wasn’t fully sold on the idea. “And why do they glow white then?”

 “That’s their sails of course,” responded my grandfather. “Sails that reflect and are powered by pure moonlight.”

“And where are they going?”

Grandfather shrugged. “Who knows. I reckon it’s not for us to know.”

A beat of silence ensued as I wrapped my mind around the idea. I didn’t believe it and the both of us knew it wasn’t true, but perhaps that was what made it a fun idea. It was so utterly impossible. Then I was struck with another thought.

“What about shooting stars?” I wondered. “What are they?”

“They’re ships too,” Grandfather said, now a little more quietly. “The ones left behind and lost.”

This thought saddened me.

“Maybe they’re explorers. Like Columbus. I learned that in school too.”

Grandfather opened his eyes and leaned back to look at the sky. “Maybe so, M. Maybe so.”

Tips for Artists & Keeping Motivated

While I generally enjoy populating my blog with tips for writers primarily, from the few art posts I have on my blog, you can probably tell that I dabble a bit in the realm of drawing both digitally and traditionally. It is not a source of income for me nor do I ever really plan on it being however, I still find myself in a much better mood having created something that appeals to my eyes (for the most part. Every artist knows you must create an abomination every now in then to keep thinks spicy).

So, all that being said, I felt like it would be fun to make a little “tips and tricks” post for my fellow artists out there for keeping motivated to draw and create even when you feel like you’re not improving or find yourself in a rut creatively.

1. It’s okay to have a pretty scuffed sketchbook.

I know first hand the discouragement that Pinterest drawing journal inspo can produce. On one hand, I feel inspired to create such beautiful pieces myself! On the other, it can cause me to obsess over the “cleanness” and perfection of not just my individual sketches but the state of my sketchbook itself. And, like I often say over here on my blog, perfectionism can be one of the biggest obstacles an artist must overcome. So take heart, artists with beat-up and banged-up sketchbooks! It is totally fine to have a collection of drawings with a few “scrap” pages and maybe a few coffee stains on the cover. Actually, I’ve found that I often draw more when I have a slightly scuffed sketchbook as it prevents me from being nervous about messing up the book with a less than perfect sketch.

2. Draw, Draw, Draw. Quantity (mostly) over Quality.

Just like with writing, often skill comes overtime with the production of a lot of creations. This is the whole practice makes perfect phenomenon. Not that you shouldn’t try of course. Keep trying, by all means. But try not to get all caught up in creating the perfect piece now.

3. Not every art tip you find online will apply to you.

This is another important thing to note when you’re an artist with an internet connection. You have an endless supply of lists of “Do’s and Don’t” that you should follow when drawing. However, while it is good to at least CONSIDER these tips when making your own art, you probably shouldn’t follow every single one. Certain things are creative decisions and a piece that follows all the “rules” can sometimes feel boring or devoid of creativity.

4. Practice the things you struggle with.

I don’t like this tip but once I decided that I was going to draw a hand every day for a month, I saw a huge (though gradual) improvement with my ability to do so. Now that’s a pretty intense solution that I don’t think everyone should do, but I think you get the idea. Try not to avoid things that you struggle with and feel you aren’t good at it. Not that you have to now make your living as a hand-sketcher but it really pays off to put extra practice into those artistic pet-peeves you have whether it be drawing hands, eyes, people, animals, etc.

5. It takes time to find your style.

Not to mention it also evolves constantly. That’s alright though. That’s actually good because if you weren’t changing, you wouldn’t be improving in the slightest. Remember, change is (usually) good.

And I think that’s about it! Thanks for dropping by and reading! Also feel free to let me know in the comments section below of what tips really helped you as an artist! I’d love to hear them!

And I’m outta here! Bye!

The Disappearance of a Blogger

Brooke: Sorry I’ve been gone for a month! I’ll post a life update soon!

Also Brooke: *Disappears for another month*

Ahem….so anyways! Thanks for sticking with me through this busy summer. I honestly did not expect it to be as eventful as it turned out (in a good way of course). But as a result, my once somewhat established blogging schedule is a little off-kilter. Which for the time being I’m somewhat alright with seeing as how I think I can get it back on track as I start back to college in the coming weeks (it’s much sooner than ever thought. Time flies!). But, regardless, I still miss posting regularly and at least wanted to do a quick life update for all 3 of my blog readers (perhaps I’m being a bit generous).

As many (3) of you are probably aware, the majority of my time has been devoted to my summer internship which has been going swimmingly as they say. I enjoy the work, albeit pretty exhausting work. I do a lot of field research and data gathering so I’m out in the sun for about 30+ hours a week and with the heat wave we’ve had this summer, I’ve found myself rather drained at the end of the day after sweating my brains out. But it’s definitely not all bad. In fact, I’ve quote enjoyed the experience and the variety in tasks that I get to do at work.

And, very honestly, a lot of my exhaustion may simply be in part that this is my first consistently full-time job. I’ve worked full time hours before at other places prior to this, but not on a regular basis. Really I think a lot of my tired can be contributed to everyone’s favorite words: change and adjustment.

Ugh. Sorry to give you cold-chills like that.

Anyway, as I alluded to in the earlier paragraphs of this post, I will be starting back to school however. I am actually looking forward to this semester as my schedule looks a little lighter class-wise so I’m hoping to squeeze in some nice hobby time somewhere in there. At this moment I have a masterlist of posts that I’ve wanted to write these past months that I simply haven’t gotten to so I am delighted at the thought of slowly making my way through said list. I’ve also got a butt-load of digital art that I want to share with you guys as well!

Basically, don’t worry friends! I am not, in fact, dead. Good things are coming!

And I think that will wrap this post up for now! How has your summer been? Despite being on busier side this summer, I rarely find myself lacking time to read comment!

Have a lovely day!

Steampunk Writing Prompts

Hahaha I’m gonna pretend it hasn’t been like a month since I’ve posted. I will probably type up a quick life update/overview post soon but for right now, I’m just gonna post this real quick. I’m excited to hopefully get a few more posts out seeing as how I took an impromptu month break without meaning too (oopsy daisy!) but I do have lots to talk about now that I’m back. I’ve gotten settled into my internship position, have gone on vacation, seen the ocean for the first time ever, and am now feeling refreshed and ready to write!

Phew! That was a lot. I have been gone for a month after all so I’ve been saving it all up I guess. Anyways, onto the prompts!

★Nightstalker  

An city’s industrial economy begins to grow. Thousands of new factories are built and a heavy smog begins to coat the city, cloaking it in darkness despite the time of day. The people did not mind this until they realized the 24/7 lack of light attracted something…. 

★Victorian Avengers  

I don’t see why a steampunk city can’t have super heroes. Weave a tale of Victorian crime fighters. 

★Botanical Apocalypse  

As the industrial revolution begins, nature begins to fight against man’s machinery in an act of revenge and rebellion.  

★A Girl and her Goggles 

A girl steals a pair of goggles from a family member only to find a new perspective. The sight of ghosts and spirits passed greet her as she explores her home city and figures out what in blazes is going on?! 

★A Fox made of Cogs 

An boy who grew up in a forest far away from the city gets a job as an inventor in a bustling, Victorian metropolitan area. He accepts his fate but cannot shake this feeling of homesickness for the woods. So, in his spare time, he assembles together mechanical forest creatures, the most special and clever of them being the Fox. So, when the inventor is murdered, it is not wonder the Fox wishes to solve the case and enact revenge.  

★The Age of Dragons

The time of draconian domination has all but passed at the time of the industrial revolution. And yet many still survive, learning to cope with this cruel world that man has manufactured. Some have even managed to thrive. Some choose to befriend humans while others slink back into the sewers and abandoned factories and wait….

I Review an Obscure Art App

Hey, everyone! Thank goodness it’s the weekend. I started a new job recently as I’m sure some of you have heard about via a blog post of me basically saying “Haha I’m tired because of work so sorry but there will be less posts hahaha”.

But it’s Saturday! And this post has been something I’ve wanted to share and talk about for a week or two now but just haven’t found the time to really MAKE it. Honestly, this post isn’t quite like a normal one for me. I usually splash my blog with writing related posts, a few personal posts, and maybe a FEW art posts here and there but writing seems to be my real bread and butter. I haven’t really had any inspo for writing prompts or tips though so HERE WE ARE.

Wow, that’s a lot of backstory without any real context to the specifics of what I’m talking about. Apologies. Getting to the point is not always my strength. What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah!

I found an interesting though slightly obscure art app that I wanted to talk about with ya’ll. It’s called Wombo Dream. It is an AI art tool that generates pieces based off of your “prompts” which tend to consist of a few keywords and phrases. It’s a fascinating tool and I’ve played with it on and off for a few weeks now. I think the best way to really explain this AI and how it works is to share with you some of the results I got while using it as well as the prompts I used.

The prompt for the image above was “Circus Tent” and, as you can see, the results are pretty trippy yet also recognizable. Let’s try another!

The prompt for this guy was “cozy coffee shop”. You can definitely see it, even if not everything in the picture is completely identifiable.

The prompt for this one was “Rivendell” which is a location from Lord of the Rings. I can recognize this one really well, especially with that waterfall in the background.

The Prompt for this one was “Emerald Castle”. You can really see the AI doing its best here to create a structure that resembles as such.

You might be able to tell the prompt for this one already, but in case this structure doesn’t seem at all familiar to you, the prompt that I used was “Tardis Castle.” As in, the Tardis from Doctor Who.

This one is definitely a little vague but hopefully it seems recognizable when I tell you the prompt. The prompt was “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”. I can see them twirling in a group here, their skirts swirling round them creating such an appealing composition for the image. It’s crazy to think that an AI generated this!

I think you get the idea now so I’m going to stop explaining the prompts and just show you a little showcase of other beautiful images I got from using this tool. Let me know in the comments if you recognize any of them!

I know this was sort of an odd post but hopefully you found yourself just as fascinated as I was upon finding out about this app. Just the idea that a AI tool could create things that look so familiar has such neat implications. Will there be a time when this AI is perfected so well that It will be hard to tell the difference between AI art and human art? I don’t know but until then, I definitely encourage you to check out this art tool. Not only is it fun to play around with, but it might be good for art inspiration or even writing inspiration for when you have a fictional place but aren’t sure how to exactly describe it.

Oke doke! I think that’s about it! Thanks for sitting through my rambling review of an obscure art app.

Take care!