Summer Goals: How’d I Do?

At the beginning of the summer, I wrote a list of goals.

Then, I forgot about them.

Meh

So, since it’s September and all, I figured now would be as good a time as any to wrap them up. Let’s see how much I accomplished (without trying to accomplish it).

Reading

Original goal:

This summer, I’d really like to branch out a little more in terms of what I’m reading, and also focus more on LGBT+ books, especially nonfiction. I tried to keep that in mind while creating my reading list, and in the end came up with a very diverse list, ranging from OCD, The Dude, and Me to 1984. I’ve also found some really interesting looking nonfiction, like a book about psychology (it’s aimed toward teens but not patronizing, which is nice) and some really cool books about the riot girl movement.

I actually read most of the books on my fiction list, and found some new favorites, including (but definitely not limited to) The Perks of Being a Wallflower and We All Looked Up. I also read some rad new comics like NimonaLoki: Agent of Asgard, and V for Vendetta.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do terribly well with the nonfiction side of my list. I did read more nonfiction than I usually do – on topics ranging from colleges to art – but none of the ones that were on my list.

I also started reading more poetry this summer! I found to collections that I really liked, Please Excuse This Poem and Poisoned Apples. I’m hoping to read some more poetry through this school year because I never really realized how enjoyable it can be.

Inkheart

I’ve also signed up for the teen summer reading program at my library! I did it last year too, but joined late and was only able to participate in one of the activities. This year, it’s superhero themed, so I’m really excited (and a little nervous, admittedly, but I’m always nervous about meeting  new people, so that’s nothing new). I know I haven’t been posting about it as much lately, but I’m still a massive Marvel fan!

I did this, and it was a lot of fun! I met a lot of new friends, (re)watched a bunch of my favorite Marvel movies, and found some really cool books. Plus, I’ve joined a YA book club and the library’s Teen Advisory Group, both of which are going to continue throughout the year!

Music

I’d like to learn a little bit more about my ukulele and teach myself a few more songs. As of yet I only know one, so it’ll be fun to learn some more.

I’m also going to start doing some extra chores to earn money for a guitar, because, I mean, the main reason I’m teaching myself ukulele is to get practice for when I have a guitar (I’ve heard that the ukulele makes good practice because the chords are very similar- same shapes, different names). Wish me luck!

Also, I’m going to keep working on my flute, and hopefully start private voice lessons.

Well. In some ways that worked out, and in some ways it didn’t.

PeteShrug

On one hand, I haven’t played guitar since spring. Oops.

But on the other hand, my brother got a guitar for his birthday. So even if it’s not technically mine, I have a guitar to play, at least until I’m able to save up enough money to get my own.

ThumbsUp

In terms of listening to music (as opposed to playing it), I’d like to branch out a little more. I really do have a pretty wide range of musical tastes, but lately I’ve been sticking pretty closely to my favorite bands and not really trying to find anything new. So this summer I’m going to be enlisting Pandora’s help in finding new music, especially some more punk rock. I’ve listened to a little teeny bit of the Ramones and Joan Jett, but that’s about it.

I listened to a lot of new music this summer, and I’m glad I did. Although I still have those special bands that are close to my heart (Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance in particular), I’ve fallen in love with a lot of new music as well, especially indie pop.

ILoveIt

I think I’ll actually be doing a new Music Medly post soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Art

I’d like to work on my drawing skills a little, but I don’t really have anything in particular in mind aside from… well, draw more!

I did a lot of art! You can check out the post I wrote about it here.

My mom found a really cool website called DIY that basically lets you work toward different badges, and it has a lot of cool project ideas that I’m going to try. If you want to see my progress/ what activities I’ve done so far, just check out my profile!

I spent a lot of time on DIY too, and it was soooo much fun! I’m going to try and keep up with it through the school year, but realistically I won’t be able to do as much as I did over the summer. If you’d like to see my DIY profile, here’s the link– it’s more up to date than the blog post and so it has a lot more of my projects included.

Writing

I don’t have a whole lot of writing-specific goals, but I would like to post more frequently on this blog and try to finish a short story I’ve been working on.

Well. On one side, I did to a LOT of writing. I had a story I needed to write so I could submit it to get into a writer’s workshop, which I poured hours and hours of work into- but then the workshop was cancelled. But on the good side, I do have a killer new short story! And a friend of mine and I are planning to hold some writer’s meet ups, so there is that.

Shrug3

I didn’t do very well posting here, but… oh well. I’m not posting as much, but on the good side, I feel a lot more relaxed about it, which has really improved the quality of my posts (at least, I hope…).

So, overall, it was a really fun summer! And I actually did pretty well on these goals, even though I didn’t even keep track of them, which I think is pretty impressive.

What did you do this summer? Did you get as much done as you had wanted to?

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Summer Projects and Drawings

So, this summer, I used the break from school to do a little more work on art and stuff than I’m usually able to. I posted a lot of my projects to a website called DIY, which is a really cool website that’s kind of like a scouting program- you work on projects to get virtual badges for various skills. So far, I’ve earned quite a few badges- Writer, Superfan (basically for being a fangirl/ boy), Chef, and Interior Designer, and I’m just one project away from Illustrator and Fashion Designer. Basically, it’s a lot of fun.

But that’s not really what I’m here to discuss- I wanted to share some of the projects I worked on this summer, most of which are drawings that I’m actually pretty proud of.

Shoes

I made myself a pair of galaxy Converse

ColorPalette RoomDesign

I made a color palette and a mood board

AfterPants

I splatter painted my jeans and sewed them into capris because they were getting pretty worn out

DreamBedroom

I drew a picture of my dream bedroom

HarryPotterFinalFinal

I did some Harry Potter fanart

FashionFinal

I did some grunge-y fashion sketches

KilljoyDoodleFinal

I did some Fabulous Killjoys fanart

FolieADeuxDrawing

and Fall Out Boy fanart

ArtemisFullPage

And did a bunch of sketches for the main character from my current WIP!

What did you do this summer?

My Summer To-Do List

Summer is here, and I am totally ready for it. Despite the gruelingly hot summer weather where I live and my hatred for shorts (why is it impossible to find girl’s shorts at a reasonable length?!), I’m still really excited for this summer. I’ve been working on a ton of different lists of different things I’d like to achieve- reading lists, craft lists, music lists. If you can think of it, I probably have a list for it.

ToDo

Anyway, here are my goals for this summer. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for yourself!

21pCapriSun

Reading

This summer, I’d really like to branch out a little more in terms of what I’m reading, and also focus more on LGBT+ books, especially nonfiction. I tried to keep that in mind while creating my reading list, and in the end came up with a very diverse list, ranging from OCD, The Dude, and Me to 1984. I’ve also found some really interesting looking nonfiction, like a book about psychology (it’s aimed toward teens but not patronizing, which is nice) and some really cool books about the riot girl movement.

I’ve also signed up for the teen summer reading program at my library! I did it last year too, but joined late and was only able to participate in one of the activities. This year, it’s superhero themed, so I’m really excited (and a little nervous, admittedly, but I’m always nervous about meeting  new people, so that’s nothing new). I know I haven’t been posting about it as much lately, but I’m still a massive Marvel fan!

Music

I’d like to learn a little bit more about my ukulele and teach myself a few more songs. As of yet I only know one, so it’ll be fun to learn some more.

I’m also going to start doing some extra chores to earn money for a guitar, because, I mean, the main reason I’m teaching myself ukulele is to get practice for when I have a guitar (I’ve heard that the ukulele makes good practice because the chords are very similar- same shapes, different names). Wish me luck!

GetDownToBusiness

Also, I’m going to keep working on my flute, and hopefully start private voice lessons.

In terms of listening to music (as opposed to playing it), I’d like to branch out a little more. I really do have a pretty wide range of musical tastes, but lately I’ve been sticking pretty closely to my favorite bands and not really trying to find anything new. So this summer I’m going to be enlisting Pandora’s help in finding new music, especially some more punk rock. I’ve listened to a little teeny bit of the Ramones and Joan Jett, but that’s about it.

Shrug3

Art

I’d like to work on my drawing skills a little, but I don’t really have anything in particular in mind aside from… well, draw more!

My mom found a really cool website called DIY that basically lets you work toward different badges, and it has a lot of cool project ideas that I’m going to try. If you want to see my progress/ what activities I’ve done so far, just check out my profile!

Writing

I don’t have a whole lot of writing-specific goals, but I would like to post more frequently on this blog and try to finish a short story I’ve been working on.

What are you working on/ looking forward to this summer? Do you have any book or music recommendations for me?

The Lyric Medley Tag

I was tagged to do the Lyric Medley tag by Musings from Neville– thanks! This one looks like a lot of fun. I’ve never done a tag where you had to make a collage before, so that was interesting.

The rules:

  • Thank and link back to the person who tagged you
  • Make a collage that represents your taste in music to go along with your post
  • List a song for each of the ten questions below, include your favorite lyrics from that song, and explain why you chose that song
  • Tag at least five bloggers

collage for my blog

Collage made using Polyvore
Okay, so a little info on the collage first (mostly just because I fell like it). I’m not entirely happy with how it turned out, but I guess it’s okay. Some of the cropping I did looks pretty bad, and I just realized that Frank’s knee is covering up Pete’s face, but… oh well.
The lyrics I used (top, going clockwise) are from Centuries by Fall Out Boy, This is Gospel by Panic! at the Disco, Brick by Boring Brick by Paramore, and The Light Behind Your Eyes by My Chemical Romance.
And the pictures, more or less left to right, top to bottom, are Paramore and All Time Low (they kinda blended together whoops), Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, Green Day, Hayley Williams of Paramore, cover art from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy (minus half of Pete’s face oops), and cover art from American Idiot by Green Day.
Phew. That was a lot. Okay. On to the tag itself.
A song that describes me perfectly
Oh No! by Marina and the Diamonds
One track mind, one track heart
If I fail, I’ll fall apart
Maybe it is all a test
Cause I feel like I’m the worst
So I always act like I’m the best
A lot of Marina’s music really gets me, honestly, but Oh No! is definitely at the top of that list. Her music is pretty different from what I usually listen to, but I still love it. It’s more upbeat and positive, I guess. Anyway, I digress. I think Oh No! really gets to me because it starts out as a song about wanting to succeed and go places in life and make the world a better place, all of which are things that I really strive to do. But then it starts getting into deeper stuff, like the doubt that you’ll never be able to achieve something like that. So, I mean, it’s really light hearted and cheery at first glance, but there’s way more to it than that- just like me.
The happiest song I know
Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
I don’t listen to the Beatles nearly as much as I used to, but, I mean, they’re the Beatles. I still love them. And Here Comes the Sun is pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on my face. It’s just so cheerful and optimistic, and it always cheers me up.
A song about donuts
Irresistible by Fall Out Boy
And I love the way you hurt me
It’s irresistible, yeah
I’ve been looking for a song that accurately describes my feelings on donuts for ten minutes and found basically nothing but I guess Irresistible is kinda fitting. I mean, they aren’t good for you, but they’re still pretty darn irresistible. So basically it’s just the chorus that’s fitting but oh well. Who knew that it would be so frustrating to find a song about donuts?
A song that reminds me I am loved
The World is Ugly by My Chemical Romance
For every one of us, there’s an army of them
But you’ll never fight alone
‘Cause I wanted you to know
That the world is ugly
But you’re beautiful to me
I don’t really fit in with people. I’m weird, and a lot of the time, that leaves me feeling like an outsider. But The World is Ugly (despite the very pessimistic title) reminds me that there are other people who feel the same way as me, other people who don’t fit in, and that I’m not alone.
(Another thing I really love about this song is that it really reflects how I feel about other people, and the world in general- super frustrating collectively, but so amazing and beautiful individually. Basically, I can’t express how much I love it.)
A song of origin
Cool Kids by Echosmith
She sees them walking in a straight line, that’s not really her style.
And they all got the same heartbeat, but hers is falling behind.
Nothing in this world could ever bring them down.
Yeah, they’re invincible, and she’s just in the background.
And she says,
“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.”
Several years ago, I realized that I didn’t fit in. I stood out from the crowd, and that was hard. So I hid myself away, and I worked to make myself the person that other people (my classmates, mostly) wanted me to be. It was really just recently that I decided to change that, and to stop hiding myself away, and just to… unashamedly be myself, you know? To stop trying to fit in. And I’m not even close to that yet, but I’m working on it.
A song about human decency
Coast (It’s Gonna Get Better) by Patrick Stump (from his solo album, Soul Punk)
Life’s already been hard enough
Without you giving up on yourself
When you’re down at the bottom, you know it only gets better
Human decency is kind of hard to define, so it was tricky to find a song that I felt really represented human decency. But I think that, in the end, it means supporting other people and reminding them that, yes, it gets better. So I feel like Coast does a pretty good job with that. And, y’know, Patrick Stump in general. Look up “human decency” in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of Patrick Stump.
 

A song about a story
The Song of the Lonely Mountain by Neil Finn
Some folk we never forget
Some kind we never forgive
Haven’t seen the back of us yet
We’ll fight as long as we live
The Song of the Lonely Mountain (from The Hobbit) is about as far away from what I normally listen to as you can get, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an amazing song. It’s just so beautiful and haunting- perfect for adventuring through Middle Earth with dwarves and hobbits and wizards. Not only is it a good song, but it perfectly captures the mood of the story.
An “I can’t even” song
The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy
Hey young blood
Doesn’t it feel like our time is running out?
I’m gonna change you like a remix
Then I’ll raise you like a phoenix
It’s kind of hard to capture exactly how I feel about this song or what it is I love about it. But… I dunno. Whenever it comes on, I just feel so powerful, like I can do anything I set my mind to. It’s a pretty amazing feeling. Bulletproof Heart by My Chemical Romance was a pretty close second for this one, but I think that in the end, The Phoenix wins this one.
A song of hope
Sing by My Chemical Romance
(The music video can be a little confusing if you haven’t seen the video for Na Na Na first. Just a heads up.)
Sing it out
Boy, you’ve got to see what tomorrow brings
Sing it out
Girl, you’ve got to be what tomorrow needs
For every time that they want to count you out
Use your voice every single time you open up your mouth
Sorry (not really) about all the My Chemical Romance songs I’ve listed here. Their music just really gets to me. Anyway, Sing is a song all about making things better around the world and making change through art and if that’s not hopeful then I don’t know what is. It just gives me this feeling like… no matter how messed up the world is today, we can still make it tomorrow.

What songs really get to you? And what’re your favorites out of the ones I’ve listed here?

My Favorite Comic Books

So, yes. It’s been a really really long time since I actually posted on here. But hopefully I’m back now! And to get this blog up and running again, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite comic books, including what I liked, what I didn’t like, etc. Enjoy!

The Avengers
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Main Characters: Iron Man, Captain America (Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes), Thor, Red Hulk, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Wolverine, Spider-Woman
What I Liked: I’ve actually liked a lot of the Brian Michael Bendis stuff I’ve read so far. He does a really good job with the team dynamics, and sometimes the plotlines.
What I Didn’t Like: You know how I said “sometimes” the plotlines? Yeah, well, in Avengers they’re kind of a hit or a miss. Some I loved, some I didn’t.
The Verdict: 6/10



Hawkeye
Writer: Matt Fraction
Main Characters: Clint Barton, Kate Bishop, and Pizza Dog
What I Liked: They were really funny, and the characters were really relatable. It was also really interesting reading a comic about a not-so-super hero while he’s not being a… well… hero. And the cameos in vol. 2 were a lot of fun too. And Pizza Dog. I love Pizza Dog.
What I Didn’t Like: It’s fun. Not that that’s a bad thing, but sometimes it feels like that was the sole goal of the book. When the plot did get “serious”, it felt kind of… I don’t know… dull. I dunno. Maybe I’m not making much sense here. Anyway.
The Verdict: 8/10

Amazing X-Men
Writer: Jason Aaron? I think?
Main Characters: Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Storm, Firestar, Northstar, Iceman, Azazel
What I Liked: Firestar’s character development was great. Her change through the course of the story… She became a lot more confident in her place as an X-Man. And Nightcrawler’s back! He’s been one of my favorites ever since I got into X-Men. So that was great. I guess… just the characterizations overall. And the plot was very well done, too.
What I Didn’t Like: The way it ended. I can’t really go into detail without spoilers, but… just no. I didn’t like the ending.
The Verdict: 8/10



Young Avengers
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Main Characters: Wiccan, Hulkling, Miss America, Kate Bishop, Kid Loki, Speed, Prodigy, Marvel Boy/ Noh Varr/ The Protector/ whatever he calls himself
What I Liked: The team dynamics and character development were AMAZING. I loved each and every one of the characters. And the writing was hilarious. And Billy and Teddy were just so darn CUTE together.
What I Didn’t Like: The plot felt really rushed sometimes, like they were trying to cram too much into too few pages. And am I the only one who didn’t get the whole Kid-Loki-Turning-Into-Teenage-Loki thing? I dunno.
The Verdict: 9/10



Excalibur (Classic)
Writer: Chris Claremont
Main Characters: Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Rachel Summers
What I Liked: These are probably the oldest comics I’ve read which means they’re from before 2000 and WOAH THERE’S MORE THAN ONE TOKEN GIRL ON THE TEAM THIS IS SHOCKING. But seriously. The plot was great (I loved the concept of the Warwolves), and a lot of my favorite characters were included.
What I Didn’t Like: I found the art kind of meh, but that’s just personal preference. It’s also annoyingly hard to get your hands on a copy.
The Verdict: 7/10



Runaways
Writers: Brian Vaughan and Joss Whedon
Main Characters: Gertrude Yorkes, Karolina Dean, Nico Minoru, Chase Stein, Molly Hayes, Alex Wilder, Xavin, Victor Macha
What I Liked: Um. EVERYTHING. No. Just kidding. I’ll try to be a bit more specific here. Most of the time, the art was great (most of the time meaning “when it wasn’t that weird manga stuff”). The plotlines were stupendous. But the best part was the character development. If you like excellent, three dimensional characters, chances are you’ll LOVE Runaways. As an added bonus, Joss Whedon was such a huge fan that when Brian Vaughan left he wrote a few issues.
What I Didn’t Like: As mentioned before, after a little while, (around vol 9 I think?) the art style switched to a really weird manga-but-not-really thing and I didn’t like it at all. Also, since the series was canceled in 2009, there are a ton of strings left untied that’ll have you making up headcanons for years to figure out what happened.
The Verdict: 10/10 as long as you pretend everything after Joss Whedon’s books never existed.



All New X-Men
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Main Characters: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel, Archangel, Iceman, Shadowcat, Storm, Mystique (I feel like I’m forgetting someone, though…)
What I Liked: The plot was really unique, and it was pretty cool to see all the old X-Men trying to adjust to modern day life. Kitty’s banter with Bobby was a lot of fun to read. The dark path Jean has started heading down is pretty interesting, although I’m not quite sure what’s up with her relationship with Hank? But oh well. He’s got to be better than Scott.
What I Didn’t Like: SCOTT SUMMERS. Ugh. That guy. Get it? Huh? Huh? Thinly veiled Night Vale reference? But seriously. He’s starting to get on my nerves. A lot.
The Verdict: 8/10