I've Been Away For a Time, and Now I'm Trying to Find my Way Back Home

Hello my friends.

It's been a while hasn't it? 

Many of you may have noticed my absence lately. Or, rather, my recurring absences. If you've been around a while, you may have realized I have not started my traditional Blogmas series this year. Or you might just be seeing how terribly inconsistent I've been in general.

I'd just like to start with an apology. I want you all to know that I love producing content for you and nothing brings me more joy than seeing your reactions to my work and interacting with all of you. I have also missed you dearly.

Lots of stuff has been happening in my life lately, the surface level of it being college applications. I did not anticipate that there would be so much work. I have felt so overwhelmed by trying to figure out my future that even doing things I love (like blogging) has felt overwhelming and stressful. School and other stuff has also been piling up, and right now I'm away from home because of the devastating fire that has been spreading around California. We left town because the air quality was 'hazardous', and the fire just creeping closer. However, as of last night it has been improving, and I am hopeful that we may be able to go home by Wednesday. Please pray for the families and the fire it has affected, it's been a difficult and scary time for lots of people around here.

So these are a few things going on right now. But, in a lighter sense, I'm nearly done with my applications, Christmas is around the corner, I'm in love, I'm alive, and poetry is a beautiful thing. I've been reading some wonderful books and listening to some excellent music. My art portfolio and my ideas are growing. And a new year with a fresh start is up ahead. And I am back on my blog. It feels so good to write these words and finally have time to sit down and get back on track here at my little home on the internet. I missed this (and all of you lovely, lovely readers) so much, and I have never stopped thinking about you!

So, anyways, I just wanted to say, hello, I'm back, and I'm doing my best. So thank you, be gentle on yourself, and always pick the flowers on the side of the road <3

October Playlist

Here's the October mixtape I promised- disclaimer there is a fair amount of screamo on here so be prepared for a little angst head-banging is recommended. But don't worry there's also plenty of other stuff for those of you who aren't into the crazy edgy Halloween vibes just edit those out. Comment favorite songs!

This is Halloween- Citizens of Halloween
Emperor's New Clothes- Panic! At the Disco
You're so Creepy- Ghost Town
Sally's Song- Catherine O'Hara
Ghostbusters- Ray Parker Jr.
Monster Mash- The Misfits
Pet Sematary- Ramones
The Piano Duet- Danny Elfman
Remains of the Day- Danny Elfman
Scissorhands (The Last Snow)- Motionless in White
Skeleton- Ghost Town
Dead Walker Texas Ranger- Sleeping with Sirens
Purple People Eater- Eclipse
Spooky, Scary Skeletons (Mini Disco Dance Mix)- Kids Fun Crew
Stranger Things- Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)- David Bowie
Put the Knife Away- Goldfinger
The Batman Theme- Danny Elfman
Vampures Will Never Hurt You- My Chemical Romance
Not My Type: Dead As F**k 2- Motionless in White
To Be Scared By an Owl- Alesana
Party in the Graveyard- Ghost Town
Killers Like Candy- I Am Ghost

It's October// Getting Spooky

Hey everyone! It's my favorite time of year, OCTOBER! I'm so excited, and I've been trying to do as many October things as I can amongst college applications, last minute SATs, and midterms. I just wanted to do a little post on all my October stuff. Also, tell me in the comments how you're getting spooky! Plus if you're going to dress up for Halloween, and if so as what?

I haven't done every day, but I am trying to do most of my sketchbook work in ink right now. ps brush pens are life

Spooky Playlist
You know you need this soundtrack in your life right now what would Halloween be without angsty screamo mixed with cliche songs from your childhood. Will be doing a post on it soon, so stay tuned.

Halloween Sweaters and Socks and Shirts and Everything
Yes I am taking full advantage of my Halloween merch.

I also Painted a Pumpkin and Put it in my AP Portfolio

October Food
Favorites: Pumpkin Ravioli, Boo Chips (they're shaped like ghosts), and pumpkin pie ice cream?? who knew

Horror Books
Current Read: The Shining
I'm reading all horror books for the month of October.

Guys the next season is coming I have to be prepared. It's so eerie and good please comment favorite characters mine are Barb and Nancy. Also, when the new season premieres are you going to binge it all or save it? I'll probably save it, I like to watch one episode at a time to enjoy it for as long as I can.

I Bought This Tiny Pumpkin (featured in photo)
I couldn't resist

So tell me, what are you doing to get spooky? Love you all and stay wonderful.

September Book Reviews

Plutona by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, and Jordie Bellaire
2/5 Stars

I picked up this comic because I wanted a more contemporary superhero story with an indie feel and an interesting art style. I'd been eyeing it in the local comic shop for a while and I was hopeful that I would find a more artsy alternative to the classic DC/Marvel comics that are loved and well known. Although this comic did have an interesting art style and an interesting concept, it felt disconnected. It also finished without any semblance of closure, meaning, or moral, and no hint of the Plutona story continuing. I personally hope they choose to make more chapters because I want to see this comic that has so much potential properly closed up and given the plot quality it deserves. The concepts were, I though, brilliant, but poorly executed.

Lucky Penny by Anath Hirsh and Yuko Ota
4/5 Stars

This comic book was super fun and quirky! I loved the humor and found myself laughing out loud more than once. It was a simple, fun read with a cute art style and a likable protagonist. I hight recommend this as a quick read for a trip or a lazy morning.

One by Sarah Crossan
4.5/5 Stars

This verse-novel was a touching story about the lives of two girls who are conjoined twins. It was touching, emotional, and real. I was deeply moved and it made me think a lot about a small group of people I'd rarely given any thought to. I was glad that it opened my eyes to what it is like to live as a conjoined twin, and gave me insight on how they feel so that if I ever met a pair I could better relate to them and befriend them. I really appreciate how this book was written as well, as the poetic style really gave the story the emphasis it needed. The only thing that bumped this book down half a star was that I felt that some of the portrayals of high school were, in my experience, unrealistic, and that the ending was just terribly sad and didn't provide much happiness or hopeful outlook, which I appreciate in a book. I understand why it was written with a sad ending but in some ways the ending just felt full of endless despair and made the book feel very very sad once you finished it. So be warned about the sad ending.

Blankets by Craig Thompson
4/5 Stars

This autobiographical graphic novel was deeply personal and real. It covers what it's like to grow up in an intensely religious area, and how it can feel when people's claimed faiths contradict their actions. The artwork in this was beautiful and the story was raw. I was full of emotion during the entire, thing, and cried a few times. It was touching and heartbreaking, and as a Christian I felt very sad about the way the other Christians were treating the main character, and the impact that has. It deeply touched me and I would recommend this to lots of readers but especially Christians, because it is an important reflection on how the church can be more negative than positive in a life if we forget how Jesus truly was and focus instead on rules and judgment. The fact that the author was also the main character was amazing, and I really want to meet Craig Thompson now! I was so inspired by his beautiful work.

September Playlist

here's a playlist for September made by me and my best friend. I acknowledge that there are like five songs with cigarette in the title- that was not on purpose. enjoy and comment favorites!

Cigarettes- The Color and Sounds
For Sondra- Passion Pit
Cigarette Duet- Princess Chelsea
Building the Ark- Slaughter Beach, Dog
Cigarette Smoker Fiona- Arctic Monkeys
Creature Comfort- Arcade Fire
Cigarettes and Old Perfume- Have Mercy
Now I'm Cool- Coast Modern
The Woods- Drenge
Who's Laughing Now- Goldfinger
Seattle- Bellevue Days
Island- HOAX
Lemontrees- Eagulls
Lines that Burn- Tilian
But Not Tonight- Depeche Mode
All Of Me- John Legend
Mirror Kissers- The Cribs
The Hamptons- Transviolet
First Love/Late Spring- Mitski
Machinist- Japanese Breakfast
Revenge of the SpiderBees- Prince Daddy & the Hyena
Ooh La La- The Well Pennies
Girl From Mars- Cosmic Child
Vintage- Allie X
Howl- Declan McKenna
Hard Feelings/Loveless- Lorde
Cherry Wine- Overcoats
Teen Idle- Marina and the Diamonds
The Fear Song- Amanda Palmer & Jason Webley
Pieces of You- Ben Sollee
Pleaser- Wallows
Rumors- Joywave
Overnight- Parcels
One- Birdtalker
You Light My Fire- Nate Ruess
Look What You Made Me Do- Taylor Swift
Pieces (Radio Mix)- Rob Thomas
Basket Case- Bastille

Where the Heck is Vivian?

Hey! First of all, it's been forever. I'm so sorry I haven't had anything interesting to post on ((and to be honest I still don't right now)). So I just want to update you about my life right now and tell you why I haven't been around the blogosphere much lately, and assure you I'm still here and am not leaving!

So basically college. College is a thing. I'm right now applying to schools because believe it or not I'm heading to college next fall *ahhhhh*. So I've been spending weekend time writing essays which may be why there's been a shortage of blog posts. I'm hoping to have most of my applications in by November 1st because I'm doing early decision for some schools, so you can count on seeing a lot more of me when that date rolls around. But until then my posts may be a little sparse, but I appreciate all the understanding and support you guys always have for me.

Another things that's taking up a LOT of time is that I'm working on my AP Studio Art portfolio. Since my school does our year in semesters, I have to have the entire portfolio done by January. That's like a piece a week so I've been spending a ton of time brainstorming and painting and planning all that artwork. I'm super excited to share that with all of you though, because to be honest you followers have really inspired me to continue pursuing art with all of your encouragement. I'm really happy to be continuing to make it a core part of me and my life.

And that leads us to youtube. You're probably wondering if that was just a myth. I'm praying it's not- it's super in limbo right now just because I really don't have a proper set-up, and I'm hesitant to post less-than-good-quality videos. I want to have a strong start. So I'm sort of waiting around to have my shelves in my room moved and get a proper stand and whatnot. It's still in progress, thank you for your patience. Once that's up I'll hopefully start showing AP work, which will be super exciting, along with my other normal work.

I have also been reading a lot. I've been trying to branch out and read lots of genres and types of books, and I've gotten really into graphic novels. I'll be posting my monthly book review posts to show you all what I've been reading.

As for poetry, it's still always being written. A lot of it has just been pretty personal lately. But I'm trying to overcome my fear of sharing personal poetry because let's be honest what poetry besides like humorous limericks isn't personal? So I'll try to get some more of that posted up shortly.

Besides that as always I love you guys- I'm thinking about all of you in your new school years as well and what you're up to, and I'm reading all your posts whenever they drop in my email! Thanks for sticking around even while I'm crazy busy, I'm going to post a playlist for you all after this as a thank you <3

August Book Reviews

Hello friends! So I'm trying out a new style of book review for my blog- basically instead of doing one long book review for each book I thought I could just sum up all the books I read at the end of each month. Although I'm an avid reader and read all the time, I have a confession to make- I'm a much slower reader than some of you other book bloggers! Maybe I read quickly technically, but when it comes to literature I like to spend time looking back on details and flipping through pages to catch threads. So I take my time. But that said, I apologize if there's not like twenty books on here per month like some of you manage- I don't know how you do it. But let me know how you like this style in the comments, and comment your thoughts on any you've read.

p.s. sorry it's a tad late I was on vacation this weekend and couldn't post

Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell; Illustrated by Shadra Strickland
5/5 Stars

This poem/graphic novel/ documentary novel was painfully beautiful and dealt delicately and simply with complex matters like civil rights and love. I almost cried like three times, which is a lot for someone who never cries during books. The poem was so artistically done, and kept the story open to reader interpretation and didn't try to fill in historical gaps that could only be truly known if you were there, instead leaving the reader to enjoy and imagine what life was like for this couple. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzergald
4/5 Stars

This is a classic, which I missed out on reading in English last year, so I had to pick it up this summer. The language in this is A M A Z I N G. If you're a sucker for run on sentences and loads of description like I am, then you simply have to pick this one up. The reason it only made four out of five stars is probably because of the ending- I wish it had had a more resounding, closing statement. English teachers might argue with me but I felt that this ending didn't finish as strongly as it could've, and that it could've left a more lasting impact on the reader. Other than that the story was golden and gave a lot of commentary on the glitz of the East in the 20s and popularity, as well as themes about love and marriage. Overall it was an excellent read, I highly recommend picking it up if you haven't already.

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
4/5 Stars

This book was one of the better books I've read that dealt with depression and anxiety. It covered the topics fairly and (at least as far as my experience goes) accurately, as well as lightening the mood with some respectful but genuinely funny humor. The style it was unique and whimsical and poetry-infused, which I love. It was a quick read but a good one, and if definitely made you think. My only complaint was Beth, she felt fake and didn't live up to what I hoped she would. Other than that it was an excellent read, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a lighthearted but simultaneously real book about anxiety and depression.

Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
5/5 Stars

All I have to say about this book is that it is literally about me ok I've never read a more relatable book in my life. 5/5 no brainer, thank you Laura Lee Gulledge for understanding exactly what it's like to be me wow.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
5/5 Stars

This book was phenomenal. It artfully and respectfully portrayed what it's like to have schizophrenia as a teenager. The portrayal of his conscious and his mind was so well written and painted an eloquent and real picture, and really helped the reader to truly understand the experience in a way that most books dealing with schizophrenia fail to do. Also, the writerly skill displayed in this book was evident and made the book that much more engaging and helped it to read smoothly and gracefully. Although it may feel that it starts out a little slow, it is definitely worth the read, as you will certainly not regret reading this book the whole way through and then taking time to ruminate on it.