Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Something I've Noticed

I think a person's room says a lot about them. So whenever I happen to be in the room of a friend, I like to observe what's on display, or lying about. It really gives you a good sense of a person, you know?

And oh my gosh guys, stop having such clean rooms you're like goals.

Okay back to the point.

Usually there's a bookshelf (basically all my friends are bookworms), so I like to study all the books. Sometimes I recognize a few, and happily fangirl because they've read the same books as me. Or I'll see books I've never heard of. Some shelves have more items on display that books, or more books that should be humanly possible to fit on the shelf.

Then you see their desk, which ranges from perfectly neat to everything lives there. Sometimes there are pictures, which obviously have a bit of meaning to the person, or possibly a notebook. Or paper. Lots of paper. Whatever suits their needs.

Everything says something about that person, and I think that's really cool. Like, if it wasn't considered creepy, I'd probably sit in a person's room for a while and try to discern everything I could about them. Because that's just cool to me.

But you know, there's something that perplexes me. Like, a lot.

Apparently other people don't use every square inch of their room for storage?? Like seriously, tell me your secrets of how you guys have such clean rooms. You've got a lovely bed and desk, neat shelves, and nice things hanging on the wall. The corners are clear of random things being propped against them, and it just has a very clean feel.

If my room was that nice, I'd have done so many more things with my life.

In contrast, my room has three small, but overcrowded bookshelves and a desk that houses basically everything despite my attempts to keep it clean. Whether my bed is made doesn't matter, because it's usually covered in my weaponry that I still need to mount to the walls, there are books on every surface in the room (including the floor, as I've run out of table space), my walls are covered with NRA Certificates and signed playbills, I have Lego's on display everywhere, there's a random keyboard in the middle of the room because I still haven't gotten around to selling it... Oh, and an exercise ball sits beside my desk, with my saddle on it because I haven't built a stand yet, and underneath my bed is ridiculously full.

That sounds like a lot of stuff, right? I'm not even finished here, I've got three shelves mounted on the wall with books, Lego's, and Disney memorabilia, stuffed animals that I can't bring myself to get rid of on every extra surface, three cupboards full of old models builds and models I've collected over the years, and lastly all the most random things stuffed in my desk, from a hoard of binders filled with my writing, to wooden knives and lock picks. Like seriously, my room is packed.

I don't even know where I got all this stuff.

Basically, when you walk into my room, expect a lot of stuff. 

It just confuses me when I walk into someone's room, and I don't see rolled up posters propped in a corner, or maybe a briefcase shoved to the side. You guys are so neat, go you! Like seriously, you want something, my room probably has it. I don't even know what's under my bed anymore... it's kind of a scary place.

So tell me, what do you think when you see another person's bedroom? I hope I'm not the only one looking at stuff and analyzing the person to understand them better. And hey, what's your room like? Lemme know in the comments. Unless that's creepy. In which case I'll back away slowly...

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Library is a Dangerous Place

My sister, Sereina, needed to go to the library the other day. At first, I didn't want to go. I had already accidentally started reading two new books (Blood of Olympus and Cinder) and didn't need the temptation of new books awaiting on the shelves. I don't need any new books to read, I've already got countless others (most of them series) to read once I finish all the other books I'm reading.

Against my better judgement, I went with her. And we had a blast.

First we went through all the movies they had, and I picked up The Imitation Game, a movie that has been highly recommended to me by some friends, and The Theory of Everything, a movie that I've been wanting to see since I first saw the trailer.

I checked the history section, as I always do. Not that I need another book on the Romanovs. I've already bought countless material on them that I've yet to read. I'm kind of a slow reader when it comes to anything educational. It's kinda weird and annoying. But whatevs. I found books on Middle Earth history in the history section. I don't think that's what they meant, but it's all cool.

Then it was to the teen section. I would scan through, pick up a book and read the description, and more times than not, I added it to my pile.

By the time Sereina found me, I'd picked up about five or six new books, and an audiobook. We probably seemed a bit crazy to the other people in the library, because we were giggling madly the entire time. I'd pick up a book, glance at the cheesy romance novel cover, and thrust it back into the shelf.

We discovered the author Ian McEwan. Try saying that five times fast. By that time we were losing it at the most trivial things. I found a novel on Sacajawea that was the same shape as a brick. A very thick brick. It was really funny.

By the time we'd navigated through the tiny teen section (our library is really small) I'd racked up a whopping nine books (and not tiny ones mind you), not to mention the movies and audiobook I'd already grabbed. My plan, in order to get through all these books, is to read at least one hundred pages a day. By this rate I'll have finished Blood of Olympus, Cinder, and Scarlet read in under two weeks. I'd say that's an accomplishment considering I've been in a reading slump until I started The Heros of Olympus series a few months back.

In short, never take me to libraries if you don't want to help me carry out more books that one person should check out from the library at once.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Aspiring Author's Tag

Welcome one, welcome all to the Aspiring Author's Tag! This is my first time creating a tag, and it's rather exciting! The rules are simple:

If you are a writer, and you see this tag, consider yourself tagged
Link back to the blog you found this tag on
Tell the blog you took this tag from that you took it
Answer the 7 questions

- What is Your Main Source for Inspiration?

Really I get inspiration from just about anything, but I think one of my biggest sources would have to be music. Mostly soundtracks and TSFH, though pretty much any music is capable of making me stare glassy eyed at a wall as a creepy grin seeps onto my face, contorting itself with the emotion of the inspiration.

It's kinda weird if someone is in the room while it happens. I usually start screaming "YES YES YESSSSS" while slamming my head on the nearest desk. The point of inspiration is an odd thing.

- Who is One of Your Favorite Characters (that you've created) and Why

(I'm literally making this tag and I don't know how to answer my own questions. Is this a problem? Probably)

First off, I love all my characters, so I'm just going with the first that came to mind.

Dean Waylin.

He's apart of a series I'm writing/planning to write (I'm still on book one). I would say he's my favorite character because his character growth is some of the biggest in the series, considering he's not the protagonist.

Through minor circumstances and a series of bad choices, his life starts to go down a horrible path. No matter how hard he tries, he can't play the victim card. Because everything he's done has been a choice. He loses a lot because of these bad choices. I don't want to say too much more though. I do hope to one day publish this book, and you mustn't know everything.

- Have You Ever Participated in NaNoWriMo?

Yes indeed.

Three years ago my sister convinced me, just a week or two before November, to join National Novel Writer's Month. At first I wasn't sure, I mean back then I had just as many novel idea's, but I still hasn't grasped the idea of pursuing them no matter what. I had tried to write, but have never made it very far.

Then I wrote my first full draft. Rohca Island. I've done NaNoWriMo ever since, and plan to do it this year as well. It's been one of my greatest learning experiences ever, and nothing beats a month of pure adrenalin as you race to keep your word count ahead of your sister, and your manic friend who writes three thousand words without breaking a sweat. I'm lookin' at you Evangeline.

- How Many Novel Idea's Do You Have?

Erm... *goes to Pinterest to check inspiration boards*


Oops. I never meant to get that many. I had less, until I thought it would be brilliant to practice writing short stories. Basically all of them turned into bigger stories that I had not planned on. It was like a bunch of people sudden came to my house and won't leave until I write about them.

- Pen Name or Real Name?

Rebecca Ricardio de Zardinov Vasquez.

Kidding, that's just ridiculous.

I'll probably use my real name when I get published one day. After all, I'm not like another author I know of, who used a pen name because her real name was hard to remember. Or pronounce even. I'd say Alina Blanchard is pretty easy. Or is it? You tell me. I've had it my whole life, so who am I to say.

- When Did You Start Writing?

Probably seven.

There was a writing club. I wrote a mystery because I'm obsessed with mysteries and have been since infancy. It starred James Bond. Because I liked spies. All the characters were based off my family/people I knew. I even got help from my sister to "bind it" so it's "printed." I was so proud of that thing. I still have it somewhere I believe...

The title of said book? The Mystery of Beautiful Meadow Manor. Yup, I was quite the writer back then.

- What Book Do You Consider to Be Writing Goals?

Harry Potter. Hands down.

I've read the series twice, and it will never cease to inspire me to write and create new worlds. J.K.'s ability to connect everything, and create a world that feels real, is truly inspirational to me. I love to study how she made her characters grow, and pay close attention to what makes each character unique.

There we have it! I just created my first tag, and I didn't die in the process of trying to come up with questions. I'd say that's an accomplishment.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wait For It... I Actually Like School

Call me Hermione Granger, but I actually enjoy doing my school. I look forward to it during the weekends, and feel immense satisfaction as I go through my subjects and mark off my school chart. It's possible I'm the only person that wakes up on Monday, sits down at my desk, and is just like, "Yisss school."

However lets take a moment to rewind here. My school isn't quite normal, though, so perhaps you should know exactly what it is I do.

I'm not as hardcore as your average student, and I mostly study topics that are an interest to me. Such as: Music (piano and recorder), Languages (Scottish Gaelic, Norwegian, Russian, and French), Creative writing, Swordsmanship, and Math.

Hold on a second here though. Math. The age old maker of tears and stress. Why the average person studies Algebra, I don't understand. Leave it be and let the crazy scientists use it when we finally launch the rocket to Mars, which I'm so excited for. I mean it's the only known planet to be solly inhabited by robots! But I digress.

I would like to take a moment you tell you a little story. I call it: Prepare Yourself, I Enjoy Math Too.

Yes! I kid you not. Having loved mysteries since before birth, I enjoy math because it's another mystery. Calculating different numbers in order to find the answer is actually fun. A year or so ago, I kept up with my math really well. I was doing it every school day, and I was getting good at what I was doing. Granted, I will say, I was technically below my grade level. But I have my own ideas about what level you should be (i.e. go at your own pace peeps, it's so much better that way), so whatever.

But I loved doing math. It was great, until- yes, there's an until in this story- until I got distracted and wasn't able to keep up with my school as well. As much as I enjoy it, I do go through periods where it's harder for me to keep up, or I take breaks. When I came back, I didn't really remember anything.

That's when math became less fun. But I still know that is can be, if I apply myself to it hard enough.

So to conclude this story: yes, I do very muchly enjoy math when I keep at it long enough. But unless I do it regularly, it can be torture if I do anything beyond the basics.

There you have it people. I like school. I don't just like it. I love school. It's one of my favorite things in the day. School is the best.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Look Inside My Mind, A Writer's Mind

You wanna know what my writing life has been looking like lately? Wonderful! Oh the ideas! All of them coming to my mind with such ease, falling into place like a perfect little puzzle. You have no idea how incredible if feels to realise something new about your character, or make a decision that adds such depth you never had before. It's what makes being a writer feel so amazing.

I've had inspiration for characters, for some scenarios for my plot. Wonderful idea that make me giddy because they're something that will be so fun to write about. Creepy carnivals and circuses, supernatural beings, near death experiences, ghosts making you breakfast. I mean, it's all I could hope for and I can't wait to write it.

Outside my head, with pen and paper (or rather, computer and keyboard) there is no movement. I stare at a blank page.

I don't have any idea where I'm going with my novel. What's the plot? What's happening with my character? Her wants and needs are a mystery, there isn't a solid plan through the book of what's going to happen. I have a mysterious beginning idea but I need to write the end first. But I can't write the end without writing the middle. And I don't have a middle! AHHH.

There are pieces, and ideas, and things. But these things are acting like oil and water. They refuse to converge into one liquid so that I may begin a proper second draft. I'm stuck and I'm just sitting here like, "Come on brain, think of things. Come on brain, be so smart."

I've come to the conclusion that writing a novel is basically jumping into the unknow. It's fascinating, and you can't stop swimming because you must see what's around the next corner. It's new and excited, but it's often really boring too. It's dark and creepy. Scary things lurk just out of sight.

Yup, the perfect gif of what it's like diving into a novel. Just peachy. None the less, I shall persevere. But honestly, I don't have any idea what I'm doing. I just have a mass of ideas swirling in my head, just short of reaching full ideas that can be properly transferred to paper.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Long Gone, Never Forgotten

Histrophile. Technically that's not a word. But it's how I choose to describe my passion for the past. After all, I don't count as a Historian, and qutie frankly just saying "I love history" doesn't have the same ring to it. Hence my creating a new word.

What about history fascinates me? Good question. I'm not entirely sure myself. It all started as a young girl, discovering the Royal Diaries series. To this day I still love them, and I've read many of them over ten times each. I guess you could say I just like people. Their stories, and the mysteries the past can hold. After all, the Romanov tragedy was one of my first historical obsessions, beaten only by Elizabeth Tudor's struggle for the throne against her sister.

Detail of Tuxen's painting of the marriage of Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna, 26 November 1894. The marriage that began that night remained exceptionally close until the pair was assassinated simultaneously in 1918. It was a Victorian marriage, outwardly serene and proper, but based on intensely passionate physical love.:
Nicholas II and Alexandra

The Romanov's. It all started when I learned of young Anastasia, rumored to have escaped the brutal murders that claimed the rest of her family's life. Being that I grew up with a passion for mysteries, it was no surprise for me to be sucked in completely to her story. I have since then learned the truth, that she died with the rest of her family. But their lives, and even the absolutely strange and unexplained attitude of Anna Anderson, has captivated me. My interest has gone as far as purchasing much of the family's published diaries, and biographies of close friends of the royal family.

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia was the most renowned and the longest ruling female leader of Russia, reigned from July 9, 1762 to November 17, 1796.  It was under her rule that Russia became one of t he Great Powers of Europe.:
Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great. On the outside she's a strong woman, being the longest ruling female in Russian history. But the part of her story that intrigues me most, is her younger years. She and her mother left their family in Prussia because Empress Elizabeth had chosen her to be Peter III's bride. In order for her to become such a powerful Empress, she had to change her name, religion, language, and face terrifying odds. Empress Elizabeth had a curious temperament, and Catherine's mother did nothing to help her daughter, what with spying for King Frederick of Prussia.

Princess Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I, granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots:
Mary Stuart

Mary Stuart. Queen of Scotland only six days after being born, through her official coronation wasn't until almost a month later. She was betrothed to Prince Edward of England some six months later, but it fell through. A French Marriage Treaty was signed when she was five, and she left to live in France. James Hamilton served as her Regent until he passed, and the role was taken up by Mary's mother, Mary of Guise. She was married twice, and her claim for the English throne was ultimately her undoing. She was raised in a chaotic way, and lived a somewhat chaotic life because of it.

Elenor of Aquitaine:
Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor is possible the most frustrating and fascinating people to research. Her specific date of birth is unknown, only that she was probably born in 1122. She was a most powerful woman in her time, and in that time women were though very little of. She was well educated in arithmetic, history, playing the harp, singing, various games, and could even speak and read Latin.

Between two husbands she had a total of ten children, outliving all but two. She was Duchess of Aquitaine, Countess of Poitou, Queen of France from 1137-52, Duchess of Normandy, Countess of Anjou, and finally Queen of England before her death. A fun fact I find most fascinating, is that she lived through the Second and Third Crusades; a topic I've found intriguing, but have yet to look into.

Elizabeth I -- the "virgin" queen. Survived multiple assassination attempts and took a broken country and lead it into the "Golden Years". Such a strong woman with just the right amounts of each of her parents - Henry VIII & Anne Boylen- in her.:
Elizabeth Tudor

Elizabeth is the person who captured me first. The one who started me on this path of being in love with history. Her diligence to learning is inspiring; she could speak French, Flemish, Italian, Spanish, and by the end of her life, it's believed she could speak Welsh, Cornish, Scottish, and Irish, as well as English. Of course she went through much turmoil. Her mother was beheaded when she was a baby, and her claim to the throne wavered through the years, none more so than when her sister Mary I sat in the throne.

RMS Titanic:
RMS Titanic

The Titanic only recently came to my attention. A friend recommended a charming little fiction book about the Titanic, and another friend had mentioned interest in the disastrous voyage. Quite frankly I couldn't keep away. History and tragedy come hand and hand in many of the stories I seem to love.

The crashing of the Titanic is famous; possibly even more so beacuse the ship was thought to be unsinkable. It's like the iceberg was thinking, "yup, imma sink her on her maiden voyage to prove that anything can sink." It's so hard to narrow down one topic to talk about, because people of all walks of life were on that boat when she sank.

Marie Antoinette, age 14.:
Marie Antoinette

Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, France's most tragic queen. She was sister to fifteen other siblings, many of whom were already married when she was born. Antonia was fifteen years old when Louis XV asked for her hand in marriage to his eldest grandson, Louis-Auguste, Dauphin of France. With that proposal, the hostilities between Dowager Empress Maria Theresa and Louis XV ended. This, of course, was not abnormal, as all Maria Theresa's children's marriages secured treaties. But in Antonia's case, this was to end in tragedy.

For those interested, I find this particularly awe inspiring and even slightly amusing. Below is Marie Antoinette's mother's full title. Not an easy thing to live up to.
Maria Theresa, by the Grace of God, Dowager Empress of the Romans, Queen of Hungary, of Bohemia, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, of Slavonia, of Galicia, of Lodomeria, etc.; Archduchess of Austria; Duchess of Burgundy, of Styria, of Carinthia and of Carniola; Grand Princess of Transylvania; Margravine of Moravia; Duchess of Brabant, of Limburg, of Luxemburg, of Guelders, of W├╝rttemberg, of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Milan, of Mantua, of Parma, of Piacenza, of Guastalla, of Auschwitz and of Zator; Princess of Swabia; Princely Countess of Habsburg, of Flanders, of Tyrol, of Hainault, of Kyburg, of Gorizia and of Gradisca; Margravine of Burgau, of Upper and Lower Lusatia; Countess of Namur; Lady of the Wendish Mark and of Mechlin; Dowager Duchess of Lorraine and Bar, Dowager Grand Duchess of Tuscany

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Yes, I'm Horse Crazy

Every group has at least one person that is completely horse obsessed, and has been longer than anyone can possibly remember. I happen to be that person.

My first time on a horse. Note the horse sweater and fabulous purple pants
I think I may have been born already fully knowing what horses were, because I don't remember a time that I didn't desperately want to horseback ride. What can I say, it must be in my DNA. But as a young horse obsessed girl, did I get to take weekly riding lessons like many of my other horse loving friends? Not exactly.

We had a friend who gave us some lessons when I was about eight. She gave us a super cheap deal, and in exchange I got to be led around on her horse, and eventually started to learn how to go up and down hills, steer, start and stop. That was about as much as I learned there, as we didn't take lessons from her for very long. After that was a long spell of being unable to take lessons.

I did, however, find a few ways to get myself on horses through the inbetween times. On our trip to Yellowstone we took a two hour ride to a cookout and it was absolute bliss even though we were riding on a cliff much of the time.

Me, on L Three, getting ready to head home

My memories a bit fuzzy here, but eventually I started riding at an actual barn. I have no idea what the name was, but it was run by Monica, who rescued horses. All her lesson horses were rescues, and I rode Hope.

I forgot Aang was sooo tiny!!
Looking back, it was an extremely unsafe situation, as five inexperienced riders were put in a small arena while Monica mostly sat looking at her phone. Her rescues weren't given as much TLC as they needed, and were often rather dangerous. Seven, an ex racehorse, was particularly unsafe as he apparently had a tendency to bite people. No one was ever hurt, but at the place I currently ride, that wouldn't be tolerated. Even from a rescue horse. Unfortunately I can't seem to find any pictures from Monica's.

Financial trouble stopped me from riding there, though for a while I still went weekly to clean out all their stalls. Eventually I found my way to yet another barn that I do not know the name of.

This place had a wonderful instructor, and lessons that made me leave feeling satisfied. As much as I wanted to though, I was not allowed to clean stalls or do much more than catch my horse, groom and tack up (with help bridling), ride, untack and put away my horse.

It was around this time that my dad was laid off, and thus my riding lessons had to come to a halt. Five years passed before I stepped into a saddle again.

But you know what? I wouldn't trade those five horseless years for the world. Not having the very thing I loved in my life has made me appreciate every moment even more than if I'd grown up with it. Now I volunteer for lessons at All Starr Stables, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I've learned more about riding and caring for horses there than any other place I went. It was truly meant to be.

This is me and my dear Lacey girl. I don't think I've ever loved a horse as much as I love her. At the other stables I never made connections with the horses like I have at All Starr, and even though Lacey was sold some time ago, I'll never forget her. She was something special.

This is Ellie and I. A few months after Lacey left, I got to ride this beauty, and it was like riding Lacey so much. Moving into her trot, which is as big, if not a little bigger, than my dear Lacey's trot, was like flying. She can be a bit moody, but she's an incredible ride and I've cherished the few times I've gotten to ride her.

This is one of the few photos that I'm actually really happy with how it turned out. Joey is a super cute rescue Rachelle got a bit ago. He came in really skinny, and I was one of the first to ride him. Since he arrived he's gained weight and is the cutest thing. If he could just stay white for more than one day that'd be nice. It took three baths to get him white for a show my friend rode him in. Three.

This is Portia, a gorgeous Warmblood standing at a nice 16.2hh. I've ridden her a few times and she's a dream. She's usually pretty bomb proof, but once a branch snapped and I totally fell off. Bruised a rib, but falling off such a tall horse feels kind of satisfying, if you know what I mean. I just rolled with it (literally) and got straight back on.

Party Kitty is the resident mouse catcher, and has six fingers on her front paws. Ain't she adorable?

That about wraps up my life with horses. Now, every Thursday, I take care of the barn in exchange for lessons. Rachelle and Katelyn, the resident instructors, are amazing. The horses, as always, are wonderful. Nothing beats the feeling of walking into the barn, and knowing the horses recognize me as I enter. I try and greet each one as I do all my work, and I love when they sniff my face and pockets. Horses truly make me happy.