Monday, December 31, 2012

How I did in 2012

Hi all! We've all come to the end of another year. Overall, 2012 was a really good one for me and my family. We were so blessed. For that, I just want to thank God and ask that the blessings keep on coming. 

In the mean time, here's one last look at how I did this year with my goals. If you want to know my goals for 2013, you'll need to go to MFB


I want to finish Doorways before 30 June. 
Finished, but a bit late. 

I will query Doorways on 1 July.
Queried, but closer to September because of the above. 

I want to finish the WiP2 rewrite by 30 September.
I decided not to, since I no longer felt a spark. 

I want to finish the Don't Look Back draft by 31 December.
I finished it, although the ending left me dissatisfied. Luckily, I managed to work out what went wrong and what I want to do for the rewrite. 

I want to finish at least one draft of the musical libretto by 31 December.
This one was unrealistic from the start. Both me and my writing partner got stuck in other projects and activities. 

I might want to look at Guardian again.
This I did. It's currently an active draft. 


I want to read more (crit partners' manuscripts don't count).
I think I read more than last year. 

I want to read Shakespeare, Austen and Martin.
No Shakespeare or Martin, but I read most of Austen. I only have Emma left.


Auditions, auditions, auditions. 
Went to one acting audition in the area. Musical ones will wait until my voice settles down completely. I did, however, take part in my first concert as a soloist this year. 

I want to master at least intermediate cooking.
I'd like to think I managed this one. 

I want to spend more time designing.
This is one of a few activities that I didn't get time for. 

I want to brush up on my French and Mandarin (at least one of the two) and take another language.
This was another.

I want to take classes in a musical instrument. Either piano or guitar.
I started taking guitar. Stopped when the year grew too busy, but I might continue next year, especially now that I don't have as many activities on weeknights. 

I also want to get out more next year. Cabin fever never did suit me.
This I did, sometimes to my detriment. 

Since I achieved four goals in 2011, I want to achieve six in 2012.
Achieved eight, six of which were unconditional. :-D

Yay! It's a great feeling to see how much I got done. 

How did you do? 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So much for the regular schedule

Ah... I knew I forgot something.

It niggled and nagged and niggled again at the back of my mind. But I just couldn't remember what it was I'd forgotten.

Then suddenly, out of the blue, I realized I haven't checked in in days.

Life got a lot busier than I thought, once my family arrived for Christmas. So much so, that it blew my painting plans right out of the water.

Fortunately, I have a very understanding granny.

So yeah. No picture of the painting yet.

I do have pictures of the tree, still, but since it's the day after Christmas already, I don't know if I should bother to put it up.

What's your opinion?

Friday, December 21, 2012

So... looks like my piece of art will be a piece of cake.

Yep... I decided to stop being a wuss and picked up my brushes again.

The painting is, if I say so myself, beautiful.

More importantly, I should be finishing it today. YAY!

If I do, I'll post a picture after Christmas. Monday's post will be about this year's Christmas tree again.

Other than that, I also rewrote a query and drafted my first ever synopsis. And I must say. Both look pretty dang good.

Now I really can relax. Looks like I'll do everything I need to get done before Christmas after all.

How about you. On schedule or way behind? What do you still need to do before you can relax?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Time's a running out.

I'm still busy with my painting for my grandmother, but I get the feeling I might not finish it in time.

The reason? I got myself stuck in a conundrum. I have 6 days to Christmas and not too much left to do to finish the painting.

What I do have, however, is a ton of detail work. Glints on the ocean. Sunset clouds. A blue haze. Rounding light houses. The figures' hair and detail to their clothes. One of which has a spotty shirt. The rocks need to be highlighted. Sand needs to be added. And a mountain has to be etched in.

Point is, I'm terrified that if I rush, I'll make a mess of it.

So I don't know if I can do it in the next 6 days. Especially when I consider that my guests start arriving tonight.

Oh yeah... and I still have gifts to wrap today.


Have you ever started a painting MONTHS ahead of schedule, only to run out of time because you got scared of the detail in the end? How did you overcome your fear?

Monday, December 17, 2012

In which revenge could be sweet, but poisonous.

Sometimes, being a better person is such a lot of work.

Take me, for example. There's this person I'm having to deal with on a monthly basis. Who's for all intents and purposes abusing the credit laws in order to commit extortion and blackmail against me and my mother.

I know this. I'm pretty sure he knows it too, because when I pointed it out, he threatened me again.

Thing is... there's nothing I can do about it except wait. And even then, God keeps telling me to let it go.

Which is hard. Really hard. This guy is threatening things I worked really hard to achieve and I know that getting my own back against him is well within my means. All I have to do is to wait until the loan he's threatening me about is paid in full.

Once that's done, he's lunch meat for me. Because he did the threatening in written form.

But God says... no.

Honestly, this is pretty hard to swallow. I mean, what he's doing is wrong. Very wrong. It's only fair that he gets what's coming to him.

But... the answer stays no.

At which point I just want to rage and go nuts, because this guy is practically begging to be disbarred.

But then God said something, which I'm pretty sure is a saying I know, but forgot:

Those who always chase others, never stand still themselves. 

Then I remembered the bible story (1 Samuel 25) where David wanted to kill someone for slighting him, but this man's wife, Abigail, rode out to meet him and begged him not to kill her husband. Abigail asked David to let God do justice and not him.

David agreed.

And God did.

The best thing is, David didn't end up with blood on his hands, doing something that displeased his Lord. The man who's insulted him was taken by God.

And that's the thing that gave me hold. Like David's army, my taking action against man wouldn't only affect him. It would affect those close to him. Those he probably has to provide for. In a sense, I'd have their blood on their hands.

And although I feel really annoyed to let the bad person win, I know I have to spare the innocent people around him who I would have hurt if I didn't.

Besides, it's incredibly foolish of me to want to take matters into my own hands because I'm afraid I might not like how God handles the situation. In fact, it's... sinfully proud of me.

So I beg His forgiveness and give over this matter to Him in it's entirety. Only God, in His infinite wisdom, will know how to deal with this man in a way that's just and pleasing to Him at the same time.

Have you ever wanted so bad to get your own back against someone who hurt you, but ended up turning the other cheek and handed the matter over to God? How did you come to the decision to do so? And how did you feel afterwards?

Me? Although I'm still annoyed with that guy, I actually feel at complete peace with my decision. And I know that now, the wound he inflicted will heal and I'll one day get to forget about it and him. A much better solution than having it fester for the rest of my life.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Counting Our Blessings

This will be just a short post, since I'd like you all to rather watch the video I included and take some inspiration from it.

Today is a day I want to count my blessings and the first one is that I reached my 200th post today. 

I truly hope that I managed to touch your hearts and lives in the same way that you have mine. You are yet another blessing to me. Thank you. 

I'm not going to go into more blessings on here, but I'd love it if you'd share some of the blessings in your life that you can think about. 

In the mean time, here's the video. 

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gone Blogging

Hey all!

Just want to let you know that I'm trying to catch up on about 6 months worth of blog visits in a week or so, so that I can continue painting this weekend.

Next week will be TCoML's turn, but first, MFB, because I have been even naughtier there when it comes to blog visits.

See you all soon!


Monday, December 10, 2012


The rat race is a strange thing. We start the year off small, doing bits here and there, taking on more as we go along. 

Then a few months down the line, we feel frazzled, but continue to take on more, because hey, it's expected of us. 

Funny thing is, we should actually be so careful about it. Today I actually had a bad reminder of that, when I drank lemonade on an empty stomach. You see, back when I was book smart and life stupid, I ran around in this rat race, chasing after money and worldly success (as measured by money and what you can afford). I  ended up giving myself an ulcer (suspected, anyway, but I couldn't miss it) at the ripe age of 22. 

So yeah... lemonade wasn't the best idea, but hey, I'm not a life genius yet, so I didn't think far enough. 

Any, it brought me back to thinking about peace. It's important to kick back sometimes, even when you're striving after your dreams.

Taking charge of our lives are so important, but if our activities tire us out without giving us a chance to rest, we're not in charge. Those activities are. 

That's why I'm definitely kicking back now. Although there are a lot of goals this year that went un-achieved, I did so much that I'm really proud of myself. Heck, I know I deserve a break. 

Most of all, I need it. I need to clear my mind to face the coming year. I need to recharge the batteries so I can go zoom through what I need to know next year. 

I also need to decide what I want to achieve by then. 

But most importantly, I'm living in the moment. Writing when I want, painting because I want to. Staring aimlessly at my (growing collection of) orchids. Oh and my tiny collection of carnivorous plants, because they're cool. And especially because it's this time of the year, to spend an extra amount of time with those I love. 

What are you doing to kick back? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Painting again

Mmm... now I feel happy.

It's funny. After doing NaNo in November, I thought I'd spoil myself and do nothing substantial in December.

It rested me, I guess, but it just felt like I'm wasting time, which prevented my full enjoyment of my relaxing time.

Today, though, I finally had time (and the light) required to work on my grandmother's Christmas present. Remember the beach scene I mentioned before?

It's now really starting to look the way I envisaged it. Especially the two figures forming my focal points. I had the devil of a time with some hues and with the figures' arms, but it's such a satisfying feeling to see them coming right.

All in all, the painting has really been performing well. So much so that I hope that all of my landscapes go this well.

And of course, that I don't mess it up in the home stretch.

Anyone else doing any visual arts? Or making Christmas presents?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Back to the gym I go.

Yesterday, I went back to the gym for the first time in about three months. Yeah, I know December is an odd time to start gymming, but I have to go to Berlin in February and want to start fencing in January, so I don't want to be huffing and puffing then.

Well. I really regretted that I stopped at all. Yes, it's a pain to gym. But I got used to a certain level of fitness while I was at university. Now, though, I'm not even close to it. And I hate it.

I have to start rebuilding all over again. I have to take baby steps. It's terrible. Even worse than before.

Still, when I finished yesterday, I felt good. Like I'd done myself a really big favor.

And I had. Now I just need to keep doing it.

But yeah, this is definitely a goal I'll be working towards this December and in the coming year. I want to be more active. Even if it means taking a walk in the morning, that's what I need to do.

Anyone else trying to be more active this month?

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Back

Hey all!

Finally back in a sort of condition where I can do regular posts. I am, however, exhausted from Christmas Shopping, so I'll do something more decent on Wednesday.