Thursday, November 21, 2013


The world is weird

at 10:30 on a Thursday morning in

late November.

The sky is crisp

and blue

and the snow-capped mountains are


in the background

of the city.

The trees look

sharper than usual

their pine needles

the only things left

from the shedding of their leaves

and even from a distance

I can pick out

the individual spines.

The world is quiet

at 10:30 on a Thursday morning in

late November

and empty

save for a few joggers

and stay-at-home parents.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Week two of my parents being in Europe.

Two years after he died.

Two dogs.

Two pairs of socks.

Two hairbands in my hair.

Two mugs on the table in front of me.

Two books in sight.

Two giant paper flowers.

Two mobiles.

Two hats.

Two shelves full of DVDs.

It was two years today that my blog was started.

Happy birthday, Chai Tea and Quills.

The Dandy Lioness

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Starting Again

And so, school has begun again.

Some new things have happened in my life. I'm a sophomore now, for one. For another, I ordered a new laptop that was delivered today, so I'm typing this from a ~brand new laptop~ which is all nice and shiny and tiny and I love it a whole lot. I have all new teachers and classes, except for my French teacher, who was our student teacher last year.

It's been nice to see my friends again, to give tackle hugs and exchange laughter, and bring up inside jokes from last year. It's interesting to see the dynamic that people have with freshman when you aren't a freshman. Last year, I didn't really notice the whole "unloved freshman" idea, but I have definitely noticed the upperclassman saying "I don't like them at all, ugh!"

My friends and I already have plans to go to the Homecoming game, but also decided that we don't want to actually go to the dance, and will probably stay home and watch TV together. (Which, knowing us, will include lots of giggling and way too much sugar.)

Even though my friends and I didn't really see too much of each other over the summer (other than the occasional get-together with one or two of us, and then one party, I didn't really see any of them), we immediately clicked back together as if we hadn't just spent two months apart, which was super lovely. Homework has already started up again, even though school only started yesterday, but that wasn't much of a surprise. Really, it's mostly slips for parents to sign and lab fees for various classes, but there is a nine page math packet I need to finish by Monday.

I wasn't ready to go back to school, and then I was, and then I wasn't again, and now I'm back at school and I don't know how I feel about that. Friends are nice. Homework and tests and teachers already talking about essays? Not so nice. But I know that I'm stuck with this for another ten months, so I really shouldn't decide I hate it on day two.

The Dandy Lioness*
*Due to the fact that I just got this laptop three hours ago, there are no photos in this post, because I haven't transferred my files yet. That'll change soon, but for the moment, this is one big empty computer, so you lovelies will have to deal without any pictures for a little bit...
Okay, really, with my track record it's quite likely that by the time I actually post again, this laptop will be fully updated and everything, but y'know. Whatever. Thought I'd let you know.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Almost Done

Eighteen days.

A few little trips.

Some shopping.

And then, it's back to life outside of the summer bubble.

It's weird. Summer really is a bit of a bubble-- it goes by in a haze of lazy mornings and late nights filled with TV, and afternoons with friends. And then all of a sudden, you realize it's August, and you to back to school in just over two weeks, and life comes crashing back down around you.

Your schedule comes in the mail. Back-to-school sales flood the stores. You start thinking about what it's going to be like to see your friends again. Planning for the first day of school outfit. A mad dash to do all those things you promised yourself you were going to do this summer.

And then it's back to waking up at 6:35, and nearly falling asleep during first period, complaining loudly with your friends about teachers, and trying to finish your math homework during break. Life goes from shorts and tank tops and not having to move for six hours straight, to running from one class to the next, trying to complete all your homework on time, laughing with your friends during lunch.

And I have to say, I'm a little bit excited. I have tackle hugs planned for more than one of my friends, and can't wait to be regaled with stories from the summer. And yeah, I'm not so excited for math class or sitting down for French. But I knew that summer would come to an end, and okay, the end has snuck up on me a bit.

But I know that I'm going to make the most of these eighteen days.

There's not really much else you can do.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


When I was younger, I was always the kid who didn't want to splash in puddles or run through the stream because I didn't want to get my clothes wet.

I was the kid who didn't want to duck my head under the water at the pool in my friend's back yard, because I didn't want to have to go home with hair full of chlorine.

I was the kid who wouldn't sit on the log, for fear of it breaking... even though it was still almost as strong as when it fell to the forest's floor, and wasn't likely to break anytime soon.

It's only been in the last year, really, that I've loosened up. I was the first one to jump in the stream at the ocean, running through the water after a pair of golden retrievers. I agreed to dunk my head in the pool. I willfully participated in a water balloon fight-- heck, I was the one to fill up half those water balloons!

It's funny, really. I never realized before that if you just loosen up, you can have a lot more fun. Sure, you always have keep some caution about you, but is it really going to kill you to have to drive home with your head dripping with over-chlorinated water? To have to run home, laughing and soaking wet, after a water balloon fight?


Sometimes, you just gotta jump right in with the fun.

The Dandy Lioness

Monday, July 1, 2013

Twenty-Four Hours

If you ever wonder what family is about,

let me sit down and tell you a story.

It's about 

twenty-four hours

spent at the beach

with your family.

It's about

running up a tiny set of stairs

holding a two year old's hand

and then going down a slide in front of him

to catch first his truck

and then him

as they zip down the slide.

And then doing it twenty more times.

It's about his mom saying

"You really don't have to do this," again and again

and shaking your head and saying "We're having fun."

It's about going on a bike ride

with a six year old

and watching strangers throw back the too-small crabs

and having her coach you on how to ride a bike

even though "I've ridden a bike before." has been said

three times already.

It's about sitting down in camping chairs with an eight year old

holding a library's copy of a Magic Tree House book

and reading the whole thing aloud to him

in just one sitting.

It's about chasing that two year old down the beach

and holding his shoes when he drops them

and holding that six year old's hand

as you jump the waves with her

and hunting for sea glass

with the eight year old.

It's about cartwheels in the sand

and talks about books late into the night

while sitting by a fire.

If you ever wonder what family is about,

it's about doing what is not asked of you

just because you want to.

{Sorry for the not-so-great quality. I accidentally left my camera at home, and only had my phone.}

The Dandy Lioness

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mismatched Mishmash

When you enter my room, I want your eyes to be drawn to my bookshelves.

I have three of them. One usually hides its contents from view, a tall, yellow-white-and-green bookcase with five shelves. Two of them flank my window.

And they're full. More than full, actually, as their inhabitants spill out onto the floor, are doubled up in places. My books lie haphazardly on top of each other. They're stacked here and there in sets of four or five, so that they don't fall over.

My books are a hodge-podge mix of blues and reds and blacks, orange and green sometimes peeking out from between their multicolored friends, and even pink making an appearance. They're a mismatched mixture of mass-market paperbacks and hardcovers, a collection of used and new books picked up at the local library book sale and at book shops all across the world.

If you notice nothing else in my room, not the photos on my walls, not the knick-knacks picked up from my time spent travelling and creations I've made myself, not the dried-up starfish and iridescent shells from a family friend, I want you to notice my books.

They occupy my bookshelves, impossibly disorganized, with no two books the same size next to each other. New books and old share the same shelf, from classics to children's books. Young adult and adult books sit squashed next to each other on a shelf that's a little bit too full, their pages being compressed by books on either side of them. Finding places for my books is no easy task, yet it's one I quite enjoy.

This mishmash of mismatched books is what I want you to notice when you walk into my room.

The Dandy Lioness

Friday, June 14, 2013


Well, it's over now.

By "it", I mean school. I am officially 1/4 of the way done with high school. It's weird to think that it's summer now-- it hasn't quite set in. I've only been out of school for seven hours now, and the knowledge that I won't have to go back until September, that come Monday morning I won't have an alarm set and that a week from now I'll be at the ocean, is foreign feeling.

It always feels this way at the end of the year, and I always forget.

It still feels like I'll be seeing my friends on Monday, that I'll tackle them in the halls and tell them about my weekend. It still feels like I have fifteen different things looming over my head at once, even though my finished assignments and full workbooks are strewn all across my room. It still feels like I shouldn't watch TV or spend hours reading, because I have to do homework instead.

Yet I won't have to do any of that until September. I know the time will come when I'll return to tan tiled floors and royal blue lockers, the airy math building where my friends and I ate lunch every day this year, and  classrooms I have yet to be acquainted with. But for now, I'm free. I'm free to read books for hours, spend my time sprawled on the upstairs deck in the sunshine, reading or daydreaming. I can knit and sew and go to the pool, and wander the city on weekdays.

But for now, when just seven hours ago I was still on school grounds, lounging in a nook by my math classroom surrounded by about eight of my friends, while the kids in my math class watched episodes of The Twilight Zone, it feels like I'll be returning come Monday. It's a strange feeling, this. Knowing that I won't be back until September, and being glad of it, yet also feeling like well, of course I'll be going back on Monday. Of course I'll see my friends again on Monday.

Yet I know that my best guy friend, who I'll probably only see once or twice this whole summer, who picked me up and swung me around in a hug today-- just as he did to all his friends standing in a circle exchanging hugs-- won't be seeing me on Monday. I know that my friends and I won't be able to listen to his tales of his many siblings, or steal his food or read his books over his shoulder. I know that I won't see many of my friends again for some time. Between scheduling differences, and the sheer laziness of summer, it's unlikely that, unless we gather for a party or something, I'll see any of the multitude of friends I've gathered this year, over the summer.

It's a strange feeling, knowing that I won't have them around, once Monday comes. I know I'm glad to have a break. That after seeing them almost every day for nine months, I need one. Yet it still feels strange. I'm not quite used to summer yet, I suppose.

And this concludes my one week of blogging every day. Starting last Friday, I decided to write a blog post every day, ending on the last day of school. I didn't say anything about it, mostly because I forgot, but I wanted to get myself back into the swing of writing blog posts. I'll be making an effort to be back a lot more this summer than I have been for the last year or so-- if I can write a post a day during finals week, then surely I can write a post every once in awhile over the summer? Also, you should go and check out Mirriam's giveaway, and make sure to check out Monster on Amazon tomorrow, for the Amazon Blitz!

The Dandy Lioness

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Four Hours

Today was one of those days where I came home from school, claimed a patch of sunlight, grabbed a book, and set myself down on the floor to read.

Four hours later, after having chased my patch of sunlight from one room into another, I had read 302 pages, and finished my book.

These are my favorite kinds of days.

The Dandy Lioness

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


When I walk upstairs

the tangy scent of summer hits me,

blanketing me like a wave.

It's a smell full of fresh air mixed with

green apple shampoo

and the flowers in the garden below.

I can hear the drone of cars

from the busy street nearby.

The light slanting through the white curtains

is the blue-gray of not-quite-night,

when the sun has set,

yet the world is still lit up by its rays.


tendrils of wind snake through

the city streets

like molten lava down a volcano's side.

It's the cool feel of almost summer,

where backpacks are still leaning against chairs,

and papers are strewn around bedrooms,

but the world is reaching for that

summer feel

and almost

but not-quite

reaching it.

The Dandy Lioness 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Almost There

It's just three more days until school lets out.

Three days.

One in-class essay.

One project due Wednesday.

One brochure due Friday.

One test.

Movies in the French classroom.

Yearbooks and Apples-to-Apples in the literature classroom.

Movies in the math classroom.

Three more days.

And then it's summertime.

The Dandy Lioness

Monday, June 10, 2013

Loxodonta Africana, Elephas Maximus

I visit the elephants in the zoo and wonder what it would be like to see them in the wild. From the years where I spent all my TV time watching Animal Planet, I've seen dozens of elephant documentaries. From my sixth grade teacher who had us watch all of Planet Earth, and my eighth grade teacher who did the same, I've seen the same elephant documentary three times over.

They've always been my favorite. They chase big blue balls around the enclosure, or stand lazily at the fence, watching the people go by. They travel across the plains in herds, stopping here or there for water, their trunks sucking up great amounts of water.

I've always loved the elephants. Big, gray, wrinkled, they've always been my favorite animal to see at the zoo. "We have to see the elephants," I'll insist. My friends always agree, laughing as I drag them toward Tropical Asia and the Elephant Forest. We stop and watch the tapirs on the way, let our gazes slide over the orangutans and siamangs and the visayan warty pig. But we always reach the elephants eventually, peeking into the Elephant Barn to see if they're getting baths, or wandering over to the enclosure looking down on them as they play in the dust.

If you asked me my favorite animal, I'd probably say polar bears or cats or maybe even manatees. But there's something about elephants that I love. Something I can't quite explain, something that's always been there. If you asked me what animal I had to see at the zoo, I'd say elephants in a heartbeat. We can skip the leopards and the bears and the otters. It's the elephants I want to see.

{A small elephant statue I picked up at a thrift shop for a writing exercise last summer.}

The Dandy Lioness

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Photos // My Bookshelves

{The only editing applied to any of these photos was the application of watermarks.}

{Also, you can now follow my blog on Bloglovin' straight from the sidebar. I may end up editing that into an image later, but for now it's on my sidebar. I hope this helps, now that Google Friend Connect doesn't work!)
The Dandy Lioness

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Summer Projects

It is a well known fact among my friends and family, that my closets are messy. I have two in my room, one which is delegated to Stuff and the other is actually full of clothes. So starting at the beginning of summer (one more week of school, and then I'm officially on summer vacation!), I'm beginning the Great Closet Reorganization(s).

The plan for the Great Closet Reorganization(s) is to dig out the dresser from the closet full of Stuff, and put it in my clothes closet. Once in place there, my clothes will be relocated into the dresser (which hopefully will fit into my closet. It's never actually been in there, as far as I know...) and I'll move all of my knitting things into the drawers which currently house my clothes.

And when I say dig out the dresser, I mean dig it out. That closet is... embarrassingly full of Stuff. Honestly, it's more stuff than should possibly fit in that space. Once the dresser has been dug out, we're hoping to get rid of all the stuff we no longer need or want. (Spoiler alert: it's a lot of stuff).

Along with the Great Closet Reorganization(s), I'm planning on also having the Huge Clothes Purge of 2013 (getting rid of everything I never wear/never want to wear/is way too small for me), and the Long-Overdue Desk Organization.

As much as I don't like cleaning, I know I'm going to be so happy to have these things done. And while yes, knowing me, they'll soon relapse into messes and chaos, I'm hoping to be able to keep things neat for at least a little while.

So those are my summer plans so far. What do you guys have planned for summer?


The Dandy Lioness

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mirriam Neal: "Monster", an Author Interview, and an Amazon Blitz

About Monster, by Mirriam Neal
The year is 2053, and the world is recovering from a Morbus, a plague that swept across the globe, destroying millions of lives. Eva Stewart is a promising young WorldCure scientist assigned to a facility in Alaska where she is made a Handler and given her own human Subject for research and experimentation. What she believes to be a step up in her career becomes a nightmare when she discovers writing on her Subject’s cell wall. I still have a soul. Soon Eva is drawn into a horrific plot kept quiet by WorldCure, and as everything she knew collapses around her, she must discover the truth behind her Subject, her beliefs, and herself.

Mirriam Neal, a good friend of mine, is publishing her first book, and is doing a series of author interviews across several blogs. Mirriam's book Monster is set to be coming out on the 15th of June on Amazon, and Mirriam is planning on throwing an "Amazon Blitz" that day, where as many people buy the book as possible. I hope you all look into Monster and buy a copy-- I can verify that it's fantastic! Be sure to visit Mirriam's blog on the 14th of June to check out the giveaway and Amazon Blitz details.

I got the chance to read Monster as Mirriam was writing it, and be a part of her beta team. I fell in love with the story, and I hope that all of you guys get a chance to get a copy and love it just as much as I do.  So, without further adieu, I'll give this post over to Mirriam and let her do the talking.

What kind of things did you draw inspiration from, while writing and editing Monster? (Books, movies, pictures, music, etc.) 

I drew inspiration from a lot of things, but the biggest was Big Bang's song and music video, "Monster." I read a lot of medical articles - but I didn't have to look for inspiration, oddly enough. It was just sort of 'there' for this novel.

How did you write Monster? Was it on a computer, or by hand? 
I wrote SO much of it by hand, and then I typed it up onto the computer. Almost the first third was handwritten; the rest was typed up - I can type at the same speed as my brain, so I prefer writing on the computer. The last fourth of the book was finished in a hotel room using my mom's laptop!

Do you consider yourself to have a specific writing style, something that shines through in most everything that you've written, or do you think that your writing has its own personality for each story? 
Ah, not really. My style differs from book to book; something mom pointed out while reading various chapters. My style sounds totally different to fit each different book idea.

Did you have any one person who really supported you through the writing of this story? Who? 
I've been blessed with more people who encourage me than I can count. My family, my friends - everyone. And, of course, there was one person I didn't actually KNOW who inspired Mir. Lee Joon, a singer, actor, and the person who was (and is) Mir personified.

Did writing Monster teach you anything? 
This book taught me to value every soul on an even deeper level. It changed how I see people. It helped me look past appearances, to see the beating heart beneath.

Some writers have their characters living in their heads-- do Eva and Mir "live in your head" the way some characters do? 
All of my characters reside inside my head. They're as colorful and close to me as people in the real world, which is both a blessing and a danger to my real life! 

What do you consider the best part of writing-- the actual writing and beta-ing, or the editing? 
I much prefer the actual writing and beta-ing. Editing and rewriting, while not horrible, is my least favorite part. There isn't as much creativity in editing as there is in the actual writing.

About the Author

"Mirriam Neal is a nineteen-year-old homeschooled young woman who believes in embracing the weirdness in life. She writes at strange hours, reads strange books, listens to stranger music, and loves discovering the uniqueness in people."

Monday, May 6, 2013

An Open Letter to Tamora Pierce

Dear Ms. Pierce,

Your books mean the world to me. I've read all of The Immortals series more times than I can count. Alanna, Daine, Keladry... they're all some of my role models. I mean, really, those ladies are some of the best literary characters I've ever met.

I was first introduced to your books in the summer between fifth and sixth grade. I went on a two week sailing trip with my family and another family we were friends with, but I was the only kid my age on that trip. My friend who was supposed to come broke both her wrists just three days before we were set to leave. So I read. And I read. And I read. I think I read Wild Magic twice on that trip. If I didn't read it twice, then I certainly spent many hours above deck, watching the water go by and pretending I had animal magic like Daine, and that I could talk to the animals surrounding us.

And then I met Alanna. And Kel. And Beka. And Aly. And I fell in love with them all. Your books were what I turned to when I was sad-- the stories of these five ladies were always able to cheer me up. At this point, I've probably read Wild Magic and In the Hand of the Goddess more times than I can count.

I got the chance to meet you last year, on your Mastiff tour. We only got the chance to talk for a minute or two, but you remarked on my old, beat up Random House Fantasy trade paperback copies-- copies of the books you hadn't seen in a long time, you said. You were afraid you were going to break them. You wished me luck on my second NaNoWriMo adventure, which I was starting in just a few days. I was over the moon about that. Hearing that from one of my favorite authors, one of the people who had written some of my favorite heroines was amazing.

So I just wanted to say thank you. I'm sure I said it on the tour, where we stood in the bookshop I'd been going to since I was just a little kid, and the owner said, "We've known her since she was little. She's a writer too!", and where I awkwardly handed you my dogeared read-a-thousand-times copies of your books. But I wanted to say it again. I'll always be grateful to you, and to your books. They truly helped shape my childhood, and I can't imagine my life without them. Alanna, Daine, Keladry, Aly, and Beka will always be some of my best friends, and I'm always happy to revisit their stories, stories that I've read a hundred times already.

So really... thank you.


{My Random House Fantasy trade paperback editions}

The Dandy Lioness

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Reading and Teachers

Last year, I was reading constantly.

I always had a book in hand, many of which were marked with post-its or had reading logs stuck in the pages.

Last year, I loved reading, yet I was forced to do it. So I did it constantly. When reading at least twenty pages a day is your homework, you do it. You have to. You have to force yourself to sit down and read those twenty pages. And if you're me, then you can sit down and read forty or fifty or a hundred or three hundred instead of the required twenty.

After talking to a friend of mine, who had the same language arts teacher that I did, last year, I discovered something interesting. She, like me, loves reading. Both of us used to read constantly, especially last year when we were forced to do so. But both of us, starting directly after last school year finished-- when we were no longer forced to read twenty pages a day-- stopped reading as much.

Last summer I read perhaps five books. Last spring break, only two months previously, I read seven. Last year, I was in a constant state of reading.

This year, I've been reading, but definitely not as much.

Something about being forced to do it last year, made me read more than ever before. But now that I'm no longer forced to read, that I don't have to sit and think, "Oh, well I'd better get my reading done so my teacher doesn't get mad at me.", I don't read nearly as much.

It'll take me two weeks to get through a 200 page book nowadays, whereas I would have read a 200 page book in a night before.

This makes me sad.

This teacher that I had, who was trying to inspire us to read, trying to get us to enjoy it, who forced us to read, got me to the point where reading was homework. Where when I didn't have to do it, I was happy. I was happy I didn't have this constant assignment hanging over my head. Where I'm turning in more books to the library half-read or unread than actually finished.

It makes me kind of angry, actually. I know that this teacher was just trying to get us to love books. To love to read, to get us to a point where reading wasn't a chore, it was for fun. For me, reading was already fun. I adore it, actually, it's one of my favorite activities. But after last year, I consider it a chore. When you're forced to do something you love, rather than choosing to do it yourself, it makes it so much less fun.

Yet... she did the opposite. I haven't read even close to half as many books this year, as I did last year. This year, when sitting around doing nothing, I'm less likely to think, "Oh, I should grab a book and read," because it isn't this ever-present assignment.

Another thing about teachers and reading, is something that my current language arts teacher said to me, recently. He overheard me and a friend talking about a book that I gave her that she had recently read, and how much we loved it, and one of the characters in it. And he came up to us, and said, "You know, I really think it's time that you start branching out from teen literature. Try some classics! They're so much better!"

And I just didn't appreciate that at all. I love the YA genre-- there are so many good books in it, so many left undiscovered, so many to read and experience and fall in love with. And I've read several classics over the years-- granted, many of them were in class, but had I been reading them on my own, I know I wouldn't have either enjoyed them or finished them. For me, the YA genre is where I'm comfortable and happy. I do also read books classified as "adult" books, although I've definitely found that I love the YA genre best. Out of everything I've read, YA is where my heart lives.

And so telling me that classics are better than YA, makes me angry. I want to write YA literature-- whether or not I become an actual author isn't all that important in this scenario. I just want to write it. And one of the best things for me to do, is to read YA literature.

So really... sometimes I think that language arts teachers need to step back a bit, and let their students read as they please. Read what they please and when. Let them discover genres for themselves, let their students discover their love of reading, rather than have their teachers diminish it. I know that it's language arts teachers jobs to inspire reading and writing and creativity, but, to be quite honest, I've never had a language arts teacher who has truly inspired me.

My own creativity, my own love of reading comes from within, and I hate that over the years my teachers have tried to change it and mold it to what they think it should be. They think I should read classic books. They think I should read more, or read other things. They think that the best way of reading is this or that, when really it's something completely different for me.

Books, reading, writing, creativity... they're extremely personal things. And for me, teachers trying to shape my thoughts on these things that are so personal to me, doesn't work. It changes my original thoughts, and not in a good way. Teachers shouldn't care what you read, or how you read, I think. They should just care that you read. Of course, they're allowed to dictate what you read if it's a book for their class, but if it's just a book that you're reading on your own? I don't think that teachers should judge on what you're reading, be it comic books or YA literature or a classic. Does it really matter what it is that you're reading, as long as you are?

{This is a photo you've seen before, but it was the only one I had on my computer that seemed to fit with this post. Sorry.}

{Also I'm sorry that this post is so long, I had a lot to say. }

The Dandy Lioness

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Confession

I have a secret love for pop music.

It's funny-- I rarely listen to the radio, and some pop music drives me nuts, but in general, I have a secret love for the stuff. It's just... fun. It's fun to dance to and to listen to, and it's something that most everyone can agree on. I'm not really a music snob, either. I mean, I like a few bands and artists a lot (most recently they've been Brandi Carlile, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Imagine Dragons), but I don't listen to a lot of music.

I'll hear songs online, or on the radio and think "Hey, I like that." I'll hear them on the radio at gymnastics, or in the car with my friends, or when one of my friends is playing their iPod. And a lot of them are "pop" music.

Then again, if I'm trying to find something I want to listen to on 8Tracks, I'll try and go into the "pop" category, and decide that I just don't like any of what's there. But then I'll turn on the radio, and I'll be completely content to listen to it, despite commercials and everything.

So this is it.

My confession.

I have a secret love for pop music.

The Dandy Lioness

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We're Going On An Adventure

Adventure to me can be as simple as going to the grocery store. It can be as wild as flying to another continent with just my sister.

Adventure is going to see movie previews, or foreign films I'm sure I'll hate. Adventure is trips to IKEA and redoing my bedroom. Adventure is a dance show, or starting a new TV show.

Some of my favorite adventures include my YMCA group. We called ourselves the Chatterboxes, and we certainly lived up to the name. We'd spend weekends at campgrounds, making up games, climbing rockwalls and learning how to do archery. Once, my friend and I fell into a lake. In February. Another time, I was the only one of my group who was able to get to the meetup, and I got placed with another cabin. We had a blast, even though I wasn't part of their group.

One of my more recent adventures was attending my local comic con. I went with four of my friends, all of us cosplaying. It was amazing, fantastic, brilliant, and definitely an adventure.

Adventures can be creating new things, be it hats or manatees or attempting to draw. Adventure is trying to find a book sale, and arguing over directions with your dad. Adventure is trying your hair a new style, and going out to the grocery store, or the movies, or to school with it that way.

Often times, my mom and I will be in the car, headed to the grocery store, or the mall, and I'll proclaim, "We're going on an adventure!"

And we are. It's not necessarily big and grand and exciting, but every little moment is an adventure.

Or at least, that's how I see it.

{My latest manatee adventure, a Doctor Whooves themed manatee for a friend's birthday.}

{This post was in response to Mirriam's post about adventure.}

The Dandy Lioness

Friday, February 22, 2013

Home Is Where The Heart Is

People often say
that home is where the heart is
and if you asked me
where my home is
I don't know if I would spout off my address
or if I would say

That home to me
is waves crashing on the shore
and the scent of salt in the air
and worn down buildings
and cement stairs
and the sound of flip flops on gravel
and squeaky doors and broken stoves
and ugly bedding.

Home is where kites fly high above,
where cousins swing on rusty swing sets,
and dogs run.

Home is where all the paintings look the same,
and there's a bell in the little shop,
and when you can just tell when you're almost there,
and you've broken out of the trees,
and the cliffs are coming up.

Home is where reeds slap your legs,
where the water is icy cold.

Home is the start of summer,
and comfort food,
and sodas kept in a cooler.

Home is camp fires
and camping chairs,
and little condos
where the floor always has a fine layer of sand covering it,
and the chairs squeak,
and no one can quite figure out the microwave,
or where they've put the spoons this year.

Home is a little balcony
connected to my aunt's room
where dogs squeeze through the bars from one room to another,
and where I can curl up with a book,
and look out over the waves.

So yes,
while home is the brick house I've lived in,
for my entire life,
home is also on the beach shore
at the start of every summer.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where I've Been




It's been a while.

Where've I been?

Well, here's a short list.

  • Trying to puzzle out my science homework.
  • Reading a book.
  • Gallavanting on NaNoWriMo and Tumblr.
  • Dancing.
  • Singing loudly and probably off-key to Imagine Dragons.
  • Watching Supernatural.
  • Watching My Little Pony.
  • Fangirling over the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
  • Painting my nails.
  • Knitting hats.
  • Trying to plan out a new writing project.
  • Getting distracted from said writing project, and doodling on my whiteboards.
  • (Not) Cleaning my room.
  • Lying in a patch of sunlight on my living room floor.
  • Working on French.
  • Wishing it was summertime again.
  • Going through my pictures from summer, and sighing loudly.
  • Listening to songs that remind me of summer.
  • Wishing it wasn't February and it was (surprise, surprise) summer.
  • Excitedly planning out my makeup for comic con.
  • Trying to find a pair of socks that matches.
  • Sewing a pterodactyl. (I still refuse to believe that I was lied to my entire life, and that they didn't actually exist.)
  • Wandering around Ravelry and trying to find something easy to knit.
  • Jabbering with my friends.
  • Doodling in the margins of my papers.
  • Procuring a nasty cold.
  • Setting up my fairy lights again.
  • Playing with my dog.
  • Wishing I was travelling.
  • Starting a new semester.
  • Tearing my room apart in search of a t-shirt.
  • Carrying wood for my dad's work.
  • Watching Doctor Who.

So that's where I've been.

The Dandy Lioness

Monday, January 21, 2013

On Libraries, and Why I Love Them

I love libraries.

I love my local library (well, technically it isn’t my local library, but it’s my favorite library.  I don’t like the one that’s closest to my house as much as I do this one).  I love its book sales, and wandering down the shelves.  I love sitting cross-legged in the teen’s section, pouring over book after book, looking for ‘the one’ that captures my attention on that day.

I love that when I go to library book sales, I can get copies of my favorite books in great condition, for only a dollar or two.  (Looking for Alaska, Dealing With Dragons, and Airborn, to name a few.)  I love the hidden gold mines you find whilst browsing.

I love that I’m able to read anything for free, even if it does include a bit of a wait.  Just the other day, I picked up the Perks of Being a Wallflower, a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages.  I love that if I don’t finish a book, I can return it, free of charge.  (As long as I don’t let it get overdue, that is!) 

Libraries make me happy.  The scent of well-loved pages makes me happy.  The feel of a well-worn book makes me happy.  Even those old, mangled, dog-eared, cracked-spine books make me happy.

Libraries let us read anything and everything.  We can live vicariously through the lives of characters, or teach ourselves new skills, or research famous people or places.

Libraries are wonderful places, for they are thousand and one places at once. They are far-off planets, and our hometowns, Atlantis and ancient England, fantasy worlds, or our world with fantastic creatures.

I don’t understand people who don’t have a library card.  With just one piece of flimsy plastic, you can go anywhere, be anything.

Why would you pass that chance up?

The Dandy Lioness

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Carpe Diem?

I want to write another book.

I want to finish my NaNo'12.

I want to think about starting archery again.

I want to start something new.

I want to consider taking tennis.

I want to find something I love, and fall head over heels in love with it.

Not someone.


I want to find something to do.  I have dance, and I love that.  But I only have class twice a week, and until I get moved up (and maybe even then), that's all the classes I'll be able to take.  I want to have something where I'm involved in the community, where I make friends and feel just generally a part of something.

I started high school in the fall.  And yeah, I've made friends, and I like all my classes well enough, but I'm only in one club (Latin) and even at that, I don't love it.  I'm not a part of any teams, or any other commitments that have to do with my classmates.

I'm the queen of not over-committing myself, but I've gotten bored.


I want to find something new and exciting.  Something where I get involved with my classmates, and get to know more people.

Most of my friends have sports teams at school, or they take music lessons, or have work, or are a part of drama, and are just generally busy a lot of the time.

I don't actually like being idle, I've discovered.

I prefer being up and bouncing around, to sitting around doing nothing, which is strange, because I seem to have fallen into the latter category, recently.

I have dance and gymnastics outside of school.  I have writing.  But through those things, I don't get to know my classmates better.  I know people through  what classes I have, or occasionally through other things, or just meeting each other at lunch.

I want to be more of a part of the community than I currently am.

Might as well try.


The Dandy Lioness