Monday, December 10, 2012

Story jam: how to do it

This is an explanation of the rules of a story jam, which is the kind of awesome party that my fiance and I will be hosting in preparatory celebration of our wedding!  Here's how it works:

1. Everyone brings a story to share. 

This can be a favorite children's book, a chapter or excerpt from a novel, a monologue you've always wanted to perform, a movie scene you'd like to reinterpret, a poem, a tale you've written, a remarkable experience you've had... anything that you feel makes a good story. It can be funny, sweet, poignant, ironic, whatever mood you like. Just please consider propriety and courtesy in your selection.

Feel free to collaborate with others in the telling, if you wish. Feel free to bring more than one story, if you just can't decide on one; there will likely be time for both. Feel free to incorporate background music, props, and what have you--just nothing that will ruin the carpet or get us arrested. And, if you really don't want to bring a story, you can still come and hear everyone else's!

2. Everyone participates as a good audience member. 

This means you laugh and cry and applaud when you're supposed to so the story can come alive. It also means that there is no Peanut Gallery-ing or audio commentary UNLESS the storyteller gives the okay; we'll all be sharing a little bit of our souls here, and that merits respect from those receiving. Plus, it's just more fun when everyone feels good about each other and how the story came out.

We've done this in the past with our Friday night movie group, and it's really fun.  This particular event will feature food of some sort and squishy couches.
Stories are one of the things that Josh and I love most, and we intend to make story time a regular occurrence in our home.  We're looking forward to starting this tradition with our friends at the end of the week.  :)


Sunday, July 15, 2012


Well, it's been forever since I've posted anything.  I've had a few posts in the works, but most of them involved intense thinking and writing,'s summer.  However, I did (finally) finish the elephant painting that I hinted at back in May!  And, here he is, folks!

In all his glory.  Photoshop, on a Cintiq; several brushes.
This is actually the painting for the cover of the next volume of the university psychology journal for which I edit.  The final product will have some titles and other info on the right side, a quote from a folktale on the left side (see below), and will be folded in half down the middle of the elephant's face.  And the journal will be 6x9 inches, or something like that.  'Twill be great.

The shapes all over his face are a reference to phrenology, a faulty but trendy idea from psychologists in the middle and late 1800s.  Here's a link to the Wikipedia article: head bumps

And, to round off this post, here's the excerpt that will be printed on the back of the journal, from the short tale, "The Blind Men and the Elephant."

"When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, 'Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?'

"Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, 'Sire, an elephant is like a pot.' And the men who had observed the ear replied, 'An elephant is like a winnowing basket.' Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body was a grainery; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.

"Then they began to quarrel, shouting, 'Yes it is!' 'No, it is not!' 'An elephant is not that!' 'Yes, it's like that!' and so on, till they came to blows over the matter.

Psychology--trying to understand the human mind and the elephant of what we are--is like this.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I see

Practicing elephant eyes.  This was painted almost directly from photo reference--a practice technique I learned from my boyfriend (he can paint!), who learned it from this other guy, the other week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I've been drawing and painting and looking at a lot of them recently.  And then I found these doodles that I did last fall while reading a story called "L'éléphant" (yes, "The Elephant"), by Marcel Aymé.  In this story there is a chicken who wants to be the elephant in a game of Noah's Ark.  She pretends so hard that she actually turns into an elephant and breaks the wall, among other things.

It's a good story.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's in a name?

A Bertrude by any other name would be just as awkward, right?

Well, weird compound names are fun.  Bertrude and Jeffica having already been established, here are a couple that occurred as I was trying to name some characters in the play-type thing I have in the works.  My guess is that I'll continue to add to this post as time wears on, because a list of goofy names is something worth having on-hand.

Sethew (or, Sethieu, as it was originally spelled in my head)

Monday, May 7, 2012


I've been mostly writing since 9:00 this morning, so I'm very creatively talkative at the moment.  That's why I'm making a tiny post about a book title that just came to mind:

Spiritual Calculus: Learning the Lord's Timing for Maximum Growth and Blessings

The best thing is that if this winds up being the title of an autobiography-style work, people who don't know me will go into it thinking I'm a math person.  Granted, I did do well in Calculus during high school...  There are all sorts of levels at which this title and the connotations it carries are appropriate.

Now you know.

P.S. It feels really weird to me to post rough, unfinished parts of ideas that may or may not actually go anywhere.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Hallo!  It's been a while, mostly because I've been desperately swamped in writing papers for the last three months.

Here's some stuff for one of them, my final paper in my Philosophy 150 class.  We're supposed to write about a topic that falls somewhere in the vast realm of epistemology, which is the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge.  A philosopher exploring the field of epistemology might ask questions such as: "How do we know what we know?" "What is the origin of knowledge?" "Is it more important to know than to love?" and, "What about Naomi?"

The question I'm asking (as prompted by a "discussion" with a friend a while back) is, "Does subjective knowledge have value?"

Many people, my physics-major-friend among them, would contend that it doesn't on the basis that subjective knowledge cannot have a solid "right" and "wrong," and therefore there can be no solid foundation of basic understanding upon which to build.  No building of knowledge means no advancement, so subjective knowledge kind of doesn't go anywhere.  By the same token, it's relatively easy for anyone with any level of training to jump into a subjective field and make it look good, whereas it takes years of studying the right subjects in the right order to get anywhere in an objective field.  Thus, the compared realms of subjective and objective knowledge tend to look like this.

However, in my paper I'll be maintaining that subjective knowledge does have value, though obviously not for the same reasons that objective knowledge does.  Here, with little explanation, are a couple of fuzzy images that came to mind as I worked out my reasons.

We begin with Plato's conception of knowledge.
Knowledge is the intersection between truth and beliefs (see Plato's Republic).
But what if there are different kinds of truths, so that not all truths can be accessed by one kind of knowledge?
If there are different kinds of truths, there must be different kinds of knowledge.  To discount one kind of knowledge would be discounting an entire area of truth (e.g. "Subjective knowledge is not valid, therefore the truth that subjective knowledge covers are not valid").

Here's another way to look at it.
Objective knowledge can be conceived as vertical line because it builds on top of itself, with the knowledge of one person forming the base for the knowledge of the next.

Subjective knowledge can be conceived as a horizontal line because must start anew with each individual.

Each by itself only exists in one dimension of the truth/world.  Only when the two lines are put in conjunction to enter the realm of the second dimension can the world begin to make sense and take on meaningful shape for us.

Friday, March 2, 2012


And this is a lot of what made it so.

Here is a special comic created for me by my doge, re-posted here with permission.

If this Emil/Baba thing confuses anyone, I...don't know that I have much of an explanation for you.  These two characters just hijacked a texting conversation my doge and I were having one day, and then... well, yes.

The first known image of Baba and Emil.

Thanks for the birthday thoughts, my doge!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pictures of people!

That I drew!  I was trying out a new process for my very first job as a caricature artist (woohoo!), and these are what happened.  I used pencil (for layout), brush pen, and crayon.

My roommate has the coolest hair...

...but maybe not the coolest hat.

So dashing!  (Aww, yeah!)

So rugby?

These yellow cowslip cheeks...

And these guys also happened. Brush pen, crayon, and some goofing around on Photoshop.  With a mouse.

The unwitting model for the man is never that creepy-looking.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Demon of idealism

In the following scenario, let us define B as a friend from French class.  French is one of those things that I frequently accuse of being meaningless (or at least pointless), confusing, and often painful (see also literature, art, philosophy, psychology, and sometimes even music).  Which is obviously why I keep trying to learn and do it.

B also did not get to hear the bulk of this conversation, because I thought of it later.  He started it, though.

E: Just because I think it's meaningelss and confusing doesn't mean I won't work to be good at it.

B: A remarkably effective philosophy for surviving and thriving in college.

E: There's this pesky idelaism demon, though, that objects to my doing anything without meaning it.  Makes for a lot of rationalizing, existential crises, and internal pep talks.  Though I often wonder whether everyone doesn't experience life in much the same way?