Posts Tagged ‘art’

dancinggroot

The Universe is rewarding me for giving Sunday to myself and my passions, I think. Because since Sunday, good things have been happening:

+ I made a significant improvement health wise from where I was post-procedure.
+ Kicking my NaNoWriMo project in the teeth and getting that sucker DONE.
+ Found a way of making serious headway in my medical bill mess, so I will not longer be The Walking Debt. Well, IF it works out. That’s still up in the air. So cross all things that are capable of safely being crossed.
+ The Jessica Lange cover of “Gods and Monsters” (On American Horror Story: Freak Show) is available on iTunes, and I bought it, and it pleases me greatly. I know that’s a random thing, but hey – gotta appreciate the little stuff.
+ I have a shoot Sunday if all goes as planned.
+ There is a light at the end of the tunnel for something that has been a nightmare for two years now.
+ I feel like I’m making some improvements in my art, and I’m hoping to take some steps forward with that soon.
+ I have adventures to look forward to next year. Plus little get together things with friends the rest of this year.

 

And what may be the best of it all, is that I am learning to redirect negative thoughts as soon as they enter my head. For example: If someone is making my life miserable, and I start to let it get to me, I remind myself that there are billions of other people in this world, and that it is absolutely ridiculous to let one person ruin my day. I take a deep breath and push the thoughts aside, and focus on one of the many good things I have going on. No one is going to take the good going on right now away from me.

~Angel

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“Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” ~ Dr. Dale E. Turnerwherewasi1 wherewasi2

 

Those of you that keep up with me in real life, and those that read my health update post, know that I have not been well. After my previous post, I ended up getting even worse, and was out of work most of last week thanks to it. It seems in combination with a rough wisdom teeth extraction, I also developed an infection, which sent my body into a horrible flare mode. Long story short: I was miserable.

I was out of work longer than I had anticipated I would be over this, and most of the time I couldn’t function enough to watch a movie or catch up on my DVR shows. But I started getting frustrated with being sick and useless, so I did what I have done many times before when I’m sick: I started drawing.

At first, I barely managed some terrible little demented sketches. But I kept at it during the periods of time that I felt like I could function, and it distracted me just enough from how terrible I felt. This is how I coped up until Halloween.

Friday, when I woke up, I started crying. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I’d planned for months to dress up for work, and see my boyfriend that night, and go see Horns in theaters if possible – and if not, they had it available On Demand, so I could watch it that way. But of course, Friday I was still in terrible shape, so: No work, No costume, No going out with the boyfriend. I did watch Horns via On Demand, but that didn’t change how bummed missing my favorite Holiday made me. So, I watched horror movies on the couch all day and rested.

But by Friday night, I was down again. Seeing all my friends posting their Halloween costumes, going out, doing stuff other than being sickly… just made the depression from being sick that much worse. And it’s hard to make your body feel better when the rest of you isn’t up to the task.

Then, I saw someone on my friends list post their costume makeup, and I thought “Hey, I’d like to draw that.” Not just a rough, crappy sketch for practice. I wanted to actually make a piece of art off of what they looked like. So, I grabbed some paper and pencils and set to work. Once I had the basic sketch down, I grabbed my colored pencils and started on the colors. I didn’t finish it that night, because I felt awful, but I was proud of what I had accomplished of it.

Saturday is a blur to me. I know I woke up feeling even worse, and spent a lot of my time trying to rest. I was bummed that my brain fog was at a max level of suck, because it was Day One of NaNoWriMo. So zero words were accomplished.

Now, by Sunday, I was frustrated with myself. I wanted to feel better, not just for NaNoWriMo, but because I was tired of being a slave to my sickness. So I made a plan: I would pace myself, and take the whole day to do it, but I would 1.) work on something photography related, even if I just edited one of the many photos I’m behind on, 2.) work on the piece I started on Halloween, and 3.) I would start on my NaNoWriMo project, even if I only typed 50 words. Getting 50 words into the project was a hell of a lot better than having nothing.

There were naps involved, and I really did only edit one of the photos I’m behind on. But I managed to get quite a bit of progress made on my art, as well as nearly 3,000 words into my NaNoWriMo project. And the best part of it? I was proud of myself at the end of the day. Despite the horrible way I felt, I accomplished something I set out to, even though it took all day.

But it didn’t stop there: Today, I feel SO MUCH better than I have. I’m still not functioning at 100%, and I don’t feel well at all. But compared to how I have felt for nearly two weeks now? Major improvement.

Was it the boost in my spirit? Or just the illness calming down from running it’s course with this flare up? Who knows, for sure. But I would like to credit it to doing the things  I love most.

Here’s to what I hope is a very successful November!

~Angel

Please Note: All photos in this post are mine, and I haven’t had time to properly watermark any. Don’t take any without my consent or proper credit, please.

On that note, prepare for A LOT of photos.

I’ve been going to Orlando once a year for the past three years now, since I first started to get sick. It’s been my happy little escape from the chaos of the world I normally inhabit. But, I normally go in late Spring or Summer, so this was my first trip down when the Halloween festivities are taking place at Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.

I’m going to break this up into at least two posts, starting now with Universal Studios (which was the beginning of and best part of the entire trip.)

So, let’s begin, shall we?

I cannot talk about going to Universal in fall 2014 without mentioning that I FINALLY GOT TO SEE DIAGON ALLEY! And it was breathtaking.

King’s Cross Station, which is where you could board the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade.

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If you look around in London, whether you’re a fan of the books or films, you can find a certain grumpy house elf peaking out of one of the windows. This was one of my favorite little details. You had to know he was there to look for him.

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It’s a dream come true to get to ride the Hogwarts Express finally. It’s a different experience depending if you ride it to Hogsmeade or to London. To Hogsmeade was probably my favorite.

Then, there is Diagon Alley itself:

IT MAKES THE SOUND OF THE BRICKS MOVING LIKE IN THE MOVIE AND IT MAKES ALL THE GEEKY OVERLOAD JOY HAPPEN.

IT MAKES THE SOUND OF THE BRICKS MOVING LIKE IN THE MOVIE AND IT MAKES ALL THE GEEKY OVERLOAD JOY HAPPEN.

I don't think I've seen a picture yet that truly does justice to that dragon. Wherever you stand, you think that could be a real dragon. The detail is mind-blowing.

I don’t think I’ve seen a picture yet that truly does justice to that dragon. Wherever you stand, you think that could be a real dragon. The detail is mind-blowing.

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I absolutely loved the Escape from Gringotts ride. I was lucky, because it was dead when I went to ride for the first time, and I was able to pretty much just walk straight onto the ride. And it was a great ride, from the line getting you into the story to the ride itself. I've heard mixed opinions. But I adored it.

I absolutely loved the Escape from Gringotts ride. I was lucky, because it was dead when I went to ride for the first time, and I was able to pretty much just walk straight onto the ride. And it was a great ride, from the line getting you into the story to the ride itself. I’ve heard mixed opinions. But I adored it.

Now, Universal Studios does something at their parks in September and October called Halloween Horror Nights. It’s basically where they set up somewhere around eight houses and, this year, four scare zones. They also have a few shows special for the night. And I was lucky enough to have a VIP pass to get into three of this years houses before the event itself. The houses I visited: Halloween, Dollhouse of the Damned, and From Dusk Till Dawn.

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Halloween: This is, indeed, based off oh John Carpenter’s horror movie, Halloween, about Michael Myers. It’s specifically focused on the first film, though there are nods to the other movies in the series – including Halloween 3, surprisingly enough.

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This seems like a random weird image, but it's from a section of the house that makes you feel like you're in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger's sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface's white shirt.

This seems like a random weird image, but it’s from a section of the house that makes you feel like you’re in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger’s sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface’s white shirt.

I was having a horror-movie-junkie fan girl moment in the entire Halloween house, but the next house – Dollhouse of the Damned – was probably my favorite house, because it was so visually stimulating. This house was a concept house rather than a house based off of a film.

Also: enjoy Universal's dumpsters.

Also: enjoy Universal’s trash cans.

 

This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

 

I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.

I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.

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Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.

Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.

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There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child's Play.

There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child’s Play.

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The last house we visited behind-the-scenes that day was From Dusk Till Dawn, based off of both the original movie, but also very heavily inspired by the newer TV series. While it was a very cool house, it was probably my least favorite of the three.

Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.

Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.

I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.

I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.

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Someone isn't having a good birthday.

Someone isn’t having a good birthday.

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So, that night, after all the house photo-taking goodness, my mother and I got to attend Halloween Horror Nights 24. There are two shows, one is a Bill & Ted Halloween show, which we didn’t attend. But I did go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show live, and it was AMAZING. I love RHPS and the show was incredible. Probably one of my all time favorites I’ve seen.

Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.

Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.

There were also the four scare zones set up in the streets:

The Purge

The Purge zone

The Purge zone

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The Bayou of Blood:

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FACE OFF: In The Flesh (Make-up looks from the show, recreated by some of the artists from the show!)

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One of my favorite parts of Halloween Horror Nights was the MASKerade: Unstitched zone.

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I think it’s super underrated, because a lot of people were claiming it was boring. But I loved it. Yeah, I wasn’t shaking in my Stormtrooper Vans over people in gowns, on stilts, wearing masks. BUT it was so beautiful and eerie at night in such a fantastic way. It sent my artsy brain into overdrive. I was sketching a day or two later when I was doing laundry:

This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.

This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.

 

So, there you have it. The epic wonderful highlights of my two days at Universal. I will have a post in a few days about Disney World itself. Plus, lots of health updates – not the best of them, either. So stay tuned.

~Angel

mypeople

[And since we know that dreams are dead,

and life turns plans up on their head,

I will plan to be a bum,

so I just might become someone.]

Here is yet another project update to let everyone know what’s going on:

Interview: Friday I wrapped up a two part interview about fun things like Sjogren’s, writing, travel, etc. Should be a good read whenever they’re up and ready. I’ll be sure to post a link whenever it’s up.

Writing: Even when it isn’t at the most appropriate time, I am always greatly to my muse for poking around in my brain and making me want to write. The last two days have been like that. I’ve been keeping a pen and note pad in my pocket while I’m at work, because scenes are just playing out in my head for a new story, as well as current projects, and I have to jot them down. I’m also about to start serious revisions on my project, code name BM, that I’ve been working on for publication. Cross all crossable things that this goes well.

Plus, I’m going to enter a nonfiction writing contest. I doubt I will win, but I think trying will be good for me. Get back into that mode of submitting and getting over this recent fear of people reading my work. I used to be confident. Now I’m constantly worried about not being good enough, despite any positive feedback. I need to relax a little.

Art: I made myself do a sketch, just one little sketch, last night. I’m out of practice. I have projects I need to be working on, but I just don’t have much faith in myself and it makes me put things off. I need to let go of that worry and just accept that the only way to improve is to continue practicing.

Photography: I’m so behind on shoots it’s ridiculous, but I’m working on it. Most of the problem is time management related. I’m putting projects together at least, so that’s always good.

 

So, that’s about it for right now. A lot, and yet nothing much. Now, back to the muse.

~Angel

 

plane

“Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes,’ otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.”

— Ian Fleming

It’s stirring inside of me again. An overwhelming desire to pack up my bags and load the car, head onto the interstate or go to the airport. I need adventure again. I need to wander the streets of New Orleans, entranced by the music at every corner. I need to let go in Salem, dancing at circle on a sabbat with strangers, lost in the incredible connection of energy. I need Boston, out on the boat surrounded by whales. I need Chicago, listening to James Marsters sing before having dinner at his birthday party. I need Orlando, where I can hop on a ride and take on a new life for a few moments. I need to go. I need to see something other than the middle of nowhere.

 I don’t want to have to fight anymore,
I’m tired.
I don’t want to have to feel anymore,
uninspired.

It helps me with so much when I travel. My body may become physically exhausted, but my mind is clear and stress is relieved for oh-so-long while I’m away from my regular life. I feel like writing and creating and just aiming for the stars. I am reminded I can be more, and it wakes the muse inside my head.

So long my flame, my warmth, my fear, my fight,
The road’s calling again tonight.
Dreaming under street lights,
Maybe I’ll catch a train to Rome,
See the world until I can’t go on,
Then maybe I’ll come traveling home.

But sometimes, other people don’t exactly get that. So, again, I’m faced with people telling me I really need to consider my priorities, and buy a house and settle down, an do all of these things I couldn’t just do even if I wasn’t traveling so much. But the people telling me again and again, like they’re scolding a child, that I need to stay put a while don’t understand. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy in one place. Even if it’s just occasionally going to Orlando or something – I need to get away for a bit to function correctly. It seems that is the best medicine for me. It isn’t that I don’t love the people I have here, or anything. I just need a reset on occasion.

‘Cause when the road takes it’s toll
And these cities come and go
Filled with people I don’t know
You’ll be in my heart
And I’ll dream of where you are tonight.

So I’m going through a balancing act: save save save for adventures, and save save save for responsible adult life. And even though that still isn’t enough, at least I feel comfortable knowing I’m trying to manage what I want from my life, and what everyone else expects.

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Maybe I’ll go it all alone
See the world and make my way back home
Or maybe I’ll keep traveling on

Either way, I will keep going. I will write. I will create. I will venture out into the world. I will find a home somewhere, some way, and I will build the life that fits what I need. But I will not give up or give in. I will continue to occasionally pack a suitcase and go somewhere else, even if it’s just a few days.

And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.

~Angel

 

So here we go with another lovely little general update about the various projects and things going on:

Writing: I know I need to be working on BM, the current work-in-progress I’ve been trying to get polished for agent querying. But it’s in a state of chaos, since I was working on it before, during, and AFTER the 2012 Sjogren’s flare of Doom. I think that much mixed together honestly really, really intimidates me. That’s a strange way to put it, I guess. But it’s the best way I can describe it. I’m just uncomfortable with so many variations while I’m still struggling to get my groove back.

MassiveInsecurity

So, when the uncontrollable urge to start writing again on an old manuscript that I tried to get published in 2008/2009, which we shall refer to here as B.O.E., I gave it some serious thought. Did I really want to ruin a book I adored with my crappy Sjogrens brain? I went ahead and started a read through and realized — Sjogrens or not, I’ve grown as a writer since then. I could see glaring mistakes that I either overlooked or was too afraid to dump. I think, as unusual as it sounds, that working on a rewrite for B.O.E. could actually reboot my brain to pre-Sjogrens Doom Flare. Maybe not everything will work right, and maybe not all the time. But it got some gears turning that had started getting rusty. We’ll see how this works out.

Art: To make up for the fact I haven’t always felt up to my little sketch-a-day plan, I have started working on bigger and more time consuming projects as a way to take regaining my skills to a bigger level. I still want to keep practicing a little sketch every day, but from time to time I don’t mind pumping out some bigger work. Some of which I would really like to try to sell, eventually.

Photography: I haven’t done an actual shoot that I’ve wanted to for some time. I’ve done a few for other people, but none that are actual projects of my own. I have a shoot hopefully on Sunday, so let’s see if that kicks off photo shoot season properly. I’ve had a lot of ideas, and not a lot of time or energy. I have started taking online classes for photography, and probably more subjects soon enough. I’m pretty excited.

Adventures: I’m going through travel withdrawals. I’m staring at my luggage and wishing it was packed up and going with me somewhere. And while I do have at least two trips left this year, that really seems like it isn’t enough. I need to leave. Especially with the fact I’m used to leaving for Orlando in May or June from the last two years. My body is convinced we’re supposed to be leaving. Sorry, body. Not yet.

However, I’m still working hard to save up for my big trip with friends next year. I’m hoping it all works out, we get our ticket and hotel money together, and we can pull this off. *crosses fingers*

 

Well, that’s about it for now. I’ll have another post about the various other things going on soon enough, and will eventually get around to posting about all the appointments lately. I just haven’t been ready to tackle the health post, yet.

~Angel

One of my biggest struggles I’ve had with Sjogren’s, as I’ve mentioned a few times I believe, is the battle with fatigue and brain fog. Not that the other creativemindssymptoms aren’t horrible, but these particular symptoms have caused me a lot of grief with several aspects of my life aside from just making me miserable. My memory used to be incredible, and writing was never something I struggled with. Sjogren’s tossed me into a brain fog I never thought I would escape. But lately, I’ve been getting myself back under control.

For example, my last post – Hypergraphia – was about just that. I am compelled once again by the Midnight Disease, when I am not only wanting to write, but I simply have to write. It’s a compulsion, and I’ll write anywhere on anything available. That’s even what that post was. Something inside of my head was driving me to write. This is a feeling I used to be familiar with, even somewhat in control of. I was always writing, and always wanting to write. But not as much thanks to Sjogren’s, and definitely not as strong.

In part, I believe it’s from a general sense of getting back to myself. I’ve spent a long, long time drowning in depression because of a variety of reasons. My head was held under water because I never have time for creative outlets, I work all the time, college is a mess, I’m plagued by my own self doubt, struggling with a relentless illness, and a general series of unfortunate events blocking my way. But I’ve grown tired of being down, and letting my failures occur so frequently. I am a determined young woman with a lot of dreams and potential, and it about time I stop putting myself on the back burner. And by this I mean – it’s time to focus on what I want, and not just what is needed. Not just the sick girl, not just the working girl, or the aunt, or the daughter, or whatever. I need to focus on Angel Young – the Writer, Artist, Photographer, and Weirdo. Because that’s who I am. I remember her.

I’ve been very lucky to find myself surrounded by more and more like-minded individuals, people driven to be everything they can and live out their dreams, as well as help other people in return. It’s one thing to be alone and trying to make it, but when you’re surrounded by so much inspiration, it’s hard not to try and keep trying to make all of your dreams into reality. My aim is set on the moon, but I’ve realized how beautiful it already is here among these bright stars.

But not only that – I think that the Legends of the Knight screening honestly helped me a lot more than I realized. I pulled off something I never even fathomed I could, and even doubted a lot along the way. I was convinced that I couldn’t bring this film to my little theater, that I couldn’t raise money, that I couldn’t do all of this and honor Eric’s memory by not only living, but by doing something incredible with my life. But I did. And I’m not finished yet.

I cried earlier today. It wasn’t because I was sad, or in pain, or sick. It was because I thought about all the amazing things I’ve done, and how far I can still go if I really try. I was filled with a hope I haven’t had for some time and an overwhelming burst to create.

Because I am Angel Young. I am a writer, a photographer, an artist, and a weirdo. I’m proud of who I am, and couldn’t imagine ever wanting to be anyone else ever again. So it’s time I take my life back into my own hands.

~Angel