Album Review: “Artemis” by Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling has her own unique sound that blends classical music with present-day dubstep. Her sound is mainly relies on instrumental with a hint of vocals for an added bonus. Recently she dropped a new album titled “Artemis.” It takes you on a wild journey through the deep, dark forest — hunting under the light of a full moon.

The album is heavily influenced by greek mythology — especially inspired by the greek goddess, Artemis. Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. She represents hunting and all things wilderness. In artwork, she is typically depicted with a bow and arrow. She is also represents purity and protection. Artemis is ruler of the moon.

Also drawing inspiration from comic book-style anime, which especially shows itself through her album artwork, “Artemis” is a musical adventure. Carrying themes of thrill and suspense, it will keep you on your toes.

Forbidden Knowledge (chapter 4)

Before we can move any further ahead, we need to back up…

Alice was born in a castle, inherited by her great-great grandparents and passed on through generations. Her childhood was extremely sheltered, with overly protective parents who never granted her any freedom. She was homeschooled and never allowed to leave the house unless she was running errands with a parent or going to Sunday service once a week.

Church was her only chance at making friends — and even then, there was no “Sunday school” for her to socialize with peers, just exhaustingly long services where she was forced to sit there in silence. Even if she were to make friends, “play dates” were not allowed and sleepovers were out of the question.

Alice was comfortable speaking to adults at the church. She was always kind, courteous, and polite. They often complimented her on her dedicated and studious ways, always praising her parents for raising a perfect angel. Alice felt at ease with her naturally ability to impress the adults: the way she stood in silence and never interrupted their stories, the way she always said “please” and “thank you,” the way she never raised her voice or whined…

And yet her peers made her feel opposite, like a total outcast. The children at her church were like animals. The girls liked to talk about fashion and makeup, they liked to sing and dance to pop songs, debate who the cutest celebrity is, topics Alice knew absolutely nothing about. The only topics she really had to offer were regarding school subjects or the Bible. The boys were much, much worse: they liked to throw things and make fun of people and beat each other up. Alice’s composure that was so well-praised by adults meant nothing to her own age group.

Continue reading Forbidden Knowledge (chapter 4)

Throwback Thursday ~ reflecting upon old posts

I write a lot — especially as of lately. I have published hundreds of posts on here. I feel shy about a lot of them and some even make me cringe. But that is what art is all about, yes? –Putting your raw self out there, vulnerable to criticism. My ego doesn’t always like it: counting all the likes/comments/views, worried about putting things out there that might make me look bad or doesn’t seem good enough. It’s a soul thing.

There are a select few posts that I am proud of. So I’d like to go back and reassess them, noting what I like and what has room for improvement.

The Scarlet Letter

Recap: I reread the classic “The Scarlet Letter” and decided to recap the story from Hester Prynne’s view, which I find so fascinating. No other book has been able to capture themes of guilt, shame, and judgment so distinctively. It opens your mind and forces you to reevaluate right vs. wrong. There is no true hero or villain. The husband, who deserves the most pity at the beginning of the story, turns out to be the evil one in the end. The priest, who seems to be most despised by the reader in the beginning, ends up being the truest and most noble figure in the end. And Hester Prynne experiences a deep shift in character, going through a punishment that she may not have deserved, yet greatly benefitted from somehow.

Highlight: I jumped into Hester Prynne’s shoes to get a full feel for this story. After reading it from a bird’s eye view, I wanted to experience it through Hester herself. So I even went so far as to purchase an early modern period costume and dress up.

Critique: I definitely could’ve made a longer post. It feels somewhat rushed to me. Generally, it’s good to keep blog posts short because most readers are looking for something quick and light. But I’m so passionate about the book that it deserves an essay. So in the future I may rewrite it and add much more depth to it, although I’d have to reread the book again.

Book Review: “Antony and Cleopatra”

Recap: As the title suggests, this is a book review. It is completely nonfiction, however the hard facts are still full of drama. This book was difficult to read, as it is very dry. It was an extremely enjoyable challenge. I did a lot of highlighting (as well as a lot of page-skipping…) Obvious to the title, the book follows the separate lives of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony, and how their lives eventually intersected.

Highlight: I’m proud of how much work I put into this. This is a meaty post. It took so much time and effort. I did a lot of editing before I finally published it.

Critique: As much as I was fascinated by the romance of Cleo & Antony, I wonder why I did not put more focus on Cleopatra’s story. A little while back, I purchased a nonfiction book that solely targets Cleo herself, and I’m planning to write an even better post about that one. Because life is not just about romance, it’s also about individuality!

Film Review: The Love Witch

Recap: “The Love Witch” is one of my favorite films! Why? One word: AESTHETICS! Nostalgic and dreamy vibes, accompanied by dark humor and witchcraft. The main character, Elaine, is an absolute monster. Yet for some strange reason, she possess a surreal quality of magic that everyone lusts after (including me — yes, I’m obsessed with her aesthetic.)

Highlight: My intention was to provide a light synopsis of the film to an audience that has yet to see it. Therefore, I did not want to give away and details that would spoil the plot line. I wanted to encourage others to watch it. I think I did pretty well at capturing the film’s aesthetic.

Critique: There’s still a lot more that could have been said. If I wasn’t worried about spoilers, than I would have dove much deeper. The character of Elaine is quite fascinating. I may write a post analyzing her character, which will require me to completely spoil the ending.

RISE UP! (a vent)

I feel like nobody takes anything or anyone seriously. Everything is just a joke. Don’t get me wrong because I think it’s important to have a big sense of humor and don’t take things personally… But I feel like no one really thinks about how fragile life is and how precious every single day is.

People basically float day to day without purpose or consciousness. Everyone plays the “innocent victim” card because they are too scared or too lazy to take control of their lives and responsibility for their actions.

There’s a lot of superficial thought, like “if you can’t see it, then it doesnt exist” mentality. People turn a blind eye to what makes them uncomfortable. But if people had more bravery then they could accomplish so much more.

This might not make sense at first because I am a big believer in freedom. But sometimes I do feel like people have… not “too much freedom”… but like, the wrong type of freedom. I think we are so overwhelmed with different choices that we end up giving our power to those who take advantage.

I think people are bored with their false sense of freedom. So much destruction happens due to shallow boredom. People gossip and form cliques because they are bored. They look for problems because they are bored. They need to pick on others in order to distract themselves from their own flaws. They have nothing better to do.

But there is SO MUCH out there! So many books waiting to be read, skills waiting to be learned. Even if you don’t do anything, you will still make better use of your time through mediation and deep introspection. Just sitting there and focusing on your breath is actually going to bring so much more accomplishment than gossiping or picking other people apart.

Drama is a great distraction from our higher selves. Drama is like junk food that our soul gobbles down when it’s craving vitamins and minerals. You will never, ever discover the deep truths of life if you are too caught up in petty drama.

If you want to continue being an innocent victim of your life who faces unfair struggles, don’t expect anything to change. You can change your wardrobe, hair, home, friends, but you will still fall into the same psychological patterns. Nothing is going to change until you start from within.

“If you stand for nothing, then you fall for everything.”

This quote presents great truth. Be conscious. Have character. Stand for something. Don’t let the world tell you who to be, or bully you into hiding your true colors. Everyone will assume that you are confident, no one sees you falling apart behind closed doors. People will treat you like you’re made of stone. So RISE UP!


***VENT RULES! I am not attacking anyone in particular! This is completely personal opinion and not fact! I understand this is black-and-white thinking! Thank you for your open mind and no judgement please! Love & peace!***

Book Review: Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow is a thrilling novel full of horror and passion. The story follows two characters: Dominika, a Russian, and Nate, an American — both tangled in the dangerous world of spying for opposing countries.

Dominika is dedicated, passionate, thrill-seeking, and short-tempered. And Nate is a fiery man who is very clever and intelligent. He is more logical and levelheaded, although still has a deep heart.

Dominika was born with a special gift: her extraordinary vision that lets her see the color of people’s auras. When music plays, she can see distinct notes right in front of her eyes. Her ability to see music is what makes her such a talented dancer.

“Dominika gravely explained that when the music played, or when her father read aloud to her, colors would fill the room. Different colors, some bright, some dark, sometimes they ‘jumped in the air’ and all Dominika had to do was follow them. It was how she could remember so much.”

After graduating high school with a particular admiration for history and political debates (due to her strong patriotism,) she attends ballet school in pursuit of becoming a professional ballerina. However, Dominika’s career plans are halted when a jealous couple on the team plots to break her leg, thus destroying her capabilities as a dancer.

“In young adulthood she had learned to cope with the buistvo, the mounting rage, but now she let it grow, tasted it in her throat.”

Following the tragic, sudden death of her father, Dominika is approached by her uncle  with an offer to essentially become a Russian spy. Desperate and lost, Dominika feels she has no choice now but to accept. From here on, her loyalty will be tested: to her country, to her family, to her dignity and principles, and most importantly to her own self.

Dominika attends Sparrow School, where she trains to become an official “sparrow.” Here, is where she is taught in depth about the art of seduction. Sparrows use not just their bodies, but their magical charm and quick wit, to gain precious information for the Russian government.

“This school, this mansion secluded behind walls topped with broken glass, was an engine of the State that institutionalized and dehumanized love. It didn’t count… it was training, like ballet school.”

The trials and tribulations Dominika goes through prove her strength, as the harsh reality sinks in that being strong is her only option if she wants to survive. Too late to back out now. At one point she witnesses a man get brutally, painfully murdered, as his blood spats on her body.

Finally, Dominka meets Nate, her next assignment. Nate seems to always have a deep purple aura, presenting honesty and calmness. Her mission is to recruit him for Russia, while Nate has a counter-mission to recruit Dominika for the USA.

“Dominika played it slow, indifferent. She was correct, reserved, a conscious counterbalance to his shambling American informality. She constantly told herself not to be so nervous. When he looked at her she knew from his expression that he was unsuspecting. He doesn’t know what this is, she thought with a thrill. The CIA officer doesn’t know who he’s up against.”

Although Dominika is successful at capturing Nate’s attention, she quickly realizes that he is different from anyone else. Her feelings build, yet her loyalty to Russia remains firm. As the two get to know each other, Nate notices how triggered and defensive she is when criticism of the Russian government comes up.

“God, she’s serious, thought Nate. Typical Russian, afraid of putting a foot wrong. But he liked her reserve, her underlying sensuality, the way she looked at him with her blue eyes. He especially liked the way she pronounced his name, ‘Neyt.'”

It is not long before Dominika questions the intentions of her team. The murder of an older fellow sparrow, who she saw as her future-self, is the final straw. Dominika can no longer hide her fury as she goes on another date with Nate. At this point, she realizes that she actually has more trust for this American stranger than she does for her own country, even her own family — most especially her evil uncle. And so, she confesses her identity to Nate, who in turn tells her to join his team.

“It’s just that you should learn to get high on something other than adrenaline,’ he said.

“‘You mean like wine?’ she said, and threw the wineglass against the wall. ‘No, thank you. I prefer adrenaline.'”

At this point, the trouble has only just begun. The pair work well together with a rare, strong sense of trust in one another. Still — they know that they cannot let their passion for each other get in the way. Yet of course, passion persists and finds a way to make things very messy…


I really enjoyed this book. This lengthy nearly-600-pager took me a while to finish, although I’m a slow reader anyway. There were some parts that seemed drawn out and skippable. But there were also many parts that had my eyes glued to the pages. The story is intense and shocking.

***Photos used from the adapted film***

Loyal to Sadness

Do you ever feel p o w e r l e s s ?

Like everything is j u s t a m e s s . . .

If everybody feels this way

Why doesn’t anyone act like it?

If everyone is feeling down

Why do they smile and never frown?

You may not know true happiness

But you also know nothing about true sadness.

Dive deep in

Show them how you feel

otherwise

your sadness is not real.

How many times did you laugh today?

How many upbeat “hello’s” did you say?

You say you’re sad, but you ain’t.

“Feeling blue” is just a picture you paint.

You’re not sad

Don’t lie

You sleep with sadness on the side

Yet you hold hands with happiness for pride

You’re flirting with happiness in the light

Yet you dream of sadness every night.

You are not loyal to sadness

You do not deserve its deep blue depth.

You are not loyal to sadness

So don’t pretend to be upset.

You are not sad, you are not happy

Y o u a r e n o t h i n g

Y o u a r e p o w e r l e s s

Graveyard Walk

Take a graveyard walk down memory lane

See all I had to lose, in order to ever gain

See the broken bones and the lifeless hearts

See the sacrifices made, in search of a new start

This tombstone here is so special to me

Lay down roses and imagine what could be

Lay down letters that will never be returned

Lay down sage, light a match and let it burn

The ghosts wander waiting and listening for prayers

Tell them all my secrets I am willing to share

Tell them scary stories about my own waking life

Tell them there is better reason to fear the day, than to fear the night.

little adventures