April 22, 2015

Shorts and Selling Stuff

The performances of the 9th annual evening of shorts are done! I'm so happy to have my life back. And by life, I mean that I can sleep late and only have to be at school for an hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And I can watch Netflix from the couch and do craft stuff and play games on my phone and stuff.

I don't really want to talk about the shorts much, but I did take some video and pictures that I need to edit together and upload to my youtube channel. I'll get to that within the next week or so. I should probably do that today, but I'm feeling really lazy.

I've also found a way to sell some of my stuff online and get money out of it. Of course, I have shut down my storenvy shop and set up an Etsy shop instead. Its http://etsy.com/shop/RusticandRefinedTX and I have a ton of stuff on there. I've been waiting to actually start selling things from it. I mean, there's a lot of crochet stuff, but no one has bought anything yet, which sucks since I need money.

I also found this app called Yerdle. Its supposed to be like an app to get things for free, but its really not. You start out with a set amount of credits that represent money, and you can sell your stuff to people on there in exchange for credits. And you can buy things with credits, and all you have to pay for with actual money is the shipping. And none of the shipping is too bad. I just bought a $20 book that I've wanted for a while for just the $6 shipping an like 4 credits. I also sold my Junior year prom dress and shipped it off yesterday. I got 30 credits for it, and I got 25 extra credits since it was my first sale. Its awesome. I have this referral link, so that we can both get 10 extra credits if you sign up with it, by the way. https://yerdle.com/i/elizabeth-walker-88c8b8df-bac2-4afa-8cd8-48f0a9abc568

Its not a perfect app, but the concept is great and I can get rid of stuff and get stuff for a lot cheaper than I would otherwise. They're still working out the glitches, but overall its usable.

I've also got some interesting blog posts coming up. I feel like blogging right now, but its going to take me a few days to get all of the information out in an orderly manner. Bear with me!

Also, I plan on doing a live event on youtube sometime soon, since I now have the ability to do so. I'm thinking maye Monday? Or next Friday? Or perhaps Wednesday? It needs to be before 3:30. Comment here or on my youtube channel when you think it should be.

-EW

March 19, 2015

SUCH TIRED

Directing a play takes a lot more time and energy than I'm used to putting into theatre stuff. Particularly since I've had rehearsal from 9 to 10 each evening since Monday. And I get to do the same thing next week. And the week after that. And so on. I've been wondering if maybe this was a mistake. Oh well. Too late to turn back now.

It is going well though, as far as the play is concerned. There will be a lot of sign language in it, which makes me happy.

Today is a very rainy, dreary day. I feel like sleeping. But I can't since I'm at school. Instead, I've been sitting in the cafe above the library for the last hour and a half working on homework that is due tomorrow. I plan on working on it a little more later today and finishing it tomorrow. The rain makes me want to listen to Ed Sheeran music though, so that's what I'm currently doing. And its not helping my mood any more than the rain is. Such sad. Such tired. Andrew won't text me. Blah.

I'm super bored though.

Oh, and my bento box lunch sucked today. Plus, I couldn't finish it since I forgot a fork. So I bought a chicken salad sandwich from the cafe and I plan on getting something to drink from the vending machine in a bit.

Sorry I have been kind of missing from the internet lately. I'm just lacking inspiration for blogs and videos, plus I've been rather busy. I'll be back on track next semester if nothing else.

-EW

March 3, 2015

Auditions: Day One

Today is the first day that I get to watch people audition for the play that I am directing. I'm looking to cast one female and two people of either gender. Either both male or one female and one male.

I got to college early because of class today. I was here before 11:00. But my scene partner for theatre class didn't show up and probably isn't going to show up next time either. I have no clue what I'm supposed to do about that. I guess I'll memorize a monologue from the play or something between now and Thursday. This sucks.

Anyway, this means that I technically could have skipped class and it wouldn't have mattered. I could have stayed home and gotten things done. Not that I won't be getting things done at school, but just different things. At least its kinda nice outside today. Its not freezing cold like it has been. I'm sitting outside the library while I blog and brainstorm ideas for the play and eventually edit a vlog and upload it to the keeyss channel. I'm kinda tired of doing the tuesday vlogs to be honest, particularly since no one else ever posts videos anymore. But I suppose I'll do them at least every other week until summer. Then maybe everyone will get back on track. If not, we had a good run.

I'm thinking about possibly doing a series of short vlogs on my main channel while I direct this play. I wanted to do that with the other play, but we were too busy. This time, I'll  kinda be in charge of it, so there will be time for it.

I'm only going to have three people on my cast at the most, and one at the least, and only one character has lines. A monologue to be exact. Should be interesting.

Auditions are at 6, so wish me luck in entertaining myself until then.

Also, this morning I found out that someone is majorly encroaching on my princess business. And for a higher price and less acting and less fun stuff and less time. She doesn't even sing. I'm not very happy about this. Anyway, this means that I need to step up my princess game and blow everyone out of the water. I'm thinking that on Thursday I'm going to dress up as either Ariel or Merida (although I'm unsure about driving while wearing a corset) when I come to school, hang around campus for dead hour and take pictures with people, hand out business cards, and then see about walking around Walmart, Walgreens, etc. a little later on. Good idea or bad idea? Idk, it just sounds fun.

-EW


February 26, 2015

Catching Up on Homework and Stuff

The last performance of our play was on Tuesday, and it was amazing. Any actor can tell you that different performances always have different levels of energy, and that helps give the show a good or bad outcome. A lot of the time, opening night is the night of highest energy. For us, that ended up being the last night of the show. As a cast, we were excited, and there was the thing about being watched by two judges. There were awards on the line! And our audience was a bunch of college theatre people from other schools, so they were feeding us really good energy because they were rooting for us. The show wasn't perfect by any means. There were some little glitches here and there, but the audience and the judges didn't notice. It was great for  a last night.

Yesterday morning, at 9:30, we had our critique. They said a lot of good things, and their things that could use improvement were just little nit-picky things. Then we were supposed to spend that day, today, and tomorrow watching the plays of the other colleges. I watched two plays yesterday, out of the four that were performed. Oedipus Rex, which I didn't care for so much, but then again I don't really like Greek Mythology. And The House of Blue Leaves, which was a great dark comedy and their set was amazing. It was the size of a house! There was even a fridge and a couch and a stove and a television and a sink with running water! And everyone had an accent. It was hilarious but also made me feel like crying.

I went home after that. I didn't want to stay at school until the last play finished at like 11:00. And I'm not going up there today or tommorrow if I can manage it. Unless the director offers to pay for my gas there and back. I don't want to drive 45 minutes there and the same amount of time back. And try to find a way to pay for food. And gas. I use a quarter of a tank of gas each day! I kinda wish I lived closer to the college. But that's Texas for you. I'll be back at the school for the awards show on Saturday. Attending which, I might add, has cost me an Elsa gig. OPPORTUNITY COST! I lost fifty bucks by participating in this, More actually, if you count the other gigs I've had to turn down because of rehearsal.

Today, I get to spend the day catching up on the homework that I've been putting off that is due on Saturday. I hate government homework. And I get to clean the house some. Since apparently out of five people, I'm one of the only ones that does chores. I feel for the maids in the book I'm reading, The Help. Although, I know that I don't have it as bad as they did. I also know that they were way better at cleaning than I am.

I have been working more on writing Letters Home, or rewriting as it would be. I made a huge change, but its going to add a lot to my word count. I just have to take the time to write it all. After that, I'm going to see about getting an agent. I feel like I'm just diving into the deep end without knowing how to swim. That's why I'm going to get an agent. That's going to take a whole lot of weight off of my shoulders. I'm not too concerned with ever being famous, but I do want people to read the things that I write. And  writing is something that I love to do and that I can do while having other jobs. Anyway, I'm hoping that I can see about sending my stuff to an agent by this summer. Aside from attempting to clean/detail my car the week after next (SPRING BREAK! WHOOT!), I plan on doing a lot of writing. I kinda miss nanowrimo because I HAD to write every single day. I want to do it again next year. I've already got a book idea going for it. I just need November to be here. But not too soon.

-EW

February 23, 2015

The Last Performance (almost) and a Day Off

Last night was our last public performance of AND THEN THEY CAME FOR ME. We have one more on Tuesday for the Play Festival, and then we're done. We originally had rehearsal planned for today, but it was cancelled and instead I'm at home, lounging around in leggings and a tank top as I drink tea and eat animal crackers in an attempt to push the dream I had last night from my mind.


The performance wasn't the most high energy performance ever. Everyone was kind of tired from performing it so many times.There were also some family things that were happening to some actors that made an impact on their performances. Not to mention, it was the next to last performance and we were all kind of sad about it. When you're in a play, the cast becomes like a family. You don't think you'll ever have to leave each other. There are inside jokes and caring for each other when you're sick and going out to do fun things before and after rehearsals and performances. Its really sad to have to depart from such a great group of people. We've all got each other on Facebook for the most part, but its not the same as seeing each other in person on a daily basis. Some of them are leaving the college after this semester, so I'll be lucky if I ever see them again. But such is life.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile  because it happened." -Dr. Seuss
The dream I had last night was kind of terrifying. I dreamed that I had a younger sister. She was maybe eight years old or so. And somehow she died. And I was left to hide the fact that she ever existed. I woke up terrified and with a headache. I hate dreaming about death. And I've always wanted a little sister, so the idea of this nonexistent sister dying sucks. I was tempted to try to write a book or short story about this, but I think that might be a bit too scary. There's a reason that I'm not going into detail about the dream here. And I don't think that doing so for a story would be very nice, on my brain or the brains of readers.

I've started reading the book "Afterworlds" by Scott Westerfeld. I got a signed copy at Barnes and Noble a little while back and was putting off reading it. It is SOOOOOOOO good. Its actually like two novels in one that go back and forth every other chapter. The first and main story is of Darcy, who is a newly contracted author. She wrote her book in the month of November (NANOWRIMO!!!) and managed to get an agent and got the book bought by a publishing company. She moves to New York and starts rewriting to finish before the next November and is supposed to write a sequel. The other book is the YA fiction book that Darcy "wrote", Afterworlds. Its about death and ghosts and psychopomps and a love story. Its great, but I don't enjoy it as much as I enjoy reading about Darcy trying to write.

This book has brought me back to editing and rewriting my Nanowrimo novel, Letters Home.  I want to have it sent off to an agent or publisher or both by November. That would be AMAZING. I just recently made a huge change in it though, so I have to finish the rewrites from that. In Afterworlds, Darcy says that she found out that when you write 2,000 words a day for a month, you get a 60,000 word novel. This is a lie. Even at 2667 words a day, you only get a 50,000 word novel in a month. That's the length of The Great Gatsby. This is not long enough to be a novel on its own, really. Not in the current times. You need to double that to make it good, in my opinion. Short stories are lovely, but they make the reader hate you for not writing more. Oh well. I'm going to try to do some writing today on the novel and write an essay for Theatre class and work on homework for Government class.

-EW

February 19, 2015

Opening Night!

Today, I come to you from a comfy place at home with a bible in my lap and a cup of ramen noodles right beside my laptop on the desk. Today is the opening night for And Then They Came For Me: Remembering The World Of Anne Frank. I had class this morning, which was supposed to be scene rehearsals with the director, but the guy who I am doing a scene with was sick, so he wasn't there. I sat in the hallway and chatted with my classmates for an hour instead. And since I didn't want to spend five hours sitting at the school, I decided to, for once, come back home before tonight's festivities. I feel like I need a power nap and a shot of espresso or something. I know that you're not supposed to have caffeine or dairy products before a performance, but I could really do with a Starbucks Frappuccino right about now. I almost stopped on the way home and got one.

The show starts at 7:30, but I have to be there at 6:30, which means I need to leave the house at like 5, to give myself plenty of time to get there. We have a show tonight, another tomorrow, two on Saturday, and another on Sunday. Then we have play festival next week and another performance that goes along with that. After that, I'm free for a little while, aside from two days of auditions before spring break. Then rehearsals for the short plays (one of which I'm directing!) begin after spring break.

I love Professor Skiles to death, but he does do some things as a director that I don't like. Mainly, he waits until the last minute for costume stuff. This meant that he didn't fix the low back on my dress, so I had to spend yesterday, rushing around before rehearsal, trying to find a tank top and a sports bra that were skin colored. I finally found them at walmart, but the tanktop had too high of a back. So, the two very hurried costume changes that occur backstage end up with me in tights, shorts, and a sports bra for about two minutes total. So much for modesty.

I'm really not too terribly scared about the performance though. Not yet anyway. An hour beforehand might be a different story. A lot of people that I know are coming to see this play. I'm not sure which night everyone is going to be there, but that doesn't matter so much. My parents and brothers will be there tonight. So will Sarah and possibly her family, though I'm not sure about that. My spanish teacher from high school was supposedly interested in coming, as was my theatre teacher. Ellen might be coming, though I'm not sure. Andrew might be coming one night. And some of the people that work with my parents will probably be coming too! Its crazy!!!

Yesterday, after I finished getting costume stuff, I cooled down by going thrift shopping in a couple of the shops in our town. I was mainly looking for books, and I found two. One is "Eat Pray Love", which looked like it might be good. That may be because I like books about food and travel and finding yourself though. Like Julie and Julia. I also found a new translation of the bible. New to me, though not too new in general. Its "The Message//Remix". I like it, although its not strict interpretation of the scripture. Its more like the bible put into common, everyday language. A little earlier, I was looking through it and found this verse:

Clear the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.

The thing about the message is that the verses kind of blend together, so I'm not sure if this is Psalm 19:12, 13, or 12-13. Doesn't matter too much though. I really like this verse. Like, I want it on my mirror whenever we move or something like that.

Well, I'm off to start an etsy shop and work on homework and read and possibly take a nap.

-EW

February 5, 2015

The Painted Girls: A Review

So, today I finished reading a book that I bought the last time I was in Old Town Spring as Ariel. I came across this tiny little book shop tucked in between several other businesses, called "Glow Worm". The place was packed with used books, many of which were in great condition. I definitely want to go back there, but in the meantime I have other books to read. The one that I picked up the one time that I went there was "The Painted Girls" by Cathy Marie Buchanan.

I had heard about this book before, but just a little bit. I thought that it was a story based on a painting of ballet girls that is part of the cover of the book. It wasn't exactly like that, however. I did end up loving the book regardless.

The book is based on a work of the artist Edgar Degas, the little dancer of fourteen years. The sculpture is of a ballet girl, Marie van Goethem. About half way through the book, I ended up looking up the sculpture to see what the main character was supposed to look like, and I was surprised that the facial features of the figure are more masculine and, as said in the book, "ape-like" than what I would have expected. The sculpture is made of wax, which was more of a temporary medium. The tutu, hair, and hair ribbon are real though, although the hair is covered in wax to preserve it. There are apparently many replicas that have been made and the tutus of the replicas vary. The actual sculpture resides in Washington DC at the national gallery of art, if I'm not mistaken. I think it would be neat to go and see it some day. That is one of the few reasons that I would ever want to go to Washington DC.

Anyway, this book tells the tale of two ballet girls who were sisters, Marie and Antoinette van Goethem. I don't want to give to much away from the plot, but these two girls in the book have a rough life. They go through extreme poverty and abuse and all kinds of terrible things. Antoinette doesn't make it far as a ballet girl and circumstances cause... Never mind. There's just too much that I could give away by saying anything about the plot.

This book is really unique in both that it is written about an existing character and that it is written from the perspectives from both of the main characters. The chapters go back and forth between Marie and Antoinette telling what is happening. Unlike many books with this style of storytelling, this book doesn't get boring in constantly re-telling the same events in different perspectives. There is also another layer of interest added to this book because it takes place in Paris in the 1870s and has a lot to do with ballet and the opera. There were quite a few words that I had to look up, but I am all for this! I love when an author actually uses the proper language when discussing a subject matter. In the Acknowledgements, it is obvious that this author did her research.

This wasn't a book that I could read really fast because of the amount of information and new vocabulary that I was coming across. I spaced it out over a couple of months with some other books thrown in the mix as a break from it. It is definitely a higher reading level book. I would say that this book is appropriate for a high level, mature middle schooler or a high schooler. The subject matter can get kind of intense at times too, which makes me think that a high school level person would be better for reading this book. I'd rate it PG-13 if it was a movie. But the thing is, it attempts to accurately portray how life was at that time. Life, even today, isn't always pretty and nice.

I'd give this book a 4 of 5 stars, just because I felt like I needed a background with ballet to fully understand parts of it. There were also a few pages here and there that were just blah and I felt myself just skimming it, not really taking in the words. It was a very wordy book. But if you can get past that, its fantastic. I would definitely reccomend this book to someone interested in Opera or Ballet or dance of any sort. Or even someone interested in famous artists, since that plays a large part in the plot also. Happy reading!

-EW