April Projects and Books

Hello! Long time no post!

Challenge of the Month Update

This April I did not do my usual Challenge of the Month. I planned on doing some exercise of  7 mins per day but it turned out that I always walked on weekdays for 15 mins or more and on weekends for various reasons.

I altered  my challenge of the month to the more fluid and forgiving 30 day challenge because I don’t feel limited to starting and ending challenges on the 1st and 30th of the month. Instead, I can start at any time then take a break after I finish a challenge to fully celebrate it and reflect on the next challenge.

30 Days of Calligraphy

So just four days ago,  I started my 30 days of Calligraphy “challenge”. I always liked the physical act of writing. I like the way ink flows on paper when you have a good pen. Also, my eyes feast on beautiful journal spreads on  Pinterest and Instagram.  I simply love pretty things and the 30 Days of Calligraphy seemed like a fun and doable thing to do. Of course I have 30 days of other things planned for the future. In the meantime, I’ve been posting daily on IG for my calligraphy stuff. 

Book Stuff

Though I didn’t do my usual challenge for April, I’m  happy that I’ve read more recently. It’s not a lot for a month but it’s something especially for me who hasn’t had the desire to pick up a book in a while. I finished Irina Kovalyova’s  Specimen (a book of short stories) and James Michener’s novel, Recessional.

I love short stories! The story and emotion are delivered quickly yet I spend hours or days thinking about them. Specimen was thought provoking and explored areas like the mother and daughter relationship, science and ethics, immigrant feelings. The stories are weird, strange and very much recommended to readers who like all that surreal stuff.

It’s only my second time to read another Michener. The first was Journey set in Canada in the late 1800’s. I read it prior to our summer Rockies trip which just added to my awe of Canada’s landscape. Don’t read it in the winter!

Anyway, Recessional is a thick book and I approached it like a TV series. I read a little bit at a time during transit, curious to learn what the characters, a doctor and retirees in a Florida retirement home, were up to next. It’s light reading that tackled heavy concepts like aging, euthanasia, AIDS, health system and so many more. Man, James Michener is  a storyteller.

Then I had two other nights when I wanted to sleep thinking I’ll just read a random story to make me sleep. I picked up a Reader’s Digest and ended up reading suspense novels: On Borrowed Time by David Rosenfelt and  Still Life by Joy Fielding.

I slept at 3 am for both those nights (tsk, fool me twice shame on me). These ones and other suspense novels are not good choices when you want to doze off. Next time I will stick with textbooks for that purpose. Haha.

What have you guys been reading lately? Or if you have not been reading, what other fun things  are you up to?


Indio Bravo: The Life of Jose Rizal

Indio Bravo: The Life of Jose Rizal is written by Asuncion Lopez-Rizal Bantug with Sylvia Mendez Ventura and illustrated by BenCab. It aims to introduce young people to Jose Rizal and provide an intimate narrative about his life. It is published by Tahanan Books for Young Readers. Rizal scholar Ambeth Ocampo, the National Historical Institute, National Centennial Commission, the Spanish and German Embassies of Manila are also credited for their assistance in making the book.wp-1472917244715.jpeg

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Why A Strawberry Daiquiri is Like A Murder Mystery

My favorite TV shows aren’t so popular. At least not among my friends. It’s a good thing because I don’t have to care about them posting spoilers and complaints re: HIMYM, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black and GOT on my social media feed.

My kind of shows are murder mysteries especially period ones. I love Bones, Sherlock, Murdoch Mysteries and Hercule Poirot series. There’s just something about the protagonists in these stories: their intelligence, their powers of observation and their quirky personalities. Perhaps the quirkiest is Mr. Hercule Poirot. He is described as a short Frenchman Belgian with a distinct mustache and an egg shaped face. Watching the episodes is fun but reading the books prove to be even better. My mom bought a wack of them at a thrift store. A steal at 25 cents each! A wonderful steal! Can you tell I am as giddy as a child with candy?

image from www.programme.tv

June Challenge: Read One Chapter Daily

The book I chose to read this month is Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. I find that it is most relevant to what I am doing, trying to keep a resolution for the entire year. Through this book, I learned:

  • To stop being apologetic about who I am. This means feeling okay about loving romantic Korean TV series or not having to pretend to enjoy beer. This also means not having to worry about enjoying the same music as some friends enjoy.

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