Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Planning A Bookish Tea Party

I love party planning, especially for fictional parties where the possibilities are endless. I also love books, and it's fun to dream about combining my interests into an exciting evening. So today I'm taking time to plan the perfect bookish tea party! I'd invite over my favorite fictional characters for snacks, games, and maybe even a movie. Here's the breakdown:

1. Guests
     I think an appropriate number would be no more than 10 people. I've narrowed it down to the following:
  1. Samantha Lee from Under a Painted Sky
  2. Mercy Wong from Outrun the Moon
  3. Audrey Rose Wadsworth from Stalking Jack the Ripper
  4. Mei from American Panda
  5. Megan from The Mother-Daughter Book Club
  6. Cameron Morgan from the Gallagher Girls series
  7. Hermione and Luna from Harry Potter
  8. Gigi from Smart Girls Get What They Want
  9. Kate from Vengeance Road
I think they'd enjoy meeting each other!

3. Food
Online, people light refreshments for tea parties, or food that fits onto one (tiny) saucer. Here's what I have so far:

Image result for raindrop cake
  • Sandwiches (cucumber & turkey)
  • Those yummy skewers of fruit/vegetables that don't really fill you up and are pointless but aesthetic
  • A cream cheese-and-Triscuit platter (I think I'm the only one crazy about this lol)
  • Tea with boba, lychee jelly, and other toppings. They'd still be served in teacups, so the girls could try out all the flavors they'd like!
  • Mini raindrop cakes for dessert!

The menu is unconventional, but most of these girls are from the past, so it'd be fun to introduce them to boba and raindrop cakes. 

4. Games (this isn't really an element of tea parties but I'm including it anyways)
Bookish bingo! Instead of numbers, there'd be characters on the bingo board, and if I read a description of that character, they'd get to mark it. I think a good prize would be a watch, because it's something classy that all the girls could use.

5. Potential Movies?
Chaalbaaz, a cheesy-ish but lovable Bollywood film. Well, either that or Jab We Met, which is one of Gigi's favorites already!

Too bad this party won't really happen, but a girl can dream! Who would you invite to a bookish tea party? What would you eat? Or, have you fantasized about a video game, etc. party? Tell me below!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Pretty Book Covers From my TBR List

There's nothing more satisfying than an amazing story with beautiful cover art. After all, if I'm going to buy a book, it better look good! Also, though they shouldn't be, book covers and titles seem to be the most influential factors for me to pick up a book in the first place. So today, I'm taking time to mention beautiful book covers from my TBR list.

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What are your favorite book covers? Tell me below!

Friday, July 12, 2019

My Latest Polymer Clay Creations

For the past few months, I haven't been able to create much due to school, finals, and hecticness. However, I did get some time this week to sculpt Audrey Rose Wadsworth (!), and I haven't showcased a couple of my older creations. So here they are, enjoy!
Her hair's kinda wacky :). It started falling apart so that's why it looks a little awkward on the left.

In honor of Aladdin.

She's one of the first ones I used a face on! I'm trying to get the courage to try out faces more, but they're a bit difficult.

She's not really based off anything, I just pictured a really pretty white dress and wanted to try that out.
And one of my favorites, Audrey Rose Wadsworth! She's from Escaping from Houdini, which I reviewed here. 10/10 would recommend!
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Cover Courtesy of Goodreads

I don't know if it's visible, but her dress shimmers! I was also a bit adventurous with her and used a new technique for her hair. I think it's better than my usual ringlets, so I'll be experimenting with hairstyles even more.

What did you think? Any favorites? Any suggestions? Have you worked with polymer clay before? Tell me below! More of my polymer clay creations can be found here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Archetypes I Love and Hate

The Hostess
There's no way to escape tropes; they're in books, movies, and tv shows. And while sometimes they can be annoying, some tropes do end up being successful. So here are my top ten worst and least favorite character archetypes (which are basically tropes) in literature, with some examples.

All covers are courtesy of Goodreads.

1. Chosen One
Of course I had to start with this trope! Even though it's used so much, I don't really care. It excites me that you could live life normally until one day, everything changes.
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Hear that Hogwarts? I'm still waiting...
2. Selfless hero(ine)
Look, I get trying to save some people, but why would you want to save the villain when they're still clearly trying to kill you?! I'm sorry, but I hate it when characters are overly selfless. 
Tris cared too much about Caleb. The end killed me.
3. Damsel in distress
No way, not in this century. The independent, strong woman is way more awesome. 
The women in Julius Caesar are pretty much all reliant on their husbands (one kills herself when she thinks her husband dies). I know the play was written for the audience of that time period, but it's annoying because we're still reading Shakespeare in this time period.
4. Hero's Mentor
They're gonna die anyways, so it's better not to get too attached. Some also seem omnipotent/ultra-wise, and I hate characters knowing things before the reader.

5. The Traumatized Villain
If there's a really good story, then I'd like to hear it. Mostly, though, villains are traumatized over the dumbest things!

6. The Loyal Friend of the Hero
Thomas Cresswell is just the best, y'all.
Yay, friendship! This is crucial in mysteries and fantasy the most. It's great that the hero can rely on someone in their crazy life. It's even better if the friend undergoes some transformation along with the hero for bonus character growth. 

7.  The Frenemy
I think this is more of a middle grade thing, but the sarcastic frenemy provides A+ entertainment. They're usually ridiculous and aren't to be taken seriously.
Jasper was hilarious. He also had appreciable character growth, transitioning from being an annoying, jealous brat to a loyal friend.
8. The Hormonal Teen
I actually don't like the way teens are portrayed in media, too. They're not all crazy or drug addicts. 

9.  The Traitor
This trope is overused, and traitors are kind of predictable. There should be better ways of introducing conflict.

10.  The Superhero
Reading about people learning new powers is the closest I'll get to learning them *sigh*. 

So that's it for this week. Did you recognize these archetypes? Which tropes do you like/dislike (here's a list of even more to choose from)? Tell me below!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Applications of Quantum Mechanics

I started researching a bit about quantum mechanics and discovered a lot of cool things, most of which prove everything we believe to be false and seriously makes me question what I've learned for the past years in school. Regardless, I started thinking about some theories quantum mechanics covers and how we can similarly apply them to our world. Most of the applications of these theories are on a minute level, but I'll be sharing something you might find a bit interesting toward the end.

Before we get my idea, you need to know the concept behind size. Right now, you consider size to be relative; ex. your phone is tiny compared to Mt. Rushmore, but your phone is huge compared to an ant.

However, Dirac was a physicist who came up with an absolute definition of size, aka some objects will always be big, and others will always be small. He said that if you can observe an object without disturbing it (a negligible disturbance), then the object is big. If you must make a nonnegligible disturbance, aka alter it somehow, to observe it, then the object is small.

You're probably thinking that this is kind of weird...I mean, can't we observe everything without disturbing it? Well, you'd be right in the sense of classical mechanics. We can measure things like rocks, watch birds fly, and drool over food without disturbing them. In fact, everything in classical mechanics can be big with this definition.

However, we can't really observe things like the movements of photons, because simply looking at what they're doing actually forces their wavefunctions to collapse (basically, photons act differently when we watch them and when we don't...cool, right?!). This concept of being small applies for objects at the quantum level, which sets up the difference between quantum and classical mechanics.

With this floating around in my head, I was walking around and caught my sister playing video games. I started to wonder if what she was doing was actually important, then realized that importance is also usually relative. Maybe that video game was important to her because it gave her a break, but I might think she was being counterproductive.

Is there a way to make importance absolute?

Here's my idea: If something makes a negligible disturbance in your life, then it's not important. If something makes a nonnegligible (aka significant) disturbance on your life, then it is important.

This might sound like the way you already define if something is important or not. But think about it-this is absolute. Now no one can tell you that playing video games is not important if you can prove the game makes a nonnegligible disturbance on your life.

I know this a bit of a deviation from my usual posts, but I hope you enjoyed it! Are there any other abstract ideas you consider to be relative, but can find an absolute definition for? Did you have fun reading this post? Tell me below!

For similar posts, check out my properties of happiness molecules or diffusing the tension posts :)

Thursday, July 4, 2019

My Favorite Quotes From Stalking Jack the Ripper

I recently reviewed Escaping From Houdini, which is the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series. I love Stalking Jack the Ripper for its awesome heroine, complex mysteries, banter, and detailed settings. To give you a taste for the book and author's writing style without spoiling too much, I compiled my favorite quotes from Stalking Jack the Ripper (some of these are from these Goodreads posts by the author if you'd like to read more). Also, here's the Goodreads page to explore.

Cover Courtesy of Goodreads

"If I'd known I'd be out-dressed by a bunch of equines, I might've at least worn a bodice with a few gemstones embellished on it."-Audrey at the circus, looking at the horses

"It's all right to act impressed. I know I would be."-Thomas after cleverly deducing facts about Audrey Rose.

(After reading a note about the murderer mailing a kidney)

"Seems a bit odd, don't you think?"

"No, Wadsworth," Thomas said blandly, "sending a kidney through the mail is quite ordinary. I do it at least three times a week to remain fashionable. You ought to try it. Really impress the girls at tea."

"Always foster and grow that unquenchable curiosity of yours."

"Those who deserve respect are given it freely. If one must demand such a thing, he’ll never truly command it. I am your daughter, not your horse, sir.”

"I was determined to be both pretty and fierce, as Mother had said I could be. Just because I was interested in a man’s job didn’t mean I had to give up being girly. Who defined those roles anyhow?"

"I was beautiful and dangerous at once. A rose with thorns."

"Someone screamed; perhaps it was me. Though it would have made me happier if it were Thomas Blasted Cresswell."

"Oh, how I despised remaining silent under such awful judgment. I’d like to remind each man who held such poor opinions of a woman that their beloved mothers were, in fact, women.
I didn’t see any men running about, birthing the world’s population then going on to make supper and tend to the house. Most of them buckled to their knees when the slightest sniffle attacked them." 

What did you think? Are you intrigued? If you've already read the series, are these some of your favorite quotes, too? Tell me below!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Book Review: Jacky Ha-Ha My Life is a Joke by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Book Review: Jacky Ha-Ha My Life is Joke by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Cover Courtesy of Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she's a triple threat onstage! She wants nothing more than to act and sing all summer – but her parents have other plans for her. Jacky reluctantly signs up for a summer job in her resort town of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, where tourists come to enjoy the beach and fun carnival atmosphere.  Now she has serious responsibilities like her job and babysitting her younger sisters, but Jacky longs to perform in the summer stock performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Can she handle all of her important commitments and still have fun with her friends – or will she learn that juggling isn't one of her many talents?

My Review: Middle grade is one of those genres I always come back to, and it's because of books like these. The authors have created another cute, fun story about Jacky's adventures. I love Jacky's character growth from the first book-she's less nervous about performing, but whenever she is nervous, she tries her best. The best part is that Jacky is a very flawed character, but she keeps learning from each mistake. She also believes in herself, and looks for a job that uses her acting skills. 
Her friends are also great characters, and I'm happy there wasn't much friendship drama between them.
Plot-wise, I like how the authors kept the story realistic and didn't give Jacky roles for the play until she earned them.  The story covered many points like Jacky's summer job, her play, and family relationships, and also moved at a great Goldilocks pace (ie not too fast, not too slow). The setting was also very fun; who wouldn't want to read about living on a boardwalk?
Overall, the authors have returned with an interesting story with a flawed, yet sweet-hearted, protagonist. I give it 4 stars, and I hope there'll be more books in the series!

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