Weekly Writing Challenge: A Pinch of You

I’m always late with these.  This writing challenge was for last week but it doesn’t matter. I’m in the mood to write and missing baking (which I will find time to do this weekend…Excited anyone?) I’ve actually been thinking about this for all this time because I have no idea how to describe myself.

So I decided to use the breakdown of one of my favorite recipes for peanut butter gingersnaps.  You can find that recipe HERE! But now, its how to make me…

3/4 cup mix of easy going and down to earth

1/3 cup constant search for positivity

1 tsp indecisiveness

2 tsp Nicholas Tse and Leehom Wang fan, divided

1/2 tsp introversion

1/4 tsp each workout addict and snack monster

2 tbsp hidden inner child

1 cup lightly packed tea lover

1/3 cup light kitty meows

3 tbsp , English, French and Chinese languages, at room temperature

1 big bright smile

2 tbsp extreme music dependency

1 tsp spontaneity and wanderlust

Instructions (not like the actual recipe):

Mix all ingredients together gently and let sit at the foot of a waterfall to bring out the essence of peace and tranquiliity. Do not combine with any chili spices, lactose/dairy and coffee. Avoid stirring at extreme heights. Will become more runny and lack consistency if mixed or exposed with the strong aromas of lilacs.

Be attentive while in oven as will be ready soon.  Serve with care and respect.

*end of recipe*

I have no idea if that made any sense.  Creativity is not a strength I possess, but it sounded a lot more fun but turned out to be so complicated!

Anyways, what ingredients would you add from the things you’d read about me? What ingredients would you use for yourself?

Here is my response to Weekly Writing Challenge: A Pinch of You.  To see other recipes, click HERE!

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Love in 21st Century

The 21st Century has revolutionized the idea of love.  We can find love through the internet on chats, dating sites, through friends from pretty much anywhere.  Being apart in a long distance relationship can frequently happen.

love quote

I haven’t done one of these writing challenges in a really long time (a few months probably).

21st century has done its fair share in my life.  I used to go on chat rooms and after my second relationship, I even ventured into the world of online dating after one of my friends wanted a companion to try it out.  We went to eventually test out the world of Lavalife. The world of online dating is a funny one (when I look back now).  Its not one I particularly prefer to share with others but since I’ve already shared so much about myself before, why not bring this out? It has a very educational foundation to it.

Online dating is one of those domains where once you enter, you either stay because you become desired or you leave because its ridiculous and there’s really nothing you can control (if you want to do it for free).  You sit around and wait for some guy to be interested and instant message.  At least thats what happened in my memory.  During that phase, I chatted with a few guys.  I never saw myself as a hot commodity but hey, at that moment, it started feeling that way.  Except other than feeling desired, I started seeing that online dating was like being in chat rooms.  It was meeting a bunch of people with different mindsets of what they wanted.  I usually get especially turned off when it comes to someone asking me what I was looking for.  Honestly, that was a question I’d have no idea how to answer.  One, I never believed in the whole love at first sight thing, plus love isn’t going to grow just from a few chats.  Other times, I’d met lots of guys who wanted just a fling or one night stand or expected the first date to end up in bed, etc.  Some were rude and degrading and eventually it came to a point that I came to the conclusion that online dating was in fact a waste of my time because if I continued on these ventures, I’d hate every man in the world and vow to stay single because I’d have just lost hope.  Thats when I left that world. Maybe I sound really picky right now or just very conservative.  I guarantee you I just have my standards as to finding someone and starting an actual relationship (if it was what these guys seemed to be proposing). They were obviously confused.

Now, leaving it might be the best choice because I went back to my own life and just enjoyed time with friends and putting my efforts

IMGP6571I think back, and the 21st century and its online dating made into the success stories but I know deep down and I do warn others that its a creepy and weird world in that universe and to prevail, you need to take time, be analytical and really just find that one person that understands how to let things flow.  Because love isn’t all that simple but it isn’t complicated at the same time, we need to give it time and it’ll find some way to surprise us 🙂  into school and definitely loving being single.  I found a way to be fully accepting of who I am.

Love does come to us when we least expect it.  One day, I opened my email and there it was, months after, a little message saying that someone had messaged me from that stupid online dating site.  I looked at it for a second and contemplated whether to delete it.  After a few moments, I thought about whether I had anything to lose. Obviously I didn’t, so out of curiosity, I opened it up.  This guy’s message sounded truthful and down to earth.  It was a guy who wanted to know the girl and not anything more.  I replied him and after a few emails and MSN messenger chats (when it still existed), then progressed to phone chats after a month or so.  Eventually after 2 or 3 months of online communication, we decided to go for our first date, then our second date, then a third…until fast forward 5+ years.  He is the man who I’m planning a future with and also the one who is the center of my universe.

Man, I’m such a romantic…I know! That was pointless rambling..haha!

This is my response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: 21st Century Love.  Please head on over HERE to see other responses or read the challenge if you’d like to join in 🙂 

Creative Writing Challenge: 2AM Photo (or Text)

Writing Challenge: It’s 2AM and your phone has just buzzed you awake, filling the room in white-blue LED light. You have a message. It’s a photo. No words, no explanation. Just a photo. Tell us all about it. And what happens next.

You see, I want to do this challenge so I’m going to tweak it a little bit.  First of all, I still am a proud owner of a dumb phone, meaning getting pictures on my phone is virtually impossible.  However, this whole waking up at 2AM because of the phone buzzing has happened before, and on multiple occassions and there are times its for different at different times in life.

I’m not a very sound sleeping, most of the time.  I have my days when stress and everything hits, and it just depends.  I’m in a fantastic dream about a wonderful place and things start getting weird.  It always does.  I should take up movie directing, after all, Tim Burton made a hell of a living putting what he dreams up into movie concepts. All joking aside, I have full respect for the man.

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Thats the best I could do with imitation of LED light with my Ikea night light

So back to the point, I’m sleeping and in my dream something starts buzzing and the dream cuts off as my mind enters back into reality.   I reach my hand over clumsily to the night table without opening my eyes to feel where my phone is.  As I pick it up and roll over to look at the screen. I see a blurry screen.  Wait, where are my glasses? Putting those on, I turn on the dimmed screen again.

In this scenario, there could be just a few situations that could or have happened to me…

a) my best friend texting me in studying panic (more in university days)

b) friends texting me to chat about something on their mind (also thats rare as well)

c) emergency (hasn’t happened yet…and I hope to never have to.  I’d like everyone in good health and accident free)

d) drunk texting (I assume)! Horrible experiences of this has occurred to me where some random friend that I haven’t talked to in ages decides to text me some inappropriate message, which I later deleted and erased the contact in general.  It happened a few times afterwards.  Thank goodness that my phone can’t see photos, I don’t even want to think what this crazy person would have sent.

What would you expect if your phone lit up at 2am? This is supposed to be a photo and if it was, what would you expect to see? How about if it was a text, what’s the most probable scenario?

Weekly Writing Challenge: Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

I’m finally back with one of these.  The past few have been a bit not my cup of tea or I’ve been too busy with other posts to do it.  However, this one involves pictures and I fully intend on checking out the March Phoneography but since I only have a dumbphone still.  I will be using this to learn a bit more about my tablet.

For this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge, they kick off this March Phoneography with a picture…

For this challenge, we want to see a photo of someone looking truly happy. Not “I’m-smiling-for-this-photo” happy, but really, deeply, twinkle-in-the-eyes happy. When we’re smiling a genuine smile, our whole faces get involved — our whole bodies, for that matter. There’s a light in our eyes. We look relaxed; there’s a forced tension in a fake smile. Then we want to know why: what’s going on in the photo? What are you (or they) thinking about at the exact moment? (And if you really want to get into it: what happens next?)

I hunt through my old pictures as they requested to look for one of me.  I also had to put in my loved one, my boyfriend, because I captured that shot.  Its really hard to capture myself truly happy although most of the pictures I take, I am genuinely happy but to catch myself giggling to myself spontaneously is hard.  The most genuine is when we don’t realize..like when I’m baking…but then my hands are kind of full with hand mixers, spatulas, flour, butter, etc…Enough rambling on my part and let’s go!

My absolutely favorite and natural picture of my boyfriend giving off all kinds of natural happiness in his expression:

natural smile

This was in the summer of 2011 when we went on our Niagara Falls trip at Bird Kingdom.  That place is super beautiful and we went into this area with these little birds flying and chirping away in their mocked natural habitat.  They were all so adorable.  I don’t exactly remember what my boyfriend was looking at. My guess is probably some kids or some conversation going on while he was patiently waiting for me to chase or sneak up on birds and take millions of pictures before I got it right.  That is a natural smile right there.  He had no idea I was taking pictures of him until we got back to the hotel and I was checking out the pictures.

The other picture is full credits to my friend, if they see this post via Facebook, they will know who they are so thank you to my awesome friend or else I wouldn’t have these memories:

2012 party2

It was hard to choose which one for this but the one before is of me holding the actual gift I got.  Why not? I was asked to put one and then here’s two, why not three, right?

2012 party

Wait wait, back track…

Last year, I held a huge duo birthday party for two friends and also it was a huge party in general to gather everyone together.  What I didn’t know was that they had planned out a surprise for me.  Making me get a lot of attention that night.  One of my friends somehow snuck in two shots of me.  I think this is me really happy from actually holding a guitar that they all chipped in for me and then (they don’t know this) tearing up…I was really touched.  I don’t like attention but I do like feeling appreciated and loved by my friends.  Surprise, right? And that card made me laugh a lot too, because its pretty much cats meowing to the tune of Happy Birthday.  Whenever my cat hears it, she just starts sniffing the card, biting and meowing at the card to get those cats to reveal themselves.  Its pretty hilarious 🙂

Sometimes, its really these moments that you look back and you really smile.  I look back and I had a hard time choosing the moment to use. A lot had to do with the one party that I have a year for my birthday which I stopped doing huge.  This one was in April, well past my birthday but they all remembered, so that was really sweet.  Point being, I’ve been very fortunate to feel genuinely happy throughout the years and I have tons of pictures to show for it.  That thought makes me even happier.

Whats a moment that comes to your mind that makes you smile right away?

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap…Paperbacks vs E-books

This week’s Mind the GapHow do you prefer to read, with an eReader like a Kindle or Nook, or with an old school paperback in hand?

To check out this weekly writing challenge, please follow the link HERE and join or check out other entries!

My answer: Paperback — nothing beats opening up a brand new book or rummaging through a bookstore.

P1200751

This covers its all: Young adult, fantasy, fiction, mystery, mangas…

Call me old-fashioned but I have to go with paperback. I’ve considered buying an ebook reader before I got my tablet.  At least it would beat having a crazy growing collection of books, that have not infested my bookcase to the point where I don’t know where to put any other ones.  I even tried to test run that by reading the sixth and seventh Harry Potter novels on the computer.  I did finish it but it took eternities.  My eyes would ache after scrolling through 10 pages max.  It takes away from the excitement of the text in front of me.  That’s a feeling that I don’t particularly enjoy.  Of course, you could argue that ereaders don’t have a glare and maintain the nice gentleness on the eyes because of that feature.  That would make it more bearable than a computer (or even a tablet).

What doesn’t cut it for me is the experience of reading.  That idea of going to the bookstore and browsing through a physical book in your hand. The feeling of the spine and the texture of the pages in your hands.  When you bring it home, it can sit on the desk as a constant reminder to pick it up and read it to enter into another world that sucks us away from reality.  As the book hits the peak and excitement grows, you can flip the pages. When you reach the end, you can close the book quietly (or loudly if you’d like) and hold it in your hands and reflect on everything you’ve read, the adventures, fun or not fun.

When you return it to the book shelf, you can look over days, months or years later and think about re-reading it again.  It’ll bring back the good and bad memories of what you did read.  And then if it was good, you can send it over to a faraway good friend, or lend it to a relative.

The satisfaction of reading a physical book is almost irreplaceable.

How about you-paperback or ereader?

Weekly Writing Challenge: Wrap it Up

Wrap it Up is this week’s Writing Challenge.  If you’d like to join or see more entries, please visit them HERE.

Initially, I was going to do this (and had already drafted the beginning of this for the end of the year) to be posted right before New Year’s came by.  But since,  it was brought up in this week’s writing challenge, I don’t think there would be much of a difference anyways.  We’re going to look at stats of 2012, because its been an AMAZING year here.  I’ve commented or “talked” to a lot of people that I’d love to call as my friends on this blogosphere.  Many of you have opened my eyes, some have given me a lot of laughs to get me through the stressful, boring, long days, others have introduced me to movies of all genres.  Its been a fun year running around here.

I started this year, changing my old blogging ways and kicking it up.  I started getting more involved and gradually, things did move uphill.

To wrap up the year, I’m going to do some stats and small facts:

1) Followers (only on WordPress, not other social networks):

2011: 2 –> 2012: 204

2) Views (annual totals)

2011: 673 –> 2012: 6,394

3) In October, I finally beat my highest daily views of 31 from January 19th, the first day I started on WordPress officially and now, my highest daily views is at 142.

4) Since February 2012, viewers from 88 different countries have visited.  Some of them, my common knowledge does not even know where they are exactly on the globe.  Time to polish up on my world geography!

5) As of late October, I’ve been working hard to expand myself on Twitter and understand how the whole tweeting works.  If anyone has crash courses or tips, please tell me.  Most days I stare at the feeds and wonder how people write all these awesome messages with multiple # and @.

6) I have gone from posting weekly in the beginning of the year and to mid year 2-3 times a week and now I try to post at least daily.

7) Comments:

2011: 0 (around there) –>2012: 824

8) All-time Views: 7,072 (as at 1:09am EST Dec 21, 2012)

9) One of the search engine terms was “Kim (klling) @ Tranquil dreams”.  Isn’t that amazing?

10) This post will be my 257th.  Pretty good, right?

EXTRA: I received 2 awards this year: One Lovely Blog Award and Beautiful Blogger, and a few days ago when I started writing this draft, I had received a 3rd award, which I will post up soon.

It was hard to come up with all that information about my blog.  I realized how much info the stats section provided. Now with just a bit more.  I’d like to introduce you to  my 10 most popular posts in 2012.  Maybe you didn’t follow me back when they were up, feel free to click on the links and take a look.

1. Who, What, When, Where, Why…The Last

2. Pumpkin Inferno

3. About Tranquil Dreams

4. A Word A Week Challenge: Love

5. A Word A Week Challenge: Journey

6. Christmas in Hong Kong

7. When Is It Okay…

8. My FIRST: One Lovely Blog Award Nomination

9. A Word A Week Challenge: Celebration

10. Thanksgiving Dinner: Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

Looking at this list, I learned quite a bit about this and what is a good focus for my blog.  I’m surprised at how many people did read my About page.  I actually change it every few months to keep things up to date.  As for A Word A Week Challenge, Sue over at A Word in Your Ear has reblogged the three challenges there and is probably the reason my view count was increased.  A huge THANKS for everyone who has reblogged one of my posts and a huge THANKS for just taking a moment to like and/or comment.  It means a lot that you like what I posted up.

I should wrap it up for real, its getting a bit lengthy.  Since this was posted up earlier, I have decided to give you a view of what to expect in 2013.  I have a few long-term projects I plan on working on, just have a few more details to work out to make it my own original one.  Choices and decisions on the final direction.  You can call them goals or whatnot, but it will open up more segments and over the holidays, I plan on changing the layout (and maybe the theme) to make it easier to navigate.

If there are any comments on my current layout or something you want to see more on the blog or to keep on doing or doing more frequently, feel free to contact me by email at kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com or send me a tweet or leave a comment below. Its fun to get to know all of you and what you think.  Don’t be shy!

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Wish I Were…

I wish I were visiting the world of Little Big Planet.

Have you ever seen it? Heard of it?

Little Big Planet, the original game won the Best Game of the Year a few years back in 2008. I’m really bad at video games.  If you tell me to use one analog stick to change camera angles and the other one to run and then somewhere else I need to shoot, this is not going to happen and that game will literally take me 10 years to finish.  Honestly, I’d just give up eventually.

On the other hand, Little Big Planet is fun,  simple and cute.  This game is about imagination and creativity.  You can look at Sack Boy, the protagonist in this game and the character we play. He runs out and saves the worlds except these worlds are just full of wonder. The names they give to the levels to the other characters you interact with, the costumes and accessories Sack Boy can have.  The creatures they design, the storyline, the dialogue, every single character is interpreted very detailed but yet gives you nothing too heavy but just enough difficulty to make you want to continue to challenge yourself.  I love these types of game, its like a 3D version of Mario but in a sack world.

Its pretty amazing because you go through this game and you have to collect little stickers that unlock more goodies. You collect little outfits and accessories to change Sackboy‘s appearance to match the world that he’s in.  You can make Sackboy change his expressions and flail his arms all around, move his head around with your controller.  Some of the concepts and ideas in this game is out of the world and just simply things I wouldn’t have thought about at all.  I just finished Little Big Planet 2 and his mission is to save Craft World from the Negativatron.  What is Craft World? Its where our creativity and imaginations are stored.

From left: Larry da Vinci, Victoria von Bathysphere, Clive Handforth, Avalon Centrifuge, Dr. Higginbotham, Eve Silva Paragorica

We go to save the other planets and we start by joining the Alliance, which is something like the Knights of Templar scenario, lead by Larry da Vinci.  After that, we enter into the empire of Victoria von Bathysphere who creates the delicious goodies in Craftworld and also is the ones who introduce the Sackbots into the game.  When we’ve helped her clean her empire, we head off to find Clive Handforth and his Factory of A Better Tomorrow that makes the “most accurate calendars in all the land” and is also the builder of spaceships.  When we get him out of his mess, we head off and meet Avalon Centrifuge who is the a self-centred and proud in the spotlight type of guy.  He owns a spaceship which needs to be repaired by an imprisoned doctor.  This brings us to rescue him and we meet Eve Silva Paragorica who runs the Asylum there and holds the doctor, Dr. Higginbotham.  Dr. Higginbotham, who is capable of fixing the spaceship, is all being treated for “space crazies”.  This makes it just so funny because he says the most random things but yet, he is the link to Sackboy and all the other leaders here between the success of saving CraftWorld.

Sackbots

I guess to a certain extent, what I’m saying is that I wish I were infinitely creative and imaginative, especially with NaNoWriMo starting up today.  The ideas have to come flowing in really fast and I’m not even sure where my plot is going to go in the long run.  This post is not about NaNoWriMo but I just finished Little Big Planet 2 and the ending quote is the quote I have written on top of the notebook for where I’ll write my NaNoWriMo on the go.

“Do not take lightly your hopes,  your idea, your fantasies.  

Let them grow.  Nurture them.

Then your wildest imaginings will soon trip the dream fantastic, soaring into the Wonderplane,

and spreading into something altogether…magnificent.  

And perhaps you’ll see them again, next time you visit Little Big Planet.”- Little Big Planet 2

This is what we’re doing here, right? We live for our hopes, by our ideas and think about our fantasties.  We want to reach for them and hope that they grow. We want to improve everyday.  Now that was the perfect charge for NaNoWriMo and for that I wish I were visiting the brilliant world of Little Big Planet and Craft World.

Have you played Little Big Planet, either first or second or both? Did you enjoy it?