31 July 2016

Happy Birthday Harry! (and J.K. Rowling, Of Course)

In order to celebrate the birthday(s) of Harry Potter and his talented creator, J.K. Rowling, and the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I went over to a friend's house for a Harry Potter themed party. Although the party itself was entertaining, the intricacy of the decorations was the best aspect of the party.

30 July
Walking into the house, I was greeted by a cardboard cutout of none other than the Boy Who Lived himself. In the dining room, handmade candles fashioned from paper were suspended from the ceiling - creating the illusion of levitation. (Wengardium Leviosa, am I right?) The faces in family portraits were amusingly replaced with printed images of characters from the cinematic films. Lettered envelopes erupted from the fireplace as well. However, my favorite room in the entire house was interestingly the bathroom. A message was painted in red across the mirror, reading: The Chamber of Secrets has been opened, enemies of the heir...beware

Although a creative addition itself, the writing on the mirror was overshadowed by a sticker in an unsuspecting location. Behind a closed door, my immediate reaction to this sticker was a hysterical outburst of laughter.

The food at the party was also creative - my favorite snacks were the rich chocolate frogs and creamy Butterbeer served. Although I have minimal understanding of the recipe for Butterbeer, it was delicious.

 Besides the snacks, the activities were also entertaining, especially wand making. Though a simple concept requiring few materials, it's always good to stick with the classics. Did you attend an awesome Harry Potter party? Tell me all about it in the comments!

31 July
This morning, I also visited Pottermore, the official affiliated Harry Potter website that features a series of quizzes and short stories written by J.K. Rowling herself. Frantic to create an account before a wave of users surged to the website, I created an account and completed the quizzes. If you're interested in my results, here they are:

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

21 July 2016

Just. Write. It.

Today, July 21st, is Just Write Day. Although a somewhat underground occasion, thanks to the writers and editors of a new creative writing magazine for teens, Just Write Day has become a much more involved occasion.

The magazine I am referring to is the British Illustrated Chronicle, (BIC), an inventive and informative literary magazine that features original flash fiction, comic strips, and short stories centralizing the theme, (in my own words), "writing over typing". Furthermore, the literary magazine is entirely created by hand. The content of the magazine is inventive and informative, but even more so I the creative layout and design of the publication. Custom, artistic fonts vary the style of the headers, complemented by unique borders and designs.

Nike Swoosh Copyright of Nike Inc.
Although the British Illustrated Chronicle has their own tagline and logo, I decided to create one of my own. (Just for fun, of course.) I mean, why "Just do it", when you can "Just write it"?

Here's what makes the British Illustrated Chronicle so interesting:

Typing? Never.
Rather than slapping their fingers across keyboards for hours each week to draft and edit articles for the B.I.C, each page, each paragraph, each sentence, and each word was painstakingly copied onto paper by hand - even as severe hand cramps settled.

Digital Imaging? Don't Mention it.
Instead, each contributor the magazine was depicted in a colorful caricature and added to creating the welcoming introductory pages of the chronicle. Furthermore, all depictions are original artwork created by the editors and contributors of the magazine.

Computer Generated Fonts? (I'm looking at you Times New Roman) Definitely not.
Although the text of the magazine is written by hand itself, the headers above this text is also originally handwritten. The header of each article is unique, featuring varying color schemes and styles. Though the final headers were stunning, I guarantee that it required a boatload of effort and practice (that's probably why I don't use hand-drawn, custom fonts).

Bottom line, if you're looking for quality entertainment that doesn't directly (and indirectly) involve electronics or anything digital, take a look at the British Illustrated Chronicle website and check out their new magazine!

20 July 2016

Patience in Painting

As I promised, here is another entry in the contest hosted at the Creative Writing Ink website. Although this prompt was updated on June 30th, here I am busting it out today. This painting, a piece of Edouard Manet, depicts a gentleman and a lady in a fine boat on the water. Thus, in my opinion, it was a lot more difficult to draft a corresponding short story for this prompt. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Patience in Painting
  "How about you move a little to the left, Madame Dane? A little bit more. Perfect."
  As I waved my hand to the left, gesturing to my subject to adjust her position, the back of my hand collided with a ceramic paint jar, hurtling it toward the patterned brick below my feet. Instinctively turning away, I winced at the sound of the jar splintering into shards. Worse, the paint within the jar was no longer resting on my easel, rather staining the red brick a deep blue. 
  Closing my eyes, I clenched my palette in my left hand, and massaged the hairs on my paintbrush with my thumb - spreading the paint onto my pale fingers. Sighing, I turned to my painting, relieved that I had completed the majority of the lake background and would be able to finish the piece with little difficulty. 
  Filling in the contours of Madame Dane with a thin brush, I used short, brisk strokes to add texture to her dress. Raising my brush, I added the final details to Madame Dane, stroking in her lips and flashing texture along her figure to maintain consistency.
  Stepping backwards to admire my work from a different angle, I noticed my other subject, Mister Ducort, glaring intensely at me. He displayed a menacing sneer, raising a single eyebrow and lightly twitching his lips.
  "Mr. Ducort, I do realize that is a difficult position to maintain, and I apologize for your discomfort, but could you please flash a smile for me? Thanks."
  Grunting, the man shifted his expression to a strained smile. Unsatisfied, I relieved him of smiling and requested that he maintain a neutral expression.
  Nodding his head, the man ditched smiling and settled for a more relaxed posture and resting expression. Having reached an agreement, the man did not bother to challenge his current pose or intentionally shift his position. However, as I moved to highlighting the water, I noticed a small object resting on the splintered bench of the boat.
  "What is that?" I asked, gesturing with my paintbrush in hand.
 Unsure whether to speak or not, Mr. Ducort and Madame Dane remained silent, maintaining their posture and not even casting a glance in my direction.
  "Mr. Ducort and Madame Dane, one of you please tell me what that is, it's altering the lighting and shadows on the bench."
  Sliding his leathered hands over to the object, Mr. Ducort hesitatingly clasped it in his palm, completely concealing it. Swallowing, the man knelt on one leg, extending his hands toward the heart of  Madame Dane, and produced a small box. Opening the box, an exquisite ring was neatly folded into white lace.
  Swallowing once again, Mr. Ducort asked in a bold tone, "Madame Dane, beloved, will you marry me?"
  Madame Dane did not exhibit any form of reaction. Unblinking, she maintained her posture and expression, refusing to glance toward Mr. Ducort. Flustered and disappointed, Mr. Ducort held his pose. I could tell that in his eyes, he was desperately hoping for Madame Dane's acceptance.
  Unsure of the proper way to react, I cried, "Madame Dane, forget posing for this painting and get on with it, will you?"
  At these words, she leaped from her seat and swung her arms around Mr. Ducort, knocking him to the floor of the boat.
  A smile glowing on her face, Madame Dane refused to stop repeating, "Yes, of course!"
  In order to offer the couple privacy, I gathered my supplies in an uncaring manner, and tossed them into my satchel. Still wet, I left the painting on my easel and walked in the opposite direction. However, before I had left the street, Mr. Ducort darted from the boat and trod over to me.
  "Thank you, Mr. Manet. Thank you for your patience and your time."
  With a grin, I replied, "Your happiness is the only currency I know, but I would still like to be paid."  

19 July 2016


This is another entry in the contest hosted at the Creative Writing Ink website. The picture below was provided by the website as inspiration for a short form of prose for the week of June 16th. However, I modified the picture so that it is consistent with the flash fiction.

   Although the air outside was warm, I shivered as I wandered throughout the long hallways of my house. Though I modestly refer to our residence as a house, it's really a mansion. This massive three story structure towers over the neighborhood, matched only by the extravagant floral display encircling our mansion.
  As I walked along the hallway, I admired our conservative family portraits, noticing our grim expressions and erect posture. The space between each portrait was consistent, forming a simple pattern throughout the hallways. My family and I were clothed in finely pressed garments and were positioned before a waterfall of black fabric cascading in the background. Although I enjoyed the portraits themselves, the most stunning aspect of the images were the frames that enclosed them.
  Unlike the pictures, which were nearly identical except for our age, each frame was unique and original. The most expensive frame was carved from raw gold, and engraved with our names and the intricate branches of a delicate tree. Conversely, the least expensive was simple in style and fashioned from plastic. However, the most striking frame was carved from ebony and depicted rolling waves along its border.
  The longer I admired the frame, the stronger the urge was to admire the frame without the distraction of the portrait of my conservative family. Running my tongue over my dry lips, I glanced in each direction, ensuring that I would not be discovered. Hesitatingly extending my limbs toward the frame, I barely managed to remove the frame the wall.
   Crouching, I silently dismantled the contents of the frame, removing the cardboard base and secondary layers. However, as I continued to bare the frame, I noticed a small, yellowed rectangle resting in a corner of the frame. The writing scrawled at the bottom was indecipherable except for a single word that I recognized: Katherine - my mother's name.
  Turning the slip in my hand, I recognized my mother's brown, flowing hair, but I did not recognize the boy with blonde hair running behind her. Clutching what appears to be my mother's hat, the boy was dressed in a drab gown with bright stockings and polished shoes. Although I did not recognize the young boy, something about him was familiar. Shifting the paper over again, I squinted my eyes and distinguished the penmanship of my father.
  Brimming with joy at this discovery, I pressed the image to my chest, closed my eyes, and imagined the waves frothing on the shore, the warm sand brushing my legs, and the childish, uncontrolled laughter of my young parents.
  I realized exactly what this image depicted - the first time my parent's had met, and it wasn't even framed.

15 July 2016

Push and Poll

Hey all! I'm letting you know that this post isn't about me or my experiences, but about you and your preferences. Here is the rundown: I've realized, (like many others), that Scribentia is a snooze button name for a blog (including a writing blog.) Thus, I've compiled a list of names, (and by that I mean only two). I would be very grateful if you took the time to vote at the poll below and decide between the two names I've configured. If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment below, I accept all recommendations and ideas.

This poll will remain active until I say so, (which means I have no idea when I will close it).

Here are the choices (so far):

Takes One to Noll One - This blog title is identical to the common phrase "takes one to know one", except I swapped in my list name. Easy to remember and straightforward? I think so.

Noll and Void - I'm especially intrigued by the opportunities posed by this blog title, because my tagline would be: Noll and Void - anything but. (Let's face it, that's also easy to remember and it's mildly humorous - which is a great combination.)

Scribentia - Sometimes, you have to stick with the classics. Although this name is the "same old, same old", if you like this blog title vote for it below. However, the purpose of this post and the corresponding poll was to find a new title for my blog.

Suggestions - If you think that your idea is a really good one, like I said before, I would love to hear it! Simply post in the comment below.

If you submit an answer to the poll, (that's right, as in clicking a button), leave a link to your blog in the comments and I will personally subscribe to your blog and comment on the most recent post or a post of your choice. Thank you in advance for all suggestions and answers submitted to the poll below!

What should the new title of my blog be?

Takes One to Noll One
Noll and Void
Sage Quotes

12 July 2016


Last week, as I was searching for writing prompts, I stumbled across Creative Writing Ink, an appealing writing website that weekly posts images. These images serve as creative writing prompts for bloggers and writers. These prompts are uploaded every Thursday, and are helpful in inspiring creativity and challenging a writer to draft a piece in any genre that relates to the image. (Although I'm over a month late for this first prompt response, I decided to draft one anyway.) I will continue to publish my responses to these prompts if (although I hope I do) finish responding to all the prompts. For more information about these prompts and the affiliated contest hosted on Creative Writing Ink, visit the links within this paragraph.

(Note: The image used for this prompt is a copyrighted image of Piotr Mamnaimie.)

© Piotr Mamnaimie

Alone - (Creative Writing Ink Prompt June 2)
  I was alone. Again.
  Lydia Bager, the manager of this cosmetic clinic, requested that I stay after hours to organize a recent shipment of facial products. Unnecessarily gesturing with her hands, she condescendingly explained that I was to arrange the products in an intricate display. The organization of products in layered tiers is a daunting task collectively. Individually, I knew that I would be at the clinic for many more hours.
  Sighing, I searched for the loose keys in my pocket. Randomly selecting a key on the ring, I viciously sliced through the tape expanding across the cardboard boxes. Tossing my keys to the side, I hefted each box into the air, and allowed its contents to spill onto the cold tile. Grabbing an armful of samples, I began arranging them.
  Hours later, as I was massaging my back from hunching over, the familiar form of a display became distinguishable. Relieved by my progress, I efficiently organized the remaining samples until I completed the arrangement.
  Allowing myself to grin slightly, I rose from my crouched position to leave the clinic. I then awkwardly shoved my arms into the sleeves of a long overcoat. Remembering that I had absentmindedly tossed my keys away hours earlier, I squinted my eyes, hoping to notice the reflection of my key ring. Wandering around the clinic, I recalled tossing the keys a short distance away from the samples. Returning to the display, I glimpsed the keys under a glass counter.
  Walking toward the keys, I mistakenly tripped over my long coat, stumbling into the display and scattering the arranged samples. As the display collapsed, I collapsed, tears streaking down my face in rivulets.
  Motionless, I realized that I was alone. Again.

10 July 2016

anecDON'T - Bee Up My Nose

It was a glorious day in the middle of spring. The grass across the street was a vibrant green, and the trees were fuller than ever. Peering out the window, I grinned, eager to venture outside. Frantically shoving my feet into my shoes, I laced a loose knot and bolted out the front door. I was greeted by a warm, welcoming draft that whistled across my face. Walking for a few steps, I then broke into a comfortable pace, jogging with ease.

I circled around a local park, and continued to the track of the neighborhood junior high. I was physically and mentally satisfied. The light exercise was relaxing, and allowed me to clear my head of jumbled thoughts. My hair was flopping in a steady rhythm, and my thin sneakers were pounding on the pavement in brief staccato. Approaching the dirt track, I slowed to brisk walk. Darting forward, I looped around the track four times.

After the fourth lap, I glanced at my watch: 5:27.

"Not bad, but I could probably go a little faster," I whispered to myself under breaths of warm air.

Resetting the stopwatch, I began to sprint forward. However, as I breathed in deeply, I felt a strange form squirming in my nostril. Shrieking, I crazily ran in all directions, constantly blowing my nose into my hands and forcing the shape into my palm and out of my nose. With tears streaking across my face, a bee popped out of my nose and continued flying, unfazed. Clutching my nose, I dragged myself back to my house.

Fortunately, when I returned to the house, no one was home, so I plopped myself onto the couch, gasping choked swallows of air. Although I did not immediately discuss this peculiar (and life threatening) incident with my parents, I was forced to explain what had happened as my nose became swollen from irritation.

Although this story is (unfortunately) true, I hope you enjoyed this anecDON'T. I plan on continuing this series on my blog and publishing other anecDON'TS in the near future. In the meantime, stay tuned!

02 July 2016

Comics, Comics, and Comics

I apologize for not posting this entire week, (mainly because I was occupied with a new obsession) - comic books! Comic books consist of sequential panels that represent the consecutive scenes of a graphic narrative. Many panels also contain word balloons that represent the dialogue exchanged between characters. However, uninterested in physically collecting comics, I purged the library for the few graphic novels they had, and unhesitatingly requested an abundance of accompanying graphic novels. 

Although I've only been reading superhero comic books, I've realized that these graphic novels are not only entertaining, but helpful in writing and creativity as well. This is especially true because regardless of the characters' variety, the characters are intricately connected in ways that could not be explained in either traditional novels or movies. Also, because comic books are narrated solely through dialogue, I've noticed that even within the past week, the dialogue within my writing has become more authentic and original. Comic books also differ from customary literature in that descriptions are unnecessary, because engaging images illustrate sequences of action without explanation.

Full of inspiration from reading comic books during the previous week, I was excited to create my own original comic strip! (No, this comic strip does not include the action, supernatural abilities, or entertainment of superhero comics.)

(And yes, I am aware that this comic strip is not remotely amusing, but it's the best I could come up with.) My concluding perspective on comic books is that if you are in need of inspiration or entertainment, comic books are a great option. They not only improve creative writing, especially dialogue, but they are also enjoyable - detailing the heroic exploits of superheroes and their companions.

My final words of encouragement:
in you writing abilities