100 Books Reading Challenge

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Started a reading challenge project mid-spring of 2017. The goal: read 100 books by summer in a year. I’m inching along, albeit at a slower pace than I’d like. Figured posting the list on my blog would hold me accountable–also, I get to share cool books!

So here’s a list of books I’ve reading; I plan to update every 10 books or so. If you have any book recommendations, I’d love to hear them! 🙂

Note on April 10th, 2019: Oh! I am just about done with this project. It’s taken me two years, and I’m just 7 books away. In looking back, I realize that some stories I have forgotten, while others have burned into my memory. I’ve bolded some of the stories I really loved and remembered.

  1. One! Hundred! Demons!, Lynda Barry
  2. James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie
  4. Here, Richard McGuire
  5. Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks
  6. Burned, Ellen Hopkins
  7. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling
  8. Walking Dead 1, Robert Kirkman
  9. Walking Dead 2, Robert Kirkman
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelous
  11. Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur
  12. Partner Track, Helen Wan
  13. Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen
  14. Kafka, R. Crumb
  15. Project Jennifer, Jill Rosenblatt
  16. Dignity, Donna Hicks
  17. Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Roz Chast
  18. Ginny Moon, Benjamin Ludwig
  19. Autobiography of Barefoot Gen, Nakazawa Keji
  20. Meow Meow, Jose Fonollosa
  21. Beautiful Darkness, Fabien Vehlmann
  22. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  23. The Skin Above My Knees, Marcia Butler
  24. Essential Poems (To Fall in Love With), Daisy Goodwin
  25. Sailing Alone Around the Room, Billy Collins
  26. Future Tense, Paintings by Alex Gross
  27. Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling
  28. Thirst, Poems by Mary Oliver
  29. Global Street Art, Lee Boffkin
  30. Men Without Women, Haruki Murakami
  31. Vintage Cisneros, Sandra Cisneros 
  32. Have You Seen Marie, Sandra Cisneros
  33. Woman Hollering Creek, Sandra Cisneros
  34. The Quiet Eye: A Way of Looking at Pictures, Sylvia Judson
  35. Blue Nights, Joan Didion 
  36. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  37. This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz
  38. The Embassy of Cambodia, Zadie Smith
  39. Love Mad Poems, Rumi
  40. The Wolves In The Walls, Neil Gaiman
  41. Forms of Distance, Bei Dao
  42. 73 Poems, E.E. Cummings
  43. The Love Bunglers, Jaime Hernandez
  44. Little Book of Little Stories
  45. Shoplifter, Michael Cho
  46. Rick & Morty Comics
  47. Fresh Complaint, Jeffrey Eugenides
  48. Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg
  49. White Teeth, Zadie Smith
  50. South and West, Joan Didion
  51. Dear Dumb Diary
  52. Stories Julian Tells, Ann Cameron
  53. Stitches, David Small
  54. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
  55. Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka
  56. Pretty: Stories, Greg Kearney
  57. Night Watch, Malin Lindroth
  58. Constance and the Great Escape, Pieere Le Gall 
  59. Rapunzel, Paul Zelinsky
  60. Jane and the Fox & Me, Isabelle Aresenault 
  61. I’ve Loved You Since Forever, Hoda Kobb
  62. Corduroy, Don Freeman
  63. Buck, MK Asante
  64. Chemistry, Weike Wang
  65. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
  66. Soviet Daughter, Julia Alekseyeva
  67. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  68. LIFE 70 Years of Extraordinary Photography
  69. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Timothy Snyder
  70. SHOCK
  71. Beijing: Imperial and Contemporary
  72. Abandoned America, Matthew Christopher
  73. The Polaroid Book
  74. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  75. Cats, Jane Bown
  76. The Photographs of Carl Mydans
  77. Camanchaca, Diego Zuniga 
  78. Creepy Carrots, Aaron Reynolds
  79. Lies in The Dust : A Tale of Remorse From The Salem Witch Trial
  80. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  81. Going Into Town, Roz Chaz
  82. Doodle Diary of A New Mom, Lucy Scott
  83. The Marshmallow Test, Walter Mischel
  84. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L Konigsburg
  85. The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Amy Tan
  86. Interpreter’s Maladies
  87. Rx
  88. Because We Are Bad, Lily Bailey
  89. Frida’s Bed, Slavenka Drakulic
  90. Zenobia
  91. Light Filters In Poems, Caroline Kaufman
  92. Sweet Land Stories, E.L Doctorow
  93. Hap and Hazzy at the End of the World, Diane DeSanders

 

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Art Commissions

Lately I’ve been getting some inquiries about drawing requests. I decided to make a clearer style and pricing chart to highlight how people can commission a painting!

chart wideeeee

In regards to style, I’ve decided to delineate between “chunky” and “smooth” paintings. Whereas “chunky” paintings have visible shading, “smooth” paintings are light, airy and “buttery.”

commission process

The process itself is fairly easy. Send a request and photo; pay via Venmo or PayPal; I’ll have the image to clients in 3-5 days.

In the past, I’ve been commissioned to paint wives, sons, mothers, siblings, musical artists and models. If you’re interested in a digital painting, please feel free to message me here. 

With Eyes Like Butterflies

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December  10th, 2013 // 12:50:00 pm

On the car ride home I detected, from the smoky poof of our deep conversation, wispy strands of respect in your eyes.

I really like people who have kind eyes. People with kind eyes are compassionate, and compassionate people have kind eyes. And kind people are beautiful and nice to talk to, and you can see it in their eyes. -trails off into a tune due to wordy redundancy-

But people can have normal eyes. People can have snarky eyes. People can have flat eyes that hover between life and lifelessness. And people can have sly eyes or suspicious eyes or cold, hard and dull eyes.

As my art teacher once cried: “Eyes are the window to the soul. Serendipity!”

I thought it was spelled “Sarahn Dipity” and wheeled around. “Who’s that?”

Sometimes I’ll miss people for their eyes. Whenever I have little moments of peering into people’s eyes, I’ll take a small creepy note of the types of eyes they have: far set, close-set, deep-creased, light-creased, blue or black or green or tan. Search for clues of their soul window decor. Like curtains of kindness or meanness or tiredness, or sadness.

Those with kind eyes are the ones who emanate the wisps of respect. Those with unkind eyes are the ones who pretend nothing ever happened.


Perused through my old Tumblr and found this old post from 2013. I remembered the exact moment I marinated in these thoughts. Again with the winding roads and a heart full of resentment.

But less than three years later, puedo decir con confianza: all hail the force of forgiveness. They will sweep through your heart’s city and burn down houses of bitterness. For the better, ‘course, and I’m glad they did.

Musings are my Muse

portraitI stayed late at the bookstore today. I finished another book, fifth this year, about Frida Kahlo. (Her husband, Diego, seemed like a faithless oaf. Was a faithless oaf. But his money and fame–I think that carried Frida a lot.) The sun set. I didn’t go home. I stumbled upon a book that reminded me of old friends and their strict parents. After reading a little over a hundred pages, I called it a day.

It felt like when I’d stay at the bookstore late in the city. I’d say late, until nine or ten, maybe eleven, and it’d be cold and dark outside. But there’d still be people. And lights. Lots of lights. Dotted in the sky. And I’d feel so small, eyeing the buses, alone but okay, but alone.

I’ve still been playing Identity V obsessively. Ever since the game came out in June, I’ve played it nearly every day, several times a day. I used to play Hunter more than Survivor, but now I play Survivor all the time. I’d rage too much as a Hunter, since I am temperamental. Last night I raged unnecessarily over World War II, and today I felt irritable. It’s much easier to just not talk to people when you’re irritated with them.

But sometimes I would just resort to ghosting people because I was so irritated. I read a lot about ghosted victims on news sites catering to millennials. As a ghoster, well, sometimes it feels easier to avoid people than to confront them. And sometimes–this sounds terrible–confrontation doesn’t feel worth it, worth the relationship. Maybe we barely knew each other, or maybe I was too angry, or maybe the issues were too deep, or maybe they weren’t deep at all. Maybe we met once, and maybe you thought we’re meant to be, and maybe we meant a lot to each other, but it seemed easier to cut the losses and go. Sometimes it meant too much to say anything. Sometimes it meant too little to say anything.

I’ve dreamt of people who are no longer in my life. Old friends, old best friends. I dreamt of a few last night, some old best friends. Funnily, I saw them as my two first viewers on Snapchat. Subconscious recall, maybe? We ran into each other at Wal-Mart, the three of us. Let’s catch up! But then I left. And then there was that one other best friend whom I could never muster up the energy to really dislike. She wore a magenta dress, and it flowed. She pretended not to notice.

Old friends. It’s been years. When I was younger, I would skip from friend to friend each year. I’ve had one consistent best friend since 2014, and that’s been my longest, stable best friendship. Five years? Yes, five years. She used to call me incessantly at the beginning of our friendship. I would decline them all. Eight missed calls. Eight missed calls! From the girl in my calculus class. I thought she was looney toons, but I’m glad she clung to my avoidance. I remember when I first met her: I saw her from across the room eating a sandwich, and I decided I’d tell her about my journey of getting into Calculus. Later, we ate lunch together, and I said I didn’t like talking while I ate. She said she didn’t either. I wore white flip flops while we talked and walked to the food court.

I feel swaddled by warmth and covers. My train of thought ended there. Abruptly. I’ve just been seeing a steady stream of dreams and memories, weaving themselves together.

I forget how much easier it is to write things out than to say them. I don’t talk as much about these odd musings in real life–they’re intangible, rambly. But on text, they take on a shape. It’s like liquid, ah! taking the form of the container. And you, wordpress, are the container.

I’ve just feel devoid of thought or inspiration, particularly because I have been feeling consistently happy. I was moody for two straight weeks last May, because I was sick and it was cold, but otherwise, I haven’t felt the familiar pangs of inspirational sadness. The gripping abyss of theatrical sadness. I shouldn’t rely on that, though. There are other, if mundane, things to be written about. But ah, the serious topics seem to alienate the Internet. The silly topics as well. I think musings will just be my muse. They have been my muse.