Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunny, Sandy Get Away to Westerly

Hey there Bloglandria,
By the time this post pops on your dashboards I, along with the other 9 members of my family, will be in the lovely Westerly, Rhode Island (oh the magic scheduled posting...). Friends of our family blessed us with a week at their house on a private beach. We will be soaking up the last of summer's sun and catching up on some much needed relaxing. My hopes for the trip? Fresh sea food, clam chowder, thrift store shopping, salty skin, and reading lots and lots of books and magazines. I will be sure to document it all with some fantastic pictures and share them with you when I get back!

Until then, I will have limited or no internet access. There will be a couple scheduled posts popping up, but blogging with be sparce.

Here's a couple images Google pulled up of Westerly!




 

 

 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More 2 year old piano time...

I love this kid. I especially love her when her braids come out and her hair is the size of...Nebraska. I love her big, bad, super-sassy 80's Afro. It somehow compliments her HUGE Ethiopian eyes. I love it!

Here's another video of her singing at my piano.



More of Avi @ the piano from MyNameisNotKing on Vimeo.
This time she is singing a classic hymn (and Mr. Sun, along with Incy-Wincy Spider)...with an Afro...wearing a mini dress. But she is just as sassy as usual.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Isabella's Imaginary Menagerie

I, Isabella Kiss, have added another critter to my list of wild animals I would like to keep as a pet (but cannot due to like...legal stuff...).

.A FOX.

I don't quite know how he'd get along with my 3 cats (which I own in reality) and my chipmunk: Fiffer of Worcestershire, peregrine falcon: Frightful,  red tailed hawk: (has no name yet...), kestrel : (also would need naming), raven: Rune-ar, and baby black bear: Zalan...(all of which I dream of owning...in my mind...outside of cruel reality), but I still want one.

What would you name an (imaginaryily owned) fox? What should I name one...? I'll think on it...
And if you have any suggestions for my (not real) Red- Tailed Hawk or my Kestrel, feel free to let me know.

*image via WeHeartIt

**PS: I think the title of this post would make for a great TV show or something. If I actually had all these animals...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Now I'm Free, Freelancin'...

little taste of what I have been up to: Writing. More writing. Classes. Researching. Freelancing.


This is on my desk (under plastic) where I can see it everyday as I write. It reminds me of why I do what I do, and because of WHOM I do it,  even when sometimes it drives me crazy. My passion laughs at the difficulties...the complicatedness... of being an author, because my passion is God-given.
  
"Passion laughs at the terrors of hell."- Song of Songs 8:6 (The Message)






**ps: I would love more comments/opinions on the short story I posted yesterday! I look forward to hearing from you! 
 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where She Belonged- Short Story.

I've written another short story.


Actually, in the last couple weeks I have written many. I am supposed to write something for school, a fiction story of 2,000 words, that somehow shows my "expertise" in a particular area. Well... I don't have a ton of expertise and I don't quite plan on being a "specialized writer" (one who makes an entire career of writing on a particular topic or genre.). I do tend to focus a lot of my writing on fantasy, and almost always aim towards young adults, but I am not against branching out of that particular area of literature.


So. The story. I have drafted many in hopes of coming up with something worth submitting to school and having graded, but none of them have been quite good enough for my liking. I began to take the "expertise" thing into consideration. I'm often told to write what I know...what do I know?! Well fantasy. Young Adult. I'm a passionate christian and could go down a nonfiction route with that. I am a musician and artist. I am the oldest of 8 kids, 7 adopted. I am (or was) a dancer. I make a lot of stuff. Those are all topics/genres I could comfortably write about/in.


As I thought about all those above mentioned thing one more area of personal interest came to mind: PIRATES.


If you haven't noticed yet, I have a bizarre infatuation with rogues and buccaneers. It is difficult to explain but...I love pirates. I'm not talking the movies, or Johnny Depp, I'm talking I am obsessed with actual, real-deal pirates. I own a costume and a cutlass. I have a entire shelf dedicated to books on pirates and their histories. I own an accurate dictionary of pirate-speak and ship terminology. It is fair to say I am a fanatic.


As I was flipping through my big notebook of writing ideas and whatnot I came across a messily drafted story about a Captain Magdalena Rossini that I had written probably like...4 years ago? It was a disaster, but out from that mess of badly written plot/dialogue I pulled a story idea. Magdalena came to life. And here is her (short)story:


WHERE SHE BELONGED
By: Isabella Kiss

Your father was too a pirate!” he shouted at her.
“WAS NOT!” the little girl shouted back, her fists in tight, red balls, pumping up and down at her waist. She didn’t know what a pirate was, but she knew her father wasn’t one.
“He was! My mum said so; she saw him hanged!” he argued back
“My father was not hanged either, Nicholai! He was a gentleman of fortune and died at sea!”
“No, he was hanged, because he was a pirate. My mother was there! And she doesn’t lie like yours does.”
She could take him no longer. She grabbed hold of her dress, pulled it up around her ankles and ran home, straight into her mother’s arms.
“What is wrong, love?”
 She burst into tears. “Nicci was telling lies about Papa.”
Her mother stiffened.
“He called him a pirate and said he was hanged.”
Magdalena, shhhh…” She smoothed her daughter’s hair as she sorted her own thoughts.
“Papa was a gentleman of fortune, right Mama?”
Her mother said nothing as she lifted her girl’s head and wiped tears of her sticky and reddened face.
“Mama…?”
“I should have known someone would say something eventually…” she whispered softly to herself. “Dear, there are some things you must learn of your father and there is no point in me hiding them from you any longer.”


“To your knees, man!” she shouted, cutlass in one hand, pistol grasped firmly in the other.
He looked at the woman in defiance. He wouldn’t kneel to a pirate, regardless of unfortunate circumstances such as the one he had found himself in. A short while ago he was sailing his merchant route, and now he was captive on the deck of a brigantine flying pirate’s colours. And the pirate standing before him was well armed and about to kill him.
“Do you need me to say it again, or do you not care if you see a tomorrow? KNEEL!
“I will not kneel before a pirate, nor will I kneel before a woman, no matter how many guns she is holding.”
“Then you will kneel before Captain Maggi.”
He looked at her and spat on the ground on which his feet still stood. “I don’t care who you say you are. You will shortly be boarding my ship and thereafter be tried in London for piracy.”
“Firstly, you are on my ship, in my possession. Do you really think I will just change the course of my plans and get on yours? Secondly, yes, you do think that, because you clearly haven’t heard of me. Captain Magdalena Rossini, pleased to meet you and now well pleased to kill you.” she said cunningly, shaking his hand with the gun still in hers.
He pulled his hand back. “Rossini?” He looked at her for a moment, saying nothing else but the question painted on his face.
“So you have heard of me?”
“Doesn’t matter. You’re a bloody pirate, Rossini. You’ve admitted it and now I am taking you hostage on a return voyage to England, where you will hang, as people like yourself often do.”
“We went over this already.” she said, her eyes glistening. She slid her cutlass back into its place at her side.
He seized the opportunity and grabbed her arms, but she didn’t fight back. She was at advantage in cunning and probably strength as well.
“Come, Ms. Rossini, you shall be held upon my ship.”
“I’m sorry, I’m afraid you no longer have a ship.”
He looked at her, even more disgusted. “Of course I…” but he stopped mid-phrase.
“I’m right, as usual. While you stood here, refusing to surrender and calling me names, my crew took both your men and your ship.”
He stared dumbfounded. They had. His boat no longer flew his flag, but hers.
A haughty smirk painted her dark face. “Now that all you have is mine, do you want to surrender, or shall I just kill you. Well, unless of course you’d rather swim back to England.”
He fell to his knees. “Some friend you are…” he mumbled, as he looked up into her eyes.
“What did you say?” she demanded, pulling out her knife and pricking his neck with it.
“Don’t say you don’t know me. Or have you really fallen that far from your past, Maggi?”
She looked at him, suddenly seeing him for the first time. “Get off my ship.” she said, her mind apparently changed.
“What?”
“Off! Go back to your ship, back to your England and away from me or I will surely kill you.”
“Just say my name, Maggi and I’ll be gone.”
“I don’t know your name, man.” she spat angrily. Her chest was rising and falling with heavy breaths; her knuckles whitened around her knife, still pointed at his throat.
“Say it, Maggi. You might be a thief, maybe even a killer, but you aren’t a good liar.”
“OFF MY SHIP! OFF, OFF, OFF!” she shouted, forcing him up against the side. A fine trickle of red was making its path down his neck and dripping onto his white shirt.
“Eight letters. All I ask.”
 “You have a choice to make: you either get off my ship now, or I’ll stab you through your throat with this point.”
“You play a rogue, Maggi, but we both know you couldn’t kill me.”
She now had him bending backwards over the starboard side. She leaned in close to his face, glaring coldly into his still familiar blue eyes.
“I play a rogue very well, thank you.”
“Say it.”
“N.I.C.H....” she removed her knife and placed both her hands on his chest. “…O.L.A…I.”
He toppled over backwards into the sea below them.
She watched him fall into the water and pretended for a moment not to care. Casually she slid the blade that had once been her father’s back into her belt and walked away. But after a weak pause she turned on her boot heels and was back peering down at the floundering man in the water aside her ship.
“Nicholai, Nicholai, Nicholai...” she whispered to herself. “Swim ‘round the other side!” she shouted down at him
He didn’t respond. He was splashing a great deal, but still afloat. She threw her jacket, cutlass, pistol, knife, and belt strung with trinkets onto the deck with a clattering thud. She left out a heaving sigh and balanced on the edge before neatly diving in after him.
While she was under the water he laughed to himself. He couldn’t help it. “What was that you said?” he asked, as her wet head broke through the surface.
’Swim ‘round the other side.’ I could have hoisted you up with the tow rope. And I know you heard me…”
“Well yes, that is what I thought I heard, but was confused. I seem to recall you telling me to get off your ship? Thank you for making the trip down here to clarify your words to me, though they still leave me confused.”
“I could leave you here to freeze and am about to. Do you want help or not?”
“From a pirate?”
“Yes, from a pirate. A bloody woman pirate. A thief, a killer, a rogue of all sorts. Now c’mon.” She began swimming. They reached a rope hanging over the side.
“I am far too weak to climb that now.”
“Then die. I couldn’t care.” she said, taking the rope in her hands.
“You could.”
She let out an annoyed huff. “You disgust me, Nicholai.”
He wrapped his arms around her waist, still laughing to himself as she steadily began to climb.
They hoisted themselves up onto the deck and panted.
“Oh be quiet. You did nothing.” she snapped, pulling her long hair from her eyes.
He couldn’t help but smile. Pirate or not, she hadn’t changed. From their childhood, to when she ran away, to that very moment, he loved her and he always would.
She glared at him. “Stop staring already.” She pulled her jacket over her drenched clothes and held it tightly around herself.
“What has the world done to you, to make a bell like yourself ring so darkly? What has happened to you, Maggi, to make you like this?”
“Nothing. I was born to a pirate to be a pirate. It was my fate and my dream.”
“There was no fate of yours that could have been as cruel to me and no dream as bad as this. Why did you leave?”
“My fate doesn’t concern yours. I left because there was nothing else for me but this.”
He looked at her and saw the girl he had once played and laughed with. “There was so much more for you.”
“No. That life had nothing for me. This is who I need to be.”
“WRONG! I loved you, Maggi and I still do. Why, why, why did you leave that?”
She said nothing. She was remembering.


Her father had been hanged. He had been hanged because he was a pirate. Nothing was the same anymore. Everything she had thought she had known about herself and her father, Vincent Rossini, had been a lie. The lies from her mother were supposed to protect her, though on the day she learned the truth they only hurt. But yet, when she heard it for the first time she felt more like herself than she ever had. That day she learned who she was and who she would be. She was a pirate’s daughter and she would follow in his footsteps. Footsteps that lead her to the sea. 

Years passed, but she couldn’t take the thoughts of sailing vessels and the oceans salty air from her head. She was a quiet little girl on the outside, but inside of her there was a rogue fighting its way to the surface.  It escaped when she was twelve.
She took her father’s knife, initialed V.R., and ran. There began what some would say was her downfall, but she thought of it as her rise. She dressed as a boy and stowed away on a merchant ship. So much lying, and then more lying. She switched crews at harbours and jumped ships at ports. She continued to do so until she found the vessel she searched for; one with men who called themselves gentlemen of fortune, such as her father had: pirates.
It didn’t take them long to realize she wasn’t a Vincent at all, but a young woman. But she was a young woman born to a man whose name they more then just recognized. The fire that has burned in her father was a flame in her, and so she had stayed on with them, woman but pirate. She had gained their honor and their respect. She now had her own ship and her own crew. She had gained the notoriety she had longed for. She was Captain Maggi, not ever trusted but always feared. She had gained what she had for so long wanted. Her home was with the sea, amongst ruffians and thieves like herself. It was where she belonged. 


“Why did you leave me? I’ve searched for you this whole time. You ran, but I ran after you, and Maggi, if you choose to keep running, so will I. Although…I seem to no longer possess a ship…” said the man, standing dripping wet next to her on the deck.
She looked at him. Though she hadn’t seen him in years, he was very much the same Nicci she had once known. He still wore the same look on his face as he watched hers.
He slowly put his arms around her, and couldn’t help but smile as she willingly fell into his wet embrace.
She smiled too. She didn’t have to run anymore, for she had no where else she wanted to go. She finally knew what she wanted; she had found where she really belonged. At last.



 So...honest opinions? I like it, but I cannot tell if I like it enough. Maybe I am just partial to anything to do with piracy? And I feel like a lot of it is dialogue...maybe too much? I'd really appreciate your thoughts. What did you think!?

Monday, August 23, 2010

How to Tame Shrews, photo documented.


Over the last month a bunch of high school kids (and their younger siblings) I know and/or am related to have been learning Shakespearean acting with a group known simply as Backyard Shakespeare. It is program run by friends of ours, that during the month of August, teaches 2 Shakespearean plays to kids, and at the end of the month they give a performance in a backyard. It is a program that I was involved in for 3 years, while still in high school. Now too old to participate, I enjoyed going over the weekend and photographing (my latest artistic endeavor. More on that soon) the kids as they did the 4 performances (2 of The Taming of the Shrew and 2 of Julius Cesaer). All the kids did great. It is always amazing to see how a bunch of youth pull of something as "big" as Shakespeare in under 4 weeks.
Most of the pictures involve my 15 year old sister, playing Lucentio (she did a phenomenal job!). Here is a looksy at the Taming.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

My sassy sister.

I have 5 sisters, but the two year old is BY FAR the sassiest of them all. Maybe the sassiest kid in America. She is almost one of the most adorablest.

My mom had a friend over and I was supposed to be entertaining Avi in my room, so she was out of the way. Instead she entertained me. She played my keyboard, bossed me around, explored my closet, and sang happy birthday to my cat (whose birthday it was not). Cute stuff...


Avi's musical skills along with her freakish smarts and abundant sass. from MyNameisNotKing on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I want one of those...



Yes!  It is what you think it is.

 A SCRATCH MAP!!!!!!

You take a penny (or a coin of any sort...or anything really) and scratch off the gold surface layer on the places that you have been. How fun is that!?

I found this (on IWOOT...aka "I want one of those".com) and I seriously do want one. And for $22.78 it could be mine ('cept for the fact I am trying to save money, not spend it on tomfoolery...)! It is like the coolest map ever. I'd hang it on the slanty-wall/ceiling (I live in an attic so there is a lot of slant-y-ness) over my bed, then I'd conquer the globe and scratch off the stuff with currency from the country I "conquered." Way too fun!
If I had money for wastin' I'd waste it on this. Just thought I'd share...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quote-ables...for His steadfast love endures forever!

Last night I was at a Bible study with some of my favorite college girls, picking apart a couple Psalms with highlighters. At the beginning of the summer we each shared our favorite Psalm and then in the following weeks we began to study 2 at a time, each Monday night. Last night we worked through Psalm 131 (Ally's fave) and Psalm 136 Courtney's fave!) highlighters in hand, underlining verbs and tenses and pronouns and...other things that stood out to us.

They are both wonderful Psalms ('tis the Bible, after-all!), and I would encourage you to take a look at both of them, but today I want to specifically share a little about 136.

For those of you familiar with the Psalms, that is the one where the author (it is an "orphan psalm," meaning the author is unknown) reminds us that the Lord's "steadfast love endures forever" 26 times, once in every verse. It is a Psalm of confidence in God. There are two parts to each verse: the first is where the Psalmist declares something about who God is or what He has so faithfully done, followed by the repetitive reminder of His steadfast and enduring love.

At first glance, it looks to be rather redundant. "Yes, yes, I know. His love endures forever...you said that already like 20 times!" Why keep saying it?

Because we need to hear it! Over and over and over again.

If the repeating line was taken out of the Psalm we would be left with 26 still very good verses. But we realized that the line that repeats itself over and over is almost like 26 little "selahs" (a term used in the Psalms after really power-packed verses that tells you to stop, pause for a moment, and think on what you just read) Without that line we would probably skim right over and miss what the Psalm is really all about. Why is he telling us about God making the heavens, spreading the earth out over the waters, drowning Pharaoh in the Red Sea, and killing kings Og and Sihon? It seems like it goes from describing God as sovereign and very artistic Creator to seemingly violent Deliverer. WHY?

Because all of those things are a picture of his unending, never-failing, all-knowing, perfectly timed love that is in ever situation and is at work in all of our lives!

I looked up 'steadfast' and 'endures' on Dictionary.com and here is what it pulled up as definition of those two powerful words:

 

stead·fast [sted-fast, -fahst, -fuhst] –adjective

1.fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze.
2.firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person: a steadfast friend.
3.unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.
4.firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs.
5.firmly fixed in place or position.
 

en·dure [en-door, -dyoor]  verb

1.to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; undergo
2.to bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate
3. to admit of; allow; bear
4.to continue to exist; last
5.to support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently
6.to have or gain continued or lasting acknowledgment or recognition, as of worth, merit or greatness
 
In summary, God's love is firmly established and unwavering and it will continue to last without yielding!

We decided, as we looked at the Psalm and the things that the psalmist was declaring God's love to be in, that we should do the same in our own lives. We even went as far as saying that we should write down what we did all day and follow each little statement with the line "for His steadfast love endures forever."

Example:

I got up today and made coffee,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
 *(I got up! I live in a house in which I have coffee, a coffee maker, and ease of making it!)

I braided my hair,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
*(I have hair. And two arms with which I can braid!)

I sat down at the computer and wrote this blog post,
for His steadfast love endures forever!
*(I have a beautiful room, nice computer, the ability to form words and use them for influence on this blog!)

Okay, I admit, maybe that is overkill. That might just be taking things a liiiiitttle too far. But...do you see what I am saying? God is at work in everything, even when we don't see it. His plan is PERFECT even when it doesn't make sense to us. We should choose to be thankful and glorify Him for the things that He has done, is doing and will do, because He so faithfully loves us!

Take a look at Psalm 136. Then take a look at your life, or even just your day today, and thank God for His faithfulness!

...FOR HIS STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!!!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fanastical lettering from Daily Drop Cap!

I S A





B E LL A




KI S S







What is that you ask? That is my name.
In fantastical drop cap, blocked out letters!

I discovered this awesome site (off of a very inspiring blog called How about Orange) called Daily Drop Cap.
Everyday a new and exciting FANCY LETTER goes up for use. You are supposed to use them as the first letter of blog posts, like the fancyshmancy letters in old books, but one letter just wasn't enough for me, so I went for my whole name. I love the burning candle "I" and the orange and black "K". Do you have a favorite? You should spell out your name with these. Too awesome to pass up! Have fun!

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