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Chatterbox: Down to Earth

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We were grouped together on the Make a Friend thread (MaF?), so, well, here's our thread.

So. Hello. I'm Artemis (obviously). You've probably seen me around the CB; I tend to linger around PP & DtE. I don't think we've interacted much, so, well, nice to meet you! (i'm great at this conversationing stuff, aren't I? XD)

As I've said elsewhere, I like reading & writing & drawing & all that jazz. I play violin too, albeit rather amateurishly (if that's a word), and I sing occasionally. I'm in ninth grade, homeschooled.

--music-wise, what sort do you listen to/play?

submitted by Artemis@Periwinkle, overusing parentheses
(November 4, 2022 - 7:18 pm)

Hey Artemis! Nice to meet you too :)

I listen to lots of alternative music, such as Clairo, Wallows, and Pamelo. I also like Taylor Swift's new album and Harry Styles, which is much more pop. I'm learning keyboard and can proudly state that I know the chords for... About three songs! Not a major accomplishment to most, but considering I can't read music and didn't even know what a chord was before I took lessons, I think it's pretty cool. I'm also in my school's choir and select choir, and sing all the time.

I love writing, especially poetry, and art, though I consider myself more of an "appreciator of art" than an actual artist. I also enjoy reading, and am currently reading KotLC, which I'm not actually sure if I have any hope of finishing because I keep finishing one book and then starting some other series. 

What is violin like? Is it fun to play? What sort of music do you listen to?

submitted by Periwinkle, age Pi, Somewhere in the stars
(November 5, 2022 - 1:05 pm)
submitted by PeriTOP!
(November 6, 2022 - 7:00 am)

cool! I think I've heard a bit of Clairo, but I've never heard of Pamelo or Wallows; I'll have to check them out. my musical tastes tend to wander a bit astray of mainstream pop, but I like "Carolina" by Taylor Swift & "As It Was" by Harry Styles. i'll also sometimes listen to Imagine Dragons.

but my favorite artist is currently AURORA. & I like Billie Eilish & First Aid Kit & Fleurie, although I haven't been listening to music much lately, probably due to NaNoWriMo; I can't seem to write with music playing.

i've always rather wanted to learn keyboard/piano; I imagine it would be easier than violin, which can get pretty difficult at times. but you'd really have to play both instruments to be a judge of that, I suppose. violin is generally pretty fun - I like fiddling, especially - although, as I say, it can get challenging. Violins are very easy to play badly.

I'm in choir as well, though we only meet once a week. what songs are you singing?

oh yes, I love poetry as well - I've seen a bit of yours on the Regular Poetry Thread, I believe. that thread's really the reason I write poetry at all - before the CB, I kinda thought of poetry as this old-fashioned, vaguely boring writing form that was much too difficult to bother with. but it can be really beautiful & relevant, and then there's free verse for people like me who cannot rhyme for the life of them. and art is lovely as well, of course, both to create & experience. I love art museums.

yes, reading! you can't really be a writer if you aren't a reader. although I've been abandoning the latter in favor of the former recently, mostly, again, due to NaNoWriMo.

I read the first book of KotLC once, but I didn't much enjoy it - it was a while ago, so I don't remember my reasons for disliking it very well, but I recall disliking Sophie... idk, just the opinion of twelve-year-old me, please disregard :P

I always have several series I'm reading at once, haha... right now I'm rereading the Raven Cycle, and finishing the King of Scars duology, and looking for a library that has Gemina (the second book of the Illuminae Files) and I have Skyward on my nightstand, but I haven't started it yet. so I can kinda relate :7

(this comment is getting quite long, so I'll stop there--) 

Artemis, I played both piano and violin as a child, and can say that practicing builds technique. By the time I was in high school, I dropped piano lessons and concentrated on violin because it was fun to play in school orchestra with friends. Violin is not an easy instrument to play well, but what is equally as difficult to to me, now that I don't play piano much anymore, is that piano music involves reading music for two hands and playing it simultaneously, in two different clefs! Plus each hand often has several notes to play at the same time as a chord. Violins do occasionally play chords, but not as often. I'd say each instrument has its own difficulties, which can be overcome with practice!


submitted by Artemis
(November 6, 2022 - 9:12 am)

alrighty, that makes sense. I didn't think about pianists having to play different music for each hand, but of course they do! thanks for your perspective~

I was glad I could add my perspective!


submitted by Artemis, replying to Admin
(November 6, 2022 - 5:44 pm)

Yep! Playing on both hands can be tricky sometimes, because I'll remember to switch one hand over to the next spot on the keyboard, forget to do it with the other one. Generally, however, violin has always seemed really hard to me, so I'm not sure. 

In choir right now, we're singing lots of Christmas music, including Somewhere in My Memory from Home Alone, and this really pretty but slightly over dramatic song called Winter Lullaby. It's really fun and I'm excited for our Christmas concert (which sounds like it would be far away, but really isn't and is already making me nervous) 
I can relate to you about poetry--I wrote a bit here and there before that thread but have grown so much as a writer because of it. And your poems are really good, I've seen a few!  
I like museums too! I've been to lots of different ones. My favorite is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, it's huge!
I can actually see why you might not like KotLC, especially Sophie. I don't mind her, but she's worried a lot and puts responsibility on herself in ways that could be annoying. What are the Raven Cycle and King of Scars about? They sound interesting. 
submitted by Periwinkle, age Pi, Somewhere in the stars
(November 7, 2022 - 5:04 pm)

ah nice! in my choir, we're doing a song that's basically a variation on "Jingle Bells", & also "Dona Nobis Pacem", which I guess has vaguely Christmassy vibes due to the theme of peace/origin as a hymn. We're doing it as a round, and it's coming along rather nicely; it's simple, but pretty. we're also doing "Flying Free", which is similarly simple/pretty/in a high register, and "Sunday Best", which is a catchy pop-ish song.

thank you!! --and yeah, poetry is a big reason I'm grateful for the CB :)

oh, cool! I'd like to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art sometime, and just NYC in general. I went to the Detroit Institute of Art sometime in July/August, and it was so cool -- i especially liked the Greek/Roman statuary; it's really amazing, when you think of how old it is.

do you have any favorite (visual) artists, contemporary or otherwise? 

oh, joy! a chance to rant about books i like! /jk :P

The Raven Cycle is YA magical realism, basically about a bunch of teenagers in contemporary Virginia who discover a magical, sentient forest called Cabeswarter. four out of the five main characters are students at a local prestigious all-boys boarding school, and the fifth is a girl named Blue, the daughter of a psychic, who is short of both stature and temper. there's lots of complicated shenanigans involving Owen Glendower, who was a Welsh king one of the characters (Gansey) believes was brought over to Virginia after the failed Welsh revolution, and buried in an ageless sleep; Glendower will supposedly grant a magical favor to whoever wakes him. this series has a lot of great quotes - i do so love the way Maggie Stiefvater writes - and great characters. it does have quite a bit of swearing in it, though.

King of Scars is a duology by Leigh Bardugo; it's set in the same universe as Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, if you've read/heard of those, with many of the same characters. it's kinda hard to explain the plot without the context of S&B and SoC, and, again, idk if you've read those. but basically it's about Zoya Nazyalensky, a general, and Nikolai Lantsov, a king, both of Ravka, which is a 18th/19th-century Russia-inspired country. they fight a war, they make some alliances, & there's a romance between Zoya & Nikolai, although that's not the main focus. this is not my favoritest series of all time, (unlike TRC, which could probably claim that title with little contest, haha) but it's good. pretty well-written, good character development, original premise. this has some occasional swearing also - again, YA.

you mentioned in the MaF form that your favorite book is The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly - what's that about? i think i've seen you mention it before, but i've never read it. (I have a books-to-be-read list half a mile long, but whatever! let's make it even longer!)

submitted by Artemis, age 5,262 days
(November 7, 2022 - 8:04 pm)

Oh, I've sang "Dona Nobis Pacem" before! It's really pretty :)

I like lots of old and famous artists, because, you know, everyone likes them, I guess, such as Van Gogh (I've actually seen The Starry Night in person before), and Vermeer. I also like specific paintings, such as Thérèse Dreaming by Balthus, even if it has caused controversy. My favorite painting is Dutch Girl in White by Robert Henri. I love the rosy cheeks and red lips, and the way you can see each brush stroke. How about you? Do you have any favorite artists?

The Raven Cycle sounds interesting! I've heard of Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows but have yet to read them. I'll get around to it sometime, though. 

The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Riely is about a boy named Charlie whose brother, Liam, disappeared one day, and he's the only one who remembers him. Everyone else thinks Charlie's an only child, and he's a bit of an outcast for his belief in this younger brother. Everyone thinks he must be mentally ill, so he goes to therapy and gets a lot of concerned looks. His mother suffers from severe depression and has been since before the book takes place, however it got worse after the disappearance of Liam, even if she can't remember him. The only person who believes that Charlie really did have a younger brother at some point is his best friend, Ana. The problem is, Charlie thinks that Liam's disappearance is his fault. The night before Charlie's birthday, he and Liam had a fight. Charlie wished Liam didn't exist. And when he woke up, Liam was gone. So now, one year later, he and Ana have hatched a plan. Charlie thinks that all he has to do is wish Liam back the night before his birthday, and when he wakes up, Liam will be back and things can go back to normal. 

There's more to it than that, but if I go on too long my explanations get twisted and harder to understand, so there's the basic idea. The author is great at adding plot twists. It's a book aimed at kids (I read it when I was in 4th grade, I think), so not really YA if that's your style, but still a great book, amazingly written! 


submitted by Periwinkle, age pi, somewhere in the stars
(November 11, 2022 - 7:37 am)

oh, that's so cool that you've seen Starry Night in person! yeah, the old famous artists are famous for a reason. Van Gogh & Vermeer are excellent (although they do have very different styles). & yes, i do like that less rigidly realistic, flowier style of Dutch Girl in White. Impressionism, i think? i googled Therese Dreaming, and it does have a certain careless dreaminess to it. great title, too.

I've grown rather fond of Ilya Repin (probably mostly due to my enthusiastic Russian history teacher, haha). Ivan the Terrible and his Son Ivan is very dramatic & tragic. Picasso is great too - I haven't seen vast quantities of his work, but I like Pour Roby & Old Guitarist.

I tend to like fantasy illustrators, particularly those who work in watercolors - Arthur Rackham, for instance, who's a little more contemporary; he died in 1939. Then there's Tony DiTerlizzi, who illustrated the Spiderwick Chronicles, which I liked when I was a bit younger. He and Rackham have the same sort of whimsical-ness to their styles. They're both children's book illustrators, so it stands to reason.

I also like Rebecca Guay & Terese Nielsen; they have really beautiful styles. They're both Magic: the Gathering illustrators, which is how I discovered them.

The Missing Piece sounds cool! I'll have to check it out. fantasy is usually my go-to genre, but I love any well-written realistic fiction as well, particularly if it deals with mental health. 

--yeah, i do generally read YA, just because i prefer more complexly written books, and it's easier to find that sort of thing for older readers. I used to love WoF, for instance, and I still do, really; it's a great story, but it's written for people who are a bit younger than me/have a lower reading level/whatever. that's the trouble with being a voracious reader, haha - your standards keep going up.

The Peculiar & its sequel The Whatnot are two books classified as middle grade that I do love, though. And I like Katherine Applegate, & Tiffany Aching, & Stargirl, which are all books that are middle grade/bridge the line between middle grade and YA.

do you generally read middle grade, or YA? or a mix of both, or something else? there's plenty of great classics that, whatever their intended audience, have become truly ageless.

submitted by Artemis
(November 12, 2022 - 1:28 pm)

Yeah! Starry Night was cool in person, but it the presentation was a little... Odd. They just had it in a room, kind of in the back, in a weird little frame? And I was like, "Is this not one of the most famous paintings in the world?" But still great, just weird XD

Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan is really well made! The attention to detail amazes me, I feel it's important for something like that where you really want to capture the emotion and tell a story. And of course, Picasso is a great artist, though I also haven't seen much of his work. 

Those illustrators sound really cool! I'll have to look into them. I read the first book of the Spiderwick Chronicles and remember being a little bored with it (I was quite young when I read it, and although I was and am a good reader, I think that it was just a little too hard), but liking the illustrations. 

Right now, I'm sort of starting with YA, if that makes sense? I'm at that spot where good middle grade books are hard to find, because they don't challenge me much and stories can often be a little cliche. I feel like I've read that "orphaned child with some incredible destiny goes on a quest" book/series like 86 times, and I'm so sick of the smart girl or the girl with an attitude, or the comic relief boy with a sad past (well, actually I kinda like that last one, I must admit). But at the same time, some of those books can be really good and impactful, even with those problems. Then, with YA, I can for the most part read and understand the books with the appropriate amount of challenge, but it's hard to find storylines I really care about. I go to the YA section and I see books about murder, books about love, and books about love with some murder thrown in. And don't get me wrong, murder and love are great (both appear in plenty of my stories, such as my ski-lodge) but I don't want that to be the ENTIRE story. I know there's great YA out there, but it's hard to find, being the newbie to it that I am. 

I am trying a few YA things right now. I got a copy of Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, after hearing good things about that series, and I have the first book of the Aurora Cycle, and They Both Die at the End. That last one seems a little too old for me, but I might just read it anyway, because I love the idea. I have yet to read any of those books, but I plan to try one out after I'm done with this KotLC book. 

So that's my YA rant, which is probably longer than necessary--sorry about that, by the way. Do you have any advice for someone beginning to try YA like me?

submitted by Periwinkle, age Pi, Somewhere in the stars
(November 15, 2022 - 7:16 pm)

that does sound like an odd display of Starry Night.

yes! Repin is very storytelling :)

--i was in just about the same place when I started reading YA. like i said, i was looking for more complexly written stories, & middle grade does have its cliches. special orphans, prophecies, magical schools/orphanages/summer camps/etc. (i do like magical schools, but so many of them don't really add anything original to the idea.)

Love and murder. Yeah, that about sums up at least half of the YA section; a majority of YA books have some kind of romance (i like a well-written romance, so i'm not complaining, but it is a thing) and there is a lot of death. I particularly dislike the books about teenage girls who fall in love with beautiful, immortal faerie princes. I like portal fantasy, and I like fairies, however they're spelled (my current novel-in-progress is, in fact, a portal fantasy about fairies), but there are so many books about them. --again, i don't mind even this, so long as the stories add something original, but they are often lacking in that respect. also, i much prefer clean romance, and this species of YA fantasy doesn't generally have that.

that's another thing; especially when i was slightly younger, I wanted books with no swearing & no direct romance, but well and complexly written. i was continually frustrated, because i would find books whose story and writing i liked, but there would be all this swearing & romance that I didn't like, and so I would stop halfway through and begin the fruitless search again. I remember wishing that there was this transition genre between middle grade and YA, where all the books were both clean and at that higher reading level. the genre for precocious thirteen-year-olds. or just thirteen-year-olds, really. there's plenty of good YA for older teenagers, but for younger ones, it can be a bit lacking, particularly at first. it just depends on your preferences.

idk your feelings on all that, but, well, there's mine. (i basically just responded to your YA rant with a YA rant of my own, so i guess we're even XD)

--I did read Cinder, and the sequel Scarlet; it's a cool idea, but I remember not caring for the writing style. I'm very particular about my writing styles, haha. (there's another well-populated YA fantasy genre: retold fairy tales.)

--I've also read They Both Die At the End, & i agree, it's a good idea - tragic, but poetic, in a way.

--and as I said, i'm reading the Illuminae Files - the Aurora Cycle is by the same folks, I believe. when you finish the book, tell me what you think! i'm always looking to expand my ridiculous reading list :)

well now. advice. i'm not sure how much i have to offer, because i'm not sure exactly what you're looking for (and, well, i'm not great at giving advice in general - you're the CB's resident advisor/encourager/pep-talker, not me! XD) but i can give you lots of YA book recommendations!

--I will say, though, that YA is a very varied genre. there's clean YA and explicit YA, and dramatic love-triangled murdery YA and quiet, thoughtful, romance-less YA, and YA that's more for actual literal young adults, and YA that'd be fine for twelve-year-olds. so don't judge a genre by its Iron Fey*

*one of the teenage-girl-in-fairyland novels i extrapolated on above. this one isn't so much drenched in romance as badly written, but still. (--just my opinion, ofc--)

well, this comment is getting long. farewell, for now~

submitted by Artemis
(November 16, 2022 - 3:52 pm)

Yeah, I think that last paragraph in your YA rant especially describes how I feel right now. It's kind of been putting me in a "reading slump," but I know it'll get better as I get older and more familiar with YA. I'm really glad you like it, though, so I'll stop complaining about it. 

Do you have any pets? I've got a little dog, I don't talk about them too much, but they're very sweet and a little lazy. I'm more of a dog person because I'm partially allergic to cats, but I still like them. We've got a lot of plants in my house, too, including my plant, a Chinese Evergreen. They're all very pretty and look nice around the house. We've got paintings around the house too, as my family is a very "pro-art" family, which is why I've been to lots of art museums. 
submitted by Periwinkle, age Pi, Somewhere in the stars
(November 18, 2022 - 6:31 am)

Ah, no pets here, except a betta fish. My family has had a series of betta fish, since they're easier to take care of; also hermit crabs, and once a bearded dragon. We've never had any cats or dogs, though - probably partially because they require a lot more care - but it'd be nice to have one at some point. I somewhat prefer cats, as it's my impression they're easier to take care of. Dogs are also more exuberant (at least the ones of my acquaintance) which I found intimidating, especially when I was younger; I was terrified of dogs when I was six or seven. Cats are much less likely to jump on you.

but it's cool that you have a dog! i think i would've been more comfortable with them if i'd grown up with one, but such is life.

my mother is the plant person in our family -- she has a pretty large garden, mostly herbs/vegetables (she grew our jack-o'-lanterns one year, I think) but with some flowers. does anyone in your family garden?

my mom always tells us all to give her plants for Christmas, so she's accumulated a collection of indoor plants as well. i think she has several orchids, & some succulents/cacti. i do like plants myself, but i would probably kill any that i touched, so i generally leave the gardening to her.

ah yes, my family is very "pro-art" as well; both of my parents are artists, so most of the art in our house is theirs. my dad has painted many abstract-ish acrylic paintings, which populate our walls; my mom is more of a potter nowadays, and she's made some of our mugs. they also have/had artistic friends, so we've some of their art as well. & then there's miscellaneous other paintings/drawings hanging around; there's a Pour Roby print in our dining-room-turned-Magic-room. are your parents artists, or art appreciators?

submitted by Artemis
(November 18, 2022 - 3:51 pm)

I find it perfectly fair to find dogs intimidating--I'm actually don't really like big dogs. Most of the dogs in my life are small and shy and just so fluffy <3 but they're not for everyone, which is fine! 

My dad gardens a little, and my mom used to before all the groundhogs in our yard ate her plants. She still grows some flowers but less often now. My dad has lots of trees, but alas, there's lots of deer, so lots of his apple trees get eaten and his plum tree was killed by a deer who scraped its antlers on it and literally ripped off its bark. We do have a nice little tree in our front yard, I believe it grows nectarines or maybe peaches, so we get some of those very year! 

It's cool that your parents are artists! My mother paints with watercolors as a hobby, and she's quite good! My grandma is also an artist, I think she mostly paints with acrylics, and a lot of landscapes. Our house doesn't really have any of their art hanging though (we have a few of my grandma's paintings, but she sells most of them or hangs them in her house, plus we live very far so it is hard for her to give us her paintings), but lots of other paintings decorate our house. I've got a poster of Mäda Primavesi by Gustav Klimt in my room (not the actual one, of course, that's hanging in the Met), and there's a whole wall of paintings in our dining room.

submitted by Periwinkle, age Pi, Somewhere in the stars
(November 19, 2022 - 3:46 pm)

:) what sort of dog do you have? (idk anything about dog breeds/whatever, but i'm curious~)

aah i love trees & just forests in general; there's something about them that makes me feel oddly peaceful. waldeinsamkeit = German for the feeling of being alone in the woods. we don't really have any trees where we live now, but we had a crabapple tree in our backyard in our old house, and a couple plain old apple trees, as well as some mulberries, i think :) also, deer & groundhogs?? do you live in the country? (if you're comfortable answering that, ofc.)  at our old house we did have a groundhog, but no deer; that was in the city.

cool! i really love the way watercolor looks when done well; it's so pretty. Rackham & Guay both work/ed in watercolor mainly, i think. do you have a favorite artistic medium?

this is somewhat out of the blue, but have you been writing recently? & if so, what?

i myself have been quite absorbed in my current novel-in-progress, & i've also been fiddling around with an idea for a ski lodge. (i've read yours, btw, & although i haven't commented on this -- i do far too much skulking around the CB not commenting on anything -- it is well-written & quite intriguing :)

submitted by Artemis
(November 20, 2022 - 7:17 pm)

Ah finally I am back! I'm so sorry for the wait :(

My dog is a mutt but mostly a dachshund (that long dog with the tiny little legs) and a Jack Russel terrier. 

Sort of, yes! I wouldn't say I live in like, "your house is literally a mile away from anyone else's house, and you live on a farm" kind of country, but our area is further away from cities and all. I'm also very high above sea level, so I guess you might say I live in the mountains? Depends how you look at it.

I love looking at watercolor and acrylic paintings but usually just use colored pencils to make my art, though I've made a few watercolors and they were lots of fun!

Yes, I've been writing a little. I have my ski-lodge (thank you, by the way!) which I really should be working on the next part for, and a few little ideas I come back to now and then. As someone who is writing a ski-lodge, I'll tell you they're lots of fun, but you definitely want at least a loose plan for how the story will go. Do not try to make too much up as you go. A lot of my ski-lodge is the result of whatever I thought would be best at the time, which is working okay but has created some spots where I've been a little annoyed that I can't change something I already wrote about (Eugene's name, for example, which I had originally chosen because of a town on a map of Oregon I saw, but now feel is not good for his character). It's really cool and exciting though, I reccomend it :)

submitted by Periwinkle, age Pi, Somewhere in the stars
(December 1, 2022 - 7:06 pm)