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I officially have six days left of school (three of which are half days) and then I will be sitting at home for three whole months doing absolutely nothing.

At least, that's the opposite of what I want.

This school year has been kind of a drag for me and I just feel like I haven't been putting forth much effort in regards to my schoolwork. My grades are still good, but I don't feel right about it. I don't want this to happen next year, especially since I'll need to start considering going to college and what I'm gonna do with my life moving into my junior year.

So this summer I've decided that, instead of doing nothing, I'm going to try to not only improve my art, but also my state of mind.

This starts with my fixing my laziness and tendency towards procrastination. I've found that putting things off to the last minute makes them at least twenty times more unenjoyable than if I had just done it outright. I'm going to work towards being more proactive so I can get work done in a timely manner.

Taking this step will require more energy which brings me to fixing point number two. My sleeping schedule. If you can call it a schedule.

I find that I sleep the day away and stay up all night because it's so messed up. And humans are not nocturnal so this obviously isn't good for my body and probably contributes to my lack of energy and motivation. Over the summer, instead of ruining my schedule more than it already is, I'm going to get on a fairly normal track. Saying goodbye to going to bed at 6 AM and welcoming, at a MAXIMUM, 11 PM bedtime. I want to start getting up earlier as well because, don't get me wrong, I love my family, but they're loud. And we're a family of night owls (save for my mom, and she's generally pretty quiet as well) which means they're never up before noon. Getting up early ensures I get my alone time--because I'm a serious loner and I do my best thinking and creating when there's no distractions aside from my music.

So that's all well and good, but in addition to make these lifestyle changes, I do want to start being more physically active.

In sixth and seventh grade (back when waking up at six for school didn't disgust me), I would wake up early and do stretches and yoga. I would feel great and ready to take on the day after this. Sometimes, I would even try meditating after school or when I was feeling stressed. Moving into eighth grade, however, I gradually stopped doing these things. And that's where my motivation started slipping away.

So this summer, when I wake up early, I want to do my stretches and yoga then make myself French toast and tea (which is actually already a part of my "morning" routine).

But I did say MORE physically active. And that means... exercise...

Now it is scientifically proven that exercising makes you happier (right?), not just with your body, but with yourself in general, and increases your energy. Now I'm not looking to lose a bunch of weight--because I've been average for years and thankfully am not self conscious about my body like most teenage girls--but I do want to improve my health by implementing  exercise into my everyday routine. A healthy diet also goes hand in hand with exercise so that is also a goal of mine (although I do think I eat pretty healthy already thanks to my mom; she is also interested in improving her body).

Ultimately I really just want to make simple lifestyle changes that will increase my energy and motivation, so that next year I can go in with a clear head while deciding my future.

With that spiel out of the way, my art goals will seem pretty minuscule. Basically I'm planning on doing something everyday. Whether that's a sketch, a speed paint, a study, or an 8 hour project, I really want to improve this summer and improvement starts with practice.
Also... drum roll... I'm planning on starting commissions by the end of the summer :D
Some friends of mine have asked for things on the down low and have been generous enough to pay me for my efforts and this has given me the opportunity to spread my art around and get a feel for how much someone would be willing to pay for it. My brother, even though he's younger than me, is better with people and has been acting as my mini PR; advertising to his many discord friends. Of course he'll be expecting a cut (which is only fair), but I also think it's cool that he's helping me.
And that's really it as far as art goes.

My writing goals will remain the same, and that's to write something every day whether a sentence, a paragraph, or short story.

And I've officially rambled for way too long lol

I just wanted to post this to kind of get my goals out somewhere so I can keep my head organized and hold myself to them. Also, maybe it will inspire someone to also make a leap to improve themselves this summer :D

And now I'm gonna continue watching The Day After Tomorrow through my fingers.

    Erys felt the groaning and grumbling of the ship as it pitched in protest, mirroring the thundering and crashing of the waves and lightning overhead. The wheel was splintering steadily as he watched the captain fight to hold back the hungry jaws of the sea. He could hear the screams of the men below, some sounding stark raving mad like the doomsayers at port, some crouching low with their crosses pressed so tightly to their lips they’d lost all color, and some leaping from the ship--preferring to take their chances with a far fickler mistress. The lookout’s mast snapped in unison with the heavenly streaks of fire, and Grayson--spyglass still in hand--was flung and skipped across the waves like a skipping stone. The sail was ripped away, its rope having tangled another three unfortunate souls; they were whipped about by the biting winds and slashed by the rain sharp as knives until the ropes had frayed and they plummeted back to earth. Erys could only hope they’d died before reaching the water.

“Laine!” the captain called, his voice somehow louder than all the roaring in his ears. “You have to take the wheel!” Erys had gone to protest, but he saw the captain’s hands. They were torn and bloody, chips of wood stuck in them--rending what little flesh was still clinging to the surface. The veins were bulging that they’d never set right again, and Erys was sure his poor captain wouldn’t be able to ever move the malformed lumps of muscle again, if he didn’t need to have them amputated.

“Yes, captain,” Erys replied, surprised that his voice came out as more than a whisper. The captain and he switched places gingerly, fully aware that if the tension was lost on the wheel, it’d spin off its base and the ship would fall into oblivion. The captain removed his hat (his hands still clenched as they were moments ago) and placed it on Erys’ head.

With a sigh and single tear, the captain spoke his last words, “I’m sorry.” And he leapt from the starboard quarter. Erys resisted the urge to chase after the man’s falling body. Instead, he strained against the weight of the entire ocean and tried to tune out the cries below.

  • Listening to: Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea - MISSIO
The night was always calling. Seeping through the walls, tossing and twirling the curtains between her silken fingertips. She brought a chill with her that, though raising the hairs on my arms and neck, stoked a fire within my bones. And, if I listened close enough, she whispered in my ears--spouting fantastical tales of new worlds and creatures living beyond the horizon. She spoke of beauty and magic locked away in places no man or woman or child had ever had the good fortune of finding. For hours she'd stay there, just outside my window, hovering above my bed, or sometimes beneath my sheets, but as the sun began to rise she'd always go. Though just this once I had asked her if there were a way I could reach those realms of whimsy.

To which she replied, I need only a pen and the will to discover them.

Twisting and winding
Like water, like earth

Silver, this seeping fire
Like moon and like hearth

Drowning in air,
That their bones shall not break,

Yet slashing and screaming
The deadliest ache

For intertwined like boughs
Limp now are their limbs

When stars have risen
And all else is dim

Save for desperate breaths
And flesh burning

Nothing spoken
But a silent yearning

And the pulsing of light
Streaking weeping skies

Did echo in unison
All of the night cries

And when tired, they ceased
Descending from light to dark

Yet still, night mirrored instruments  

A symphony, hark

The owls and crickets
Sing in numbers not to be named

All privy to love and wonders
And hearts that she hath tamed

They are consumed then too
Whispering with heavy eyes

When the world ends on twilight
And waits for sunrise