I am sitting here, watching Lego Batman, wondering how to do this whole ‘guest blogger’ thing. When Karin asked me to contribute I was equally excited and nervous so I figured I’d give it a go.
A little about myself first… here on the internets I am known as zielahime, [zeela-heemay] which is a play on my real name and my love of anime and I call the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies my home.
I’m 35 and am the youngest of three daughters. I love reading, writing fiction and poetry, watching movies and TV, photography, doll collecting and making doll crafts. I also love knitting and sewing even though I am still way in the beginner’s skill set. That doesn’t stop me collecting yarn and cloth like they are both going out of style.
I discovered my love for reading and photography from my late mom. She was the family’s ‘picture-taker-outer’ and she instilled in me the need for keeping memories through photos. I used to carry my little camera everywhere, taking pictures of everything. I fell out of it for a while when my camera got stolen but I’ve been getting back into the groove lately. Instagram has really helped me rediscover my passion for it.
My love affair with writing started way back in Primary school (I’m not sure what grade but it was elementary school so maybe 10/11 years old.) I loved writing ‘compositions’ for English class. I also used to love sneaking my mom’s mills & boons and reading them.
I got in trouble one time because I wrote a story about a girl named January (I got marks taken off because my teacher was adamant that no one could be named January. This was before custom baby names) who had to meet her boyfriend in the big city. I can’t remember much of it just that involved a revolving door somehow. anyway, my mom got called in and in the end, I was told that I had to rewrite a more age-appropriate story.
It was my first brush with censorship but at the time I didn’t really understand what the problem or the big deal was. After that, I kept my romance stories to myself and submitted the kid-friendly ones in school.
My first cartoon obsession was with Jem Goldstone. I watched the show. I had the Doll (both Jem and Rio mind you) I had the tapes. I knew ALL the words. Still do. My grandma even tried to sit me down in a one on one intervention to talk about my waking up at six am to watch the show every morning during vacation. It didn’t really work because I was ALL about the ‘glamour and glitter… fashion and fame!’
After that, I fell into anime and I’ve been lost in that endless ocean ever since. SciFi channel’s Animation Station and their showing of full length anime movies made me want to pack my bags and move to Japan (One day though… one day) Sailor Moon, Dragon ball Z, Gundam Wing AC, Tekkaman Blade, Samurai X… (me and my sister would dance in front of the TV to the credit songs, holding up our little tape player to the speakers trying to record the song. My dad in the next room complaining that we have the volume up too loud. Good times.)
Gundam Wing brought me into Fan fiction writing, I’d just been reading and discovering until then. I’ve been in love ever since. Finding communities like FFN.net (back then), GW Addiction, Tresses 6×2 made me realize that I could share my own writing, even my original work and my poetry for others to see and read and enjoy. It was life-changing.
My childhood was filled with visits to the Second Hand Book Shop, church harvests, garage sales, bargain tables. Anywhere I could get a book at a cheap price. Little penguin novels of the Count of Monte Christo and Tales of Mystery and Terror; Mills & Boons, Stephen King, Stephen Lawhead’s Merlin which changed my life and the way I wrote.
The Glass Slipper, to this day I don’t know where that book came from or how it ended up in our house but I love it dearly. As a grown up I discovered the satisfaction of buying books at retail price just because I wanted them and could afford them now. The Lord of the Rings, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which I bought in an actual Barnes and Noble on a visit to America, I almost took a selfie with it I was so happy) , The Artemis Fowl Series, Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts Trilogy, Dune (both book and Movie) Perfume : the Story of a Murderer and all the other books I’ve read and read over and feel like old friends. (see links at end)
I have a love-hate relationship with craft and design in general. I love to do it, I really LOVE to do it but after a while, my patience ends and I’m like ‘forget this noise.’ it leads to more unfinished projects than I like to admit. When inspiration hits though… it hits hard.
I do doll crafts… like this Elsa
And I do artwork for my fiction…
I even did a dollhouse once from recyclable materials… but then I gave it to my nieces and it did not last very long after that.
I usually use recyclable materials when It comes to crafting. My house is full of bottle caps, weird looking plastic containers, wires, beads and little odds and ends. I would ask people not go through so and so in the trash and they would give me these weird looks. It got to a point where people would save things to show me before throwing them away. (my sisters got a kick out of that one but then again they saved things for me too. Someone even called me the bottle lady but I just laughed.)
The thing about ‘trash crafting’ is that it usually doesn’t look like the awesome videos on YouTube but that’s ok. All that matters is how you use the stuff you have. It’s also a work in progress. I can’t tell you how much times I’ve struggled with patience and have either abandoned the piece or finished it hastily. I’ve been getting better on the matter but it’s still difficult. It’s all about having a plan and sticking to it, a large dose of patience and a bit of imagination.
And great friends to cheer you on…. and the right adhesive.
I am currently on a sewing jag, trying to get my mother’s old sewing machine working so that I can spare my fingers. I’m sticking to jackets, tops, and skirts at the moment but want to move to more complex garments soon.
and setting up mini photo shoots.
Hope you enjoyed my little ramble.
Artemis Fowl Series,
Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle,
Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts Trilogy,
The Ultimate Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Frank Herbert’s Dune Book and Movie,
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer