Mearcstapas, the Media, and the Hope Thesis Podcast Trailor

I have some exciting news.

I’m releasing something.

No, I haven’t finished a book. But it does have to do with art, writing, and finding purpose in creativity, which is something I believe is an important topic to think and talk about as creatives.

It’s the (drumroll please) hOPE THESIS PODCAST.

And I’m releasing the first two interview episodes of the podcast as well as the website on April 1! But you know what is already released?

Episode 1: Trailer and Introduction. It’s up on iTunes Podcasts and Spotify!!! Check it out!!

But wait, you say. You’re hitting the return key way too much to the point where this post is starting to look like a terrible freeverse poem. Also, what the heck is the Hope Thesis Podcast about?

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Answering My Blog’s Search Term Results Pt. 3

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN. Another yearly wind-up post in which I make fun of all the search term results that lead somehow to my blog! Who knows! Web search engines are strange and so is WordPress! Here we go!


crochet 2 colour striped footie scarf image

I’m truly sorry to break it to you, but scarves are not for the feet. If an image of this does exist, it does not exist on this blog. Good luck to you trying to find that. A Footie Scarf would be a rather inventive thing indeed. If you want to crochet a scarf with two striped colors, however, well, that’s close enough. You can learn how to do that here. If you want to put it on your feet, well, I’ll leave that totally up to you.


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My Goal as a Creator: Hope Thesis + Logo Reveal

The last three months have been challenging and stressful and eventually made me want to forget everything and instead create water powered elevators in a virtual Minecraft world where physics is practically nonexistent and where the imagination is fueled with pretty blocks that do cool things.

Well, I did make the elevators. But the last few weeks of the semester, I created something that I was far more proud of, something that would carry through in my endeavors to become a graphic designer and digital creator, that carried a significance that I want to maintain in my future creations and eventually share with the world: Hope Thesis.

(not to bash Minecraft, of course. I am rather happy with those elevators.)

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The Imitation Game, Alan Turing’s Legacy, and other Odds and Ends

“You just defeated Nazis with a crossword puzzle!”

I finally saw The Imitation Game. It is a masterful film and dramatization of the famous mathematician Alan Turing’s help in defeating the Nazis while paving the way for the machines we know today as computers. I loved this movie. It was inspiring, moving, and at times quite hilarious, while sad and hopeful at the same time. I personally found it a very emotional and deep experience. This post is not an attempt to analyze the movie and separate fact from fiction, and while I understand that dramatizations of such historical events are never 100% factually sound, this film inspired me to do a bit of research on Turing and consider his scientific breakthroughs and the last years of his life.

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Top 10 Relaxing Soundtracks

We’re all familiar with soundtracks, whether for films, TV series, or video games. There are classics, such as John Williams’s Star Wars theme, Hans Zimmer’s Pirates of the Caribbean score, and Jeremy Soule’s Dragonborn from Skyrim: Elder Scrolls. These are all epic and upbeat and perfect for getting things done to and just listening to with no context. Lately, however, I’ve been rather enjoying quieter, calmer soundtracks; it’s good to have some peaceful music in your playlists for when you don’t want to tense up to high-strung battle scores or chase scene soundtracks or “Invincible” by Two Steps from Hell. And no one can complain about your stressful tastes in music when you play these tracks. Another upside? You get to still listen to music from your favorite fandoms. Let’s get to it.

1. “Watashi No Uso,” from Your Lie in April

There are so many good tracks from this beautiful, emotional anime. A lot of them are classical piano pieces, as the storyline highlights the main character’s life as a pianist, “Winter Wind” being a favorite of mine (it starts peaceful, but don’t let that fool you). The entire anime is centered on music itself, which is one of the main reasons why I love it so much. I prefer the piano OST version of “Watashi No Uso,” which the link sends you over to on Spotify. The orchestral bits in the original piece add dynamic range, but the piano version is quieter and more calming.

2. “From Past to Present” from Skyrim: Elder Scrolls

This game has so many amazing tracks. “From Past to Present” is just one of the calming ones. Others are “The Bannered Mare,” “Far Horizons,” “The Streets of Whiterun” and “Ancient Stones” (my favorite as it features the hammered dulcimer). “Sovngarde” is also amazing, so do give it a listen if you haven’t yet. And keep an eye on your epicmeter as it may break.

3. “Medieval Waters” from In Bruges

I have never seen this movie, but I heard “Medieval Waters” on Spotify several years ago and it’s still one of my favorites and the first song on my writing playlist. It’s fairly short, featuring a cello (or a similar stringed instrument), a flute, and a piano. The melody is heard throughout the album for the movie soundtrack, and it’s probably the most relaxing movie soundtrack album I’ve heard. Apparently the movie takes place in a medieval town setting, which is all I need to want to see it, and this song captures the essence of that. It’s pretty and short and sweet.

4. “Subwoofer Lullaby” from Minecraft

I started playing Minecraft a month ago and it is the most therapeutic game I’ve ever played. The music is a big part of it. Now I’ll listen to the Minecraft soundtrack just because it’s simple and easy and calming. “Subwoofer Lullaby” is a favorite, and so is “Sweden” and “Minecraft,” all done by the artist C418, who is actually Daniel Rosenfeld, a German mucisian, producer, and sound engineer who composed the soundtrack for Minecraft.

5. “Dawn” from Pride & Prejudice

This whole album soundtrack is just really pleasant to listen to. “Dawn” is a popular track as most people, upon hearing it, immediately associate it with the movie––or mistakenly assume it’s a classical piece, as it sounds just like one. I’m not a huge fan of the Pride and Prejudice movies, but I do appreciate the writing and humor in the book. It’s a classic and it is a truth universally acknowledged, that any man in possession of a good amount of books, must also possess Pride and Prejudice.

6. “Nemo Egg (Main Title)” from Nemo

This song is short and sweet and one that can be easily sightread if you enjoy playing tracks on the piano. This piece is also a great sample of Thomas Newman’s style of film compositions. Newman tends to be heavy on the strings and piano and most of his scores are relaxing and less dominant than, say, other popular film score composers such as Hans Zimmer, John Williams, John Powell or Steve Jablonsky, to name a few.

7. “Nascence” from Journey

This beautiful song comes from the beautiful game, Journey. I’ve never played it before, but I’ve seen gameplay and trailers as it was used as an example of well-done design and game mechanics in class last semester. I haven’t listened to the entire album for the game soundtrack, but I would assume all of them have the same essence as “Nascence.”

8. “The Vagabond” from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I’ve never played The Witcher video games and I certainly don’t intend to, but oh man, these game soundtracks have some of the most beautiful medieval/fantasy-esque music and they do take up the majority of my writing playlist. Other tracks I highly recommend from this game are “A Nearly Peaceful Place,” “A Story you Won’t Believe,” “Geralt of Rivia,” “The Slopes of the Blessure,” “Peaceful Moments,” and “Tavern at the End of the World.” The composers vary, but the style and genre of the Witcher game soundtracks are all the same.

9. “Harry in Winter” from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

All of the Harry Potter movies have amazing soundtracks. Personally, I’m not a fan of Alexandre Desplat’s contribution with the two Deathly Hallows movies, but Nicholas Hooper, John Williams, and Patrick Doyle have made the Harry Potter movies as memorable as they are now because of their score compositions. Patrick Doyle’s score for The Goblet of Fire is amazing, and other great tracks from this movie include waltzes (“Potter Waltz,” and “Neville’s Waltz,”), “Hogwarts Hymn,” “Hogwarts March,” and “The Quidditch World Cup,” thus contributing to the worldbuilding with themes and leitmotifs.

10. “The Vikings Have Their Tea” from How to Train Your Dragon

Honestly saving the best for last here. How to Train Your Dragon is one of my all-time favorite movies, and the soundtrack is one of the reasons why that is the case. I can’t remember exact moments in the movie when this track plays, and it’s at the very end of the album which makes me think it was a composition that didn’t necessarily get put in the movie unless the melody had been used in the movie itself. This very sweet, calming track features the violin, flute, and bagpipes. Some favorites from the soundtrack album are, but not limited to, “This is Berk,” “Test Drive,” “New Tail,” and “Coming Back Around.”

What are some favorite relaxing movie/video game soundtracks of yours? Let me know in the comments below! If you can’t already tell, I do love a good music discussion.

Despite 2020: Space and NASA

I’m not much one for politics, sports, celebrities, news––my mind tends to retreat upon such topics. I’d rather occupy myself with a fictional world than brush up on what’s going on in the real world at the moment. I’d rather be writing a sci-fi novel or watching anime than finally looking up the names of the presidential candidates for the 2020 election or watching people put their lives at risk over a ball and call it sport where the commercials have more screen time than the game itself. I realize there are pros and cons to this, but the fact is, unless it’s history, I’m not a fan of reality.

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Our Fan-Made Music Video of “Trees” by Twenty Øne Piløts

Recently, my brother and I finally finished our music video of “Trees” by TØP, after a year in the making. It’s very similar to our music video of “Stressed Out,” as we dubbed in cinematography and lip syncing to the original track. Trees, if you’ve ever listened to it before, has a completely different feel in the message, theme, and energy from Stressed Out. I wrote a post years back on my interpretation of the lyrics from Trees and I wanted to incorporate that into our music video––however, we ended up with a story that involved Blurryface and fear and a setting that doesn’t fall too short of a mind palace.

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Answering My Blog’s Search Term Results Pt. 2

A year ago I compiled all the ridiculous search terms that led to my blog. WordPress is a lil rascal and won’t show me all the search terms unless I pay, but I’ve been able to pick out some pretty weird ones from what WordPress does show me from the past year. I decided to do another one of these posts because 1) it’s been half a year since I’ve posted anything and 4 months since I’ve written due to academia, so this is my way of easing back into the swing of blogging/writing, 2) I’m feeling rather sarcastic and random at the moment, so if you were expecting some sincere answers to search terms, keep reading because you’re not getting any. Onward!Read More »

Suzanne Collins will Give 2020 a Hunger Games Prequel

Whaaaaa? Wait, hold the phone.

We’re going back to Panem?

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My reaction

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Fantasy Worldbuilding Part 3: Links, Posts, and Resources

I realize that there are many worldbuilding concepts and approaches, as it is a complex art in and of itself. In Part 1, I talked about why worldbuilding is important and how it contributes to the story as a whole, and in Part 2 I brought up aspects of worldbuilding that I personally feel are important to include when developing one’s story world. But if I were to touch on all the possible ways to incorporate worldbuilding into a story, and all the elements you could possibly consider, my post series could be neverending. I am also no expert when it comes to writing, as writing is an art that is constantly being perfected; there’s no such thing as a perfect story. All that to say, I’m most certainly not a worldbuilding master, but there are plenty of other writers who have great tips and inspiration that I highly recommend. Part 3, the last post in the series, features only a few great posts with worldbuilding tips that focus on certain aspects. Also, this has been a great excuse to include links to some of my favorite authors and bloggers.

Fantasy Worldbuilding Part 3 - Links Posts and Resources - Tea with Tumnus

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