Browse the Garden

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tips for Writer's or Story Block

Just some tips when you're stuck in writing:
(taken from many books, blogs and quotes about writing)

Take a picture: sometimes a change of scene is all you need
Make a playlist: one for a character or story
Write in a different point of view: what's really going on in his/her head?
Take a break: go for a walk, run a quick errand
Reread your writing: sometimes rereading helps me get back on track
Ask questions, and then answer them
Just scribble- until the story flows again
Research- anything that has to do with your story or character
Read a book- always a great source of inspiration
Avoid it for a while- if you can, come back to it later

(Because I'm stuck right now, and I'm doing each of these until something happens)

Friday, June 28, 2013

If you want cuteXcute on your desktop :)

This is the perfect video to watch on a bad day or even when you're bored out of your mind!
Enjoy the cute kitties!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Nine Tailed Wish: Chapter 3: The First Step

When I reached the end of the field, I could see the houses perched on a hill in front of me. This was it, I was entering the human realm. I took a deep breath and sprinted the rest of the way. I changed to a slow walk as I saw a couple walking a dog round the corner. They waved at me, and I waved back, still not used to human communication. I remembered thinking it was a little silly when I was young that humans waved their paws in the air as a greeting, To a fox or a bear, that was a threatening thing. As the couple with the dog passed, I thought about how I could act human. I had watched them all my life, but I didn't know if I could ever fit in and become one of them. 
I was so focused on this, that I actually bumped into someone, and turned to see a guy chasing after a girl. I had seen enough of this to know it was a break up scene, or even a make up scene, but I didn't really want to stick around to find out which one would happen. I expected him to keep going, but he looked at me strangely, before running after the girl again. 
I looked down, and noticed that I had no shoes. This was normal for a Gumiho, but not a human. I walked through the neighborhood and found a corner store. But I had no money! Defeated, I found a place to sit by a local park, and wondered what to do next.
"Excuse me." I heard a young voice say. 
A little girl walked up to me and sat down beside me. I waited for her to say something, but she simply sat there and twiddled her thumbs. I watched, mimicking the movement until I saw her stop and stand up quickly. 
For a moment, I couldn't breathe. I knew I would see him again, but I didn't realize that the human I had watched, who was so kind to others and seemed to be very cheerful and happy, lived so close to the Divine Forest. 
"Did you wait long?" he asked the little girl as he held a bag in front of her.  
"Thanks big brother!" She shouted with a grin, and sat down beside me again, opening the bag.
"Who's this?" the human asked, staring at me.
"I don't know." The little girl replied, pulling out a bubble wand.
The human held out his hand and smiled, "I'm Dong-Sun Park." He sat down beside me.
"This is my little sister Hana."
I nodded and shook his hand. 
"What's your name?" he asked
"Sakura." I replied. "Sakura Gu."
"Gu?" he asked, "That's an interesting last name."
"So is Park." I replied, and he laughed. 
"Well it's nice to meet you Sakura." Dong-Sun said. "Although your name isn't Korean."
"It's Japanese." I told him, "My father named me after my mother's favorite flower."
It wasn't far from the truth, but I had to leave out that my father was a Divine Being. 
"Are you lost?" Dong-Sun asked.
I looked at him, wondering what I should say. If a human was lost, they were usually upset. Every human I had seen who was lost was usually crying or shouting for the person they were with.
"No. I'm not lost." I answered.
"Is your family nearby?" he asked.
"No. Why?'
"I'm just curious." Dong-Sun said, watching his sister blow bubbles. He offered me a bubble wand, and taught me to hold it up to the wind, creating strange see through orbs that disappeared after a while. 
"My family is actually far away." I said finally. "I don't know if I will see them again."
"I'm sorry." Dong-Sun said. "My family's not that far away, but they are rarely home. It's up to me to entertain my sister this summer."
I smiled at Hana, and she twirled in a bubble wall. 
"Would you like to hang out with us?' Dong-Sun asked. "We don't have much, but I'm sure Hana would like a girl around. Her brother's kind of boring."
I looked at him. He really was a nice human. Something about his offer seemed uncommon and very familiar at the same time. 
"Sure." I replied, not understanding what "hanging out" meant. 
"My friend is throwing a barbeque tonight." Dong-Sun said, "You should join us."
He stood up and held out his hand, waiting for me to take it. Hana giggled and tugged her brother's arm.
This seemed very strange, and he didn't even know me. Usually humans took a while to warm up to other humans. 
"Why are you asking me to join you?" I asked.
He seemed shocked by the question, so I wondered if I had said anything wrong. Then he smiled and shook his head. 
"I can't leave a girl out here all by herself." he said. "Especially when her family is far away."
I stared at his hand, then took it, following Hana, who found the sidewalk. 
Dong-Sun walked next to me, keeping an eye on his little sister. 
As we walked, I began to wonder what he would think if he knew I wasn't human. Would he be able to accept me? Would Hana?
A wind whipped around the trees and I took a deep breath. This was my first step into the human world. I didn't want to take it for granted.

Gu Family Book - Destiny

"Let's meet again."
"When I meet you again, at that time, I will recognize you first. When I meet you again, at that time, I will love you first."
"And our time that had stopped, started to flow again."
-KangChi - Gu Family Book

This Korean Drama has been a fun ride, and it's my favorite drama of the year. 
Top picture made by me.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Nine Tailed Wish Chapter 2: The Dandelion

My mother knew I was gone before the sun came up. I could hear her howl and feel the fresh rain of her tears as I left the divine forest. I had to tell her, especially after she saw me talking to what she believed was a human. My reasons fell on deaf ears. Mother has always hated humans. She told me my father trusted a human once and was betrayed. Once the human saw what he was, their friendship ended, and the hunt for my father began. But I was convinced that not all humans were bad. I spent most of my days watching them from trees, bushes and of course standing in crowds. They couldn't see me, but I always wanted them to. 
It started when I saw a boy, long ago, when I was little and unafraid. I watched him leave the village, even after his mother told him not to leave. She didn't notice him slip away, but I did. He was headed straight for the forest. 
I tried to think about how I could save him. The divine forest was full of monsters and creatures that ate humans. I didn't want to see such a cute and innocent child die. He couldn't see me, so as I followed him, I thought of ways I could lead him back home. I couldn't talk to him, but I found that I could draw things in the sand, on the trees, and I could even throw flowers on the ground. He seemed amused by them, so I started making a flower path and marking the ground. He giggled and followed the flowers that seemed to jump from the stem and land before his feet. He tried catching them, but soon he was back to the village gate and safely home. He tried to explain what had happened to his mother.
My mother was furious.
"We don't reveal ourselves, and we don't help humans!" she shouted when I returned home. 
"He couldn't see me." I said, "And I kept him from going deeper into the forest didn't I?"
My mother couldn't say anything to that, shook her head and told me to go hunting for dinner. She warned me not to help humans over and over again. Each time, she became more hysterical, but this time, hearing this wish, and the process I would go through, she was sad.
"Sakura, you've risked everything! If you become human, I will never be able to talk to you again. You will lose your ability to see me and hear me. Is that what you want?"
"I do love you mother. But I don't feel like I belong to the divine world. I want to try becoming human, and I want to be able to actually live alongside them."
"You can't have both worlds." My mother said, "Stay here with me. If your father were here, he would tell you that you are choosing humans over our own divine race."
"My father isn't here, mother." I said with a sigh, "We don't even know where he is, or if he'll ever come back."
"If you leave here, you won't be able to return."
"I know, but this is what I want. And I can still talk to you. Promise you'll visit me? At least once?"
She never answered me, and left our cave.
I decided that I would have to leave, and a tear slid down my cheeck, causing a light drizzle of rain. By the time I left the forest, it was a downpour. I heard my mother's howl and bowed to the forest hoping she could see me. 
On the way toward the city, I saw a dandelion. Many human children wished on them and scattered the seeds to make their wish come true. I decided to try it, at least once.
"I wish I will see my mother again." I whispered, then blew the seeds into the wind. 
I walked slowly toward the city, and realized that my outfit might freak people out. I found a clothesline, and a light pink dress with white lace sleeves. With the thought of paying the human back later, I changed quickly and found a tree where I hid my gumiho hanbok. I promised myself that I would come back, hopefully with the human who would accept me as I am, and always remember that before I was human,  I was a gumiho. Not thinking of how my hopes could be too high. I bowed to the tree, asking it to keep my divine clothes well hidden, and made my way down the long grassy hill toward the city. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Monsters University- A Movie Review

I think that everyone in their twenties needs to see this movie. Especially those who have graduated college, or are about to graduate college. It has the most powerful message and even deals with the quarter life crisis in a way. I don't want to spoil this movie for anyone, but I will say that the story is deep and the lesson is something we should all learn once we reach the twenties. 
My favorite quote is from Dean Abagail who says, "Keep surprising people." Once you see the movie, you will understand why this quote is so important, and why it is even more important to believe in yourself, no matter what. 
Seriously. Go see this movie!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Nine Tailed Wish: Chapter 1: The Wishing Tree

I stood before the wishing tree, with the white and pink papers dancing with the wind. One wish, and one ring of the bell. With a little magic, it might work. I decided that I would. This year, it would be something different. Something I haven't tried before. Maybe asking for help wasn't a bad thing after all, even if it did require a little faith.
"Sakura!" My mother called, as I stared at all these wishes, hopes and dreams, complementing the dark green and brown tree that hovered above me. If I didn't make my wish quick, I was in trouble. 
The wish started as a simple thought, but as time wore on, and my worry that my mother would find me grew, the wish became a story. It grew from one sentence to two, and three and four. I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of things I wanted to happen in my life. As I stood there, my eyes shut tight, and my shoulders tensed, someone cleared their throat right in front of me.
Startled, I opened my eyes to see an old man, with a long wispy beard and jade green eyes staring at me. I looked around, no one else was in sight.
"What do you really want child?" the man asked.
I noticed that he wasn't dressed in modern clothing, but thought little of it. It was a festival after all. What worried me was the fact I couldn't hear my mother anymore, nor could I hear anyone else walking past this wishing tree, which was usually very popular. 
"I asked you what you really wanted!" the man said sternly. He was watching me like I was up to no good, and I stared at the floor.
"Come on. I haven't got all day!"
He looked less angry than irriatated, and I waited for him to say something else.
"I wish to be human." I replied, the simple thought that had started the entire list in my head.
"Is that all?" He waved his hand like it was nothing. "But why do you want to be human?"
"You can see me?" I asked, suddeenly shocked that a human was talking to me.
"Why wouldn't I be able to see you?" He asked gruffly. "How else would I be talikng to you?"
"No humans can see me." I said, waiting for his reaction. He merely liftet a brow and shook his head.
"You still haven't answered my question." He said. "Why do you want to be human?"
I sighed. I supposed I would have to answer sooner or later.
"It's lonely." I said, "Be able to see the world grow and change around you, but you aren't a part of it. They don't see you. They don't talk to you. Sometimes they say something, or appear to be looking at you, but they aren't."
"I suppose that it lonely." The old man replied, "But you still haven't answered my question."
I was irritated. I had answered his question in full, yet he still wanted me to go on. Embarassed by my long list of wishes, I blushed and crossed my arms.
"Who are you, old man?"
He smiled and shook his head.
"Why won't you tell me?" I asked, stomping my foot. "You can't be human, or else you wouldn't be talking to me."
"I can't?" he asked with surprise. 
I sighed again, and took a step away.
"Wait!" he said, "If I tell you who or what I am, you must promise to answer my question completely."
"Why?" I asked, my eyes turning blue. 
"Because, I must hear every wish, every dream and every true desire of whoever walks past this tree."
I waited for more of an explanation, but he never gave one. He just smiled and said, "Your request is very rare. Not many divine creatures come to this tree wishing to become a human. The usual wishes I get are for love, health and happiness. Why is yours so different?"
"My real wish is to live life like the people I see everyday. To have friends, to go on adventures and of course to make a difference."
"Are these really all you wish for?" The old man asked with a wink. "Most young women ask for love. To find their soul mate."
I rolled my eyes. 
"Fine, I saw this human. It was a long time ago, so I don't even know where he is now, but he was a very nice person. He had a way with people, talking to them, making them laugh. It was something I have never seen before."
"And you want to be human, so he can see you?"
I nodded, blushing again. 
"Why didn't you tell me in the first place?" he said with a laugh.
"I didn't lie to you, and my mother will be here any minute looking for me."
"No she won't. I have frozen this place in time."
"You can do that?" I asked.
"I am the guardian of this tree, and the granter of wishes. But be warned that what you wish for is not always what you need or what you believe to want once it is granted."
"What do you mean?"
"It will be tough. You will learn the ugliness in the world, and you will be hurt, heart broken and even sick at times."
"I have seen this." I told him, "I watch humans."
"But you do not know what they know or feel what they feel. Humans feel pain, and they eventually die."
"I know that." I said, "But an eternity of loneliness is worse than a brief slice of life."
He looked at me strangely, as if he was proud and surprised. 
"You have thought this through." He said, "So before I grant your wish, I will give you a hint. One must know who they are before they decide what they want. You must be accepted as you are, before I can make you human."
"You meant that some poor human has to accept this?"
I revealed my tails, all nine of them, and my eyes turned to an icy blue. 
"There is one thing I have learned from the wishes I hear." The old man said, "Humans can surprise you. If you have faith that a human will accept you as you are, I will tell you what you must do to grant your wish."
I gulped. It was a big decision, but living year after year watching people grow and change, and having no part of it had taken its toll. Sure I could talk to goblins, wind spirits and other nine tailed foxes, but I had never felt like I belonged with any of them. 
"I want to be human." I said. 
"Then your task is simple, yet difficult." He replied. "You must find a human who will accept you as you are. I will give you nine months of visibility, one for each tail. When the nine months are up, you will either turn human, or you will return to the divine world."
"What about my family?" I asked.
"For nine months, you will walk among both the human and the divine world. By the end of those months you will either make a decision, or the world will choose for you. If you succeed, you will become human."
"And if I fail?"
"You will learn a very valuable lesson."
  He stood there, waiting for me to answer. I thought about what it would be like. To live as if I were human and be able to communicate with them. To have a chance to find that young man, who changed my opinion about humans forever. It was a chance that I was willing to take. To live, if only for a little while would be perfect. I nodded.
"" I accept the challenge."
"Then starting tomorrow, you will be visible to humans. Good luck."
With that. The old man disappeared, and my mother rushed around the corner.
"Sakura! What happened?"
I stared at the tree, and saw that a new wish was tied on a branch facing me. My journey would begin tommorow.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

True Beauty

True Beauty lies in nature's wonders:
           Moments as they fly by.
                  Your favorite song.
                           A good book.
                                     A well written story.
                                                 A great vacation.
                                      A powerful work of art.
                                 A wonderful memory.
                                          The sound of rain.
                                                   A gorgeous sunset.
                                            Things that make you smile.
                                                     Anything that inspires you.
                                                                     Ideas that motivate you.
                                                           Watching birds fly in the sky.
                                                                     Fish swim in the water.
                                                               Stars that shine from a cloudy sky.
                                                                                People that surprise you.
                                                                          Moments of wisdom and knowledge.
                                                                             Who you are.
                                                                      What you believe.
                                                           How you view the world.
                                       True Beauty lies in how you view the world.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The difference between being mean and standing up for yourself

"It is better to not have any resentment or take revenge. 
Such feelings are against the law of nature.
Believe in Karma.
People get what they deserve as they go through life."
- Gu Family Book

I almost never learned this lesson. That standing up for yourself and being mean to others were not the same thing. But when you are not insulting someone, or hurting someone, or purposefully meaning to be a jerk to someone, you are most likely standing up for yourself. Enough is enough, and no matter how much nonsense you've been taking, there is a point where someone crosses the line. 
This is where you have to be careful. If you're angry, you can say vicious things and easily cause harm to the person you are angry with, but if you are direct, honest and to the point, you are standing up for yourself and there's nothing wrong with this. But once you communicate this to someone, you should not seek revenge or even resent them. In fact, most people that harm others just for the sake of doing so are pitied instead of feared. I learned this today, when I had been tiptoeing around a person who purposefully spoke rudely and flat out ignored me. It only made the situation worse, and eventually, even after I asked a simple question nicely, the one snap they gave back crossed the line. I  don't regret what I said, because I didn't insult them, or even bully them. I was direct and surprised even myself by the truth in my words. 
So this is a lesson that must be remembered in order to go through life. When enough is enough, be direct, truthful and to the point. And doing so is not mean or rude or even harmful.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ship of Clouds

The wind was brutal as the ship passed the setting sun. Peter knew that a storm was coming, but he wasn't afraid. Everything was an adventure just waiting to happen. The Lost Boys followed his orders and ran about the ship, watching the horizon.
"Alright you lackeys!" Peter said with a loud booming air. "It's time to sail into that storm!"
The Lost Boys watched as lighting appeared in the distance, and held on as the ship hit a bump of air on the breeze.  They were headed toward dark clouds and rougher winds. Soon they would sail through the stars, back to Neverland, but for now, Peter wanted to race the sunset and brave the storm  that surrounded them. Once the storm whipped on all sides of the ship, Peter grinned and yelled
"Hold steady!"
The Lost Boys held the ropes tightly and stood their ground as rain, wind and clouds met them. The wind rushed through the ship, while a loud boom of thunder warned them to turn back. 
"Steady now!" Peter yelled while turning the helm. A lightning bolt went past them, missing the ship by barely an inch. The winds and thunder grew louder and more menacing. Rain began to escape the clouds above them and fall in loud showers across the ship. 
"Hold on!" 
Peter laughed as the ship dove past another lightning bolt. They had passed the eye of the storm. Ahead a clear path formed between the dark clouds. Stars twinkled at them, as if they were marveling  in their success. For Peter, nothing was impossible. 
"To Neverland!" He yelled, and the boat sailed smoothly through the sky, toward the second star, and out of sight. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dreams and Wishes

She read everyday, anywhere that she could find. By her favorite tree, in the garden, near the swan pond, and, of course, in her own reading nook on the second floor. It was a special place, where she could escape anything unpleasant that reality often shoved upon her. The stable boy often found her asleep, a book in hand while he walked to tend to the horses. Her head on her shoulder, and a fairytale book nearly falling from her hands. He would smile as he walked by, knowing full well that her governess would find her sooner or later, and in her dancing dress! Like the swan from the story, she felt trapped, and often told him so. Once, she read to him, and he loved the story. It was about a poor boy, like himself becoming a hero and saving a princess from the giant's castle. One day, he was sure, he would rescue her, and they would find a place to be free. But these were dreams, wishes and fantasies that they both clung to. Maybe if they believed in wishes, dreams and fairytales, their belief would be strong enough to set them free. 

Friday, June 14, 2013


How much time 
do we waste on unimportant
 things? Grudges and Gossip?
Fears and Shattered Dreams?
If we could take a moment
and just look around,
we might be surpised at 
the time we've found.
Whether it's sorrow
or pain,
is wasted 
by not learning
 to dance in the rain. 
So maybe I will see
the sunlight through the 
trees. Laugh with the thunder,
and sing with the breeze. By 
learning to live and loving to learn 
the time that I have just may 
not just be burned.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It was my favorite place. Just by the water, the smooth rocks left just enough room for a path to jump across the bank. I could make a small campfire and grill pancakes by the spot where I used to imagine I was queen of the fairies. It all came back to me while I gazed at the area where I spent most of my childhood. Even now, with my grand sailing expeditions and my collection of merchandise from around the world, nothing could compare to the sanctuary of my imagination. I could almost hear our giggles and see the world from younger eyes as I sat across from the water and watched the dragonflies dart from one rock to another. The place was timeless and special. Not just any river bank. Here I sailed across the sea, became a divine ruler and survived a journey across a dangerous bridge. Soon my children would have these adventures, and discover a world so close and yet so far from home. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Palace across the bridge

Milla stared across the Cloud Sea, waiting for the bridge to let her pass. For many years, the Sky people lived in this great fortress. Their flying ships explored the mountains and world of clouds, rock and sky. For years, she waited for her turn. Her turn to go across the bridge, learn how to sky sail and follow Jacob to the other side of the Air World Division. The crystals on the bridge would glow if they let her pass, but she had to be approved by Skaith, the great magician who guarded the bridge. It was said that the King himself give Skaith this task in order to protect his fortress and allow only those who were deemed worthy to pass. As Milla knew, the only way anyone could take over the fortress would be within, or beyond the border of the cloud wall that guarded the Sky People and kept the King on his throne.
The crystal began to change color as Milla watched it. Two merchants were allowed to cross the border. Only their merchandise granted them access to the palace, but one day Milla would cross that bridge, she was after all the daughter of the greatest Sky Sailor and explorer that the Air World Division had ever known. She would cross that bridge, learn to sail and find her father, whenever he was. Everyone knew that the King was devastated by his best friend's disappearance, but Milla believed that she could find her father, and have her own adventures, discovering the sky continents. All she had to do was go across that bridge. She watched the merchants walk through the crystal arch and formed her plan.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Limits and Obstacles

Acknowledge your limits.
Don't ignore them. 
If you do,
you'll empower them.
You'll come to a point
where nothing makes sense.
Everything is crazy.
Everything is a mess.
There's a reason why
people say
to take care of yourself
and focus on today.
When you constantly worry
stress and freak out.
The only thing
you'll acomplish
is to stomp and shout.
But if you take it:
one day at a time,
accept your limits,
you will be fine.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's time to move on

The entire world lies ahead, a long winding path that I can't even begin to understand. It's difficult to let go, move on and trust that my heart will take me to where I belong. The funny thing is, my path is not even similar to the path of anyone else. We all have different routes to take. Different times in life to grow and become what we want to be. This path is my own, but if I worry about what I will see when I reach my destination all the time, I will never even move forward. Who knows where my path leads. When and if things will happen the way I want them to. When I will find what I need, and learn the difference between need and want. I cannot see my destination from here, but I can see the path in front of me. Every day I move closer to wherever I will be in the future. Every day my journey continues and changes me in ways I can't even begin to comprehend. 
I've heard it said, many times, that it's not the destination. It's the journey. It's time to stop worrying about the future and regretting the past. It's time to appreciate the journey and just enjoy where I am now. What I'm doing as I follow this path is what I will look back on once I reach my destination. And, everyone wants a good story to tell.