A Sunshine Odyssey

Good evening everyone! There’s a lot for me to celebrate in life today! I just love to do the best I can with what is given to me. It’s a thrilling feeling to partake in such a creative adventure! When I receive a gift of an award, it’s a confirmation of appreciation from the giver. Someone out there has appreciated something I wrote and shared. If I left the world a more inspired, compassionate, and hopeful place, an award to me serves as a catalyst for me to continue reaching for better horizons.

I’ve been nominated at least 15 times this past year for Sunshine, Mystery, Solidarity, Kindness, Liebster blogger awards. I’m grateful for your friendship and support via your comments. It gives me great joy to consistently be recognized for these qualities here on WordPress. Moreover, I’m glad I don’t actually receive any real trophies because I don’t have space for that. 😉

Many thanks and kudos to these hardworking bloggers! Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke, Sadje @ Keep it Alive, Mr. A @ Barbarian in Gentleman’s Clothing, Irene @ My Slice of Mexico, Mel @ Crushed Caramel, Kiwi @ Kiwi Katastrophes, Laura Bailey @ All the Shoes I Wear, Jenna @ The Sunshine Artist, Myexpressionofthoughts @ Beauty lies within yourself

I have taken a different approach with my award nominations today and wrote a story from their questions about myself in third point of view. Pictures are from Pixabay. It will be a blend of fantasy and truth! 🙂

I was inspired by Word of the Day – Odyssey

“HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME?” Ciar, god of darkness, gradually began to suck the remaining light in the galaxy into his mouth which resembled a terrifying black hole.

Sa, space warrior princess from the kingdom of Texas, was temporarily distracted by his impeccable rock hard abdominals, but she was more preoccupied with his black hole. One non-negotiable, unalterable term in this life, is that Sa will survive.

“Sorry? What’s that? I can’t hear you!!!” Sa just used her most commonly spoken phrase against the god of darkness. Will you look at that? 🙂

“Golly, whatever did I do to him?” She unhappily fought against the immense forces that threatened to kill her. What does Sa do to cheer herself up when she is unhappy? She hums a tune of an electrifying song. In this case, the theme song of Ghostbusters galvanized her and became her saving grace.

Ghostbusters 2016 Theme Remastered (Walk the Moon Version)

She pulled a glittering lever, and was not prepared for the recoil. Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket thrusters propelled her out of Ciar’s influence. Elon Musk gave her a parting gift, his most powerful rocket, and wished her good luck on her odyssey. Commandeering a rocket ship is one talent Sa would love to improve upon! Sa thought back to when she read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy scanning her memory for any clues. “YEE-HAW!” Ciar’s bad breath is the least of her worries.

Ciar’s army has besieged her beloved hometown. Ciar’s rhetoric was powerful, and he has swayed the minds of various citizens to commit heinous acts and convinced them they are doing right by the kingdom by terminating who they felt to be the enemy. Who was the enemy? A neighboring community whose was seeking asylum from the ravages of their own war-stricken home? It’s an event that has changed Sa’s perspective on how we live in society.

In the next twelve months, Sa looked forward to the day when the migrants would be settled into their new homes with the help of RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. One of her friends told her how hard she has been working around the clock to help furnish their new homes. Sa shared a value with her friend: caring for those who have difficulty defending for themselves. If she won a lottery, she would love to get each of the boys she met while visiting her friend a pair of printed Oxford leather shoes and help them feel fabulous.

One great thing about being in outer space is that Sa isn’t like the dwarf, Sneezy. Her seasonal allergies don’t act up! Drenched in sweat, Sa glanced outside the window and marveled at the moonglade against Earth’s ocean surface. “Now this is something to write home about on my blog!” Filled with nostalgia, she missed swimming in the sea with the dolphins and her friend, a marine biologist.

Sharing an oceanography and geology course together, Sa admired her friend’s determination. The marine biologist was studying and documenting how the threat of global warming was affecting the dolphin population. The dolphins were having a difficult time adapting to the changes to their habitat, changes to their migration schedules, and it’s even affected their ability to reproduce.

Sa opened up her laptop and began typing a post so that her family can read her latest adventure! Sa was grateful for her parents for teaching her how to be brave in the midst of adversity. She once studied her family tree in the genealogy department held in the third floor of the public library. Even though her roots were derived from diverse backgrounds in monasticism, education, art, aquaculture, one quality was clear: bravery was the connecting link to Sa’s ancestry line.

One of her fondest memories was with her father when he taught her how to play basketball despite her not being too athletic. He pushed her to the edge of what she may have thought her limitation was, but he showed her that she isn’t as fragile as some people made her feel. He nurtured her bravery every step of the way.

She pondered on what they were doing now. She missed washing dishes side-by-side with them. A single tear floated in zero gravity. It’s the little things that seem to get to her. Before Sa left Earth to fight a galactic battle, she filled out a Texas Tree Survey from the Arbor Day Foundation. She felt so proud of herself for taking the time out to complete this survey. She received a gift for 10 free flowering trees (5 American Redbuds and 5 Dogwoods).

Despite being a space cadet, she remained hopeful for a better future for Earth and all its creatures. She knew that there were other people out there who would be wiling to plant trees, rebuild habitats, and help nurture the planet back to health. Her only regret is she might not see the delicate trees grow into the royal beings that they are. Its blooms are startlingly attractive to her when cloistered together.

Her penpal, Cassandra, would get a kick out of this blog post! Although Cassandra chose the monastic life in the convent as a nun, she loved reading about her childhood friend’s adventures in the world. The last time Sa connected with her was by passing her in while shopping in a mall outlet. It felt so good to see an old friend!

If Sa died in outer space today, she would want the world to know that she loved Earth so much. She is a caring, adventurous gal with a sense of humor who would do anything including fighting the god of darkness to protect her loved ones! ❤ 🙂

Nominated for a Liebster Award!

“Life’s a dance, you learn as you go.
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don’t worry ’bout what you don’t know,
life’s a dance, you learn as you go.”
– John Michael Montgomery’s Lyrics to “Life is a Dance”


*Note: This post is longer than usual only because there’s a lot of heart-to-heart moments and history of the origins of my blog here! If you don’t like the warm, fuzzy feelings, you have been forewarned! 😀

Hello! This morning I really wanted to hit the snooze button on my alarm clock, but stopped myself. I am helping the owners of a local book shop called Dead Tree Books install some wood carving business signs I help them create. In this digital age, I thought this couple took a leap of faith opening a book store. Most people I know use their Kindle app as Fandango mentioned in his Stream of Consciousness post. Yet, in this area of town, Dead Tree Books has steady sales.

Anyway, I received a pleasant surprise in my inbox several days ago! I’ve been nominated for the Liebester Award from Keep It Alive! I’m feeling like I’m burgeoning with gratitude. Thank you, Sadje! I like her blog for a variety of reasons:

  • Encourages you to mentally explore new things
  • Shares beautiful perspectives on life via poems and articles
  • Wonderful sense of humor expressed through funny stories
  • Lives life to the fullest even if there are physical limitations

I feel humbled and honored for this nomination which is a first for me! Don’t know too much about it, so I copied and pasted the rules below. I created a Word Press account five years ago to start a travel log to document my adventures, but it was distracting for me to blog and enjoy my travels at the same time! I tend to deeply immerse myself in the experience.

What is Liebester Award?

“It is said that this award is created to discover and encourage new bloggers to the blogosphere. Liebester is a word of German language, meaning Beloved, Dear, Sweet etc. In short, a term of endearment. Showing love and kindness to the newcomers. So in a way , it’s a welcome gesture for the people new to the blogging world. Such a kind thought and gesture.”

What are the rules of Liebester Award:

1. Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award.
2. Give 11 random thoughts about yourself.
3. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
4. Nominate 5-11 blogs and notify them of their nomination.
5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

How I got Started

After graduation, I was a bit scattered. I decided to act on a suggestion from my boyfriend to start a blog. Originally, I thought it was going to be an instrument to build my professional portfolio. I reopened my inactive account that sat there collecting dust and revamped my About Me page. I’ve only started blogging actively for the past few months, and it was a little difficult at first.

My first post was about bubble sorting algorithms which aside from the computer science community, most people could care less about. It was that fateful day when I learned that WordPress is very different than StackOverflow. 😉 There is a time and place for everything! Staring at my stack of journals, I knew I loved to write, but how in the world do I begin to blog?

Early Follows

In the famous words of Christian Mihai, I just started to “punch the damn keys” and learned as I go. Following me early on, Christian regularly writes on “The Art of Blogging”. I was very grateful for his articles. There was an article “How to be a Boss at Blogging when you Have 0 followers“.

Daunting task! Talk about gaining self-confidence! I learned a lot about editing and formatting. I followed Sheryl like a baby duck following mama duck on her Daily Word Prompts, and I felt encouraged from Dr.Perry‘s articles. DirtySciFiBuddha oddly made me feel at home with his eye catching, hilarious dystopian posts, one of my favorite genres. What was I worried about? Gradually, I began to find my voice and started to participate in a variety of fun challenges.

Thank You!

I have 115 followers from all over the world and 100 posts! Knowing me, that’s beyond my wildest dreams in such a short time span. I’ve come to love the community here! All of you have impacted my life! I’ve grown so much from your support, your stories, and your thought-provoking and fun prompts. You’ve certainly helped me step outside my comfort zone, that’s for sure!

I like to thank some individuals for their support & inspiration on my journey!
Cee: Cee’s Photography
Laura Bailey: All the Shoes I Wear
Kerri Elizabeth: Sunshine- Courage in Living
Christian Mihai: irevuo
VJ Knutson: One Woman’s Quest
Natalie Swift: The Midnight Ember
MNL: Cactus Catz
Richa: iScriblr
Jenna: Sunshine Artist
Winnie: Musings
Proscenium: Framing Life
Godly Chic Diaries: Grace for Purpose
Kristen: Tales from the Mind of Kristen
lwbut:  Love Will Bring Us Together
Dr. Perry: Make it Ultra

I hope my blog will inspire you and develop into a safe place where we can share our insights on a myriad of interests. In my free time, I hope I can share book reviews, snippets of my research, photos, and other experiences from my hobbies. I love writing stories as well! I have many ideas for content stored! As I’m exploring various mediums, I find new, exciting ways to express myself! Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤

So, let’s get this shindig on the road and learn more about me, shall we? 🙂

11 Random Facts about Me

  1. I once drew a huge Christmas tree on my parents’ living room wall with a green crayon. I explained to them that I saw a blank canvas! If mom and dad didn’t discipline me right then and there and teach me the concept of boundaries, I could have been a graffiti artist!
  2. I auditioned for several theatrical plays such as Shakespeare and Greek tragedies to help me with shyness and public speaking. Although I was pleasant and sunny, I did not like to talk at all as a young girl. My yearbook tagline was “Most Mysterious” for a reason. I love memorizing lines and being on stage acting as someone else. It was easier to step into someone else’s shoes. Other thespians understood where I was coming from.
  3. When I was about 7 years old, I wrote my first “serious” story about a jelly monster that lived in the sewer who ate peanut butter sandwiches. My 9 year old friend who lived down the street severely edited it with her famous red pen! 😀 It was inspired by an episode of the TV show Ghost Writer about a slime monster.
  4. As a teenage girl, I really looked up to France A. Cordova as a role model, who is an internationally recognized astrophysicist and former chief NASA scientist. I consider her to be extraordinary mentor I follow from afar. Here’s a 2 minute video clip of how her career was inspired by watching a moon landing and a marshmallow.
    france cordova
  5. Most unusual item on my desk drawer is a Russian nesting doll. I love it because it reminds me of the many layers that people have! I’m always encouraged to look beyond the surface and dig deeper.
    russian doll.jpg
  6. I once had a pet chicken until mom cooked it in a delicious soup. Sad day! Dad got me some gold fish to make up for my sense of loss. I also played with the crickets, grasshoppers, and rollie-polies while playing in the yard.
  7. Dream job always changes the more I learn! Right now it would probably be to a photo journalist for National Geographic.
  8. The library has been my second home since I was five years old. I am an avid reader and the librarians probably see me as one of their family members since I spend so much time there.
  9. I memorized the first twenty lines from The Canterbury Tales in Middle English with gusto if I may add. I attribute it to my affinity for foreign languages and linguistics!
  10. In college, I spent a lot of time hanging out in architecture libraries checking out the students’ 3-D models and reading Architectural Digest and Interiors magazine. I loved learning about material sciences and catching up on latest design concepts. It seemed like there were a lot of creative possibilities. I loved how spaces can evoke certain emotions.
  11. I’m a recent college graduate who majored in information technology and minored in English. WOOT! I am now pursuing a masters program. Long story behind this!

11 Questions that Keep it Alive Asked Me

1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
I’m generally a patient person, but it bothers me when a family member has asked for help to organize their clutter and next time I visit them, it’s a mess. Why did they ask me in the first place? I spend some time knowing what style may work for them. I’ve come to accept that some people just get caught up with life, and being a minimalist might be the way for them. 🙂

2. Where did you get your name?
At the time of creating this blog, I was experiencing the effects of extreme culture shock. I moved to a new town and a new school. I encountered people with different mannerisms and approaches to life. I was emotionally haywire! I read so many books that broadened my horizons. I found it all so fascinating and wanted to document my experiences and reactions. Lots of gong moments!

3. If you could change your name, what would it be?
When a friend first shared this quote with me, it stuck with me for the rest of my life. I probably call this blog in an alternative universe “Evanescent Moments“. 🙂

4. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
I really enjoyed Card Captors after school. A 10 year old girl, Sakura, has been granted magical abilities after she accidentally released all the cards from the Book of Clow from her dad’s study room. She’s in charge of capturing them before the images in the cards come to life and wreak havoc in her town. Her friends step in to help as well.cardcaptor-sakura-anime-hd-wallpaper-2560x1440-44904.jpg

5. Do you have any weird habits?
I tend to think backward. Like I visualize what I’d like to accomplish, then work on the steps to make it happen. Generally the final product is better than what I initially envisioned. I also catch myself walking on the curb like a balance beam!

6. Do you like fall scents /Tastes?
YES! I love the smell of cinnamon pine cone. I also regular stop by the BHG scented wax cubes section to get a sniff of Winter Berry Zest, Chilled Pomegranate Wine, Woodland Forest Floor, Mahogany & Sandalwood, Spiced Vanilla Embers! 

7. What is your favorite holiday and why?
While stressful for most people, I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Vietnamese New Year mainly because I love the spirit of gratitude and giving surrounding those holidays. I love that I get to spend more time with my family. I love cooking for these holidays and bringing desserts to parties.

8. Do you prefer writing it down or typing it up?
I love writing in journals which helps with the flow of my thoughts. Typing is easier on my hands though. I tend to write with heavy impressions on the paper. It’s getting better though… Light as a feather! Reminds me of a feather quill… Nah, I like my ball point pen gel rollers! I digress…

9. Netflix or cable?
Netflix has been a great source of entertainment for me! Although some commercials can be interesting, I love that the shows are uninterrupted!

10. If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?
I probably need to add if I also had unlimited time and energy, I’d…

  • Volunteer More. I learn towards a lot of environmental causes, but there are others near and dear to my heart. Election seasons are tugging at me.
  • Travel the World. Not just as a tourist, but be an ambassador/diplomat on an important mission.
  • Invent and Build. Produce innovative things
  • Act in more theatrical shows. Spend time building sets, designing costumes
  • Create fun multi-media content. Work with boyfriend to make movies, comics, stories, video games.
  • Raise a big family. Enjoy the craziness and beauty of life together.

11. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I love that I care about issues that people struggle with everyday. All the time, many fall into apathy and I’m glad that my pulse is still beating there. I love that I can share joy with others. I love that I can be resourceful and creative! 🙂

Blogs I Nominate


I’m pulling a Sadje, and I’m choosing to make this simple for myself! You can answer a few or all of same questions as above:  🙂
1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
2. Where did you get your name?
3. If you could change your name, what would it be?
4. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
5. Do you have any weird habits?
6. Do you like fall scents /Tastes?
7. What is your favorite holiday and why?
8. Do you prefer writing it down or typing it up?
9. Netflix or Cable?
10. If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?
11. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Have a wonderful day everyone! Here’s to a creative week! 🙂

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