Monthly Archives: June 2020

Blog Post #26: The Thorn Birds Review

Hello, hello! It’s been a while since my last post, and I apologize profusely for not updating! So, for that reason, I won’t keep everyone waiting any longer. I’m really excited to share this next one with you all. Blog Post #26 is on romantic-drama novel, The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough.

This book begins in 1915 and takes place Down Under. It tells a tale mainly focusing on Meggie Cleary. While living a very modest, albeit difficult life shearing sheep in New Zealand, Paddy Cleary, Meggie’s father, out of the blue, receives a message from his wealthy but estranged older sister, Mary, who invites him as well as his wife and children to live Australian property, where she also offers them steady work.

Seeing this as a good opportunity for his family, he accepts Mary’s offer. After enduring the long and tiring journey to their destination, they are greeted by a priest named Father Ralph de Bricassart, who shares a special connection with Meggie instantly upon meeting her. From there, strong familial-like affection towards one another that initially transpires eventually turns into a poignant romance between them where Ralph is torn between his aspirations as a priest and his feelings for her. Spanning over five decades, McCullough shows how this tragic love story alters the course of their lives and the generations to come.

There’s no other word to describe The Thorn Birds other than “INTENSE.” I kid you not that this is unlike any other work I’ve read within the genre. It just grips readers by the shoulders and shakes you to your core. There are many amazing elements to it, with McCullough expertly incorporating so much irony and wit throughout the book. I absolutely loved it.

What really struck me as I read was the incredible amount of resilience, strength and pride that Meggie’s character maintains despite various hardships the universe inflicts on her and her family. I’ve admired a lot of strong, female characters in my time, but none quite like this.

If you’re looking for a novel with gripping intensity, do not hesitate to look further into The Thorn Birds.

VIRTUAL PHOTOSHOOT

It is so important to keep yourself creative while social distancing. Tash Serena(my sister) and I have been doing photoshoots and being our own creative directors since we were kids. At such difficult times we managed to find some inspiration and had our first virtual shoot.

We gave this trend a go as it is definitely a solution for the time being for many photographers, models and others in the creative industry for the time being.

What you’ll need:

  • A device: Any smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer that works with video calls should work just fine. I used my laptop as I personally felt it was much more stable than leaning a smartphone against a pile of books. I found it a lot easier to adjust the screen as well.
  • Videotelephony software: Skype, Facetime, Zoom, Whatsapp, etc. whatever works best for the model and the photographer. We used zoom. Think of a normal video call on the laptop, I just posed while the photographer (my sister) captured the images directly off the screen using her camera.
  • Set time and date: Plan this out as time difference may interfere. Bali and Vancouver has a crazy time difference, so we agreed to shoot at my sisters 9AM Bali time and my 6PM Vancouver time.
  • A photoshoot concept: Looking for inspiration pictures are good as a reference. My sister sent me a whole collection of inspo pictures from Pinterest which made it a whole lot easier to understand angles and the vibe we were trying to achieve. This allowed myself to somewhat take part in being a creative director.
  • Props and any accessories/clothing: I recommend having an organized pile of all the useful props and outfits to save time and messiness. We used my standing mirror, a table lamp for lighting and a few outfit changes.
  • Setting and location: We decided on a bedroom setting, using the bed and simple backgrounds to focus on shadow play and natural lighting.

PREVIEW

My take on it: 

It was different and surprisingly super lively. It is convenient in a way as I was able to see myself pose, fix my angles. It was simple and I felt much more involved with inputting ideas as I was in charge of creating the setting, the placement of the laptop and styling myself. However, the only issue would be the outcome may show the glare from the screen, but with proper editing and lighting this shouldn’t be an issue.

The outcome:

MY INK

We all have our own ways of expressing ourselves, and some choose to express it on their bodies forever, and that includes myself. The story of getting one, the meaning, the placement, it’s all so unique.

THE ARROW

I got my first tattoo when I was 15 years old for my birthday. A little arrow on my left side rib. The arrow is a simple reminder to always aim for your goal.

THE LOTUS

There we were, my friends and I getting tattoos spontaneously. So memorable. The lotus and moon on my upper back symbolizes the rising from the dark to radiate into the world.

THE WAVE. THE 9.

I got these together, the wave to symbolize where I grew up, the island of Bali, and the number 9, my dads lucky number and my favourite number so I decided to always have it with me.

THE COORDINATES.

The coordinates of Indonesia and Canada represents where my parents come from, which represents a part of us. This was our first matching sister tattoo.

Love and Light.

My dads handwriting, love and light. This is the most meaningful tattoo I have as it is a reminder of him and his words to always do things from love and that light and happiness will always be found.