The way something as simple as ink words on paper can transport a reader to a different time, place, or world will never cease to amaze me.
Words have whisked me away to wonderful worlds for as long as I can remember. I use words to write down memories that I never want to forget, to reflect on my experiences, and to tell the abundance of stories I constantly have bubbling up to the surface of my mind. The stories of others that I’ve encountered — from real people I’ve met or fictional characters I’ve read about — have taught me so much about myself, the people around me, and how the world works.
This blog is an exploration of many things, but in the end, it will always come back to a story: how it is being told, what it means, and why it matters. I hope that in the midst of posts about traveling, books, art, writing, and music, you find at least one story that resonates with you.
Thanks for stopping by, and
🏞 Whisked Away By Words! 🏔
Hi there! 🤗 I’m Zoie, a collector, creator, and reader of stories. I love experimenting with writing to find the best way to tell stories, whether they’re fictional or real. Currently, I’m a high school student who is loving life but still struggling to accept the fact that reading every single book in this world isn’t possible. 😊
When my time isn’t taken up by school, I love to read, draw with watercolors, decode song lyrics, write stories, and, if the opportunity is there, travel. I have quite a lot to say about each of these hobbies of mine, so if you want to know more, keep reading and I shall explain!
📚 On Reading 📚
I’ve always been a huge reader, and a fast reader, too. In the past, I would go to the library and check out twenty to thirty books at a time and break a sweat pulling the bag of books behind me back to the car — just because I knew I would be able to finish reading all of the books before I had to return them. A few years back I began to hit pause on my reading a little bit to jot down my thoughts and decode events that happened within a story, and it wasn’t until eighth grade did I realize how much I enjoyed writing about stories as I did reading them.
Reading is the main reason why this blog was created — I needed a place to pull all my bookish thoughts together, and a blog was the perfect place to do so. As of now, most of my book chats aren’t spoiler free because I don’t want to just scratch the surface in my understanding of a book. Writing a book chat is so much more fun if I’m able to decode little details and find out all that I’ve learned and want to take away from a book.
I don’t write book chats for every book I read — I write book chats for books that I feel like deserve a deeper look at the story, or for books I would like to take my time to understand more of. I also don’t rate the books I read, just because I feel like my book chats themselves will give people a much better understanding on my thoughts and opinions for a particular book than a number rating can. (Also, there are some books out there that truly make me love it and hate it at the same time, and to give ratings for each one of them would drive me insane.)
The newer book chats (the ones from August 2017 forward), though, will contain a little non-spoilery section at the top of the post for those who want to see if the book is something that they want to read beforehand before proceeding to the normal, usually very long spoilery section discussing the book’s story. 👍😋
If you love thorough discussions about books, be sure to check out the abundance of book chats on this blog and join in on the discussion in the comments! Since reading is something that never stops for me, book chats are the most frequent thing that I post on this blog. Hope you enjoy them! 😄
🎨 On Drawing 🖌️
I’m not quite sure why, but I’ve always loved drawing faces. I think it started very long ago when I got annoyed with how hard it was drawing a decent nose on a face. Flash forward to now, after several years of practicing, and I’m okay with drawing noses — but, as with all the kinds of art I’ve experimented with throughout the years, there’s always room for improvement. 😊
Drawing is something that I’ve always found very relaxing, and it’s constantly something that I want to do more of. Recently I’ve been loving watercolors, but in the past, I’ve mainly just used colored pencils, graphite pencils, and Blick Studio brush markers to create art.
Oh, and white gel pens are amazing. I literally have no idea what I was doing before I got white gels pens. 🤣
I’m starting to find ways to tell stories with my drawings, which started with this post, and I hope to do more pieces with storytelling embedded into it in the future. For now, though, drawing is just something I do for fun on the side. 🙃
🎼 On Music 🎼
Aaah, music! I have a list of albums and songs I would love to decode and understand more of in terms of the message they’re trying to convey, but somehow the time never seems right to write these posts! 😩
Here’s a list of my favorite musical artists, and perhaps one day I shall get to decoding their wonderful music. For now, they’ll remain playing in the background as I write, draw, or sit in the car headed to somewhere other than home for an adventure. 🚗
- Akdong Musician
- Andrew Bird
- Band of Horses
- The Civil Wars
- Jill Andrews
- Joy Williams
- Tired Pony
- Wild Nothing
📔 On Writing 🖊
Writing is my absolute favorite thing to do. It never fails to make me happy, and there’s just so much to write about — I’ll never get bored with this. I’m at the point in my life where I have to think about what I want to do in the future, and honestly, there are so many options and so many things I want to do… I honestly don’t know yet.
Despite all of that, there has always been one thing that I’ve always been sure I want to do, and that is to write stories. To even… *SUSPENSE* …be a published author.
(Just thinking about that makes me super excited 😝)
And it’s actually been pretty amazing working towards that goal these past few years. 😊
On this blog, the main things you’ll see from me from the Authoring category will be short works of writing. Sometimes it’s nice for me to take a break and work on something small like a poem or short story, so that’s what will appear on this blog — for now. 😉
🏕 On Traveling 🌉
And lastly, something that I love love love: TRAVELING! Writing about the places I go allows me to remember where I’ve gone and my experiences at that place. Taking a camera with me especially forces me to notice more details in my surroundings, and in cities, motivates me to get out of my comfort zone and find ways to capture the people and life around me.
I’ve mainly experienced two types of travel: camping and going overseas, both of which have greatly defined the way I view the world and my life. Camping has made me realize how beautiful solitude is and how I should constantly find ways to relax and just pause and think about the things around me. Camping has also made me realize how fragile our environment is, as well as how important it is to respect nature and take time to understand it. In driving to national and state parks around the United States, I’ve learned more about the country and what other people’s lives are like outside of the city that I live in.
On the other hand, traveling overseas has done the most work in broadening my worldview and helping me become more open-minded. Every single place I’ve been to has inspired me or enlightened me in some way, and it’s also the main reason why I’m so in love with finding stories — every time I meet another person from across the world, I want to know why they are the way they are and hear their story. I’ve found that observation has helped me a lot in understanding others when I don’t speak their language, but I always want to ask people more questions, which probably explains why I love learning languages so much. Learning a new language — or becoming better at one — helps me appreciate and understand more of the stories I encounter.
My favorite place that I’ve camped at is Death Valley National Park, which is a magical place that makes me feel changed and wiser and more sure of myself every time I enter and leave the park. My favorite location overseas is (and will forever be) Hong Kong, which is very much influenced by the fact that I can speak fluent Cantonese and therefore communicate with people I meet easily in Hong Kong.
Being half-Caucasian and half-Cantonese, and growing up with a fusion of two cultures, I’ve always loved understanding the intricacies of other cultures that I encounter, but year after year I’ve found that my heart will always lie in exploring and understanding Asian countries. I always feel compelled to go back and explore more of Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Korea, or China, so if you see an abundance of posts about the little quirks of Hong Kong, this is why. 😊
If you’ve made it to the end of this “About Me” page, then yay!!! 🎉🎉🎉 Here is a round of applause just for you!
👏 *applause* 👏
Thanks for reading, and if you feel inclined to check out any of my posts, click HERE to see the entire blog archive. Hope to cya in my next blog post, and let’s get whisked away by everything to do with stories together! 🌌