The Science of Magic: Griffins ~ In Which I Have an Announcement

What’s up, y’all? Welcome to yet another Science of Magic post! Today we will be talking about the lovely, winged, four-legged creature known as the griffin! Or gryphon, if we’re going by ancient Greek spellings.

So, let’s jump in!!

Some of the earliest artwork of griffins date back to ancient Egyptian and ancient Iranian days. Griffins were carved on cosmetic palettes in Egypt as fancy decoration. (The Egyptians sure must have liked their fancy decoration XD) The ancient Iranians called griffins “Shirdals”, and let me just say that that is fabulous. ShiRdALs. YeS.

According to Medieval Lore, griffins mate for life. If their mate dies, they continue through life alone, and never re-mate. Ostrich eggs were thought to be griffin eggs, and antelope horns were thought to be griffin claws. They were highly prized in royal courts.

In Greek mythology, griffins were charged with guarding the golden land of Hyperborea. Hyperborea was a place where the sun never stopped shining, and the home of Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis.

The most commonplace design for griffins is the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. However, more modern designs can include various types of birds and/or various types of cats. (Honestly, mixing and matching is so much fun XD)

Alright, and now to the criticizing!

Let’s see how nit-picky I can be over one of my favorite creatures in mythology….

First off, the eagle talons. Most griffins have eagle talons as their front feet and lion’s paws as their hind feet. But why? Why can’t it just have lion’s paws in front, too? Are the talons supposed to help with landing or aerodynamics? And if so, how?

I have done absolutely no research on this, whatsoever (besides some random stuff that I’ve learned in science XD), but I really don’t think there’s much of a purpose. Two talons don’t do much good when landing in a tree, and they surely don’t help with ground landings and just regular walking. So why on earth can’t the griffin just have four lion’s paws??

And then, of course, there’s the same issue that I had with dragons last month. Wings. Wingspan, wing power, wing structure, and so on and so forth. Wings are just…..complicated!

I feel like I should also make a remark about the fact that birds can’t chew, and lions don’t have gizards… what on earth does the digestive system of a griffin look like, and what exactly does it eat? Does it have a gizard in the bird part and a stomach in the lion part, or some kind of crazy hybrid/specifically tailored digestive system?

*throws hands up* CREATURE MASHUPS ARE HARD, Y’ALL!!

*clears throat*

Y’know, this series has turned into me just yelling about the things I hate with no scientific backing at all….πŸ˜…

Before I go, I want to announce the hiatus I am taking next month! I’ve got quite a few summer camps happening in June, so I thought it best that I take a little bit (or a lotta bit) of time off! I do have one post planned for the 20th, but, other than that, no posts until July. When I get back from my hiatus, we shall have the fifty followers celebration I’ve been planning! (Wouldn’t want to forget that!)

Thank y’all for reading and I’ll see you in July!!

Fifty?!! ~ In Which AHHH FIFTY FOLLOWERS!!!!


That’s really cool. I wanna know how they made it.

Anyways, yes, you read the title right!! I have achieved fifty followers!! (Technically 54, but y’know) This post is running late, so nothing exciting today, other than a massive thank you to all of my followers!! I’ve been blogging for six months now, and it’s crazy that I got 50 followers in just six months! Y’all are all amazing and I’m so thankful!!

Before I end this very short post, I just want to ask if anyone has any fun ideas I could do to celebrate? I was thinking answering your questions, but I’ve already been tagged for a lot of awards and I’ve been answering a lot of questions in those posts. So, cool ideas? If I see one that I especially like, I’ll announce it in next week’s post!

Well, I’m going to go cry happy tears about reaching 50 followers!! Thank y’all so much, and I’ll see you next time!!

Thanks for reading!

The Reflections Tag ~ In Which 2020 is a Hero

2020 was a rough year for everyone. It had its fair share of ups and downs (and lefts and rights, too). However, we are not focusing on the lefts and rights today. This tag is all about the good things about 2020.

So, let’s be optimistic!!


1. Thank the person who tagged you (Thanks Essie!)

2. Share 8 of the things God blessed you with or taught you in 2020

3. Tag 5+ bloggers


Can I call this “Questions”, even if there are no questions? Yes, yes I can.

1. I Joined the Young Writers’ Workshop (aka YDubs)

It was 9:30 on a Thursday night. I was in my room doing who-knows-what (probably reading), when I heard Mom call my name. To be honest, I thought I was in trouble, but I wasn’t sure why. However, I was not in trouble! Mom handed me her phone, which was on a page called “The Young Writers’ Workshop“. Curious, I scrolled through the page, taking in all the information. The lessons looked exciting, the instructors seemed pretty cool, and the unity and community that the website offered was very appealing. After scrolling through twice, I said, “This looks awesome!”

And so began my time on YDubs! I have learned so much about how to improve my writing. After all, if it wasn’t for YDubs, this blog probably wouldn’t exist! I am now plotting a novel (something I wouldn’t have ever thought to do before YDubs), blogging consistently (which is also because of y’all!), and I’m in a better place spiritually and emotionally!

(If anyone is interested in joining YDubs, registration is open!)

2. My Friend Group Grew

This is technically an extension of the first one, but I made so many wonderful friends in just a couple of months after I joined YDubs! And they were all like me!! Crazy, weird, and sarcastic writers who were chock-full of ideas!

Of course, I’ve also made great friends from blogging, which has been awesome too!

3. I Met My Best Friend

And this one is an extension of the first two XD

I remember the first time I started chatting with Liesl. We were a little bit stiff at first, because, after all, we didn’t know each other very well. We talked about the stuff writers talk about, and told about our siblings and their crazy antics.

And suddenly, it happened. We just…..became best friends! I seriously don’t remember when or how it happened. We just went from stiff and slightly formal to literally SCREAMING at each other about various things.

And that’s the best kind of friendship there is.

4. Construction Finished on Our House

Back in 2019 (that ancient year of bliss and happiness πŸ˜…), we hired someone to add two bedrooms and a bathroom on to our house. They started in October, and finally finished in January, just a couple of months before the craziness happened.

Let me tell you, it was so much fun to watch the construction process. From the bare bones, to the unpainted walls, to the wooden floors and the finished product, we had such a good time looking around the rooms each evening after they finished for the day. (Our favorite thing to do was hide in the closets and go to Narnia.)

And we didn’t run into any problems, like they always do on HGTV!

Until after they were all finished and the floor started leaking. They came back and fixed it though, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

5. I Got to See My Cousin More Than Once

Under normal circumstances, I usually just see my cousin, Lizi, once or twice a year. But, in 2020, I saw her four times!! And she got to sleep over at our house, which never happens! It was the best!

6. I Had the Best Birthday I’ve Ever Had

It didn’t matter that my Dad tested positive for COVID on my birthday, it was still the very best!

I got to have donuts, croissants, and pigs-in-a-blanket for breakfast, which are usually things that we only have on Christmas Day. The decorations were absolutely beautiful (which makes sense, because my mother and my sister went all-out for me), and the presents were all things that had been on my list!

After lunch, I went to town with my mom so I could get my learner’s license. I was absolutely terrified that I was going to fail the test, but I actually only missed one question! I wasn’t quite ready to drive yet, so I let Mom do all that fun stuff XD

We visited my Dad at his office and then got ice cream from the best (well, second best. Brewster’s is the best) ice cream shop in the world: Dairy Queen!

After we ate our ice cream, Mom let me go on a controlled shopping spree in Wal-Mart, which was fun! I love shopping in Wal-Mart! Because I’m basic.

And literally, when we got to our car after shopping, Mom got a text from Dad saying that his COVID test had come back positive, and we had to quarantine. So, we picked up some pizza for supper and went home, where I sorted through all my birthday wishes on YDubs, had a Zoom call with some friends, and played MarioKart with my siblings, and dominated as always. πŸ˜‡

I haven’t had as wonderful of a birthday since.

I also haven’t had a birthday since, but that doesn’t matter.

7. I Started Driving

I didn’t actually start driving until a whole month after I’d gotten my permit, but I still started driving! And let me tell you, learning to drive a 12-passenger van is no easy task. I wasn’t brave enough to go any faster than 45 MPH (60 KPH, yes, Canadians, you are welcome), but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Driving is fun! Now, I’m literally driving everywhere. My mom isn’t allowed to drive unless she’s going somewhere without me XD

8. I Joined a Band Class

Okay, technically this didn’t officially happen until 2021, but I visited the class in October, so I’ll count it. The class was meeting on Zoom, so, even though they was based in Michigan, I was still able to join! And, the teacher allowed me to write a song for the class to play, which was pretty awesome. I cried. A lot.

9. We Got a Puppy!

Some of you might remember my post where I introduced our puppy, Cookie. He was such a sweet and cuddly ball of fur and love, and he was absolutely precious!! Now, he is ten times the size he was when we first got him, and bites everything XD He’s still so sweet though!

Okay, yeah, I went one over, but so many wonderful things happened, it was impossible to choose just eight!!






Laurel Jean

What are some awesome things that happened to you in 2020? I’d love to hear about them!

Thanks for reading!

A Showcase of My Art ~ In Which Some of It Is Recent and Some of It Is Not

What do you do when you have a hole in your posting schedule and tons of original art saved on your computer? You shove all that art into a blog post, of course!!

Today, I am going to give a little bit of a sketchbook tour of random drawings and paintings from different sketchbooks from the past three or four years.

Disclaimer: I am not a photographer and all of these pictures were taken with an iPad, so the quality is not fantastic. Sorry!

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Let’s start with some Minecraft fanart because I am a nerd.

This was a character from a Minecraft fanfiction that I started writing almost a year ago. Her full name is ValleyFlower455 but everyone calls her Lily for short. I used a reference photo when I drew her so this pose is not completely mine, but this is still one of my favorite drawings!

This is an illustration that I drew for my friend’s Minecraft fanfiction. The story is, the characters were exploring a dungeon, and Arrow (the one in the drawing) screamed. When the others rushed in, they found her “perched on the spawner” which was such a wonderful image I just had to draw it. I think this is the first time I’d ever drawn someone sitting cross-legged, so that was a fun challenge.

Now we’re getting into the drawings I did of various Greek gods and goddesses. This is a drawing of Demeter, goddess of the harvest. She was fun to draw, but I’m not sure what happened to her hand *facepalm*. Hands are hard.

This is a drawing of Hestia, goddess of the hearth. I love her robe so much, but I’m not sure why she has such a weird expression. (You can also see Demeter ghosting through the other side XD)

I gave myself a challenge awhile back to draw a chibi character every day for a whole month, and this one is by far my favorite. It’s chibi Mulan! I don’t know what it is about her, but she’s absolutely adorable. (Ignore the smudges. The eraser was being naughty)

This was the second chibi drawing I did, and you can see the difference between this one and chibi Mulan, who I did much later in the month. I’m so proud of the rose garland in the ballerina’s hair.

Not sure why this cute little goat is shrugging, but she is. This was the last drawing I did that month, and I haven’t drawn anything chibi since πŸ˜…

And this is a self portrait! I don’t have green eyes anymore, but other than that, this is pretty accurate XD

The picture quality on this is terrible, but this is one of my favorite drawings that I’ve ever done. I have a gigantic pad of sketch paper and one evening, I thought, “Let’s try sketching!” so, I took my BIC mechanical pencil (0.7 lead, of course) and drew this. The lips and the nose and the hand….I am still sooooo proud of this drawing. (Oh, and, fun fact, the Uno reverse card is actual size because I traced an Uno reverse card to draw the picture!)

This looked a lot better in my head. It’s supposed to be a drawing of a sad girl with a mask that makes her look gorgeous and happy. I could probably redraw it fifty different ways now, but this is what I have. I am still really proud of it though.

This is another drawing from my ginormous sketchbook. It’s supposed to be a crying fairy. Not sure how convincing it is. Also, I don’t know why I remember this, but I drew this picture when I listened to Les Miz for the first time.

I went through a phase where I was obsessed with painting watercolor unicorns, pegasi, and alicorns. This is the most recent one I did (back in 2018). I call it the Fruit Stripes unicorn because the colors on the mane remind me of Fruit Stripes gum XD

This is one of my all-time favorites. I copied this more or less from Pinterest and it turned out so good!! I’m definitely very proud of it!

This was the very first watercolor unicorn that I did. As you can see, my attempts at making it an appaloosa did not go very well. The figure is really off, too. I adore the mane and tail though.

This one isn’t that great either (and incredibly blurry, what on earth happened?). I was still trying to figure out 1. How to make the appaloosa spots look right and 2. How to shape the wings correctly. She still has a really pretty design though. I should re-paint her sometime.

This one is similar to the one I copied off of Pinterest, except done with MECHANICAL PENCIL!!!!! I’m really proud of that braid, y’all.

I copied this girl from some embroidery my grandmother did. The picture does not look nearly as good as the original embroidery, but I’m so proud of it! It turned out so pretty!

This is just a quick sketch of my dreamcatcher (which is actual size because I traced the dreamcatcher the get that circle πŸ˜‚) with my little garden girl ghosting through. *facepalm* I didn’t think it looked very good when I did it, but, looking back now, it’s almost exactly like the real thing!

This is a drawing that I did for Februfairy last year. Februfairy is an art challenge where you draw a fairy every day in the month of February. I’m incredibly proud of that koi fish. It was very fun to color.

ALL HAIL QUEEN ALICE, RULER OF… bedroom, I guess? I drew this off of the doll that my grandmother made. I need to get more red markers so I can color her in…..

I love this one. It’s just a quick little drawing of a character that appeared in one of my dreams that I planned to write a story about. That was awhile back, but now, I am revisiting her design for my novel! Her name is Silence and, in my original design, she got fire power from her amulet, but now, she can manipulate sound.

This is a drawing I did for my sister of one of her characters. Her name is Eleanor and she is British and loves animals. I love the velvet look her dress has, especially since I made it using two shades of green XD

This is another drawing I did for my sister. This adorable winged baby panda is called a pandita, and can fly. Because it has wings. IT’S SO CUTE!!!

These are the same character, but drawn two years apart. The top one was done in 2020, and the bottom one was done in 2018. This fairy is another one of my sister’s characters. Her name is Harmony and she has healing powers.

(Suddenly realizes I also have a Harmony with healing powers) Hmm……

Some Ninjago fanart! This is Jay, the lightning ninja! I love his expression XD

I drew this to practice drawing something other than humans XD Her name is Sophia and she is very fuzzy!

These were the only things I managed to produce during Smaugust. Smaugust is a challenge where you draw a dragon every day in the month of August. Their names, in order, are Volco, Sanalay, Weedy, Flora, and Queen Azema. My favorite is either Weedy or Sanalay.

Funny story: This girl went through two different phases before I landed on this one, and I’m still not satisfied. She was colored with watercolor pencils, so yeah, not the highest quality. I love this idea though, so I’m definitely going to revisit it. I call this picture Butterfly Maiden.

These two lovely ladies are cosplayers of slimes from the game Slime Rancher. I’ve drawn six so far, but I only took pictures of these two.

Attempting to draw a fairy from behind. I think this one turned out pretty good!

*squeals* This one is adorable!! It took my several hours to paint, but it’s so sweet and precious!! (Also, none of the smudges were intentional *facepalm*)

Well, that’s all the artwork that I could find on my computer, but is not all the artwork I have! I had so much fun compiling this post! If y’all want to see another post like this in the future, let me know!!

Now, because I know some of y’all are going to ask, I shall now list my art supplies.

Canson XL Watercolor pad. The paper is super thick and very high-quality!

Canson XL Drawing pad. This paper is also very high-quality, and it’s really smooth which is fantastic for my markers.

COPIC Sketch markers. These markers are pretty expensive, but they’re refillable and easy to blend. I am slowly growing my collection and I love them a lot!! They do bleed quite a bit, but that’s easily fixed with a couple of pieces of scrap paper.

Sakura Microns. (To outline, I used the 01 size) These pens don’t smudge with the COPICs, and they come in a variety of sizes and colors.

BIC Star Wars Mechanical Pencil 0.7 lead size. I looove mechanical pencils, and the BIC brand is fantastic!

Very cheap watercolors from the Dollar Tree. They’re great for when you want a watery look or a vibrant look to your painting!

Prismacolor color pencils. Super high quality.

Prismacolor watercolor pencils. Not as high as the regular pencils, but still very well made.

Thanks for reading!!

Crazy Writing Week! ~ In Which Craziness Ensues

Hey guys! Just a quick note to let you know that Crazy Writing Week is open!

What is Crazy Writing Week?

Crazy Writing Week (or CWW or CDubs) is a program given by the Young Writers Workshop to help writers make a significant amount of progress on their writing projects by friendly competition. CWW is really similar to YWW, but does have a few differences as explained on the website. This is my third time participating and I really enjoy seeing my friends and meeting new people!

Why do I need to join Crazy Writing Week?

I mean, you don’t need to, but most, if not all, of the participants have written more words in a week than they thought possible! It’s completely free and tons of fun! Plus, there are places for you to ask questions about your projects and it’s really easy to connect with other writers your age because….well…..the whole community is made up of young writers!

Why is it a competition and what if I don’t like competing?

CWW is a competition to help writers have incentive to write as many words as possible. The teams this year are the Forks and Spoons. (I am a proud Fork 😁🍴) There are prizes for the amount of words written by both teams. For example, if we write 2 million words, we will win a secret lesson to help us improve in our writing. If we write 4 million words, we will win a music video of one of the instructors singing a VeggieTales song! (VeggieTales is a running tradition at this point XD)

If you don’t want to compete your tail off for a specific team, you can join the Sporks team! The Sporks are a neutral team that can submit points for either team. They’ll still get to partake in the prizes and they still have to compete, but it’s not for a set team.

This sounds awesome! How do I sign up?

Head over to the website to create an account!

I hope to see you there! My name on the community is Mia Harden, so if you see me, don’t be afraid to say hi!! If you have any further questions, feel free to ask them in the comments and I will be glad to answer!

Thanks for reading!!