Misfit Toy

Hey everyone. I know it has been a while. In all honesty, i haven’t been writing a lot lately. That upsets me. I used to write everyday to keep my mind active. Now, it has kind of lessened. Im setting out to change that. Also, i wanted to come back onto my blog. I like updating stuff here and get feedback from other writers on WordPress. I hope to start updating again. I even have plan for a new blog series, just like my interview with a writer series. I shall update that very soon. But for now, here is a poem i wrote before my few months of writers block. Hope you enjoy it:

Misfit toy

 

Broken

Disfigured

Maimed

Observed from eager eyes of

Blood thirsty audiences

They marvel,

They spit,

They cheer,

They jeer,

Whatever tickles their fancy.

I, always under the watchful eye

Of the Master

Master of tricks,

Mind or otherwise.

My “difference”,

Gains him enjoyment.

My “afflictions”,

Give him power.

As i get smaller and smaller

In my caged existence,

He gets bigger and bigger

More sinister and more power hungry.

His laughs fill my mind

With poison.

“Your only worth,

Your only job is to please me”

The horrifying gurgle of his voice

Fills my thoughts

And corrupts my mind.

The master of my own affliction…

And the audience fill the stage

To watch my fall,

My grand finale.

I am done.

This misfit toy has played

Its part

The Invasive Authorship of J.K. Rowling

“it is necessary to overthrow the myth: the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author” (Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author”)

I didn’t want to post anything. It didn’t feel right to post anything with the world going up in flames. It breaks my heart to see the violence that is occurring in America. I dont condone violence, but this issue goes so deep within the system, you have to fight fire with fire. I have been so enraged and heartbroken by this situation, that I didn’t want to post. However, I have seen Rowling’s interactions on Twitter and I felt compelled to write this. Ive been wanting to post this for a while, as I mostly rant about Rowling. But after seeing her hypocrisy and the crap she has been sprouting out on her Twitter the past week, I wanted to finally put out this post. This blog post will discuss my dissertation, “The Invasive Authorship of J.K. Rowling.”

My favorite thing to do for inspiration, is listen to my favorite artists talk about their work. It provides interesting insight into this piece of art they created. For example, Billie Eilish released her new song, “Everything I wanted.” I really liked the song, but I couldn’t formulate a meaning behind it. I didn’t know what the song was trying to say. So I looked at comments on the song. Many people had their own interpretations.

But I read a comment that said Billie talked about the inspiration behind the song. She stated that it told a story of a dream she had, where she killed herself and no one cared. That the only person, the “you” she refers to in the song, talks about her brother. The only one who cares about what happens to her.

However, the meaning behind a piece of art doesn’t formulate that piece absolutely. When you listen, read or digest a piece of art, you will take on whatever meaning that work has on you. Currently, there has been a debate on the meanings behind pieces of art. What was the intention by the original author and what are they trying to say to us?

I recently graduated with my degree in a Masters in English. I wrote my dissertation on “The Invasive Authorship of J.K. Rowling.” It was an enjoyable experience, but by god, I hate this woman now. I was already starting to lose respect for this woman and youll see why when I talk about my dissertation. But I decided to finish this blog post due to her recent toxic escapades on Twitter and the media. When I see anything to do with Harry Potter, I get PTSD. I planned to talk about my thesis for a while, because I genuinely enjoyed this topic. I got to dissect the nature of literature and how we perceived it for years. I also got to analyze my childhood series. Harry Potter got me into reading, writing and ultimately doing my degree on literature. My central focus on the theory of authorship with J.K. Rowling as the main study. Due to her reputation, she seemed the reputable choice to discuss invasive authorship in literature. For this blog post, I am going to do a brief overview of what I discussed on my thesis, since I dont want to rewrite the same 15,000 word dissertation. That would be boring. I split my thesis into three chapters;

Chapter 1 – Dumbledore is Gay, The Intentional Fallacy of Joanne Rowling

dumbledore gay

*sigh* We really are going to start with this one. The beginning of Rowling’s questionable role as the absolute author came with her declaration about Dumbledore in 2007. She stated “I always thought of Dumbledore as gay” in an interview a couple of months after the publication of the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I found when Rowling stated this back in 2007, the fandom took it as fact. This was an absolute statement made by the creator of the series, therefore, it should be taken as gospel.

My plan for this chapter was to evaluate the intentional fallacies within Rowling’s grandiose statement. So I constructed an evaluation of the text itself, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, to see what evidence supports this love relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Granted, there is some evidence in the book of a strong relationship between these two characters. Mostly, it remains ambiguous what exactly their relationship was, as the book isn’t Dumbledore’s story. Rowling even stated that she wanted to leave it open-ended. However, she contradicts this statement by stating the intent of Dumbledore being gay. It leaves no interpretative room for her readers.

She further contradicts herself when she wrote the screenplay for Crimes of Grindelwald. With the movie set during the time of Grindelwald and Dumbledore’s famous battle, surely she would play into their mysterious relationship more. A forbidden love between these two great wizards with very different views for the world, would make for a heart-wrenching story. But she failed to do this. There was no evidence of a love relationship presented in the film. The only hint we got was in the line, “we were closer than brothers.” This provided weak, even no evidence to support the claim she made back in 2007. Moreover, Rowling had contradicted herself further in an interview that was released after Crimes of Grindelwald came out, where she said there was an intense sexual relationship between the two characters.

Bitch, where?! If I am to follow the text presented to me, there is no textual evidence to support this post-scriptural intent. Not in Deathly Hallows and certainly not in Crimes of Grindelwald. This gets her readers to look back at her statement in 2007 and sigh.

Her contradictory statements confused and angered fans. Moreover, she took away the interpretative power of her fans. Any reader of Harry Potter could have made some anaylsis of a strong connection between Grindelwald and Dumbledore with Deathly Hallows. However, she took away that opportunity with her absolute statement, “Dumbledore’s gay.” Moreover, her lack of proof or sufficient consistency with her statements in her film, Crimes of Grindelwald, reinforces the argument of that post-scriptural statements. Post-scriptural statement shouldn’t inform the original work. If it was not written into the original manuscript, then dont consider it canonical. As one of my friends said to me, there is more evidence of Harry being bisexual than Dumbledore being gay.

rowling gay dumbledore

 

Chapter 2 – J. K. “Just Kidding” Rowling, The Fall of the Absolute Author

rowling 2

This chapter focused in on Rowling’s identity as an author and celebrity. Through the conversion of these two identities that she attempts to convey to the public, her status as an absolute author begins to fade. I argue that the author identity given to Rowling began with “the implied author” from readers. When they read the Harry Potter series, they feel Rowling’s presence. Theorist, Alexander Nehamas argues that no reading cant generate an author. Rowling perpetuates this as she likes the feeling that she knows the author knows the ins-and-outs of their own story. That there is a comfort to that. So this pushes for an absolute author identity. But I agree with the debate that Rowling was merely a scribe and had no real power over what came out in the writing process.

With her celebrity status increasing, her invasive behaviour began. Scholars had argued for years that the literary was intellectual and elitist whereas celebrity associates with popular entertainment mass production. Rowling merged these two worlds together with the success of her books, which created the film franchise and made her a household name in literature and popular media. For years, she maintained the balance between her authorial identity and her celebrity identity. She allowed interpretative opinions of her works to be made through fan-fiction etc. However, with her social media presence, this is where she began her post-scriptural campaign. She pushed her Dumbledore narrative and created new canon to her series that seemed forced and unnecessary. The main argument stands that she attempted to maintain her author status by using her public figure status in the media. To maintain the relevancy of her series in the public eye, she butchered the nostalgia of her biggest works. Whenever a fan argued lack of representation, Rowling would present new book canon that never appeared in the original text. She lost her authorial integrity through the abuse of her public/celebrity identity. Moreover, the increase of celebrity would muddle up the relationship between Rowling and her readers.

Chapter 3 – The Invasive Celebrity and her fans

Harry-Potter fans

With the loss of her absolute status as an author, I discuss in this chapter the loss of her credibility as an author along with the relationship between author and reader. The reliability of their author decreases immensely. Rowling continues to alter the canon of their favourite series in order to stay relevant, and if any fans questions this, Rowling responds with contempt on her social media. This represents a toxic relationship between Rowling and her fans or her readers. In this chapter, I evaluated that fan culture aided in the downfall of the absolute author, J.K. Rowling. However you could argue that they persisted this unhealthy viewpoint on her absolute status.

The toxic relationship between Rowling and her fans leads to the contention with her authorial status. The distinction between fans and readers blur with the celebrity of the author. The reader represents in literary discourse as an objective figure that will read and analyse a piece of work. Whereas fans are considered as Henry Jenkins, call “rogue readers.” Fans assert their right to interpret the story how they see fit. They construct fan fictions that interpret their view on the series and take some of the authoritative power away from Rowling. At first, Rowling was flattered by the fan fiction made about her work. She was the first author to embrace fanfiction whilst other authors such as Anne Rice sued fans for their fan fictions. However, when Rowling began her invasive behaviour, readers and fans alike turned against Rowling. With fans taking liberty of Rowling’s work, it brings to question the relevancy of the author. It puts the author as the master of their own literary universe under fire. The increase power fans have over a work, leads to the decrease in Rowling’s authorial power. However, you can argue there is a small pocket of fandoms that become obsessive and almost cruel towards their celebrity idol and thats why authors and media are against fan fictions and fandoms as a whole. Theorists even characterize fans as deranged, excessive and dysfunctional.

 

However, they ignore the power the fans have. Most fans take their knowledge of their beloved series and make sound objective critiques on the series. Their fan work play massive role in redefining the work they already know. Fanfictions show the power the reader has over a work and depletes the power of the absolute author. Moreover, the celebrity status Rowling holds, makes her open to criticism. Fans attack her for her foolish post-scriptural additions to her story. Rowling has now become a joke amongst the literary and media world. Respect for authorial status depletes, and her fandom lives on.

Throughout my thesis, I wanted to argue whether the power of the author is necessary. Do we need an author in order to understand a work? I had mixed reactions from different people, and whilst writing this, I had mixed thoughts on it. With Rowling’s invasive behaviour, she risked the reputation of her series, and the status of her power. However, as a reader, I cant help but think of Rowling when you read her work. We were taught from a young age that the author matters in the grand scheme towards the meaning of the text. In a way, they do. We cant unsee or unhear the author and it would almost be a disservice towards the person who created the work. However, it is your power as a reader to create your own interpretation of the work. I am a big Harry Potter fan, so when Rowling sprouts crap like Crediance being a Dumbledore and werewolves represent people with AIDS, Ill call her out. As someone who knows the work and can make a critical analysis, I can safely say I know the work better than Rowling. Its up to the reader whether the author has merit or not to what they say. Whether their intent or not, its up to you if its canonical fact. We dont need the author to dictate our interpretations of their work. Once they publish it, its out there to be interpreted. An author cant control everything about their work. Ill respect an authors piece of work and stand by them or not. But ill make my own interpretation of that work.

I dont stand by Rowling, but I still love her series. Do I believe Dumbledore is gay? Ill go so far as to say no and that Rowling said it so to claim LGBTQ representation without putting in the work in her books. Thats just my interpretative opinion that I backed up from her behaviour and lack of evidence she integrated into her work. But someone else can argue it differently. But thats what is beautiful about literary criticism. You can have an open discussion with other readers and fans about art that you love. Be open to critique and interpret. Dont take on Rowling’s contempt and disregard for her readers. She shows more and more how much she has fallen. As a writer, as a public figure, as a human being. I was losing respect for her as I wrote my dissertation back in 2018 and 2019.

But in 2020 I can safely say, I have absolutely no respect for that woman. But should the actions of the author really ruin their piece of art? Will you stop loving that work because of the controversial actions of their creator? Thats really up to you. It makes it a fascinating topic that I only scratched the surface of in my dissertation. If you want to learn more about this topic yourself, I left a list of some of the sources I used in my dissertation. Mostly I put the sources that got me into researching this topic, and ones I found really interesting to read down on this list. I hope you are all doing well. I hope you are safe during this difficult time. With the pandemic and the riots going on, it is terrifying to think how much has happened this past year. Stay safe and Ill see you in the next post.

 

Sources: 

Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” The Norton Anthology: Theory Criticism Third Edition, edited by Vincent B. Leitch, W.W Norton Company; New York, 2018, pp. 1268-1272.

Booth A. Wayne. The Rhetoric of Fiction. London, University of Chicago Press, 1973.

Bundel, Ani. “Is Dumbledore gay? Why J. K. Rowling’s continual character revisionism is getting old.” NBC News, https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/dumbledore-gay-why-j-k-rowling-s-continual-character-revisionism-ncna986726.

Busse, Kristina and Hellekson, Karen. Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays. North Carolina, Farland & Company Inc, Publishers, 2006, Google Book Search. Web. 12 April 2019.

Framing Fan Fiction: Literary and Social Practices in Fan Fiction Communities. Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 2017, Google Book Search. Web 12 April 2019.

Calhoun, Laura. “The Intentional Fallacy.” Philosophy and Literature, vol. 18, no. 2, 1994, https://muse-jhu-edu.proxy.lib.ul.ie/article/416166/pdf.

Davidson, Guy. “Introduction: Modernism and the Networks of Celebrity Construction.” Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 39, no. 1, 2015, https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/jmodelite.39.1.127.

Eco, Umberto. Interpretation and overinterpretation. Newcastle, University of Cambridge Press, 1992.

Foucault, Michael. “What Is An Author?” The Norton Anthology: Theory Criticism Third Edition, edited by Vincent B. Leitch, W.W Norton Company; New York, 2018, pp. 1394-1409.

Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2013, Google Book Search. Web. 12 June 2019.

Irwin, William. “Authorial Declaration and Extreme Actual Intentionalism: Is Dumbledore Gay?” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 73, no. 2, 2015, https://www.jstor.org/stable/43496554.

Nehamas, Alexander. “What an Author Is.” The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 83, no. 11, 1986, https://www.jstor.org/stable/2026619.

O’ Meara, Lucy. “Killing Joke: Authorship from Barthes to Nothomb.” Baltimore, vol. 55, no. 4, 2015, https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.ul.ie/lion/docview/1764712863/fulltextPDF/E8884D3EF00C42E8PQ/1?accountid=14564.

 

 

A writer’s biggest fear

In this blog post, I wanted to talk about something I found out a couple of years ago. As a writer, you dream of someday having your work published. You want your characters and stories to reach other people, and to move them just as the characters have moved you for years. Imagine you spend years on a series you adore, get it published and it comes out successful. Imagine that series then being turned into a massively successful television series, which garnered more fans of your books. Imagine putting your blood, sweat and tears into that work, only for it to be taken away from you years down the line. And not only one series gets taken away from you, but two series that you were working on, get snatched away.

Some would think this can never happen. However, it happened to the best-selling author, L.J. Smith.

LJSmith

If you have never heard of this woman, you may have heard of her best-selling series of books, called The Vampire Diaries. Yeah, that book series that turned into the huge television series with the same name.

the vamp diaries books

The-Vampire-Diaries-cast

Honestly, I was horrified when I found out L.J. Smith’s story, because I fear that could happen to me. I aspire to become an author and make it as a career. I am passionate with every work I get into. I invest in all my characters and their well-being (or their destruction depending on the story). To work on a series for that long and for it to be taken away, thats horrifying and sad. I guess, I should tell you the story of how L.J. Smith lost two of her beloved series, The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle.

L.J. Smith published the first volumes of The Vampire Diaries back in 1991 and 1992 with the book packagers, Alloy Entertainment. She published The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury and Dark Reunion. The books told the story of Elena Gilbert and her teenage antics with the vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon Salvatore. The books became best-sellers. Also L.J. Smith published her other series, The Secret Circle and The Night World around this time as well. Until she took a decade long hiatus from writing. By the end of her hiatus, The Vampire Diaries got picked to become a tv show. The pilot episode came out in 2009, with massive success. With the success of The Vampire Diaries series, the CW made a television adaptation to Smith’s other series, The Secret Circle. Unfortunately, it didn’t become as successful and was cancelled after its first season in 2012.

secret circle

Smith returned to The Vampire Diaries books and wrote the Return trilogy. By 2011, the Return series was finished and Smith submitted a draft of the next instalment in the Vampire Diaries series, The Hunters. However, the new instalment presented a pivotal plot twist in the story that publishers didn’t approve of. Smith refused to rewrite her story, as she felt it was the best course of action in her series. With this dispute, the publishers fired Smith from her series, The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle. They hired a ghostwriter named Aubrey Clark, who took on as the new creator of The Vampire Diaries and wrote more books for The Secret Circle series. I noticed a couple of years ago, that the new books had Aubrey Clark’s name in small writing below L.J. Smith’s name. I was curious and thats how I found out about the firing of Smith from her own series.

aubrey clark

 

When I read about this, I asked the question, how could they fire the author of this best-selling series from her own work? It’s like if J.K. Rowling was fired from Harry Potter and they got someone else to finish the series. No one else can replicate or understand where the story was going, more than the author herself (Or we could jump into the debate on the power of the reader, but I’ll save that for another post). So I looked into it. Back in 1990, when Smith sold her series to Alloy Entertainment, she wrote the series as “work for hire.” What that meant was Alloy Entertainment owned her the copyright to the series. Smith had no rights to her own series. She didn’t realize what that was back in 1990, but she soon found out. When she sent her draft of The Hunters to her publishers and book packagers, she got sent a letter saying that they wanted a change to the story. They felt the story was leaning too heavily on Elena and Damon’s relationship instead of Stelena, and there was something about Bonnie and Damon’s relationship in the books. They requested that Smith change this, and she refused. So it resulted in them firing Smith and hiring a ghost-writer to continue the series.

The series continued for another few years after Smith was fired. The last Vampire Diaries book was The Salvation: Unmasked in 2014. L.J. Smith continued her intended vision for the Vampire Diaries by selling her stories as fanfiction on Kindle world. These books are called The Vampire Diaries: Evensong. They continue after the books she wrote in the original series. Due to the nature of these books, the events that take place in these stories aren’t considered canon to the lore of The Vampire Diaries. L.J. Smith owns other series herself, but it is tragic that a beloved series got taken away from her. Her name still used on the covers so to capitalize on the fame of the books due to the popularity of the tv show.

It is a sad story and makes you think of how harsh the publishing world can be. Smith signed away her series for its chance to be published. It did really well, and then it was taken away. It feels like a cautionary tale for any aspiring writers or new authors to be wary of what you sign. Read over your contracts. Get a literary agent that will offer you the best advice on how to sell your story. When you want to send your book off into the publishing world, learn the ins-and-outs, so maybe you can avoid the same tragic story as L.J. Smith. Thanks for taking the time in reading this and I shall see you in the next post.

Productivity during Lockdown

I hope you are doing well during this difficult time. In Ireland, we are almost hitting a month into our lockdown. Its weird, watching videos of my city being a ghost town. I miss the trips into town to see my friends. I miss the chill pints had, at my favourite spot. I miss the chats and being in the same room with my friends. We still have the ability to stay in contact with the people we love. Thats what is so amazing about the internet. But you really do take for granted the physical connection. I miss being in the same room as my friends. I cant wait to give them massive hugs when this is all over.

 

Throughout lockdown, I have spent most of my time on Twitter and Instagram. With social media being a massive way to connect, the world has jumped into it. A common discussion on Twitter is productivity during lockdown. People set goals out for themselves throughout their lockdown. Mostly people do this to keep themselves busy during the stressful times. Goals that I have seen, include: pick up a new hobby, read all the books you procrastinated reading and my personal favourite, write that novel you’ve always wanted to write. At first, I liked this idea. A community of people on the internet encouraging you to be creative in this difficult time. Dont focus on the bad. Be creative during this shitty time. And who knows, you may write your magnum opus through all of this. I loved that energy. It got me into working more on my planned projects. I was ready to start reading and writing again.

 

However, it took a stressful turn for me. I started to see a toxic side to this productivity. A lot of people encouraged each other. They pushed each other to create. One of my friends was on a roll with her work. She wrote more of her planned novella and started a few songs. It was incredible to see that. I felt inspired to write. However, I didn’t work as much as I had hoped. I tried to force myself to write. Ive done it before, where I did write more and got out of my funk. I felt like I was forcing myself to be productive because everyone else was doing it. I felt really down about that. For the first time in a while, I am free to create the work I have always wanted to do. I am not working anymore and I spend majority time at home. I have all the time in the world to do my projects. But there was that nagging thought in my head, to sit down and get it done.

“What are you doing?” Why aren’t you writing that new poem? Turn off the game and start working?”

With those thoughts in your head, you start to hate your work. You aren’t creating from inspiration. Youre just forcing yourself to create. Also, my mental health hasn’t been great the past year. Writing does help, but sometimes writing takes a lot out of me, when i am not in the right mental space. My procrastination and the lockdown didn’t help it either. Then social media made that worse. The encouragement turned to criticism. I saw so many people attack each other for how they are spending their time in lockdown. It almost became a rule, that everyone must do something throughout lockdown. You must pick up a new hobby. You must read more. You must start and finish your defining work. Not everyone is like this, but there is that side of the internet. People picking apart your productivity. I wanted to start up my blog again and fix the format of it. I wanted to read more and write more. But I just couldn’t at the beginning. I was excited to do it, but I wasn’t in a good place to actually do anything.

Instead, I took the time to look after myself. I started taking priority over my self-care. I looked out for my mental health. I reduced communication with friends at the beginning, until I felt comfortable with reaching out. I chilled in my house by watching some new anime or Netflix documentaries (loved the Tiger King). When I felt anxious or down, I reduced my use of social media during the day. Some days, I switch off my Wifi as an opportunity to relax. As I felt better, I started to write again. I write when I feel inspired. My novella is coming along slowly. At first, I hated how slow my progress was going. Now, I learned to appreciate that slow time to marinate over the story. I am working on my characters and the story has come organically from those character sheets. I dont feel pressure to write this book by a set deadline. I did put myself through a deadline originally, but my mental health had other plans. Ive just decided to go with the flow, write my novella when I feel like it. Be creative and productive when I want to be.

 

Just because your productivity doesn’t match someone elses, that doesn’t make you lazy or less than them. Even though I havent done a lot of work during lockdown, I feel so much happier. My mental health has improved in this last month than the past year. Im not 100% happy. I still have my bad days like everyone else. But I did give that time for myself to heal in some way. That has been a positive for me in lockdown. You shouldn’t feel shame for wanting to be with yourself for a while. You shouldn’t feel bad for not starting that project. Everyone works at their own pace. During this pandemic, you are not obligated to do anything during self-isolation. Pick up a book, dont pick up a book. Start your project, dont start your project. Do whatever you want. Do whatever makes you happy and dont have anyone tell you differently. Online encouragement can be great, but sometimes it takes a dark turn. Make your mental health and comfort level a priority.

Sorry about that little rant. I just felt like discussing this idea that you need to be productive in lockdown. We are in a pandemic and some people dont feel like doing anything. Thats why I think its amazing seeing people on social media promote self-care and mental health care. We are in a scary time in history and we need to look out for each other. Look out for yourself. You cant be there for the people you love, if you aren’t there for yourself. And dont shame people for their productivity during self-isolation.

Hope you are all staying safe and indoors. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I shall see ye in the next post.

My Favourite Books

This was a difficult post to write. If you are an avid reader, you know it can be hard to pick a favourite book. Several of my friends have asked what my favourite book is, and I could never answer them. How can you pick one out of thousands of books that you have read, and state it as your all time favourite? Its impossible and I feel like I havent found that book that stopped me in my tracks. A book that leaves me speechless and has me in love. I have several books that I can say that I love out of the billon of books out there. So Ill give you the list I made out of some of these outstanding books.

 

Perks of being a Wallflower

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This books is beautiful, heartwarming and tragic. I read this book when I was in secondary school and I definitely felt like the character, Charlie. He was so relatable and the book has an amazing cast of characters. It made me feel hopeful for a great group of friends where you can trust and have great experiences with. Now, as I got older, I have met the people that remind me of Charlie’s friends. It is a really realistic portrayal of friendships, trauma, social anxiety and teenage life.

I laughed, I cried and fell in love with this book. Thank you, Stephen Chbosky and I cant wait to read his new book, Imaginary Friends.

Harry Potter series

harrypotter-mosscovers

I think a lot of people in my generation have the Harry Potter series on their favourite book list. I grew up with these books. I did my masters thesis on this series. J.K. Rowling was the reason for my passion for writing. Even though I hate Joanne Rowling now, my heart still lies with Harry Potter. I’ll never stop loving the series and itll always be a part of my heart. It started my love for reading and writing. So thank you, Rowling for the books you wrote.

The Hunger Games

Hunger_Games_Cover

If you dont know what the Hunger Games is, it’s about sixteen year old, Katniss Everdeen who volunteers for the Hunger Games in her sisters stead. The trilogy tells her story of survival, political intrigue and rebellion. This series is another favourite of mine. The books hold up today and I love the character, Katniss. I relate to her cold demeanour and I love Suzanne Collins writing style. She can write tension and suspenseful chapters which makes you want to turn the page. I still love it as an adult and I feel like it holds up after the age of the YA novels.

The Last Song

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The Last Song is the story of Ronnie Miller and the summer that she spends with her father at Wrightsville Beach.

I wrote a blog post about Nicholas sparks and his work. This is the one book of his, that I will return to over and over again. I loved Spark’s work, but I feel like his work is just a rinse and repeat. But The Last Song was the book that got me into his work in the first place. I have read it so many times. It’s just a simple story about first love, family, loss and betrayal. I wonder if I read it now, would I still like it?

The Book Thief

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The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel, a little girl who is taken to a new home because her mother can’t afford to take care of her. The story is told by Death, who becomes a character you come to respect and even feel sorry for by the end.

I discovered this book from my hairdresser. When I get my hair done, I always brought a book with me because I am a social introvert. I would rather read a book then talk to people. But my hairdresser would talk to me about new books we were reading. One day, she gave me her copy of the Book Thief and said, “I think youd love this.” I would love to write something like this. To write in the point of view as Death, I find so fascinating. I loved how it was written and the story, itself, was heartbreaking. This book was a huge inspiration for me.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Oscar Wilde was a confidant and excellent writer. He writes very vibrant characters. I loved the gothic themes in this book and the dark turns it took throughout. A great Irish writer that everyone should pick up. Not only are his fictions fascinating, Oscar Wilde’s own life held it’s own twist and turns.

The Wild Irish Girl

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When Horatio, the son of an English lord, is banished to his father’s Irish estate as punishment for his dissipated ways, he goes off in search of adventure. On the wild west coast of Connaught he finds remnants of a romantic Gaelic past–a dilapidated castle, a Catholic priest, a deposed king and the king’s lovely daughter Glorvina.

I studied this novel in my Irish Gothic Literature class in my masters. The works we looked at, played on the gothic elements of the supernatural and architecture of romance and horror. I loved it, but I especially loved The Wild Irish Girl. The book presents the culture and countryside of Ireland fantastically. Granted, the book tips over on the stereotypical scale. However, the purpose of the book was for Owenson to promote the ancient culture of Ireland so that British readers and everyone in the world, can understand the country of Ireland.

The gothic horror of Glorivana presents the dichotomy of the relationship between Ireland and Great Britain at the time. It presents a very nationalistic view on the union between the two countries and it’s very cool. No wonder I loved it.

 

And that was my favourite books list. My choices got very gothic at the end. Pick them up and check them out. They could be good reads during quarantine. Hope you all are doing well and I shall see ye in the next post.

Pros and Cons of Self-Isolation

Hello, everyone.

 

I has been a while since I have been on here. Sorry about that. A lot has happened since then. I graduated my Masters programme in January, I have working full time at my job, and the world has been hit with this Coronavirus. Yeah, the world has gone to shit, and my thoughts of 2020 being better than 2019, lost its footing.

As you may not know, I am from Ireland, and the country begins its preparation for a full-scale lockdown. Many people have started self-isolating, whilst others do their last bit of partying before we shut down. I mean, last weekend, young people were still going out drinking, as the count for coronavirus cases went up. Here’s an example of people ignoring social distancing:

 

 

All pubs across the country are closed after this disaster. Some businesses have stayed open. I work in my local McDonalds, so we are one of the few places left open to the public. The head of the office stated that seating areas in restaurants in the U.K and Ireland, are now closed, but that McDonalds will stay open for deliveries and drive thru. So I must journey on, and face the virus head on. Other than that, I go home and lock myself in the house after work. I have found the self-isolation hard, as many have. The only social interaction I get, are customers who get angry over a large fries. Lately, customers have gotten nastier with this pandemic. (Please be kind to people in customer service). So I thought I would talk about how I have getting through self-isolation, my plans during this crisis and the pros/cons of self-isolation.

My plans

Write my book

My current creative outlet would be my projects. I am still planning and writing my Project Cherophobia. I still write new poems whenever I can, so the project is still ongoing. Moreover, I have started a new project, a novella under the name, Project Selkie. This project allows me to delve more into my love for Irish folklore and the modern life of Ireland. Thats all the hint I can give for now. I am still in the planning and outlining stage of Project Selkie, but it has proven to be a smooth process. Its fleshing out more with each passing day, and I love working on it. Writing keeps me going through the hard times, and maybe, just maybe, Ill write my equivalent of King Lear during this outbreak.

Fix and write more on my blog

My blog has been a safe space for me, but at times, I tend to step away from it. The one thing I have been meaning to do, was to fix the layout of my blog. I never knew how to do it. But I have learnt little by little, whenever I interact with it. It has been a long process, and itll take even longer. I need to fix categories, the tags and the pages of my blog. Itll take some time, and I have a lot of it. Moreover, I want to write more onto my blog. Since Ill be writing more and developing my projects, I think returning to my blog is in order. I have a few challenge posts planned and I cant wait to write some more.

Read more

I have a full bookcase that needs to be tackled. The list of books I said I would read, and never got around to do it. Reading will help with my writing, so to read more is high on the list of my priorities during this crisis.

Pick up a new hobby

I want to pick up something new or reignite an old hobby I used to have. I want to game more, as I always loved relaxing with a new game. I have several that I have not played yet, such as, Spiderman, The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition. I would love to dive into more games. I just redownloaded my Steam account, and I am tempted to finally play Undertale. A possible hobby I want to try, would be to create AMVs. I always loved watching them, and I have wanted to attempt to make one. If you dont know what AMVs are, they are Anime Music Videos, where you pick a song and pick a show, then create your own music from that through editing etc. You can an AMV out of anything. You can create one off of your favourite anime:

Whoarriors [Kyoukai no Kanata AMV – Sakura-con Finalist/Anime Boston 2015 Best Editing] by Ileia

Or from whatever tv show/movie you want:

Game of Thrones Women | Survivor by ImaniProdz

I doubt I will be as good as any of these ones, but Id like to learn.

Watch more shows/movies/documentaries

I have already started my list during my self-isolation. I watched Gabriel Fernandez’s series on Netflix (so infuriating to watch). I began the show, The Ancient Magus Bride, which helped with inspiration for my novella, Project Selkie, and I have many more stuff I want to watch. Some that I have always wanted to watch (Jane the Virgin, American Horror Story), some that have only come out now (Tiger documentary, I Am Not Okay With This) and some that have been recommended to me by force (JoJo, Its Always Sunny). Moreover, I want to learn more stuff about history. I recently started watching documentaries on the Tudor dynasty, Elizabeth’s reign and Henry VIII’s marriage with Anne Boylan. I love documentaries.

Go outside and walk my dogs

You need to get out of the house. It isn’t against the law for you to go outside. Just keep a safe distance from everyone else. Also your dog needs a walk too. I have a grown huskie and two young springer spaniels that need to be walked. So that will give my sisters and I a chance to leave the house and get fresh air.

           

The pros of self-isolation are learning new hobbies, spend more time by yourself if you are more introverted. Writers, like me, can get the projects they have always wanted to get done, finished. You can catch up on shows that you have procrastinated etc.

However, there are cons to self-isolation. Many people may find it hard to stay indoors for this long and not able to see or meet people. I am a very introverted person, but I miss seeing my friends. With my mental health, meeting friends has helped. So I implore anyone who may be experiencing this self-isolation badly, take on a routine of self-care. Do things that calm yourself. Pick up a book, mediate. Relax yourself. Take a nap. Anything that puts you in a better state of mind. Also you dont have to be alone.

Maintain contact. You are not alone in this self-isolation. Text, call or facetime your friends. You can maintain friendships, until everything blows over and you can hold them again. It is going to be a rough few months, maybe year. But we are in this together. The only way for everyone to make this easier, is stay at home. Stay away from everyone. Keep that up and this virus will go away. Then we can go back to normal.

 

Stay at hone. Be safe and see you in the next post.

Bullying in films

Happy New year and the first post I’m going to start off the new year, is portrayal of bullying in movies. Very uplifting topic, I know. But listen. My work in progress novel revolves around the central theme of bullying and everything that comes with that. Bullying can lead to many victims with depression, anxiety, PTSD and many other mental illness. I’ve had my fair share of bullying experiences that has left me scarred for life (but I’ll talk about that in another blog post, maybe). Today, I wanted to analyse how bullying is represented in films, because I have a few thoughts on it. I chose a few films to talk about. I mainly chose films where bullying is the central theme to the plot.

 

Cyberbully (Emily osment)

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I started off with this film, because I think this would have been many people’s first film, discussing the effects of bullying. A friend of mine told me a story of when her class watched this film one day and everyone laughed at the scene where emily Osment tried to commit suicide. That horrified me when I heard that story. It showed how much people dont take the dangerous effects of bullying seriously. I remember reading comment threads on this film, and people arguing that what osments character was experiencing, was not real bullying. If she was not hit or physically harmed, she was not bullied. 2011/2012 logic there. I still break out into tears when Emily’s character attempts to kill herself. From the moment that Sia’s song “Breathe me” starts to play, I lose it.

The basic premise of the film revolves around Emily Osment’s character setting up an account on a site called Clicksters. Trouble ensues when osments character gets hacked and a nasty comment is posted on her feed. Actions of bullying, such as horrible comments, videos, starts. My thoughts on the film is, that it represents the effects of cyberbullying really well. It shows how easy it can be to be abused online. Moreover, it showcases the after effects of bullying brilliantly, with Osment’s character still wanting to check her social media after her suicide attempt. We live in an internet obsessed culture. Osments character becomes obsessed with the attention she gets online, even if its abuse. I also loved that the main cyberbully that went after osment, was her own friend. Albeit everyone bullied osment, it was her friend that started the hate campaign against her. The film shows that anyone could be your bully and how easy it is to give hate online, since you are not face-to-face with your victim.

However, this movie hasn’t aged well, as its use of social media feels outdated. The protagonist, a teenager doesn’t know how to block people online, and she never shuts down her account when the abuse gets bad. Many people have called osments character stupid and that she deserved the hate she got. My defense for this film is, that it sets up osments character to be less than knowledeable on the topic of social media. Her mother kept an eye on her use of the internet and wouldnt allow her to have internet on her phone. The key is knowledge and her mother didnt give her the freedom to learn how to protect herself online. So that explains osments lack of understanding, when it came to battling cyber bullies. The film did what it was supposed to do, which spread awareness of bullying online, even though its protagonist wasnt always the best model for that discussion.

 

Cyberbully (Maisie Williams)

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This film stars Maisie Williams and it tells the story of a girl being invaded by a foreign force through a hacker who threatens to ruin her life. The film is more a thriller than what the previous cyberbully film did. However, it centres around the concept of cyberbullying. This unknown hacker claims his purpose is to help victims of cyberbullying. Through Williams, we see the hackers toxic means of how they seek justice.

The film forces you to question the dark truth behind cyberbullying. Williams claims we live in a world where bullying is normal and that everyone does it. We live in a world where we can say what we want behind fake usernames. And as the hacker says, do you think that’s okay? The film puts you on edge and makes you look into the damaging effects you can have on a person’s mental health.

However, this films looks at bullying through the topic of hacking. The hacker threatens to post her nudes, if she doesn’t admit to her wrongs. That places the hacker as a villain. It skews the central message, I think. The hacker makes Williams see what she really is, however, as a viewer, I want to see Williams get out of this situation. With the tone of a thriller on the movie, it fails to push the theme of bullying to the forefront, and remains a cat-and-mouse type of game between Williams and the hacker. Even though the theme revolves around bullying, I see it a more enjoyable thrill ride of a film, then an educational one.

A Girl Like Her

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A Girl Like her tells the story of a girl, who is in the hospital from a suicide attempt and finding out she was bullied severely. The concept of the film interested me, when it showed that the victim wore a camera on her, when the bullying was at its worst. This brings into discussion the he-said, she-said diabolical when it comes to bullying. When you tell a parent or an authority figure, it’s very much a situation where it cant be proved. The bully will believe they weren’t in the wrong and that the victim cant take a joke. The authorities cant do anything, when they havent seen the abuse themselves. So I was interested when they had the protagonist wear a camera, so to document the abuse. I loved the premise.

However, I started to hate the film towards the end. The sense of helplessness from the main protagonist was heartbreaking. When you watched the footage that was collected, you cant help but despise the main bully. I remember watching this film with my mother, and she was disgusted by what she saw. The extreme abuse that the bully enacted on the victim, makes it hard to empathize with her. But that’s what the film attempts to do. They show the bully’s family life and how hard it is to maintain her popular status. I felt this idea of empathy for the bully, being shoved down my throat and it didnt take. I felt no sympathy for her. I think it was great that she admitted to her wrongs, especially after all that crap she spewed throughout the film. “She just couldn’t take a joke” “I didnt make her kill herself” I just couldn’t empathize with someone like that and the film really tried to get me to feel sorry for her.

A silent voice

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If you want to make a film that gets you to empathize with the bully, this is it. A silent voice tells the story of Ishida, a boy who bullied a deaf girl in primary school. Now, you are going to ask, how can you sympathize with someone who abused an innocent girl with a disability? Hear me out. A silent voice’s main theme revolves bullying, understanding, friendship and forgiveness. We follow the footsteps of Ishida, who started off as a carefree, ignorant child and into adolescence, where he is anxious, depressed and hates himself. He hates the bad stuff he did in the past and we start off the film with his suicide attempt. His main goal in the film is to make the deaf girl, Nishmiya happy. All he wants was to make her happy, and not to see her cry again. The film represents his redemption as he attempts to fix the wrongs he committed.

Moreover, the film doesn’t just focus on the wrongs he did. It showed a cast of characters who all had roles to play in the bullying of Nishimiya and how they had dealt with it in their adolescence. Even Nishimiya had her own issues from the past, where she blamed all the bad stuff on herself. She fixed this victim mentality upon herself, which failed to let her move on. She ended hating herself, just as much as Ishida hated himself. It’s a beautiful story captured in wonderful animation and heartbreaking music. I’m not going to go into too much detail, because this movie deserves a blog post all on it’s own. But it would be the best example of a film portraying the effects of bullying on children and teenagers.

I picked these films for their main concepts. I also picked them to show the varying portrayals of bullying in media. Majority of films showcase a pretty popular girl bullying the shy, good girl. Majority of bullying cases show that bullying occurs between friends. People closest to you are more likely to hurt you, than a random popular girl. A Girl like Her had the consequential popular girl bully the good girl, and even used the difficulties of maintaining popularity as a reason to bully. That’s not the central cause of bullying. You had in Emiy Osments’ Cyberbully, her best friend being the main bully of the story. This is more realistic than Maisie Williams Cyberbully. A Silent Voice transcends any of the other attempts, as it treats the story with care on the dangers of bullying on mental health, self love and suicidal thoughts. It doesn’t try to force a message down your throat or attempts to educate you. It tells the story of real people, with their real issues and problems. You see the good and the bad. It’s up to you how you feel about the outcome.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I hope to have my next post up in a few days. I wanted to talk about this, because it’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve always disliked how bullying is portrayed in films. Bullying and its effects are more nuanced than what any movie can portray. A Silent Voice is the closest I have seen to the best portrayal of bullying and its effects on screen. If you havent seen any of these films yet, check them out. Have a look at them and see what you think of them. This post is purely based on my own opinions on how films have portrayed this real problem on the screen. Hope you enjoyed. See you in the next post.

My 2019

The new year is coming up so I felt compelled to talk about my 2019. I see everyone celebrate the best parts of their year. Oh, I got my dream job or I met the man of my dreams. And I could do the same. I got accepted into my Masters programme and wrote one of the hardest projects of my life. I started writing for myself again and felt comfortable enough to blog again.

However, 2019 was the darkest year of my life and I want to talk about it. Now, some people will probably think: oh, you should think positively about the year and stop letting negativity into your life. Let go of the negative and let in the positive. I dont feel positive about this year, but you know what…let’s give it ago.

 

Negative: a corrupt system tried to destroy an innocent family

Positive: the family still have each other

I wont go into too much detail about this. But yeah, I had a lot of stuff with my family this year. It made it unbearable to be at home and I wanted to escape. I used college and my friends as my way to leave the house whenever I could. Since that negative force has left our lives, my family has become calmer. A weight had been lifted and we just want to be left alone. We went through something that no one should have to go through. But we got through it together. I appreciate my family so much more after our experience this year. I love them so much.

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Negative: a bad year to start a relationship

Positive: I still have that person in my life

To open yourself up to someone, that is tough. This year, I experienced the first simbalence of a relationship. It was great, then it wasnt great. It was with one of my best friends, which seems perfect. But all good things must come to an end. It was painful and a learning curve. But I dont regret it. The best part to come out of this, is that we are still friends. That was my biggest fear about that relationship. I didnt want what we have to be affected. I still care about this person and I didnt want anything to come between our friendship. I consider them my best friend and we have been there for each other in the darkest of times. I  hope we can still be that way now. We are getting there bit by bit, but this relationship came at the worst time of both our lives. But we are still there as friends, just as we’ve always been and should be.

 

Negative: my Masters programme was the worst experience of my college career

Positive: I managed to complete a 15,000 word project that I had a genuine interest in and I’m graduating

When I submitted my thesis on the 16th of September, a massive weight lifted off my shoulders. To finish such a massive project, it almost brought me to tears. With everything that was going on at home, I thought I would never get to that point. I even considered extending my submission date. To give myself more time to process everything. But I’m so happy I got through it. I dont know if I would do it again, but it was a fascinating experience in my life. I waited three months for my results. It was excruciating and I feared the worst. With everything happening at home and in my personal life, I didnt have the motivation to write my thesis. I was sure that I failed. But when I found out I passed, I couldn’t believe it. It added so much to that feeling I had when I submitted my dissertation. A heavy weight lifted off my shoulders and pure joy.

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Negative: a close friend betrayed me

Positive: I got rid of someone toxic in my life

This close friend of mine was a constant stress in my life, but I never let go. I thought they were contributing something to my life and I didnt want to let that go. A four year long friendship gone in an instant. I’m glad to have separated myself from this person, but they left a lot of chaos behind. They betrayed my trust and hurt someone I really cared about. That was unforgivable. I’m still trying to move on from the pain this one person caused, but I’m slowly getting there. I’m happy to have cut that toxic person out of my life and keep my real friends closer.

My 2019 had a lot of downs. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the ups when you are constantly hit with hard times. Everytime I had a calm, happy moment, it was shot down by something horrible. A horrible phone call or a heartbreaking message could lead to a horrible day or month. But I cant help but think of the good times. The times I met with my friends. They picked me up when I was down. I cant help, but feel grateful to them for making my 2019 a little better. And even though our relationship ended, you made a part of my 2019 really special. It’s hard to lose a close friend, but it taught me who my real friends were. No real friend could do what you did. I’m also so grateful to my strong, resourceful family. We have been through hell and back for many years. It culminated this year and I thought we wouldnt survive it. We are still going strong into 2020, so I guess you cant kill a good thing. My 2019 was filled with horrible tragedies, missed opportunities and heartbreaks. But 2020 will be better. I feel like moving forward with the people i love and leave the bad stuff behind. Instead I want to a new perspective to my life. New year, new me. I guess well have to wait and see. This will be my last post of 2019 so I wanted to leave on a happy note. Here are some of my happy memories from this year. See you in 2020.

 

 

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Poets in Music: Villains ❤🖤

After listening to this album, I wanted to talk about it. I missed the one year anniversary of this album, but better late than never. Now, I want to give a preface to this album. I watched the vlog series Emma did on the year of her making this album. It was a really nice insight into her every day life whilst making her debut album. She discussed the process of making an album and how artistically draining it is. It was fascinating to watch and it kept me inspired whilst I wrote my FYP last year. After purchasing the album, I went to see Emma perform some of her songs live in a small show in Dublin. She is a really good singer. I would love to see her again, and I loved the songs being performed live.

I talked about Emma Blackery’s music in a previous Poets in Music, but I didnt look at a lot of her music until Villains came out last year. So I’ve listened to her album and I wanted to talk about it. My first thoughts on Villains was how petty it was, but that was the point. I loved how she dragged people through the dirt and especially herself (well talk about that later). It was a stereotypical pop album. I’m not the biggest fan of pop music and the lyrics are good, not exceptional. But I loved the premise of her album. It inspired the first draft of my poetry project. Since then, I’ve changed the trajectory of the project, but it was Villains that started that process. So let me tell you about Emma Blackey’s debut album, Villains.

The premise of the album came from a list of people Emma kept as her villains. To differiante between her villains and her friends, she made a mental list to separate the two. This album is based off that list of villains she had collected.

Villains Part 1

The first song on the track list introduces Emma’s character as a destroyer and to be warned as a listener. Not everything is as it seems. This describes the deception of the album and the narrative it is trying to portray. This track list  is a list of her villains, but she began her album with a track, describing herself as a maverick and welcome to the show. Curtain call and move onto the next song. This song was a great starting point for the album, as it foreshadows the central point of Emma’s own mental struggles with her friends and the battles she faced with her enemies.

Dirt

When I heard this song for the first time, I couldn’t help but laugh. Now dont get me wrong, its catchy and it grows on you slightly. But the lyrics make me burst out laughing. Let’s spill the tea on those haters and all that. It feels like a deceptive track for the rest of the album as it was one of the sillier ones in my opinion. But it enters you into this pop feel that Emma wants to portray throughout. But as you go along, you find yourself listening to darker lyrics.

Agenda

This is my least favourite song off her album. No hate or shade. I just dont like the song. It’s the song I always skip in the album to move onto the next track. I get the vibe to it and it has a powerful message of being who you are and forget the people who want you to follow the status quo. But I just didnt vibe with this track.

Fake Friends

We’ve all been here at some point. To be friends with someone but keep each other at a distance. I know the darker side of you and I can reveal all. But I keep the peace so that you dont draw your sword against me. I enjoyed the upbeat sound to the track as it discusses the toxicity of friendships. However, this is the first track where it shows Emma’s tendency towards revenge. The only reason I’m not revealing the evil truth about you to everyone is because I’m not innocent either. You could reveal a lot more about me than I can  about you. It showcases the character of the maverick mentioned in track 1.

Icarus

Definitely one of my favourite songs from the album. Emma uses beautiful melodies with this song and I feel like it’s underappreciated compared to the other tracks. Emma writes about a person who cant accept where they went wrong. While everyone turns against them for the wrongs they committed, the person contests and refuses to apologise. She compares this person to the mythological character of Icarus, as he flew too close to the sun. Emma discusses someone with a massive ego. Just know where you went wrong, apologize and move on. Or else, you’ll end up burning up and falling to your death, like Icarus.

Take Me Out

I have a love/hate relationship to this song. I hate the chorus but it has some lyrics that resonates with me so heavily. Emma talks about the mentality of you against the world. I cant trust anyone around me, due to the experiences I’ve had. Believe me, I feel you Emma. One lyric in the song in particular that I love is;

“I put these walls up / Questioning the motives of my friends / they cant be trusted / I’m finding I’m the only one I have”

This song showcases the paranoia and social anxiety of having people around you that you cant trust. They may not have done anything to warrant this, but based off past experiences, you assume the worst. Emma reveals that sad internal conflict under the hard exterior she portrays throught the maverick character. She continues with that line of thought when she uses the title line, “I’ll take you out.”

Petty

As the title of the tracks suggests, this song is really petty and I love it. Emma based this song off a guy she dated, that called her petty and now, talks about her a lot since the break-up. This song is pettiness at its finest. Emma sings about how this song will take her places that he cant follow, as he continues to use her name for attention. Adding to the infectious beat, I always find myself coming back to this song and never getting tired of it.

Third eye

This song discusses more about this toxic individual who loves to cause chaos wherever they go. Emma sings about this person trying to manipulate everyone around her, along with her. She attempts to stay on top of this person and their deception. Emma attempts to give herself insight with her third eye. With the third eye, Emma is in control and wins against the toxic nature of this other human being. This song has become a fan favourite and I can see why, as it is the best song to dance to and Emma’s vocals are really good in this one.

What I Felt with you

As Emma put it, it’s a very lush song. A love song that talks about the sadness of a break-up. I want to know how you are doing, but I dont want to know about her. I dont think I can handle you being happy. It’s a sad song hidden under the upbeat tempo Emma establishes throughout her album. As the album progresses to the end, the upbeat sound continues as the songs get darker.

Burn the witch

This is my favourite song from the album. I think it encompasses the whole meaning behind Emma’s psyche when constructing this album. These people on her list want to destroy her, and when she attempts to reveal the truth about them, no one believes her. But her main point, “karma is a bitch and she’s coming for you.” Karma is my mantra and this song puts that into perspective as the whole theme to the album. She places her enemies on a pry and sets them alight. Everyone knows the evil truth about them, and Emma’s pettiness towards was justified.

Villains part 2

This last song becomes a final note from emma to the listener. She tells her audience that this list she constructed is gone. She threw it away, and that she has to put blame on herself. The construction of the album’s narrative centres on the people who wronged emma and her shading them. However, she accepts in Villains part 2 that she was the main villain all along. She divided people in her life into categories and never considered that she may be in the wrong. She accepts in this final track, that she was the villain and what must she do next to change that. She alludes this fact in the very first track of the album. But the album allows you to take a trip through Emma’s constructed list and her psyche. Then it opens your eyes to how destructive this was to begin with. Sure, it’s great to shade the people who hurt you. But the best way to heal from these things is to accept their point of view and what role you played in that destructive situation. Emma does this at the end. She accepts her toxic behaviour and hopes to move on from it.

For Project Cherophobia, I originally took inspiration from Emma Blackery’s album. I constructed a list of people in my life, the good and the bad. I designed the project behind the people who made up my life. But similar to Villains, it felt toxic to centre on the bad people. It wasnt just bad people, it was bad situations. So I decided to centre my project on the essential years of my life, but still keep the works I had on these people. I changed my trajectory. I appreciate the pettiness and shade emma gives in this album. I mean same girl, but it was vital that she accept her part in all of this at the end. You can be the villain in your own story. The overall sound to Emma’s album was good, but I stayed for the concept behind it all.

I’ll be just looking forward to see what she has coming next. And based off her latest video, it sounds interesting. Hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll talk to you in the next one.

The Painter and his Wife

I found this old poem I wrote a couple of  years ago. I wrote this poem about a man, who was mistreated in his final days. A woman believed to have loved him, walked away when he needed her most. It broke my heart to see that happen. Some people are just rotten to the core and only want to use people. I haven’t posted any of my poetry in a while and I’m surprised I havent shared this one yet. Here’s the story about the painter and his wife.

 

The Painter and his wife

 

“For better or for worse,

For richer or for poorer,

In sickness and in health,

Till death do you part.”

Words binding

In the eyes of God and man.

A man devoted to such vows

Sang his songs of joy,

About a painter who loved his wife.

Easier to listen,

Harder to see.

His crystal facade

Cracked under pressure,

As his wife lived

Through the bottom of a wine glass,

And the expenses of the best jewels and diamonds.

Easier to believe it was love,

When the painter loved his wife.

Harder to see this developed truth

Of growing debt and lack of love.

Then came the plague.

The painter infected.

Couldn’t speak or move,

Lost all he owned,

All that remained were his paintings,

And the love for his wife.

Through her rosy lips,

She spoke her final words;

“I didnt sign up to wipe your arse for the rest of my life.”

Down came the vows,

Down came the marriage,

Down came the man.

But never did,

The painter stop loving his wife.

 

 

 

Nanowrimo – My Failure

So I just got through the first couple weeks of Nanowrimo and….

I’m failing. Miserably.

The first day was pretty okay. I did a small amount of words. But I wasnt too concerned as I had the day off on Saturday to catch up on my word count. Now you may be asking, how did it all go so wrong?

Easy…I got sick. I got hit with the flu the second day into Nanowrimo, and since then, my progress has plummeted.

Every time I opened my computer, my mind went blank. Too foggy to actually attempt to write. But I have done something. I began the project I wanted to write for so long. I have it under the name “Project Zero.”

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It had a shaky beginning, but the hardest thing to do is start a novel. But I’m super proud I started it. But so far, I feel like a failure. I think that’s the downside to Nanowrimo. You fall off the rails and you feel like crap for not staying on top of it. But I should feel accomplished in starting the project. I’m much further than I was a month ago.

Also writers block has hit me again. But it will happen. I started writing again after so long, so the writers block will hit harder. I find it harder to jump into novel writing or short story writing. However, I still feel inspired to write. So when I have found difficulty to write my novel, I jump into my poetry project. It has evolved more this past month and I feel proud of that. “Project Cherophobia” has become a more personal endeavour and writing it has made me happier. I still need to find the structure of it and I still have more to write for it. I feel like it is a cushion for the work I am trying to do in Project Zero. When I hit a wall, I jump back to Project Cherophobia.

But so far, I have found Nanowrimo extremely difficult. I got the flu and im working all the time. I just find it hard to sit down and write. But I still pick up my phone and try to jot down some pieces of inspiration I get. So I haven’t lost complete hope. I’m way behind on my goal to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month. But at this point, I just want to write what I can. I started the projects and I feel proud. I dont regret starting Nanowrimo for that reason. I wouldnt have the initiative to start without Nanowrimo.

But let’s see how the rest of the month pans out. I hope you are all doing well in your Nanowrimo endeavours. But the point of the Nanowrimo is to write the story you’ve always wanted to tell. Dont get bogged down on the short comings or the low word count. Have fun with the writing and you’ll accomplish a large amount within a month. Talk to you in the next post.