Irish Tales: Oisín and Tír na nÓg

Inspired by my previous posts, I wanted to try my hand at retelling the classic Irish fairytales I grew up with. We knew these stories so well, and it has been great to look back on them. By looking into these fairytales, I started to realize how vast Irish mythology is and how these stories only scrape the surface of our legends. I may make a post about Irish mythology down the line. But today, I shall be telling the story of Oisín and Tír na nÓg. Just as a preface for this story, the Fianna were a band of semi-independent warriors in Irish mythology. Tír na nÓg is known as The Land of the Young, and another way to name the Celtic Underworld. My retelling of this tale is taken from a children’s book I read years ago. So this will be told in a different way to other versions. So enjoy this retelling of “Oisín and Tír na nÓg.”

 

One morning, the Fianna were out hunting deer on the shores of Loch Lein in County Kerry. They saw a beautiful white horse coming towards them. Riding on the horse was the most beautiful woman they have ever seen. She wore a long blue dress, blue as the summer sky, studded with silver stars, and her long golden hair went down to her waist. 

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“What is your name and what land do you come from?” asked Fionn, leader of the Fianna. 

“I am Niamh Chinn Óir (Niamh of the Golden hair). My father is the king of Tír na nÓg” she replied. “I have heard of a warrior called Oisín. I have heard of his courage and of his poetry. I have come to find him, and take him back with me, to Tír na nÓg.” 

Oisín was the son of Fionn. He was a great leader and a poet. “Tell me,” Oisín said. “What sort of land is Tír na nÓg?”

“Tír na nÓg is the land of youth,” replied Niamh. “It is a happy place, with no pain and no sorrow. Any wish you make comes true, and no one grows old there. If you come with me, youll find out all of this is true.”

Oisín mounted the white horse, and said goodbye to his father and friends. He promised he would return soon. The horse galloped over the water, moving as swiftly as a shadow. The Fianna were sad to see Oisín go, but Fionn reminded them of his promise to return soon. 

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The King and Queen of Tír na nÓg welcomed Oisín, and held a great feast in his honour. It was indeed a wonderful land, just as Niamh had said. In Tír na nÓg, the trees were in constant bloom and the leaves never fall or die. All the people who lived in Tír na nÓg, were young and beautiful. They hunted and feasted, and at night, he told stories of Fionn and the Fianna, and their lives in Ireland. But he never felt as happy as he did, when he was with Niamh. And before long, they were married, and had two children, Oscar and their daughter, Plor na mBan (Flower of Women). Time passed quickly, and although he was very happy, Oisín began to think of returning home for a visit. Niamh didn’t want him to go. But at last, she said, “Take my white horse. It will carry you safely to Ireland and back. Whatever happens, you must not get off the horse, and touch the soil of Ireland. If you do, you will never return to me, and to Tír na nÓg.” She didn’t tell him that, although he had only been away for a few years, he had really been there for 300 hundred years.

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Ireland seemed like a strange place when Oisín arrived back. There seemed to be no trace of his father or the rest of the Fianna. As he passed through Gleann na Smól, he saw some men trying to move a large stone. “I will help you,” said Oisín. The men were terrified of this giant on a white horse. Stooping from his saddle, Oisín lifted the stone with one hand and hurled it. With that, the saddle strap broke, and Oisín was flung to the ground. Immediately, the white horse disappeared, and the men saw before them, an old, old man. They took him to a holy man, who lived nearby. Some say that the holy man was Saint Patrick. 

“Where is my father and the Fianna?” Oisín asked. When he was told they were long dead, he was heartbroken. He spoke of the many deeds of Fionn and the Fianna, and their many adventures together. He spoke of his time in Tír na nÓg, and his beautiful wife that he would never see again. 

Although he died soon after, the wonderful stories of Oisín have lived on. To this day, children in Ireland still retell the story of Oisín, and his magical adventures in Tír na nÓg. Some people claimed to have seen the beautiful white horse through the early mists of the dawn, only to disappear before their eyes, when the mist clears. 

 

Hope you enjoyed it. I have so many more tales I plan to share on my blog. Thats all I have for this post and I shall see you in the next one x

 

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Irish Writers – We are depressing 💚

In my Masters course, I got the chance to take a class analysing Irish literature. Throughout my college career, I never really looked into Irish literature. For my final year project, I did analyse Irish Gothic texts. But I haven’t looked into contemporary Irish novels.

So the class I took, Gender and Sexuality in Irish literature, analysed a couple of contemporary Irish texts and new woman fiction etc. It was fascinating, to look more into the literature from my country.

But one thing I picked up on, was a conversation I had with an American student. He attends the creative writing masters in my college. One day, he comes into class and talks about the style of Irish writers.

“You Irish people write some depressing s**t. Why does everything have to be sad in your stories”

I had to laugh at this comment, because it reminds me of the tagline for my blog. “I am a happy person but a depressing writer.” From the little interaction I had with Irish literature, it’s true that we have a flair for the tragedies. We place our characters into dark situations with no way out. I just read a novel about a woman who killed her abusive, alcoholic husband and the novel follows the unsettling relationship between her and her son, as they live together in Dublin city. The continuous silence between mother and son speaks volumes to what it means to be Irish. We don’t talk about our feelings. We mostly bottle them up and if we do talk about them, we make a laugh out of it. For the mother and son, they never acknowledge the past horrors at home and maintain this hidden truth, that can never be spoken out loud.

One of my classmates responded to the guys comment, “that’s because we were colonised.”

Ireland has a dark history related to our colonialization by the British Empire. However, that doesn’t really plague our country as much anymore. The darkness within our country at the moment, would be the control of the Catholic Church, the uproar over sexual harassment and assault towards women.

We have our dark moments that seemed unbearable to relive, such as the Magdalene laundries, the sexual abuse of children from members of the church, and many more. Therefore, these dark memories of our country in some shape or form within our writing. They seep into every Irish work, as it would within any work. However, I have come to appreciate this style of writing, as through all these trials and tragedies, the Irish maintain their dry sense of humour.

Through the dark times, the Irish remain humorous. And it’s evident within Irish writers work. So yes, we are depressing. But we use self deprecating humour to push that aside or bring attention to it. This shows who we are as a culture, and I’m proud to call myself Irish.

Some Irish books I recommend you check out would be The Long Falling by Keith Ridgway, Normal People by Sally Rooney. I am currently reading a book called The Pleasures of Eliza Lynch by Anne Enright. It tells the story of a real Cork woman who was a well known prostitute who became mistress to a prince. Eliza Lynch became merely a footnote in history, so Anne Enright  decided to write about her.

This post seems a bit all over the place but I just wanted to talk about that comment from the American student. I’m proud of our self deprecating attitude towards life and our history. There is a great charm to Irish works because of that. I want to read more Irish novels and if I find any good ones, I’m sure I’ll make a post about it. And if you have any works from your country that I might like, let me know. I hope you had a lovely end to 2018 and happy New year 💜 I shall talk to you in the next post.

 

 

The Owl and the Pussycat

I decided to do something a little different. I was remincising on my childhood and I remembered a lovely poem I read when I was young. I couldn’t remember the name of it. I searched and I searched. Then I remembered the story of it and I found “The Owl and the Pussycat.” A lovely little children’s poem I loved when I was little and I wanted to share with you.

I have a couple of blog posts ready for the next week or so. I cant wait for you to see them. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this poem. I got the poem from Poetry Foundation.

The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear

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I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

II
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

III
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

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Tips for Nanowrimo

This month is Nanowrimo month (National Novel Writing Month). I would love to take part this month, but I’m in the middle of my Masters programme. I’m too busy thinking of ideas for my thesis.

I am hoping to do some writing in December, when I am on my Christmas break from college. But a lot of you are about to start Nanowrimo and it may feel daunting at first. I love the idea, where you give yourself a month to write your first rough draft of your novel. Here are some tips to survive Nanowrimo:

 

Dont overwork yourself

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I know there is an importance on getting your wordcount done each day. But dont overwork yourself. If you do too much at once, youll burn yourself out. When you feel overworked, take a break, have a kit-kat. Allow yourself the time to step away from writing and breath.

 

Forget the word count

Dont stress over word count. It doesn’t matter. I know that you need to reach a certain word count each day. But take my advice: don’t think about word count. Just get your story down. Write out your important scenes. It doesn’t have to be perfect or have to be a certain word count. Once you have your story down, that’s all that matters.

Plan ahead

As you are half way through Nanowrimo, I don’t know if this will help now. But, plan ahead of Nanowrimo, so you don’t get stuck in the middle of writing your story. If you don’t plan, you may find yourself stuck in writers block a few times and it’ll set you back in the process. So a good tip is to make out a spider web, with all your characters, plot and settings. Write them down and sort them out. It’ll help you in the long run.

 

Just have fun

Nanowrimo is a great opportunity for writers to crack out that story you’ve always wanted to write. I was meaning to take part in it this year, to start on my new project. But college is too hectic at the moment. This is your time to tell your story. So enjoy it, while you can. Because the hard part comes when you have to edit it. So enjoy the writing process.

 

That’s all I have for today. Sorry about the mess. My WordPress hasn’t been working on my computer so I had to finish this on my phone. Not used to it. Hope you are all enjoying Nanowrimo so far, and I shall talk to you in the next post x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 books I didn’t like

I’m surprised I never talked about some books I disliked. I wrote reviews on novels that I liked, so its only fair that I write a post about a few of the novels I didn’t like. Now, this is all going to be based on my opinion. I may talk some shit about popular books from popular authors. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I have no hate towards the authors of the novels. Mostly, I love their work. Just not the ones I am going to talk about in this post.

Ill only be talking about 5 books as thats all I have at the moment. This is in no particular order. There may be spoilers to these novels down below, so forewarned.

Paper Towns by John Green

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Synopsis: After an all-night adventure, Quentin’s lifelong crush, Margo, disappears, leaving behind clues that Quentin and his friends follow on the journey of a lifetime.

I loved The Fault in Our Stars, but I didn’t like this novel. After reading it, I just felt like it was a waste of my time. I thought, “why did I read this?”

The mystery behind the character Margo, drove the story. I loved the concept of this mysterious Margo. No one knew the real Margo and Quentin was one of the many people who saw her as almost an angelic figure. Throughout, I was interested in who the real Margo was. I didn’t care about the rest of the novel. The rest didn’t hold my interest that much. The story was mainly to discover the real Margo. Now, when you find Margo, thats when the story was ruined for me.

I hated it.

I dont care if Quentin ends up with Margo in the end, or if they get a happy ending. But, I hated Margo at the end of the novel. Now, I guess it was John Green’s intent to show the real Margo, behind all the mystery and I guess I just didn’t like what I found. Overall, I felt the book was uneventful. After I finished it, I asked myself why did I even read this?  It just wasn’t for me.

 

The Vampire Diaries The Return: Nightfall

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Synopsis:

To save the two vampire brothers who love her, Elena Gilbert sacrificed her life.

Now that a supernatural force has brought Elena back from the dead, all handsome, brooding Stefan wants is to keep her safe. But when he is lured away from Fell’s Church, sleek, powerful Damon seizes his chance to win Elena over, unaware of the danger they’re both in. A malevolent being has infiltrated the town and is growing stronger. Able to possess Damon at will, the creature is also drawn to Elena and the new power she has acquired. But it’s after more than Elena’s power: It thirsts for her death.

 

I loved L.J Smith’s works. I read most of her Vampire Diaries books and loved her Secret Circle series. I loved the shows that are inspired from her works. But dont be mistaken. The book series is nothing like the tv show. Sure, the tv show is dark and sexy, but the books are sexier and more f***ed up. But I loved them. I’ve always loved dark stories and I liked L.J Smith’s writing style at the time.

However, I never finished the series. Why? This book is the reason.

I dont remember much of this book, except for one part. It was a scene where, Elena and Damon are running away from Damon in a forest. They come to a clearing and whenever they try to leave the clearing, Damon prevents them from leaving, using his powers. Then Damon forces Elena and Matt to have sex in front of him, while he watches.

Now, I was a young teen when I read this. This scene shocked me. I actually still remember this scene to this day, years after reading it. I thought I stopped reading the series after that, but I found a bookmark in The Vampire Diaries The Return: Shadow Souls, which means I continued onto the next book in the series. I’m surprised I didn’t stop reading after that scene. Come to think of it, I’m surprised I didn’t stop reading the series sooner, because it has so many of those types of scenes, such as Tyler almost raping Elena in the first or second book in the series.

 

If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

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Synopsis: 

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

My sister loved this book. She begged me to read it for ages and then I finally read it. It wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t great. It didn’t wow me, or hold anything special for me. I hardly remembering it to be honest. I remember picking up the sequel in O’ Mahoney’s and I loved the blurb of it. It got me interested in the story. But I didn’t realise it was a sequel to If I Stay.

It was good. It just wasn’t for me. No shade to Gayle Forman. I actually the writing style in the novel. It was just…I dont know. It didn’t captivate me, like other books did. Now, I can barely remember the novel.

 

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Synopsis: Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

This was a book I started and never finished. I started the book, got through two chapters and put it down. I just couldn’t get through it. The premise of teh story is fascinating and I really wanted to read it. But I couldn’t. I didn’t like the way it was written. I just couldn’t get through it. I tried a second time, when I had to read the book for a college module. Same thing happened again. I guess I just dont like Ishiguro’s writing style.

I loved the film though, with Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield.

 

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

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Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

I ended up reading this book, before watching the film. I love dystopian novels and I wanted to see how they would take this. Again, this novel didn’t really wow me. There was no real explanation as to why this war started. It is left up in the air. Daisy’s love story in the novel and movie was with her cousin, which I’m sorry. I’m not into incestuous relationships. They are not close cousins but still. It was an interesting novel, but not my cup of tea. I liked the ending though, where she finds the cousin and he is completely shell-shocked. He cant speak or interact. He cant remember Daisy. It is traumatic when you see him like that. Other than that, I wasn’t a big fan of it. I wasn’t a big fan of the film either. I only watched it for Saoirse Ronan, fellow Irish queen.

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. I want to know what you think. Are there any books you didn’t like? What about the books I mentioned? Have you read them and did you like them yourselves? I respect and love most of these writers, but sometimes, even the best writers come out with some bad novels. Thats all part of the process.

 

 

New project and college – A Work in Progress #3

Hey, I’m back with another update on my novel.

And….

Its not going well.

I havent written a single word on my novel and it frustrates me to no end. The problem is, I’m still stuck on the planning phase. I will be hitting a year of planning in November, and I havent written a single word.

Here what you need to know about me: I never plan anything out. When it comes to my writing, I come up with an idea and run with it. I dont stop to think, and I just write. It has usually worked out for me. However, after I took the creative writing class in college last year, I decided that I would plan this novel out. I shall sit down and think about it. This novel is so important to me. I wanted to do it right. But now, I feel unaccomplished.

I want to write it, but I dont have the nerve or inspirational drive to do it.

And now….

I have a new idea for a completely different project. The one thing I hate most of all about being a writer, is that your brain never stops thinking. It never stops imagining new possibilities to create. I dont want to move onto this new project without working on my novel. This novel is my baby, and it isn’t coming along as easily as I had hoped.

Plus, I’m back in college. I have finished my undergraduate and going into my Masters degree. I’m moving up in the world. But that means I’ll be working on my thesis next year, and I wont be able to write. I want to succeed in my academia and writing will affect that.

So….there it is. My life has become a little hectic lately. My novel has frozen in place, and this new project is eating away at me.

The new project is going to working on poetry, instead of a novel. I said I would never write a poetry book. Well, guess what. Its happening!!!! I have written a few poems already. Why not do two projects at once??

Write poetry, as well as, write my novel. Mhmm…but I dont have the time. We shall see, I suppose.

Thats my most recent update on my projects. I’m excited to be doing something new, by planning out a poetry book. However, I want my full attention on my novel and my studies. It has been difficult. I hope it will turn out well. Sorry for the short post today. I just felt like updating you on my progress. Since I’m back in college, blogging will be a little more difficult. I intend to continue blogging while in college. It shall be my escape during the tough days of college, however, I may miss a few days. So be patient with me. I will have something posted…eventually.

From Book to Movie Adaptations: Harry Potter

I recently was watching YouTube videos on Harry Potter and I got the idea for this post. When the films came out, I saw every single one in cinemas. I adored the movies. But when I read the books, I fell in love with the world even more. It has been years since I last read the Harry Potter books. I remember certain differences between the films and books, but I didn’t realize how much was left or changed for the sake of film-making. Certain info on the book series I rediscovered through a YouTube channel, called MovieFlame. His channel discuss the series by going through key details that were missed or left out of the films entirely, such as character arcs, backstories etc. You should go check out his channel. This is the video that inspired me to write this post:

I always read the books before I watch the films, but the Harry Potter series was an exception. I hated reading when I was young. I would always avoid reading assignments in school and watch the films instead. But when I read Harry Potter for the first time, it solidified my love for reading. It is interesting to compare both the books and the films and that is what I am going to discuss today. The first thing to look at is:

Change in Characters

Overall, the characters in the films were vibrant and engaging, just like their counterparts in the books. However, there were some characters who were badly represented in the films or some were dumbed down to bring other characters up. Three characters that come to mind for me are:

Ginny Weasley 

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For Ginny, I completely forgot what she was like in the books. The Ginny I knew was the one in the films and in that regard, I had so many questions about her character. She was portrayed as Harry’s number one fangirl and the only girl amongst the Weasley siblings. One of my friends told me that one of their favourite characters was Ginny and that they hated how the films portrayed her. I couldn’t remember what she was like so I watched a YouTube video, going through the life of Ginny Weasley.

In the books, she was fierce, intelligent and a very skilled Quidditch player. At the beginning of the series, she was Harry’s fangirl. The films got that right, but they never delved into Ginny’s true character. The youngest of a big family and the only girl, Ginny had to fight her own battles at a young age, especially when she had brothers like Fred and George. She taught herself Quidditch at a very young age, by stealing her brothers brooms at night. She got so good, she took over for Harry as Gryffindor’s seeker, and even won a few matches.

She was very loyal to her friends, such as standing up for Harry against Draco, defending Luna against school bullies and stood by Harry’s side when the world called him a liar. In the films, the relationship between Ginny and Harry was never explained. As a movie goer, Harry started liking Ginny out of the blue. Before the Half Blood Prince, Ginny was Ron’s younger sister and a fangirl. All of the sudden, he likes Ginny. There was no progression or sign in the films that Harry started liking Ginny. Whereas in the books. J.K Rowling started developing their relationship since the 4th or 5th book.

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Harry started pushing people away, when he felt Voldemorts control on him in the 5th book. Ginny was the one who told him, he was being an idiot and that he should have talked to her about Voldemort’s control since she was possessed by him in Year Two.

“I forgot” Harry said.

“Lucky you.”

Ginny became more out-spoken with Harry, unlike what she was in the films. She showed off her skills in Quidditch, and her fierce personality, such as when Ron shouted at her for kissing Dean in public. Ginny retorted and said, Ron was just jealous because he has as much experience as a 12 year old when it comes to kissing. And when Ron kissed Lavender in the Gryffindor common room, Ginny came up to him and said “Youre a bloody hypocrite.”

Moments like this were excluded from the film and her character suffered due to these changes. She was reduced to a love interest to the main character.

Ron Weasley

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Ron is a great character in the books and films. However, on closer inspection, youll notice one thing about Ron. In the films, he seems to be a complete bumbling idiot. He is what you call the comic relief. I have seen videos on the internet, asking the question: did Ron need to be there? Was he necessary to the story or was he just a tool? In the film, he cracks jokes and acts as that character who will liven up a scene when it gets too serious. He is not as skilled of a wizard as Harry or as intelligent as Hermione. So what is he doing there? The one thing the films failed to show more of, is Ron’s loyalty.

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Ron will do anything for her friends. Scenes that showcased this in the books, never made it into the movies. An example of this would be the scene in the Shrieking Shack in the Prisoner of Azkaban. In the film, Hermione stands in front of Harry and says to Sirius Black, “If you want to kill Harry, youll have to kill us too”.

In the book, it was Ron who said this. He stood up on his broken leg and bravely faced Sirius Black. Moreover, it is more apparent in the books, that Ron is essential to the trio. Without Ron, Harry and Hermione would be lost. Ron is the glue that keeps the group together as shown in the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Deathly Hallows, when the trio was broken up. His bravely and loyalty were put on the back burner in the films and they made him more of the funny, idiotic character amongst stronger characters.

Luna Lovegood

 

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For Luna, she was very much the same in the film as she was in the books. However, the films showed more of her quirky side. When I first saw her in the Order of the Phoenix, she was a very odd character to me and I didn’t know if I liked her or not. My mother loved her instantly. But when I re-read the books again, I realised how much of an inspiration she was, which I felt the films didn’t capture well enough.

She was quirky and bubbly. She knew who she was and that is an amazing trait to have. She had this sweet innocence that no bully or force of evil could take away from her. In the books, Luna was bullied severely for her unique personality. Students stole her shoes which forced her, to walk around barefoot. Luna would put it down to nargles. She believed in a world that might have been false but it was real to her.

She was a bright student and an amazing witch. She may have attracted some hate, but she also found loyal friends in Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville. Friendship was a huge thing for Luna. When she found her friends through Dumbledore’s Army, she remained loyal to them. After the events of the 5th book, Luna became closer to Harry and the others. She even had paintings of them on her bedroom ceiling with gold engravings around them, saying in Latin, “Friendship.”

She was kind person, even with the people who made fun of her. When the trio used to make fun of her, she stayed kind. Even when Hermione and Ron made fun of her father’s magazine and Harry disregarded her, she still helped Ron with his owl off the Hogwarts Express. When the wizarding world turned against Harry, she came up to him and said ” I believe He Who Must Not Be Named is back and I believe you fought him and escaped from him.”

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I have a new found respect for Luna’s character. Even when everyone hated on her and bullied her, she stayed true to herself and found true friends out of it. She was a shining beacon of light in the books and the films didn’t portray that enough.

 

Story alterations

I understand when it comes to adapting a book into a movie, things have to change or be left out. But there were some things in the books that I wished were in the movies. Examples are:

Peter Pettigrews death

Death, yes. Im pretty sure he didn’t die in the movie. He just got stunned.

The beginning of this clip shows what I mean. In the book, Peter Pettigrew was killed by the silver hand that Voldemort gifted him in the Goblet of Fire. The last time Harry and Peter saw each other, Harry saved him from being killed by Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. So Peter owes Harry his life. And Harry cashes in on that favour in Malfoy Manor, by asking him to help them escape. Peter’s hesitation showed an act of betrayal and the silver hand murdered him for it. It was a good scene, a nice wrap up to the Peter Pettigrew’s story. But it was reduced to being stunned by Dobby the elf.

I mean why??

Tonks and Lupin’s pregnancy

The fact that Tonks was pregnant throughout the final book, was never mentioned in the films. Instead, they had Moody interrupt their announcement to Harry in the 7 Potters scene.

Moreover, we never heard or saw their child after the Battle of Hogwarts in the films. Moreover, one of my favourite scenes from the last book was the fight between Harry and Lupin in Grimmauld Place. Lupin had just left Tonks who was pregnant at the time, using the excuse that he had to go help Harry. But Harry saw right through it, and gave out to Lupin for abandoning his wife at this important time. This scene showed Lupin at his weakest point, thinking he put his wife at a disadvantage, by having a child with a werewolf. He thought she would be better off without him. Also this scene showed Harry not taking his shit and told him to go home. Hermione may have been mad at him for that, but I agreed with Harry.

Character Arcs never fulfilled

Petunia and Dudley Dursley – They originally had scenes filmed with Harry and the Dursleys before they parted ways. It redeemed Petunia, who we assumed hated her sister, Lily. The truth was she grieved for her sister and missed her. Dudley was redeemed when he said to Harry, “I dont think you are a waste of space.” We never got the closure from the Dursleys in the final version of the movie.

Draco – He had a redemption scene that was deleted, where he threw a wand to Harry to help him fight against Voldemort. That small detail was replaced by the awkward hug between Draco and Voldemort.

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We didn’t need this. Or the Ginny and Harry scene at the Burrow.

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Why, Warner Brothers?

Percy’s betrayal

The films never touched upon Percy taking the side of the Ministry of Magic, when they called Harry a liar. It caused a rift within the Weasley family, which showed that this family can have cracks in their foundation. I despised Percy for that period of time. He was so ignorant and blindly followed the Ministry. It is all, but removed from the films entirely. Percy was just reduced to a tour guide for the Hogwarts castle.

Bill and Fleur

Yes, this couple. They never got much screen time in the films. Bill didn’t appear until the final film, and Fleur disappeared after the 4th film. There was no build up of their characters or their relationship before we were present at their wedding in Deathly Hallows Part 1.

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There was never the awkwardness at the beginning of the relationship, because of Ron, who asked her to the Yule Ball in the 4th book. There was never that funny banter between the family or the trio about Fleur and Bill. They just appeared out of nowhere in the 7 Potters scene in Deathly Hallows and we are supposed to root for them or love them on the spot.

Overall thoughts:

There are so many things I could point out, but well be here all day otherwise. Even though I have been bashing the Harry Potter movies throughout this post, I still adore them. They are amazing on their own, and they were a central part of my childhood. The films got me to the read the books and the rest is history.

But if you compare the films to the books, you know who would get the superior title. That is the case for many books to movie adaptations; the books are always better. The actors did a great job of bringing the characters to life on the big screen, but they had to follow a script given to them and controlled by a studio, who helped create this franchise, and who are still releasing new movies to add to this world (Fantastic Beasts). However, there are other book to movie adaptations that succeeded in following the formula of the novel and creating a carbon copy of the book. Some have even been better than the original source material.

I may talk about that in later posts but for now, that is all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this post. It has been a long time coming. I have been busy with work lately so I havent been posting much. My last post was on the 2nd of August….that definitely needs to change. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and I shall talk to you in the next post x

 

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Poets in Music (YouTubers Edition)

Everyone listens to music on YouTube as a platform. It has easy access to your favourite artists. However, YouTubers have been known to release their own music and reveal their musical talents. These received mixed reviews and I, myself, never listened to music produced by YouTubers.

However, in the past year, I have delved into this side of YouTube and I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of YouTubers with their music. For this post on Poets in Music, I decided to focus on two YouTubers who I found their music to be insightful and entertaining as a tune. The one thing I look for in music, is brilliant lyrics. That is why I called this blog series “Poets in Music.” If your lyrics inspire me in anyway, even if the music is sub-par, I’m all in. And these two YouTubers music had inspired some works of my own.

Emma Blackery 

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There have been mixed emotions about Emma Blackery’s music. Truth be told, I avoided her music for a long time. I just wanted to watch her YouTube content. I guess I was being a little bit of a snob when it comes to music taste.

I had heard that people didn’t like Emma’s voice and among other things. But recently, she started making videos about her journey making her debut album. She revealed snippets of her new sound in vlogs she posted every week. And to be honest, I was intrigued. I wanted to hear what she had to offer. Then I heard her song, Nothing Without You.

This song has both amazing lyrics and an upbeat tune. It is a song about heartbreak. It tells the story about a love that fell apart and Emma is trying to move on. The upbeat rhythm behind the songs lyrics, makes the song amazing. Its similar to how Paramore’s sound is now. They write about the hardships of life and have an upbeat tune, playing over the sad lyrics. The beat brought me to the song, but the lyrics is what kept me there:

“If I had the chance to say
“I’m sorry for how things changed,”
‘Cause I would be nothing without you
Nothing without you.”

Another favourite of mine from her, is her most recent single, Icarus:

This had the lyrics I was looking for. I fell in love with the reference to Greek mythology in the song, but I also loved the story-telling in the song. How someone could go so far, that they have to fall back to earth eventually? “You’ve got to let go, cos you’re flying too close.” I can relate to this song, because I knew someone who would take things too far, that it would get to the point of a crash and burn. You need to let it go, to move on. Emma can write great lyrics for songs, such as with Icarus and with her other song, The Promise:

This song represents the great songwriting ability of Emma Blackery. It is a letter to her fans, to tell them that everything will be okay. I promise if you go, I will miss you. I may not know your name, but I’m telling you, you do matter and I love you.

“‘Cause I believe if you go
My heart would break, just hold on one more day”

This is one of Emma’s most famous songs, and it is understandable. The message of the song hits you hard and this song resonates with me deeply. I appreciate and love this song for the message she is giving out to her fans. Even with her change of sound, Emma is great with her turn of words in lyrics. Even using the terms sipping on or spilling tea in Dirt, she writes what she feels and I respect her for that. Check out her stuff if you haven’t yet. Her debut album, Villains is coming out on August 31st, 2018.

Gabbie Hanna (TheGabbieShow)

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Gabbie Hanna, aka The Gabbie Show, is one of my favourite YouTubers. I love her YouTube content and her personality. She tells some insane storytimes and talks about her mental health with her fans. Along with her channel, Gabbie delved into publishing when she published her poetry book, Adultolescence last year. During the promotion of her book, she released her first song called Out Loud: 

It was meant to be for the promotion of her book. However, it blew up. It went to number 3 on the iTunes charts, behind Taylor Swift. No one expected this out of Gabbie when she released it. I fell in love with this song for its lyrics. Her lyrics were based off some of the poems in her book. Out Loud tells the story of a relationship (it can be a friendship, a romantic relationship, whatever your interpretation of the song may be), where she constantly reached out for this person but they just drifted apart. Words unspoken left the relationship broken and unfixable.

“It’s time to let it go, you left me all alone
It’s holding me down, it’s burning me out
I’m begging for sound, but I can’t bring you back now”

When I listen to this song, I associate it with a similar situation that happened to me with a friend. To lose someone so close to a lack of words or just a drifting that cant be stopped. I was pleasantly surprised by the lyrics Gabbie produced in this song. But she brought it further with her song, Satellite:

Honest opinion: Her lyrics in Satellite are far more superior than Out Loud. This song hits closer to home, because it talks about isolation and the need for companionship. Gabbie’s lyrics talk about her feelings of isolation and how, at first, she is content with it. But by the end of the song, she realises she doesn’t want to be alone anymore:

“Satellite
I’m a satellite
I’m on the outside looking in
Want you to know just where I’ve been
Don’t wanna be a satellite
So, please let me in”

My favourite lyric from the song was “Need to know you want me here before I ask.” I love this one line, due to the fact that I understand this feeling. You want to be ensured of a want or need from other people. I want to know if people want me around, before I ever ask. I always just assume that no one cares if I’m there. I relate to this concept of being a satellite. This song was more personal than the last, and I think that’s why many people resonated with it. It didn’t hit the charts, like Out Loud, but many fellow YouTubers preferred this song. YouTubers, such as Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams showed their support for the song, through Snapchat and Twitter. Further news, Gabbie has started writing more music and in her latest video, she showed some more of her music talents.

It seems like a typical Roast me video but please, watch till the end. She shows off some exceptional lyrics. It was almost like I was watching some Slam Poetry. Please check it out. I cant explain it. You will just have to watch it. Here is a sneak peak of some of the lyrics in this video:

“It’s an interesting dichotomy of monetized sincerity
Stir up my insecurity with constant uncertainty
Generation of anxiety
The “look at me” society
Dubiety of piety
The gods all suffer silently
I’m sorry for my obsession with attention
I have ungodly fear of rejection
My apprehension and objection is the viral infection
Of dollars and followers in place of affection
What i need is a human connection”

I urge you to watch this video. It is so good. Those are the two YouTubers I looked at for this Poets in Music post. I hope you enjoyed. Please check these girls out. They have amazing YouTube content and music. I cant wait to see what they come up with next.

 

The Night at the Villa Diodati

Today, I am going to give you a history lesson. This blog post discusses a historical night in literature which produced massive works, such as Frankenstein and The Vampyre. I learnt of this piece of history in a Sensibility and Romanticism class I took in college. My professor told the class the brief tale of the stormy summer at the villa in 1816. After class, I watched a documentary she recommended, which discussed the events of that summer.

I fell in love with this piece of history, about these extraordinary, literary people and the works they produced. This post changes from my original content, from literature to history. However, this piece of history shaped our literature today. This night at the Villa Diodati shaped the horror genre into what it is today. Therefore, I want to talk about it. SO lets get into it.

In 1816, a tremendous storm rolled over Europe. Thunderstorms and rain hit the villas around the Lake Geneva in Switzerland. One of those villas was the Villa Diodati.

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Inside the Villa Diodati, a group of five people sat around a fire and told ghost stories. These people were:

Lord Byron, the famous writer and poet

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Mary Shelley, writer behind Frankenstein:

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Percy Shelley, famous poet and Mary Shelley’s lover at the time:

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John Polidori, writer of The Vampyre and Lord Byron’s doctor:

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And Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley’s step-sister:

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These five people arrived at this location, for different reasons. Each had their own secrets and scandals, they needed to avoid. The Villa Diodati was a place like no other. a place for them to escape. As told by Mary Shelley, the area around the Villa Diodati was breathtaking:

“To what a different scene are we, now arrived. To the warm sunshine, and to the humming of sun-loving insects. From the windows of our hotel, we see the lovely lake, blue as the heavens, which it reflects, sparkling with golden beams. I feel as happy as a new fledged bird, and hardly care what twig I fly to, so that I may try my new found wings.”

Each member of the group escaped to Switzerland, which was a perfect location for these literary inspired people. People looking for some sensation, they found in the Alpine mountains, the forestry and lakes of Geneva, surrounding the Villa. It was perfect for the building storm, that was about to occur.

Lord Byron was a famous English writer and poet. Whenever he published his works, they were almost as big as the release of a Beatles album. People would line up to receive their copies of his works. He was the equivalent of a Rockstar, back in the day. Moreover, he was well known for being a ladies man, and living an exciting lifestyle through drugs and alcohol. One of his lovers, Caroline Lamb stated;

Byron was “mad, bad and dangerous to know.”

However, Byron’s lifestyle caught up with him, when he was accused of having an incestuous relationship with his half-sister, Augusta.

So he fled England, with his doctor, John Polidori. Polidori’s job was to keep Byron alive, as due to his lifestyle, Byron suffered from liver problems and had been diagnosised with gonorrhea. However, Polidori had his own ambitions, to become a writer and seeked Byron’s approval.

Due to Byron’s fame, he had many female admirers/groups, and Claire Clairmont was a huge example of one. She fell in love with Byron, slept with him and he had no interest in her after that. But that did not stop her from pursuing him. According to Claire;

I do assure you, your future will shall be mine. And everything that you shall do or say, I shall not question.”

She was determined to win him over, so she planned to follow him across Europe. Claire asked her half sister, Mary Shelley and her lover, Percy Shelley to accompany her on her journey. They accepted, as they were running away from their own scandal. Percy Shelley followed the expression of free love, which was frowned upon in the 1800s. Percy and Mary fled England, while Percy was still married to another woman.

The Villa Diodati was each persons place of refuge, but also a place for desires and inspiration to boil over.

The party had been at the Villa for a week, when the volcanic storm, caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora, hit Lake Geneva. The rain, thunderstorms and flooding was immense. The most terrifying storm the group had ever seen. It was a new thrilling experience for these people, who were highly literary and excitable. As Mary wrote;

An almost perpetual rain confines us, principally, to the house. The thunderstorms that visits us, are grander, and more terrific, than I have ever seen before. One night, we enjoyed a finer storm than I have ever beheld. The lake was lit up. The pines were made visible, and all the scene illuminated for an instant, when a pitchy blackness succeeded. And the thunder came in frightful bursts over our heads, amidst the darkness.

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The scenery and the storms, set the scene as, Byron began to read ghost stories to the group. Surrounded by a lit fire, Byron read passages from Fantasmagoriana, and Christabel. 

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These horror stories put the group on edge and Byron called for a challenge. Can they do better? Can each of them write a better story, more vivid and more terrifying than these? From this challenge, Byron produced an unfinished vampire story called Fragment of a Novel. Polidori wrote his own vampire tale, basing his vampire character off Lord Byron. Providing this Byron-esque quality, Polidori created the first aristocratic vampire in literature. His vampire provided inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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There was nothing left of Percy Shelley’s story, however, his lover, Mary’s novel lives on. Desperate to prove her literary skills to Lord Byron, she worked at producing a story, more terrifying than any other story out there. Than one night, Mary woke from a nightmare, producing a vision that formed to idea for Frankenstein;

I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy half-vital motion.”

She had found her idea. While at the Villa Diodati, she wrote the first draft of Frankenstein. These stormy nights at the Villa Diodati, produced two influential works, The Vampyre and Frankenstein.

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These two works, spawned a new wave of thinking and revitalization of the horror genre. Mary Shelley’s work analysed the world of science at the time, through the creation of the monster and externalized the actions and mistreatment from humanity. Polidori’s The Vampyre, provided a new look at the face of evil. Changing the formula of a vampire from a mythical monster to a respected aristocrat, his novel showcased the fear of the Other, walking amongst society. It was a focused look at the higher class in the 1800s.

However, the events at the Villa Diodati lead to its own tragedies. Claire Clairmont got what she desired and ended up in Byron’s bed. At the end of the summer, Claire discovered she was pregnant with his child. This led to Claire, Mary and Percy fleeing back to England, so Claire could have her baby in secret. Claire continued to write Byron many years later, however, Byron refused to see or speak to her. He would later call her, “a damned bitch.” Claire never got over Byron and never married.

As for Byron and Polidori, Byron fired Polidori and parted ways.

Polidori died in 1821, just short of his 26th birthday, from suicide by acid. Percy Shelley drowned the following year, on a shipwreck. He was not quite 30 years old. In 1824, Byron died of an illness, when he joined the cause of the Greek nationalists in their battle against the Turks. He was 36 years old.

Mary Shelley established herself as a writer, and lived till the age of 53.

This piece of history fascinated me, due to the effects of that summer on this group of people, the literary works that came from it and how it established the literature we read today. It was a small piece of history, but significant none the less. As Neil Gaiman said,

We know where the twin pillars of horror fiction, that we stand on today, began.

I got most of my information for this blog from the documentary called, Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night. If you are interested, check out this documentary. Check out these amazing writers works. I hope you enjoyed this post. Its a bit different, but I have always been interested in this event. Imagine, sitting in a room with other literary inspired people, bouncing ideas off each other, surrounded by the eruption of storms and darkness. A gathering like this, doesn’t happen very often, and thats what made it spectacular. If you found this post interesting, let me know if you want me to do more literary history pieces.

Hope you are having a wonderful day and Ill see you in the next post.

 

 

 

 

Your Voice

I feel like I havent done an advice post for writers in a while. I was watching a YouTube video of a writer I admire talking about the voice in your novel or in your work. When I started out, I didn’t really have a so-called voice in my work…

I just wanted to be like J.K Rowling or Stephan King or any other authors I admired. The first novel I ever composited was a sort of fanfiction about Kingdom Hearts but I just changed the names of the characters to pretend it wasn’t inspired by Kingdom Hearts. (Btw it was really obvious that I based that novel on Kingdom Hearts. Instead of Disney characters, I put Harry Potter characters into it. I’m so sorry J.K Rowling).

Anyway, your voice….I didn’t really know my voice until I did a creative writing module in my college. I never found I had a specific voice or style. I just wrote for fun. However, my creative writing professor said in class that, she could tell which piece of writing was whose. She said, my style of writing is very descriptive. I agree with that because I feel when I write, I make the conscious decision to ensure that my character and the people reading my stories, are immersed. I dont want to present something as fake. I want people to imagine themselves into that world. If youre in a club, I want to describe the colours used, the crowds, every little detail I want conveyed in just a few lines.

However, I dont believe I have found my voice in my writing. I have a particular style that I stand by, but I dont have a voice that is consistent. Your voice is yours. It is authentic. It is the one thing that makes you a different writer, compared to J.K Rowling or Stephan King or any other writers. It is your way of putting words to paper and how you want to make your truth on the page. Your voice evolves through the different genres you will delve into as you go along. But, it remains your voice. The way you write the words, is your unique way. I dont know if I have found my voice yet. I dont feel I am experienced enough yet, to say that I have found my voice. I havent found what I want to say or how I want to say it. I still feel like I am imitating my favourite authors throughout the years, such as:

J.K Rowling

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Maggie Stiefvater

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Stephanie Meyer

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Sylvia Plath

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Oscar Wilde

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and many, many more.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery but I need to find my own voice. What makes me stand out against the crowd? What do I stand for? Writers such as Louise O’ Neill who wrote Asking for It and Almost Love, take a feminist approach to her writing and write about difficult topics that are not addressed properly such sexual harassment and rape. I want to form my own voice and I feel Ill find it through the big novel I am working on. The thing I would say about finding your voice, is just keep writing. You will find your voice with time and experience. Keep a pen and paper on hand. Write everything down. Write your own experiences and that way, you will find your voice. If you want to know more about voice in writing, check out this article by Writers Digest.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/voice-in-writing-developing-a-unique-writing-voice

I hope you are having a fantastic day and I love you guys for sticking by with my messy upload schedule. I have more planned for this blog, so stay tuned x