5/28/2015

Letters and Words and Books


Reading. One page after another. Glancing over words. Pages cramped with squiggly forms called 'letters' and being so ridiculously entranced. Gotta love reading.
“Woke up this morning with a terrific urge to lie in bed all day and read.”

-- Raymond Carver

I'm basically entranced with words. Whether it is to write them, or to read them or to create art with them. I'm just besotted with words. Letters. I mean, it's weird. They're just little squiggles - signs - crossed lines - little shapes. And yet they give me so much unending joy.
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”Anaïs Nin

Everything with words pulls me. Like a magical magnet of some sort. I know, right, weird how it works. I find words irresistible. I want to read all the letters (I mean, hey, it's intruding into a person's privacy in a word-form way) in the world, and when there's someone texting next to me, I always glance over their shoulder and read the words appearing on the screen.

“That's absurd," I said with a little laugh. "Nobody can read too much. That's like saying someone breathes too much.” 

― Lynn AustinWonderland Creek


I know, this was a little of a sorry excuse for a post. But I just felt, in a moment's impulse, like sharing some pretty bookish pictures and my latest favourite quotes with you. Oh, and I wanted us all to pause a moment in our lives and ponder about the amazing-ness of those squiggly things. :-)
“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” ― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

Okay, one more quote, for good luck. They're made of words and letters, so, hey, we can't do much wrong, can we?
“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” ― Patrick RothfussThe Name of the Wind
Have a marvelous, word-packed day, m'dear bluestockings!

5/16/2015

10 fictional darlings

SO!

Olivia tagged me with the '10 favourite Screen Characters Tag'! Thank you, old sport. I'm one of those delightful little creatures that has tons and tons of favourite fictional characters, so, as other people have done before me, I won't pick my ten favourite characters - I'll pick ten of (mark the of) my favourite characters. It'll be fun.

By the way, the first five will be male and the last five will be female. Just, in case you can't see the difference between the two. Or just in case you scroll down and meet only men for awhile and don't understand why there aren't any females - they will come.

#1. Lionel Logue
(Geoffrey Rush, The Kings Speech)


Lionel Logue is Awesome. I just love him. If I had a pick a father of the Period Drama world, I'd pick this one, without a doubt. He's childish. He's funny. He's serious. He's smart. He loves people and he has flaws. He's definitely one of my all-time favourite screen peeps. I want to spend an afternoon with him and give him a big bear hug. I basically want him to exist.

#2. Bertram Wooster
(Hugh Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster)


Ah, Bertie. I have devoted an entire post or more to him, but I had to add him. Because, to be frank, he's that one character that cheers me up and I can never have enough of. He must be so much fun to doodle around with. Just imagine going for a walk with Bertie Wooster at your side - I really want to do that.

#3. Tevye
(Chaim Topol, The Fiddler on the Roof)


What even is Tevye's last name? Or is that it? What is his first name then? It'll always be a misty unknown-ness to me, it seems. Anyway, about him. He's just AMAZINGLY funny and awesome. I just love him. I even love how he shouts and loses his patience after five seconds of waiting and how he mumbles and kicks the chickens. He's just hilarious and one of the best characters, ever.

#4. Roger Hamley
(Anthony Howell, Wives and Daughters)


Roger Hamley is one of my favourite heroes and, to be naomi (well, my name isn't Frank, is it?), I don't understand why more people share my love for him. He did fall for Cynthia, yes. But he felt sorry for it afterwards and he's super kind and sweet and handsome. He can even pull of a beard.

#5. Mr Knightley
(Johnny Lee Miller, Emma)


I did think of adding Mr Palmer in Sense and Sensibilty or Sparkler in Little Dorrit but then I remembered Mr Knightley and all thoughts about the grumpy hilarious Hugh-Laurie-role and the Sparkler-ideas vanished. I LOVE Mr Knightley. Yes, love as in love. He's the kind of man I want to marry one day, if you see what I mean. He's just SO kind and good and wise and so handsome-especially-when-he's-super-angry. He'd also make a really good father, don't you think? He's my favourite hero, period.

#6. Beatrice Potter
(Renee Zellweger, Miss Potter)


I love Miss Potter. Aside from she being a huge animal-lover and me not that huge, I relate to her a lot. We both love to write, we both love to paint and have a super artsy bedroom. She's quirky and special and does things. 

#7. Elizabeth Bennet
(Jennifer Ehle, Pride and Prejudice)


BECAUSE SHE'S AMAZING. How can you not love her? She's just the nicest character. Quick tongue, pretty starry eyes, sweet smile, witty one-liners, kind kind heart. She could be my friend, please. I will never tire of her. Indeed, there is not a tiry bone in her body - one can be entertained by her for hours in succession. Lovely heroine.

#8. The Dowager Countess
(Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey)


Oh my goodness, how can she not be everyone's favourite Downton character? She definitely is mine. She just SUCH a character. I want her to be my Grandma so bad. Is it possible to have three Grandmothers? I want her to be my third. (Want, want.) She's HILARIOUS. Everything she says - every little syllable that whisps out of her body - is hilarious. Her facial expressions are hilarious. And what makes it even more hilarious is the fact that she's the most serious character at the same time.

#9. Melanie Wilkes
(Olivia de Havilland, GONE WITH THE WIND)


She deserves more friends. She loves everyone. She never sees wrong. She's almost soppy. But yet I love this beautiful darling doll. She's so sweet. Olivia de Havilland did her so well. What does annoy me about Melanie is the fact that she so adores that witch-Scarlett. But still, I can't dislike Melanie. She's just a pot of shining gold. I always cry when I read her death scene.

#10. Maria von Trapp
(Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music)


Starting off as a wild, getting-into-trouble, big-hearted, challenge-accepting, problem-solving tomboy. Ending as a mature wife, darling mother, beautiful-smile-owner. I just love Maria von Trapp. She's a lovely nanny and a lovely mother. Exactly what Geog and the children needed, I should say. And she's funny too, isn't she?

Have you seen these movies?
Do you enjoy the same characters as I?

5/15/2015

How to live à la Marianne Dashwood // A Tutorial


Some people find her a whiny, self-absorbed person - some people love her and admit they resemble her a lot. Other people, although they love her as a Jane Austen character - beautiful and passionate - like to laugh at her a little. (No, that last one wasn't me. Just kidding, it was.)

I do feel, though, that Marianne Dashwood lacks love from us all. She feels deeply - she truly feels it, guys, this is all painstakingly real - and she has a huge heart and a brain that works with great dramaticism and gusto. We need to love her. You can even follow her example if you want, because it all ended well with her, didn't it, and she ended up being Jane Austen's beautifullest heroine, and all that. So yeah, I guess you could say that Marianne is kind of a rolemodel. I mean, I guess so, because she's so famous - and you aren't famous for no reason, right? Right? So If you want to be like Marianne Dashwood, here's a tutorial for you.


Step one. Walk in the rain.

Rain is your best friend. You love rain. And if you don't, you have to, if you want to live à la Marianne Dashwood. Basically rain brings out the best men and that way you can marry young and live a long life happily ever after. Life as a single girl is hard.

So, when you hear thunder, or smell rain looming ahead (you can totally smell rain), you go ahead and go for a walk. Your older sister or your younger sister might tell you it'll rain, and you tell them it won't, but it will. Besides, why would the rain stop you. You love rain - why else would rain exist but to walk underneath it?


Step two. Keep on taking walks.

Why walks, do you ask? Why walking in the rain? Why it is so beneficial? Well, as I said, the best men pop up on the surface when it rains. You always faint or twist ankles when you walk in the rain, so they are obliged to pick you up (as if you are nothing but a crumpled leaf!) and tadaa - a romance blossoms. I do warn you, it might take several tries before the right man comes along. So just keep on walking in the rain and getting carried by men until you realise it is the One.

Tips for going on walks, though, don't bring your younger sister along. The wrong men come when the younger sisters do.


Step three. Never hide your feelings.

As I said, Marianne feels super, super, no-this-is-not-exaggerated-this-is-so-real deep. She FEELS with every ounce in her body, she feels, yeah. And not only that, she shows this. So never hide your feelings. When you are upset: Well, CRY, for crying out loud! (haha.) Cry, even though you're in a ballroom - (or better, faint, so that some men (because they might be the right one and you're always on the lookout, remember?) might catch you. Cry, even though people are watching. Cry in front of your sister.

And olives don't help.


So yeah, keep crying. That's just so important. No secrets or hiding-feelings for you, thank you very much! That's just utter nonsense. Everyone just has to know all your troubles. It's a vital part of life. I mean, why else do you have tears but to use them when you are in despair? I know, sounds logical, right?

And the same counts for when you're happy. When you're happy, you show it, okay? You have to dance and laugh and scream. Even in public, yes, of course even in public. Scream.

When you're cross at someone, show that too. Why, you can say 'yes' and 'no', if you manage it, but don't bother about remaining civil. Tell your younger sister to follow your example, by the way - she can hide in tree huts and under tables. Just a suggestion. The annoying people have to realise their annoyance, right? Again, this all sounds so darned obvious.


Step four. Play music according to your mood.

Of course, you can't cry too much, because sooner or later you won't have tears left. When this happens, you should find a piano and play melancholy tunes. If someone asks you to change, please Marianne, change of course (you are a very kind person), but don't change the mood of your song. You are SAD. So play a SAD SONG.



Step five. Find your husband.

Your ideal man needs to be three things: 1) Someone who can carry you home in his arms and not care about getting wet. 2) Someone who reads poetry well and 3) Someone who likes music just as much as you.

Of course, there are quite a few men who can live up to all these three standards, so here are the more specific rules. If the man needs your help to remember the poetry, he is not the one. If the man falls in love with you before he sees you and when he only hears your voice, he is the one. If the man buys a pianoforte for you, he definitely is the one. If the man has rheumatism, he's the one.

Oh, and hothouse flowers mean: That's the one.

Have fun! ;-P

Oh, and post script, everyone.

This is my Two-Hundredth post.

I'm proud.

A picture of tea to end my 200th post.

5/12/2015

At the Wrong Side of the Ocean // Snippets of my Novel

My dear friend Miss Elliot (seriously go check out her blog - she has the most adorably-written posts and all that jazz) suggested I'd do a post filled with snippets of my current novel, 'At the Wrong Side of the Ocean.' Seeing as I don't have much time to make posts, this is a perfect one for me. It might be ludriculously boring for you, though, but hey, just so long as posts keep on popping up on the surface, ey, ey?


‘I’ll only tell you if you promise you won’t ask me why I’m not fighting.’
‘I wasn’t planning to.’
‘That’s good.’ He smiled kindly. ‘I’m twenty – I’m not like most of my friends, who yearned to enlist as soon as War broke out. Some of them went at a sure young age, pretending they were a year older; no doubt they weren’t the only ones. I wasn’t keen at all – lost my father in the other War, don’t like the sound of fightin’. But yeah, I’m twenty now and I’ve got to register for training. Will be leaving in several months and I’m not counting down the days.’
Laura smiled through her chatters and heavy blankets. ‘You didn’t have to explain.’
‘No, it’s good if you understand.’ Andy was looking at the crackles in the fireplace, and he talked to Laura as if he was talking to himself; daydreaming. ‘But of course, I want to do my part and all that. Don’t think I don’t, ‘cos I do. But fightin’ – I’m just not really attracted to the idea. But I’m going to go, and I’m going to try to put my heart in it and do it for our country.’


James and Spencer were anywhere but in the sight of their family members – dodging between the cheering and happy multitudes, crawling under legs and arms, whisking the best food from the tables, and running to calmer and inky-evening-black places with trees, climbing as high as they could and devouring their sugary treasures whilst sitting there. The trees they climbed in stood solemnly at the side of the park in the town, in black shadowy corners, set apart slightly from the people, who were slowly going home one by one, holding lanterns and chattering with laughs fading softly as they walked further.

‘Hey Spencer,’ James began. His accent had become quite American by now. ‘I finished my doughnut. Shall we go down again for more?’

‘No, wait, I still have a few more bites to go,’ Spencer said from the dark. The branch he was sitting on cracked melodiously.

‘Hey Spencer,’ James started, thinking of a sudden something.

‘What?’

‘The War’s ended. That means I’ll be going back home, right?’

Spencer said nothing for a minute. James thought he was busy eating his whatever-he-had-got, but Spencer was, in fact, seeping that thought in, very upset about it. He and James had done practically everything together for four years.

‘I bet you’re happy,’ Spencer said after a while.

‘Yes,’ James replied. ‘Sure am!’
‘Okay, let’s go and get some more now.’ Spencer didn’t want to think about James leaving today. He really wasn’t ready for it.


The main things that peak out when I think back is me scraping that tin plate and gazing at the food in the market. There was a market every Tuesday, and mother would go there to buy the essential things. I would gaze at the meat, dripping with fat and drizzling with beautiful rich oil. I would stand in front of all the Christmassy puddings and dumplings, pastries, walnut-balls clumped together with maple syrup and mouth-watering chocolate, gazing with my young blue eyes, the words of my father rolling and re-rolling inside my brain. ‘One day, Charley. One day, an’ soon Charley. All the chocolate you want, why that’s a no-brainer!’


So he stopped for the last time at the little white house with purple fall leaves scattered over the porch. He found Rose alone outside; he wondered if she had been waiting for him. ‘Hello, Jonathan,’ she said.

‘Rose, hi.’

‘What’s the matter?’

‘You know – my dad reminded me of this yesterday – you know that it’s illegal for whites to marry blacks?’

Rose’s happy youthful face sprung to a grave grey. She said nothing.

‘I think we should stop this then. Before it gets too – serious.’ Jonathan hated to put an end to this beautifully fresh and moist and blossoming relationship. It was so young, but yet so old. It was a beautiful relationship – all fluttery, like white, white lace curtains fluttering delicately in gentle spring wind. But he had to end it – it just wasn’t possible.

‘Yes,’ said Rose.

‘Goodbye then.’
‘Goodbye.’


Harper got a pair of sailor palazzo pants – something which she never got to wear; it was totally out of her comfort zone (but never mind, because Lottie stole the piece) – five blouses with jumbles of cheery patterns, prickly woollen cardigans with buttons that looked like coloured chocolate, skirts with flexible material just rough enough to look professional, two ordinary dresses – one blue, one dark rosy – and a pink Sunday dress with wave-like tiny pleats, a frippery furbelowed lace collar and satin trimmings made of flippery material that jaunted like butterfly kisses. Harper was so in love. It was the nicest dress she had ever owned. She generously told Tatty and Lottie they could borrow it now and then, but she was so happy that the gorgeous gentle thing belonged to her.


By ten o’clock, Lottie was snoring already, but Tatty and Harper were relaxing wide-eyed and dreamily in the dark bedroom. They heard Jacky and Tote washing up plates in the kitchen, and talking together in low voices they couldn’t quite grasp.

And then they heard their doorbell ring.

The Gab’s had an old doorbell, one that went ting-ting and then seemed to bong in circles, wavering with trills in the air. In the daytime it had a cheery sphere to it, an Easter-like sphere. But at ten o’clock, in a black, bat-like, cold, wet November night, the sound made Harper’s wild thoughts jump into haunting conclusions, and she felt like screaming.

‘Who could that be?’ she whispered.

‘Dunno,’ whispered Tatty back. ‘Shall we have a look?’

Harper and Tatty crawled out of their soft eiderdowns, and tiptoed with their bare feet under their silk winter pyjamas into the hall, arm in arm, making an adventure of it. They bent over the banisters trying, listening carefully. Tote had just opened the door; Harper could hear it was raining outside.

‘What is it?’ Tote asked. There was not a trace of laughter left in his voice anymore.

‘You know it,’ answered the guest. It was a low voice, with an even worse crackle than Tote’s. It sounded zooey and zappy and drunk. Harper clamped Tatty’s hand. It was Miranda Kerr! Miranda Kerr, approaching a house different to her own! Miranda Kerr in front of their doorstep! Miranda Kerr! That lady with witchy liquor smell fuming from her old skin, crinkled with grey lines; that lady with violent bronze eyes, glaring war-like at every obstacle that passed her – here! Harper desperately wanted to go down and look. She imagined the big spider-web bunch of hair, looking all ghostlike with raindrops mingled all inside; and she imagined her wearing a stinky over-coat, drenched to the skin, and looking violently at Tote. But Harper didn’t move a muscle, and neither did Tatty. They wanted to go, but they were scared and cold and frozen quiet, leaning their hair curlers against the banister, because they wanted to catch every word going on down there.

‘Yes, I know why you’re here.’ said Tote. He sounded calm, but firm. It was a voice that knew it was going to win. Not a voice that tried to win, and voice that knew it. ‘But,’ he went on, ‘I don’t see why it would change anything.’

‘You kidnapped the boy.’

‘You mistreated him.’

‘I didn’t, you scull-head, you!’ She spoke with puffs and husky terrors.

‘Mrs Kerr,’ Tote said professionally, ‘I found James Tucker lying unconscious on the ground, his face blue with coldness, and purple strokes of bruises on his legs. Yes. What have you to say.’


Please mark that theses snippets aren't yet properly edited, and all that, so excuse the perhaps-wrong-sounding sentences and typos. I hope you liked them, though. :-)