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First Light

  • Posted on October 17, 2014 at 12:29 am

Memory is a fickle thing, inherently wrong, yet personal in the greatest of ways. All of our memories are biased, based upon information our mind stores and corrupts. Stories we tell ourselves become memories, despite never happening. Things that happened turn out a different way when we think back on them.

Most personal to us all, and most telling of whom we will become, is our very first memory. The first bit of light our mind stores away for us in the world. These memories hide from us, little snippets of time. And then, like magic, a scent, or a sound, the touch of a familiar fabric, or the hum of a certain frequency reminds us, and it comes crashing back like nothing was ever missing at all.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The prickly poking of hay. The scent of his mother, soft and creamy like milk just warmed up, and the sound of his father’s quiet voice. Later, Dirk would learn that the conversation was their first discussion about whether they should go back home to Thosfig, back to their tribe. His nose itched, and he rubbed his little fingers against it to make it go away.Noticing how sharp his little fingernails were, he curled them into his palms. Crickets chirped somewhere, and he could hear crackling, like fire. His eyes felt heavy, and he didn’t want to sleep.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Pain. Yumil remembered pain first. A too-tight grip of an adult hand around a small wrist. The red of lines cut into child-soft skin by fingernails dyed with pigment from berries.  Yumil remembers looking up at her, her tawny hair shining in the sunlight. She is beautiful, and frightful. She calls him a bad boy,voice hissing. Yumil feels his stomach twist and clench, fear climbing inside. She is angry, and to Yumil it’s as if she has always been angry and will always be angry. He finds anger burning inside himself to match, hot and terrifyingly close to tears.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

She can’t remember the words anymore, but Eamon remembers the soft feeling of her mother’s chest. Her cheek fits against it perfectly. She remembers the hard push of her sister’s knee against her own leg, and the laugh in her mother’s voice. She recalls the lines of her sister’s hand and how it felt to rub her thumb along them until Lette shrieked with laughter, like it had tickled her. Eamon remembers how warm she felt, wrapped up in the two of them. A mix of flowers and cool water always brings this memory to her mind, and she smiles.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Grass tickling her nose, and a small round bug crawling along between the blades. Red like string scattering across her vision, as she was lifted from the earth. Her hand still reaching out for the little black bug, bigger hands tight against her ribs They squeezed a little painfully, but only enough to make her whine in the back of her throat. A murmur of her name, and Lette looks up. Her father’s green eyes smile down at her like the water of a murky lake. She smiles back, and giggles. His hand, scratchy with callouses, brushes back her hair.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Blurs moving past him, dark things swimming around the edges of his vision. Espin remembers crying, crying so loud and so long that he was sure no one heard him. He remembers unpleasant smells, something he later knows is the smell of sickness and waste. He remembers the crying making it worse, stopping his nose and how panicked he felt. A cool hand on his forehead was all that kept him awake, and he cried, and cried. Sleep would be kinder. His stomach lurched, and he felt hotness sear his throat and splash out his lips. Nothing eases his pain.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Her big brother’s back, warm and strong. Anelace was tied to it, she could feel the soft cloth against the back of her neck, feel the bounce of his step as he walked. He talked to her, telling her stories, and she burbled back to him. Her fingers found his coarse woven dreads, tugging for attention. She remembers how he smelt like sunshine and camels. He was so big, and strong, he carried her like she was smaller than an ant, and it made her feel small and she thought he must be the most powerful thing in the world.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

She was always angry. So angry. His mother was angry at him, yelling and screaming, and Jorgan hated yelling. He wanted to hide and forget. It made him cry, which made her so much angrier. She called him hurtful things he can’t remember later, things that might be true. Her palm struck his cheek, and his world went spinning. Pain blossomed in his jaw, his teeth rattling, as he toppled over. His cries came louder. The snap of a belt made his chest squeeze, and fear silenced him. His father’s footsteps, shaky and unstable, curled him into a tight ball.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

What glimpse does this first light give?

photo courtesy of flickr.com

26 Questions No One Should Answer

  • Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:51 am

Courtesy of Tumblr, I’ve found a blog-post thing that I figured I could fill out for fun and profit. Profit mainly being answers to questions I never thought I’d have to answer. So, here we go, 26 questions that literally, no one should answer, Ever.

  • A. If you could get away with one murder in your lifetime without any legal, social, or emotional repercussions, would you kill someone? -Absolutely. There are a lot of people out there that really, really do not deserve to live. And I’m pretty sure they may not know who they are. But if I were able to live a free life afterwards, I would happily murder some of them.
  • B. What is your first thought when you receive a message, are you excited for the idea of someone from potentially the other side of the world wanting to talk to you or fearful that someone will criticize you? – Well, Both, a little, but honestly, I’m just excited, because it means that someone actually wants to talk to me, and it’s someone I can hopefully have a long, heartfelt dialogue with.
  • C. Have you ever looked down on someone because you thought your religious views were superior? – No, But I have looked down on someone FOR their religious views. There are people who beleive that their religion comes over other’s basic human rights, and that in and of itself makes me angry.
  • D. Would you rather know everything the universe has to offer but in exchange lose all emotions or remain the way you are now? – …I’d rather remain the way I am now. My emotion is part of what makes me who I am. Not only that, but if I knew everything in the universe, what fun would it be? Part of the joy of life is discovering what exactly I’m looking at.
  • E. If you could live and be healthy without sleeping or eating/drinking, which would you cut out of your life? …Sleeping. Eating and drinking is VERY, VERY fun, new tastes, sensations all of that. But honestly, sleeping I would miss if only because I have really awesome nightmares sometimes that turn out to be really great story ideas.
  • F. If you could take on the exact body and form of anyone else on Earth, who would it be? – …Uh, well… I’m a little partial to the form of one Tom Hiddleston. I wouldn’t mind being him for a while.
  • G. Would you rather burn or freeze to death?-  FREEZE. ABSOLUTELY. Freezing makes you want to go to sleep. Burning just hurts. Everywhere. Forever.
  • H. If it meant it would solve all world hunger, war, disease and bigotry, would you spend the rest of eternity in Hell? – Yes. I would. Because honestly, if one person could end that much hatred and pain, then any torture is worth that sacrifice.  And if I could be that person, then I would suffer through the pain and torture knowing that my pain brings others happiness.
  • I. Was the first crush in your life something you had or something someone had on you? – A boy named Bobby Brown had a huge crush on me when I was living in West Virginia at the age of Nine. He and I went to school together, and we were best friends. Turns out, he had a huge crush on me, and for christmas, had his dad help him buy me emerald earrings. I have no idea where the earrings are, but I remember him, and I miss him to this day.
  • J. Could you live without having sex ever (again) in exchange for eternal youth? – <Asexual laughter in the distance> No, but really, I could absolutely live without ever having sex again. As an Asexual, I don’t need it, don’t like it, and honestly, would much prefer eternal youth.
  • K. Have you ever watched a full length pornographic movie? – Yep. It’s like any other movie, only with more grunting and a lot of sex.
  • L. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? – Neither? If only because both of them are good, but not my favorite.
  • M. If you could have the ability to manipulate matter or energy, which would you choose? – Matter. Energy is constant, but matter can shape and change. So, I could, technically, create more money. Which would be useful.
  • N. What was the worst nightmare you ever had? – One night, I dreamt that I was a mother of two, in a post-apocalyptic world, covered in water. I was searching for a place for my children to be safe, and took them into one of the few non-flooded basements I could find. My child was curious, and opened a door. Inside was a creature I can only call a Revenant, a strong, fast, and vicious zombie-like thing, and it attacked the child. I tried to leap forward, to put myself between it and my child, but… I couldn’t. I woke up crying out for a child I don’t have yet.
  • O. Would you rather spend one year with your one true love just to never see them again or the rest of your life with second best? – …I…Wow, this one is hard. Probably the one year. Because better to have and lost, then never to have at all, right? But… Wow, yeah, that would be difficult.
  • P. All the sequels/remakes/adaptations/rip-offs in movies nowadays, good or bad? – Neither? Some are good, some are bad. They’re getting better, though.
  • Q. Would you rather be dirt poor and emotionally fulfilled in life or be rich beyond imagination and emotionally dissatisfied for life? – … Considering I’m dirt poor and emotionally dissatisfied right now, I’d say Rich. Because at least then I wouldn’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from.
  • R. Do you have any (secret) feelings of bigotry to any group of people? – Unfortunately, yes. I do. I’ve often been jealous and bigoted towards those of a Mexican background. Their women are prettier than I am. Not only that, but I was jumped by a gang of mexican children when I was in gradeschool. So I harbor a grudge.
  • S. Would you rather be the only person in the world that can read minds or have everyone else in the world be able to read minds except for your own? – I’d rather read other people’s minds. Honestly, because that way, I could try and make peace with everyone.
  • T. If everyone in the world would automatically only know one language, which language would you choose? – Japanese! JAPANESE. I want to learn that language SO BAD. You have no idea.
  • U. If you were old enough and not in a situation where it would be inappropriate, would you sleep with one of your (past) school teachers/professors? – …Not really? None of them were attractive to me. And, again, Asexual.
  • V. A world without religion, good, bad, neutral? Neutral. People would find other reasons to kill each other.
  • W. The men’s rights movement, legitimate cause or laughable, and why? – Well, honestly? Legitimate cause. But not the way they’re going about it. The way most men’s rights activists go about it is to bring out their issues whenever a feminist brings out theirs. Which demeans both causes, and brings more and more distain down on both of them. Men do have problems. They can’t report rape without being laughed at. The ‘Sissy’ standard. Domestic violence issues. I understand this. But that does not compare, not right now anyway, to the systematic rape and repression of females all over the world. Personally, if MRA’s want to make things better, maybe they should concentrate on helping Feminists first.
  • X. You can eliminate one of your five senses to substantially strengthen the others, which one and would you do it? – Hearing. Because while there are lovely sounds in this world, and music is beautiful, it is nothing compared to the beauty of a sunset, or to the touch of soft fur, or the exquisite taste of a well-cooked meal.
  • Y. Do looks mean anything to you? Don’t lie, could you fall in love with someone you thought was ugly? – Looks do mean something to me. I want the person I love to take pride in their appearance. So yeah, I would have issues falling for someone I deemed unnattractive.
  • Z. Can you understand the mindset and logic used by the opposite spiritual opinion? An atheist understanding the belief in a higher power and vice versa. – As a Pagan kitchen witch, I do understand the beleif in a higher power, whom sent their most beloved down to die for you, and all like you. I don’t beleive the same, but I can understand the instinctual comfort such a thought would give.

Finding Your Niche in 3 Easy Steps

  • Posted on July 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm

For some of us, the word Niche ends up being a scary sort of thing. Something to fear and worry over. It becomes something akin to the word ‘cage’ or ‘trap’. We feel as though it is meant to hem in what we want to accomplish with the world. It isn’t something that comes easy or is to be taken lightly, and that, in and of itself, brings about a form of terror. Niche writing tends to end up very personal, and some don’t wish to be subjected to the backlash that writing a blog on ‘personal care after BDSM‘ or ‘how to trim your pubic hairs‘, but that is what they know, and love.
When it came to my attention that perhaps finding that one little niche market that meant something to me would be a good idea, I legitimately had a panic attack for several days. I didn’t want to be hemmed into something that didn’t fit. But how could I find something that did? What if it was too much for my readers to ever want to read? What if what I liked was something too obscure, and no one would want to read it?
So, I sat down, in front of my Zenwriter, and thought to myself, what are some steps I can take to make this less terrifying. What are some things I can ask myself about writing in a niche, to find out what exactly my niche was. Now, I already had a niggling thought in the back of my head of what that might be, but I didn’t necessarily want to force myself into it.
The first question in my list was: What do I want to share with the world?
This was easy. I want to share fantasy with everyone. I want to share it in a way that makes everyone feel included. Women, men, transgender, genderqueer, gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, aromantic, everyone, everywhere should be able to read a fantasy book and think, “oh wow, I wish that I could experience that.”
The second question was: Okay, but what do you want to share with the world ON YOUR BLOG?
This wasn’t so easy. In fact, it’s what caused the several day panic attack. I want to share myself with the world. I want to let everyone know who I am and where I come from and why I’m the way I am. But I also want to share with the world the things that are wrong, and the things that are right and the things that are beautiful. I want to teach the world to accept not only itself but everyone else, and to see that we are all the same in that we dream beautiful dreams.
That lead to the question: But how can I share this with the world?
A friend of mine, Chris Votey, brought up the idea of interviews with other LGBTQA writers, Reviews of other writer’s work, and offering myself as a representative of Asexual culture. Which, honestly, I wouldn’t find too bad. It would take a lot of time, and energy however. But, I find the more I think about it, the less I mind. Because really, isn’t it about what I give, not what it takes from me? Then, I thought about what else I could do to share my dream of representation with the world.
Resources. I could provide resources for things that most people don’t think of. I could try to provide a unique look into certain subcultures. I could write about the things that interest me, and hopefully, provide enough information that others would like it. But that won’t get me any closer to being like those I admire. That won’t bring me the same sort of love that Misha Collins, Andrew Hussie, or Neil Gaiman have. That won’t help others to see my words.
Then, I thought that perhaps I could start with lists. With things that I find out, over the course of my journey to become a full-fledged author. Such as this list that you’re reading right now. That definitely helped to ease my panic a little. Because lists, lists are small, and easy, and quickly done, so I can definitely work with them. Another thing I could have tried is perhaps snippets of information found throughout the internet. Or perhaps little anecdotes from my life that help me to focus on what it is I am working on.
But that’s all very abstract and not very well thought out. So, I rewrote it.

 

1) What is it that I want to share with the world?
– Representation for all, and fantasy that everyone can enjoy.

2) What is it that I want to share with those reading my blog?
-Ways to spread Representation, My thoughts on LGBTQA representation, and my progress in my quest for more.

3) How am I to share this?
– Lists
– Personal anecdotes
– Resources found throughout my internet trawling
– Interviews with other LGBTQA writers
– Reviews of websites, blogs and books written for/by other LGBTQA writers
– Snippets of my writing and writing styles

And there you have it. My path to finding my niche, and settling into it. I hope this helps you, because it certainly helped me. If you need any more information, please, leave a comment, or email me, and I’ll be happy to help you find your niche too. And please, don’t hesitate to speak up.

Beauty and her Beast

  • Posted on April 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Beauty and the Beast Vs. Taming of the Shrew

Both iconic tales, although for very different reasons. Long, well-known, articulate, and fascinating, both tales are considered love stories, usually of the romantic variety, with sweet connotations, underneath everything else. The humor in Taming of the Shrew is considered a finer point of William Shakespeare’s works. The “song as old as time” of Beauty and the Beast is famous for it’s sweet romance, persisting through the ages as a love story to be emulated.

However, both stories have deeply troubling issues within them that few enjoy looking at. Truthfully, I don’t enjoy looking at it. Like any little girl, I absolutely adored Beauty and the Beast, wanting nothing more than to find that kind of adventure and love so easily. And my teenage self really enjoyed Ten Things I Hate About You, which is roughly based off of Taming of the Shrew. Both were funny, quirky, beautiful stories that made me think that maybe, just maybe, love was out there for everyone.

Now, break it down, by role. Let’s start with the women of each example.

Beauty, whose name literally describes her both inside and out, is a sweet, dutiful girl, who is obedient, intelligent, and (in the original tale) respectful. The disney version added a firey backbone, which was quite nice, actually. Her role in the story was to meet and be enslaved/captured by the beast, and then, despite being cruelly abused, verbally, and physically (he occasionally throws her around even in the disney movie) is supposed to fall in love with the Beast, once he exposes his true, good heart.

Katherina, the infamous Shrew, is an obstinant, firey woman with a temper. She is determined to have her way, and will not be told what to do. She chooses not to marry. During the course of her play, she is psychologically tortured by her soon-to-be-husband, through various methods such as removing her clothing and food, by saying it isn’t good enough for her, and deliberately misinterpreting what she says. She, in the end, also falls in love with a rude, obstinant man, whom has proven to be a rather cruel fellow.

Both women seem to be intelligent, well-thought out women, for all that they’re a little… one dimensional. Beauty is beautiful in all that she is, and Kate is well… a shrew.  But both women are forced, quite against their will, to be in the company of a man who is downright brutish.

The Beast is just that, a monstrous beast both outside and in, with claws that have rended the entire castle. Belle must have lived in fear, for I know I would, were I surrounded by stone gauged by such talons. Not only that, but he treats her as though she were a servant, a slave. He yells, demeans her, and as illustrated before, throws her a few times. He is brutish, boorish, angry, frightening, and supposedly, deep down, has a heart of gold. Belle just has to endure until it begins to show itself. Meanwhile, Beast is just waiting for the right woman to come along and teach him proper manners. How demeaning is that, as an allegory for the male gender? Hear that guys? You have no choice but to be an ass until the right woman comes along and *FIXES* you.

Petruchio, meanwhile, had the benefit of being raised in Italy. Meaning he’s an ass too. Also, he’s psychologically manipulative, and uncaring of Katherina in a personal sense. All he wants, as is stated in the play, is to marry a bride. He too is cruel, wooing a woman who obviously doesn’t want marriage, and basically talking her into marriage with the most backwards sweettalk in existance. He knowingly enters the relationship set to break down Katherina’s spirit and make her docile, accepting, and obedient.

Both men are the worst sort of examples of mankind one can think of. I personally am embarrassed to even call them men, for I’ve MET good men, and they do not act this way.

Now, you ask, at what point do these two stories even coincide with each other? Well, think about it. Beauty and the beast is a story about a woman taming a man. Taming of the shrew is about a man taming a woman. They’re the same story, only with the genders reversed.

What’s worse is, instead of the man showing the woman kindness, as Beauty showed Beast, and finally revealing the heart of gold inside, in Taming of the Shrew, Katherina is instead browbeaten, psychologically tortured, and in general treated as a problem, something to be beaten down and changed.

Both stories have problematic elements, Beauty with her stockholm syndrome and Perchutio with his cruelty, however, when looked at, it is clear what the commonality is. In both stories, women are clearly a means-to-an-end. Nothing more. Katherina is refused her personality, changed by the man in order for him to gain a bride and her sister to be eligible for marriage. Beauty exists for her father to trade off, for the Beast to gain back his humanity. Nothing more.

THIS is the problem with these two stories. When you are writing, consider the women in your story. Consider what they do, who they are, WHY they are in the story. If they are nothing more than a means-to-an-end, then you are doing them, and yourself, a disservice. After all, Misogyny is often internalized, and it’s time that women became women, and not just a catalyst.

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