Tag Theft: Get to Know Me (ew why?)




I have purloined this tag from the lovely MK of Sarcastic Scribblings. I have chosen this partly because I like tags, and partly because I feel slightly guilty about being lazy on my profile.

Vital Stats/Appearances:

(Pen)name: If I were ever published, it would probably be under my real name, but I have this dream of writing really trashy YA novels as a joke, and publishing under a fake name. But that name has to stay a secret, so....I guess I sort of still go by The Author in addition to my real name. 

Nicknames: I have no proper nicknames, but I have one friend who occasionally calls me Georgie, which is short for Georgette. The story of Georgette is longish and complicated, but let us just say that she is my alter ego. 

Birthday: Once upon a time, in a year, in a month, on a day: I was born. Happy birthday to me. My birthstone is garnet, and I was not born in the first week of a month. 

Hair color and length: Medium brown, 28 inches long. 

Eye Color: Both are blue. One is grey blue, and the other is green blue. This difference in the shades is a recent manifestation, and lately people have randomly been staring at me and saying "are your eyes two different colours?" I'm quite pleased about it. 

Braces, piercings, tattoos: I had braces twice, and contrary to popular expectations, I did not hate them. I was happy to be done with them forever, but I was actually pretty excited when I was told I would get a second round. I thought they were cute.  

Righty or lefty? Righty. 

Ethnicity: Technically, my family has the highest concentration of Irish heritage, but my dad is half German.




Firsts:

First Novel Written: Haha. 

First Novel Completed: hahahaha

Award for writing: hahahahahahahahaha

First Publication: bahahahahahaha

Conference: ......

Query/Pitch: *AHEM* okay, I get it, I haven't reached any worthwhile writing milestones, no need to rub it in. 





Favorites:

Novel (that you wrote): From my library in my castle in the air, I am choosing my historical intrigue. 

Genre: High Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Really Really Realistic Fantasy. (I do love a good mystery). I don't know. I like good books. I can't pick genres of books any more than I can pick genres of music. 

Author: JRR Tolkien

Writing Music: Modern-yet-sort-of-classical vibes? Lindsey Stirling, 2Cellos, the Piano Guys, Peter Hollens etc., oh and movie soundtracks. 

Time to write: The middle of the night. 

Writing Snack/Drink: Black tea (and Chex Mix is my kryptonite). Also strawberries, but I don't consider those kryptonite, because they don't have negative effects on my body (I eat them in semi-reasonable amounts). 

Movie: The Lord of the Rings, I guess. But it depends on mood. There are times when the behind the scenes (appendices) for the LOTR movies are my favourite things in the world. 

Writing Memory: ummmmm

Childhood book: I honestly don't remember. I was so busy indulging my new ability to read, that I didn't have time to think about favourites. 




Currently:

Reading: The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien. Beowulf by JRR Tolkien. Son of  a Thousand Kings by Thomas Costain. Before I Go by Peter Kreeft. 

Writing: Random snippets and short stories. 

Listening to: At this second, I am listening to Now We Are Free covered by 2Cellos. It is a song from the movie Gladiator, which I love. 

Watching: Nothing. 

Learning: Irish, History, General Random Stuff. 






Future:

Want to be published: I'm actually fairly conflicted about that, but that is a story for another time. 

Indie or Traditional: I would almost certainly never self publish, so probably traditional? 

Wildest Goal: None of my goals are particularly wild. I will say "mother/wife/homemaker" because that is the only goal that I have basically no control over. Everything else I want to do, I know I will do, because I will work to do it, so I don't consider it wild. 






 The Author



04.17.18

 //all the pictures are my own//

THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS
by
Leigh Bardugo


The Language of Thorns is a collection of re-imagined fairy-tales by Leigh Bardugo.

Like Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns is set in the ever-fascinating 'Grishaverse', a fantasy world with a bit of russian flair. 
I love believable fantasy, I love faerie-tales, and I especially love some good world-building. So naturally, this book was intriguing to me. I have read five of Bardugo's other works, and had mixed feelings about them, but I never failed to appreciate her writing skills, and her incredible settings. 10/10 for imagination and ingenuity. 

The Language of Thorns however, I really liked. I used the term "re-imagined" rather than "re-told", but perhaps "inspired by" would be more accurate still. Bardugo has a truly unique take on these stories, one that I have not seen before. 
I have always disliked this habit, in modern times, of taking fairy-tales and turning them into pat, moralistic happily-ever-afters. The original tales are far more muddled than that. Often times the ending seems less to be the triumph of good, and more the triumph of something/someone that appears good or beautiful. Unfair punishments are often dealt out, and people of questionable character often run free. 
In an Author's Note at the end of the book, Leigh Bardugo says: 

"For me, the real villain was Hansel and Gretel's father, a man so weak-will, so cowardly, that he let his wicked wife send his children into the woods to die twice."


Reading this was a huge "me too!" moment. I have always thought that their father was a horrible person. 
I have always thought that Cinderella's marriage was doomed; that Snow White was cruel to the huntsman, who loved her, and married the prince for power and revenge; that Belle was cheated of her love, beastly though he was, and in the end outward appearance was the thing that mattered most. 
Think of all those princesses who were forced to wed men they did not know, simply because of the whims of kings.
Leigh Bardugo captures this muddled, disconcerting theme in the book. The good and the bad is still there, but from a different perspective. 
So go out and kill the wicked ogre in his castle, but did you ever wonder how he got to be there, and why he if forced to steal in order to survive?

A Caution 

This book is definitely not for children, and contains a fair amount of disturbing and mature content. I wouldn't say that you necessarily need to like darker stories to like this book, but if you actively dislike dark things, you probably won't care for this either.  
Also maybe don't read The Witch of Duva at one in the morning? 

In Conclusion 

I liked this book. 
I do not necessarily agree with Bardugo's take on every story, and I thought it was rather darker than it needed to be, but I liked it. 
I consider that it would be an intriguing read regardless of how much you care about faerie tales, but recognizing all the stories certainly makes it more interesting. 
I would recommend The Language of Thorns to any who love the darker faerie tales (or if you enjoyed the movie Maleficent, and its spin on Sleeping Beauty). 


  The Author


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03.04.18

How to Introvert
~ Boring Reflections ~


I don't know what this post is. It just happened. I don't know that any of what follows matters, or is worth talking about. I don't know if it is well expressed, or pertinent, or interesting. Some introspective word vomit about introspection. Enjoy? 

Me 

To begin, I do not believe in introvert vs. extrovert stereotypes. People are complicated. Some introverts are loud, some extroverts are really quiet. It isn't about your outward presentation, it is about the way your brain works. Moreover, I am one person, and I cannot speak for others. The only thing that I necessarily have in common with other introverts, is the need to recharge in solitude. 

I am a human being who craves and adores solitude. Any interaction with another human being is, at some level, draining. That does not mean negative. The fact that I love to be alone does not mean that while I am with someone, I am constantly wishing I wasn't. Parting with friends is always bittersweet. I am sad to end a visit, because that means leaving the company of a person I love dearly, but there is always a little part of me that is happy to be alone in my room once more. 

I have two extremes of 'social behaviour'. One is when I am completely comfortable with the people around me, and I am bubbly and cuddly and goofy and a bit on the louder side. The other is when I am not comfortable with the surrounding people, and then I live up to all the stereotypes. I become anti-social, miserable, and silent. I suffer from what is commonly known as social anxiety. There is no need to go into the details of what sort of people make me comfortable or uncomfortable. 

Somewhere in between that is just a reclusive young woman who won't go to social events alone, but can handle herself pretty decently in a conversation, and finds talking to total strangers rather fun. (Honestly, the people you sort of know can be the most terrifying). 

Is It Bad? 


No. It is not bad to be an introvert, and you don't need to force yourself to be different. However, (and don't get mad at me for saying this) there are negative things that can result from both introversion and extroversion. 
I have met extroverted people, who were very outgoing and social, but they did not know how to be alone with themselves. They were not happy by themselves, and they hated to be alone. Being okay with yourself is incredibly important. Being at peace with yourself is immensely important to mental health and overall happiness, and this comes from self awareness and some amount of introspection. Take some time to hear yourself think. Maybe you hate that, maybe you don't like it because you think about all the wrong things, but it has to happen. Life has to be processed, the bad with the good. 

And now to the side that I have a much deeper understanding of. 
Believe me, there are few who understand the need to be alone as well as I do, but humans are social creatures, and we live in society, and life involves human interaction. So it is not okay to shut yourself off from the entire world. It is not good for the world, and it is not good for you. You have to interact with other people, whether you like it or not. This is something I struggle with. I so wish to lock myself up and only ever see my close friends and family for the rest of my life, and that is something I have been working on. 

One of the greatest things I ever learned was that in order to begin stepping out of my comfort zone, I needed to figure out what my comfort zone really was. What are my boundaries? At what point to I begin to change from healthy human into cornered animal? What do I need to stay sane, happy, and functional? 

So far, I have learned a few things that I need. 
(a). Routine, good food, and exercise. Routines make me so happy; having time to cook proper meals for myself is always a glorious thing; and being generally active, in addition to 40 or so minutes of solid exercise each day, really helps me stay in a good mood.
(b). One day a week where I do not leave my house; where I attend to chores, hobbies, and my environment. As long as this happens, I am in excellent condition all the rest of the time. (I will say, the night before my "home-day", I am always in a rather miserable mood, because I am at the end of my reclusive rope, but other than that all is well). 
(c) Friends to talk to, and books to read. 
(d) And orderly environment. I do not have OCD, but I have my fair share of obsessions and compulsions (always has exit strategies, hates frayed edges, becomes physically uncomfortable and distracted in the presence of random stains or striking asymmetry, etc.). Many of these revolve around cleanliness. My own room is my sanctuary, and being in it always makes me happy; cleaning it is my favourite task. 


How People Interact With Me

I would like to preface this section by saying that I do not take any personal offence at anything anyone has said to me, I merely find it rather annoying and fairly amusing. 

Personality: 
It is worth mentioning that when I am really tired or with people I am very comfortable with, I can be quite talkative. On a semi-regular basis, someone from the outside world catches a glimpse of this and decides that I am very outgoing and cannot possibly be an introvert. More confusing yet, these people often feel some bizarre need to tell me of this magical new fact they have discovered. 

This seems like something that would be a one off instance: "oh, haha, remember that time someone told me they thought I was an extrovert". And yet I cannot even count the number of times other people have decided to tell me what I am, what I like, and how I think. With little to no provocation. 

*scene* 
(paraphrasing, not actual quotes, I don't hate any of these people)

Person: Are you going to this thing tonight? 
Me: Nah
Person: Why not, it will be fun!
Me: Oh I know, but I'm pretty introverted and tonight is just one of those nights where I want to stay home, you know? 
Person: Oh my gosh, you are NOT an introvert. You were so outgoing the other day, like you are SUCH an extrovert. 
Me: *silence* *returns to escape plans from earlier*

*end scene*

First of all, I am very good at faking it to avoid confrontation, or making anyone else uncomfortable because eek.
The two main groups of people who do this are either (a). Extroverts who think of introversion as some sort of sad problem or mental illness, and want to comfort me and encourage me. No ill-intentions whatsoever, very kind and sweet, just uncalled for. 
(b). Introverts who are extremely covetous of their anti-social nature, and don't want people claiming their label who are able to be talkative in a social situation. 

Pity:
Another thing I encounter constantly is people feeling sorry for me. The number of times people have asked me, out of the blue, if I was okay......ahhhh. To be fair, part of it is my RBF, so I guess I often look rather miserable. But part of it is the way I behave in groups. There have been many social things where I have actually been miserable and extremely uncomfortable, but I am often perfectly happy, albeit reclusive and quiet. 
99% of the time I sit in a corner at a party, I am having a grand old time watching all the people and listening to the conversations around me. I love people-watching. Humans are fascinating. 

Unlike the inexplicable desire to tell me who I am, people's genuine concern and desire to make me feel comfortable are not annoying. They are sweet, and even required on the part of a hostess. They do not bother me in the least, though I do find them a tad funny. 


In Conclusion 


Whatever label best fits your unique personality, get to know yourself without worrying about where you fit in. Figure out what boundaries you need to set in life to be able to interact with the world in a positive way, and stick by them. I often feel stupid for telling people I can't do something on a thursday, because I want to be alone. I feel selfish. And in a way, it is a little bit selfish, any time you do anything for yourself, but ultimately I believe that I will be of more use to people with my life force in my body, instead of in a puddle on the floor. 
Once you figure out exactly what you need for yourself, you will be able to give everything else away freely. Knowing I have my thursday enables me to never begrudge any of my other time. Sure, sometimes weeks get overwhelming, and I have to just focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, but that is exactly why I turned that light on in the first place. 

 The Author


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Image is my own. 

03.03.18