Short Story – The Lovers

Tarot card, The Lovers:

Gemini – the twins,

Choice and temptation,

Union of the Head and Heart.

Fingers of listless fog creep through the dark and grime. The London air is heavy, gloomy, fetid and alive. Refined gentlemen take the streets, undaunted by the shadows and smoke from gaslights lining their murky avenues. Soggy newspapers, warning of ghastly murders in East-End, are disintegrating in the gutters. Men of rugged countenance need not fear what lurks in the dark.

A woman stands at the street corner; her tattered, faded red dress breaking through the desolate fog. ‘You look lonely, sir,’ she calls, angling herself for the moonlight to catch her generous bosom. ‘Would you like some company?’

Without question, you take her by the arm, and lead her through the narrow alleyway. Her corporation, her willingness, makes your endeavour all the more easy. When you trust you are far enough from anyone to hear or witness your depravity, you push her up to the gritty brick wall.

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Myth and Symbols essay: Wintergirls

Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for her haunting young adult novels that explore the dark tumult of adolescence. Although her books focus on issues of rape, suicide and anorexia, she weaves classical mythology throughout her work, adding a new dimension to young adult realism.

Wintergirls has been said to be Anderson’s most powerful work, alongside her debut novel Speak. Scratching the surface of Wintergirls we uncover a plethora of metaphorical and lyrical writing. The novel includes two epigrams. One is taken from Sleeping Beauty, the other from Homeric Hymn to Demeter. The latter is an extract talking about Persephone’s fall into the Underworld. The following quote, taken from Anderson’s website, explains Anderson’s approach to writing Wintergirls:

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Book review: Eleanor & Park – ★★★★½

Forget The Fault in Our Stars. Forget whatever young adult is all the hype right now – this is what you should be reading. If you’ve ever been 16 and in love, if you love music and books (but hate it when writers make their characters sound like pretentious little douchebags – John Green), if you’ve ever found a kindred spirit and had them taken away from you – this is what you should be reading.

The moment I saw the cover for Eleanor and Park, somehow I knew it was different. For the first time in a long time, I was excited for a book. I was so excited and so desperate to read it, I wouldn’t let myself read the scathing reviews on Goodreads (for some reason, reading bad reviews helps me decide when whether I want to invest in a book). I didn’t want to spoil anything, or have anyone build up my expectations, and I didn’t want to know if anyone thought these characters were just another generic, outcast young adult couple.

And boy, was I right to do so. The only taste of Eleanor and Park I let myself have was to read the first page. One taste, and I was addicted. So addicted that I devoured this book in one read. No joke, I stayed up until 6am reading this book. Once I started, I couldn’t stop – I didn’t want to stop, in fear of disrupting the beautiful, magical flow.

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Book Review: Let the Right One In – ★★

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….

Now, don’t get me wrong; this was a great story. Very fresh and inventive – a real standout from all the other Vampire novels. Truly dark and beautifully twisted.

However – I couldn’t stand reading this. That’s not to say this was badly done; it’s just, I’ve been studying Professional Writing and Editing for almost 2 years, and I found myself constantly picking up flaws in the writing. Of course, I’ve given the author the benefit of the doubt (this is, after all, originally written in Swedish) and assume that this is just an awkward translation. A very awkward translation.

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Short Story: The Moon

Tarot card, The Moon:

Fears and Anxieties, Dreams and Fantasies

       Believing illusions, experiencing distortion,

              Chasing after fantasy.

*          *          *

Videl’s laugh lures me through the dark street.  The moon above bathes us in silver light, casts tall shadows, illuminates our path. The night air caresses my skin, disturbing my hair, but my body has been broken so many times I barely feel its cold bite. The air in my lungs is the only thing I am allowed to feel now. It’s the only shred of life I have left.

I know the pain that lies ahead, for I have walked this path many times before. Yet still, I follow Videl’s songlike call. I trace his footsteps up a narrow road. Serpentine, the path leads towards a house, golden light streaming through the windows. My feet crunch over pebbles and teeth, pebbles and teeth. Hairs stand on the back of my neck at the grating sound.

The front door is tall and imposing, weatherworn and flaking. Videl is nowhere to be found, but for this one moment, I am not worried about that. Instead, my mind sputters and struggles into gear, reviving my memory. This was the door to my house, when I was a real girl.

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Book review: Wintergirls – ★★★★★

Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for her haunting young adult novels that explore the dark tumult of adolescence. Although her books focus on issues of rape, suicide and anorexia, she weaves classical mythology throughout her work, adding a new dimension to young adult realism. Wintergirls has been said to be Anderson’s most powerful work, alongside her debut novel Speak.

In my first year of TAFE, our teacher set us an assignment to write about an author who has influenced our work. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover Wintergirls until my second year. Holy hell, how this book has changed me as a writer.

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Book review: The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1) – ★★½

I’ll admit, I was late to join the Percy Jackson bandwagon. I hadn’t heard of the series until 2010, when the movie starring Logan Lerman came out. I remember thinking “oh my god, that guy is CUTE!” and “oh my god, this looks like a bit of a Harry Potter rip off for teens.” And I was right – the movie was directed by Chris Columbus (the director of the first to HP films), and changed… a buttload of stuff from the book. Fortunately, I made a promise to myself to read the books before I saw the movie. Unforuntately, I found the books to be underwhelming and the film to be a big improvement. Of course, I was a 16/17 year old girl reading books aimed at young boys/Middle-Schoolers.

But then I heard about this new series: Heroes of Olympus. I saw the huge jump in page numbers, and that the annoying first-person narrative had been switched to third-person, with multiple titular characters. My interest was piqued.

And then… I bought The Lost Hero. If I thought the Percy Jackson books were “humorous” albeit averagely written, then Heroes of Olympus was a trainwreck.

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Short Story: Two of Cups

Two of Cups – Romance Short story – Love, True, Soul – Booksie.

Tarot card, Two of Cups:

 

 A great love and/or friendship.

 Making a connection; a union, a partnership, the potential for bonding.

It is a relationship.

 

 

*          *          *

 

 We return home with winter mist beaded in our hair. Shivering from the bitter weather that has chilled us to the core of our bones, we seek refuge in my bedroom. I lead him down the hall; the faulty wiring causes the light to flicker and fade out.

‘Be careful,’ I warn, ‘or the ghosts might get you.’

I hear him faintly chuckle behind me, before I open my bedroom door. The obnoxious, yellow medical-waste container is left standing on my dresser table. When I left that morning, I had forgotten to hide it away in case I would have unexpected company.

He makes no mention of the container, and I make no move to hide it. Instead, I light a stick of incense, and fall onto my bed with him. Following habitual pattern, we rest on top of the covers, doing nothing, simply lying together.

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The Hunger Games: revealing the problem with YA fiction

The Hunger Games is a great book series; truly, it is well written, intelligent, deep, observational and thought provoking. But when I read the books (about 5 years ago), I was left disappointed and pissed off. Why?

Peeta/Katniss/Gale.

Love triangles have become a prerequisite for YA novels. Originally, author Suzanne Collins planned for Gale to be Katniss’s cousin, but her editor encouraged her to change this to a “romantic interest” to appeal to the drones of YA readers, solely interested in hot guys and bad romance.

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Why I Hate Ginny Weasley

Some quick notes:
1 – I am not one of those people who thinks Bonnie Wright is “ugly”.
2 – Nor am I jealous of Ginny, or angry that Harry didn’t shack up with Hermione – or even Draco. For the record, I hated Ginny long before I shipped H/Hr.
3 – Ginny Weasley is the only character I hate in the Harry Potter books. Notice that word there – books – When it comes to the films, I am utterly bored or indifferent to her.

If you’re an active part of the Harry Potter fandom, or know how to google, then you probably already know that that Ginny is one of “the biggest polarizing characters in the series” (along with Snape, and to a far lesser extent, Draco).

For a long while, Ginny was a character that I quite enjoyed in the series. I even named my cat after her (because Hermione just seemed too long for a little kitten). However, the change in Ginny’s character in books 5/6 (most noticeably 6) was just downright infuriating. Hopefully, I will be able to focus my points into a well-flowing structure; and not some wayward rant. So, bear with me.

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