Moods, Rhythms, Prose…

Sip with Me-5Sip with Me-6

Sip with Me-7
I find all of my moodpboard images on Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr so props to the original artists. One person to mention here is Orion Carloto, always a style and writing influence to me for a solid couple years now. Her instagram @orionvanessa is a little bit lovely too.

“What are you reading?” He asks, but it’s something too sacred to tell. These pages are mine and to share them is sacrilege.

“Oh, you know, just a classic.” I shrug absentmindedly hoping he’ll leave me alone with the words and the world in my head that has captured me so. The characters, my friends, my enemies, mine. And this isn’t my first visit to this vast paper plane, it could be my fourth, my fifth, my sixth.

“Oh, Which one? Maybe I’ve read it.” Maybe you have but you wouldn’t have read it like me, nobody reads them the same. I don’t want you to tell me your opinions, your interpretations, your critiques. I want this to be my own world for this time and the time after. A retreat untainted by reality, by your words.

But I don’t want to be rude, or seem weird, or make myself uncomfortable. So I close the pages gently, reluctantly and place the paperback in the sanctuary of my lap. “The Great Gatsby.” It’s a blunt response, I hold back my enthusiasm, the despair, the elatedness, the devotion. They are mine too.

“Ah, Read it back in school. Gatsby’s a bit of a melt isn’t he? Never really understood him. It’s all lovey dovey crap. And the end…” He stops himself with a quirk to the lips “…well I won’t ruin that disappointment for you.”

“I’ve read it before, I know the end, I admire the end. I admire the whole story actually, despite the ugly characters. If you read deeper you’ll uncover a whole lot more than a love story.” The worlds trip over themselves in my haste and the burning in my cheeks betrays me so loudly. He’s laughing softly now and I can feel the eye roll he’s holding back. My heart is in my throat and there’s a nagging behind my eyes. The confrontation was uncharacteristic of me but I’d been riled by the ignorance. Critique of anything is just blatant self indulgence. There was no counter argument here, just his word against mine, superior to mine.

I walk away from the challenge, from the battle he is so obviously keen to muster. Instead I calm myself and retreat to my world, hurt by the anger tainting the words now, loathing the way I let them in when I knew what was coming and should have prepared against it. It’s a lonely thing to read so heavily, to rely so much on a world beyond this. But I’m elevated by the reward of it. The places I see, the people I meet, the suffering I share and the victories too. My emotions are in the hands of the author, susceptible to his manipulations and sorcery.  And I hand myself over to the escape of it all, willingly and desperately ready for the turmoil.

I’m really digging these little projects, they’ve become my favourite to write and I hope you enjoyed reading it too. Especially my enchanting little bookworms out there. I compiled a list of my favourite classics too. I find so many of them boring (sacrilege I know!) but this list boasts all of the literary works that have really gotten to me. All of the tears and tantrums and that awful lost feeling as I turn the final page. Any recommendations?

N x

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Bookish Bits: John Green

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I simultaneously love and hate ‘Turtles all the Way Down” It’s a masterpiece built up of poetic language and intricately created characters. It’s also my new favourite Green book and thus I forgive him for the extended absence. For a minute there was a worry that his words wouldn’t imbed themselves quite so deeply as they had done during my lonely, self discovering, teen years but I needn’t have worried because the soul he’s so evidently woven through passages of unfaltering craftsmanship could appease the readership of any age. There is a philosophical tone throughout that wriggles in the brain as Green presents us with common Greeny themes: Growth, identity, relationships. There was no slow building, no half there chapters or quick fix sentences to bring down the tone of the words, every thing was carefully structured. And this is why I hate it.

I write often, I have to write often, it’s how I deal with a whole host of rubbish catapulting through my head. But nothing I write matches the brilliance of this. And it’s this book that hits my creative self the hardest because it’s always the characters that I give my devotion too. Building them through mood boards and poems, quotes and photographs and art and cities. Every person I write will have a whole background, pages in my scribble notebook dedicated to different elements that make up a personality. But Holmesy is just so solidly presented, such a relatable dialogue, that I lost myself so purely in the narrative of the novel.

‘”I was so good at being a kid, and so terrible at being whatever I was now.”‘ TATWD

Before, I’d marvelled at the mystery surrounding the women in Green’s books. My favourite novel of his has always been Paper Town’s and I’ve read everything he’s written. Margo was this marvellous enigma that I intended to be when I was fifteen and reading the book for the first time. It was when my longing for escape truly started. I re read it so often but never wore it out. I loved that ‘unfulfilling’ ending everyone got so hung up on, actually I thought it was perfect. A long road trip, a long journey and then? A mundane destination. Brilliant. In a lot of my earlier journal entries you can tell in the try hard quirk of my writing that I was trying to become this figure of unattainment and attraction, just like Alaska and Margo. I was encouraging myself to be poetry without really taking into consideration that the narrators were male teens, a perspective I was always going to be detached from. There was this brutality to the female figures, one that reminded me of the boys in The Virgin Suicides, peeping in on the lives of these girls and creating their identities for them based on the fragile grasp they held on their own identity, based on that awkward stage when puberty hits and everyone’s giving into that new urge, driven by the idea of sex and the new appeal of their once completely neutral peers.

“Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.” PT

So Turtles impressed me more in that the narrative is female. And not only female but a teen female suffering at the expense of her mental health. There were passages that broke me, where I had to step back and just breathe for a minute. As difficult as The Fault in Our Stars often became to read and as distraught as Looking for Alaska may have made me, the hurt reading this novel was on a new scale. When Holmesy battles with herself and asks to be free of her torment? That was troubling. If you’ve ever lived as the victim, at the hands of yourself, whatever category of illness that might be, then the punch is there in these raw lines. It’s such an important topic to explore, especially in young adult fiction.

“You just, like, hate yourself? You hate being yourself?”
“There’s no self to hate. It’s like, when I look into myself, there’s no actual me—just a bunch of thoughts and behaviors and circumstances. And a lot of them just don’t feel like they’re mine. They’re not things I want to think or do or whatever. And when I do look for the, like, Real Me, I never find it. It’s like those nesting dolls, you know? The ones that are hollow, and then when you open them up, there’s a smaller doll inside, and you keep opening hollow dolls until eventually you get to the smallest one, and it’s solid all the way through. But with me, I don’t think there is one that is solid. They just keep getting smaller.” TATWD

I’m not sure, however, what it says about Green, that all of his female characters seem to be suffering. Perhaps that’s the analyse-everything-in-the-book-and-tear-it-apart mentality I developed studying literature but it’s still on my mind writing this a week after finishing the book and I feel like maybe I might want to look into it a little more closely. Or maybe just the representation of females in young adult fiction in general.

Regardless there is power in the writing here, there is power in expressing the many faces of teen mental health, and there is power in taking six years to make sure you perfectly do your creative pursuits justice. Kudos to Green and his new modern classic, ay?

Let me know your own opinions on the book! I know I read heaps of differing perspectives on goodreads and I’m always keen to hear new opinions.

What should I read next?

All the love and blissful vibes, N x

 

february

  1. A surprise scrapbook I received in the post from some special humans I had to leave behind in Australia. I’m a sentimentalist so it goes without saying this is one of the best presents I’ve received.
  2. Make-up. A foreigner to my skin, which has had a very lovely year of sun kissed freedom. I like nude by nature, it’s cruelty free, mostly vegan and this foundation is the sheer sort which still lets my imperfections shine through (It’s the Luminous Sheer foundation which I can’t source on the website). I don’t like full coverage, just enough to keep me confident but also keep me, me. The powder is nice too but I don’t really use it all that much.
  3. Coffee Dates with my best friend. I had to go a year without them so this month has been all about filling those missing spaces and investigating what awesome cafe’s my city has to offer. Pictured is Pink Lane Coffee a creative little nook, with a menu and vibe that has me reminiscing about Australia (can you tell I miss it?) I’ll be sure to do a little review of it soon!
  4. A Book and a cup of tea. I don’t really enjoy regular tea (terribly un-British of me I know) but I’ve developed an addiction to green tea as of late. I’ve also been re reading my favourite books to encourage more words and less telly in my life. Hush hush is just as heartbreaking to finish the sixth time around. Yes this is a young adult fantasy, yes I’m a twenty two year old woman, what of it?
  5. Instagram – My favourites this month have been my friend Jody’s – She’s a photographer so her feed is always perfect shots of beaches and travel fun. And also Tia Hendricks for style inspiration and empowering captions.
  6. I have too much time. I HAVE TOO MUCH TIME. With too much time comes too much youtube so here’s a bundle of joyessness to fill your time, if you have too much time, like I have too much time. Time, ya know?
  • Meghan Hughes – specifically the Pizza Talks, her one with Arden Rose just recently was delightful, go Check it!
  • Negative Feedback – I’m Miss. Amateur everything so I’m trying to use this space in my life to learn things. I super love photography so this little Youtube channel is expanding my mind (even if some of it is a little too smarty pants for me). P.s. give me money so I can afford this hobby.
  • Neverland Boys. Co – I like adventures, they do adventures. I like the sea, they film the sea. I like Australian accents, they have Australian accents. It’s win, win, win. Also checkout their blog and instagrams for insane pictures of insane places, it might hurt your wanderlust a bit!

So there we have it, a couple pieces that made my month, inspired me and kept me busy during too many lost days of moping around. How about your favourites? Any book, music, instagram recommendations?

N x